It was during a surf-landing. That morning, the tide was dead-low, and the beach was calm. Light surf broke along the beach and the Outback had no issues punching through the small breakers. The afternoon, however, was much different with bigger waves coming in. I tried to come in between sets. I paddled quickly trying to reach the beach. The first roller went under the kayak...whew - okay, I might make it. The second one broke - the Outback veered to the left - I quickly leaned into the wave and braced, scooting sideways until the kayak passed over it. I straightened out, and was preparing to jump off, when the third one got me - it made the kayak veer quickly to the right this time, and I panicked and leaned the wrong way, and got rolled in the surf...
I had three rods on the kayak, two upright in the back - they were leashed, and one in the front holder. I had my fish-finder to my right, still on the ram mount. The MirageDrive lay at my feet in the footwell - not tethered. My tankwell's contents consisted of my tacklebag, a livewell-bucket with aerator on the side, a small soft-sided cooler, my anchor & rope, landing net, and fish-ruler.
When I flipped - the cooler, tacklebag, anchor/rope, and MirageDrive went overboard. The net, livewell, and fishruler were caught in the bungees of the tankwell. The rods somehow stayed in the holders, unbroken. A guy swimming nearby ran over and grabbed my cooler and tacklebag before they got swept-away. I got the kayak flipped back over and dragged it, along with my pride, to the beach.
I was in shock - I rummaged through my stuff, trying to inventory items...I poured the water out of the cooler and tacklebag. Then I took at quick look at the rods...it was then that it hit me - where's my MirageDrive?!? Panic set in - I quickly ran back out into the surf, where I walked around trying to "feel" the bottom for the drive - nothing. It was gone...I could feel the undercurrent pulling at my pantlegs and I started to accept the fact that it was gone. $600 washed away to Davy Jones Locker.
'DDOlson' came over to survey the damage and I told him about losing the drive. He offered his condolences...then he walked off to retrieve the kayak carts out of his truck. While I was standing around, I decided to give the search one more shot - what the hell, I had nothing else better to do. I walked straight out from the kayak into the surf, dragging my feet. Got about thigh-high in the surf, and something brushed my leg - quickly looked down, and saw a sight that was wonderful to behold: a black pedal - it was the MirageDrive! I quickly grabbed it, and lifted it up like a hockey player hoisting the Stanley Cup. I also praised Jesus, loudly, and carried it out of the surf like a mother cradling a newborn baby...
The moral of my story is "rig to flip", which means lashing stuff down, stowing your gear properly - and tether your $600 MirageDrive. And be prepared to buy your wife a new camera when the one that you borrowed gets soaked in saltwater. Yes - that got ruined too - forgot to stick it back in the dry-box when I took some pictures earlier that morning.
This is one "first" I will never forget!