“Have I ever told you you’re my hero? You’re everything I would like to be…” Okay, that was enough Bette Midler for the rest of the year! Actually, we at InsideOut want to take a cyber-moment to brag about employee Katie Pate, whom has been awarded the Red Cross Real Hero Award this year. During a somewhat fool-hardy kayaking trip in the Straight of Juan de Fuca last March, Katie’s companion fell out of his kayak into the 42-degree water. The couple had paddled across three miles of open water to a small island in the straight. On the return, they only made it a quarter mile before her companion was tipped out of his kayak by a small wave. They had brought no emergency equipment with them. A quarter mile into the open water, with one of them beginning to go numb in the freezing sea, Katie towed her companion back to shore while he clung to the back of her kayak. Once on the island, she ran for help and managed to bring her companion to safety. It was a harrowing experience for both of them, and they have no intention of kayaking in the freezing waters around Washington state again! However, the silver lining to this storm cloud is Katie’s recognition for her bravery and cool head in an emergency. Her companion submitted their story to the local chapter of the Red Cross for this years Real Hero event and was accepted. We are proud of Katie for her accomplishment and are so happy that she and her companion, another important member of our community here in Sequim, came home safely from their watery adventure.