Sunday, October 29, 2006

Windy Wistfulness

Another weekend with wind and without paddling. Reports from the front said the Bay was in full hurricane state. Roads were washed out. Sailboats were washed up. Surf was everywhere. Saturday was a monsoon. Sunday was a gale.
Saturday's paddle was going to be a trip from Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA to the Misery Islands. Durring the summer, paddling out to the Miseries is a pleasant little paddle. You can get a hint of open water and a short crossing. This late in the season, the paddle can be a real adventure. Last time I was involved in a late season Miseries trip we found ourselves in over our head. So, there was no way that paddle was happening.
There was some hope of a paddle on Sunday. A few people held out hope that the winds would calm and the sea would settle. Perhaps, they could find a little shelter and manage a paddle. We watched the message board hoping against hope.
Why would anyone continue entertaining the idea of paddling despite the facts? I did it because, as I learn anew every fall, paddling is my outlet for stress. Once the season starts my alternative outlets fade into the salty spray. So, now, as at the end of every season, I find myself befuddled for the first few weeks without paddling. I spent the days in a fog casting about for something to do. I went to the mall. I did some work around the house. I read a little. I watched some Battlestar Galactica. I watched the message board. I kept thinking that the weather could break....
This is the transition time. The gray days when the weather is too unpredictable to paddle every week and too warm to stay inside. If I were a man of balance, like many paddlers, I would have kept up biking through the season. It would make these days easier and provide an alternate outlet.
So, like an addict of sorts, I will slowly ween myself off of kayaking for the winter. I'll rediscover other forms of exercise and promise myself that next season I will keep them up. Hopefully, the wind has blown itself out for a few more weeks. Otherwise, my weening will be a crash withdrawl....

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