Sunday, May 04, 2008

Should I Stay or Should I Go

This was the first weekend of scheduled paddles for RIC/KA sea kayaking. It was a number of weeks since I last paddled. Work is getting crazy busy. I was looking forward to a relaxing paddle and there was a perfect salt pond paddle on the docket.
Unfortunately, the weather scheduled showers....
Last night, I called TM to see if he was going to cancel. He was also feeling the need for paddle. If the weather wasn't going to be totally miserable, he was going to paddle. I checked the forecast... 100% chance of showers. I set the alarm...
When I got up this morning, I checked the weather on the computer... 100% chance of rain until early afternoon. I checked the radar... patches of rain. I called TM... His wife sounded skeptical, but he was optimistic.
I started getting my stuff together. I dressed in doubles layers of polypro, packed some food, gathered my electronics, and packed up some dry clothes.
H looked on in a state of disbelief. She kept asking if I was really going to drive to the put-in, if I really needed to paddle bad enough to endure the rain, if I knew how much gas cost...
Then I went outside to pack up the car. It was gray and damp, but not raining. Once I had the my stuff in the egg, H helped me re-attach the roof racks and load the Q-Boat.
Then it started to rain. As I drove south, the rain got worse. By the time I was approaching Providence, I could barely see because it was raining so hard. I began doubting the wisdom of my choice, but drove on.
As I passed through Providence, the rain began to thin out. As I approached the Route 4 turn-off, it was just misting. By the time I pulled off of Route 1 and into Marina Park, the rain had abated.
TM and RR were waiting in TM's truck. We got the kayaks off the cars and down to the water. I donned my drysuit. We packed our gear into the kayaks.
The sky didn't leak once. It was pleasantly cool. The clouds get the sky gray.
We took our time paddling around the salt pond. We talked about politics, cars, paddling, retirement... It was nice to get the blades swinging again. Being outside was far better than the alternative.
I took a little time to warm up, but once I was warm paddling felt good. The currents and the wind were pushing the Q-Boat around, so I got plenty of opportunities to practice my boat control.
By the time we got back to the put-in, the sun was starting to burn through the clouds. The air was getting warmer. The late afternoon was shaping up to be a nice May day.
RR and I decided to practice our rolls. RR's rolls, sculling, and balance brace looked flawless. My roll felt much better than it had the last time I practiced. After one roll on each side, I decided to quit while I was ahead.
TM was not so keen on getting wet. The water was pretty cold, and he suspected that the gaskets on his drysuit may be leaky.
After we transferred our gear back to the cars, TM and I enjoyed the sun and some coffee on the Java Madness deck. (Have I mentioned how much I like Java Madness...).
Sometimes, taking a leap of faith is a complete disaster. Sometimes, taking a leap of faith is exactly the thing to do. Today it was the right call.

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