Sunday, June 02, 2013

Fun in the Sun

Having a child forces you to do things differently. A few years ago, I made decision about when to paddle on the fly. Now, I make arrangements weeks in advance. Planning in advance is nice because you know you will get to paddle at least a few times a season. It also makes bad weather a big deal.
Fortunately bad weather was not an issue today. I'd been waiting for this paddle for many weeks.
We descended on the parking lot early to make sure we got parking. Manchester, like all towns on Cape Ann, has limited public parking. It has even less parking that is suitable for launching kayaks.
The weather was nearly ideal for a day on the water. Sunny, but not too warm. A light breeze and calm seas. The afternoon threatened some thunder showers, but we were not worried.
The plan was to paddle out to the Misery Islands, check out the area from Little Misery, and likely head out past Bakers to play on the rocky islands.
The morning was pleasantly uneventful. We meandered our way out to the Miseries. Along the way out JS and I reminisced about the last time we paddled this stretch of water. It was a very different paddle...
That day was cold and gray with mean seas. The swells were steep and unpredictable. We spent a lot our time trying not to surf into the other paddlers in the group and hoping for landfall. It was one of those days where you ask yourself, repeatedly, if you are crazy....
After a brief stop on Little Misery to see what was happening and pick our lunch spot, the group headed out towards Bakers. The seas were just bouncy enough to remind you that this was a sea kayak trip. I love this kind of paddling, particularly when I have been away from the water for a long time. The rhythm of the paddles and bounce of the swells become a mantra. It is an alert relaxation; it is revitalizing.
After lunch the paddling was more active. The winds and swells picked up a little. It was a nice change. The conditions required an active presence but wasn't enough to knock me out of the zone. Paddle, correct, paddle, correct, deploy skeg, paddle.... Just right to remind me that I was at the mercy of forces beyond my control. All I could do was be present and adjust as needed.
Back at the cars, I felt the rejuvenating effects of the paddle. I was more relaxed and more balanced. A great day on the water.

1 comment:

  1. Manchester Paddle Video:

    Tony M.