Sunday, May 25, 2014

Outer West Passage

This Sunday couldn't be more different than last Sunday. The day started off cold and overcast. I was awoken by a cute and very awake Bug. I was dressed in full-body goretex. I was staring up at Beavertail from sea-level.
The day started off oddly. Bug typically gets up at the crack of dawn on the weekends. I didn't need to leave until 8am, so I figured I have plenty of time. Bug slept until 7:30. I hadn't packed my drysuit until H mentioned it. Saturday was warm and in normal springs this would be paddle top and short weather.
When I got to Bay Campus, I was psyched that H had told me to pack the drysuit. It was chilly and overcast. The water was in the low 50s and everyone was a vision in goretex.
The water was earily still. We sat off the tip of Beavertail like we were on a salt pond. It was almost too calm. Any day on the water is a good day, but a few bumps is better. The Q-boat is easier to manage in conditions. When the water is flat, the tail fishes around and it feels sluggish.
After lunch things picked up. We hung close to shore and took advantage of the waves bouncing off the rocks. It was perfectly safe fun. I could get a rush without worrying about wrecking my kayak or my body.
Part of what kept me safe was my lack of helmet. It sounds counter intuitive, but it is true. I notice that when I wear my helmet in mostly safe conditions, I tend to take more risks. I trick myself into thinking I am safer than I am. Without the hemet, I make better and more conservative decisions.
I did witness the move of the year. TG got caught up on some rocks. The waves washed into him and, instead of washing him off, flipped him off. He washed through a shallow, rocky channel, tried to roll up, then noticed that TM's bow was next to him. TG grabbed it and pulled himself up without a scratch. It would make a great video shot for one of those TITS montages.
Back at the beach TM noticed me sitting in my boat looking undecided. "We don't cut ourselves enough slack," he told me. "It's OK to not do it." I chose to not listen. I only get to practice once a month and a roll is a delicate thing. Both side were smooth as butter.
Our timing was perfect. As we pulled the kayaks out of the water, we heard thunder off in the distance. It was dry right up until we were in the cars and on our way to coffee.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Beavertail from Land

H and I took a furlough from Bug for the night. It is nice to spend an evening not worrying about entertaining a three year-old. In the morning, H wanted to visit car. In all the years I've been driving down to RI and kayaking all over the Jamestown coast, I've never been above the cliffs at Beavertail. I've spent time in the rocks and on the pocket beaches.
It was a little odd to look out over the familiar waters from a new vantage point. It looked a lot less imposing and tranquil from land. The strangest part was that we didn't see a single kayaker on the water. I expected to see a pod of kayaks playing in the surf just off shore.