Saturday, April 21, 2007


Today was the sort of spring day that you can hardly believe is for real. The temperature soars, and the air is so clear you see islands out there that you swear you've never seen before. Of course, the water temperature is still cool enough to ... do bad things to you, should you end up in it (above 40 degrees F. though). I don't often paddle alone, but that seemed to be my only choice.

Foolishly, I got involved in all sorts of domestic chores: taking the trash and recyling to the dump, mopping the kitchen floor, organizing the closet, etc. It was Saturday, after all. The new mop head didn't fit the mop, so I got in the car and bought another. It didn't fit. The most perfect afternoon of the year was passing by, and I was messing around with mop heads. My anxiety grew. I drilled some holes, made the mop head fit, and got the floor mopped. By then, I was seriously ready to leave dry land. I quickly got into my drysuit and walked over to the boat launch.

It was four o'clock. I thought I might just do a quick loop around a couple of nearby islands. I was alone, after all, and I didn't want to push my luck. And, as I headed south, the wind and waves seemed to be picking up. At the south end of Green, I paused and turned east, following the chain of islands: Spud, Potato, Little Camp, Camp, Devil, Buckle...

The islands drew me onward. Paddling alone can easily become dreamlike, simple. Decisions happen without my noticing them: suddenly I'm circling islands where I've never been and I'm vaguely checking the angle of the sun, wondering how much daylight I have to get back.

I got back just fine. Saw one other kayak: atop an Xterra in the parking lot at the boat launch. Soon, I suppose, we won't have this entire archipelago to ourselves.

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