Thursday, January 17, 2013

January Thaw

This past week we had several warm-ish days with not much wind, and I used them to criss-cross the archipelago, revisiting favorite spots.

I even visited a few places for the first time. I tend to think I've been just about everywhere in the Stonington- Isle au Haut archipelago, but every now and then I'll paddle past a ledge and realize I've never landed there. That's Scraggy Island Ledge (above). Good spot for a cup of coffee and a granola bar.

Nate joined us for a foggy excursion and we worked on synchronized strokes. 

We visited favorite haunts: Wreck, Gooseberry, McGlathery, No Mans, and while the conditions were pretty mild, we managed to mark plenty of rocks with our gel coat. The tides were new moon-high- over twelve feet, and we watched currents moving through the narrow spots, carrying-off high tide debris.

 We were just happy to be out.

We played in some tiny waves off Gooseberry.

 And arced around Spruce and Devil, threading our way back into the Thorofare.

 I could have easily forgotten it was January. The warm days continued. I paddled hat-less and wore sunglasses.

I took a bunch of pictures and drank tea on ledges. Like Spruce Island Ledge (above).

It might have been enough to make one wonder: "shouldn't I be doing something... else? Isn't all this paddling a bit self-indulgent?"

Well that's just crazy talk. Sure, there's bills to be paid, etc, but I kept watching the weather, knowing these days wouldn't last, and they didn't (and they won't). After tea on The Fort, and then on Second Island (had to give the west side equal time) I saw the new weather moving-in, and as I put my gear away that evening, figured it might be awhile before I got out again.

But that was my mistake. If I'd been on my game today, I could have squeezed-in a decent paddle before the temperature dropped and the winds picked-up. Honestly, I felt ready for a break, which is pretty amazing this time of the year.


Sandy Stott said...

With an arctic front on the way, these photos and your paddle are refuge. Thanks for taking us out into the best islands when many of us are far away.


Unknown said...

I quite agree with Mr. Stott. Thank you!