Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Saturday starts replaying through my mind, the stiff wind, the beach and surfing sit on tops. An outgoing tide and the sandbar just up from the river entrance combine with the wind to create confused waves. The rip down the beach is intense and difficult to paddle against. It is not hard to see how several swimmers each year get into trouble here as the undertow tugs at my legs when I walk into the water. All of us struggle to stay in the stretch we are surfing.
Carl, Matt, Jess and I take turns assisting from shore. The students last about 5 to 10 minutes at a shot before getting tossed from their boats and coming back in to start over. Their excitement lasts until the very end and then they are so many zombies. I stare back at my computer screen surrounded by office sounds and air that is nothing like Saturday’s.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
The large black shadow of a kite arcs across the moonlit sky angrily chased by a little, green glow. Rob leans back as the lines to the kite tighten and drag him a step forward. Mike has added a glow stick to one of the lines and the wind is up. Inside, two fireplaces are blazing and conversations buzz. This is the last night at the house and there is celebration.
Those that aren’t staying have headed home now. Of the rest, I am the first casualty. Sleep beckons and I crawl into my sleeping bag but oblivion is broken by my phone alarm telling me it is time to get up. There had been a plan to go fishing before work but sleep is insistent. Later I wake of my own accord and am the first moving when the sun creeps over the horizon and occasionally peaks through the clouds. Reminders of the party are all around including a body curled up by the cooling coals in one of the fireplaces. Coffee percolates and the cleanup starts. I can’t find my shoes.
A day later I am on Cornell Point trying to put my skirt on. The wind is howling down the river and the tour has moved quickly. After the one attempt to paddle into Everett Cove proved futile, we are going to try for the harbor. My hands are stiff and weak from the cold. Only a burst of willpower gets the skirt on. The warmth and friendship of Friday night has become memory and only coffee is fueling me. Last night we couldn’t keep our eyes open much past 8, the warmth from the fire and the murmur from the TV a pleasant reminder of the previous festivities. Today there is cold and wind and crows playing in the tree line.
Back at the shack, everyone is bundled. The little heater hasn’t been able to keep up against the chill with the number of people coming and going. There is talk of how to spend Sunday evening but I have plans. We shut the shop and head off in different directions.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
As I gain confidence in my ability to control this beast, I allow it to stay low and in the power zone for longer periods. Having watched the others, I think I can get this thing to loop so I send it skyward again. People are chatting and laughing as the kite soars above them. A twitch of my hands sends it charging down at the ground. It gains speed but has stopped responding to my hands’ commands. It is willful and obstinate. Too late for a warning cry, it augers into the beach with an explosive slap that shocks those it tried to hit.
The crowd jumps as one then turn towards me. I smile sheepishly.
I tug the bar and walk back away from the people, the kite leaps skyward again and follows me obediently. Shortly I am replaced at the reigns by one who has more experience controlling these things.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Wow what an amazing trip! Warm clear blue water, pleasant air temps, great food and to top it off an incredible group of people. The group this year was a mix from all over, we had four people from Israel, two from Sweden, four from the US, my self and Omer.
I guess the best way to describe the overall experience would be to say that it was relaxing in its intensity. The paddling pushed the limits of everyone at some point whether it was sea state or the distance covered, everyone’s skills were tested and improved. Throughout each day and at the end of every day we ate and ate and ate, this is the only expedition I have ever been on that I have gained weight. Did I mention that the food was incredible?
About the Paddling; basically we traveled along and around three beautiful Islands, Leros, Kalymnos, and Telendos. On Leros we paddled around the base of a 12th century crusader fort that overlooks the sea for many miles. Kalymnos is probably remembered most for its beautiful cliffs and rock gardening. The cliffs go up hundreds of feet and plunge down just as far into the water. We were gliding along right at the base, in some cases touching them as we went by. Telendos was a great time, we stayed here two nights and so we were able to have a play day. Some took the day off and went hiking up into the caves that overlook the Telendos Strait, the rest of us circumnavigated the island. The trip around only took about two hours but in that time we were exposed to all kinds of conditions, flat calm, into the wind, 3 to 6 foot swell “ you didn’t tell me my boat would fly”, same swell with rebound waves and cliffs, 4 foot following sea (good for long rides), back into flat calm. The day finished at the On The Rocks Café where the owner, George, took very good care of us with great food and spirits.
The trip wound down with us finishing out the bottom part of Kalimnos cruising along the cliffs, stopping in at cafes along the way for the occasional espresso or lunch break.
We ended in Vathi, a small fishing village at the end of a little fiord, a fantastic finish to a great trip. Many thanks again to Omer Singer of Terra Santa Kayak Expeditions for providing us with an incredible trip.
Monday, October 6, 2008
There was Rob B and Eddie on Saturday. Rob B was back for a repeat performance with the college student tour. One student…let’s call him Eddie…provided much of the amusement on the trip and has walked away with the Autumn Award for Most Entertaining Client. The kids from our high school program were through on Sunday for non-existent surf so got to enjoy Sakonnet Point with Mike, Rob B and a Carl freshly back from Greece as well as an extended tour of one of Germany’s largest airports. I got to finally complete a private lesson with a very nice client who happens to be able to predict bad weather by merely scheduling lessons.
Columbus Day is 7 days away. It is the unofficial end to the kayak season for most New England outfitters. We’re still rocking and rolling for a little longer and will soon be finishing up the Winter pool schedule.