Monday, April 27, 2009

You Tew

Ok, I’ll confess. I am not a lover of hot weather.

Morning came when Morgan’s shrill “Where are you?” whistle pierced my sleep. No way could she be missing me. Sam’s whispered voice carried through the quiet house as well. “Shhhhh Morgan, I'm right here”.

Something wasn’t quite right. I pulled my eyes open and looked around. Nothing had changed since I went to sleep except dawn’s light coming through the window. The sound of the coffee pot making its morning elixir occasionally percolated through the silence. I inventoried myself….consciousness, um...check…….all extremities intact, check….sweating, check….darn. That was the problem. I was sweating and it was still April. A quick check of the time told me it was 5:30am. Double darn.

Evening found me on my father’s deck relaxing in the moderately cooler breeze. The day had been long and brutally hot for one such as me, especially since I had not been out on the water. My only saving grace had been the ability to hide in the shop’s shade. Luckily, I was the only one who wished for a return of cooler weather. A steady stream of renters all had that glazed look indicating that they had almost given up hope of the heat’s return but here it was again.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The crew

Osprey Team 2009:
Carl, Sam, Hugh, Mike, Rob, Izzy, Parker, Will, Jon, Ted, Rob Banks, Matt Bingham

Guests may include:
Steve Maynard, Omer Singer, Cheri Perry, Turner Wilson, Bryan Smith, Todd Wright

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Spring Fling 09'

What a wild start to the season!

Saturday was a bit damp with a biting northeast wind but, it did not discourage us from getting on or into the water. Guest instructors, Todd Wright (Saint Michael’s College) and Bryan Smith (Reel Water Productions) joined our own, Hugh Braley for a dynamic moving water workshop on the Sakonnet River. Carl Ladd and Rob Fisher led another dozen intrepid paddlers down the East Branch to refine paddling strokes and improve their boat control. While Mike Simpson and I, introduced our new favorite sport, Stand up Paddle Surfing. Stand up paddle surfing or Hoe he’e nalu, is an emerging global sport with an ancient Hawaiian heritage. We love it because it’s a great core body work out and a ton of fun. We finished up the day watching Bryan’s latest endeavor, Eastern Horizons. The film is an exciting look at sea kayaking adventures along the east coast of North America from the warm waters of Georgia to the tidal bores and whirlpools of the Bay of Fundy. Special thanks to Sal and the crew at the Back Eddy for the great food & hospitality.
Sam Ladd

Monday, April 13, 2009


There is a slight ache in my hands. I look at them as I drive. They are still wrinkled from being in the water earlier and the salt has made them a little leathery. The pain is the result of having the blood driven from my hands by the wet, windy cold. Remembrance of that is balanced by the warmth of the people I had been with. I forget how much I enjoy being surrounded by paddlers, people I know by name, reputation or face. Sharing the time had been fun. Back at the Eddy the movie showed me places that Alex and I had talked about paddling once upon a time. It was a good day.

Bill Littlefield’s voice is on the radio for the second time in 12 hours and I am heading home. Easter is tomorrow.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


They are looking a little nervous, two of the new guides. They are listening to Sam talk about what it means to be a guide at Osprey and Carl is handing out folders with guide info. Izzy and Parker are there for moral support as well as assisting in the orientation. I'm just there. For better than a decade I have gone through annual guide training of one company or another. It is a comfort to see little has changed...old guides inducting new.