So rather than inflict any more photos of my wonderful trip here, I've started posting trip photos over a new Buzznet gallery. I tend to post these back to front; right now the last 3 days of the trip are up. I took a LOT of pictures, I'm really trying to discipline myself & just put the best ones up. I got a chance to try out the Optio for snorkeling, and since I hadn't had a chance to try it underwater yet, there was quite a learning curve - but every fish I took a picture of, I took the picture because I thought it was a cool fish so I like all of 'em - but there are definitely some that are not good photos. Then there were the rainbows - I took to saying "Ho hum, another rainbow" - but I'd still try to take a picture of every single one that we saw. In the end, exactly one of those, taken at Caneel Bay, St. John, is actually a good bright picture of a rainbow (sadly that is NOT the one with the Spitfire, a lovely yacht owned by some friends from my first schooner season, in it - that was a bummer).
Seems to be a lot more stuff in the Caribbean that's beautiful in a tough-to-photograph way - or maybe it's just that I know the Hudson so much better, it's easier to know what would make a good picture and what's better to just admire for the moment.
Trying to get myself back into this business of winter now. I hardly expect to get any sympathy for this, but I am having a rough time with it. I've taken to visiting my folks (hi folks!) in Hawaii later in the winter because it's such a shock to the system to go someplace where they pull out sweaters & go "Brrr!" when the temperature hits 70, then come back to where a 70-degree day constitutes the most freakishly wonderful Indian-summer gift that fall can bestow - it's easier to come back when spring is at least just around the corner. As it is...my, winter is looking very long & dark. My inclination right now is just to stay in my nice warm apartment; I think that I have to join Goofy & F (new hold person) on a short paddle they are doing tomorrow just to get myself back into the winter paddling mindset that a week in board shorts & bikini tops has made rather difficult to capture.
Problem is, having grown up in Hawaii, in some way the mindset where you put on a sweater at 70 seems to be what some very inflexible & cranky little corner of my brain insists is what's normal. That's the corner of the brain that's going "Drysuit? UGH, DISGUSTING, NO NO NO!". Thing is I think that's also the corner of the brain where really loving getting out on or in the water resides, so if I just grit my teeth, pack up ugh the big bag ugh ugh of winter gear ugh ugh ugh and make myself get out there, that'll help get the winter-paddling-is-good mindset back. I'm actually trying to underdress a bit, not bundling up as much as I feel like doing on the way to work & stuff - I think that the body is pretty good at acclimatizing to conditions, but having trotted off and thawed out for a week, I've got some catching up to do now!
There is a lot of fun to be had in the off-season, after all. The recreational motorboaters & jet-skiers tend to pack it in, leaving the river to the commercial traffic and the winter paddling set; it's peaceful; crossing the river feels a little less like playing Frogger (yes, that WAS my favorite video game when I was a kid!)- it's nice. The completely non-optional winter gear just kind of sucks, that's all.
I just need to suck it up, go for a short paddle tomorrow, then instigate a sushi trip before too long!