Sunday, April 24, 2011
Happy Easter, happy earth, and a good kayaking weekend
My Earth Day wish for my personal little 4x6 plot of earth was granted. The sprouts they are a-sprouting (the chard is not pictured since it basically looks exactly like the beets right now), and my daffodils are just about at their peak, and we had a gorgeous, sunny, warm day to enjoy them.
More signs that spring really is sprung: This weekend I saw the first jellyfish, the first black skimmers, and the first gnats of the the season.
It was a good kayaking weekend -- first time since Cape Cod that I've been in my boat 2 days in a row. Yesterday, TQ & I ran up to CT for an early Easter dinner with his folks & one of his sisters; we worked up a good appetite with a 12-mile paddle from The Small Boat Shop in Norwalk to the Fish Islands and back. The forecast had been incredibly unpromising, looking like conditions for another fine Torture Paddle (15 - 20 knot rains and 100% chance of rain all day), and we were meeting a friend there, and both parties had been expecting the other to cancel, and if either had, the other would have too, but it all worked out great - it was absolutely pouring when we left TQ's apartment, we got drenched walking to his car and more drenched loading boats (actually yesterday was the Sebago Season Opener, and when we got there at 10, which I think was the official start time, only sailing co-chairs Jim & Holly were there setting up for the Laser race technique class that was also happening - I really wonder if anybody actually paddled at the Season Opener). We drove up in the rain, we launched in the rain, but it's not rain that makes a Torture Paddle (once you're in a drysuit, that doesn't matter), it's wind, and the promised 15-20 kt wind never materialized. There was a light breeze when we set out; the rain let up & then stopped pretty quickly & over the course of the afternoon, even the light breeze stopped & the water settled down to glass. I wish I had some pictures, it was sort of an atmospheric, foggy day, there were ospreys everywhere, we crossed paths with a lovely J-100 that was still somehow moving along despite the light air, and we paddled a section of the coastline I hadn't done before (when in Norwalk we usually do the Norwalk Islands but I asked for something different this time), and oh, there were loons everywhere, I don't think I've ever seen so many loons on one paddle, but the memory chip for the Optio was in a pocket on shore.
This morning, we met a friend at the club for some pre-IDW (Instructor Development Workshop, the Amerincan Canoe Association's 6-day kayak instructor certification process) practice - it was great, a quite necessary bit of preparation, we just went out in the bay & spent a couple of hours practicing rescues & towing. We went through most of basics - eskimo bow rescue, T-rescue, cowboy self-rescue, Hand of God, and the Scoop, a little rolling, a basic single tow, an inline tow, and a fan tow. It was lots of fun, I feel much better prepared for the workshop having done a little more preparatory practice (I've been reading & watching videos but nothing beats doing), and we really picked the right days for our activities - yesterday was gray & chilly and a good day to do a long paddle; today it was 70 degrees and although the water is still quite biting, with drysuits and a light layer of fleece on we were perfectly comfortable for the 2 hours or so that we spent falling in the water. I had a thermos along but we never felt the least need for anything hot to drink.
Can't believe the IDW starts on Friday. 4 more days of budget hell, too, yuck -- when I originally signed up for the IDW, the FY12 budget presentation was in early April. It got moved to this coming Thursday. Not sure I would've signed up for the IDW if the presentation had been originally scheduled for the day before the workshop, but I couldn't quite bring myself to use that as an excuse to back out of something to which I'd already committed. Wish me luck.
PS - how do you like the new look? It was the bigger picture option that FINALLY made me abandon my old original Blogger template, which I'd always sort of liked. I tried to stick a picture in the back a la Tillerman (love today's post btw...) but it didn't line up the way I thought it was going to & I finally threw in the towel & stuck with a nice plain blue, rationalizing the decision by saying to myself that that would work better since I tend to do pictures all the time anyways. Might mess around with it some more once we're done with the budget but for now - well, I hope you don't hate it 'cause it's kind of a done deal now.