Sunday, December 06, 2009

Just What the Doctor Ordered (Same As Usual)

Weather on Saturday ended up being really very filthy. I didn't care & thank goodness, neither did my friends who came out for a paddle n' sail (yes! we were joined by Chris in a Sunfish, how cool is that!).

I needed some time on the water this weekend much more than usual. Rough week at work. I've been a little overwhelmed with the volume of work lately, as I've mentioned here a few dozen times, but last week had a whole different tone - it wasn't just the volume, it was that I was just feeling completely unqualified to deal with some of the new developments. My favorite anxiety dream (or at least my commonest one) has always been the one where I get to school, and I can't find my classroom, and then when I find it, the teacher is handing out the final exams for a class I never attended. That's what the entire week felt like - except that I never woke up & discovered it was all just a dream.

My boss actually thanked me at the end of the week for all the hard work, which was nice because I'd spent most of the week feeling like I just wasn't doing well enough. But it was still a long & mentally exhausting week. And it looks like a basic accounting course is looming in my near future, which is not quite something I'd do with my already minimal free time, given my druthers, but will really give me some skills that I lack, and was painfully aware would have helped me a lot last week. I seem to have travelled into territory past that that can be covered by clever use of Excel & it's a bit scary.

A friend from Sebago & I had been planning on a paddle since early in the week. A nice, short, low-key one.I was clinging to the thought of that like a mental lifejacket all through the week. Occasionaly you'll see kayak blog post on the subject of "why I paddle" - well, one of my big reasons for paddling is that I dwell on things a lot, and boating (both sailing & paddling) is an activity that really demands your full attention. Whatever the week's obsessions & stresses, they start falling away from my mind really from the moment I start packing up the gear for the day.

By the time Saturday rolled around, our weather forecast had totally swapped ends. Originally Saturday morning had looked gray & drizzly but not too breezy, with the wind & rain picking up in the afternoon & then Sunday being sunnier but very windy. By Saturday, though, we had a small craft advisory all day on Saturday. With rain.

I was afraid everyone else would want to bail, but no, hurray -

Joan still wanted to try out her physically-therapized shoulder -

Stevie had a new camera he wanted to play with -

And Chris, who I didn't realize was coming because I missed his morning email, had a new drysuit (Christmas present from his wife, who was nice enough to let him open his present early) he wanted to test out!

I had a new drysuit to try out too, but that's a story for another post.

Chris coming out with a dinghy was sort of a fun first - usually groups that go out are either paddlers or sailors. Our dinghy sailors kept going quite a bit further into the Fall this year than they have in the past - but Chris is interested in doing some real frostbiting, he's got a good drysuit & is sorting out the gloves & since at this point it's mostly the kayakers who go all year 'round, he's really interested in joining us! I think that's pretty cool.

And boy, was he having fun out there in the breeze. I WISH this picture had been in focus!

The conditions ended up cutting the paddle & sail a bit short - Joan headed back in early (being appropriately conservative on the newly PT'd shoulder), Chris was not too far behind her, and Stevie & I just went on the the nearby salt marsh (nicknamed "Jeep Marsh" for the defunct jeep in the area) where I went for a swim (intentional), then we stopped and hid behind the dredging barge outside the Paerdegat to do a few rolls (hiding from the motorists on the Belt Parkway, who are known for calling 911 when they see a kayak capsize - it's embarrassing explaining to the people who come to rescue you, but it is nice that people actually notice weird stuff going on with a boat as they are driving past, and it's easy enough to avoid the false alarms, you just don't practice in easy eyeshot of the bridge), and then decided we'd had enough of the snotty weather out there & it was time to retreat to the woodstove & the loaf of bread, the box of wine & the roast chicken that awaited our return (at least we hoped they did, and happily Chris & Joan were nice enough to wait for us to start the indoor picnic!).

Ridiculously short paddle, but a lot of fun & just what I needed to shake off the week.

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