The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #36608   Message #1333630
Posted By: Amos
20-Nov-04 - 11:59 AM
Thread Name: What's the weather like where you are?
Subject: RE: What's the weather like where you are?
You can tell winter is coming by the fistful of gray clouds that stubborn the sky until well after sunrise. Where I launch my kayak, the beach is cool from the night, not warm. The water is still swimmable, though. But the surf is higher than usual, and that is one reason I find out it is swimmable. Launching, trying to time the sets for minimum fuss going out, I make it past the line of the forming waves twenty minutes before sunrise, with only a couple of wet sloppy slaps from the sea for my trouble.

After an hour or two of paddling around visiting with the sea lions sleeping on the bouys and watching flights of cormorants wheel over the deeps, I paddle back in, the deep-water swell rising and falling beneath me like whale's breath. Closing in on the beach these swells become the surf, and timing them is impossible from the outside, because the patterns are less visible. I count the breakers and time myself, hoping for a keyhole that will give me a clean run through the surf. I start to paddle rapidly at just the moment, and am rising on the back of the wave I have chosen to come in. I am high on its back stroking and surfing at the same time, riding like a wave-master, the curling surf just under my prow. But as the break begins to unroll, the kayak swings, ignoring steering command, and is brought broadside to the curl, and rolls. I am tumbled into wet blackness, ducking to avoid the impact of the kayak or the paddle as evberything is carried away to the will of the insane water. Then I am standing and dragging my kayak in through the shallows, up on to the wet sand. The morning light is diffused and still largely gray even though sunrise was over an hour before. I am dripping from every corner and desperately in need of a hot shower, but not so cold that I cannot take care of business, putting things to rights and getting the kayak mounted to the car-top and strapped down.

All in all an interesting morning, and only 7:30 by the time I am in a hot shower at home, thinking about that scary moment just after I realized there was no more control, that my craft was rolling willy or nilly!

Thank god for civilization, hot water, dry clothes and a warm office!