Wednesday, October 25, 2006

O Solo Mio
a conversation with
The good guys
in the white boat

It was near the end of my paddle, and I had gone out to the inner harbor to watch the Lake Express, a catamaran car ferry, come in. Just as she approached the dock, the coasties came out and, just after I snapped this photo, they turned toward me and hailed me to come along side(I know that is a bit of a run on sentence, but it's too early to be grammatically anal...but I digress).
The polite man aboard seemed bemused by my presence when he asked if I was all right. I assured him I was. He seemed to be searching for things to ask and finally came up with, "How long will you be out here today?" He also asked if I had a marine radio. I told him I did as I pointed to the antenna sticking out of my PFD's pocket. Finally, he said, "It's pretty cold out here, you know." It was about 42 F with a wind gusting to 15 knots.

I told him about our group and how we have been coming out "here" for many winters and on days far more inhospital than this one. I also told him about the equipment we carried and how we dressed. Reassured, he wished me well, and we went our seperate ways.

The incident served to remind me of the true nature of our sport and how important it is for us to rely on ourselves and one another. It also reminded me of the times I and other kayakers have invited ill-equiped and ill-dressed paddlers to leave the lake. It's, like, right out of Hill Street Blues...and be careful out there.

Paddle safe...

1 comment:

JohnB said...

Ahhhhh. . .Hill Street Blues one of the greatest shows to have pixelated across the screen in my living room--even before I had a color set!

Now, were the coasties asking if you were physically alright, or psychologically alright? Either way the answer would have been the same--"I'm GREAT! Any day I can get out here on this Great Lake, is a GREAT DAY, and I'm grateful for being here. How about yous guys, are yous alright?"

Have a super day!!!