Thursday, August 09, 2007

Be Careful Out There!
(With apologies to Hill Street Blues)
I felt lazy and tired yesterday and thought I wouldn't paddle. I rode my recumbent bike just to get some lower body work, went home, had lunch and grew too restless to sit around. I went paddling, and I was glad I did.
It was one of those days when the NE breeze sent down sets of waves that ended with a couple of good three-foot rollers. Now and then, one would climb onto my lap and cuddle up with me for a few moments before spilling off and chasing the others. Still, I was unable to catch them and, after a while, headed inside the break water and toward the beach. Then this line dangling off the stern of this sailboat caught my attention and brought back a flood of memories.
For all I know, the skipper of this vessel might have been sloppy and forgotten to take it in. But for me, it was a reminder of how we are all responsible for ourselves when out there as I used to be when I would single handed take my Hans Christan 42 across the 85 miles of open water and over to the Michigan (sandy) side. I'd always wear a harness. Still, I would always have a line off my stern and trailing in the water. This represented a last chance to grab onto the boat in the event I fell over board (in which case the boat would have kept on going...but I digress).
A little thing to be sure, but it brought back those memories. Alone out there, even a few hundred yards from shore, the break water obscures any view from the shore of a paddler spilling or getting into any trouble. That's part of the job and the challenge...to take care of ourselves...and one another.
Paddle safe...
DS

3 comments:

Capt'n "O" Dark 30 said...

well said skipper...

Kristen said...

Ooh, I like that phrase, "one would climb onto my lap and cuddle up with me for a few moments" - know just what you mean. Canoe stern on that boat? Good in a following sea.

Silbs said...

Yes, Kristen, waves are funny people...friends one day, trying to poop you the next.