I have an electric bilge pump and carry a manual one just in case I or someone else needs it. Since my Cetus MV has a 4th hatch I cannot carry it under the deck. Since I like a clean deck, I don't want it under a bungee where it can wash away. So, I throw it on the floor of my cockpit where it waits patiently.
I was doing some rolling the other day. When I landed and tried to get out of the boat I found that the pump had cleverly wedged itself under a foot peg and over my foot. I could not get my foot free until I discovered the problem, reached into the cockpit and removed the pump with some difficulty. I know you are ahead of me and wondering what could have happened if I had had to wet exit while rolling? I wonder too and plan to find another spot for my pump.
Call it maturity. I spent a wonderful weekend in Door County with good friends. We all did our own thing and sat together for evening meals. I had time to wander the shore and to paddle on Friday and Saturday. The Friday paddle was pretty ordinary with a cruise along the Green Bay shore. On Saturday, there was a SE wind blowing about 10, so I headed up to Cave Park on the East coast of the peninsula. Because of the angle of the land and the wind building to 15 mph, 3-4 foot rollers, some breaking, were forming off the limestone formations. The made wonderful sounds as they crashed into the walls.
I had my helmet on and my camera was inches from my left hand...and I was alone. I so badly wanted to capture some images to share here....but: I knew if I went over without another paddler to throw me a tow rope that I would be dashed onto the wall before I could get back into my boat (assuming I hadn't rolled up). So, I recorded the images in my mind, spun around atop a few waves and enjoyed a little surf-like action going back. No images here, wonderful ones in my head.
If you are not from around here: Look at the back of your left hand. That's the shape of Wisconsin, and your thumb is door county. Lady Linda, a few friends and I are headed to the base of the thumb (Sturgeon Bay) for the weekend; and I am taking the Cetus MV.
There are lots of places to launch and paddle and lots to see. The weather, which is changing, is showing day time temps in the 50's...nice and cool. It will be nice to see new sites as I usually launch up near the thumb nail. Too bad we're too early for fall colors, but I will take it as it is.
...is changing...is changed. I am all too familiar with the aging process and what it brings. I've learned this from my late parents and my patients. I always hoped against hope that the process would be kind to me...and it has been. It seems like yesterday that I was in my 50'a and running sub-3.5 hour marathons and competing in Judo at the black belt level and single-handing a 42 foot sailboat. I went for long runs most days, ate what I wanted and had a waistline <33 inches. Dude, life was good. Well, it's still good, and it is sure different.
Many of you know that it all changed when a ruptured disc severed a nerve to one head of my quadriceps muscle and took me out of the two sports I loved so much. Running became impossible while sailing and Judo became too dangerous. In a way, I lost part of my identity. So I began searching for new venues to keep my body fit and my spirits up. Quite by accident (I know, there are no accidents) I discovered Rutabaga Paddle Shop over in Madison, a guy I call JB and the world of kayaking. Suddenly, I was alive again. I was back on the water, I was quickly learning the counter intuitive movements of kayaking (which I knew from Judo) and made what I hope will be a life long friend.
Of course, I continued with my photography, but that too changed. Trained in large format fine art black and white work, I closed my darkroom and took up water proof digital photography...and then I blogged. I wrote about whatever came to mind, read what others had to say and, over the years, made friends around the world, some of whom I've not yet met in person. Then, this past winter, I realized there was another change going on.
It was a bad winter. The ice shelves on shore kept us off the water, and I paddled less than ever before. I went to the gym, but that didn't do it all for me and, gradually, that 33" waist was looking for 34" pants. More recently, those pants have been feeling snug. I went from 162 pounds (in med school) to 168 pounds as an adult to my present (and very embarrysing) weight of 180. I realized I was writing less, paddling a lot but taking fewer pictures (and, rarely, good ones). Today, I decided that something has to change as I am feeling the side effects of my situation.
I might not be able to run, but I can walk; and, with my alpine walking sticks, I can walk fast enough to get my heart rate up. I started doing situps again and will be adjusting my diet over the next few days. Hopefully, my sleep will improve (I have a few sleep disorders) and the weight will gradually come down. Why do I write this down here? Why me, who is actually a pretty private guy.
I know if I decide to do something that I might do it. I know that if I tell a friend or two that I am more likely to do it. So, when I publish this, I will imagine I just told the whole world and that I better do it. So, here's hoping that you will be seeing less of me; hopefully, more often.
I was once told that even a blind chicken will get a kernel if it just keeps pecking.
I apply this to trying to capture images on the water. I am in a moving boat without a tripod using a camera with little to no telephoto ability. Everything is moving and appears small. So, I just keep clicking and sort things out later.
On Monday the wind was gusting to 40 MPH and there were righteous waves coming through the gap. A small group of us went out there to play and I, as the blind chicken, clicked away. With some cropping and contrast adjustments, I was able to salvage a few usable images. They still don't show the dynamics of the situation, but you all know what it can be like out there.
I will try to get a few more usable ones up this week (both schools now in session).
Some things are so obvious that it only takes me years to see or realize they are available. To wit: I have always had a devil of a time starting the skirt under the coamings of my boats, especially the Romany and Cetus MV. Having a right rotator cuff that aches constantly has not helped the situation. It feels as if I am trying to stuff a one inch bungie cord into a slot meant for one half its size.
The other day, I discovered that if I just held the very back of the skirt in place and pulled one edge (and then the other) forward with force that the thing would slip in nicely. It boggles my mind to think what the next six months of instant wisdom will bring.
So far, I have been a father, a husband, a father, a grandfather, a physician, jazz musician, an adjunct professor at a university, taught judo for 3+ decades, fine-arts black and white photographer, mediator, ham radio operator, SCUBA diver, great lakes sailor, ACA level 4 coastal open water kayak instructor. In these pages I hope to share some of what I've learned doing those things.If, on occaision, you feel your leg being pulled, so much the better.
All rights reserved.