Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Joy of Kayaking

There was so much that was wonderful about our week at the beach, but I think the most wonderful thing  might have been the kayaks. 

There was some kayaking just about every day, first with my sister, then with Florian, then, the morning of my birthday, with my sister, Florian, and our buddy Eric. 

My sister and I agreed that we were born to kayak. 

There is just nothing more relaxing than being out in the water and sun and breeze, feeling the gentle rhythm of the waves, and locomoting by means of a paddle or just drifting with the current. 

We were on the Chesapeake Bay, so there were nowhere near the waves you'd experience on the open ocean--though there were some gentle waves and over the course of each day, the wind and the waves picked up in the afternoon. 

Each day we got up early and went out to explore the weird sticks coming out of the water in the distance, which turned out to have fishing nets attached. How I would have loved to sabotage them and let the fishies and crabs go free! 

Or we went down the coast toward the southern tip of the Western shore of the Bay, 

past the incredible vacation homes and lots of seagulls and herons perched on the decaying piers. 

The weather was incredible pretty much the whole time we were there. A kayak trip was a perfect way to relax in the sun, get a bit of exercise, and see the sights for a few hours.

The only thing missing was a dog compact and well-behaved enough to go with us. 

I missed having shy little Pager to tuck into the kayak with me, but I knew Genghis and Lamar were just too big and unwieldy to make a kayak trip enjoyable or safe. So Lamar hung out on shore, and Genghis explored while they awaited our return. 

One afternoon, my sister and I set out to explore an inlet along the shore where the water ran swiftly inland toward a swampy, shallow marsh

We knew about the marsh because Genghis' favorite activity in the mornings was to immerse himself in it, and emerge covered in mud and smelling of sulfur.
We tried kayaking in to the inlet to explore, but turned back when we realized the current was going to be too strong to go against on the way out.

Then we realized the current went the other way in the morning, producing an area of turbulence right where the two fronts of water--the inlet water flowing out, and the waves coming in from the Bay--collide. I would love to stand there and watch just as the tide turns, and I tried to get our in-house astronomer, naturalist, and Renaissance man Uncle Johnny to explain to me just when that might happen. 

But like most of what Johnny says, the explanation went way over my head.

In any case, the important thing was that on our last morning there the water was flowing out, and I decided to finally explore that stream.

It took some work to go in against the current, but it was worth it. The sun lit up the senescing late summer vegetation, the inlet was protected from the wind coming off the Bay, the just-past-full moon hung in the sky, and birds perched in the limbs of a ghostly dead tree. I felt like I was on a safari in some exotic place. 

Then I turned my kayak around, and drifted back to the windy Bay, my wacky family, my velvety dog, and my ridiculous future spouse obsessively wading into the water up to his chest in search of large fish. 

I have to say, so far being 40 is not so bad.


  1. Mom loves kayaking too. She said her favorite is exploring those little inlets. She promised to take us next
    Benny & Lily

  2. I think you've had the perfect holiday with family who are also friends, your fiancé and the dogs ... even if none of them were kayak companions :) Look at the beautiful weather and places to explore, just magical! What a great time to turn 40 and make some special memories.

  3. Looks beautiful! It is so much fun to kayak and see all those beautiful sights. Glad you had a good time!

  4. Those photos make me wan to dump everything and spend the rest of my life kayaking. I've been once and fallen in love with it, it is something I want to repeat for sure!

    Dina Mom


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