One thing that I wanted to make sure to do this year is to my kayak out on the water a lot more than last year.
The sad story from last year is that I had a new car, which required me to buy a new rack system. I bought a side-loading thingamajig cuz the new wheels has a fancy spoiler on the back and I didn't think I could load the boat up the back of the car anymore. It sounded good in theory. But, I was clueless and didn't have a good method of loading the boat. One day, I dropped the boat on the new car. I was horrified. There was a long black scrape down the front quarter panel. Luckily, I was able to polish out everything except a few, very faint scratches. I was spooked, though.
This year, though, I figured out the mechanics of moving the boat on and off the rack and I'm doing what I can to get out on the water as often as possible. Thanks to the steady stream of thunderstorms, it's been a bit tough.
Last week, I went to the local state part for a late afternoon paddle. Just as I get the boat off the car, next to the boat ramp, I start hearing the rumble of thunder. The sky was a mixed bag of dark clouds and sunny spots. I waited. Thunder continued and I didn't see anyone else getting into the water. So, back up goes the boat but I decided to wait a bit in the parking lot.
Wait, wait, wait. After about a half hour, the sky is still partly cloudy, but it looks like they might be heading somewhere else. So, back down comes the boat. And still, I hesitated. I KNOW it's stupid to be on the water during a thunderstorm, but I REALLY, REALLY, want to get out on the water.
Wait, wait, wait.
Finally, I see other folks putting in at the boat ramp. I decide to risk it and in I go. Within 5 minutes, the rain starts to pour down (but, no lightening, so far!). I head for some sheltering shrubs at the shoreline and hunker down with another group of intrepid paddlers.
Wait, wait wait.
The rain stops and I head out to the other side of the lake where the sky is clear and the sun is shining. I got a couple of good hours in...spent some time looking for a co-working who often goes fishing at the same lake (I found out later that he WAS there at exactly the same time as me, but he was at the one part of the lake that I didn't go towards; how ironic).
When I head over to the boat ramp to get out, the sky is once again dark and threatening. I get the boat out and loaded in good time...lots of thunder and the wind was picking up. As I turn out of the parking lot, the sky clears and no more rain for the rest of the day.