Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Greendragon goes a-kayaking, Chapter 3

A couple of friends of mine are new to the kayaking scene. Until recently, they shied away from the personal-powered boats. But, after a company outing, they realized that kayaks were not the wild beasts they thought.

So, I took them out to the Charles River for an after-work kayak session. The weather has been a royal pain in the butt, with thunderstorms showing up at the worst of times. The weather had been iffy all week, but on the day of our planned outing, I made the executive decision that we would risk the thunderstorm threat and hope to get some kayaking in before the celestial pyrotechnics rolled in.

I dashed out at lunch time and loaded the boat (I'm pleased to report that my boat loading/unloading skills are getting better and better. I can get the boat up and tied down in 10-15 minutes now). The plan was to leave around 4:30 or so. My friend B called at 3:00 and tried to convince me to leave at that very moment. Coming from a person who tends to work all hours of the night and weekend, I had to laugh. We ended up heading out to the river by 4:00.

By the time we got out to the river, the clouds were building up, but the sun was still shining so we got onto the water in fairly quick order. I like the Charles River, but for those of us who bring our own boats, the put-in is awful. People like to feed the ducks and geese, so there's always a large flock of birds loitering around the put-in. You literally have to walk among the birds, hoping that they'll move out of the way rather than peck you to death. So far, they've been cooperative. But walking out into the fowl-infested water to launch the boat is just icky and stinky. Bleah. People who feed these birds should have their bread crumbs confiscated.

So, now we're out on the water, me and the two newbies. And they're doing fine. We paddle, we talk, we watch the local swan families. And then, there's the rumble of thunder. We ignore it for awhile, paddle, paddle, paddle. Then, a flash of lightening. My two friends start to panic...I'm thinking that if we keep paddling, we'll avoid the storm. But, I come to my senses and we head back to the dock. And we managed to get back before the storm hit.

After loading my boat on my car, I remember to slap the cockpit cover on the boat. I know a thunderstorm will erupt at anymoment. The thought of having a boat full of water on top of my car makes me nervous. We head out for dinner to a fantastic Asian restaurant. While we dine in comfort, the storm finally hits and it looks like a monsoon outside. I quietly hope that my boat cover will hold up.

By the time we're stuffed to the gills and are ready to leave the restaurant, the monsoon has subsided to a gentle mist. The boat cover is still on the boat, so all is wel. I pull out of my parking spot and look in the rear view mirror...there's a torrent of water streaming off the back of my boat. The boat cover has a ton of water built up and through the wonders of physics, I have a waterfall on the back of my car. I feel bad for anyone driving behind me as the water continues to drain off the boat. Eventually, there's no more water left and I can drive home without worrying about splashing anyone else.

And, so ended

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