It's late, around 10 pm. The sky has cleared and the stars are are shining above. The moon is a large, white, orb, shining down on us with that silvery light that only appears on special nights. I attach the light to the back deck of my Green Merlin and we ease our boats into the dark, quiet, water.
We head out to the far edge of Whitehall Reservoir. I've paddled this lake many times in the daytime, but at night, I'm finding it hard to recognize any landmarks. The trip organizers know the lake like the back of their hands, so we just follow their lead.
The air is cool, but no wind. The threatening storm clouds from earlier in the day are gone. And it's quiet...other than the gentle sound of paddles gliding into the water and the quiet conversations of my fellow kayakers, it is so very quiet. We pause and float, listening to the summer serenade of the night-time insects. As we drift, I catch a quick movement of a dark shadow ...bats! Yes, bats are out..they zip over us, speeding by without pause...if you don't look fast, they disappear almost before you're aware they are there. They own the night, we are just visitors.
As we move around the lake, we see something of substance at the edge of one of the islands. Someone shines their light in that direction and we see four Canada Geese standing at the edge of the water. They must wonder who are these creatures invading their special space at this time. We move on. I feel a little guilty that we've disturbed them, but we are respectful and don't linger long.
We continue to paddle among the various islands. The moon rises higher in the sky. It's amazing how much light it provides. But still, it's hard to seem anyone other than the slowly moving lights attached to the kayaks or the kayakers. One of the leaders is wearing a "headset" if red lights. Each time he turns his head, I think of the Red Eye of Sauron shining out from Mordor. But, these kayakers are kind, and friendly. No Dark Lord is here tonight.
This was my first kayak trip at night. It was extraordinary. My boat received many compliments (she always does, she's a very pretty boat) and everyone wanted a deck light like mine (thank you REI for having one last light that I snagged the night before). I had all the right clothes on, for a change. The only regret I have is that I left my camera in the car.
A very magical evening.