Friday, July 03, 2015

10th Anniversary Blog Paddle

Today was a special paddle on a special day.  Mom and I did a combination Bay - Bayou - Sound - Channel paddle to experience much of what Graveline has to offer.  Not all, of course -- there is always more!  But we paddled the whole main channel of the bayou, fortunately before 7am before the holiday traffic.  Then we went out into the sound at the mouth of the bayou.  Instantly the water changes beneath the kayak when you feel the first ocean waves.  A gentle toss, today.  We went along Graveline beach to a spot where we knew we could portage across to the channel.  A good selection of birds out today, and one tiny gator spotted in the channel.  Other than that, a quiet day with a gentle breeze... the water is nice... warmer than cool, but cooler than warm. 

So what is special about today?  10 years ago today, I started this blog.  It became a way to chronicle my kayak adventures and share them.  I've described somewhere in these chronicles how kayaking was the first time I really learned how to follow a passion.  There have been many since, but this was the first.  Not born of responsibility, or someone else's interest -- purely mine, and I fed it.  I rode that wave of initial interest past the hard part of learning, letting the excitement pull me deeper into exploration of all it had to offer.  My family supported me in this and I've often appreciated that.  Isn't it true that we sometimes consciously or unconsciously dampen the enthusiasm of those around us when they find a new "thing"?  Don't.  It is a precious commodity.  Particularly when the interest sparks on something that can become a healthy habit, like exercise.  Nurture it!  In yourselves and those you love.  It is a great gift, and wonderful things can come from it. 
Kayaking is still important to me, though I don't do it as often.  It brings a really nice "combination" experience in a natural setting.  You can pay attention to the sky, the weather, the wind.  Or, focus on the land nearby; the swampgrass, the trees, the beach.  Then there's the water: currents, tides, waves, patterns, ripples, sounds.  Dangle your hands or feet in it as you go along.  That makes you think about what's IN the water... fish, gators, jellyfish, crabs, oysters, and more.  And finally, you can go inward, focusing on what is happening in your body as you paddle, easy or more energetically, or your mind, letting it wander or generating a kind of meditation-like focus, then seeing what comes up.  It's a way to allow your mind the time to bubble up what it wants to, in its own way.  Somehow out there, it's safer.  It's expansive.  It can come back with you, or it can be left out there.  Either way, you will retun to the rest of your life with a greater peace, after your time on the water. 
Here's to another 10 years!


Sunday, August 14, 2011

August Bathwater

The water is rediculously warm this time of year. The fish can't turn on the A/C, either. I wonder if they like it? It feels good to just let you hands or feet swim around in it. I've been swimming laps at the pool lately and I'd love to get out there and swim in Graveline, but it's so muddy and shallow, not to mention full of crabs, shrimp, gar, redfish, oysters, and alligators. So yeah... maybe not.

Coming back across the bay we had a big headwind, but it died down as soon as we got back. Got a lapful of a wave! And a pretty good workout.

That's me in the bottom picture (Mom took that one). We wandered around in the swampgrass just south of the boat ramp today -- about a 4 mile paddle. Would have been a nice one to have on GPS track.

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Sunday, August 07, 2011

Swim training?

A pleasant surprise! I got in the boat just because I was out there, the sun was setting, and the water was calm. Why not? I was pretty tired from a 70 mile bike ride this morning. But of course it's legs that do the work on a bike, so my arms were ready to go. The surprise was that despite hardly kayaking at all lately, my arms felt loose and strong. Could it be the swimming I've been doing lately? I guess that's a lot of the same muscles. It's amazing how tight the shoulders can get when you don't use them through their range of motion... but once a week swimming lately seems to help.

Clouds blocked tonight's sunset, but there was this neat cloud top that put up a nice show.

And, a mullet jumped by, as they do... I caught him on jump #3.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Evening Peace

I'm really just posting this to see if I still remember how to blog. This paddle was this past Sunday evening with Mom, just a quick trip out to the middle of Graveline Bay to see the artistry painted on the sky for this one day. Somehow, it has gotten to be almost the end of July and I don't know how the summer has flown by so quickly. At least I know the water is there no matter what the season, and the skies are just as pretty. When I think about being out there, I feel all the wrinkles in my forehead relax, my eyes relax, my breathing become deep and soothing. It is magical, that water, and the kayak puts me right there on it.

When you are seeking peace, steer yourself to the water.
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Monday, February 21, 2011

Saturday exploring

February 19, 2011

Just me and Mom... bottom picture, went up towards Shell Landing and explored a few new waterways. It was a foggy morning as it has been a lot recently. The top picture was from earlier in the day, riding bikes down to Gulf Islands National Seashore. I still would love to kayak in the fog, but have yet to catch it at a good time. Need to remember the GPS or some navigational device, though! But wouldn't it be nice to be lost in the middle of the bay, for example (not fearing boat traffic), in the quiet, blanketed by fog all around?
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Testing kayaks

February 12, 2011

Another group paddle, this one inspired by a fellow paddler's interest in trying different boats to see if a sea kayak would be more suited to his type of paddling than the ocean kayak (sit-on-top) that he has been in.

A 7 mile paddle to the gulf and back. This spit of sand is Graveline Beach at the mouth of the bayou. Nice weather for February...
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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Group paddle

Borrowing from the group bike ride routine, I set up a group paddle and a bunch of folks came out to enjoy the sunny (but cold) day. We had a good time and got in a 6 mile paddle or so. A great variety of boats -- one of them a hand made kayak on its maiden voyage -- the one that looks white in the middle of this picture. A fun day!

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