Sunday, September 25, 2005

First post-Katrina venture

4 weeks later, I finally got the kayak in the water again. The bay had 1-3 foot waves today and was too rough to go anywhere, but I went to the end of the dock and back. The water scared me. It may have been that I didn't have a chance to get comfortable in the boat again. Might have been that the wind (related to the Hurricane Rita weather system) was kicking the waves up intermittently and I couldn't tell how bad it was going to get. At the end of the dock there were about 20 pelicans resting. It had been so long since people had been out there, they didn't know what to make of it. I got out to where they were and they finally flew up, hovered, made a circle, and came back as I went a little farther out from the dock. I made a circle and got sideways to the waves... tricky, but maneuverable, then took off back towards the launch area as fast as I could, adrenaline pumping, riding the waves inand trying to stay upright. The waves tried to knock me over but my new paddles kept me steady. But actually, I think the real reason the water is scary is that when you see all around you what it can do, when the houses are wiped clean off the slabs and everything that was out there is scattered for a quarter mile or more, it doesn't seem so friendly anymore. I'm looking forward to the next day when it's calm, when it reminds me of times in the past instead of reminding me of Katrina.

I have all the essential gear, thanks to a relief mission from Mom and great salvage work by Dale. I'll have to adjust my methods somewhat since there is no longer a place to store the kayak out there. We got a trailer which works pretty well for transporting the kayak. Guess it will have to come back and forth from home. It does give me some peace of mind to know that the ability is still there. I'll feel better once I can explore the water again, though that will be scary too, no doubt, there's no telling what I'll find out there. If I can see the fish and birds and gators, looking like nothing happened, that will be a good sign of life back to normal in this Mississippi home, at least in one way.