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.


orc said...

But at least the messily disassembled houses were washed inland, so you don't get to worry about having the kayak attacked by someones sitting room.

Gram said...

Oh, Anna, you paint such a real picture with words. I felt just as scared and apprehensive as you said you were in that brief few minutes when the weather was in charge, not you. It shows how deeply all this has affected you even though you and your family are intact and with home. I hope you realize this and will take time to nurture Anna now and then, so you can continue to nurture your friends whose scars may be even deeper than yours. You are my hero.

KK McKay said...

Bless your soul you brave and adventurous child of the sea! Keep it up! Your enthusiasm is contagious!

Am sending your post to my bro, a kayak man from H'Burg.

Up here in Jackson, we're just now beginning debris removal. What a nasty mess!

I pray Mississippi is done with the likes of this for another 30 years.

Peggy said...

Nice kayaking blog! I look forward to reading more about future trips, when everything gets back to normal around there. Good for you getting back on the horse (so to speak) after such a scary event, and with the bizarre new "scenery" around you as you paddle. Keep it up--it'll all get better.

anna0067 said...

Thanks everyone. We were out at the dock tonight and the water was beautiful. It would have been a great evening to be out, but the sunlight is going fast and it's dark by 7pm. The opportunities are few and far between, as busy as we are with recovery activities. But I am making it a priority to get back out there!

kk, hope all is well in Jackson. Tell your brother about our local kayak guide
I hope he will stay in business once the water activities start again.

Peggy, I love your site.
It's inspiring and I'll put it on my list to visit.