Monday, July 13, 2009

Battling the high seas ...





It was a lovely, sunny day today on Cape Cod, so we decided to take the kayaks out at about 5 p.m. for a bit of an evening paddle/nosh/tipple. This is something we've done several times over the past few years, often with our friend Julie in her little paddleboat.
We put in at West Falmouth Harbor, just a few miles from the pottery, and immediately discovered that the breeze that appeared to be blowing about 20 mph (whitecaps on the upwind end of the harbor, pennants straight out on the sailboats at their moorings) was indeed doing just that. So we got out of the launch area, turned our backs to the wind and fairly flew down-harbor, under a roadway bridge and into the marsh north of the bridge. It made for a pleasant little paddle, chatting with the mallards and Canada geese, but turning back into the wind to get back to the launch ramp was a chore. It was a slog back into the teeth of the wind, through oncoming and splashing waves, but we made it with little damage to the salad, cheese and salami in my boat, or the two beers, or Julie's white wine. All of which we consumed after hauling out the boats and finding a friendly rock near the ramp. Followed shortly after by ice cream at Whistlestop. A lovely, if strenuous, evening.
I'll attach a few photos from the full moon paddle a week ago in less breezy conditions. This one started off the beach at Chapaquoit and went south down the Buzzards Bay shore to a tidal creek flooding into Great Sipewissett Marsh. Nine boats and ten paddlers ... or eight boats and nine paddlers ... I can't remember. But a still, beautiful night, cloudless and a nearly-full moon rising in the southeast while we traded bug spray, white wine, Spanish Cava and single-malt Scotch boat to boat. And then paddled out on the falling tide and home beneath the Big Dipper.

6 comments:

tsbroome said...

You have a tough life there Hollis! A friend of mine, Andy Zimmerman, used to own Wilderness Systems Kayaks, and would loan us boats to take out on the Outer Banks. I also was a sales rep for Old Town Canoe and had boats around the house all the time, these photos really make me miss those days! We just haven't had a lot of time for paddling recently. May be time to get back at it. Hmmm... I see Christmas gifts on the horizon:) oh weird, my word verification is waiter, ha!

Hollis Engley said...

Sounds like you've got more time in a kayak than we do. We bought these Necky boats six or seven years ago (that's Dee in her boat in the top photo) and have paddled a lot of thin water around the Cape, especially on the Buzzards Bay side of our area. We have a lot of good paddling friends, so it can be a pretty sociable time. You guys should come visit.

Dan Finnegan said...

Kayaking by moonlight sounds mighty romantic...it sounds like your latest trip covered the same ground (or, rather, water) that you led me on last year?
I love that photo of you!!
I'm off this evening to select pots for Eddie's exhibition...it stays interesting, here, that's for sure.

Hollis Engley said...

Yes, Dan, more or less the same route you went on. Post lots of pics of Eddie's show. And I assume it will be at Winchcombe?

Hannah said...

Oh that reminds me of a trip. Paul and me kayaked the Abel Tasman route off the south island of New Zealand a couple of years ago, not that we are at all good kayakers! Blimey that was an adventure. Haven't paddled since but should do, used to do more when I was a Scout.

Hollis Engley said...

I'd love to paddle that area. We have lots of thin water around here, and some that's more open and wilder. We tend to stay in protected water for jaunts of no more than a few hours, often accompanied by dinner and liquid refreshment.