Kayaking on Sunday

Maybe this should be titled “Silliness on Sunday.”

It began during the river trip on Saturday with this:

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…a basketball floating down the Catawba river, like thousands of others have done in the past. After determining its species (Spaulding), I released it to continue its migration.

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When I finished on Saturday, I didn’t take the kayak off of the Frontier, hoping I might have a chance to go again on Sunday after worship. And that’s the way it worked out. The upper body exercise from the paddle movement felt great, and the seasonal scenes again blessed my awareness.

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Suddenly, there was this:

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I don’t have a football, so I thought this might be a cool, free find. But when I picked it up, water squirted out along the laces; it was too far gone. It posed for this shot before jumping back in.

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Very shortly after the football, there was this:

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Yes, folks, that’s a Care Bears ball. I wonder how long that’s been waiting in the woods for a flood to set it afloat.

I continued into the river’s western curve around the big island, different from Saturday’s eastern route.

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On the way back down the eastern bank, something caught my eye over by the grass.

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Until the very end of 2008, I don’t think I ever had a soccer ball of my own. That’s when I found a nice one in the dunes at Ocracoke, while exploring with Debra, Bryan, and Laurie. Then, when kayaking with Debra on the Catawba River back in the summer, I found one that was in pretty good shape, and kept it. Now here was a solid blue one just waiting to be found, like a watermelon in a cotton field. I manuevered the kayak close to shore, between the two stumps and clump of roots, hoping the ball was not too waterlogged.

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Now I have three!

And just before heading in to land, this floated by:

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(Here’s an article that gives a little background of this phenomenon.)

(And this one has a related picture.)

Published in: on November 17, 2009 at 1:24 am  Comments (4)  

The Four-Day Weekend, Part 2

Saturday and Sunday happened in usual fashion, except that I did go see Angels and Demons on Saturday afternoon. It was a very suspenseful and high action movie that I enjoyed, but I always find the gratuitous killing of many law enforcement officers to be a disturbing thing. I worshipped and rested Sunday, and then…

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That’s right, I finally made it back out in the kayak! And it was such a beautiful day for it. This was Monday, Memorial Day. I’m in the QCC Q700X, and Debra is in the LL Bean Calypso.

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Kayaks are great vehicles for getting up close to whatever’s growing along the shore.

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Being in a small boat on a river with dark edges is a perfect blending of relaxation with adventure. These places make me breathe easier.

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And this trip was our first chance to kayak in the rain together.

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In all my time on this river, I’ve never seen other paddlers unless they were in my group. So it was a pleasure to encounter canoeists and kayakers throughout our trip this time out. The combination of holiday plus the lilies in bloom upstream at Landsford Canal State Park brought the paddlers to the river.

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This channel, sliding through shade between two parallel islands is a favorite part of the Catawba for me.

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Here is a closeup of a very small lily colony, located a mile or two downstream from the state park. The large colony of them at Landsford Canal (see recent posting for photos) is reputedly the largest concentration of Rocky Shoals Spider Lilies in the world. Of course, while the phrase “in the world” is accurate, better perspective is given when one realizes that their entire range is limited to just three states — South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama.

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Back at the house, grilling happened, but rain made me relocate the cooking under the garage roof.

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Giving thanks usually comes at the beginning of the meal. But sometimes it comes while cooking, or lighting the fire, or buying the pineapple, or discussing the menu, or riding home wet, or glancing around to see her on the water.

Published in: on May 29, 2009 at 8:11 am  Leave a Comment  

Ten on the River.2

The paddlers:

Morgan
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Henderson
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McCormick
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Cubie
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White [New to the group!]
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White, again, with her face visible
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Elder [New to the group!]
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Jones
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Bostrom
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Patterson
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Cranston, the river guide
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The weather was about as good as it can get. Conversation floated like the boats that carried us. Being there, with good friends, on an October river, is something I hope to repeat as soon and often as possible.

Published in: on October 4, 2008 at 10:10 pm  Comments (1)  

Ten on the River

The Body Challenge, Spirit Challenge group met at the Highway 9 boat landing for some time on the Catawba. Here are some scenes from the morning half of the fun.

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Published in: on October 4, 2008 at 5:46 pm  Leave a Comment  

Ever Seen a Kayak on a Buick?

Well, here you go. One of the big fun items on the recent family vacation was kayaking in Santa Rosa Sound. Getting there, we did fairly well with the carpooling thing: twenty of us arrived in five vehicles. Here’s the Rendezvous getting ready for the trip down.

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The boat is a Necky Elaho HV, which weighed a little less than the car. It does make a good-looking ensemble, though. And once in the water, it performed to the satisfaction of its operators.

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Published in: on August 14, 2008 at 9:45 am  Comments (2)  

Kayaking on the Intracoastal Waterway

It was Oak Island, North Carolina, July 4, and the tide was low.
Popular place + holiday people + less water = heavy wave action.

But the day was beautiful anyway, and the excessive boat traffic didn’t keep us from having a good time on the water.
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Debra, and her wild rose Calypso.
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A new bridge is being built to the west end of Oak Island, so there will be easier access for more people soon.
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Having to keep close to shore to stay out of the motorboat lanes, our paddles were often scraping the bottom. Also, because we were in such shallow water, when someone may or may not have flipped over while trying to splash the other paddler, getting back in was not too difficult for her.
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All this grass is completely covered by water when the tide is high. And there were LOTS of fiddler crabs here, moving like tiny herds of weird, crunchy buffalo across their sandy plain.
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I’m still enjoying the Q700X. The rudder cable (cord) is wearing and may have to be replaced soon. If you have any questions about my kayak or the QCC experience, write and ask, or just click on the QCC link in the right sidebar.

Published in: on July 16, 2008 at 5:54 pm  Comments (7)  

Haw River, Jordan Lake

Saturday, my drive to the water involved two kayaks on top of the Frontier.  The 12-foot L.L. Bean Calypso and its pilot, Debra, were excellent accomplices for a day of exploration. 

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The day was hot, and the lake was full of motorboats of all descriptions, making challenging waves at times.  But there were quiet spots with blue damselflies at water level and many birds calling in the trees. 

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A mud bar with willow trees hosted six or more Killdeer.  A Prothonotary Warbler hopped its yellow self among sticks and stumps protruding from the water. 

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A Bald Eagle crossed the river above the treetops, and Great Blue Herons flew slowly where they wished, taunting gravity like ancient sky barges. 

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Fish and turtles and leeches and a snake brought notice from two paddlers who cannot not notice such things, each holding their place in the balance of what this day was.

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 And what it was was good.

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Published in: on June 16, 2008 at 11:00 pm  Comments (1)