Tuesday, May 24, 2005

head for the light!

Had the best time at Full Moon Paddle hosted by UC Aquatic Center. No need for kayaking experience. Sister Mary had some experience kayaking in Hawaii, but me and A had none. All good, get some wet suits on, a few kayaking basics, show you how to steer with your feet, choose your partners, get into the kayak and you're off!

They hold the Full Moon Paddle once a month. I'd always wanted to do it ever since I heard about it and only just now got around to actually doing it. Actually, anything that gets me on, in, around the water, I'll do. Me and SM paired off. She was the "brawn" sitting in the front and I was the driver in the back.

We taped a glow stick to our vests so we could be seen, but both me and SM got gimpy non-glowing sticks. Hmmm...a bit problematic. We decided to try to stay near the guides who were wearing bright lights. We headed towards the end of the Berkeley pier, wonder how long it would take to reach the Golden Gate by paddle. Imagine what it was like for the Native Peoples crossing the bay, before the city lights, before the bridges. I had heard once it took a few days to cross the bay.

After the sun set, we turned our bows east to watch the light glow of the full moon rise over Emeryville as it crossed past a few wispy clouds over a dark blue water of the bay, so quiet on the water, the soft lapping of water on the kayak. Breathtaking!

We continued to follow the lighted kayak back to the pier. I gained a greater appreciation for white water river kayakers, and the dragon boat races, and just about anyone who moves a small craft from sheer strength alone. Since they are two person kayaks, it takes come communication and sometimes I would forget that my foot was learning on the steer pedel until we were drifting a bit in a direction. Going in a straight line on the water is a relative thing. By the time we got back to the pier, SM and I had pretty good communication going and managed to do some kayak parallel parking.

It was nice to get back into some dry warm clothes. Though we may have started stressed and our minds on various tasks in our lives, we left relaxed, pensive, satisfied. Being on the water, pulled away from shore, the darkening evening sky, to be away yet here. Sometimes you need just a little perspective, to get by.

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