Friday, November 30, 2012

Look; A November Post!

Forget April, November is the cruelest month.

In October everything is easy; the sun is never too bright, the temperature is never too hot.  It's easy to get up, get a quick paddle in and go about our days.  Every day I can feel myself getting a little faster, my lung capacity growing.  Want to squeeze a six mile paddle in? Head out of the house at 6:30, hike down the hill, launch, paddle, place the kayaks back on their racks and be back at the house by 8. Plenty of time for a full day of work.   Every day the leaves are a different shade, every cove has a different species of waterfowl migrating south.

But November, everything is tougher.  The deciduous trees are bare.  The variety of birds whittled away to a huge flock of geese and a few mallards.  The sky?  Fortunately that's still amazing.
      But it's cold; our outfits need to be warmer, just paddling clothes won't do, at first we shift to wetsuits then soon after drysuits. Those take care of the bodies, but the hands?  Mark has shifted to warmer gloves, then to carrying hot water to warm his hands midway, now he's given up his Greenland paddle for winter, compromising with a Euro paddle. 
      We still get out, but far less often.  And there's a definite endurance vibe, even on short paddles.  Can we keep warm enough to make a full circuit, or will be be forced back by frozen fingers and noses?  Just when we think we've adjusted, the temperatures drop again, and the wind picks up more. 
    It's just a good thing that there are so many off water distractions: so many chances to get together with friends and relatives.  I hope you've all enjoyed your November, both on and off the water!