My nine days on and around Lake Superior have left me in a peaceful zen-like state for th e most part. A lack of traffic, electronic devices, noise, and people in general has me in a fine state of mind. Yesterday, technology malfunction and the accompanying effort to rectify it almost catapulted me right back into the normal mildly aggravated state of urban angst. Cell phone failure had me at the local Verizon office, featuring an ambiance much like the bar scene in the original Star Wars movie, and I could feel the aggravation rising in me like the thermometer on a sweltering summer day. What kept me calm (actually calmer, I guess) was the fact that I would be on the water by 6:00pm that evening.
The Voice of Reason and her sisters are huge fans of MIchael Monroe, a folk singer from Grand Marais, MN. Last summer I was abandoned, blissfully rolling the Aquanaut in the middle of Grand Marais harbor, while the VOR and TheMayor raced across the water after hearing Mr. Monroe’s dulcet tones from a beach near town. GalwayGuy on the other hand, rolls his eyes when Michael’s name is even mentioned. I personally claim neutrality, my own little Monroe Doctrine as it were, although one more rendition of Cat Steven’s…ah,sorry… Yusef Islam’s… Moonshadow might drive me into the GG camp. In any event, Michael Monroe was playing at Talley’s, a bar and grill on White Bear Lake and we could not miss him. We rounded up a half dozen folks and paddled over to watch and listen from the relative comfort of our kayaks.
There are far worse ways to spend a summer evening. The protocol on these musical kayak events at Talley’s is to bring adult beverages and some hors’ de ouvres to share. The boats are tethered together in a commandeered slip, the goodies are produced, and we settle in for the music. Paddle floats and bilge pumps are replaced by corkscrews, cheese knives, and olive jars. The stray wine or beer bottle may be seen peeking out of the day hatches. Spray skirts are popped and goodies are passed from boat to boat. Inevitably something hits the water and when it does the fish are ready.
The Olympus 790 is a nice little point and shoot digital camera that’s waterproof and shockproof, two features that make it perfect for kayakers. When the water’s too rough or the weather’s too wet to pull out the Nikon SLR this little guy works well. Last night as the panfish began taking crumbs off the surface, I just stuck the camera in the water and got some nice images of bluegills and pumpkinseed sunfish flitting around just below the surface with the Valley and Capella boats in the background.
It was the perfect summer evening for lounging on the water. The once more laboriously replaced cell phone lured a couple more friends and their dog down to the docks. More importantly, the rejuvenating power of the water kept my head in the spot that my trip around the big lake had put it into. And I shall work diligently to keep it there!