Sunday, April 19, 2009
The Best of Intentions
The plan for yesterday was to dedicate a couple of hours to spring cleaning in the garage. In order to get at and sweep up stuff that had 'fallen through the cracks' so to speak, I had to move the Chesapeake LT 17 to my kayak maintenance slings. As I moved it, it began sending guilty vibes to my subconscious brain. "You only paddled me a couple times last year....aren't I as good as the Q Boat or Aquanaut?........don't ya love me anymore!!?" Finally the guilt became too much and I abandoned the garage, threw the boat on the roof, and headed for the Rice Lake chain of lakes, about 10 miles north of here.
Spring is struggling to emerge and a few trees have that halo of light green surrounding them but things are still pretty much brown and dry. The VOR will be horrified to know that the carp are rolling around in the warmer shallow bays but none attacked me as I paddled through. The turtles, both Painted and Mud turtles, are out sunning in full force and the Canada geese, Mallards, Coots, Mergansers, and even a few Bluebills are out on the water. I came across a large raft of pelicans as well but, like the turtles, I didn't want to get too close and disturb their sunny afternoon. Nature being herself, not everything was goodness and light. I took an image of a blissful turtle sunning himself on a drowned opossum which didn't do much to dampen this upbeat day but did remind me, as did the wolf killed deer at camp, that nature ain't always a glossy coffee table book. Kids were fishing, cyclists were cycling, golfers golfing, and even the guys at the seaplane base were wrenching on their aircraft.
I really do need to pay more attention the the Chesapeake. Instead of looking at colored gel coat I am able to savor the wood grain and swirls in the varnished natural wood deck. Its not quite as fast as the Q Boat but the very hard chine hull makes turning a dream. It is the lightest boat in my fleet and it will roll with reluctance, but thats not what it was built for. Actually it was built to insure some quality father-son time with 1stLtO when he was a high school youth. He decided he needed a kayak and the then $600 kit was both economical and also afforded some male bonding that we wouldn't have had otherwise. We decided we needed a red hull to commemorate and remind us of both my Old Man and his beloved red hulled Crestliner fishing boat, and a natural wood deck for our viewing pleasure as we paddled. Its not quite the perfect gem that can be seen at boat shows but it looks great when it goes past at about 20mph in the roof rack.
This is one kayak that I won't have to keep track of when I sell it because I won't be selling it. There are just too many good memories that would be sold along with it. Plus, its the only boat that's able to communicate with me.........