Paddle Boarding Report


Last night I completed glassing the deck of Tess’ boat. Once you start that process you have to stay on deck until you can walk away from it or things are likely as not to go very wrong. The good news is that nothing went ‘very wrong’, the bad is that I was up until well past two this morning. So ugh, even though Tess and A-bear let me sleep in a little bit I work up with a headache and an epoxy fume hangover (yes, I work my mask).

So what do you do when you’re knackered, just this side of sick, and caffeine deficient? You call up your local paddle boarding rental shop and book a board for two hours, that’s what you do. In hind sight nothing about our outing this morning should have gone well. The tide was fluctuating near a low. The harbor smelled piquant and the mud flats oozed. A-bear was in an anything other than this sort of mood and I wasn’t too far behind him.

I’ve seen you guys, out there on the water with your oversized boards and paddles, and I’ve always thought man, that shizz just looks awkward and sort of silly. Something about it didn’t appeal to me and I’m not even certain I could put my thumb on just what. Compared to a kayak — low, sleek and fast — paddle boarding seemed clunky. Sailing small boats or paddling canoes both just appealed to me much more.

Then, with everything that could work against it chugging away, I caved to my desire for novel experience and called up the dude on the island. Test the hypothesis!

Aral knelt on the front of the board and at first we were a little wobbly. I tried to follow through with my paddle strokes like I was in a canoe and this wasn’t working. I think my little guy was a concerned at the amazing number of moon jellies in suspension below us; what might happen if we fell in?

But soon enough we both got the hang of this. I really like the standing possition because from a mere seventy-two inches above the surface of the water there’s so much more to see. I also liked the big deck that gave me a place to stow both a bag full of snacks and my little dude.

We tootled around Quartermaster Harbor for about an hour making surprising distance as soon as I figured out how to paddle this craft (short, regular strokes and let the skeg manage tracking). Before I knew it I had fallen in love. My core got an amazing workout (balancing, and powering the craft while Aral wobbled a little from time to time underfoot) and we saw so damn much.

Next project, paddle board!


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