Tuesday’s response to the Thurseve Paddle Announcement is telling:
Don’t Follow Don: “Weather looks pretty wet and cold. Yes, it's Alaska weather Thursday. I'm not going to make it.”
Dragon: “Concerning, the wind forecast for Thursday. For that reason, Irene will not pack food for the paddle.” The implication is clear: no food, no Dragon.
Gandalf: “Why is everyone complaining about getting wet from a little drizzle?”
I’m of a mind with Gandalf, and we both show at Bruno’s on Thurseve ready to paddle. But we don’t immediately put boat to water, Gandalf’s ‘little drizzle’ a substantial rain. “Heavier than I thought it’d be,” says he. “Let’s wait it out, let it blow over.”
“Good idea,” say I. The awning hanging over the outdoor picnic tables behind the nearby grocery store looks promising. “Let’s wait over there, stay dry.”
“Good plan,” says Gandalf, and we do it, wait out the rain under the awnings behind the grocery store.
Time passes. “Hasn’t let up, has it?”
“Nope, it hasn’t,” I say. “Let’s get our food, eat here, then paddle when the weather clears.” We do just that, run back to our cars through the deluge, horizontal now that the wind’s kicked in, grab our food—salad, smoked salmon, corn bread, hot tea—and eat our meal under the awning.
We also grab heavier coats while we’re at the cars, the temperature dropping below a thin garment’s layer of comfort.
Wind, rain, cold … nothing changes. I look at Gandalf, Gandalf looks at me. Dark’s coming down almost as fierce as the rain, our food’s gone, I wish I had a pair of gloves, ear muffs.
Doesn’t take him long to answer, no hesitation. “I agree. Let’s call it a night,” and we do, call it a night, each of us leaves the harbor, driving not paddling, heads home.
I recently read a work of fiction, 428 pages filled with small type, each page loaded with twists, turns, surprises, the book a real page-turner. The final twist occurs on page 427, and it’s a whopper, a real surprise. “Holy moly!” I say, “I’ve already read this book.”
I mention this by way of saying I can’t guarantee everything in this paddle report is an accurate recall of Thursday’s outing. I think it is, but …
I’m pretty sure the following are spot on, well wishes, all memorable.
First is a belated happy St. Patrick’s Day, the event the Wednesday before my recollection of Thursday. Lá Fhéile Pádraig sona daoibh!
Next, happy Spring, the Vernal Equinox the immediate Saturday after this Thursday.
Finally, happy birthday to constant Thurseve Paddle Report reader Burk, the quintessential water guy. Burk took to the water in sculls when he was 67 and rowed in 7 world championships. When he turned 90, a new age category had to be created for that year’s race. Of course, Burk won.
For more info, here’s a 2015 article on Burk in “The Olympian:”
Burk’s 96th b’day is this Friday. Cheers!
Date: Thurseve, 18 March 2021.
Distance: Zero nautical miles.
Speed: Zero knots.
Time: Two hours.
Spray factor: A spot or two of rain blows under the awning.
Dessert: I can’t recall.