Sunday, September 13, 2009

In need of first aid

After a few rough days emotionally and physically, I woke up this morning with more energy than I've felt in ages. It was beautiful out. As it was early, I eagerly put the new (used) kayak out on Freedom Pond. I had little time, so I explored the boggiest edges, meeting once again with unidentified fall warblers. A small flock of ducks noisily exploded out of the water as I turned away from the reeds, and a few cormorants skitted across the pond, which was as still as I've ever seen it. It was a perfect hour.

Last night, I watched a few short videos on kayaking for beginners. In one of them, it was advised that one always carry a waterproof first aid kit. For the kinds of paddling I like to do, this seems like overkill. I discovered there's a name for what I have recently discovered I love: "quiet water paddling." No white water thrills for this woman. For me, a thrill is discovering a tiny bird in a thicket.

As it turns out, I did need a first aid kit. No, I didn't even come close to tipping the kayak, even if it was new to me and I was trying strokes I learned from a YouTube video at 2:00am in the morning. I had a small accident while walking on the boat ramp. I was not running, nor turning, nor doing anything out of the ordinary. My right foot, which isn't small in the least, fell through a cement slat and I kept on going.

I was bloodied some and will probably develop a colorful collection of bruises. Yes, I could have used a first aid kit. I wrapped my bloody ankle with a few napkins that were in the car's glove box, loaded the kayak back into the car, and headed home to clean myself up and get ready for work.

Somehow, in spite of this, I doubt I'll put together a first aid kit. I will be more mindful about walking on boat ramps in future.

But more than anything, I wish I'd brought my binoculars.

Photo note: I feel certain that I saw a number of these female fall plumage Common Yellowthroats. I deduced this by the call note "tchat!" and the fact that in the Spring, I see many of their most colorful male counterparts on this pond.


jmcleod76 said...

So what kind of kayak did you end up getting?

I still have hard-kayak lust. We went to L.L. Bean yesterday, to see if I could find any of the now discontinued style of their comfort mocs, which I've worn for five years or more (no dice ... they've ruined them by changing the midsoles from black to grey or tan, so that they now look like deck shoes for senior citizens instead of casual shoes perfect for the office or anywhere else). I did find some irregular Smartwool socks at a very good price, though, which was the highlight of my day (yes, I'm a dork ... I've long embraced this fact).

Anyway, I spent a good bit of time just touching things in their Boat, Bike, and Ski store. Last time we took our Sevylor's out, we had to patch three separate holes before we could go out. Granted, it only meant 20 minutes sitting on the beach, but I got cross over the delay.

Julie H. Rose said...

We got Wilderness Systems Pungo 120 from Lincolnville Sea Kayaks. I wish I could go out right now, but I've got an appointment. I am LOVING kayaking!!!

Hey, finding Smartwool socks at a decent price is something I think is nearly exciting. I'm a sock dork, too! They sell 'em at Reny's, but I've never seen a pair for less than 15 bucks and then I think I'd rather spend the money on a large ball of sock yarn. Smartwool makes some great socks, though, and I wish they were cheaper.

I've always loved LL Beans's ragg wool socks. They've stopped making the knee highs, which I have worn forever. Sigh. Another reason to knit my own socks. . .

jmcleod76 said...

I've read some really good reviews of the Pungo. Nice choice! I hear they have a decent sized cockpit, too, which is important for people like M. and me who need a lot of *ahem* "seat room" ... Most of the recreational kayaks out there have 17" or 18" cockpits ... no way my fat ass is fitting into that! The L.L. Bean Manatee (which is exactly the same boat as a Perception Prodigy) is kind of a slow, tubby little barge, but everyone who reviews one seems to love it. I looked at one yesterday, and have to say it was tempting. It also has a massive cockpit, which would suck if you're wispy-thin and don't want to reach far while paddling, but seems perfect for the fuller-figured outdoorswoman.

$15 for Smartwool Socks isn't much of a deal. I would expect better from Reny's. These were $5.85, including tax! I wish I'd gotten more than one pair, but I hadn't realized they were marked down even lower than the already low price on the tag.

Julie H. Rose said...

I think the Smartwool socks at Reny's are full price. That store ain't what it used to be! In Belfast, it's twice the size it once was but the bargains are few and far between.

Smartwool socks for $5.85! Whoo hoo! Lucky you.

The Pungo has a whopping 59" cockpit. It's crazy big. Some folks don't like that, as they say it takes on more water, but I'm not doing white water kayaking. Dick loves the size of it. I like it, too, though I barely reach the foot pegs, 'cause it feels more like a canoe.

I didn't go out looking for a Pungo. It was there, nearly half price, and then I discovered it's the most popular rec kayak in the country. Maybe not in Maine 'cause we have LL Bean and Old Town here, but that's what I read. . .