Weekends on Death Row
Last weekend I did a summer archery tournament: the only one this year, thanks to the operation. My score sucked, chiefly because I expected that the rules would be the same as last year's. Nope. Now I know that the winner gets to make the rules for the next year's event. Lesson: be ready for anything.
This weekend we cashed in Christmas gift certificates for Plum Island Kayak. This was very interesting for several reasons. Name notwithstanding, this establishment is in downtown Newburyport. Them as have not gone to Newburyport for nearly any reason have missed a serious treat. Next, when you sign up for the basic tour, you go where the tide directs. In our case, it directed that we be driven up the Merrimack to Amesbury to launch.
If you didn't grow up along the Merrimack, you can't really appreciate what a trip it is to launch a kayak on it. In my corrupt youth, most of the Merrimack was so polluted that you did not want to put so much as a finger in it.
I would not drink it today, untreated, but I would kayak on it and at least take a dip in it. This was also my first experience at serious river navigation: quite different from what I've done before, very challenging, very absorbing.
For the uninitiated, I'll say that the average, competent, flatwater kayaker at cruising speed, not trying to make any sort of point, moves at about two knots "over the ground:" that is, your speed over the bottom in still water. Sunday morning, we launched on an ebb tide at maximum current, onto a tidal river filled with evidence of a very rainy July. The current, plus the ebb tide, plus normal cruising speed, gave a speed over the ground of about eight knots...about, say, above-average marathon runner speed. Wheeeya!! BTW, this is a very beginner-friendly bunch of people, and there were no casualties.
If I have to spend the rest of the summer on the DL, that was a great way to finish.