Greetings dear friends and readers!
It’s a gorgeous day here today – the sunlight is glittering, and the waves are singing with the joy of an early autumn day. The air seems impossibly pure and clean and everything has a startling clarity to it. That amazing northern light that can’t really be described. An unexpected treasure of a day. Perhaps this day is a result of what has come before – the big wind storm in the night.
I came home from work last night at 10 pm by human power. I cycled my cool new commuter bike, (a single speed, because they are so much fun), through the streets of town, and along the way I met a surprising number of folks out walking. That took about 15 minutes, and then it probably took another 5 or 10 to get into my kayak. I had to take it from the dock to the water, put on my life jacket and spray skirt, put my paddle together and then climb in, not forgetting my work bag with the all precious iphone. (So far nothing has gone for a swim, but I wonder how long it will be?) Usually by this point I’m wet, as there is always a heavy evening dew and the seat is wet.
I then set off to paddle home, through darkness. It was pretty dark, so dark that I couldn’t even see Gull Island and the collection of houseboats there. Fear not gentle reader, I do know where the island is, even in the dark! I also had with me a headlamp with a very bright light, but it wasn’t much help. It illuminated the boat, but not the waters ahead. There were none of my usual references, the flags nearby that indicate the wind direction, and a good view of the waves and the wave direction. The nuances that are important when traveling by water. In any case, I set off. I could tell there was some wave, and probably not much wind, although I could determine the wind direction from how it felt on my face. Paddling my little blue kayak in the dark felt so strange. I could see my boat in the cone of light but the water was vague, almost unseen. It was sort of like floating on a cloud. It felt like it didn’t matter what the waves did, I would just float along on my little cloud. Just me and the boat and the darkness. Surreal.
Eventually I realized it was easier to turn my light off and paddle in the dark. It wasn’t completely dark, and after a while my eyes adjusted and I could see the waves, and the landmarks. I was guided by the light of the half moon. And then I could also see the northern lights, our regular nighttime companions of late. The northern lights are ever interesting, as they change from second to second, one minute faint, the next minute vibrantly blazing. The water wasn’t calm enough for them to be reflected, but one night last week the lake was like glass, and it was a double show, both aurora borealis and an aquatic mirror image. Who knew there were such wonders in the world?
So the trip home was interesting and lovely, which is why one should always commute by human power. (It takes me 40 minutes one way though so its a commitment.) As I fell asleep in my bed, I could feel the houseboat moving and bouncing more than usual. And my husband was up several times in the night to witness the big waves and rough water from the wind storm. The wind was coming straight off the main lake from the south, and other than short Gull Island, there is nothing to stop it slamming into our house. He saw waves of about 5 feet crashing into the rocks. (I slept through it all!)
This morning it was still quite windy, probably 40 km/hr, but really bouncy and rough on houseboat 28. We felt seasick and staggered around the place. It calmed down when I shot this little video, but in the time it took to upload it, the wind shifted 90 degrees, the laundry on the clothesline was horizontal in the wind, ( and happily also dry!), the small dock had torn three of its 4 mooring lines and was about to blow away, and the kayak was getting bashed into the side of the deck. I think it might be working up some steam again. Life is certainly never dull around here!