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Big Bloody Red Patches

Posted May 22 2005 12:00am

Old Michigan steams like a young man’s dreams, The islands and bays are for sportsmen. – g. lightfoot

mary-lighthouse-05Ok, so I’m still a little stiff this next morning. But I did want to get out on Lake Michigan one more time before leaving for Michigan proper on Tuesday. It’s actually a pretty nice paddle from Seagull Marina in Two Rivers north to the lighthouse at Point Beach and back. As Mary mentioned along the way it does look very much like the Atlantic coast near Huntington beach in South Carolina. You glide along sand beaches framed in grassy dunes laid against a forest back drop. The big difference is the big pine trees and the total lack of Spanish moss and palms.You certainly couldn’t complain about the weather either. Saturday we had a temperature of around 65 and the negligible bit of swell was under a foot. The only fly in the ointment was a silly bit of following wind waves that were nipping at our sterns. You know the type, they’re weak enough that edging the boat tends to over-correct, so you end up doing a “rhythmic paddle, paddle, paddle, sweep, paddle, little sweep, paddle, paddle, paddle little sweep” thing all day long. About half way along the route north we discovered a blood red stream flowing out into the lake. This red color is pretty common in northern Wisconsin and it is my understanding that this is due to heavy iron content in the soil. However a big bloody red patch in the lake can be a bit un-nerving until your eyes are able to follow it back to it’s source.

And speaking of “Big Bloody red patches”. (Bet you’ve not heard that too often). We took advantage of being at the Seagull Marina to stock up on flairs and dye markers. If you have not heard about these before, they are basically a little rubber container filled with power that when poured into the water will create a nice (florescent green in our case) colored trail with the water current. The claim is that they can be seen for miles from the air. Note the “from the air” bit. A dye marker is not a good choice to be seen from land. Ok, you can go ahead and try it if you like but I’m telling you, It’s not going to work. . .

I’m pretty sure this will be my last post until I get back from the WMCKA symposium on June 2nd or so. ( It’s fun to see all the kayakers suddenly dropping off the web to gather at various shorelines around the world) Today I need to run down to Rutabaga and make a couple last minute purchases. Yes, really, the last. I’ve had a couple things written down for some time but I never remember to actually get them. By now I have to accept that if I don’t have it, I don’t need it. I’m no longer adding to the list. I’ll just be content to have clean clothes. Well, at least the first day out. After that “Clean” is defined as “least aromatic”.

I’m a bit intimidated by the variety of very skilled sea kayakers going on our pre-symposium Manitou trip. (see previous posts regarding performance anxiety) I guess as long as I stay vertical I’ll be content. Usually when I know I’m out-skilled and out-classed I just keep my mouth shut. “Safety in silence”, as it were.

I’ve got a nice group of classes to assist with. Rescues, Boat Loading (well, I’m getting there), Euro paddling strokes, night paddling, and even a children’s class. Cool! I got a little confused by my schedule so I created a new chart where I could just color in boxes and write the details in. This way I can visually see the class times and free time. The chart lays out the hours from 7am to 7pm and goes from Wed to Monday. I converted a blank version called “My Symposium Schedule” to PDF and included it in my handouts page. If you are attending a symposium this year and need a more visual schedule feel free to grab a copy.

So, well, I think that’s about it. See after the holiday weekend. Be well. Be safe.

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