Wednesday, April 27, 2016

You know that little voice...

... the one that says, "Age is just a number"?  Yeah, I'm replacing that bastard with a more accurate one - one that says, "It isn't the years, it's the mileage."

Joan asked me if I wanted to go to the store with her.  I replied, "I was thinking about taking the kayaks out."

She said, "I can help you get the Hobie out, if you want to do it before I go to the store."


I really like my Hobie kayak, but it is a beast; best carried with two people instead of trying to lug it around by myself.  Yes, even though it isn't a long way to go from our underneath storage area to our dock.

I put on a long sleeve shirt, put some sun-screen on, grabbed a hat... and then got out my GoPro - just in case any photo opps come up.  It has been months since I've done anything with the GoPro - it is no secret that I don't care much for that clunky little thing.  I turned it on, and the battery was on 1/3.  I put in another battery... 1/3.  I put in another battery... full!

Just about good to go.  I pulled the drivers license out of my wallet.  You are supposed to carry identification with you when on the water.  Not so much to prove who you are, but if the worst happens, it will be easier to identify you.  Fun thought.  Joan said, "You should probably take your phone."  Yeah... I have a waterproof case for it.  She also grabbed a bottle of water for me.

I put the phone in the waterproof case; put that and my drivers license in a plastic bag; then put all that in a waterproof sleeve.  Can't be too careful.

This is not a spur of the moment thing.  She helped me plunk the kayak in the water, then headed for the store.  I hopped into the kayak.  OK, it wasn't really a hop... more of a slither.  That little voice will confirm that.  I pushed off from the dock and headed up the canal...

Some odd color.  The GoPro isn't at fault - on the local news, they are calling the heavy haze in the sky due to "agricultural burning in Mexico."  Probably sugarcane.  You can see it and smell it.

At the end of that canal, I turned east (left).  The first thing you see is "the lake"...

Not really a lake, it is a dredged out area.  More like a wide spot off one of the canals.  Another left turn and heading north.  There is a low bridge over this canal...

Really small boats can fit under that low bridge; the kayak is a really small boat.  I pedaled the rest of the way in that canal and out into the Intracoastal Waterway.  I didn't have a destination in mind, just wanted to get out and about.  I was glad Joan put a bottle of water with my stuff - hardly any breeze, and it is warm; close to 80º.  I decided to head west, towards the 3 oil rigs that are in the turning basin.

As I pedaled towards the rigs...
out there in the distance, between me and the rig... a dolphin fin!

Damn GoPro - even when the dolphins are close, they look way far away!  Then, two popped up on my left side!

Damn - missed 'em!  Three swimming together! 

They turned right for me...

And the battery in the GoPro died!  I really don't like that GoPro.  But... dolphins!  There were at least a dozen of them, and they passed right by my kayak - within 10 feet!  They looked at me, I looked at them.  I hooted and clapped!  My first close dolphin encounter since we've been home.

My phone - it has a camera.  I took in the close show, while reaching back for the waterproof sleeve.  Then, fumbled with the clip holding it to a bungee behind me.  By the time I got the sleeve opened, the phone out of the plastic bag, then turned on with the camera pulled up... yeah, the dolphins were a couple hundred yards away.  No point in even trying to take a photo with the phone.

BUT, it was a delightful encounter.  Since I had the phone out, I called Joan, to tell her what I just saw... yeah, like a little kid... I couldn't wait... "I saw dolphins!  Up close!"

I got a semi-decent shot of the rigs with the phone camera...

Then, turned the kayak around - that island is home.  Whew - now I feel the heat.

When I got home, Joan was waiting for me on the deck.  With a camera...

"Thought I'd get a photo, since your GoPro crapped out..."

"Thank you!"

Plus, she helped me haul the kayak up on the dock.

My legs felt a little rubbery while I hosed off the equipment.  I thought I was in pretty good shape, since I have been biking almost every day since we got the e-bikes.  You definitely use different muscles pedaling this kayak compared to the bike.

Oh, I got it!  An E-kayak!  ;-)

Yeah, I could use one of those.

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