unsuccessfully seeking solitude

The gray weather  was a good thing. At least that’s what I thought when I paddled across the pond outside my door and carried my board to the next big “pond” for a long paddle/exploration of its 280 acres. I figured the clammy, cloudy Labor Day weekend would produce fewer boaters than usual, giving me time to plod along the shoreline and check things out.

I’ve loved SUP paddling for its portability, for seeing the water from above, including “discovering” that diamondback terrapin turtles live in salt marshes as well as fresh water, and watching little green “feeder fish” scoot into seagrass when I come close. It’s a good workout too, except that my feet cramp up when I’m out there too long.

boring but peaceful

boring but peaceful

This summer my board has been in a lot of water, salt and fresh, allowing me many hours of pleasant contemplation and exercise. Not a dedicated paddler yet, Mike declared that it is “boring but peaceful” after he spent an hour out in the salt marshes near Pleasant Bay in Orleans. It would have been a completely different story if he had seen stripers. But that day might have been the high point of  the tranquility — despite the nasty greenhead flies.

nobody's favorite

nobody’s favorite

After circling the first big cove, the greenheads were back — at least that’s what the jet-skiers reminded me of. I heard a tremendous buzzing and there they were, swarming behind me like those deplorable insects. What made them come out when I showed up? The same with the power boats: I rounded a point toward the main body of water and there were at least four zipping around, pulling skiers and bouncing tubes behind them. Glad I’ve conquered the technique of paddling through wakes, because the waves got thick at times.

not really compatible with peace-seeking paddlers

not really compatible with peace-seeking paddlers

So rather than a boring or peaceful paddle, it was a watchful afternoon: I wondered if the wake-jumping jet skiers would run over a fallen water skier, if the kid losing his swim trunks on the speeding tube would let go in order to retrieve them, and if the poor fisherman in the middle of the lake with his paltry 5hp trolling motor would be ground up into chum by the two drunk girls screaming around in yet another motor boat.

When I got home, I realized that aquatic craziness is just the backdrop to finding out that a 1,100-home development is breaking ground on the far shore of that busy “pond.” Should I care, other than bothered that the main road through the neighborhood is going to be three times as busy?

Better enjoy my quiet pond while I can.



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