My kayak's not a fancy-shmancy piece of boating equipment, unless you consider safety-cone orange plastic the height of style. But it's visible (extremely) to motorboats, can be dragged over sand, weighs only 30 pounds and very nearly fits inside my car.
Obviously, lugging a wet, sandy kayak home inside your car isn't optimal, but I'm too short to ever be able to get the thing on top of my car alone. This way I can go kayaking whenever I want, not just when there's someone around to help me fasten the boat to the roofrack. I just have to rig up a way to keep it from sliding right out the back of the car when I go over a bump (like it did yesterday).
Luckily there wasn't a car within miles. I am not the first person in my town to have something obstreperous fall off the back of their truck. If you come to visit me, I'm just saying, don't tailgate. I think because it is a fairly sleepy town, people (you know, like me) think, well, I'm just going across town, I don't really need to tie this down.
I never said it was an especially smart town.
It wasn't the best time to go kayaking--high tide on Sunday morning brings all the motorboats, and the greenhead flies were biting. But it was great to finally be back out on the water.
The marsh is kind of fascinating to poke around in, lots of little inlets
and sandy beaches where tiny shorebirds forage for food.
There's a constant cheeping in the marsh as the birds chat, but if the cheeping becomes especially frantic you know you have ventured too close to a nest. At that point, hasty backpedaling becomes necessary, or you'll be divebombed by angry shorebirds. Some of these birds are large, and they all tend to have long, sharp bills ideal for cracking open clamshells. You really don't want them coming at your head.
Speaking of large scary birds, there's an osprey nest in the marsh, chock full of ospreys:
and across the inlet from the ospreys is a duck blind for hunters.
There are houses out in the marsh, too. This one belongs to the local
This one belongs to my friend T. (This picture was taken a few years ago, when the house was looking better).
There was a boat parked at the dock, and I could hear voices inside, so I stopped to see who was there. It was another friend, C, who is patching up the holes in the wall and replacing panes in the windows. Last year's storms left the place about one Nor'easter away from disappearing into the ocean.
And I thought to myself, what are the odds that you would run into someone you know in the marsh? If you had told me this would happen ten years ago when I moved here, I'd never have believed you. So many people move to a town and set no roots down. But I volunteered for a town board right off the bat, and I swore I would never commute to Boston. At some points, I've had to work three local, part-time jobs to make ends meet (and my hubby still moonlights). I often work six days a week; my husband, seven.
When I made myself that promise, I thought I was just sparing myself a hellish commute; I didn't realize I was tying myself into a community. Sure, I'd make a lot more money in Boston, but I wouldn't have to time my trips to the Post Office to keep them from being two-hour-long social calls. And I wouldn't run into friends in the marsh.
Sometimes I do wonder if the trade-off was worth it. I think to myself, gee, if I just sat in my car for 4 hours a day, we could afford that Caribbean vacation. Is living in a town that's your home really that important?
But I have to admit, sometimes it is. Sometimes running into a friend is the highlight of your day.