|My paddling partner, patiently waiting.|
The usual December rains run happily down the fronds of island palms. We had, incidentally, a very nice palm tree out front, amidst the Douglas Fir. I had carefully nurtured and protected it, over the years, until the resident deer defied all reasonable expectations...and ate it. Sigh...
|Pretending not to look, the waiting HMKTV|
had a trick up its sleeve for our return...to turn a kayak into a toboggan!
|There was a special peacefulness as snowflakes |
silently kissed the waters of Sansum Narows.
Refreshed and invigorated by the cool air and falling snow and sustained by a high-energy "Garibaldi cookie", it was time to head back to Maple Bay and our waiting HMKTV (High Mobility Kayak Transport Vehicle: Civilian designation: Subaru). Interestingly, the large flakes had begun to form an unusual sub-surface "slush" in the sea water. All we were missing were the "bergy bits", tiny ice bergs that would transform our usual Mediterranean landscape into an "Arctic-like" seascape.
|Smiling...and blissfully unaware of the events that were about to unfold!|
Minds still enjoying the endorphin-laden "afterglow" of paddling (kayakers will understand this experience) - we didn't take the time.
Hoisting the first kayak (mine) onto the cradle, it instantly slid forward on the layer of snow at an alarming rate of speed - and towards the hood of the HMKTV - en route to the concrete retaining wall mere inches from the front bumper!
Thankfully, my always-alert paddling partner was able to adroitly re-capture the stern grab handle, quickly halting its descent into what would have been an embarrassing incident to explain to an insurance agent - while I looked on, open-mouthed and imagining the result of the bow of my relatively-new kayak striking an immovable wall. That would have happened, of course, after it rebounded off the hood of the silver-grey Subaru. Yes, it appears I was completely immobilized by "can-this-really-be-happening!" for a rather critical moment.
Thank you Joan. :)
We took a few minutes to clear all remaining cradles before loading Joan's boat on the racks. That process was, thankfully, uneventful.
Lessons learned: stay focused; be present in the moment; maintain situation awareness; take time to remove any snow from cradles before loading kayaks, most especially when vehicle is parked on a slope! Sheesh.
The time on the water, however, "in the snow of wintertime"...was wonderful.
Thank you to Jean de Brébeuf, author of the original lyrics of the "Huron Carol ("'Twas in the Moon of Wintertime") in 1643. The post title, is only meant to be "close". It's a wonderful Canadian carol!