Thursday, August 30, 2012

Adventures in Paddleboarding

Well, I had my first experience with paddleboarding on Sunday. I posted a quick FB update about it, but I thought I'd go ahead and tell the WHOLE story my little corner of the world.

It all came to be when my neighbors, Bradley & Parla, saw me catchin' some rays on my balcony this weekend.  I was taking advantage of the first sunny day & clear blue sky since '91. You see, we share this little catwalk/dock in our backyard which makes the perfect place to put in kayaks, paddleboards, basically anything without a motor. They shouted for me to come down and give it a try when they finished paddling around the island.

They came back about an hour later with a peaceful, uneventful trip to report. Now it was my turn, along with Bradley's friend Paul. We set out with no problems....just a relaxing little Sunday paddleboarding, right? Calm, quiet creeks, sunshine glistening off the water, conversation about the beautiful weather. Pretty sure I jinxed us when I said something along the lines of, "This is easier than I thought!"

Just about that time we had to go under a low bridge. Yep. And Paul warned me about 30 seconds before I went under NOT to put my feet down if I happened to fall off underneath the bridge. It was shallow and the rocks/oyster shells would cut me. Cool. Not only do I have to squat on the paddleboard AND balance AND paddle....but I also cannot fall off. Or else!!!

Success. Obstacle #1: Conquered.

Rounding the next bend was when we hit the current. We had been flowin' right along up until this point. But that current, it's no joke. About 5 minutes into the fight, it was clear that my paddleboard was not going in the direction where it was pointed. In fact, it was doing the complete opposite and spinning in circles like a duck with one leg.  Paul, at this point, thinks I'm a pansy- weak and tired....and probably a complete idiot.  So he tries to give me tips: "Try two strokes on one side, two on the other!"That's what I'm doing!" Did he not realize I was an expert up until this moment? I tried everything from kneeling on the paddleboard to laying on my stomach and paddling with my hands. Nothing was helping my cause and the current kept taking me backwards. Finally he came to a remarkable conclusion: my back fin/rudder/whatever you call it... was gone. (Did you know paddleboards have those things? Well they do.)  Steering a ship without a rudder is no easy task, let me tell ya. And we were probably another 45 min away from the dock. Paul to the rescue. We switched boards so that he had the gimp one for awhile to hopefully get us around the next bend.

Obstacle #2: Solved. Thanks Paul. And might I add, that we switched boards without falling in. I was kind of shocked.

Smooth sailing at this point. A very still and quiet stretch of river. Then came the problem: dolphins. For 98% of the population this is exciting and wonderful. However, me no likey the dolphins :) Sharks? big deal. But dolphins, I don't want to be in the water with them. Its an irrational fear, I know this. Ask me why & I'll tell you. Anyway, this gave me 10x more incentive NOT to fall off of the board.

Obstacle #3: I remained standing. The dolphins caused me no harm.

The final stretch of our journey. I felt sorry for Paul because he had the gimpy board for the remainder of the time. I offered to switch back but he wasn't having it. However, an offer that he did not refuse was when I suggested he hook on to the back of my board and I pull him in the rest of the way to the dock. He proceeded to stretch out on the board, prop himself up on his elbow, and allow me tow him in. Where was Parla with her camera when we needed her?

So we made it back. My hands were the sorest part of my body the next day from having a death grip on the paddle for an hour and a half. But, now I'm schooled in paddleboarding and I can't wait to do it again!


Monday, August 13, 2012

Summer Re-cap

Well...I really thought my summer would consist of more than 3 blog posts thus far. Oops. I just knew I would have all this time and I would post every other day, at least! Somehow that didn't happen. Far from it. As my neighbor said- I'm "re-charging my batteries." Yes, I totally am. So here's a recap of my summer in no particular order:

1) A few happy hours with the girls. The drink in my hand is called a "Skinny Girl Cucumber" Go to Tubby's on Riverstreet. Ask for Alex. He will make you one.

2) Acupuncture. I bought a Groupon for it and decided to give it a go. Sheer curiosity. Now that I've experienced it- I can say... that was some crazy witch doctor stuff. Straight up vood doo.  During the session, the acupuncturist was telling me to feel the presence of my ancestors and rubbing herbs on the bottom of my feet and spraying rose water in my face, while I had needles sticking out of my my head, ears, chest, stomach, fingers, legs, feet, name it. Very odd, I know. Does it hurt? Not really at all. The needles are as thin as a strand of hair. (the ones he put in my fingers had a teeny little pinch to them, I will admit) BUT! I will say that I felt extremely relaxed later that day.

3) Softball Games. I've been a pretty good groupie for Mike's softball games this summer. Other than getting nervous when he gets up to bat and cringing when people yell at each other on the field, I actually enjoy it! I mean...I grew up with a sister and we did ballet. I'm not used to team sports.

4) Edwin McCain concert at Tubby's (in Thunderbolt) with the fam. Two words. HEAT STROKE. Other than the heat we had a great time. Hearing Wormsloew play was an added bonus.

5) Second concert of the summer: Corey Smith. This is also the second time Corey has made it to my blog- here's the link from last year's concert. My neighbor, Bradley, claims that they are friends. I'm still not sure how sold I am ;-) 

6:00 PM
12:00 AM
6. Meeting Ashley's new little munchkin, Chase. Earlier this month, my friend Ashley had her 3rd little boy. I am convinced that she has lost her mind. To add to her 3 year old and 13 month old....she now has a newborn. God bless her. But look how precious he is. She is super-mom! My favorite part is her backseat- 3 car seats all lined up in a row. If anyone can do's Ashley.

7. Baking. I tend to bake when I have time on my hands. It makes me feel like I've accomplished something and I get to eat lots of batter ( the real reason.) Here was my project of the day. Strawberry Shortcake *breakfast* Muffins. They're healthy, I promise.

 I'm sure I left out some important events...forgive me. Approximately a week left of summer bliss. I'm trying to savor every last drop.