Monday, September 13, 2010

There is a good south wind today, even the clouds are moving, something that rarely happens in this part of the country, unlike the midwest where I grew up. There, clouds race across the sky and one could lay on their back an be fully entertained as they changed shapes while speeding by.

I am pushed north up Lake Union, at first it is gentle, but once out of the shelter of the shoreline hills, I spend as much time holding course as I do paddling, making the same speed either way. The waves are small enough and nothing is urgent or hurried. It is just a free ride. Rounding the point into Portage Bay I make an upwind leg, but since this bay is well protected by a ridge, it is an easy paddle, hugging the artificial shoreline of houseboats.
Over in Union Bay, I head down into the south lagoon, which is not as protected from the wind as one might think. Here, that stiff south wind comes in swirls and varied directions as it forces its way through gaps in hills and forest. A gust swings the bow, I correct, and the next puff swings the canoe the other direction or pushes me sideways, and I correct.

I stop in the east channel of the burial island to listen to the wind in the tall alders, a long shoosh with the underneath rattle of ten thousand leaves striking other leaves. It dominates the city sounds and is good for the soul.

I return to the lagoon, my all too short sleep from last night catching up with me. The canoe is pushed by the wind into the lily pads and I lay back and doze.

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