It’s Me, Roo, I’m Kayaking!

January 26, 2012 at 12:26 am (By Amba)


  1. Icepick said,

    Watch out for those American crocodiles – and the sharks.

  2. Icepick said,

    hell, watch out for the pythons and the Nile monitor lizards too. This state is getting dangerous!

  3. amba12 said,

    You’re right down at water level, very quiet. We sneaked past some ibises roosting on mangrove roots and startled a great blue heron. A dolphin came close in a leisurely way and checked us out. When you hear them snuffle and blow so close up it’s as intimate and fleshly a sound as your spouse snoring next to you in bed.

  4. Icepick said,

    Ever read Heyerdahl’s Kon Tiki? That was a fascinating read, and I remember him commenting on what it was like being right at the water level with no mechanical devices blocking out the natural noises.

  5. amba12 said,

    I read Heyerdahl’s Kon Tiki probably when I was about 9. Maybe I remember that subliminally. Early reading (and even children’s picture books) can educate imagination and enhance later perception.

  6. kngfish said,

    Be careful…I hear the Florida Jackalope is aquatic…..

  7. karen said,

    Roo– you’re in a BOAT!!!?

    Ice– more reasons for me to stay grounded, like- on the ground.

  8. Icepick said,

    Gators, crocs, pythons and Nile monitor lizards can get you on the ground, too! (At least your safe from sharks.) Of course, you’re not really going to have a problem with gators, crocs, pythons and Nile monitor lizards in your part of the world….

  9. Icepick said,

    I don’t know if you’ve got Jackalopes up there or not. Keep those hand grenades close just in case!

  10. karen said,

    There’s a piebald button horn toward the border a ways(that’s a young male deer who’s got a white-ish coat w/scattered darker markings in it)- also so guff about someone shooting a black rabbit, i think.

    A friend of mine growing up used to rabbit hunt and he got a black rabbit– kept it in the freezer for a while… :0)- true, dat.

    Nope– i’m safe from Jackalopes– it’s the coyotes that howl close to the barn that give me the willies!!

  11. Tom Strong said,

    I am getting to be kind of envious of your winter.

  12. amba12 said,

    What’s a “winter”?

  13. wj said,

    I’m having a little cognative dissonance here. On one hand, this lovely picture of you on the water. On the other hand, a rumor (via LinkedIn) of a new job — which would seem to require facilities not generally found in a kayak.

    Well, congrats on the new position anyway.

  14. amba12 said,

    No new job, I just changed my profile. It said “add a new company.” The Scientist had stopped being part of F1000 and become its own company (or, actually, been bought by another company which is more in the background than F1000 was). So I deleted F1000 and added The Scientist. Nothing has changed.

  15. wj said,

    Well, as long as they keep paying you. (Even if I’m sure they’re not paying you what you are worth!)

  16. TT Burnett said,

    I love kayaking. Yes, you are right in the water. You have a connection with your surroundings not present in larger craft. A canoe approaches it, but no boat has the watersmooth intimacy of a kayak. And a canoe, frankly, is a lot more worrisome to handle.

    It’s a bit like riding a bicycle instead of driving a car. There is an immediacy to the world on a bicycle. A car or a larger boat distances you.

    And, like riding a bicycle, there is a certain amount of skill involved. You should be well-prepared and expect to take a spill or two and know how to handle yourself. But it’s a skill, like riding a bicycle, that becomes second nature.

    If you’re afraid of the water, you will be terrified of kayaking. But if you can relax into it, a kayak is the most rewarding watercraft there is.

    It’s also one of the cheapest, no small consideration in these pinched times.

    I’ve never been ocean kayaking, but the New England ponds I visit usually don’t have dolphins, which, considering Amba says they sound like your spouse in the middle of the night, may not be the worst thing about this changeable, but basically cold climate.

    There is nothing like kayaking on a chilly, bright, clear November day on an isolated New England pond. I love it when there’s been a little frost, and there are small patches of paper-thin ice to crinkle and break with your paddle and a flock of ducks huddled together on the other side, and there’s nothing but you and the glinting, splashing water and the dark blue sky and the sun and the bare trees with their few remaining leaves, and the world feels like it’s been this way, waiting for you, forever.

  17. amba12 said,

    Hmm! The two comments appear identical (and beautiful), but the usernames are different. What to do? (my fault, I came along and approved the one you’d chucked out)

    This was a “sit-on” rather than “sit-in” kayak. I’d always been unnerved by the stories about how you could be strapped in from the waist down and could tip upside down, and would need to know either how to right the thing or free yourself before you drowned. But these were fiberglas shallow narrow things on which you sat in a shallow depression and put your feet against footrests. And they were rocky yet stable, if that makes sense. You could ride chop without feeling you’d go over. If by chance you fell off, you’d just hoist yourself back on. I am not at all afraid of water, but I am afraid of being trapped head-down in some overturned contraption I couldn’t get out of.

    Summer-camp canoeing training, though 50 years ago, meant that I knew immediately how to stop, turn, and reverse and was able to take off into the great unknown without a practice session, although I’m sure my technique left much to be desired in terms of bumping the boat with the paddle, splashing, etc. The analogy to bicycling is a good one, except that you’re even closer down in a kayak and you’re also able to stop and sit there. It really takes you into the heart of the water world in such a nondisruptive way. In that respect it feels almost as much like magical, privileged trespassing as scuba diving.

  18. karen said,

    Funny, TT- you should talk of NE kayaking: i saw a piece on our local news about kayaking up and into the winter- and these people were esp fond of the silence and the ice formations. On Lake Champlain.

    When they got too warm, they did a 360, flipping their rigs and then up-righting them again. No permanent upside down business for them.

  19. TT Burnett said,

    Karen, I’d LOVE to go kayaking on Lake Champlain. Never thought of it as a possibility, and now you’ve gone and given me another ambition. I am not so hard-core, however, as to have the slightest desire to do it in the dead of winter ;-)

  20. Icepick said,

    And yes, I really DO mean “Watch out for the pythons!” They’re eating up the Everglades.

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