Thursday, September 29, 2011

Paddling at night, inevitable and pleasurable

The days are getting shorter; sunset comes ever earlier. We're bemoaning the loss, but we're also taking advantage of the opportunity to do more night paddling long before bedtime.

Paddling the Chicago River after dark.
It's beautiful. The streetlights and headlights are wistful; the building lights are lonely and lovely. People are working, commuting, eating, sleeping. And us? We get to paddle!

Paddling on Lake Michigan, with the skyline in the distance. 
There's a lot to learn at night, too. We've discovered that some running lights are brighter than others. (Our current favorite: the Kayalite.) We've discovered that the captains of the frightening Seadog speedboats are far more friendly and professional than we thought, and that hailing them on channel 16 is an effective way to let them know where we are and make sure we aren't in their path. We've discovered that it's hard to switch to the channel they suggest if your VHF radio doesn't have an illuminated display.

We've also discovered that afterwork paddles are a great opportunity to get out with friends who aren't available on weekends. And paddling on Wednesday, in particular, is like a mini-weekend. Two days later, it's the weekend again!

No comments: