Summer Morning Kayaking

Submitted by OcracokeWaves on Tue, 07/17/2012 - 13:40.
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Kayaking on a warm summer morning reminds me a little of cross country skiing on a cold winter morning.

In both cases your mind is telling you that by doing nothing you'll be more comfortable.  If you just stay inside and enjoy either the cool or the warmth, life will be good. Unfortunately I have never created a memory worth saving by sitting around inside.

The reality is that if you have done either cross country skiing or kayaking very much, you know that you will have lots of fun once you get started.  I've been cross country skiing when the temperature was below zero and had a great time.

I've also been kayaking when the temperature on shore was pretty nasty, and found that things were actually quite pleasant out on the water.  I've gotten calls from my wife wondering why I am still out on the water when it is so hot and miserable.

The truth is that if the water temperature is in the mid to low eighties and the air temperature is around ninety, you'll likely be more comfortable on the water especially if there is a nice breeze.

That was the case on July sixteenth when I went out for an early morning kayaking trip which stretched into late morning because I was having such a good time. 

Of course what make a good time for one person doesn't necessarily work for everyone.  We live on a small gut just off the White Oak River. It takes me six or seven minutes to paddle from my house out into the river.

Once into the river, I have a number of choices.  A lot depends on the wind and the time of year.  Sometime I will head out to some favorite oyster rocks in the middle of the river.  It is a nice paddle, and an especially good place to catch fish in the fall of the year.

Other times I will turn north and head along the shore and fish around the docks that stick out into the White Oak.  Flounder like to hide around the docks, and we love eating flounder fresh out of the river.

On July sixteenth I headed north to try my luck along the docks because there a nice breeze on an incoming tide that made drifting across a couple of spots that I like to fish just about perfect.

A lot of time drifting caused by winds or tides can be a real pain if you're fishing from kayak and want to fish a specific spot.  When I expect wind or current and know that I am targeting a special spot, I usually take my kayak anchor.

However, I am a big fan of drift fishing, and love it when the conditions are just right for it.  Usually I use a jig head with some sort of Gulp attached to it.  I have a variety of retrieves that I will use.  Sometimes I just left the Gulp bounce along the bottom and hope it will hit a flounder on the head.

I managed one not quite keeper size flounder on my trip.  I had hoped to meet up with the very nice flounder that I lost the previous week.  Still I had a great time, and in fact I got into a little trouble with my wife since I stayed out so long.

This can happen to all fishermen.  We get so focused on fishing that we lose track of time.  When you are fishing in beautiful surroundings, and the weather is comfortable, the problem is compounded.  Fortunately the wonderful ladies that are married to fishermen are tolerant of us being late when things are nice on the water.  They might not let us forget it, but they put up with our tardiness.

You could make the case that I was just delaying the inevitable challenge of mowing the yard that was waiting for me.  Actually, I knew that I was going to pay a steep price for staying out so long, because it mean that I would have to start mowing at 11 AM instead of 8 AM.

Anyone in the South know the challenge that presents.  I have written about the stubbornness that it takes to mow a yard in the middle of the day.  Fortunately I didn't have any challenges finishing the yard after my morning kayaking.

The nice breeze that sustained me while I was kayaking also kept me cool enough to avoid a heat stroke while I was mowing.  Pushing the mower around was a good way to get the kinks out of my legs after being in the kayak so long.

On top of that I was warm enough by the time I hit the showers that I didn't have to waste any hot water.  I was able to take a cold water shower which actually isn't very cold this time of the year in Carteret County since our pipes are not buried very deep.

There weren't many dry threads on my clothes so they went directly to the washing machine.  It also took me most of the rest of the day to rehydrate myself, but that is just part of the equation.

Actually mowing the yard in the heat is also a rewarding experience. I suspect the feeling of mowing on a really hot day is a little like an Indian sweat lodge.  I know it feels really good to hit the shower after I'm done mowing.

If you are interested in more information about our Coastal Paradise, can read about me being out on the water in our skiff on an especially beautiful blue water morning, or you can purchase my book, "A Week at the Beach, An Emerald Isle Travel Guide."  The Kindle book has 87 pages of area information and lots of pictures of the area's water and beaches.