Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Short Paddle and A Short, Fast Walk

Tuesday’s paddle started off with half a bag of water in the middle of nowhere, or at least, in the middle of a place where it was not easy to get water.  The paddle was long and hard, and when I finished I was a little dehydrated.  Not bad considering it was a first in a couple of months of day long paddles, and from now on I'll be taking my water bottle with me when I leave my boat so that it won't happen again.

Yesterday I was feeling sick and decided that I would only do a short distance, around the corner of the town to the next port.  By early afternoon when I was ready to leave I had been drinking all day and felt right as rain.

Day 31:

There was a slight headwind and almost no waves.  The weather was the warmest in a long time.  The birds where chirping in the way that they often do, except for the seagulls who don't chirp.  At sea, seagulls make people sounds in the distance.  Often, when I hear a seagull I turn around to look for a nearby ship on which a mariner may have spoken to me.

Most of my way I paddled along a very nice park.  After I was around the corner I had a view of Nice, my next stop.


I pulled into Port Antibes, and like many of the oldports, it was guarded by a great fortress.  It was a really big port with two captain’s offices.  The first one I had to climb up a five foot pier to get to, no easy feat from an Epic, only to find that that they were closed.  It was a captain’s office for the section of the port that had huge motor yachts that my parents could fit their house into several times over, and gorgeous double masted sailing boats that I expect carried more wealth on them then many of the pirate ships of old.

I paddled farther into the port to the other captain’s office, and the receptionist didn't know if I could leave my kayak there overnight so she sent me to her boss.  He was extremely welcoming.

The walk back to the apartment I had been lent was about a mile and a half, and I walked along a main commercial road loaded with shops and colorful Christmas decorations.  I was looking for a place to get an internet connection since I hadn't been able to in a while.  I walked into a bar called the Blue Lady, where they spoke to me in fluent English, which was a blessing to my ears.  They had a wi-fi connection, but upon inspection it wasn't working.  I'm in the habit of ordering tea or whatever, and asking it to be brought to me in 10 minutes, because I've often been promised a connection and ordered something only to find that the connection is down.  They also had a friendly crowd and good music, if I were to drink that would have been a good place to do it.

I continued walking back to the apartment.  I couldn't help but think how wonderful things were.

I passed a store that sold fitness food.  I walked in, the walls were lined with plastic jars containing unknown contents that failed to look even remotely appetizing.  The vendor approached me and asked me what I was looking for.

“Do real athletes use this stuff?  Not just the ones who are paid to.”  I asked.

“Yes of course.  What are you looking for?”

“Well, I kayak, a lot.  I kayaked from Barcelona to here.  What would you recommend?”

“Really?  Well, then you want some of this.”   He said definitely, cutting across the store to pull out what looked like a 50 pound bag of dog biscuits.


“Are you looking for a muscular physique?  Or are you going for that trim look?”

I wasn't sure how to answer.  I tried “I want to kayak fast.”

“Ah, then this is what you want!” He walked over to another bottle that looked like the others.  It wasn't very big and contained 'Energy!!'.  He told me it cost 33 Euro.

“I'll think about it.”  I lied.

Later I went into a bar and asked if they had an internet connection, they didn't but I was able to refill my water bottle, and was back on my way.

As I was almost at the apartment I walked into a restaurant.  Yes they had wi-fi.  Excellent.  I had been carrying my computer in my left hand so I put it down and hooked up.  Or at least, I would have, except it wasn't in my left hand any more.  Nor was it in my right.  It wasn't in my pack either.*  I was out of the restaurant and rushing back the way I had come.  I know that I had it in a computer game store that I had walked into to ogle earlier, so it must have been between there and here.  I rushed into the bar where I had refilled my water and began to look around.  The bartender didn't say anything and I began to look for it frantically where I had been standing.  I asked the bar tender.  As I began talking, extremely agitated, he got it for me from behind the bar.

Today I hope to paddle to Nice, it's not far but the day is windy in a bad way.

* Really, Dov?  Really? *sigh* ~ ed.