The water was flat, at times glassy. I could see in it the clouds and the mountains swaying back and forth. I could see in the east a place where there were no clouds, a place where the sun showered its glory on the sea. It looked like a good place, a far away place. Closer and to the south there was a small opening in the cloud cover, and a great ray of sun poured through, as though angels might descend in the heavenly light any moment only to discover whether or not they could swim.
Towards the end of my day I was paddling along an exciting cliff face, made mysterious bythe occasional sea cave.
There were several other fishermen on small motor boats in the area, this could have been a good sign, as in “This is a good place to try your luck Dov.” Or a bad one “Ha ha, you have no chance of competing with real fishermen.” At one point I saw a bunch of fish splash from just beneath the surface, so I circled over the area. There's no way the fish didn't see my lure.
Fish: “Hey, I don't remember seeing you around here.”
Lure: “Bite me.”
Fish: “Fine, be a snob. We'll see how fast you make friends.”
Cloud cover aside, it was a great day to kayak. I pulled into the small port inMonterosso. A few fishing boats and a lifeboat shared the small harbor with me. One of the sides of the inlet had a low wall and I pulled up aside it to get out. It was an easy exit, but after a good day’s paddle there’s nothing like a series of death groans to give satisfaction while debarking.
“ughhh, uoowhth. Egggggahhh.”
“You kayak from Barcelona?” The man asked me.
What man, where did he come from. And could he tell how far I had come just by the quality of my groans? No, the boat club I had stayed with the night before knew I would be coming here and had called ahead.
A former Olympic paddler who now runs a hotel here was happy to let me stay in one of the rooms free of charge.