A patch of blue

Last week ended very well, with an unexpected opportunity to paddle and splash about for a couple of hours. A summer building the trail, learning new skills, and not chopping or shooting off toes has been great, but I’ve missed spending time on the water, and I’ve missed hanging out with younger community members. That was all put right last Friday.


At a meeting earlier in the week, where I was nodding along and looking interested behind my mask, a colleague mentioned she was one adult paddler short for her planned kayak activity. Being a considerate almost outdoorsman, I waited an appropriate amount of time for someone else to volunteer. When almost half a second had passed, I shouted out, “Me! Me! Pick me! I’ll do it! Pick me!” – I was going to volunteer sooner, but it’s best to give everyone a chance.

To my astonishment, I got away with this appalling behaviour – I’m sure it had nothing to do with colleagues wanting me far from the office on a Friday afternoon – and the next day found myself part of a group of three 8 year olds and three adults. Two and a half adults? Three adults on paper.

Three 8 year olds and two and a half adults

I had a lovely time catching up with L, T, and L. I hadn’t seen them in nearly six months, since schools closed and we all disappeared into our small bubbles. We paired off in three kayaks. L sat in the front and instructed me on how hard to paddle and which way to steer us. She helped by doing the opposite and seeing how wet I’d get from her enthusiastic paddling. Teamwork. I couldn’t have been happier!

Spotting sea stars clinging to Lyche Island

We paddled along the shore, admiring the big fishing vessels, waving at fishermen and pleasure boaters, and gradually improving our synchronized paddling. We crossed the inlet, circled Lyche Island, spotting sea stars, watching the bald eagles overhead, making our way to Port Albion, then Hitacu Dock, smiling at the wading blue herons and at another bald eagle standing in the mud flats.

Patches of blue

All this took place under grey skies, all grey apart from a small patch of blue. Our kayaks were also small patches of blue, but as we laughed and splashed our way up and down the channel, we were anything but blue. It’s great to be young. Or almost young.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you have an enjoyable weekend!

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I am a would be outdoorsman - that is if I had more time, skills and knowledge. When I can, I love being outdoors, just camping, hiking, snowboarding, xc skiing, snowshoeing, paddling a canoe or trying something new. What I lack in ability, I make up for in enthusiasm and having a go. I'd never really survive for long out there in the wild, but I enjoy pretending I could if I had to...

15 thoughts on “A patch of blue”

  1. Paddling together at season’s end is excellent teamwork, Adam. Way to celebrate– tangled up in blue (okay, I just saw the M.S. documentary on Dylan)– the bliss of patchy sky & drifting boat! Glad you had a fine weekend on the water.


      1. I missed this reply – oops. I’ll check out what access there is by road. Probably gated, with all the extra “campers” in cars over the summer. I’ll let you know.


  2. Wonderful to read about the fabulous day out on the water and staying young at heart!! Glad you gave others that half second to think about volunteering and that you had an enthusiastic paddler showing you the way and a chance to catch up with the kids! Loved the photo with the perfect two and a half adults caption and the description of the day sounds so enjoyable that you may need to become a regular kayaking volunteer. Life transitions for many this week as the school year begins and I hope everything goes well in your community.


    1. Thank you! I’d “volunteer” every week if I had the chance!
      Yes, back to school this week, although it’s a staggered return, with teachers setting up for two days, and then short orientation visits for smallish groups of students at each of the schools. “Real” school will then start the next Monday, once everybody understands and is comfortable with the new protocols. There are a lot of families yet to register their young ones, so it’ll be a busy few days ahead.
      All will be well, as well as can be planned for, and then it’s wait and see if we get any COVID-19 cases…
      I hope you’ve had a pleasant long weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you. Ill probably be writing about it before too long. Been a great summer for eastern Canada, weather wise and with the Atlantic bubble, I seen and did a lot.


  3. I so very much enjoyed this post, PC. I think it’s one of your best ever, and it is easy to see how much you enjoyed this event. Fun description of how you got involved. I laughed out loud at the “Pick Me” paragraph. The kayaking descriptions, your connection with the kids, what you found along the way, all so refreshing. Fantastic to spot sea stars and bald eagles. Also enjoyed the photos, being in the kayak so close to the water, the waves and clouds and all the excitement in between. When there are moments of feeling blue, I recommend you read this post, it’s happy and charming and really sweet on life.


    1. Thanks, Jet! We had a fine time, and I hadn’t realized how much I’d been missing the younger students. I’m happy to say I’ll be seeing more of them in the coming week after a steady trickle back to school. The outdoor away trips tend to be with older youth, and we always have a great time, but it’s fun to connect with the young ones.
      Thanks for your kind words over the past few posts, much appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

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