Monday, January 14, 2013

Foggy river row

In the middle of January, a warm day prompts a 4 mile row up and down the river.  The air so moist that is becomes dew on my hair and nose.

The visibility can be measured in hundreds of feet, as in about 500 feet.  Sound is takes on a very different quality in the fog.  Direction becomes disconnected to sound and very thinly connected to vision.  Direction becomes more strongly connected to the tides current and to the light breeze that I can feel coming from where the fog is thickest.

This is one of the reasons I enjoy rowing, and paddling and sailing so much more than any motorized method of movement.  I can hear and sense and enjoy, undisturbed by the thump and bombast of a motor.  The splash of the oars becomes loud.

Nobody else is on the river here right now.  There is no tug, or barge, moving out in the fog.  If there was I could feel it in the movement of the water, I would feel the thrum of the diesel engine thru the water.  There are no other craft on this part of the river today, it is mine and mine only.

The shore fades in and out of visibility.  The shore is ragged and jumbled, a mess after the storm, Sandy has had her way with the river and the land close to it.  Signs of the rebuke that the storm gave us for building so close to the waters edge, and so thoughtlessly.  The places that were wild before the storm, look little worse from the storm, except where debris from humans has washed up and lodged in the reeds and snags of tree roots.

The skiff is perfect for days like this.  She rows easily, smoothly and carries well, gliding on as I rest on my oars so as to listen and look around.  When I loose the shore to the fog, the skiff feels secure and I feel no panic about not knowing where the rest of the world is, I know where I am.

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