Sunday, November 3, 2013

Paddling under an annular eclipse

Today at 7:02 am an annular eclipse of the sun was supposed to happen.  The forecast was for rain so there was no chance we'd be able to see it but I figured it might get darkish and be an interesting paddle anyway going from light into darkish and back into the light.

We got going as the eclipse was supposed to be happening.  Maybe the fact that it was overcast and the light was subdued then anyway meant the effect of the eclipse was imperceptible to us.

Solar eclipses, of any kind, don't happen very often in any location as it is, so when one is scheduled I'd just once like for the weather to cooperate so I can take it in.

So, I was disappointed on that front but not so on the paddle.  Winds were calm and the rain held off as we reached Topsail Beach where we got out to stretch our legs.  Behind the beach the water on the lagoon reflected the fall colour of the trees on the far bank.

Fog and clouds hanging just at the top of Topsail Bluff signaled the rain was not far off.  We got back in our kayaks and ...

... decided to paddle the 5 kms diagonally out the bay to visit the drill rig West Aquarius.  When we got close we just innocently crept as close as we could before the security boat came over to sheppard us away, which he did.  Apparently, there was a 500 meter safety exclusion zone.  We didn't argue and politely got ourside the safety perimeter which apparently was out where ...

... this blue supply vessel was stationed.  I think they were amused to see kayaks so far from shore as they crowded on our side up on the bridge to stare down on us.  We waved and they waved back.  After several minutes we were off back to St Philips and the customary after-paddle coffee.

But first we paddled into the harbour and up the river to wash our gear.

Before the day was over though there was some drama to deal with.  I couldn't start the kayak mobile.  We pushed her several times trying to pop the clutch and pick her up to no avail.  To make a sad, long story short, I discovered the negative terminal on the battery was loose and all ended well.

Another short 16 km paddle but now I'm within spitting distance of making 1,000 kilometers paddled for the year so far, along with Dean.  We'll probably do that next weekend.  Maybe champagne will be in order.

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