Sunday, June 29, 2008

Connubial Prudence

It was one year ago almost to the day since E&H were celebrating their wedding with friends and family in Bristol. A year later we were back in Bristol for a little less formal gathering we were calling the anniversary paddle.

MB, BH, CC, PB, RB, and TM all joined E&H for the paddle. We met at OSA and were planning to paddle to Prudence, portage over, and come back around via Patience. There was fog and thunderstorms in the forecast so we were being cautious and were willing to do whatever paddle seemed safe. We were predictably slow getting on the water as we all visited Cat and checked out her store.

The paddle out of Bristol Harbor is always longer than expected. At one point we were lined up side by side almost as if we were an organized group. And we were all thrilled to finally pass Popasquash Point and head over to Prudence. As usual the eight of us alternated pair and triples as we paddled along and caught up on the stories and trials and excitements in each others lives.

When we landed on Prudence it was feeling hot. We explored the marsh that we were planning to portage over and decided, partly because of the low tide, to skip the carry and paddle up the east side of the island. It was already nearing lunch time so we were searching for a good place to land and eat.

We found a reasonable spot to pull ashore and the usual lunch ritual began. Tim shared his PB&J with Eric, Heather shared her home baked cookies, and various other partially melted and crushed foods were passed around.

As the lunch break was proceeding we noticed we were being approached by three strange kayakers. As they neared we realized it was RB, MR, and MK. MK was sporting a web cam mounted on his helmet. We discussed throwing rocks at them to thwart off the attack but instead decided they might have good food and let them join us. They had left out of Goddard Park and were on a mission a little more challenging than ours.

The wind had picked up a bit as we left Prudence and headed east towards Bristol. The beam sea paddling was comfortable but the southerly leg into the wind was a bit of a slog. Rounding the point, we all enjoyed a little down wind surfing. We each caught at least a few rides, Bob of course leading the way.

As we neared the launch we were joined by RS who was practicing a bit and waiting for us. LB met us on the beach, sidelined with her sore shoulder. We were as slow to get off the water as we were to get on. A number of rolls, some sculling, and a few rescues kept us cool and smiling.

After the paddle we met at the Bee Hive Café on Franklin Street in Bristol. The coffee was good, the pastry was delicious, and there were nice indoor and outdoor places to sit. It was great way to help E&H celebrate their first anniversary.

12 miles total