Total downwind day for yesterday’s paddle. While the ride wasn’t as wild as the stretch between Westfield, NY, and Erie, Pa, it was definitely fun, fast, and interesting. Interesting because the chop that comes back at you from the wind pushing the water so hard onto the shores in this shallow inland ocean makes hooking up rides on bumps a bit of a challenge. It was this same phenomenon that helped move me forward with not too much of a struggle in the up-wind stretches that kept me from enjoying longer rides on this particular downwind run. So I went out a little further to cut some milage off from hugging the coast as well as ride some longer bumps.
Dan Smith, who organized a group paddle meet me at the breakwater in Cleveland, and who has a YouTube channel devoted to all things outside on the unSaltedGR8LKS, took a really cool shot of me-I wasn’t really as close to that tanker as it appears-here is a link to his FB page with the photo.
Check out his you tube channel here. Dan is all about highlighting the awesome adventures to be had in and around the Great Lakes. http://bit.ly/unSaltedGR8LKS
Post paddle shower and settling, in we went to Martino’s International Cafe – a very good place-I’m determined to eat as much local caught Lake Erie perch as I can! Yum! Our host Coleen McFarland knows the owners and of course we are all about supporting local so it was the perfect spot. Good food, good beer, and great company-it was me, Lindsy, Coleen, and Dan as his wife Megan. We had a great time chatting about crazy politics (it’s all nuts), water related fun, and more.
I had been admiring Dan and Megan’s hooks-he had designed them and made a mold for his gorgeous pewter hooks. They had their spirit creature-a blue heron-in relief on them. I think Dan could make a killing selling those hooks-he uses a Hawaiian style hook-the kind that water folk wear for “safety on the water.” Unfortunately I had lost the one that was given to me after my first big trip in ’07. My bird, the one I’m still hoping to find that “flew the coop,” had chewed on my necklace and apparently undone the knot. Unfortunately I didn’t think about the knot being possibly undone before going swimming last summer when it came off. Not that I’m an overly superstitious person, but I’ve definitely been missing it.
While getting ready to leave Dan and his wife came over. They had a story to share about visiting the Virgin Islands, I think it was, where they had a kayaking incident. The seas had turned rough, and Megan had gotten dumped from her kayak. It got really ugly and both Dan and Megan would have surely drowned, they believed, if it hadn’t been for some local youth in a zodiac who rescued them. It sounded pretty dam harrowing! When Dan got back to shore he thought he had lost the hook, but apparently it was sticking in his arm. He told me about the person who gave it to him, who told him to pass it on to another once it had done it’s job with him, which I guess he felt it did. So he passed it on to me. What an honor and how powerful a story. And yes, I will have to pass it on!
Here are some tidbits about water and water quality to chew on-
Dan pointed out the intake for Cleveland’s water supply, way out past the breakwater protecting Cleveland’s harbor areas. It had me thinking. Right now fracking for gas is on full throttle, gas exporters, power companies, and other related industries are chomping at the bit for more and more shale gas development. Problem is, this process is exempt from the Clean Water Act. So is waste disposal.
For some background and what the continued unregulated ( regarding water) development of shale gas means for your drinking water-please check out this informative page- http://www.weather.com/science/environment/news/obama-administration-protects-drinking-water-millions-americans
Each state with shale gas (and even ours, NJ, which doesn’t but which currently has no ban on taking fracking waste and which actually had a leak of this toxic stuff back when it did) has been doing battles to keep the toxic waste out of sewer plants, none of which were designed to take this nasty stuff- http://www.cleanwateraction.org/page/fracking
Please read Hudson Riverkeeper’s information regarding EPA’s thoughts on this- http://www.riverkeeper.org/news-events/news/safeguard-drinking-water/frackinggas-drilling/riverkeeper-what-epa-really-said-about-frackings-potential-to-harm-our-drinking-water-resources/
When we have glaring water scarcity issues within our own country, it does not make sense to jeopardize or put our fresh (and salty stuff down below) water at risk. You simply cannot be healthy with contaminated water. And you need to protect what you have-especially when we are seeing this valuable resource being used so completely up and folks going to ever more extremes to get it- http://earthjustice.org/blog/2015-june/california-s-drive-for-deeper-water-leaves-state-on-shaky-ground
To me, it’s just another reason we need those new Clean Water Rules!