The tidal push up the Chesapeake and the point-to-point nature of the geography allowed for an easy paddle and minimal navigational issues from Cape Charles to Onancock. The wind gusted out of the east, broadsiding me as I went by the little cuts and harbor entrances. Shallow areas weren’t a big deal, and actually enabled me to stop and stretch my legs every now and then.
The sun even tried to break out a couple of times and dark clouds rimmed the southwestern horizon of the Chesapeake. The onslaught of wind when I finally made it into the cut going to Onancock slowed me down dramatically. It’s always the last five-ten miles that “get you.” Sometimes they are super sweet and easy and sometimes it’s as if conditions stack up just to test you.
It was mostly a quiet, contemplative type of paddle. An osprey swooped down not to far from me and snatched a fish. The school then fluttered with a collective splash. They did this a couple of times before I realized that they seemed to do that every time a tern or seagull swooped down for a snack, too. This fluttering collective splash seemed to startle the birds, and they backed off. It was funny to watch. I don’t know if the fish were reacting to something under them or if they did this to back off the birds, but that was the affect, anyway.
While I was paddling thoughts of my conversation with John the sailor/train engineer went thru my head. On discussions about wealth and the consolidation of it to ensure that one’s kids and grandkids are “set.” He mentioned that is all anyone tried to do. I kinda had sat in silence, mostly cause I was tired, but I wish I had answered, “well, this is why I’m doing what I’m doing. I don’t have a lot of wealth. But this country has a lot of natural resources which translates into a kind of wealth. Certainly clean air, clean water, and a healthy ocean translate into more solid future for my kids, and other people’s kids. I prefer to leave my kids with a world and a healthy ocean, one better than I found it. It’s really all I can do, which is why I’m doing what I’m doing, and why I’m paddling to the March for the Ocean on June 9th.”
But I didn’t. My bad.
The area around where I’m staying is now locked in fog. Visibility is way down, to something like a half a mile. So I will not be able to see the island where I’m paddling to. I’ll hafta find it on the GPS and dead reckon. I know basically where it is, but it’s also easy to miss if you aren’t paying attention. At least the only people on the water will be crabbers and not speeding yahoos.
I’m staying at a friend of Kim’s, a guy named Darryl, who simply has a slice of heaven here in Onancock. They treated me to dinner last night and it’s coffee and donuts from a famous bakery this morning! The Corner Bakery, I think it’s called. So many places to come back to! Would love to get my family down here-the DelMarva Peninsula is super special.
Kim also told me about a program that I forget what university has-where they get the kids in kayaks circumnavigating the whole DelMarva Peninsula. I would love to learn more about that program. And I definitely want to come back and explore the islands on the coast some more. It kind of kills me to have not gone out on the ocean at all. Next time!