Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Out on a November afternoon

It's November all over, here.
Here on southern Vancouver Island, we may be in what's called the Banana Belt of Canada, but it's also the rain belt. This time of year, we can expect a series of rainstorms to move in off the Pacific every couple of days.
So when the sky blew itself out and was quiet yesterday, that was my opportunity to get on the water. It wasn't sunny and warm -- heck, it was barely not raining -- but the absence of howling wind and rain was enough to ensure the presence of me and my little kayak on the water.
It's more work to get out of the Beach House when there's a moat of rainwater standing around it on the lawn, but I waded past in my sandals. Soon the little Dragonfly was on the water in Cadboro Bay and I was enjoying big lungfuls of clean, cool air.
I kept the outing short -- just about an hour -- because the clouds were threatening and the breeze picking up and the light was fading pretty fast. Walking back through the park with my kayak on my shoulder, I was stopped by a passer-by. (This happens almost every time, by the way.)
"Aren't your feet cold?" asked a sweet, white-haired lady from the driver's seat of her car.
I looked down at my bare legs and feet in Teva sandals. "Um, not much," I told her. "I'm wearing a wet suit."
"But not on your feet!" She shuddered.
"I have booties for cold days," I said. "When I'm not out for very long, I don't need them."
"This isn't a cold day? I can't believe it. I'd be freezing. You be careful." She rolled up her window and drove off with her nodding friend oblivious in the passenger seat.
Just another reminder that good gear (wetsuit and merino wool sweater) really does keep me warm, but metabolism and activity and general health make all the difference. I'm a white-haired lady too, but there was more difference between us than just the ten years' difference in our ages.

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