Thursday, March 14, 2013

Still More To Catch Up On, and Floating Garbage

Another "no paddling" day even though the weather is spring-ish (well, it sure aint winter here) and no wind. By noon, we had done three errands -- gone to the nursing home to see my Dad, borrowed Mom's car to bring over a sturdy little table for Dad, and then Bernie went back to bring Dad's magnifying reader to put on the table -- and then, after Bernie carried the hernia-making reader (like a microfiche reader) he trotted off for the bus to visit Marlene in hospital. Sad to report that one of our paddlers, Marlene, is now in hospital again, this time with a newly-repaired broken thigh. Her role in paddle outings this summer is likely to be limited to ground crew and SPOT message receiver. It'll be kind of hard to fit a thigh cast into any kayak cockpit, but maybe she'll be towed along in the red Pamlico or ride up front on the sit-on-top inflatable StraitEdge2 double...
A rare example of floating couch photographed by John -- not Marlene's summer kayaking gear!

Still thinking positive kayaking thoughts about making the world a better place for small boats. With that in mind, I ask: Did you see any trash in the water the last time you took out the kayaks for a quick circuit of the lake? We did, and collected a few beer cans that were drifting. How about trash in the ocean? That trash isn't as easy to tag as the fault of "yesterday's lazy drunk person" because some trash floats a long, loooooong way from whereever it was discarded. Some trash is just bewildering, other stuff has names and addresses on it. Would sure love to make whoever dropped this couch in the Gorge haul it to the dump!
Some trash from the Japanese Tsunami is making its way to our shores here on Vancouver Island, but we've got to keep that trash in perspective, as local cartoonist Raeside shows in his recent drawing.

Thanks to Raeside for his always-insightful editorial cartoons!

Keep in mind that it's a good idea for us small boaters to pick up some of the most troublesome floating garbage, carefully, and to participate in local clean-up events for local waterways. Some kayak rental places will give paddlers a free garbage bag to take along, and if the paddlers return with a full trash bag the rental bill is half price. Small efforts pay off a little at a time, and so does keeping in touch with the local governments' programs for landfills and other waste disposal.

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