•≈ Lunar Tide
Monday, 21 January 2008
My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun...

Taken through my sizeable Schmidt Cass telescope with a low powered Baader Orthoscopic eyepiece, the moon floating over the snow toothed Cuillin & the glittering straits of a million Eldila, out toward Torridon. Tonight our unseen sled dog of kayaking tides is nearly full. The races were streaming down through Kyle, unstoppable in their march. A free ride in the right direction for the kayaker with the wisdom of timing on his side, an uphill thrash in the SoF if you are blind to the direction of stampede & the jellyfish rave.

Earlier this evening I caught sight of headtorches & figures scampering across the ridge toward Sligachan. In the small hours, as the sky rotates, I will get coffee on the boil & gaze into Zeta Orionis, Alnitak, Alnilam & the horse latitudes. Only 2 days until I can hit the water again. Night kayaking is an underrated adventure, crossing open inland seas & straits, blacked out & cutting smooth water with stealth, I carry minimilist equipment, no nav aids or electronics, no BA, flares or any light that hinders my ability to make use of spectral range limitations. Dive strobe & an Underwater Kinetic Mini aside. That is a night run, the Skye bridge blinking green & red at it's gaping apex; a far distant orange flicker of streetlights dot the black edges where only a few hours before, shrill screams & echoes of laughter drifted across the water from emptying bars.
I listen motionless, far out on the water surface, & moving North my eyes catch occasional white beam traces of cars snaking through the Cuillin at 3am, those barbaric teeth fading into cloud peaks & flattened lines as I meander up along Rona & through the z-berth. Cutting in through Garbh Eilean for the slingshot & swinging momentarily alongside the rocks, black wire haired fingers of seaweed stroke the hull & something spooks violently on the shoreline. I find my hand has already checked my Seal knife but quickly dismiss my foolish reaction. A sea otter? possibly... Occasional bats will blip the kayak with sonar & for all I know they could be subcontracted by QinetiQ, & I stroke away fluidly through the Inner Sound & turn for Portree, performing a few roll variations in the black depths of a mid way no mans land. I hear a whale blowholing out in the darkness NW of my course & cutting my rythm to an all stop, I lay my torso onto the forward deck, lowering my silhouette but more importantly, adjusting my sightline along the vague horizon to pick out any shape in the darklight, but I am unable to make visual contact. We are each lit by only the singular awarness of eachothers presence, & each under the pull of that watchful lunar eye, both sharing for a moment, a seperated existance, we pindots say our farewells & coast away within the shadow cast by an entire planet...

Now that's a night out.
posted by •≈ Sgian Dubh at 23:10:00 |

2 Retorts:

At 23 January 2008 at 12:37, Blogger eurion

Nice shot!
There is a wonderful feeling to being out under a clear starlit sky.
Remembering many night time trecks across the Brecon Beacons led me to begin night time paddling.
Those that ask why are best left questioning. They are yet to discover the magic!

Did you know your inviting link to technical night kayak goes nowhere . . . or have I missed it?


At 23 January 2008 at 22:06, Blogger •≈ Sgian Dubh

Thanks again Eurion. A layered exposure. Black & white is great for moon detail. Copernicus stands out aye, 30-km wide, 1-km deep, the dust unmoved since impact & thrown out in 800-km streaks...Some Peanut Catcher that rock is. But yes, I digress, night kayaking is underrated or maybe...excused, more often through a lack of an individuals confidence. This is something else I can fix.

Aye, all the links in that related section along with Technical Night Kayak have been pre-written & contain lots of detailed information, but the masterplan was to incorporate this blog into a stand-alone website & then upload the pages so others could reference them easily. I initially thought of using a pdf format for the blog but decided against it. This will all happen in the near future, rather than the later future. The same with the rolling video links near the top right of the page, & the trips linked to wiki. These trips & moreover the vids, will be detailed & aimed at helping kayakers to tackle Greenlandic technical rolls, & their approaches to rolling overall & give them reference to each increment of movement & correction of that detail. Of course, I'd prefer to do it hands-on standing in the water. This may grow. There is no substitute to working with individuals, since they are.

Now to get my thumb out my ass. Thanks for the nudge. :o)