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Raymond’s Gut Inlet from my Kayak

Each spring presents its own challenges.  The spring of 2013 has shown us yet another pattern.   There is not nearly as much warmth as we enjoyed during the spring of 2012.  Moisture also has not been lacking like it was in the spring of 2011.  Even during the last days of April we have seen some early morning temperatures in the low forties.

Still it has been a pleasant spring and the only serious heat we have endured was on a trip to Northern Virginia during their brief hot spell around April 10.  It has been a while since I have managed to slide my kayak into the water, but a few days ago I felt the need to change that.

Maybe it was just the nice day and the blue sky reflected on the water that got me motivated to paddle out to the river.  It could have been the fishing license that I renewed earlier in the day or just the desire to get away from my desk and the computer.

The computer has been my ball and chain recently as I have worked to finish our revised Emerald Isle Travel Guide for 2013.  Writing a book can be a very solitary experience but with all the technical challenges of self-publishing, it can also be frustrating.

I certainly needed some time in my kayak.  It was also nice to wet a line even though I did not see a fish other than a mullet which seemed to be trying to jump into my kayak.  I have never had a lot of early spring fishing luck.  However, as I have often said, you do not need to catch fish to benefit from some time fishing.

It takes me about ten to fifteen minutes to paddle from our dock to near the middle of the White Oak River. The wind direction makes a big difference and it is a little hard to tell exactly the where the middle of the river is when you are sitting on the water in a kayak in a river nearly two miles wide.  I started my paddling on a falling tide late in the day so I knew from the start that my journey would last less than two hours.

Still those two hours broke the routine that I had faced.  The time on the water cleared my head and gave me renewed energy to tackle the final details of the book.  I will have more time to fish now that the book is done in time for the travel season.  My self-imposed deadline of the the third week of April was a challenge given that I just finished another book, A Taste of the Wild, Canada’s Maritimes, on March 1.  Actually the hardest part is promoting a self-published book, but I do not plan to let that get in the way of my season of fishing.

I moved to the coast to live a different way and part of that is learning the right balance of play and work.  I have worked very hard getting the books out.  Now I hope to have some fun in my kayak and skiff as the waters warm up.  There are some fish that need to be caught.

The best part of kayaking is always coming back into the inlet.  On my recent trip, the blue reflected in the dark waters made for a great picture that I used in this post.  Once inside the inlet, I was away from the winds out on the river.  The few degrees of extra warmth felt nice as the day began to cool.  With no wind I could glide along towards my home dock with almost no effort or thought.  It was a good way to end the day.

The short kayak trip made me anxious to get back out on the river and spend some time sitting on my favorite oyster rocks.  Hopefully it will not be long before the winds and weather conspire to get me out on the water once again.  Being on the water is part of life here, and it does provide some balance that is sorely missing in many urban areas.