Sunday, September 5, 2010

Hobie's on the Horizon

A birthday is looming on the horizon. The number 62 lingers with the sun, taunting me with age spots and freeway lines on my face. Even though I am in the twilight of my life, I’m not going to fade away with the dust. Recently I went to San Diego to visit a friend at their cozy condo on Mission Bay. They just bought two Hobie’s, a cross between a kayak and a paddle boat. Richard gave me the Reader’s Digest version of how to raise and lower the rudder, how to ensure the paddles don’t get lodged in the sand, and how to operate the steering mechanism (turn it to the right, and the boat goes to the right; turn it to the left, and the boat goes to the left). Sounds pretty simple for a senior citizen. Mary Anne and I ventured out into the bay, cruising along, passing the sailboats and paddle boards, sharing the sunshine. We followed a harbor seal into an inlet and discovered he was on his way to greet his young family, jumping and diving, playing tag with each other. There was a point where we were a little fearful one of the seals would not see us and tip our Hobies over. It was a great show, and to think we were in their backyard enjoying the water as much as they were. Then we were off, heading under a bridge and steered our vessels along the shoreline of Sea World. Let's go a little further. We watched the buff surfer types play with their dogs on the beach, the rented fishing boats, and the dads giving their daughters lessons on how to drive wave runners. It was an hour and a half since we left the condo and were about four miles away from home. I realized my bloated bladder would not make it back to the cozy condo. I searched the horizon for a blue structure, otherwise known as a J John, but alas, alack, did not spy one. There was only one thing to do - crawl out of the boat and into the water to warm up the San Diego Bay. Once that little deed was done, we decided we had better head for home. We quickly discovered why we had been cruising along so leisurely - the wind was at our backs. As we headed home, the wind all of a sudden seemed to be gale force. I looked to my right at the horizon, and it appeared that we were sitting still. I paddled harder, faster. Under the bridge. Past the resort. Just beyond the sailboats. My legs were getting tired, and my tailbone screamed its presence. I hugged a buoy for a few minutes just to give my knees a rest, then continued on, cursing the young ones racing in their kayaks. Finally, we spied the shoreline in front of the condo and fell out of the little boat two and a half hours later. Total time on cruise - 4 hours. The sixties will be a great ride with many more Hobie's on the horizon for this old fart.

I'm trying to blog my way to the AARP Orlando@50 conference. This blog post is an entry in their competition to find the official blogger to travel to and cover the event.