“What a nice day!” was uttered more than once. A dozen kayakers were happy to be at Sylvan Beach on this 59 degree, crisp, sunny, fall day. Eleven came with kayaks and one came with a plastic boot. They were Birthday Youngster Hugh, Deb, Alice, Amy, Sue, John, Bob, Yingzhen, Ginny, Cindy MP, Kim and Spiderman with a boot and beginnings of a fine beard. Dave said his foot was healing perfectly. Stitches will come out this week. Layers of clothing were left in the car as we realized the sun was warming us nicely. There were just a few bigger boats on the water. We paddled to Fish Creek. Lining the canal were large pipes used for carrying the sludge from the silty bottom to higher ground. Gaggles of geese were everywhere – land, water, sky. (Well, I guess technically they are called gaggles only on land. Crazy English language.) Fortunately, nobody was pooped on. The water was high and we paddled right past our underwater beach to another low area on the opposite side for a break. Bees buzzed our food and one kayaker got stung. Hugh, Bob and Cindy paddle on for a couple more miles then returned to the break beach. One headed back skipping the break.
We took the scenic route back to the launch (south side of the island). The trip mileage was 9.4 for most. Bob and Hugh logged 16.4 miles which included their pre-paddle paddling. One paddler logged an extra 4 miles, half of that by a boat with a motor. She hung a left instead of a right on the canal on her way back. Noticing that the view was not familiar, she waved both hands at a pontoon boat, but they ignored her. A couple of good-hearted fishermen came to the rescue. They welcomed her and her kayak on board for a ride back to the launch. Thanks, guys!!! A text let us know she was on her way and we were glad our hitchhiker was back safe.
Now that everyone was accounted for, we headed for Whitewater Tavern around the corner on Route 31. They had some great brews on tap and the food was good. The meal ended with “Happy Birthday to Hugh, Happy Birthday to Hugh, Happy Birthday dear Hughhh, Happy Birthday to Hugh.” They did not have desserts at this local tavern. Songs have fewer calories anyway.