July 5, 2006
Yesterday, on a whim, Ksenia and I decided to celebrate the fourth by renting a kayak and paddling down to see the Boston fireworks.
I learned a few things.
- I'm "ok" at paddling if you define it by being able to make a kayak go forward, and roughly steer, but absolutely terrible if the definition of ok includes not getting a few gallons of water in the damn kayak. Stuff in the bottom of the kayak was drenched. Also, close quarters manuevering was like learning parallel parking all over again.
- I prefer kayaks over canoes, because they seem less... campy, in both a figurative and literal sense. Plus the oar seems a bit more fiddley when you switch sides.
- Muchies might have been a good thing to bring along...I didn't know what kind of room there'd be for one.
- But maybe not beverages, because of the annoyance of having to locate a restroom. This we learned from experience.
- Consider investing in a small anchor if you want to park your kayak...having to constantly adjust one's position while waiting for and viewing fireworks gets old after a while. Ksenia and I were quite fortunate, we made friends with a fellow kayaker named Rochelle, who was teaming up with 4 folks in a canoe... and they had an anchor! We lashed our watercraft together, Rochelle even passed around some munchkin bottles of Pinot Noir, and in general we had a grand old time.
- It's a little disconcerting when you hear the concert from speakers behind you before the sound from the stage speakers has carried over the water.
- It's a long way from the Charles River Canoe & Kayak (a couple of miles maybe? I was trying to figure it out) to where they have the fireworks. And, of course, even longer back.
Ready for action:
About to set out:
Some waterfowl along the way:
I like this shot of Ksenia, and also how you can see where all the boats are anchored waiting for the big event:
Rochelle et al used the good ship Integrity as a reference point. Also, you can see the Citgo sign, or at least make out its reflection:
We were pretty dang close to the fireworks, they really filled the sky and the sound was amazing. (I think I respond more to the sound than the light with these things.) I like the new ones, lots of noise, with many more miniblasts filling the sky. Though in those photo, the fireworks look a bit like a Sanrio critter. You can judge how close were from the silhouette of the other boats:
Nostalgia of the Moment
Speaking of Dylan and Sarah (as EB was in the sidebar) I dug up pictures from July 26, 1998 when I went kayaking on the Charles with them and their friend Mandy.
Two points: I think it is a even more fun to have a definite goal such as as "seeing fireworks" than just "paddling around for a bit", and man... in 1998 I had a craptacular digital camera. That last picture of Sarah was ok though.
Link of the Moment
Fun Facts about Springfield's Fireworks. It was my first clue about the names for the various types, which the wikipedia page now covers in greater detail, from Peonies to Cakes and including my favorites, Salutes... just a big sound and a big noise. (Heh, that first link was probably in my backlog since before I knew much about wikipedia.)