As April came to a close, I was informed I’d need to move. COVID-19 had its first real impact on me. The owners of the Salmon Beach cabin I was renting planned to move back in, opting to rent their home in North Proctor. I moved north to Bellevue and into my girlfriend’s small place. (I’m sure that thrilled the squirrels!). We’d previously discussed the idea, so it was an opportunity rather than done out of necessity.
Being off the water and further north, and with fewer paddles scheduled, I looked for other options. I joined the North Sound Sea Kayak Association (NSSKA).
This would turn out to be a different group of paddlers than I was expecting. Less organized and rule bound than my other club, it all felt more relaxed. The paddlers are predominantly at an L2 ACA assessment level. I didn’t have as much cumulative time on the water as a few of the members, though likely had more experience in open, rough waters, and conditions. A couple of conversations revealed I had more rescue practice (and not practice) in conditions than many in the group. A vastly different kayaking experience when many of those on the water with me are L3 – L5 certified instructors, with considerably better skills and more time in the cockpit.
I had nothing to prove – to them or to myself.
The common thread – how friendly and inviting everyone was.