Playing Against The Wind
The forecast called for high winds, but we thought they would be moderate. The high for the day was supposed to be unseasonably warm. If the Wind didn’t live up to expectations we would be in for a great day on the water. So we loaded up all the kids, hitched up the boat, and headed to the river.
The Wind ended up having one hell of a game. Strong out of the gate, the Wind never took a breather. Despite sun and comfortable temps, we were all reaching for layers as soon as we got out of the truck. On the water the Wind punctuated it’s steady pounding with gusts that threatened to rip the oars from my hands. Lifting spray off the water and blowing it downstream, as if to accent its seriousness.
Less than an hour in, we pulled over for a snack. I rested my arms which had become unaccustomed to the rigors of rowing over the winter months. One of the youngsters asked if we were going to turn around. The river was only flowing downstream. Fortunately the wind was blowing the same direction. We were committed.
Falling into a steady rhythm, the Wind became more of an after thought. Every fifty strokes, the Wind would throw a haymaker. At times it felt as it might lift the back of the boat, causing us to pitch pole, or broach us if we became broadside. A quick compensating stroke, which became instinctual, combated the blow every time.
We flogged the water relentlessly, trying to harness the same enthusiasm the Wind brought to the game. The fish failed to reward our efforts. The kids told jokes, occasionally argued, and we passed rice crackers, cheese, and gatorade between us.
Upon reaching the take out, we had chance to commiserate with the few other brave souls who had been on the river. The consensus was that it was not a “nice” day to be fishing. The score seemed fairly even, few fish were caught by anyone, but our spirits appeared to be higher. The Wind gave us it’s best, but in the end we won. Maybe it was the one hog of a rainbow we caught just shy of the boat ramp. Maybe it was just being out with friends and family making the most of the opportunity. In any case, we’ll take the win.