Friday, June 24, 2016

FULL MOON & SUMMER SOLSTICE

                     
                 I slip, I slide, I gloom, I glance, Among my skimming swallows;
                 I make the netted sunbeam dance Against my sandy shallows.
                 I murmur under moon and stars In brambly wildernesses;
                 I linger by my shingly bars; I loiter round my cresses;
                 And out again I curve and flow To join the brimming river,
                 For men may come and men may go, But I go on forever.
                 Lord Alfred Tennyson

It's an old saying we have all heard before. The two best reasons to own a kayak or canoe are sunsets and sunrises. Who can argue? The sunlight flashing in each droplet from our paddles as the water glows in a golden glitter. No one can resist the sight of tranquil lake basking in either new or dimming light. Nevertheless, in their confines we find the moon giving us another reason to stay a float.

"One summer night, out on a flat headland, all
but surrounded by the waters of the bay, the horizons were remote and distant rims on the edge of space." wrote Rachel Carson environmental activist,  "Millions of stars blazed in darkness, and on the far shore a few lights burned in cottages. Otherwise there was no reminder of human life. My companion and I were alone with the stars: the misty river of the Milky Way flowing across the sky, the patterns of the constellations standing out bright and clear, a blazing planet low on the horizon."

Carson who alerted the world to the impact of fertilizers and pesticides in the environment, best know for her book the Silent Spring, went on to describe how an ordinary night on the water was  extraordinary, and often looked past by many.
"It occurred to me that if this were a sight that could be seen only once in a century, this little headland would be thronged with spectators. But it can be seen many scores of nights in any year, and so the lights burned in the cottages and the inhabitants probably gave not a thought to the beauty overhead; and because they could see it almost any night, perhaps they never will."


This past week however, the summer solstice, the longest day of the year and June's full moon called the Strawberry Moon by early Native Americans marking the beginning of the strawberry season, coincided together in a once-in-a-lifetime occurence. This event happens only once every 70 years.
With about 17 hours of light, the day didn't want to yield to the night still the lunar globe burned bright in the twilight.

And as the sun slipped behind the horizon and the moon climbed into the evening sky, a hush came over the handful of transfixed boaters I was leading Lake Natoma during a  Current Adventures Kayak School & Trips full moon paddle.  Our voices had seemed to be bewitched and taken away in total fascination. The moon has that kind of power. If it can control the tides of the sea, rending one speechless under its luster is effortless to it.

"There is something haunting in the light of the moon," said writer Joseph Conrad, "It has all the dispassionateness of a disembodied soul, and something of its inconceivable mystery."

The mystery of the moon and stillness of the lake rekindled our senses while gliding silently along, soaking in night's peaceful enchantment. All around me, I heard the gentle sound of lapping of the water against the bow. The air was fresh, damp and motionless. In each stroke we paddled its coolness fill our lungs. The water and night soon engulfed me into the darkness. Looking out across the silver lining of the lake other kayakers were now fleeting shadows afloat on the shimmering haze.


Check your calendar for next full moon and bring that special someone along for a romantic voyage or the whole family for moonlit kayak adventure. Many outfitter or local state park across the country  offer sunset and full moon paddling sessions and provide all the gear for reasonable price.

If you want to go contact:
Current Adventures Kayak School and Trips 
PHONE: 530-333-9115 or Toll-Free: 888-452-9254
FAX: 530-333-1291
USPS:Current Adventures, P.O. Box 828, Lotus, CA 95651
info@currentadventures.com
owner Dan Crandall dan@kayaking.com