Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Calm Before the Storm......

Mother Nature can be cruel at times when kayak anglers are in the midst of planning an outing, and even worse, while you are out on the water.  But every once it awhile, she can be a kind and generous soul.  Such was the case at the monthly Central VA Heroes On the Water event at Sandy River Reservoir yesterday here in Virginia.  The forecast called for periods of rain with a chance for a strong thunderstorm, but the members of the leadership team mustered the troops and we headed to the site not wanting to risk the chance of denying our heroes one of the few chances they have to enjoy time away on the water.
When we arrived, the sky looked ominous, but the approaching storm decided to take a different track for the next few hours and graciously passed to the south.  Once the heroes arrived, we spent the first few minutes catching up on any events that may have happened in the past month the heroes might enjoy.  Stories echoed through the air of family outings, new tackle and equipment, fish that had been caught, or any number of topics while preparing to launch.
Ultimately, the chatter dissipated as the focus of the day took hold and the heroes launched to make their way to their preferred spots for the day.  Some of the heroes that participate in our events require additional stability.  For those heroes, we install flotation devices known as stabilizers or AMAs.  The AMAs provide additional flotation support via small inflatable pontoons and create a larger footprint on the water and increase the overall stability of the fishing kayak used.  After loading up their gear, we helped them into their respective kayaks and off they went.
These events are also an opportunity for me to get my family involved, so they can share in the experience.  Today was the second time my wife joined me at an event, and my son who in his own way is a "veteran" of these events was also on hand to enjoy in the fun.  He was more than anxious to try out the new Werner Sprite paddle I had just purchased from Appomattox River Company the day before.   He also wanted to try something that he had seen me do......standing up.  Now mind you, I have never mentioned standing, nor had he practiced.  I looked at him and gave him one quick reminder that if he fell in, he would be responsible for learning how to re-enter his own kayak.  He smiled and said "I know dad."  Five seconds later........
While the day was a success with respect to spending time on the water with some of our heroes, the fish action was scarce to say the least.  There were a handful of bluegills caught and a couple small bass, but no real fish stories of note.  The time on the water I think is all the action most of our heroes really want and desire.  The fish are just an added bonus.  As we started to make our way back towards the launch, we could hear the distant sounds of a storm brewing as Mother Nature warned us it was time to get off the water.  So we all started to head back in for our evening meal knowing that it signified the end of the day.
The evening meal was graciously provided by Charley's Waterfront Cafe and consisted of some delicious fried chicken and homemade cole slaw.  With everyone safely out of the water, we all sat down and eagerly enjoyed the wonderful food set before us.  Even though the time on the water was cut short by the approaching storm, it was still a successful event.
The winds began to increase in strength, and we all knew that the event would have to end sooner than we wanted.  A quick gust of wind sent the contents on the table onto the ground and re-affirmed what we all begrudgingly had to was time to pack and leave.  We loaded the kayaks onto the trailer and packed up all the PFDs, paddles and associated gear into the truck.  We said our goodbyes knowing that it was only for a couple weeks when we would see each other again.
Until next time, tight lines and be safe.

No comments:

Post a Comment