Passing on Paddling


Dear Luke,

Thanks for the paddling invite this weekend. Unfortunately, a Cape SUP outing is not in the cards for me.

I know you’ll probably just chalk up my absence to the abysmal Cape traffic, my love-hate relationship with paddling, or the fact that I’m supposed to be training for my upcoming AMGA course. But let’s be clear—those aren’t the reasons. I’m not coming down to Orleans to paddle this weekend because of the “nice, little fish” that have been vacationing on the Cape the last several summers.

Now I know you’ve said that “we’ll be fine.” And maybe we will. But this article about a paddler and one of the fish sharing a nice morning workout off Nauset Beach didn’t convince me that the “nice, little fishies won’t bother us.”

Nor did this recent piece convince me that the fish “mostly stay offshore.” While I see these folks are in a boat and there isn’t “land in sight,” the land is probably behind them and that seal had to come from somewhere. Moreover, what do you say about this one, where the video-taking boater is only “500 feet” offshore? Or this one, where the scene played out just “100 yards” from the beach? That’s a football field! Prime SUP territory if you ask me. I don’t envy those chomped-up seals.

Speaking of distressed seals, that’s what I’ll look like the first time I tumble off the SUP. I can see myself now, frantically thrashing around in the water, trying to get back on the board. Sure it’ll be funny and all. For you, anyway; I’ll be terrified that one of your neighbors is about to say hi. Did you see how one of them greeted this friend-of-the-fishes?

So, thanks for the invite and sorry I can’t make it. Let’s try to climb together in the fall when you’re back in town. Maybe the Quarries?



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