The Boatist

Sailboat Ownership, Translation Work and Tales of Minor Adventure

Retire early, be passionate, don't worry, die poor

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Purpose in Life

I woke up with a kayak in my head, feeling restless, needing a purpose in life on a day without plans.

It's winter now and I'm unlikely to do much sailing until the weather warms up to a decent temperature; so why not go paddle a kayak instead? It made perfect sense as I lay in bed in the early morning, like it always does lying in bed.

I leaped out of bed, ate, showered, and made the short drive to Paimogo. 
At Paimogo, I checked the wave conditions on a calm day. Looks ideal near the ramp. Fighting your way in a kayak past breaking waves might be fun on a hot summer day, but miserable in cold weather.
(Photograph taken with my new Galaxy S3 Neo smartphone. Bought it for 5 reasons (excuses): can use it as a road and marine chartplotter; takes decent pictures; it's great for reading E-books even without my glasses; it's useful for my holiday home rental business; and it was on sale.
Next, I roared off to the nearest Decathlon store, in Torres Vedras about 15 km away, to buy a wetsuit. The one I already own is a full-body suit that I use for scraping Jakatar's bottom and cutting lines wrapped in the propeller; besides, it's dirty with antifouling paint.

At Decathlon, I found myself trying on a XXL suit going for €54.95. During the struggle to slide it up my torso, I worried I was going to tear the thing apart. Should have stripped down naked. Should have asked the salesgirl for instructions.
OK, maybe this is why I really bought the smartphone! We're living in strange times, I tell you.
XXL is tight. It must be the height problem, I only weigh 94 kg! So I tried another model, size 2XL, with a price ticket of €59.95.

Perfect height, but a bit baggy.
Then I had a dilemma: one suit felt tight but, on the positive side, it won't fill up with water in the event of an accidental capsize; the other one felt comfortable and better for paddling, but all that extra space would fill with water. Besides, if the kayaking gig falls through, I can always use the tight one for diving, and it's an incentive for losing some weight. The tight one it shall be.

Oh yes, and here is the kayak, a Bic Bilbao, I bought a couple of years ago.
Warmer days in Culatra. 
Today I'm going to hunt for the diving shoes that are stored somewhere in the boat, I think. If I go kayaking only once or twice, it's still better than blowing 55 euros on fancy sunglasses. While I was at the store, I bought sunglasses for €5, and that's fancy enough for me.


  1. You look much more comfortable in the larger size but, different strokes for different folks!
    Happy smartphoning! They’re great and it sure beats lugging a laptop to see your mail or looking something up. Navionics is the best app (mefigure) for a boat guy but a bit pricy. Kinda small for e-books though.
    As for the purpose of life, kayaking is out for me over here. I just got over a 2 day fever and called in sick today which is raining and freezing. No wetsuit would justify leaving my couch! Unless……

    1. You're right, should have got the larger size; my face is saying "I'm in a straitjacket". How the hell am I going to pee when I get the urge? By the time I peel the damn thing down it'll be too late!
      Yeah, I'm thoroughly happy with my smartphone: free road plotter that works like magic offline, etc. Navionics for Europe is only 34 euros or so.
      Guess I now have a slightly different attitude about all the teenagers sitting at cafés going nuts on their smartphones.
      Hope your fever, the cold and rain stay away.