The Last Day of Winter

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I realised tonight, as a faint chaffing feeling under my left shoulder drew me out of the routine of night time paddling, that tonight was the last night of winter.

I wish I could capture the beauty of night time paddling in a photo, or even just in words, but I know I can’t (the photo above is from a lightning storm at my place a year or so ago).
Setting off into the dark in a small kayak, watching the city settling into the night readying itself for sleep, the outline of Mt Wellington silhouetted against the lighter sky dominating the view whilst the lights of cars and houses clearly define the boundaries of the city. 
The other paddlers around you are often perceived as lights, not people, as they move away or come closer.  Your paddling stroke has to be dictated by the feel, not look, of the inky water and waves around you.  It all makes night time paddling so different to day time paddling
Tonight, illuminated by the light of a quarter crescent moon, I found myself digging deeply and strongly through the water, the surface reflective and bright, as I sat near the front of the paddling group in my own world … stroke, stroke, stroke, stroke.
I couldn’t believe that today was a normal working day in the middle of the week, I’d spent eight hours behind a desk earning my pay, and whilst most people were huddled at home, I was here, free on the waves enjoying an adventure in a black world.
What a wonderful way to say goodbye to winter, and welcome in Spring.

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