Written by: John A. Perdzock
Photos by: John A. Perdzock
It was a Saturday evening after a long week of working around a bathroom addition project when I checked Sunday’s forecast. Highs in the upper 50’s with a slight breeze from the SSW appeared on my phone. This combined with a slower than expected dry time of plaster was truly a sign from the paddle Gods that Sunday was tailored just for me. If I did not take this opportunity to take advantage of this gift, I would be cursed for the rest of my life. So I assembled my kayak kit and set my alarm for 5:00AM to greet my exclusively arranged sunrise.
5:00AM came and I was up and at ‘em faster than a virgin lumberjack at a whore house as I proceeded with my morning ritual of three *S’s and bowl of cereal. My kit was at the ready as I proceeded to check everything off from my list starting at my feet: wet shoes, skirt, new Astral Blue Jacket PFD, paddle gloves, lucky Point Beer cap, paddle, whistle, VHF radio, cameras, deck bag, bilge pump, paddle float, and drinking water. Everything was loaded once they were checked as being ready and accounted for. My kayak was then strapped to the trailer and I was off to greet the morning sun.
My destination was Sunset Beach Park in Suamico, Wisconsin. Sunset Beach Park is located off of Sunset Beach Lane and has great access to the Bay of Green Bay. What’s quirky about this .64 acre park, besides not having a beach, is it has no extraordinary view of a sunset other than seeing the last gasps of rays reflecting from the coast line across the bay. It’s east facing frontage; however, has extraordinary morning views of the sunrise. This reputation of spectacular sunrises was confirmed as I had to navigate around a paparazzi-like army of frenzied photographers who were beckoned by the same forecast as I pulled into the driveway designated for water craft access. I felt cheated. This morning’s sunrise was promised to me. It was 7th grade Horace Mann Jr. High School Friday dance night all over again.
I unloaded my gear and kayak and had my paddle stroking the water with bow pointed towards Long Tail Island in no time. I have never experienced the bay as calm as it was on this day. I was very comfortable layered in a long sleeved NRS neoprene rash guard shirt, a thinner wicking shirt over that, and high polyester blend long john’s under my Kokatat GORE-TEX IDOL dry suit. My Level Six three-quartered finger paddle gloves provided enough warmth and comfort the entire trip.
As I approached Long Tail Island, I was greeted by many colorful species of ducks, seagulls, Canadian geese, and eagles at many stages of development. The island is still inaccessible due to ice. It has no other remarkable attributes with the exception of a 50 foot tall abandoned light house tower on the northern tip built in 1847 and destroyed in 1973 by a powerful storm.
Today all the elements were aligned for a perfect morning of paddling. The sun felt warm, and the cold air and water was fresh. I was able to interact with nature and it embraced my presence. Although many showed up at the greeting, it was me who was rewarded with today’s last dance.
* – see urban dictionary.