March 01, 2001

Kayaking Kamchatka

after 10 hours in my kayak, i wiggled to try to find a comfortable position and played mind games to pass

the time. counting out loud, i took 10 strong paddle strokes, then a quick rest, followed by another 10 strokes ...

When we had launched the kayaks that morning into a calm sea, Uzon Volcano filled our view to the west. In the clear air of Kamchatka, massive Uzon (elev. 7117 feet) had seemed to follow us for the first five hours of easy paddling. As we bobbed in the kayaks eating lunch, a breeze from the North chilled my cheek. Within an hour, the breeze had intensified into a diabolical headwind. Our progress seemed infinitesimal. I longed to go to shore and wait for the wind to stop.

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