Saturday Sketches, aka Waiting for the Tide in Milford

Monday, July 19, 2010

Had the bright idea (thanks, Connecticut magazine!) of heading to Milford on Saturday morning with our kayaks before the heat got too intense, to explore the Charles Wheeler Wildlife Management Area -- basically, the salt marshes. It's a gorgeous place -- calm waterways and lots of birds and other creatures to gawk at along the way. We set off around 9:30 or so, scooting our kayaks through a few feet of mud before getting to the water.

I took some pictures with my camera and then decided to take out my little watercolor set and a waterbrush to capture M. paddling. Here's what I was able to do while bobbing along in the kayak and trying to keep from hitting the banks too frequently:

A few hours later, when we were through paddling (or so we thought) and wanted to head back, we realized that the few feet of mud had suddenly become several hundred feet of mud -- because of those pesky things known as the tides. Yep, we'd forgotten to check the tide charts.

I looked at maps of the area on my iPhone, but we couldn't find any other way to get back to the car. I finally pulled up a tide chart, and we found out that low tide had occurred at just after 10 a.m. So we'd have to kill at least a few hours before there would be enough water to get back to the car. And the sun was only getting higher in the sky, during a heat wave. Fab.

What to do? Well, we hitched our two kayaks together using a nametag lanyard from my Wharton reunion weekend (not sure why M. had this with him, but it sure came in handy) and M. paddled us along toward the (Route 1) Washington Bridge (figured it was better to wait near civilization and not in the marshes).

I took out my Lamy Safari pen and sketched in my kayak as he towed me (watercolor added later, in this case):

Washington Bridge from kayak, Milford, CT

Paddling toward bridge, Milford, CT

We stopped near the bridge to rest and stay in the shade, so I sat on the rocks and sketched a different perspective (again, watercolor added later):

Washington Bridge, Milford, CT

Finally we paddled back past noon and had enough water to get back to the car -- though not without M.'s having to wade, nearly knee-deep, through several feet of thick, nasty-smelling mud!

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  1. I never cease to be amazed at your ability to capture not only what the moment looked like but also the essence of the experience. What a great set of drawings!