Paddling stinks. It does. At some point in time, you realize that the neoprene boots, perhaps the deck pad on your SUP, or maybe the beautiful Stohlquist PFD you bought from us at Dig Paddlesports just, well, STINKS.
There are solutions, of course. Some of them are preventative (my favorite), like hanging every article of wet whatever up or stowing it so that it has unrestricted access to air circulation, which is great in our arid desert environment. Some involve vinegar and gentle scrubbing, which reeks in its own lovely way.
I'll take it. Along with the sight of heron, hawk, cormorant, avocet, gull, stilt, bald eagle, and pelican come other aromas like splashed limestone, calcified shrubs from changing water levels, musty driftwood, and the occasional desert blossom.
The waft of ocean meeting land, the olfactory punch of days-old fish carcass, sweaty beanies and ball caps, salt-encrusted board shorts, and decomposing bits of tiny former lives in the sand, bring it. It means I'm home.
It turns out that there are a handful of studies that show a positive correlation between aroma and memory, immediate response, and emotion.
Here's an article that sparked my imagination this afternoon from Rapid Media's Paddling Magazine: http://www.mazdigital.com/webreader/51300?page=30. Enjoy.