Today I went out with a couple of guys from the team for a paddle around Irondequoit Bay. I think they do this paddle every Saturday, but it was a very long trip for me. We ended up going 10.85 miles. My longest work out to date was 10 miles, and that time I purposely set out very slowly. This time I was trying to keep up with one of our faster paddlers, Mike, and Paul D who eats miles and never stops. Looking at my GPS info, it appears that I went a pretty steady 5.8 – 6 mph for the first 4.5 miles or so, but after that we were constantly pausing and restarting. Part of that was that around that time we were going into this “side bay” with a lot of weeds and we had to keep clearing each other’s rudders. Plus I was having some sort of problem with my rudder – I was constantly putting on full right rudder just to keep in a straight line. I wonder if one of my cables has slipped? I’m not sure how to fix that, but I suspect I can’t do it alone.
There were a lot of wakes out on the bay, and we were often getting hit by two or three at once. That added a bit of challenge, especially when my rudder was acting funny. I’m really glad I was in a group and not out there alone. None of us dumped, but if we had, there were two other kayakers near by to help. You sure wouldn’t want to count on the power boaters for help – if anything, some of them seem to be trying to swamp you.
As we crossed under the bridge, I realized we only had 2.5 miles left, but I was really fatigued. Up until this point, I’d been avoiding riding the other guy’s wakes because I wanted a full work out, but now I was just trying to get home without slowing everybody down. Paul D offered me his wake, and I took him up on it. At least until we started getting a wake from behind and we both started surfing it. After it passed, he was 10 metres off to my left, and so I tried to grab Mike’s. He’s in a surf ski, which doesn’t have much wake, and he’s a much faster paddler than me, but I tried gamely to stay on it for a while. With about half a mile to go, I just let them both go and struggled in at my own speed.
I’d like to do this again, but maybe I won’t be so shy about riding wakes, and that way I might actually have some energy left at the end.