I’ve haven’t been writing about paddling much, mostly because I haven’t been paddling much. And I haven’t been paddling much because my shoulder recovery is not going as well as I’d hoped, and sometimes when I’ve gone paddling I’ve been in pain for days afterwards. But I’ve been making slow progress in getting some fitness back – on my best days, I can paddle about 2.5 miles without stopping, at about a mile per hour slower than I used to go 10 miles.
I know that part if not most of the problem is that I’ve been crazy busy at work, and I haven’t been good at carving out the time I need to do my physio exercises every other day. I’m going to take care of that right now – I’ve put an item on my work calendar, and if somebody wants to get hold of me during physio time they can suck it.
Today I went over to Dan’s place. He fixed the crack on my ski that appeared a few weeks ago – which I initially asked him if he might have caused it because it happened the same week when he borrowed it for the Wednesday night time trials at Bay Creek, however after I looked at the damage more closely I realized it was more likely the result of somebody dropping a heavy boat on it while it was sitting on the rack there at Bay Creek. He also fixed the damage it received a few days later when the front of my roof rack let go when I was driving it home. So I went over to pick it up, and also got my first opportunity to paddle with Dan since last year. Dan’s son Tom was having some friends over to try paddling, and so Dan was busy getting them organized (and trying to get people who’d never sat in a kayak before to stay upright in a V10, which didn’t go well), so I paddled around while they got organized.
Since this was my first time paddling anywhere but at Bay Creek, this was also my first time encountering wakes. And at first, that didn’t go well. I had to turn right into them to take them exactly across the bow. And then after swinging wide to take a couple like that, I heard a boat coming up behind me. So I waited so I could take it right across the stern. But instead of passing me by, it was a cop and stopped to ask me where my PFD was. A crap, I haven’t been carrying it because I’ve been paddling on the creek, and I can stand up in the creek. So I promised him I’d get it right away, and paddled back to Dan’s and borrowed one. And then because I’m just that sort of guy, I paddled down to Fairport, and showed the cop that I had it. He asked me how fast I could go in the ski, and I bragged that I could hit 6.5mph if I was really pushing it (which I haven’t done since the surgery, and to be honest I’ve hit 7mph or more for short sprints). He was heading back in the direction of Dan’s dock, so I got onto his wake and tried to surf it.
Surfing went pretty well, although his boat wasn’t big enough to produce the sort of wake where you can completely stop working. But at one point he stopped and asked me if he needed to give me a ticket for exceeding the speed limit on the canal. I pretended to appreciate his humour and dropped the not too subtle hint by telling him that this was my first time surfing wakes since my surgery. He started up again and I surfed so more.
By that time, Tom’s friend was in the water so I tried to give him some pointers, and then we all paddled around a bit. It felt good.