Dan’s dock: 5, Me: 1

I went kayaking at Dan’s again. We were joined by Paul D, Doug, and Dan. We were briefly joined by Jim Mallory, a former Olympic kayaker and a colleague of Vicki’s – but he had to leave when the kayak he was paddling filled up with water up to … the top of his seat, and it got too uncomfortable to continue. The kayak he was paddling looked ratty and was patched with tape in multiple places, so it was no wonder it leaked. I think he said he bought it used for a few hundred bucks. Cheap at half the price.

It was 39°F and breezy. I debated wearing a windbreaker, but I’d worn one last week and was too warm. So I decided to suffer until I warmed up a bit. We found a nice stretch of the canal without much wind and paddled up and down that 1000-1500 metres. The first time up, the four of us cut through a bit of ice, but we didn’t see it again so it must have broken up and drifted aside.

It was an exhausting work-out. I think I’m getting better at keeping up with the rest of them, but it’s still extremely tiring. I pooped out before the other guys, so I headed back to the dock alone. And that’s when my troubles started.

You see, since getting my Looksha, last Sunday was the first and so far only time I’ve managed to get out of it alone at Dan’s dock. Dan’s dock is too high up for me to do the standard paddle across the back of the cockpit brace. Every other time I’ve either had somebody else to help stabilize the boat, or I’ve given up and gone to the rocky shore to brace with the paddle. Because last time I managed to actually get out alone, I thought I’d be ok. But I don’t know if it’s because I was tired, or because there was a strong wind blowing that caused me to drift away from the dock as soon as I tried to put both hands on the back of the cockpit. But after a lot of struggle, I gave up and went over to the rocks again. That works, but of course I end up putting my feet down in the water. Woo, that was cold.