First paddle of the season

This is my earliest “first paddle” ever. If searching my blog is be believed, I’ve made it out in March once before, but only just – 31 March 2006.

Doug had sent out an email suggesting it. I hadn’t replied because I had my doubts about my ability to sneak out of work, or the state of my shoulder. Ken was the only person who’d responded positively, and I knew I was no match for either of them. But when the Baycreek web cam showed open water this afternoon, and I reached a point in the thing I was working on I could either leave now or start something that would take hours to resolve, I decided on the former course of action.

I figured I’d get there after they left, but at least if something happened to me out on the creek there would be other paddlers to come by and find me. So I got in and paddled up to the half-mile marker where the time trial course turns around, and turned there. I was tired and my shoulder was hurting. I got back to the dock and was talking to Dave there when Doug and Ken arrived back. They had gone up to the weir and back, so about double the distance I’d gone, and they were keen to do it again. The weir had been blocked, and the bay is still iced over, so they didn’t have anywhere else they could go. They convinced me to come with them. And you know, after a little bit, my shoulder wasn’t hurting too bad. I felt badly out of shape, and I had to keep stopping for breath, but I did it, and it was very pleasant to be out, especially with other people.

The Canada Geese were out in huge numbers, and the Red Wing Blackbird males were claiming their territories before there were even any rushes to claim, and Ken and I disagreed on whether that bird was a Red Tailed Hawk or an Osprey, but it really is a little slice of heaven back there.