Long paddle

Today was brilliantly sunshiney and “warm” (41°F), so Doug and Mike and I went paddling. We went up the creek, battling the current and the “suck water” low water levels. Since I’m in my slow fat Looksha (the same boat that this time last year I thought was too tippy to venture out in the bay), I was kind of holding everybody up, but they waited for me. After Ellison Park dog park, Doug was ready to turn back, but in spite of the fact that I was the slow guy, I wanted to go on. We ended up going nearly as far as the rapids that I’ve never managed to get up stream from, not even in a plastic boat. We probably would have gone all the way to the rapid, but there was a guy fishing and we figured if we turned back two hundred yards early we could avoid two encounters with his line.

On the way back down, we encountered a couple of guys in plastic recreational kayaks coming upstream. You have to admire the determination, because they didn’t have races and training goals to meet, they were just out enjoying the day. Doug warned them about the new law about having to wear a PFD between November and May because one guy wasn’t wearing his, and I think they were a little cheesed off about it as they defensively told us that he only had it off because he was in the process of taking off his jacket. After we were out of earshot, Doug mentioned that in a very short time the trout season will start and there will be more game wardens and cops around.

A little while later, we passed a canoer heading downstream. Again, not a racer, just a guy enjoying the brilliant day.

After we got back to the dock, Mike had to get going, but Doug and I took a short paddle out into the bay to look around. There is a lot more open water than last time, but the water level is at least a foot down from mid summer levels, and there are a couple of dangers lurking just under the water. Doug suggested we go out in BayCreek’s war canoe and put a marker or extension on the ones we can’t move.

We ended up doing a total of 9.68 miles in 2:07:26. Not exactly speedy, but not exactly fast conditions either. I was reviewing my GPS data from last year, and while I didn’t have the GPS until April, it’s clear that I’m way ahead of last year on fitness. (Another thing that’s clear is that I wasn’t really good about stopping the GPS at the end of a work-out. Either that or I ended a lot of workouts by paddling at 40 mph along city streets.) Last year the first time I did a workout of longer than 9 miles was the 30th of May when I did 10 miles to prove to myself that I could finish the Tupper Lake 9 miler that was a week later. I didn’t go to the “Round the Mountain” race last year because I didn’t think I could manage 10.5 miles in the middle of May. This year, I’m pretty sure that won’t be a problem. Surviving the kind of waves they had last year, now that’s a different matter.