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Water below... water above

Monday, August 26, 2013

My brother, Jeremy, and I drove to Lewiston today to paddle. As we approached the region the rain started. It was light enough we would have paddled in it no problem, but there were others there who wanted to wait to launch, so we all went to breakfast. Had a lovely breakfast at an inexpensive Greek restaurant. So, we finished up, ran to the potty (because it is a good idea before setting out in a kayak) and went back to the launch and unloaded the boats, whereupon it started to down pour. lol! We decided to go anyway. So everyone drove away to stage cars at the take out in Younsgtown, leaving me and another woman to watch the kayaks... in the pouring rain. Good thing there was a little shelter to hide in. It really came down hard for about 20 minutes, but then it started to diminish, so we went ahead and launched in the rain. We were paddling the lower Niagara River and a little bit of Lake Ontario. It was all new water for me, which always makes me a little anxious, but it was fun, and we were paddling with the current down to Lake Ontario, so it was a fast, easy 5 miles. But then we got out past Old Fort Niagara (think War of 1812 and earlier). The lake was a bit more than I wanted to handle in my 12 foot boat, so I quickly retreated back to the mouth of the river, where I realized we would now be paddling against the current to get back to our take out site. That was a lot more work! We came down the river near the middle of the river, though not crossing into Canadian waters, but going back up it we had to hug the shore so we could avoid some of the strength of the current. I had the shortest, hydrodynamically slowest boat of the 6 that launched today, but I managed to keep up and even led the way for a short time. Of course Jeremy had stopped to remove his rain jacket as it had stopped raining and was getting warm, or I never would have been out front. lol! I have been making an effort to be more social on group paddles, so I spent a fair amount of time chatting, which is strange behavior for me. When I paddle I like to focus on PADDLING. We launched near the jetboat dock, the jetboats go up to the whirlpool, which is something I have absolutely no desire to do. I LIKE flat water for the most part. Sure I have fun on rough water like we had yesterday, but I don't normally choose to launch in those conditions. There were hardly any jetboats running this morning though, probably due to the rain.

So we landed our boats and loaded the cars and took off down the road. The winds were pretty strong along the lake shore and there were a lot of trucks on the Thruway, which causes a lot of drag on the boats on top of the car. Jeremy is really protective of that brand new boat, so we got off the Thruway pretty quick and took the back roads home. Part of the time we were right along the lake and I am glad we didn't try paddling on her today! We both looked at the whitecaps and big swells and said... um, no! Hopefully the winds calm down overnight as we have plans to paddle on Lake Erie tomorrow night. Well, we will if it stops pouring. We stopped at the outfitter's after unloading the boats to pay off Jeremy's boat and get him a skirt for his cockpit. Now he can learn to roll his kayak. We came out of the store and it started pouring rain again. When I went to walk Cooper a little while ago it was still raining, though not quite as hard.

Food was a little out of hand today, but I am still coping with yesterday's calorie deficit. lol! But I kayaked for a little over 2 hours, walked the dog for half an hour and did some yoga as I was sore from yesterday still. In fact I felt hungover from overexertion last night and this morning. I also have blisters on my fingers and my right palm from yesterday. I was wearing my paddling gloves, but the last half hour we were out I was wearing out and my form was shot, which is when soreness and blisters happen from poor form on the paddle stroke and gripping the paddle too tight. I just slapped a few band aids on and paddled today anyways.

The end to end paddle is coming up on Lake Chautauqua in a couple weeks and our 2nd annual paddle through the locks on the Seneca-Cayuga Canal is the weekend after. You know how I was saying I was looking forward to relaxing after my really active vacation? Well, it looks like it might be a while longer before that really happens. Oh well, I am doing things I love and having a lot of fun, so I shouldn't complain, right?
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