Saturday, September 26, 2009

A Fall Classic

One of the things I enjoy most about kayaking is that you can paddle the same route hundreds of times and it always different.
Today I paddled the Pier 5 to Harbor of Refuge route again. When H, TM, and I did this route earlier in the season it challenged us. The swells were big, pushy, and constant. There were breaking waves along most of the route and we surfed into the harbor. The winds had a chill and the skies threatened rain.
Today the ocean was calm. The wind was warm. The skies were sunny. It was perfect late summer conditions.
I could really stretch out and cruise. There was a slight cross wind pushing the Q's stern around, so I also got a chance to work on effective corrective strokes. I would slip a stern rudder onto the end of a stroke occasionally. I'd just let the blade linger at the end of the stroke. I also tried to incorporate the stern draw. The stern draw is finicky. Sometimes I would catch the wrong face of the paddle. Sometimes the stern wouldn't move. Sometimes the stern would move, but not enough to straighten the kayak. Sometimes the whole kayak would draw to the side. On very few occasions did it actually work properly. I need to keep practicing.
While playing in the rocks and rough conditions is exciting, sometime a nice open water run is perfect. It lets me blow the carbon out of the cylinders.

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