Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sneaking Out

Work seems to be absolutely crazy lately and less interesting than is ideal. The crazy rains and springish intervals add to the itch to paddle. Thursday night I called TM to see if I could talk him into doing a low key, spring paddle. I figured he'd suggest a pond for some practice. I didn't really care what the venue was, I just wanted to kayak.
TM thought Bay Campus to Rome Point would make a good trip. It has distance, some rocks, and plenty of space to practice boat handling skills without the potential dangers of heading out of the Bay. We also agreed that we would not post the paddle on the message board because we really wanted a calm paddle. (My feelings are that if you post the trip, you make it a group trip and have to be willing to satisfy the needs of the group. I was not willing to do so this time around. I had specific ideas and was not really looking to compromise them.)
The weather on Saturday was not as pristine as the weekday weather promised. It was cooler and windier. It was still better than freezing gales, rain, or snow. A little wind is to be expected.
We actually wound up as a threesome. TM had run into CC at yoga and invited her along. CC is a great person to paddle with. She is skilled, laid back, and rarely looking for new ways to get into to trouble. On top of that, she is just nice to talk to.
We paddled north into a reasonable headwind and against the current. It is always smart to start into the wind so that the return trip is easier....
We stuck close to the shore to get some protection from the wind and to catch the counter current. It didn't help much, but we didn't need much help. The wind was just enough to feel and kick up little bumps in the water.
We took a leisurely lunch on the south side of Rome Point. The trees sheltered us from the wind nicely and the sun kept us toasty.
The return trip was more tricky. The wind picked up and shifted while we ate. Instead of a tailwind, we had a quartering wind that occasionally gusted. I enjoyed the challenge. I re-familiarized myself with the Q-Boat's crazy weather cocking. Practiced countering it both with and without the skeg.
We also discussed the possibility of TM joining us for some ME camping this summer. We almost had him convinced it was a good idea until he learned that part of leaving no trace meant leaving no poop.... Having to bag up your poop and carry it out is a little gross at first. After the first time, it is no big deal. It's not that different from picking up doggy poop.
Back at the beach I considered a roll, but decided against it. Why risk tarnishing a good paddle with a failed roll?
At the post-paddle coffee TM got his first look at an iPad. He declared that it was the computer he had been dreaming of for years (and he calls himself a technophobe). The iPad was fun to play with, but I don't think it would do well on a kayaking trip....

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