Monday, May 17, 2010

Mondays are Made for Paddling

The few glimmers of summer have got everyone antsy and looking for excuses to paddle. On Saturday, TM began lobbying for a Monday outing and before we left the Java Madness we were all on board. The plan was to paddle out the Westport River from the town boat launch and explore the coast - a favorite plan of ours.
The plan counted on the currents flowing out of the river in the morning and turning around noon to carry us back up the river. We checked the NOAA site from the deck of Java Madness using my iPhone and everything seemed to line up. BH checked the currents on Sunday evening and found them to be basically the opposite of what I found on Saturday. He thought I had just gotten them reversed (which I do regularly). It was actually much more stupid: I had read the currents for January 17th.
Fortunately, Westport offers a number of good put ins. After some discussion on Monday morning we decided to simply drive down the road to Gooseberry Neck and paddle east towards the Slocum River and a pond entrance that can offer some interesting conditions on the right tides. I didn't really care about the possible conditions; I just wanted to get some time in the kayak.
The weather cooperated with my needs. The wind was light and the seas calm. On the way to the pond we found some rocks to play in, but mostly we just paddled. It was nice to stretch out and work the forward stroke.
The pond entrance had a little current and a little surf, but nothing to get excited about. We spent ten minutes attempting to entertain ourselves before setting out in search of a lunch spot.
After lunch the weather stopped cooperating. The winds picked up and we had to paddle home in a headwind.
I've paddled into heavier winds before, but today this wind wore me down. I am in the worst condition I've been in for a very long time and my forty one year old body does not take kindly to being thrown into the fire. It is a reminder that I need to work at keeping my body fit if I want to continue participating in sports.
When we got back to the beach I did a few rolls to build my confidence. They were smooth and relatively painless. I still have the mojo, I just need to recondition my body to use it.

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