Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Joy of Diddling

Several of us decided that a day of practice would be in order, so we met up at Tucker Pond for a few hours. Most people had specific things they wanted to work on, but I just wanted to work on relaxing.
TM gave people pointers on forward strokes, edging, and power. I just sort of hung around the edges and soaked it all in. TM is an excellent teacher. He knows his paddling, gives clear explanations, models well, and takes time with his pupils. It was nice to watch and be able to glean a few tips.
Surprisingly, I was able to offer some tips of my own. I remembered the butter knife analogy for releasing the stern. I also managed to remember a pointer about being cognizant of how your legs apply pressure to the hull.
I also took the opportunity to muck around with other people's Euro sticks. I always enjoy short flirtations with the lollipops. The immediacy of the power is striking, but the lack of grace is jarring.
The best tip of the day: sometimes being efficient is better than being powerful.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Relaxing in the Wind

When I am off the water for more than a few weeks I start getting cagey, so H demanded that I go kayaking this weekend. Fortunately TM was looking for a playmate, so I had a partner. All that was left was decent weather, but the forecast was not cooperating. It looked like gales were going to be the dominant feature for the weekend.
Not ones to be easily daunted, we checked the weather on Saturday evening. The forecast called for fair seas with west winds of 10 to 15 and gusts up to 25. It wasn't great, but inside the safety margins. To spare us the brunt of the winds, we planned to paddled out of the Bay Campus and head along Bonnet Shores. In the shadow of the bluffs we'd be sheltered from the full force of any gales.
Sunday morning we were joined by BH. He always makes a paddle more interesting. Given the glassy sea, we were going to need help finding excitement. Fortunately, all three of us were perfectly happy doing a calm, relaxing paddle.
We got our relaxing paddle. The bluffs kept us safe from the worst of the wind. The seas were flat and even playing the rocks was tranquil.
After lunch we headed a little further south to see what adventures could be had. There wasn't much in the way of adventure. The wind was a little more brutal if you strayed away from the rocks. The sea was a little more bouncy. The rocks were a little bigger.
BH did manage to sacrifice gel coat to the rock gods. He managed to catch the only wave in the Bay at the perfectly wrong time. He was trying to slip through a slot that required some quick turning and the wave pushed him right into a rock.
The paddle home was a bit of a slog, but nothing to wing about. It was a nice workout to end a refreshing return to the water.