Another kayaking year has come and gone. When I started out this year I did not have any set kayaking goals in mind except to paddle when I was able to. Well, that’s not completely true... I did start the year with intentions to not paddle as much as I did in the previous year. By the end of 2013 I was feeling I had paddled a bit too much during the year.
I had injured my right forearm in September of 2013 while paddling, and then banged my right elbow a week later when getting out (more like ‘falling’ out) of the kayak. But I kept paddling. By the end of 2013 my forearm was not much better but my elbow was. Then by the time summer of this year came around I began to have rotator cuff issues on my left shoulder and my forearm issue lingered. I kept on paddling though whenever I was able to. By August my injuries were bothering me enough that I finally sought medical attention; neither my forearm nor my shoulder is completely better at this point but it seems they are nearly there.
Despite the usual things intervening (work, regular life activities, a few colds, etc...) I managed a respectable 53 paddle days totalling 921 kilometers during the year. There were also another eleven times that comprised of St. Philips practices, a few pool sessions, and one day on a pond for a total of 64 times in my kayak(s) for 2014.
I guess compared to last year’s kayaking totals some might say this year is a bit of a bust. But I do not see it that way. Any amount of time that I can spend on the water in a kayak only adds to the overall experience of my kayaking life. It’s about getting out as often as my non-kayaking life allows me to, and getting out with my good buddies with whom to share the kayaking experience with.
I was able to get in four kayak camping trips this year. The first one for the year was an overnight trip to Colinet Island (click here) near the end of June and the next one was a week-long trip to Fortune Bay in July (click here). The next two trips were club camping trips; an overnight trip to Pinchgut in late July (click here) and the other was a three day trip to Gulch Pond in end of August (Day 1, Day 2, Day 3). I had hoped to get in another trip in the fall but it just didn’t happen.
In the spring I finished off the all-cedar Greenland paddle I had started late in the previous year, but I still feel I have too much wood left on it, so I will need to shave it down some more whenever I decide it needs to be refinished. I had enough wood kicking around to make a couple more all-cedar paddles, so in September I laminated them up… One of them was too small for me so I found a good home for it. The other one is only partly carved and likely won’t be finished off until next spring when I can work on it outdoors.
The last day I paddled this year was December 13. After that paddle I tallied up my kilometers and found I was just 79 kilometers short of hitting a thousand for the year. I started to think I just might break a thousand two years in succession…. just a few decent day paddles in the rest of the year could put me there. But my non-kayaking life and a good ‘ol dose of cold/flu over the Christmas season conspired to keep me off the water for the rest of December. Oh well… good thing I did not set a distance goal for this year.
The last three or four times I paddled my shirt has been wet under my drysuit on both arms and on my chest. I tried to convince myself it was perspiration, but I finally conceded that the suit must be leaking. A few days ago I sent it off to California for testing and repair. This may hinder my kayaking life for a while. I do have a paddling drytop and paddling pants with integrated socks so I could still paddle, but only if the wind is low so the likelihood of being a swimmer is minimal. I will just have to wait and see what Mother Nature has in store in the coming weeks.
Well, there it is… my last post for this year. Now if I can just get rid of this dang cold (I swear it thinks I’m its mother and it just won’t let go of me), and if the weather will be cooperative while my drysuit is on vacation, then I can get back out on the brine.
Hope you all had a good Christmas and have a Happy New Year. But especially I hope you all have a great paddling year in 2015.