If you just go for a paddle than you can stop thinking about wanting to go for a paddle.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

2015: Post 7 – Paddling Issues

The forecast was calling for a sunny cool day with winds 30 km from the west.  Seemed like a good day for a run up to Topsail Beach. 

When I arrived at the slipway there were some ice pans blocking the way.  Tony and Neville were putting in on the beach on the other side of the little marina.  But I decided to put in off the slipway...

At the waters edge I stepped onto the ice pans and they supported my weight.  I straddled North Cape Jenny and began walking along, pushing and pulling her as I went.  Then the pan under me started to sink a little and so I dropped my butt into the cockpit and put my spray skirt on, and tried to push myself along with my paddle.  The pans of ice were pretty smooth and I couldn't get a good push off them to get myself moving well.  The pans opened up and I was sitting in water with the pans all around my kayak.  It took a bit of back and forth effort but after a while I finally managed to get my kayak up onto the ice pans in front of me and slid to the open water.  

I paddled out through the channel and around to the beach where the guys were getting ready.

Last night Tony had conjured up a fore and aft wooden mount for his new GoPro in order to try to get different perceptives then when he had it mounted on top of his helmet last weekend.  I called out to him half-jokingly that it the front one might make him top-heavy.  

With the make-shift mount on the front deck I was thinking to myself that it was going to drive him nuts because I know he likes to have a clean front deck when paddling... 

I took a some video of the guys getting on the water.  Okay I'll admit it...  Seeing Tony getting ready for a little seal launch, I was really wondering if he might topple over with the high front wooden mount when he hit the water.  I figured I would have my video rolling just in case we needed visual evidence to share...

Fortunately without any launching incidents, we were underway to Topsail Beach.

Tony's GoPro mount must have been indeed getting on his nerves.  He rafted up with me a little way up the shore and had me remove the tall vertical portion, keeping the lower section to which to clip his camera onto.  He also said that he found it made things a little unsteady as the kayak swayed from side to side in the waves.

We continued on our way.

A few kilometers before getting to Topsail Beach I began to feel I was doing a lot of paddling but just was't really getting very far for my efforts.  I began to wonder what the heck were we doing out here in the waves and the wind anyway.  I even contemplated suggesting to the guys to turn back and call it done.  But then I figured I was just running out of the meager bit of breakfast I had eaten a few hours earlier and decided to be a buttercup and suck it up.  A little closer and the wind and waves became lesser and I found some new energy for a final push to the beach.

Myself and Neville arrived at Topsail Beach together.  Tony was back a ways and looked to be paddling uncharacteristically slow.  I joked to Neville that we were gonna have to get Tony using a Greenland paddle so he could keep up with us.  But I figured he was having some issues back there.  We hung around on the water waiting for Tony to arrive.  As soon as he did he headed straight for the beach.

Neville's skeg was frozen in the closed position before we had started. When we took out on Topsail Beach he went to work to try to free it up, managing to pull it down but it just would not operate properly so he put it back in the up position.  I am hoping it is only frozen and not actually a kinked cable...

While Neville was attending to his skeg issue on the beach, I looked over and Tony was busy removing the rest of his front wooden camera mount.  He had found it was just in the way and he couldn't paddle sensibly, hence his lagging behind... but I figure it was fraying his nerves pretty bad as well because he just seemed to be poisoned with the whole contraption...

The wind, and therefore the waves, picked up on our paddle back to St. Philips.  While paddling back Tony tried to pull down Neville's skeg by the attached chord but couldn't get it to move.  I tried a little farther along and it just wouldn't budge.  So Neville ended up having to correct his course now and then in the west wind all the way back to St. Philips.  

I didn't bother to take any pictures on the way back.  Tony had secured his Gopro to his back deck mount and had just let it run while he tried to paddle in front of us, so I figured any pictures I took would not do the sea state justice when compared to the video he would get.   But once back at the cars Tony discovered that the camera had not been recording for some reason and he figured he didn't get any footage.... Oh well, he'll figure out his new camera after a while.

Anyway, despite Neville's skeg issue, my insufficient breakfast, and Tony's failed front deck camera mount, we had a another fine paddle today...

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