A couple of milestones this week in the seasonal progression wrt paddling. To quote the weather service lake forecast,
"..AND THE WATER TEMPERATURE WAS 39 DEGREES."
There's nothing magic about dipping below 40 and into the same 10 degree bracket as freezing, it is just an artifact of what we as decimal number users see as round numbers, and measuring the temp in degrees Fahrenheit. But 39 degrees is a little bit special because that's where fresh water reaches its highest density. Below that and the molecules are starting to think about moving into the crystalline structure of ice and water starts getting less dense. The significance of that is that from here on the coldest water can stay on the surface instead of sinking. (As far as convection is concerned. Wind and waves can still mix things up)
The other thing is the air temp was in the teens. Ice builds up on things like your paddle, your boat, yourself. I could see that Dave's spare paddle was frozen to the deck. For now the best way to deice is to roll over and give the whole topside a rinse in that warm 39 degree water. This process will be a bit slower as the water gets down closer to 32.
Anyone ever notice how a norsaq looks a lot like a windshield scraper? Coincidence?
With all the snow, I got to do my first "seal launch" where you get in the kayak on land, release the handbrake, and the boat makes like a toboggan towards the lake. Tres cool!
Aside from the temperature novelty, the trip went from the Cedar Beach boat launch in Charlotte north across the ferry route. On the way back we did a close flyby past Sloop Island, a minor mound of rock with just about enough room and trees to hang a hammock.
At the end, there was no need to carry the kayak to the car.. just give it a shove across the packed snow parking lot.
Lesson for next time: Unzip the PFD right after that last deice roll or be prepared to wear it in the car until the heat comes on.