Thursday, January 10, 2008

January thaw

With the forecast of 50's midweek there was noise of a midweek outing on Wednesday.
Tuesday would have been THE day for warm paddling as it got to 63, but I was in North Carolina for the day, where it was about the same. Come Wednesday morning the forecast also mentioned T-storms (which didn't happen, it was sunny) and 50 mph winds (which did in the afternoon, or close enough) so the plan soft of melted away along with all the snow.

I had to take my kid to an appointment in the late afternoon, so did have a chance to walk to nearby Red Rocks (my local municipal waterfront park) around 4. The first thing I noticed was the shrieking sound of the wind in the treetops. On the beach the wind was on-shore and strong enough that I was consciously leaning into it for balance. The waves were a good couple of feet and consistent. Not huge, but pretty good considering they were coming across the short dimension of the bay they only had about a mile to build. If we'd been paddling here the big challenge might be getting your kayak on/off the roof rack without losing it. I figured the waves would be substantial in a more exposed area.

This morning there was an email from one of the gang who did go out:

"I went paddling at the Coast Guard station at 2 PM. I spent about 40
minutes in the Explorer, then retreated and switched to my whitewater
(creek) boat. As I was putting on with the latter it started to blow
like holy hell. It went up and down (but always 20+), and I stayed out
until about 4, wandering around the breakwater and in front of the iron
seawalls. There were some rogues out there that I'd judge to have been
as big as 7 feet. Presumably they're continuing tonight; it's still
blowing around 25-40 mph out there."

Meanwhile, there are some less pleasant things that come with a foot of snowpack melting in about a day... various towns worried about ice jams in the rivers, and floods. A few school districts are closed on the New York side because of downed power lines from the wind. Lots of bare grass showing, but too soggy to walk on it.
Winter is forecast to resume tomorrow night.


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