Monday, March 31, 2008

Spring kayaking

I took a week off from kayaking to ski

After all, this is Vermont.
And do some sugaring,

After all, this is Vermont. Excuse the cheesy sap bucket.

And visit family for Easter.

This weekend a couple of us lake paddling Greenland paddle kayakers went to the last of the local pool sessions to get some warm water practice before the April Madness on rolls that aren't too sure and might involve failed attempts, long hang time, and maybe wet exit (didn't happen). I got to borrow a skin-on-frame that I will likely be using for the contest. I was able to pull off all the rolls I'd learned in the Cheri-Turner class last fall. Too bad "butterfly" isn't on the competition list. I got to try a few minutes in Dave's yellow stealth boat (pictured in the March 16th blog) and managed to roll with a norsaq (picture a small windshield ice scraper). A hand roll isn't too much of a stretch from that, but time ran out.

The whitewater paddlers at least thought our kayaks looked cool.

The forecast was for 40's, but it was still below freezing for our crack-of-noon start.
We were supposed to launch at Converse Bay to accomodate our friends from the south, but it turned out the bay was still frozen solid. I got flagged down at one of the turns on the way and redirected to Charlotte town beach.

View from beach. I think the mountain with the big white slide is Giant in the Adirondacks.

THere was still ice on most of the shoreline, but you could see dirt was running off as well as water.

We went north as far as Shelburne Farms (the starting point last time) and landed for lunch. By then it had warmed to near 40, was calm and sunny.

On the way back we spotted a guy out in an Adirondack guide boat and heard a loon call.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Last winter trip

It's the last weekend of winter, and it looks like we only missed 2 or 3 weeks of kayaking since the start of, what do we call it? Drysuit season?

We launched this time from the coach barn at Shelburne Farms. I'd never been there before. The grounds also have the Inn (pictured a few weeks ago) and are the site of an outdoor concert in the Mostly Mozart series.

Coming up in a few weeks is the local April Madness Greenlandic kayak fest, which includes a rolling contest. So I noticed that those of us who have a separate boat for rolling brought them this week to get in some practice at hand rolls, etc.

We headed north to Shelburne Point through generally clear water, but there were still a couple of chunk fields.

We went a bit into Shelburne Bay, about half of which is still solidly frozen with ice fishers and snowmobiles frolicking about. Then we split, with 2 of us heading to Juniper Island and the others heading straight back.

A minute or so from where we put in, there were these vertical posts on the shore with carved heads. I have no idea what the story is on these.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Book quote

A departure from kayak posts, but I'll be sociable and play.

The Open Book Meme:

These were the instructions:

1. Pick up the nearest book.
2. Open it at page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence/ phrase.
4. Blog the next four sentences/ phrases together with these instructions.
5. Don't you dare dig your shelves for that very special or intellectual book.
6. Pass it forward to six friends

I'm bending the rules a bit since the nearest book was Sodoku, and the next was a phone book. I think the book I'm in the middle of reading would be fair and not count as cherry picking.

From Neal Stephenson's "Quicksilver":

"Your master taught you well"

"The ass taught me nothing," Hooke said.
"Anyone who is not a half-wit can learn all there is to know of painting, by standing in front of paintings and looking at them. What was the use, then, of being an apprentice?"

I don't follow 6 blogs at this point. Here are the 2 I tagged:

If you want to trace backward, I was tagged by bonnie

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Perkins Pier

Perkin's Pier is a waterfront access roughly aligned with the south end of the Burlington breakwater.

Starting time was pegged at 9:30. We usually start later in the winter so it's a little warmer. An early start generally means the instigator has some sports event to watch in the afternoon. There was also only about an hour's notice on the starting place.. this based on what isn't too iced up.

The big thing this trip was chunks of ice everywhere. Mostly around fist size, but ranging up to a few 20 foot sheets. So there was frequent noise from things bumping against your kayak hull or the paddle. There were also a couple of loosely packed fields to push through. It reminded me of those explorers getting frozen in for the winter while trying to find the North West passage. Someone pointed out that rolling might be difficult in this situation. Something new to try, but not today. We did find somewhat open water for rolls.

Anywhere there was some obstruction like a point of land or breakwater, the chunks would accumulate and blow off the downwind side in a plume of icefield. If you click the picture above (which zooms to full size) you can see a thin white line coming off to the left of the lighthouse. That is about a 10 foot wide concentration of chunks.

The inlets that were solidly frozen comprised these pieces stuck together, It looked like a plate of nachos made from ice. Not too good for skating.