Monday, December 29, 2008

In praise of heavy kayaks and mittens

Yesterday was my first time out in neoprene mittens. They promised to be warmer than the gloves I have been using, and sure enough, my fingers weren't cold at all! I must admit it was 45 degrees warmer than last week. We'll have to see how they work in more seasonal weather.

The reason it was so warm was strong southerly wind, so the 55 degrees here was probably the same as it was in Virginia the day before. My sponge was encased in a 10 pound block of ice from last week, but at least it could be removed from the boat. Dave had his Kevlar (lightweight) kayak on the concrete boat ramp and it blew right over to the rocks on the side, and eventually onto the lake. Fortunately I was standing close by and already suited up so I could jump in and grab it.

We took off pretty much into the teeth of the wind, catching a little lee here and there from an island or point. Chris and I hit land somewhere around Gross Point and since the other 2 had turned back, figured we would go no further. The wind had diet, but came up again more from the west. That brought some short lived rain, and meant that we were going just a bit down wind instead of straight downwind. The fetch was now only about a mile, so the waves were considerably smaller. A bit of boost, not enough to beat us up, warm wind in the hair, what more could you ask? We almost caught up with Dave and Tom, getting to the ramp just a couple of minutes after them.

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