Monday, January 05, 2009

We were supposed to go out New Year's Day, but at the last minute the instigator got cold feet with a windchill of around -25 and canceled the trip. Which brings us to this weekend. Cold, 14, but sunny and calm.

Coast Guard ramp was frozen in, so we met at Perkin's Pier, still part of the downtown waterfront. When we got there there was a duck frozen into the ice. Tom tried to melt the ice by pouring water on it, but to no avail. I had a ripping hammer in my trunk which he used to chop the ice away. The duck ended up running to the water with 2 big blocks of ice on its feet and seemed able to swim ok in short order.

On to the paddling.. My first time out in cold weather with mittens.. I could get used to that, except for the bit about getting the tuiliq hooked into the cockpit rim. We headed north, and Appletree Bay had a good load of "bergie bits" which weren't just shards of sheet ice, but chunks reaching a foot to a foot and a half deep. This led into a discussion of how that was the first sign Shackleton had.

We did lots of rolls of various kinds, pushing to the slightly exotic behind-the-neck, and making sure to do some on the off-side. Underwater was still comfy, except for that bit of exposed face giving brain-freeze headache, so I wasn't eager for extended hang time.

The other guys had black tuiliqs and I could see steam coming off where the sun hit them. I don't know if my red one was doing that, but once we got moving again a shell of ice formed. We stuck close to shore through the city on the way back and did a couple more rolls to clear the ice just before landing.

No comments: