Sunday, December 2, 2012

December Double

OK ...... maybe we chewed off too much for one day.

The first day of December and what better way to bring in the Christmas season by planning not one paddle but two all within 12 hours. One could call it testing our stamina but on the other hand one could call it "what were you thinking"?

Our day started by joining the South Island Sea Kayaking Association (SISKA) for a Relaxed Paddle on Saturday morning exploring the Gorge / Portage Inlet system. Joining up with 12 other paddlers our group lead by Gary Allen did what a relaxed paddle is supposed to be which was simply loligagging along the shoreline, playing limbo under gangways and trying to get stuck under low lying trees. No unnecessary waste of energy unless absolutely needed.

The one thing that was great to see was the number of new or relatively low time on the water paddlers come out for this paddle. What better environment to build up time and confidence than the protected waters of the Gorge but mother nature could have cooperated a bit better. The forecast called for periods of rain and right on cue the rain started at the paddle briefing. Although not everyone had dry suits those who didn't came prepared for the possibility of getting wet and they sure did.

Every once and a while the clouds would open up to reveal the sun and a few rainbows were seen around us. Then it was back to performing yoga to clear the gangways our any obstacles that we could challenge us.

I have no idea when I will ever use this paddle skill again but when you have peer pressure ya just have to show how it can be done. LOL

The group explored Craigflower Creek until we came across a dead fall blocking our way. I have heard that at one time you could paddle through a culvert that goes under the Trans Canada Highway not too far from where we had to turn around. Talk about up the creek with lots of paddlers!

Oh yeah .... I forgot to mention that it was high tide in the Gorge which can be a good thing because at low tide there are many places that you get stuck in the silt of Portage Inlet making passage to Colquitz Creek impossible. On the other hand with the rain run off and high tide it made for slim pickings for a rest stop area but we did manage to find one on the Colquitz.

I took this picture where it is normally high and dry but not today.

After our lunch break we headed further up the Colquitz until we all pretty much had enough of the rain and decided to head back to our put in location. It was a hardy group of paddlers who came out for a very relaxed paddle and you know something? Paddling in the rain isn't that bad after all.

Paddle #77

But Wait!!!!  There's more.

Robyn and I have been spending a few of our weekend evenings in the Crystal Pool working on our rolling skills and so after a couple hours to relax (nap) we were in the warm pool water at the Ocean River Sports drop in session. Feeling pretty good with our rolling progression we were excited to get back at it again with the GoPro Hero 2 ready to capture our training session.

WRONG!!!!  My first two attempts resulted in really bad timing of the sweep, hip snap, burying the paddle and of course lifting my head way to early. Oh well, I got to practice wet exits with my new Snap Dragon spray skirt. :-)

While I regrouped it was Robyn's turn and bingo .... same results as mine. What the heck???? We could do this a couple weeks ago. So it was back to basics for both of us as we started from scratch assisting each other Go Kayak style and analysed what we were doing wrong. After some more frustrating attempts things started to come together and even though not pretty we managed to get ourselves out of the water. It wasn't pretty and we knew it. :-)

It was during one of my set ups I found myself just leaning forward with my paddle in position and I realized that I simply couldn't think any more. I had no idea what I was going to do next and the only thing that came to mind was that we were told that there would be days like this.

Both of us just didn't feel comfortable in the pool tonight and it really wasn't physical tiredness we were experiencing but more of a mental block was occurring.  As we tried to struggle our way through the evening the physical exhaustion started to set in and we knew that we really weren't progressing tonight as we have in the past.

Lesson learned?  Don't bite off too much that you can chew on.

Oh yeah ...... the GoPro video ain't worth showing!  LOL

Paddle #78 sort of ....
Total Distance (2012) 678.57 km

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