Monday, April 7, 2014

A Story About Walking & Paddling

It is a warm 13C/55.4F degrees in eastern Ontario this afternoon. Clear and sunny with the wind 16km/9mph out of the SE.

My walk was 5.6km/3.5mi. It took me just over one hour. It was 5,705 steps and I burned 417 calories. Very invigorating and head clearing.

I also drove down to Lower Rideau Lake to see that it is still covered in ice. The Tay River is open, but I did not have anybody to file a float plan with so I'm here at home instead.

Patience my friend, patience. There is still snow on the ground and although it is melting. The lake will not be clear for paddling until after all the snow on the ground is gone.
However we are supposed to receive a substantial mount of rain in the next couple of days so that should help turn the ice to liquid.
It has been 30 days since I posted the hope that 30 days hence the ice would have melted! It seems to be par for this very long, severe winter. At least the Great Lakes froze over more this year than in the last 20 years, so that will raise the water levels. Superior already has displayed higher levels in 2013. Huron, Michigan, Erie and Ontario should have significantly higher levels this year as a result of the freeze over.

Last year I successfully completed the Paddle Canada Basic Skills Kayak Course, click on: now.
Eighty days from now will be the Paddle Canada Sea Kayak Level 1 Skills Course. Here is a link to the Paddle Canada course outline.

This year I will conduct my kayak trips using the correct procedures.
I will file a float plan.
I will carry a first aid kit.
I will carry an emergency kit comprised of flares, etc.
I will plot my course on charts using the compass to establish bearings and back bearings.
I will carry enough food and water and gear for an unexpected night put-in.

Some of these things I learned last year in the FW course and some I have been learning from books and video in anticipation of this years course.

I remember very much the two lessons from last years trips, namely:

1) Spending an unplanned night in a raging thunderstorm on the isthmus between South Otter Lake and Doe Lake.
2) Paddling to Port Elmsley and ending up in Poonamalie by mistake.

It is not a question of will 'something' happen, it is an understanding that 'something' will happen! And I need to be ready.

So I will not be making the trip to northern Georgian Bay this summer. I do not have the required experience yet. I would have been making the trip with another kayaker with more experience than myself. But that is not the intention.
Next year after completing the Sea Kayak Level 2 Skills Course, here, I will be ready for that trip.

The reading/learning that I have been doing these past number of months are clear. Sound judgement requires one to operate at the current skill level ... not gamble our lives or safety, or that of others, by taking chances. 

So instead I am planning a trip after the Level 1 course. It will be from Rideau Ferry to Kingston and back. That will be a trip that I am confident about the conditions. 

So this is the end of this episode of the story, the journey, the dream.

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