Saturday, July 4, 2009

First Trip - Day 1

Been awhile since I've posted an update, didn't really have anything to post since the last one. If all goes well, I leave for my trip in about 10 days. Work has been busy and no opportunity to get out, figured I better get my butt in gear.

Woke up this morning and sun was out in full force, packed up all my gear, loaded the truck and off I went. Got to swift kayak around noon, rented the "coffin" and got down to the business of my first pack. First mistake, took a 16 foot kayak (knowing I need an 18) barely got everything in and didn't have full set of clothing nor food. Will definitely need the extra room. My matress wouldn't fit. Didn't think it would though.

Ok, here is where things get interesting, my sunny day turned into cloud and 30km wind, still go? Lord hates a coward, suprisingly I get in without incident, so far so good, push away from the dock and whoa, I thought I had balance, takes me about 5 minutes to settle into my comfort zone and from that point forward I never really feel nervous (almost).

Took me awhile to figure out the ruddering and am I ever glad I had one, will see why in a minute. The only issue I had, because I didn't know better, the footpegs were adjusted too far forward and couldn't sit properly to paddle because I had to reach forward too far with my feet. Didn't have anywhere to land once I realized, had to grin and bear it. Will correct for the return trip tomorrow.

I paddle up the main channel and the waves are getting bigger, very suprised at how well the kayak takes the waves, can't say the same for my pace, dead into wind at a crawl and if I stop paddling I go backwards instantly.

As I enter south georgian bay the waves are massive, up to two meters, white caps and cresting, I push on with relative ease as the monster waves crash over the bow. Note to self, make sure skirt is tight around waist cause at this point I'm getting wet. Arggghh.

I struggle across georgian bay and make it to port severn lock in about 2 hours. Didn't feel nervous the whole way and found it very calming. Did have to really pay attention for the sideways breaking waves though and a few times had to quickly turn into them or I was most likely going over. All and all I thing it was a good experience cause now I know what to expect in high wind and big waves. Rest should be a breeze.

Who would have thought the lock would be the toughest part of the trip. they have the water control system open so it's pretty much swirling whitewater rapids. Had to go into the rapids a bit then cut across otherwise would have ended up on the rocks.

Now what I heard had become reality, lock system doesn't cater to kayakers, only spot I could find was a low cement wall with 4 steps up, had to unpack kayak from there and then carry up the stairs. Will have to go with lighter glass kayak for the trip, extra 10 pounds makes a difference.

Setup camp, tent was tricky in 30km wind, then made myself some dinner, beef stoganof and a coffee, yum. Stove worked amazing as did the water filter. Did the dishes and went for a walk.

In my tent now relaxing and about to watch a movie (eagle eye). Funny, told my mother the matress wouldnt fit so she showed up a few minutes ago with an air matress for me and a coke. Gotta love moms, very comfy now and glad I took someones advice and brought comfy warm clothes to sleep in.

Tomorrow going to head out and do a few more kms then head back to the city. Hope it's sunny and no wind this time, I want to try a few capsizes which I didn't do today at all.

Will keep you posted.

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