Sunday, July 15, 2007

Kayaks battle the wind & waves

July 14th, 2007 we had our biggest single day group with 6 kayakers using 2 tandems and 2 singles. The day had an ominous feel to it with what appeared to be some threatening clouds and there was talk of shortening our planned trip. Kent and Dan declared we would stay the course and down to Silver Springs State park we headed. As we unloaded our gear a family group was taking off in 20 canoes loaded with plenty of beer. I was sure we would see more of them during the day! After our designated drivers returned from our takeout point we headed out onto the Fox. Chuck and Brandon took the two singles, Dan and Kent hopped in Dan's tandem and Adam and Kevin navigated Kent's tandem.

The day was beautiful with bright sun and a flowing river (unlike's last week's drag fest on the Duper). With an expected journey of approximately 11 miles and an estimated time of 3 or more hours we set off. This stretch of the Fox is very wide, has numerous islands and has very little man-made interference to disturb the shoreline. We did only see one blue heron which surprised me some. Just short of the 5 mile point we stopped on a little island for some sandwhiches and some beer (thanks Chuck). Kent and Dan switched boats with Chuck and Brandon for the 2nd half of the trip.

Altough we had commented throughout the day how windy it was and we were constantly looking for the ideal position in the river to avoid the wind, none of us was prepared for the hurricane-like winds that would smack us upside the head at about mile 9. The river was straight and the wind perfectly postioned right in our faces, creating whitecaps and difficult paddling conditions. It felt like we were paddling up Lake Michigan in the annual Macinac Island race. We all remained in good spirits despite the pulsating pain in the shoulders and lived to finish the 11.8 mile stretch in 3 hours and 55 minutes. It was nice to get on another river and enjoy the company of some new paddlers. I wonder how this trip would be with little or no wind.

No comments: