Sunday, March 16, 2014

Last winter paddle? Maybe.

Every Monday I start looking at the long range forecast with an eye on weekend paddling.  Then I schedule the things I have to do around that.  If Saturday is the best paddle day then other duties are assigned to days other than Saturday.

During the week as each day passes I keep an eye on the forecast hoping the optimistic forecast holds.  It held ...

... so, I mailed the gang to see if I would have company on such a perfect paddle day.  Only Neville was free to paddle.  The rest had chores to do or were ill.  Saturday dawned a beautiful clear bright but cold day.  The slight breeze out of the north had a biting sting as it ...

... blew across an expanse of sea ice of off the northeast coast.

There wasn't a cloud in the sky.

A week ago the sea here was frozen solid.  A southerly had blown it out of the bay but it was still cold enough to form ice crystals.  The north breeze blew it onto the coast at places where it formed pools of slush that was just like trying to paddle through wet concrete.

Neville and I took our time and paddled through this kelp bed and into Portugal Cove ...

... where we met paddling colleague Mike K who snapped this shot of us approaching.  Again the slush was pushed along the shore to our right.  It stood between us and a beach we intended to take out for a break so we became ...

... icebreakers, sort of.  Thanks Mike for the pictures.

We took out in the cove and sat in the sun which is slowly gathering strength as the winter ebbs away.  Thursday is the first day of spring.  Cool conditions will still prevail but the paddle on this day will likely be the last one that is technically in winter.

So, the message for my friends that missed paddling on the day is you have to make hay when the sun shines.  And guys, don't hurt yourselves too much as you kick yourself *lol* for missing out.

I'll start looking at the forecast again Monday morning for our first spring paddle next weekend.

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