morning paddle at minus 12 C.

I surfed the log yesterday and had a blast in the waist to chest high mush. probably caught 30 or 40 waves at the point -lots of long nose rides and easy trimmin. this afternoon we're expecting a winter storm with blowing snow and heavy winds. at sun rise it was dead calm with ominous low gray skies so I decided to go for a short paddle in the harbour before the wind came up.

I suited up at home and headed down to the old Africville site under the McKay Bridge -just a two minute drive down the hill from our house. I unstrapped the behemoth as quickly as I could but not before my fingers started to freeze. I put on the mitts and headed for the boat launch, board under one arm and paddle in the other. I got in only getting my booties wet and paddled North towards the Bedford Basin and the cargo docks. a group of brown ducks scurried along the shoreline as I approached. wisps of smoke from the three candy cane stacks from the coal plant along the Dartmouth side were a tell tale sign of the southwest wind just starting to gather strength.

paddling in the Harbour is surreal. there are huge cargo ships coming in and out all day long and it feels a bit strange to be there among such massive industry. although I appreciate the exercise from the morning's paddle I'm not so sure the 10 degrees F. is ideal. the stand up paddle board has a neoprene deck pad for traction. the back part of the pad was covered in two centimeters of slush. I noticed when I got to the halfway point and stepped back to do a pivot turn. I almost slid off into the icy harbour. the old 7mm boots are a little leaky now and within just twenty minutes my feet were starting to freeze. as I paddled back the wind started coming up a little stronger creating some chop on the waters surface. I made it back to the launch and was back at home within ten minutes. all in all a good experience for a Sunday morning but it will be much better in the spring when the temperature is above freezing and the discomfort level is lower.


tres_arboles said...

You're my hero, man. I woke up to steel grey skies but no wind and thought about going for a paddle too. Walked the dog and did a butt load of yard work instead. Only thing I'm paddling now is my couch!


lawless said...

That's the first shot I've seen of the SUP, it's an ugly fucker idn't it? Not quite sure where you find your motivation in the cold.

Eric said...

Is that the paddle you made? In reference to your question...i'm working on a desk..nothing crazy or overly difficult, but fun none the less, cheaper and more satisfying than buying a piece of sh!t from the store. Foreseeing some hardwater on the big lake after the deep freeze they are calling for.