Thursday, July 28, 2011

Kayaking: I Once Was A Sailor

July 23, 2011

Yep, In the late 80's to the mid 90's I was a boat coxswain in the US Coast Guard. Since then my "sea legs" have sought out a more solid surface. I have been on the water less than 10 times in the last 15 years. I am more of a woodsy type of guy. This was the first time kayaking in my life.

This trip was actually suggested by my wife who enjoys kayaking. She has been many times before and since I spend a lot of time hiking I thought I would give the legs a break and paddle away. We were recommended by my friend Kathi to kayak on Chittenden Reservoir and that she would meet us there. We got to the public boat access at 7:00 am and Kathi arrived within a minute later. 

We launched our kayaks and paddled off. The weather was relatively cool in the upper 70's compared to the heatwave that hit the northeast and the skies were overcast. We paddled along the shoreline in a counter-clockwise direction.

We paddled along the shore checking out the scenery. There was plenty of wildlife, mainly birds that we passed. Red Loons, Gulls, and possibly an Osprey but it was too high to identify. There are Osprey nesting platforms on this lake.  

Osprey nesting platform  (Kathi  Altobell, photo)

We paddled towards the middle of the lake some just taking in the Vermont landscape. As a I paddled slowly, more of a drift, I reminisced my May section hike. Section 6 of the Long Trail was completely in view. From Mount Carmel to Dave's Peak It was neat to recall every little hill in between. 

Mount Carmel

Telephone Gap (Jennifer Minard, photo)
Dave's Peak
I continued paddling south towards a small island where some campers were leaving. The sun had started burning off the early morning overcast and the humidity started to rise. I paddled around the island as my back started to get sore.

The island

As I headed back towards the boat landing (I say I because we all took our own little ventures), the sun had completely broke through and the July heat started to beat down but it lit up the shoreline beautifully.

As I rounded the last point my back was quite sore and my legs were stiff from being in the same position for two hours so I rested them on the deck of the vessel.  My wife was amused at the fact that I was wearing wool socks and hiking shoes. I'm in nature therefore the wool socks & Merrells are a given.

Merrells & Darn Tough on the water (Jennifer Minard, photo)
Overall it was a great morning. I really enjoyed traveling in nature in a different fashion. My first kayaking trip didn't chase me away and I look forward to doing it again. I think a fall trip on this lake would be gorgeous with the foliage as a back drop.


1 comment:

  1. Glad you enjoyed your first kayaking trip! I love kayaking, its very different to see nature from the water than from on the trail, that's for sure.