Monday, March 26, 2007

Connecticut River Kayaking

After finally finding my missing keys on Saturday, I packed up my kayak and gear and headed for Pratt Cove in Deep River.

My plan was to follow this inlet out to the Connecticut River and then cross to the Old Lyme side. Being that this would be my second ever kayak trip, I figured that I would be paddling at least 100 times farther than I ever had before.

I put the kayak in the water and headed off. The temperature was just below 50 degrees and the water was still very cold. It took longer than I thought it would but I eventually made it to the Connecticut River.

That's when it got a little scarier. I normally have the feeling of being very low in the water and, while a 13 foot kayak looks big in my living room, on the water it feels pretty tiny. There was a breeze blowing from the south (not even a wind, just a breeze) but it made some waves that tossed my kayak around.

I'm sure most boaters would call the water conditions "calm," but being all by myself in the Connecticut River, it seemed a bumpy to me. I never felt like the kayak was even close to tipping, but I could definitely tell the difference when I left the cove. The waves were probably under a foot, but they seemed towering next to my kayak.

Anyway, I paddled up the river to
Deep River Landing, stopped and had a banana (still trying to resolve my hangover issues). I decided to nix the Connecticut River crossing idea. If anything happened to my kayak while I was crossing, I don't know what I would do. There were no other boats out on Saturday.

The trip back was a little tougher- the breeze was in my face, the tide was against me, and my back was really hurting (I have to find a way to adjust my seat for more support). I took a couple of
quick videos to show the "rough" conditions. The wind would push the kayak sideways pretty quickly, so the video is short:

I made it back to Pratt Cove and it was pretty easy paddling back to my car. It really was a nice day but, until the water temperature rises a little, I think I'll stick to places with smooth water.

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