A Family Adventure

Tyson, Emilie & Isaac

Kayaking Sunday – lake Contoocook

May 1, 2012
Emilie Phillips

I forget the exact wind forecast for sunday, but in general recently it has been gusting 25mph. The wind was offshore, and the wave forecast was miniscule. So we decided that local lake paddling was a more interesting idea. We ended up picking the particular lake based on it being an excuse to visit Tyson’s grandmother who lives right on it.


Beyond that we did not really have a plan, and it showed. I set off paddling and Tyson started practicing rolls. Then I switched to putzing around and he decided to go for paddling distance. Finally we both ended up putzing, but the area we were exploring was too shallow because the dam on the lake was set low.


Over lunch we regrouped and formed a plan. Putzing did not really seem that interesting. It was a bit too chilly for lots of roll practice to be fun (though I did do several reverse sweeps and sculling forward finish practices. The first few used way too much arm strength. I tried concentrating on my leg and hip motion, but that made it worse. Then I tried concentrating on keeping my shoulders horizontal and that made an immense improvement. I also did an offside hand roll for variety. I obviously don’t do it often enough because it felt wierd, but I came up just fine.) In any event, that left us with distance paddling or strength training. We had the wind to fight which really just reframes the problem.


So we headed off down the lake. We found some almost fun waves to play in. The wind was whiping up white crests, but unfortunately the fetch was short so their period was fairly short. Also, they were going slow enough that a reasonable paddling rate outpaced the waves thus minimizing any surfing benefit.


As usual, I could almost but not quite keep up with Tyson. So I had him attach a tow line to me. It turned out that the extra drag from the tow line was enough that I could keep up with him just fine. We made it down most of the length of the lake before he declared that he was tired of dragging the rope around in the water. So we hauled it in and then both set a good pace back. It felt good to push myself to really make some speed in the kayak. I also think I was doing a little better on paddle technique. I will definitely need more strength training before I can sustain a racing pace with a reverse cant stroke for more than a short distance.


As mentioned before, after the sustained workout in the kayak and the yard work the day before, I fell asleep in no time flat in the car.