A Family Adventure


Tyson, Emilie & Isaac

First paddle of the year

May 26, 2011
Emilie Phillips

Sunday we met up with two friends of Tyson’s to get away from chores and go for a little local paddle. Getting ready for the trip I first had to take all the kayaking gear out of storage and put the ski gear in storage. After all that, I was still missing enough pieces that I suspect there is another moving box somewhere with kayaking gear. We found enough stuff though to go kayaking.

It was a slightly dreary day and we were just paddling a lake, so the main entertainment was playing around in the boat. I was planning on practicing rolling, but at the put in I discovered one of the missing items was my nose plug. Some people can blow out of their nose a little and not have to hold their nose underwater. I am not one of them. In salt water I do not mind leaving my nose plug off as much because the salt water does not sting badly. Fresh water up the nose is just aweful. I did a couple balance braces and that was easy enough. Then I had fun paddling full speed around an extra island. That was fun, but then I was quite hot and wanted a roll. I decided to give it a try and see if I could blow out my nose — no such luck. I came up coughing and spluttering.

I pondered how to deal with my impass as I continued being a bit too warm. Then it occured to me that the Greenlanders have all these rolls for adverse situations such as getting tangled up in a harpoon line. So I figured I needed a new roll for my problem — hand roll while holding your nose. I did it as a layback roll with the inboard hand holding my nose. That worked. I thought I was pretty cool. There is an official roll called the elbow roll where you put your outboard hand behind your head. It is kind of tricky. I tried a variation of my holding your nose roll with the outboard hand holding my nose. That did not work, so I let go of my nose, flooded my head, grabbed my paddle, rolled upright, and coughed and sputtered for a while. That about dampened my enthousiasm for more playing around with rolls.

Then I transitioned to practicing strokes. Stern rudder and bow rudder still worked. My side draw was quite rusty as was my reverse cant stroke. And most of the blended strokes need a bit of refresher. I am going to need to keep practicing those next time out. But I still had fun practicing what I could do.

Eventually we all got cramped and sore from our first trip out and headed back to land. Tyson practiced a bunch of forward finishing rolls at the put in making me wish I had my nose plug.