Kayak on the water, paddling trips

Sunday, April 16, 2006

First trip for 2006! Happy Easter!

Weather : Cloudy, Rain
Wind (km/h) : N 28 - N 24
Temp. : 1 °C

Location : Cap-À -l'Aigle, Québec, Canada

Awoke with the sound of the bedroom blind banging on the window frame. Arose and looked out onto the St-Lawrence and saw white caps in the sheltered bay... ummm, says I, day trip will be cancelled... ummm, says my partner, no way it's nothing just a little breeze...

Arrive at the Marina at the same time as our guide, Sébastian Savard. Smiles all around we get ready. Stepping into the double kayak, my boots fill with the frigid water. Ah, the joys of kayaking in April in Québec. We set out with a strong headwind that washes away the grime of the urban grind.

Looked up and saw Eiders (ducks), Lo and behold the first time I ever saw males... 'cuz when I go up north mating season is over and they are long gone in to the large leaving their wives and children near the coastlines. Here I saw dozens of them in couples. Just for those moments, the trip was a keeper!

As we continued up along the coastline, a clear line separated the waters coming from the rivers swollen with melted snow and the salty water from the Gulf of the Saint Lawrence. Once the line was crossed, the water was a clear green, cold and merciless. The tide was rising and the North Wind was blowing.

In our double kayak, we had no problems. Our guide, in his solo with no rudder had more of a challenge.

Discovered the joy of paddling with a wooden paddle. It is light and heats up with the heat from the hands. Grey Owl, very nice.

After awhile, the waves where starting to get the best of me and although I didn't feel the fear I had encountered last year, my body was tense. Also, we had been paddling for a few hours without rest, water or fuel. So that when we reached the Cape, I was somewhat weary and anxious to step on solid ground. The men were having fun in the waves, and I felt guilty but I had enough. A small seal was checking us out... just as certain birds tell us humans that Spring and Summer is here, our presence must tell them that the next season is beginning!

We landed on a rocky beach not too sheltered from the wind. With the Tide rising we had to raise the boats walking on slippery rocks and ice cold water. A nice warm homemade soup, sandwiches, couscous and a warm sweet coffee later, we were good to go... to the bathroom that is... aahhh the pleasure of peeling off layers of cold wet clothes and wet suit to urinate amongst the rocks.

The ride back was a breeze, no pun intended, the wind was steadily pushing us. Paddled like a fairy light with no power, just enough to keep warm. Our guide had more of a workout keeping his boat in order.

Seating here in front of my puter, dry and warm all I can say is "f**k, that was a great day!"

Thanks to Sébastian, for leaving his newly born son, Ulysses, and guiding.
Thanks to Gilles for giving me the ride out of town!

Now then, when is my next trip?!


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