Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Paddles and ice cream

On Monday Nancy and I went kayaking on the Minas Basin. We decided we were going to put in at the entrance to Blomidon Provincial Park and then kayak south along the shore to the tiny port of Delhaven. We had a very pleasant trip of several hours, Nancy had thought it would be a one hour trip but it really was a couple of hours, not including a lunch break.

At our put-in at Blomidon there was a steep staircase down the cliff to the beach, with a 90 degree turn part way down. We had to carry both kayaks down that staircase. Some tourists were just coming up the stairs and one man offered to help carry the kayaks down. Nancy said, No thanks, but I swatted at her and said, We'd be delighted.

Later she said she did not want to appear to be a helpless female, I said that at my age I felt I had already proved my point and would happily accept help when offered. Nancy being younger than I is probably a little more capable of carrying kayaks down staircases; I thought we could do it but it would be difficult, it was right on the edge of what I thought I could handle.

While out on the water we were talking about spare paddles. Generally, you want to have a spare with you in case you lose your working paddle. Nancy had learned a trick, basically a dogleash for her paddle so that it wouldn't leave the kayak, thus eliminating the need for a spare. We speculated on what you would do if you lost your paddle and we supposed you'd have to try to paddle with your hands. Then Nancy suggested that maybe ping pong paddles would work. My goodness, they are so much smaller than a spare paddle!

You could add elastic straps so that they just strapped onto your hands, and in a kayak you're close enough to the water that they'd work fine without having to bend over. Maybe extra cold water would be a problem, you might not want to be dipping your hands into really cold water. But it would be fine for just normal cold water. The Minas Basin was cold, colder than I'd like to swim in, but not so cold as to prevent swimming if you really had to, and certainly not too cold for paddling with your hands.

There was clear clear sky over the water but lots of little fluffy clouds over land. I watched as the clouds drifted over the cliffs and how they would start to evaporate as they moved out over the water. You could watch a cloud disappear before your eyes in only a few minutes. I suppose the reflected heat from the water was just too much for those clouds.

Along the way we saw cliff swallows flying around their little swallow village at the top of one of the cliffs, and a nude man sunbathing. Well, I didn't see him, I was too busy taking pictures of the birds, but Nancy did. He had picked a spot that at high tide was isolated from the rest of the beach, presumably so no one would bother him (or vice versa). But he didn't allow for passing kayaks.

We reached Delhaven a little later than planned but no harm done. The tide was receding fairly fast and there was a fishboat moored at the wharf there. A narrow passage of water by the boat allowed us to easily reach the boat ramp, but I think if we had arrived even a quarter of an hour later that passage would have been gone and we would have had to drag our kayaks through the mud and saltgrass to the ramp.

The handles I made from the tubing worked beautifully!

For this trip we had to leave one vehicle at Delhaven and then take the second vehicle (my truck) to Blomidon with the kayaks. Once we completed the trip we drove back to Blomidon to pick up my truck and then home, via the road up Stewart Mountain and then through the Look-Off.

Of course, we had to stop for ice cream cones at the Look-Off, and then admire the view. There is a campground there with a good restaurant and a little mini-putt, it looks like a good place to camp with kids. Unfortunately with all the rain we have been having business has been rather poor and there were only a few RVs in the campground.

It was kind of interesting to be driving behind Nancy's car with both the kayaks on her car roof. I guess that's the first time I've actually seen my kayak travelling on a rooftop. It looked fine!

1 comment:

Alan G said...

Sounds like a really great way to spend a summer day with a your kayaking mate!

Had to chuckle about the "stairs" incident. :)