Saturday, July 20, 2019

Kayaking and Busyness

On Gaspereau Lake in 2009
On Thursday I went on a 5 hour kayak expedition, that includes time spent eating lunch onshore and going for a nice swim. I was utterly exhausted by the time I got home, emphasis on utterly. It was gorgeous and I enjoyed every minute of it but never took any photos so sorry about that, you'll just have to imagine it.  I'm using photos from other years here.

On Gaspereau Lake, 2009
The lake we were on has lots of islands and submerged rocks, which make it both interesting and relatively safe for kayaks because few motorboats want to risk running into those submerged rocks. We encountered a large group of teenagers with a couple of older leaders, maybe in their 20s, travelling in canoes and taking a break on an island with a large flat rock that easily accommodated the entire group. It turned out that they had been on the lake for several days, camping on various islands. Which gave us the idea that we could do that in the future too.

Gaspereau Lake, 2009
One of the interesting things we saw was in a bay called Lower North Bay. I joked that it was not as far north as Sudbury. From a distance we saw a row of black dots that might have been birds, or might have been semi-submerged tree stumps, we weren't sure. As we got closer the black dots disappeared! Then we wondered if it was some kind of mirage. The far end of the bay was kind of marshy but we followed a channel through the marsh and eventually spotted our black dots again. It was a large family of Canada Geese who easily disappeared into the marsh grass when we got too close.

On Gaspereau Lake, 2009
Another interesting thing we saw was while we were eating a rather sumptuous lunch feast on a rocky shore. We heard a loon and looked across the lake in the direction of the loon call, we saw another black dot out in the middle of the lake. But it was too big to be the loon, loons swim low in the water and are sometimes hard to spot, this was more of a black blob than a black dot. Then one of us remembered that she had brought binocs with her so we checked it out. It turned out to be a bald eagle, standing on a submerged rock! I'm guessing the loon was calling a warning about the eagle, and the eagle was just standing there either resting or looking for his next meal.

At the Reservoir, 2018
I was in my new inflatable kayak. I got it last year and tried it out on the Reservoir once before getting sick and not being able to take it out again. On Wednesday I practiced assembling and inflating the kayak in my back yard, which took well over an hour. However I learned enough to be able to do it a lot quicker the next day. When we arrived at the lake I was able to assemble, inflate and load the kayak for travel in under 20 minutes. It rides very high in the water and in my opinion looks kind of ugly (it's made of black rubber), but is adequately fast and amazingly maneuverable. I can turn on a dime. I had a spray skirt for it but had a lot of difficulty getting it on and after several minutes gave up. Didn't really need it though, very little water ended up inside the kayak by the time we were done.

Once deflated and disassembled it fits neatly in a large backpack that makes it possible to transport from the water to the car. I weighed myself with the kayak on my back and it came to almost 45 lbs, which is a lot. If I lose my balance I will topple with that kind of weight, so I do have to be careful. I use the paddle as a staff to hopefully prevent falls. The others were able to move their kayaks to the cars much more quickly than me, but the time it took to load their kayaks onto the car roofs and tie them down was much longer and I actually stood around waiting while they finished loading their kayaks. So I think it was worthwhile. Mind you, I just got an email from a store out west that sells inflatable kayaks with a kayak on sale (and free shipping!) that was cheaper and looked far better than mine, one I had looked at last year but thought I couldn't afford. Oh well.

On Friday I was still exhausted, I woke up too late to take Hapi for her walk before my writing group meeting. Then I got a call from a contractor who had said he was coming Saturday but now was coming on Friday and expecting to be at my place before my writing group meeting was over. So I had to call him to say I wouldn't be home and could he postpone. He went off and ran some errands, said he'd be at my place shortly after 1.00pm but his errands took till 2.30pm and I again postponed Hapi's walk until he arrived. And by that time it was too hot, so Hapi never got a walk. In compensation I drove her to the post office for a dog treat.

I thought I was going to mow the lawn but I was way too exhausted, so I spent the afternoon listening to the contractor tell stories about himself. He's someone who can work and talk at the same time so I didn't mind, but what I really wanted to do was just read a book, even listening was energy consuming. When he left he said I should just tell him to shut up because he lives alone and takes advantage of having an audience for his non-stop patter. Probably should have but he was sufficiently interesting that I didn't like to interrupt. Fortunately he is not coming back today, he'll finish the job on Sunday or Monday.

I'm not as exhausted today and I have to pick up a couple of things for the contractor to finish the job, but otherwise my day is pretty much clear, a welcome relief to several days of busyness!

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