Definition for Kayak :-)

Kayak [] n. 1. an oblong banana shaped boat with a hole in the bottom from which the occupant dangles. Can be propelled the wrong way up by experts. (definition courtesy of Pete Knowles)
(And I've got this one from Chris' Kayak Lexicon)

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Flood Stage Kayaking

let me find out, what happened to the video clip that used to be here...

OK, this has got nothing to do with anything that I'll ever do, but you just had to see this!!!

He's going at over 225 rph (rolls per hour) and on top of that probably as many bph (braces per hour).

The music is awesome too so I reactivated my French and actually found it:

Carla Bruni: Quelqu'un M'a Dit


Thursday, July 26, 2007

What is the meaning of this?!?

I just came back from an evening of poker having one straight and one flush, Ace high and everything, after the other beaten by one BOAT after another!!!

"Boat" (also know as full house)

What is the universe trying to tell me?

That I should have ignored that weatherforecast and demoed that Project 52 playboat instead? Definitely!

That I should not have passed on no less than three splendiferous paddling opportunities this weekend?!? Two with fabulous females and one with a mystery male...

Well the latter was for a good reason: I need to recharge, build energy reserves so I'll have a better charc, physically and even more important mentally the next time I'm on the river or for my next crack at rolling!

Well I hope it meant that I should buy that CR250 river running playboat, because I just did :-)

That's her and in this very color :-)

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Siren's Call

Friday July 20

Nora had asked me, if I wanted to go to Taylors Falls on the St. Croix with her. I somehow rationalized myself into taking the day off despite looming deadlines - and what a gorgeous day it was!!!

The pictures below are from another equally gorgeous day at the same spot but taking the steam boat. You have to look close, but there are actually a couple of playboaters who I may meanwhile know, but I don't quite recognize their boats and gear. At the time I got all concerned, because I saw this one guy working it really hard and still not escaping this spot. When I told my friend, that we need to get help for a rescue, she explained to me, that no, he's just surfing. Aah. You can imagine I felt a bit like an idiot :-).

Exhausted from the week's grind and too little sleep I didn't have the fight in me to actually run it, although the current low water level would have made it a fairly mellow run. Tried not to beat myself up for letting Nora down on that one. And I didn't have to, because she nearly wacked me with her paddle, after I had "learned" what trespassing is :-) The guy and his wife were super-nice about it and extremely eager to help me out and show me a good route. After all, they clearly could tell that I had in no way meant to be, where I had ended up. "Vat, sis is not se vay to se osser side of se britch? Sorry!" So no harm to the reputation of good kayakers done, phiew!

And hey, ferry work is good too and since I had lost my ferry this spring I definitely want to get a lot of practice in. And I can tell that my abs are getting stronger from concentrating on better body rotation on the flat stretches, I can still feel some arm toning, but I can live with that :-).

We broke for lunch and had greasy food. Just as well, that I don't usually get to do that. I don't think it would do anything for me and my "under water work" :-).

Nora showed me a great way of getting the boat over a stretch of too shallow water without us looking like bent old hags. Sticking the paddle into the bow of the boat and pushing it probably made us more look like housewives with very strange pinafores and even stranger hoovers before we were afloat and on our way back upriver again. But we were not fact we were being "ferreted out" by a cute little and wet wanna-be otter who ran alongside with us on shore with his head peaking out over the rocks every so often, checking up on what we were up to. And yes, we bumped into Jeff, a hard to mistake greenland paddler with his homemade yellow boat.

It's such a pretty river, so here's some more impressions from my first trip to the St. Croix with my kayaking friends Roxanne, Courtney & Tom, a couple of years ago and just a little further downstream from the rapids.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


No no, I am not talking about unspeakable things between a kayaker and a canoer!

I am talking about some of my different worlds seeping into each other.

I didn't even mention, what kind of a blog I was starting to my toastmaster friends and it ends up right in a newsflash: "Buoyed by her ice-breaker success, Rosie to publish blog ..."

Buoyed?!? My investigation ended up as a Letter to the Editor faster than you can say "gorilla-arming"!

And it is getting worse!!! I just found another newsflash reading: Eskimo Roll -- like cow-tipping, only with mittens ... you can imagine that I wasn't taking this insult rolling over and immediately the wires ran hot as I was sending another letter! They haven't published that one...but I will get you guys back come September with speeches back on the schedule!!!

(You can see my Toastmasters Club is all about friendly word fights to show us how much we love each other :-)

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Making love under water

Will have to wait for another day.

Yesterday morning was all about learning the roll

a) Convincing my brain that just because there is a sprayskirt involved, water doesn’t all of a sudden turn into a terrifying monster. And I kid you not, Alex (rolling instructeur extraordinaire) actually did check under my boat, that there were no monsters under there!!! (I told my non-boating friend Laurie later, that I behaved like a complete baby, which she didn’t believe, but then again she has not experienced me in a ww boating situation...)

I just heard from Nora that Ron had posted a picture on his blog.

b) Convincing my stomach, that no, those antibiotics do not cause stomach upset. I said NO! Stomach to Rosie: "So why is it that the lake is swaying so badly?" I successfully negotiated with my stomach once and commenced rolling, but soon after it told me to f-off and something about “fool me once...” It was VERY clear about not wanting to roll anymore while having to deal with the bloody giardia that I caught, doing guess what, as well as the bloody antibiotics that I was taking against that Vermillness.*

But I would like to commend at least some of the parts of my body that did not fail me that day.

Number 1

A big hip hip hurray to my hips! Years of intense bellydancing have not been in vain and a hip kick and a hip snap really only differ in the kind of skirt you wear. (Remind me of that again in a combat situation...)

Number 2

Paddle thieves beware. I have strong arms and I am going to cling on to my paddle for dear life, if you try to pinch it, while I am setting up for a roll and I am not watching. (Sadly that didn’t help Alex with moving my paddle to where it shoulda gone...hindsightsigh!)

All in all, while I did not actually and fully roll, I got a lot closer and given more time I would have I'm sure. I also had an excellent chance to practise looking at an experience in a positive way and I can’t get too much of an expert in that!

I distinctly remember Alex saying: “That is going to make me cry.” (But I think that was in anticipation of me executing a beautiful sweep in combination with that hipsnap of mine. I did not make him cry that morning. But be ready, not if, but when. :-)

I don't have pictures, so I am borrowing this one of Freya (DE) from Peter's (DK) blog.

It was fun to watch those greenland guys roll and do all sorts of balance tricks with their boats and paddles, before I made my way home.

I had to get ready for a picnic with my non-boating friends - that restful tranquil eddy, where things like a roll and the fear of “being under” cease to have meaning. Where Laurie asks me, “Who’s Giardio?” As we catch up on recent love interests and her sister’s wedding to her Mr. Darcy. And my non-boating friends were all what yesterday afternoon was about. And it was good. I love you! Even if I haven’t been writing as much about my time with you. And yes Roxanne, let's paddle Lebanon Hills, Lake Rebecca or maybe even better, both and the St Croix to boot!

Gone paddling.

* A term somewhat coined by PaulE, who measures the flow of the Vermillion River by Hastings not in cfs (cubic feet per second) but cpps: cow pies per second :-))

Images: Qadesh the Cat

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

You win some you loose some

Down the Verm again with Nora yesterday at 43 cfs. Yay! Wow, felt lower than last time. Can you notice every single cfs at this level? Felt really exhausted going down after work, but really energized afterwards!

Found lines and felt good executing them. Yay! Lost second stage of eddy peel out. What can you do.

The other day on the lake I stunned myself with brilliant bow draws but made up for it with stinky sweeps.

I don't think I'll ever bitch about a professional soccer player again, when they have an off day, although soccer "is all they do"! No use trying to explain it, just practice to smoothe out those performance valleys.

Possibly more ramblings later :-)

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Moonlight Paddling with MCA Folks Organized by my Well-liked Friend Jay

30 June 2007

What can I say, great company, beautiful weather, lovely warm water and a large golden moon. It was just magic.

Ginormous in whitewater circles my Nomad 8.5 was the pigmy tonight. But far from developing a chip on her coaming she surprised some of the canoers with just how fast she can go! They figured that she was pretty much at hull speed, which sounds about right. I estimated that she would reach that at about 4.5 mph. Just like walking on water, huh.

The long flat course was a great excuse to focuse on good body rotation. Turns out body rotation is all it is cracked up to be! Although I really like the toning my arms have undergone since spring, I’d rather spend the energy on playing! (Hello Chad.)

We parted with plans to do that again really soon.

The lovely moon picture is from Utah Skies. Hope you don't mind. It just looked so much like what we saw over Calhoun :-)

Wolf River Section III - Maiden Run

I got the idea of starting some kind of ironic-humorous paddling blog as I was amusing myself with the excitement I felt over the teensie-weensie achievements during my first weekend on the Wolf at around 300 cfs. In my head the entries sounded somewhat like Bridget Jones’ Diary:

22 June 07

Still all systems go for weekend trip to WI with cute guy paddler. Yay! Have been ensuring my friend at work, that cute guy paddler is just being a nice guy and helping out with Bearpaw tornado cleanup as well as going on bunny water with a troubled novice paddler. Did send her his profile address anyway and her response was “Yummers” (Are you blushing yet, you who knows who you are? :-)

23 June 07

Nearly lost my paddle in first swim, but held on to it in all (sob) subsequent swims: v. good! Still have paddle. Thank you Maria. Although I had already picked out a new H2O paddle in my mind, as the closest thing to a Waterstick, when all hope seemed lost. (Got to try out Mike Manger’s WS and never quite looked back, although very fond of my AT paddle.) Had run into Maria first thing in the morning. I had met this splendid woman at last year’s Women’s Whitewater Festival and we immediatly bonded over similar opinions about our mothers and more important similar feelings about desserts! Oh yeah, and we both are analytical chemists.

Ran into Cynthia who I also knew from the festival (as well as Lynn whose canoe I had the chance to check out the year before). Cynthia and I hugged like long lost sisters. (I think Alex was starting to get venus-envy: "Have all women been to this festival?!") Cynthia pointed out a motley crew of three paddlers who turned out to be the infamous “Three Musketeers”! Chuck, Bill and Kirk. Gentlemen dandies and drinkers of brandies who had been in the same Canoe U class with me the year before. I was overwhelmed with a powerful realisation that this must mean that I am a part of the paddling community. There are few things that have ever felt better and that definitely makes every bit of struggle with my inner cowardice worthwhile.

To my great surprise and delight (yes delight, despite all my attempts to bolt at various stations of the run) Alex was up for another day of chasing down my boat (sob!!!), so arrangements were made with The Three Musketeers. Sadly Maria had to work the next day. Her boyfriend Tom, also a splendid chemist, is definitely a great inspiration for me. He’s new at this, but absolutely tireless in his learning.

24 June 07

After breakfast cigars we broke camp and headed for the Wolf. Another day of perfect weather! (Cigars: 0, v. good!)

Had a beautiful stretch of things coming together. (Leaned into 7 rocks: v. good!) I disengaged my posture and just let the boat go. The force was with me for a bit there. It was good to feel, what it is all about.

Later on I got a good lesson, that yes, you do want to think some 3 moves ahead, but still the next move IS the most important! Peeling out of the play hole eddy just above Hanson’s, I already had my mind on the rapid, screwed up a simple peel out and swam yet again. Did not quite make an eddy-out before Hanson’s, although still with my boat and paddle.

If you loose your boat, don’t loose the lesson! I had a long swim and lots of time to think. Actually managed to relax and get into a rhythm of breathing, going under, being tumbled around, breathing and pointing myself back downstream, going under, looking for suitable eddy.... My boss will be so pleased that I learned when to keep my mouth shut! I don’t want to start getting too comfortable with swimming, but maybe it’ll help me relax, knowing that most times a swim is just a swim.

Oh yeah, and by the way, Bill wasn’t rubbing it in the least bit, when he pulled up to me after my swim, with the cigar in his mouth still dry and alit. He’d been saving it from lunch to run Hanson’s with a lit cigar. Wonder if this is a first?

I was too exhausted to attempt the wave train part of Gilmore’s as I thought I might, so I did the mermaid maneuver onto a smooth sun charged rock and watched the boys playing. Particularly enjoyed Chuck’s surf! I did need some drying out, after all that swimming.

A great weekend was nearing it’s end. Hugs all around as we parted.

(Note from the editor: It is not true, that Kirk is reporting to Cynthia! Kirk I hope you had a great trip to BWCA. Barrel or Duluth pack?)

Made a stop in Wausau, to have a look at the course. Nora had prepared me, that I wasn’t ready to run that yet. Gives me a warm fuzzy feeling everytime someone implies that I may run/play something in the future :-)

Some wellknown faces were still sitting in a shaded spot or carrying their still dripping boats back to the car.

I definitely have my work cut out, if I want to start playing on that course next year, but I could have sworn Chad gave me a big grin after I came back from looking at the course. Had he seen me looking at lines with great yearning? Was he maybe pleased that all his hand-holding on the Kettle was yet to bear fruit, maybe?

Alex I still can’t believe our luck that you prefer boating over strawberry picking! Your Zen personality, sportsmanship and cameraderie were paramount. Please make sure that the good Catholic girl that snaps you up one of these days is a boater! You can’t be spared.

Boy Scout curtesy to John Lee
The Three Musketeers curtesy to NatalieG
Hanson's curtesy to Falk Eichorn
Gilmore's Mistake curtesy to Falk Eichhorn
Thank you John, Natalie and Falk!

Vermi'n with the Queen of the Vermillion!

Vermillion at 44cfs. Would this turn out to be the fuzzy bunny whitewater that I needed?

I felt like a kid on summer vacation as, on this sunny and hot Thursday morning, I drove not to work, but to Hastings for paddling.

With temperatures in a sweltering nineties I nearly melted as I pulled and lowered my boat towards the put-in. Can’t imagine yet, how I am going to get down this rocky abyss with my 45 lbs creeker, when it is slippery from rain or even snow :-) Wonder if my landlord would let me keep a large mountain goat?

In Nora’s calming wake I was as relaxed as I have ever been in my boat on moving water. Did some PRETTY good eddy work (v. good)

Pictures from Nora's Blog

I nearly lost it, when I got onto Donut Hole! Talking about feeling a sweet spot! Maybe this playboating could grow on me! And Art, the reason you don't see me smiling on the picture below is, because I am too darn busy going WOOHOOHOO!!!

My finest photogenic few minutes :-)

After some play on Donut I noticed my arm muscles feeling like custard. Turned out later, that I had lost too much electrolytes earlier. Damn that expedition it takes to get to the put in!

Surfing Donut was fabulous, but having a good old girl’s chat with Nora and getting to know her better was priceless. People have been talking about her to me and it’s all true: She’s great!!! We both like authenticity and that’s what we shared.

Made my way home on quite a high, which led to spending too much money at you-know-where on outdoor stuff.

Shame Bill Mc couldn’t be there! I think the best testament to my high is the mail I sent to him as soon as I got my laptop to boot up:

“It was so much fun with Nora on the Verm. Fuzzy bunny whitewater, yay! (Again, I hope Art doesn't read this.) Nice eddylines to practice on, and one of the waves was big enough for even my creeker! There are pictures! :-) Let's make sure we can go out there pretty darn soon! - Nora has indicated, that she is up for going down there, when we can work around her work schedule. She's just a darl! - I used a lot of the stuff I learned from Chad and Art! - And it's just so pretty too!

So get a boat that fits your butt man!”

One of these days I hope that all the paddler who have seen me acting the nut, see me playing the Donut as breezy as today :-)

Thank you Nora!

Canoe U 2007

(Beware: Part 1/week1 is a class IV-V intense post, week 2 is easier reading.)

Over the past 9 or so months I had been working on admitting to myself, that I was scared of taking my whitewater boat into a river again, since the St. Louis. So this was going to be my year of deciding, whether whitewater is something I can mentally do. The good news was that I knew that this wouldn’t be the end of kayaking. There’s recreational, there’s seakayaking and there is greenland, a fascinating style I had just discovered at the Outdoor Expo.

Weekend 1

Day 1: Wow, I was driving “tightly wound” to new heights. Good eddy work, but had lost my ferry. (Thus the title of the blog.) Art taught us a great way of getting just the right posture for peeling out and it is as ingenious as it is simple: just look down river when you have crossed the eddy line. Sweet! Works like a charm!

Swims: 0 (v. good!)

Oh yeah, those catch and duckie games were great fun and work. I want to try and get folks together again for one of those when nothing is running in the summer!

In the evening Art had a long discussion with me about options for the next day. I shared my concerns with him and it was good to hear him say that he had watched me, that he thought I had the technique and that it’s all in my head. It didn’t immediately click for me, but as he talked about paddling in a group and putting your trust in the most experienced paddler, it suddenly became clear. Art knows a lot more about paddling than I do! He was right about the looking downstream trick! Why shouldn’t I rather believe him saying I can do it, rather than my doubts, who know very little about paddling indeed! Did some powerful visualisations before going to sleep involving Art with a huge grin on his face at Big Eddy saying “Told you so!” :-) Resolved to keeping an active paddle, staying calm, and maintaining an aggressive posture.

Day 2:

Waking up to 40F air temperature with little hope for a warmup. Character building stuff. (Thanks Stace for closing those cabin windows!) More visualisations and good stretchies!

No rush by anyone to get to the river that morning. Tony asked me, if I was pumped, and you know what, I was! Highly focused, intense, but ready and rearing!

No eagerness to put anybody into a swimming situation, wetsuit or not. Lower Kettle again. Thank you fate! That was exactly what I needed: An easy moving water experience that gets me back into the game. Art had us pick lines and at the end of the run I had made some good improvements.

Todd has tought us this really elegant way of catching small midstream eddies. It was a movement I immediately liked the first time I tried it. Can you believe it, that I’ve never been able to execute those all well as under the influence of Todd?

Art never did have that big grin on his face that afternoon, but he would the next weekend...

Tony, Alex and I ended up having dinner together on our way home. Alex asked me if I was going to stick with WW and from somewhere within me, the only possible answer emerged as a yes.

I was strangely touched by Tony’s SYOTR, which left me without words as I parted. There had been this moment in an eddy, where he had looked into my eyes and just wouldn’t let go. I can still see him right in front of me...I had a similar experience with Emily Jackson whose Indian spirit eyes I can still see looking right into mine for a very long time...

Over the next hours a rising sensation seeped into my awareness, something had shifted. A new thought was forming. I would be running rivers.

Weekend 2

Day 1:

Gorgeous weather! Clearly I had driven up for this weekend with a lighter heart and a new paddle jacket :-) Chad had joined the class and Nora. Both great at making people feel at ease.

After a good amount of technical work with race games and other fun stuff, we set up to run the Upper Kettle.

Swam Blueberry Slide but had Art’s rope flying toward me quicker than you can say “Waterstick”. Needed a cool off anyway, it was a hot day. Still had a boat and a paddle and eagerly slid into my boat to get back unto that water! I found my ferry again at Shoulder’s Hole. Hurrah!

Was rewarded by a successful run of Teacher’s and it’s Pet. As I pulled into the eddy I thought my face would have to explode with my excitement. And Art, not just did he have that visualized huge grin of his face but he also said :”Told you so!” (I started wondering, what I should visualize him doing later that night: buying me a new red playboat...or as least a cuter helmet...)

Running Mother’s Delight I managed a delightful 360 degree turn. Yeah, a roll would have been nice, but no, we are talking 360 yaw. Seeing as I came out right side up I am giving myself at least novelty points for that one, no matter what Art says!

Another swim awaited me at Dragon’s Tooth. Did not like that swim as much as Blueberry, the picture makes pretty clear, why. Yeah the picture if from much higher water, but being in it versus looking at a picture of it still meant quite a bit of spluttering!

Dragon's Tooth

What a fantastic day, I was positively strutting for the rest of it!

Gripping paddling stories from Bob D kept me at the campfire when really earlier I couldn’t wait for dinner to be ready so I could go to bed right after. (We’re talking 7.30ish...)

Paddling guys quite fascinated with my silly little chair. (v. good!)

Finally tucked in, I somehow didn’t get a good visualisation with Art in it going, may have to buy playboat myself after all.

Day 2:

Woke up pretty exhausted after dreaming about some quarrels next to a white van that involve barracudas, hamsters, guppies, wolverines and a bottle of vodka. Or was it a dream?

At breakfast I was still in good spirit ordering a huge pancake expecting to burn this off paddling, swimming and maybe some playing. Once at the river getting instuctions to scout for lines I completely froze. I had to keep telling myself to breathe. Chad looked at me rather knowingly and had a suggestion ready, when I told him half an hour or so later that I would bow out after warm up.

And on this picture you can see me racing Chad in a rapid! While he has the National Velvet hat, I have clearly the faster boat.

Well, at least this time I actually made it to the river on W2D2. Surely next year I will put in a full day’s work!!!

Still had a gorgeous day on the river and seeing how much better everybody did on the second run is an inspiration for me. But it does make me immensly sad, that yet again it hadn’t been me. I did get closer though, damn it!

Go Megan!

Art a(u)ction: Going... going...

Below is a picture, where it looks like Chad was actually holding my hand. While that only looks like it, he figuratively had done so all weekend. Yeah, Chad is pretty high up on my short list for MN people of the year. Shackleton move over!

Canoe U 2006

First weekend: off to a very shaky start. (Something had spooked me.) Quote Natalie: I don’t know who taught you the forward stroke, but let’s just pretend it never happened. But got a ferry going right away! Whaddaya know.

From Natalie G's Blog: Maple Island

Two weeks to the next Canoe U weekend: Did as many lake drills as I could fit in. Things are improving! Phiew. Getting a better handle on my spin momentum.* Braces coming together. (v.g.)

Second weekend: St Louis, put in above First Wave. During drills and warmup Natalie had me hang out under water with my boat flipped and my hand on her bow to get used to the feeling in a relaxed situation. Great exercise. Definitely was the deciding factor for not giving up on that first T-resue, although the first attempt failed. I remember being back under after the first try and thinking: “Damn it, I am not done with this T-rescue yet!” and starting to signal that I am not ready to swim yet. Successful rescue on second attempt! Since these moments of cool and clarity under water pressure are elusive to date, I really have to stop for a moment and celebrate each one of them!

There were also a couple of waves that I remember taking really well! There was First Wave, that Mike F was really impressed with. And then there was another wave with a huge foam pile that I was trying to AVOID by WATCHING it APPROACH really carefully and anxiously :-) Well, that is still my constant reminder to look in the direction I want to go, not where I don’t want to go! But anyway, there I was all of a sudden where I didn’t want to be, thinking SH*T Apparently even happens to boaters of epic proportions at times. but keeping my paddle in the water where it should be. The white mess of splash was higher than my head as I went through! I came out the other side an upright person if ever there was one! Hah! Natalie told me afterward, that she really hadn’t wanted me to go there, but that she just would have loved a photo of that. Me too, believe me, me too!

The next thing I remember was having my boat out of control and a white hand grabbing the side of my coaming and under I was. Todd came to the rescue, but inefficient paddle technique had worn me out and was what had gotten me into trouble in the first place. On my offside I had my hands and head on his bow, but just couldn’t get that hipsnap as we went down the river in what I remember as pretty swift current for a VERY long time until rock did us part. Todd had seen the rock coming closer but not let go. Thank you Todd! I would have completely understood!

The thing I remember after that was standing on tiptoe on a rock in a tiny midsteam eddy balancing on Natalie’s bow, as Mike J. readied for a rope rescue. Quite the throw, wearing his superhero top and strong as a bear he got me back to the bank, where I had to admit to fatigue and the worry that there would just be one exhausting swim after another for the rest of the run. Decisions were made and Todd walked with me to above the reservoir, which gave me a chance to get to know him a little better. Quite the privilege, I can tell you! A very patient Mike J had towed my boat to the meeting point and then paddled across the reservoir with me. I doubt I had/have ever been as utterly physically and mentally exhausted in my life.

Even now I am getting choked up thinking back to having to make the decision that I would not join them on the river the next day, because I just had nothing left and knew I would not be able to recharge enough over night. Getting right back on that horse would have been very good for me. But I know that I just did not have the energy reserves I needed for a good experience for that second day on the river.

I still treasure the reflective light Mike F gave me at the Survivor’s party with the words, that I must have been paddling day and night to make such a stunning improvement from the first weekend to the second weekend two weeks later. I still dearly treasure Natalie’s Frequent Paddler’s Certificate. And I treasure the memory of one of my long suffering class mates putting his arm around me after my "interesting day on the St. Louis".

I still chuckle every time I remember Mike J's exclamation after entertaining us with rodeo moves: "I think I broke a love handle!"

* That means (for my non-kayaking friends): I was starting to go straight. And yes, that is a big f’ing deal!

Becoming an Outdoor Woman in Minnesota

09 August 2005

Roxanne had the splendid idea of getting a few of us girls out for a kayaking taster with the DNR. Signed up immediately, because things just have to be tried, at least once, even though that never looked that comfortable really, when I saw them on the water. Either way, being out with Roxanne, Courtney and Lee would be fun no matter what!

As soon as I was afloat in the kayak I knew I had fallen in love!


“Then they saw people, floating on the water and looking back at them. In tiny, skin-covered kayaks the strangers darted among the icebergs; their legs were hidden inside their boats, their arms extended by two-bladed paddles. Flash-flash: into the ocean and out again, water streaming silver from the blades. The paddles led to tight hooded jackets; the jackets merged into oval skirts connecting the men at their waists to the boats – like centaurs, Erasmus thought. Boat men, male boats. It was all a blur, he couldn’t see their faces.”

(Andrea Barrett, The Voyage of the Narwhal)

(Centaurs! I think every time I see one of those skilled OC1 canoe riders navigating the river.)