Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Snow Kayaking in Charleston, S.C.!!

Kayaking in the snow is unusual; kayaking in the snow in Charleston, S.C. may well be historic. The shop is closed on Tuesday’s during the winter so while it was cold outside I decided to go for a paddle. There was a possibility of snow in the forecast but the sun was trying to come out and I didn’t really expect to see any frozen precipitation. So I set out for a solo paddle because no one else was stupid enough to join me in the balmy 39 degree air.

Some people may not consider paddling alone in cold weather very smart but it’s a lot about preparation. I wore a micro-base layer, a wet suit over that, form fitting fleece and finally a semi-dry top and pants. A dry suit would have been best but still I felt confident in this gears ability to protect me. On top of that I didn’t paddle in water that would test my abilities; I have a fairly reliable role and advanced self-rescue training. Finally I had dry clothes with me in a watertight hatch.

Paddling on days like this when it’s just me, my boat, the water and the elements makes me feel close to our kayaking forefathers. I ran into a pod of dolphins that were playing (probably trying to stay warm) and they circled diving in and out of the water while making eye contact with me. They were probably trying to figure what I was doing out there.

Finally it was time to return home and amazingly snow flurries began about a mile from my take-out point. So realizing this was maybe my only chance to paddle in the snow here I told myself if it was still snowing when I got to the take-out I was going to roll my boat in the snow.

As fate would have it the snow continued and I had to decide if I was going to go upside down in 49 degree water. I decided it was a once in a lifetime opportunity. So I pulled on my rolling beanie, positioned my boat so if I missed I wouldn’t be but a couple of feet from the bank and went for it. It was like sticking my head in a bucket of ice but I made it and now I can say I’ve rolled my kayak in the snow in Charleston. I just wish I had a picture of it!!

All and all it was an amazing day and I reminds me of why I paddle. See you on the water soon.


1 comment:

Amy said...

That actually is pretty cool... CRAZY.. but cool.