Tuesday, January 5, 2010
January in my neck of the woods always presents new challenges to the kayaker. In the photo above, the slowly growing ice means getting out beyond it to the more or less open water will be frought with problems. The ice near the shore is composed of small pieces of ice about the size of pies. They impede the progress of your boat, yet are not large enough to support your weight. Getting through them is nearly impossible.
Worse yet, returning to shore through the 'pies' is even worse, especially in the case in the picture. At the time it was taken, the wind was blowing the ice from left to right forcing one to chose an entry point upwind. If you were lucky, you'd manage to reach the shore near your car as you swept by, but more commonly, you sat there in your kayak, struggling as the landing beach slowly disappeared around the corner.
Far, far better, not to launch in this spot! Find a beach where there is no ice shelf to cross. Safer, easier and your chances of being home for dinner increases dramatically!