During the week I let Niel know that I was picking up a kayak over the weekend and I’d be able to paddle for him if he wanted to go long on Monday and do a lap of the Martini or swim somewhere else a little further out than usual. I got an email from him Sunday night letting me know that conditions had been pretty bad that day and despite having paddlers available they had skunked a longer group swim due to little things like gale force winds and small craft advisories. We figured worst case scenario we could just swim together and skip the boat part.

When I left the house in the morning I still had the kayak on the rack and I tossed my surfboard in the bed as well just in case there were waves to play in. I figured if I couldn’t find a way to have fun today it wasn’t going to be for lack of trying!

Since I was at the beach early I scored an excellent parking spot and then went to the Custom House for breakfast. Early on in the day it was gorgeous out… sunny with no wind. I sat out on the patio with a full view of the water and ordered some eggs, chicken apple sausage and potatoes. It was pretty awesome. I followed it up with a little bit of a nap on the beach which was even awesomer. I woke up for the occasional text message or loud passerby, but largely just laid on my towel unbothered with a some music playing on my phone loud enough to hear it but quiet enough to not cover the sounds of the ocean.

I’m pretty sure I was snoring a little bit when Niel showed up… I think his shadow or sound of his chair unfolding woke me up. He said he was going to go get the water temp and then decide on what he wanted to do from there. He came back with 50.5 degrees and no desire to go on a 2 1/2 mile swim.

Instead of paddling for him I ended up just swimming along on a shorter route with him. The plan was to enter the water down by the creek, swim over the top of the pier and then to the buoy line and back in.

Getting in sucked pretty hard. I had just spent a lot of time in 60 degree water and had a couple pockets of sunburn hidden on my body which were very not excited to be submerged in 50 degree water. After plenty of complaining and swearing a decision maker rolled over the top of us and since I was now officially wet all over there was nothing left to do but swim.

I leveled out pretty quickly and did my best to chase after Niel. I wasn’t too fast today, still recovering from my 10 mile training swim on Saturday, but at least my shoulders didn’t hurt in the cold water!

We swam straight to the top of the pier and then regrouped at the far corner of it. There were a bunch of people up there today and we were quizzed by a family leaning against the railing. “Isn’t it cold?” “How deep is it?” “How far are you going?” etc… I don’t mind answering questions but it’s always so hard to tell what exactly people are saying up there.

From here we swam to the end of the buoy line and although the conditions were smooth and glassy a sneaky little current picked up and started to push us towards the beach. While regrouping we definitely drifted towards shore. Since it was cold we didn’t hang out too long and turned back in towards the pier then turned it to the beach. I tried to body surf a bit but only half caught waves… I’d get a short ride and then just slip out the back.

After our swim we hung out for a while longer and I’m pretty sure I got in a little more beach nap time. By the time we left the beach the wind was back and white caps were forming further out. I had tentative plans to paddle with Dani today and went ahead and crossed the ocean off our list of places to go for this afternoon.

We traded a few texts during the day and settled on a trip to Lopez. She dropped by my place and then we drove to the lake together. We skipped over the marina and launched at one of the spots me and Jason swim at. There’s parking right at the water and not too many people hang out there, plus there is a boat ramp for us to walk down.

We undid all the straps and cords that I had on it from the night before and pulled it off the rack. The kayak has some fishing rod holders that are basically just big holes directly into the boat which isn’t so good if you don’t want to, you know, sink so I plugged them up with some foam (from a pool noodle) and rubber (from a flip flop). I need a much better solution to that soon, but on a holiday that’s the best I could do with what I could find in my garage.

The wind was pretty high at the lake as well with plenty of chop and even some tiny whitecaps. We decided to paddle it in circles in that section of the lake. Dani is getting ready for an adventure race that involves a 10 mile paddle so this was just training not sightseeing.

We paddled circles in that space for a while and on the last lap expanded it all the way out to the buoy about half a mile from the boat ramp. Luckily the wind was blowing back to the shore and we rode that all the way back in.

It was nice to go paddle, especially in my own boat, I need to go do that some more. Not sure if I can really load and unload that thing solo though. It’s not huge but it is a tandem making it a little unweildly. Maybe I just need to get some of those kayak wheels… yay more toys to buy… damn, leisure is expensive :p Tomorrow I’ll be back in the pool, hopefully my shoulders agree with that idea!

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