It’s been a long time since I was last here on this blog.
It was a tough winter which made outdoor activities a challenge. Spring … or this year’s sad version of one … continues to be chilly and wet. Again, not conducive to outdoor stuff.
But I have high expectations for the months ahead. Plans … many of them … and they started in February with a bold purchase.
After dreaming about it for over a year, I bought a kayak this winter with hopes of spending many glorious hours this summer exploring our local waterways.
This week, in spite of the cold temperatures (9C / 48F), the Seniors’ Outdoor Club I belong to decided on an early season paddle to the Toronto Islands. In my excitement to finally get my new boat in the water, I quickly ripped off its protective bubblewrap and decided to join 6 other intrepid seniors on the shore of Lake Ontario.
To say I was nervous would be an understatement. As I was preparing to leave home, tying my boat down onto the car, my hands shook so badly I had to re-do the ties multiple times.
However, this wonderful group of seasoned paddlers couldn’t have been kinder and more supportive – even if they did joke that I was about to be their comic entertainment for the day.
We started off with some bubbly (Prosecco, to be exact) to christen my new boat.
As I soon discovered however, this day was not going to be an easy one. There was a chilly wind churning up the water – great for the kite-surfers, but a challenge when you’re bobbing like a cork at water level in a kayak.
I have never paddled on rough water before and this was the proverbial baptism by fire … or perhaps ‘freezing water’ would be a better descriptor. My fear of course was capsizing. Without a dry suit, a dunking at this temperature was going to be worse than unpleasant.
However, as the title of this post suggests, I survived … dry and a lot more confident in my ability. When the waves were most challenging, we paddled through with determination and rested when we could in more sheltered areas.
We were rewarded with beautifully calm water inside the channels between the islands.
All in all, this was a 10-out-of-10 kind of day … enjoying the great outdoors, on a beautiful sunny day, with great company, exercising a new skill.
It doesn’t get much better than that.
I predict many more of these days ahead … hopefully in warmer temperatures.
Look out summer. Here we come.