End of 2012 Season

posted Nov 12, 2012, 11:36 AM by Richard Sevenich   [ updated Nov 15, 2012, 7:31 PM ]
Wednesday, October 24 was likely my last kayak day of the season. Unlike someplace like Nanaimo, winter kayaking here on Lake Pend Oreille becomes somewhat impractical, albeit not impossible. For example, the launch site I typically used evolves to boot sucking mud as the lake level is dropped by 10 feet to its winter level. Although a few other launch sites remain temporarily viable, they will eventually accrue shore ice. Further, the weather also turns toward wet or even snowy cold. I actually like the seasonal nature of kayaking here, partly because I love to ski. Last ski season, I got in 80 ski days - about half being lift-served and the other half either skate skiing or backcountry (with climbing skins, avalanche gear, etc.); whereas I had a 52 day kayak season. Then there was the bicycling. Can you tell that I am retired?

All that said, fall is a splendid time to kayak here. The migratory waterfowl are all over the lake and autumn has colored the vegetation. Further, there is no one else on the lake - OK, an occasional boat looking for fish. Once waterfowl hunting season starts, it is probably smart to avoid river deltas.
Frightened Despite Our Careful Approach
Scaredy Coots

Last non-kayak season, I had a list of modifications to make on my kayak - not so true this year. The only thing that comes to mind is to attach a retrieval cord to the skeg. Moving on to other gear, I am putting experimental drip rings on my Greenland paddles. The first idea is to tie turk head knots just outside the loom and let the cord ends dangle to provide a water drip path. I'll whip the cord ends together. Hopefully a small enough cord diameter, will lead to minimal interference with slide strokes. Plus the knot looks really nautical. We'll test the concept come next season.
Experimental Greenland Paddle Drip Knot
Experimental Greenland Paddle Drip Knot

Looking toward next season - so far, we have one multi-day trip in our tentative plans. That will be based from Sechart Lodge at the edge of the Broken Group Islands - probably toward the end of July. This will be with 4 Nanaimo couples and another pair from Montana - if everyone can make it. Earlier in the season, I may attend SSTIKS. Lastly, I'd like to fit in a trip to Discovery Islands Lodge, currently (pun intended) our favorite destination. In 5 months, I'll know a lot more about our plans.