Thursday, August 17, 2006

America's Funniest Home Kayak Video - and the one that got away.

We definitely have a contender here (First Descent Chilton clip).

Now I might have had an entry if I'd been clever enough to have my camera on me on Tuesday. Had an absolutely LOVELY post-work paddle with fellow Greenland enthusiast Mr. SeaLevelNYC - he did a nice write-up here. It was a perfect night, and I was really happy to be on the water in my kayak, which I hadn't been in in 2 weeks, which is highly abnormal for me, but between the fact that we've been shorthanded at work, the extra hours I had to work to go to North Carolina, and the fact that I've been doing a lot more hours on the schooner than usual, the paddling for fun has gotten short shrift (in fact my poor poor surfski hasn't felt the water yet this summer, I really must pull that out soon!). Mr. SeaLevel has also had a lot going on, family stuff that's taking him off to Maine every weekend, so we were completely in agreement that a leisurely 2-hour paddle with the skinny sticks was the perfect plan. I'm a lot happier with my Greenland forward stroke ever since I actually got some instruction & found out that I was simply leaving out the most effective part of the stroke - I still like my Euroblade, that's still the paddle I'd pick to cover a distance fast (like racing a thunderstorm back to the dock, or paddling ANYWHERE with the Adventure Squad), but the GP is now becoming a little more just a fun rolling toy which is mostly what it used to be for me. Still needs some work - tends to be a little splashing on entry - I do hope that I can start getting out after work a little more regularly.

Anyways, the video I didn't get but wish I could've would've been at the tail end of the rolling practice I did at the end of our post-work paddle. Y'know how I'd posted about how a silly roll I made up at Yonkers is now famous? Well, I actually hadn't done the silly roll in a long time & took a whim to give it a try. It didn't go precisely as I expected, though. I stuck the paddle down the back of my PFD, but didn't secure it under the waistband. Felt kinda loose & I thought about it, but then decided "Naaah" (Mr. SeaLevel had already been very nice about spotting me when he's still sort of restricted in his own ability to practice by that silly Necky lawnmower-seat-back). Well, I went over & because the paddle was loose & free to do a little lateral motion, the end stayed angled up out to the side & up to the surface on the side I'd capsized on. OK, that's not how it had happened before. Still had plenty of air, though, so figured I'd try to see if I could make it happen. I needed the end of the blade to come down & travel across the bow of the boat. To accomplish that, I arched my back away from the deck - actually bringing my head down deeper in the water. The paddle came along nicely, and I added in a lateral motion to bring the paddle across to the other side -

and SQUISH. The end of the paddle went right into that nice sticky, icky black Hudson River muck! Yep, it was low water and not quite 6 feet deep, and evidently my manuevering had made the tip of the paddle dive deeper than there was room.

Still, plenty of problem yet...could bail but nah, let's work this puzzle out.

Reversed the arch of my spine, pulling my shoulders back towards the deck -

Paddle pulled loose & I swept my torso on over to the side I'd wanted to get the paddle to - folded up close to the deck- let the paddle find the surface, and sweep out and hip flick and YEAH! Over she goes!

After all the shenanigans the paddle flopped over to the side, but I'd done it. I came up totally cracking up. Sometimes the rolls that don't go quite the way you planned can have way more personal entertainment value than the picture-perfect ones...

I just wish I could've seen what it looked like. Probably quite silly.

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