Saturday, January 30, 2010

Icy Paddle

From Proxigean Paddle!

The proxigean high wasn't the bank-buster it was last year - apparently this time it was the 1 a.m. low that was the big deal (to the point that there had been a warning about it in the marine forecast). But we were already at the club, and breakfast was delicious, and we had a good icy paddle with a toasty woodstove, sandwich fixings and homemade soup & applesauce waiting at the clubhouse when we finished (the food was a nice surprise, I only thought we were getting breakfast.

The photo is of my spare paddle, a Greenland paddle I carry on my front deck at all times except when I'm using it (at which point the Euroblade becomes the spare). It became a very icy paddle on our icy paddle!

Personally, I think this was probably the coldest weather I have ever paddled in. I usually start to shy away when I start seeing temperatures in the teens. I definitely don't remember ever collecting as much ice as I did today!

Full photo trip report at the link above!

Thanks to all the clubmates who instigated!

cross-posted at the Sebago Canoe Club Blog


PeconicPuffin said...

That is one icy paddle...brrr!

DummyDiva said...

Wow! Very cold. I don't recall, did you mention it was COLD. Could you tell me what you actually wore as layers, including on your feet, hands, and head?

bonnie said...

Yes, it was cooooold! I know I wasn't very clear about that! Sorry!

It was definitely a day for the maximum clothing. Base layer - capilene long johns. Insulation layer - polarfleece. I have 2 polarfleece tops, a light one & a big heavy one (well, relative to the light one it's heavy). I usually use the light one, it's non-bulky & fairly close-cut & so makes a very nice layer under a drysuit, but yesterday I went for the heavy one & was glad I did.

Hands - 2 mm neoprene gloves by Stearns. My hands did get cold. I'm not personally crazy about pogies (no real reason, just like to have my hands free) but if I'd had a pair yesterday I would have broken down & used them.

Feet - smartwool socks inside the goretex sock on my drysuit. NRS paddler wetshoes on top. My toes were cold, but my toes always get cold when I'm paddling in the winter, I don't think anything short of battery powered socks would fix that.

Head - This was the other place where I really adjusted my normal winter paddling gear to the colder conditions. I have 2 neoprene hoods - a light one (probably 1mm) with a chinstrap that I always wear in the off-season & then a 3mm cold-water hood that covers the entire neck as well as the head. I usually switch to that one for outdoor rolling sessions from December through April. Yesterday I just wore it.

Over that, I added a balaclava I picked up at the New York Boat Show a couple of years ago. It's 2 layers of fleece with a windproof membrane sandwiched in between & I can pull it right up over my nose to keep my face warm. Funny thing about the balaclava - for a long time I was a little annoyed with myself for buying it, the salesperson at the show really had a good spiel about it, and I bought it, and then it just sat in the closet for so long I thought it was something I was never going to need. But boy, when the temperature drops & the wind chill factor really starts kicking in, that thing makes SUCH a difference!

bonnie said...

Oops, and I forgot, of course the outer layer was my fabulous Kokatat gore-tex drysuit (with attached gore-tex socks)!

Don said...

I got through a winter with gloves, but mitts make a world of difference!

This week we didn't go out, just a pool session. The coldest part either way is getting the boat tied on the car. Sub zero and some breeze for that.

pia said...

Amazing picture. Love it!

Anonymous said...

Hi Don,

I agree tying down the boats and getting to and from the water is usually the coldest part.

I was on the dock when Bonnie and the crew landed. They were not shivering. I made point to tell them to get in by the fire right away, but they all unanimously said that they weren't cold and each spent a good amount of time hanging around the dock with the icicles hanging off them.

Bonnie took the time to clean off her boat and take pictures so she must not have been that cold:-)

bonnie said...

I don't think I could ever move any further north than I already am. Zero degrees, I'd never want to stick my nose out the front door!