Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Back in the kayak cockpit...with warm hands.

“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me 
that happiness was the key to life. 
When I went to school, 
they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. 
I wrote down ‘happy’. 
They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, 
and I told them they didn’t understand life.”

- John Lennon

Low winter sun on Mount Maxwell on Saltspring Island...
where we don't often see snow!
Today was the day to paddle after our long hiatus, but waking up to our first Vancouver Island snowfall, it looked like "winter". No matter, it was high time to get to know the narrow boats again after an absence from the cockpits for well over two months. (Note: on the next trip back to Scotland, we take the dry suits!)

There was a slight problem, however, with the planned early morning launch. Along with the snow, there was a gale warning and it was, indeed, blowing hard from the north-west. The good news? The winds were forecast to move to the west, putting us in the lee, and then lighten in the early afternoon.

This was also the first opportunity to put on the NRS "Maverick" Titanium paddling gloves we had acquired on an outdoor equipment "pilgrimage" to REI (in Seattle) way back last August. Nothing had worked very well over the years so we had requested the advice of fellow bloggers - and there had been a lot of excellent suggestions.

NRS Maverick Gloves.
One that came up several times was this particular glove. We can report that we both found the "Maverick" lived up to all the positive reviews. At a paddling air temperature of around 3 degrees C late this afternoon, hands were adequately warm and completely dry - finally! We may try a pair of very thin polypropylene liners next time to see if we can kick up the "cosy" factor just a notch - this, after all, is Vancouver Island. We live a rather "sheltered" life when it comes to "cold".

It was great to be back on the water again and we were back at the launch site just in time for the next weather system to blow in.

Heading back into Maple Bay.
60% chance of snow flurries in the forecast for tonight - most of Canada would smile at the amounts, but it's a big deal around here. ;)



  1. I remember your posting (I think when you were away) on how "adventure" is "relative" and therefore valid in everyone's experience - so is "weather". Our minus 20 in the Rockies is your plus five! :-). Welcome back to the water! Gen.

  2. True enough, Gen - and now, as I type, the temperature has fallen to a "Arctic-like" plus 2 degrees! It IS relative, isn't it?! Nice to hear from you. Duncan.

  3. HI D,
    Looks like a good day on the water even if it was a bit cold out. Those gloves look pretty heavy duty...are you sure they are for kayaking, they look like "space gloves". LOL
    Love the new decal! I'll see if I can find you a Canadian one. haha

  4. It was a nice day, L, thanks. The gloves? Yeah, we could probably use them in outer space. Must check into their certification. Haha. As for the decal, it's a "celtic knot" that I'm looking for. Keep your eyes peeled! D.

  5. Good to see you're back out on the water and glad to hear you'll bring the drysuits next time. Let us know when you're over next and we can see if we can get some paddling arranged. As for your celtic knot, try http://www.artandsea.co.uk/

  6. Thank you, Sarah, and that's an excellent tip which I will check out. Safe paddling and very best wishes to you and your family this special season. D and J.