First Outing

Sunday, July 28, 2013

For the first outing I decided to take my new kayak out to Lake Harriet and paddle it around for a while.

Click image to uncrop and embiggen.

It was probably a mistake to try to go a city lake on a nice Sunday. Driving and parking were, as usual, horrendous. I ended up parking a few blocks away from the lake and carrying the boat all the way to the dock. I won't be doing that again. It starts off as a sixty pound boat, but after the first hundred yards it gets heavier and heavier. By the time I got to the water's edge it must weight three hundred pounds. I was afraid that after all the carrying my arms were going to be far too exhausted to do any paddling.

Once I was in the water, though, everything was fine. Paddling this boat around is easy. And it would seem different muscle groups are used to paddle than are used to carry. Before I got it into the water a DNR guy wanted to ask me a bunch of questions (relating, of course, to the transfer of invasive species in the lakes and rivers). In exchange I asked him a bunch of questions and learned how I can reduce the likelihood of contamination. Though mostly I discovered that canoes and kayaks aren't really the problem - it's larger boats with motors and pontoons that tend to sit in the same spot to which zebra mussels (&c.) tend to attach.

Lake Harriet is fairly boring as lakes go. It's round without any islands, inlets, channels or anything. Still, I saw some tiny ducks, chased a muskrat for a while and saw lots of fish eating bugs.

When I was finished I got smart and left the boat along side the road. I had someone watch it while I retrieved my Jeep and then just loaded it up while parked in the boat launch. Hopefully I'll never need to carry it any significant distance again.

And for my own personal reference, I decided to wear a swim suit, t-shirt and water shoes. Since I never actually went in the water (it was a bit too chilly for swimming) I really didn't need to be dressed for it. Sandals and cargo shorts will suffice (at least until the water gets cold - then I might look into something better for cold-water kayaking).

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