Showing posts from May, 2013

I can't stand the rain . . .

There are so many ways to bide your time . . . in a kayak.

Paddling in the rain is one of them.

Although, most people stay indoors and moan, "I can't stand the rain", rain can be pretty pleasant in a kayak. Especially if you are dressed for it and the wind is light.

Kayakers have amphibian traits. We live on land and water, and are unable to sever our ties with aquatic habitats. But, we are warm blooded and need gear to survive in some of those habitats.
Paddling in the rain one day, that soulful 70's song by Ann Peebles kept running through my head,"I can't stand the rain, against my window . . . bringing back sweet memories . . .

I must have been feeling what all the people hiding indoors from the rain were thinking, "I can't stand the rain . . . " 

"I can't stand the rain" was written when Ann and her band couldn't get out to a show one night because there was a big thunder storm and it was pouring rain. One of the guys in h…

Man's best friend . . . the dog or the kayak?

Now there's one heck of a question that I don't have an answer for.

Put the two together, and it's awesome.

They all look good in orange too: Man, dog, kayak.

The water is still very cold in Canada. Dogs get cold quickly on the back of an open kayak or in a canoe after they've jumped, or fallen from the boat into the cold water in spring and get wet. Add a light wind. Even though the day is warm and sunny, and despite a well-fitting life jacket, the dog still gets the shivers within 10-15 minutes sitting or laying on the back deck of a sit-on-top fishing kayak or inside a canoe.

Stay warm and safe, and remember the doggie too. We don't go far or stay long on the water with the dog unless the water is warm and so is the day.

In spring and fall in Canada, the dog is better off running into the water and swimming back and forth along the shore where she can get out, shake off, and run around to warm up.

Happy spring paddles!
The BaffinPaddler

Yoga with tulips in Canada's National Capital Region

Every year I do a tulip run in May. If you live in the National Capital Region of Canada, you can't miss The Canadian Tulip Festival. It's spectacular! There are beautiful tulip gardens in bloom all over the region on both sides of the Ottawa River.

The Canadian Tulip Festival is held every year in May in Ottawa, Canada. The festival is probably the world's largest tulip festival, with over one million tulips planted throughout the city in impressively large gardens.

But the tulip gardens also extend all over the National Capital Region, from Ottawa, Ontario to Gatineau, Quebec in public and private gardens.
Hundreds of thousands of tourists and locals visit the National Capital Region's tulip gardens each year.

Large displays of tulips are planted throughout the city. The largest tulip gardens are found in Commissioners Park on the shores of Dow's Lake, along the Rideau Canal in Ottawa, and in Jacques Cartier Park next to the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Ga…

"How do you keep your paddle boots from getting smelly . . . ?"

Well, this certainly is not a sexy, or alluring kayaking topic. I won't make you look at too many pictures of ugly paddle boots on this blog. Beautiful pictures of spring tulips and Ottawa's Parliament buildings will follow soon enough, I promise.

But, some people ask me, "How do you keep your paddle boots from getting all smelly?"

I find this a funny question. How would anyone know that my paddle boots and booties aren't all smelly?

I've never had the courage to stick my nose in any of them. But for this post, I finally did. And I tested the worst offenders and collectors of damp, dank odours:My knee-high paddle boots. The hardest boots to vent, air, and dry.
Usually, in the summer, we just park our paddle booties and boots outside in the hot sun to bake and dry after a good paddle. And it usually works to dry them quickly and helps keep them odour free.

When rain, fog, or cold spring or fall weather hits, we don't have the hot sun to dry our boots. Af…

First spring paddle with the Boreal Baffin 2013

It doesn't really matter where you go with your sea kayak for that first spring paddle after a long, cold winter in Canada.

It matters how you feel.

It sure feels good to me.

I think winter makes me appreciate my sea kayaks more. I have more than one kayak, and I'd like a bigger fleet. There are so many sea kayaks to love. It's a kayaker's disease.

I always wonder why my first spring paddle is always with the Boreal Baffin. The original Baffin. The one I bought the first year it came out a few years back. The yellow demo boat that the Boreal guys, then a Quebec company, when awesome kayaks were still made in Canada, not just designed, took out and seal launched my boat off ice flows in the awesome and magical Saguenay River in Quebec to test it, and play with it.

It's my sea kayak. Somehow extra special. It has more experience and wisdom than me. I can feel it. I like it. It may always be my first spring paddle mate. It's part of history now. It was not made i…