Monday, May 11, 2009

First paddle of the year!

After 7 months of paddle-deprivation, I have made it back on the water! A 5 km evening dash up and down the Lachine canal in a lime green Necky Chatham16 (seems appropriate) rented from H2O Adventures. Good seat fit and width, grips for the knees, and stable. It has been too long, though: I was back to taking the usual 30 minutes to wear out all the wrong muscles before my paddling style kicked in. Up the canal against current and stiff breeze (which according to the marine forecast was supposed to have died down). Down the canal with current and no breeze (funny how that happens). Old warehouses and factories. Green patches and parky-bits still with a bit of brown and yellow winter scruffiness. Disagreeably much litter, in amongst the grasses. New condos, condo conversions and bridges. A sight of 'the mountain' between warehouses, and of downtown Montreal past the Atwater market. I just got a couple of photos: the sun was behind the buildings and shining almost directly across the canal. Wildlife consisted of red-winged blackbirds chiming in from the grasses along the water's edge. Cyclists and roller-bladers whipping along the paths on either side. One police car, which stopped to take a gander just as I was drifting sideways down the canal, resting, so I straightened up and paddled right. It was, as I said, about a 5 km round-trip, but evidently it's possible, and allowed, to shoulder one's boat, portage around the lock, and carry on. So that's a paddle for another day! I have a little list ...


  1. Hey Alison, good to see that you're back on the water! Looks like you had a nice day for it!
    And congrats on your latest book:

  2. I get that about the "30 minutes of wearing out the wrong muscles"--I went out Sunday with Richard and Paula, and while Richard took on the current in Baynes, making his way across to Chatham, I just couldn't see doing all that treadmill paddling. Though watching him paddle with the current on the way back was fun; I thought I'd have to meet him at D'Arcy Island, the way he was moving (apparently he hit 13.8 kph). Paddling a canal looks like it has a lot going for it (no standing waves, no tidal currents....). And I like the way you got the green title to match your green boat in the picture below!