Monday, August 17, 2009

Back to the Lake

A beautiful Sunday morning on Thetis Lake.
Thetis 2

We have returned after only a couple of weeks for another practice session on the lake. Today, it's Louise, Paula, Khaled and myself. After a little paddle around the lake, it's self rescue practise time. Paula is going to figure out how to get back into the Advanced Elements Expedition she's been testing, while Khaled will try to figure if it's even possible for him to get back into his Pelican play boat.
2009-08-16 Thetis Lake 005

First, we do a little exploring in around the shore.
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We found one eagle, but he was a little shy and pretended to ignore us.
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There was something living under the lily pads. As we paddled through, tiny splashes would erupt ahead of us. We never determined what was causing the splashes. Frogs were our best guess, but it was just a guess.
A couple of times, I also some small black shapes running along the shoreline. My impression as I briefly caught sight of them was that they were cat-sized, but they clearly didn't move like cats. Minks? River otters? Who knows. Whatever they were, "stealth" was their middle name.
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We found another eagle, and after giving us the once over...
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...he was very willing to pose.
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Then came play time. Paula hit the water first trying to get into her Expedition.
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With roughly the same amount of exertion and swearing as when she gave birth to twins, she finally got in. But she quickly discovered that the normal route of a cowboy/scramble entry doesn't really work on the Expedition because there's hardly anything to grab onto on the back deck. So she had to scramble onto the front deck, which means that she is facing the stern, and now has an extra turn she has to deal with before she can get back inside the cockpit. Not impossible, but not exactly ideal.
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Then it was Khaled's turn to try a self-rescue in his Pelican play boat...
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...and it promptly sank. We very quickly discovered that almost any amount of water in the Pelican would make it totally unstable. Khaled could get on top of it, but he could never get in it before it tipped over or sank. Paula tried an assisted rescue from her kayak and that actually worked really well.
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Not to feel left out, I gave my paddle float entry a work out...
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...which of course led to the inevitable bilge pump fight.
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But perhaps the most important lesson I learned was this: if you're going to mount a camera on your kayak's back deck that's set to take a picture once a minute, make sure you know when it's about to take its next picture before you climb out of your kayak.
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The End!

2009-08-16 Thetis Lake
Trip length: 5.13 km
YTD: 251.02 km
My pictures are here.
The Google Earth kmz is here.

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