Saturday, June 27, 2009

Kayaking on Beaver Creek Dam Reservoir

This morning the boys and I took our new kayak out for the first time, and it was AWESOME.

Since it was our first time, I wanted someplace fairly flat and calm, so we went to the Beaver Creek Dam Reservoir off of Belmont Ridge Road. There is a small parking area at the end of Mount Hope Road, and a small, muddy put-in area with a short floating wooden dock.

It was pretty windy out. The wind stirred up some chop in the middle of the reservoir and ES got a little wet from the spray as the waves hit the bow. Near the shoreline, the water was pretty calm.

We saw some fish jumping out of the water and we saw a turtle. We saw four other kayaks out on the water, and one guy in a small boat flying a kite.

Panorama shot near the western side of the reservoir.

ES sat in the front, I sat in the middle, and YB sat in the back. ES and I did pretty well and synchronizing our paddling strokes. I spent about half the time knocking paddles with YB behind me because he didn't understand the whole syncrhonization thing. The other half of the time, YB thought it was great fun to use his paddle as a water brake and see if he could make the boat stop. It made for a good workout for ES and I paddling against his resistance.

ES in the front seat taking a picture
of his new Mickey Mouse crocs.

Self portrait with YB in the back.

I managed to distract YB for a little while and take his paddle away and put the camera in his hands. Here was the perspective from YB's seat in the back of the kayak (you might not wanna watch this if you are susceptible to motion sickness):

I also wanted our first trip on the kayak to be fairly short so as not to exhaust the boys' patience or attention span. According to the GPS, we paddled almost exactly 1 mile (across the reservoir and back to the dock) in approximately 45 minutes. Then the boys said they were hungry, so we loaded up the car and headed home.

Luckily, when YB dropped the camera in the water, we were right next to the dock and the water was only 3 feet deep. The camera is waterproof, but it doesn't float. The water was clear enough I could see the camera laying on the bottom next to the dock, and I hopped in to retrieve it. Also luckily, the water was surprisingly warm. It was like bath water.

Notes to self:
1) Buy some sort of flotation device to attach to the camera.
2) Flip-flops don't stay on your feet when you step in thick gooey mud. The mud keeps them.
3) Just like when you go scuba diving, bring jugs of water next time to wash muddy feet off before getting in the car.

Overall, I rate our first trip out in the kayak as a great success. I hope to go again tomorrow on a 2 hour trip down Goose Creek with a few other local paddlers.


divrchk said...

I saw this on Amazon the other day but I don't know how good it is.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a wonderful way to break in the new kayak, love the pictures, actually makes me MISS Michigan.

The strap that divrchk linked to is great. Two of my friends use the olympus stylus underwater for snorkeling and beach pics and have it on there. I've taken Jess' cam out several times with the strap and it helps.