Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Paddle Log #10: Newfound Lake, NH

I have been thinking I would like to keep a Paddle Log, sort of like a SCUBA diver keeps a Dive Log. I'm sure someone has come up with something for sale out there in one of those specialty kayaking stores. Eventually I need to come up with something I carry with me in the car to jot down the basic facts, statistics, and notes so I don't forget them all when I sit down at my computer later, but for now I thought I would use my blog to document my kayaking trips.

Although this is my first official "Paddle Log" entry on my blog, it's the 10th time I've been out kayaking and I've blogged about most of my previous trips. Here's a quick recap of #1 through 9 (linked to my previous blog posts about those trips):

1. Pearl Harbor, HI. First time kayaking since high school. Took ES out on a sit-on-top kayak we rented by the hour from the Rainbow Marina on Pearl Harbor.

2. Chinaman's Hat, HI. Rented a kayak from Go Bananas in Aiea, HI. Paddled out around Chinaman's Hat on the windward side.

3. Waikoloa, Big Island, HI. Rented a glass-bottom kayak from the Marriott and paddled around off the beach with ES to see the fish and turtles through the bottom.

4. Beaver Creek Dam Reservoir, VA. First time out in the new kayak my LW got me for Father's Day.

5. Goose Creek, VA. Longest trip we've been on so far. Got in about 2 p.m. and got out about 8 miles downstream at about 6 p.m.

6. Beaver Creek Dam Reservoir, VA. Didn't write a blog post about this one. The boys and I went out for about an hour around the reservoir to test some different seat configurations in the boat. (Facebook friends will recall the pictures I posted of the deer along the edge of the reservoir as we paddled by).

7. Jack's Boathouse Sunday Evening Tour, Potomac River, Washington, DC.

8. Lake Winnipesaukee, NH. I took my nephews out for a paddle since they had never been kayaking before. We didn't go far, but just went up and down the shoreline near the condo.

Paddling away from the beach with two of my nephews.

In the marina with my nephews.

9. Lake Winnipesaukee, NH. My brother-in-law and I went for a paddle up the shoreline, 1 mile out and 1 mile back.

Me and Andy out on the lake.

Back at the beach, LW, YB, Grammy, and Aunt Laura were waiting for us.

After we got back to base and Andy got out, I took advantage of the calm and warm water to do some drills. I intentionally dumped myself into the lake three times and practiced getting back up into the boat. I was very pleased with the stability of the kayak and how difficult it was for me to intentionally capsize it. Likewise, once it was capsized, it was very easy for me to flip it back over upright. I also had YB swim up to the boat with me sitting in it, and I was able to pull him up into the boat without any trouble or fear of flipping the boat.

Gun Drills

10. Newfound Lake, NH. We went to visit my wife's aunt and uncle at their newly built house on Newfound Lake. I took my kayak along and had a really nice 2.5 mile paddle around the northern end of the lake.

So let's see... If I were going to make a Paddle Log, what basic information would I want to keep track of from one trip to the next? I'll use this as a sort of template for future Paddle Log entries.

Date: 18 August 2009
Time In: 4:45 p.m.
Time Out: 6:00 p.m.
Elapsed: 1 hour 15 minutes

Mileage: 2.5 miles

Sea State: 0 - 1 (wave chop due to wind)
Winds: South, 10-15 kts
Air Temp: ~87F
Water Temp: ~79F
Current: None

Kit: Ocean Kayak - Malibu Two XL (7th use), same Werner paddle I've been using. Forgot my hat, sunglasses, and gloves, but I was fine in the late afternoon. Long sleeve swim shirt, swim trunks. LAST trip in my old Speedo water shoes LW bought for me at Costco. We arrived home late last night and discovered ONE of the two water shoes still sitting on the rear bumper of the car. The other one fell off somewhere during the 1 hour drive from Hebron, NH back over to Center Harbor, NH.

Configuration: I sat in the center seat this time. Neither of the boys went with me. I was very pleased with how the boat handled with just me in it. It felt very fast and maneuverable.

Heading out solo on Newfound Lake

Route: I started from the shore in front of Aunt Louise & Uncle Don's house and followed the shoreline clockwise around the lake. Uncle Don told me there was a stream inlet at the north end of the lake I could paddle up, so I went to check that out. It was very peaceful and calm up there.

The water was like glass with a perfect reflection of the trees.

I didn't spend long back there before I headed back out onto the lake and headed south along the eastern shoreline, paddling into the wind. My average speed (by GPS) paddling into the wind was 2.7 mph.

It doesn't look that bad in the picture, but I was taking a good amount of wave slap over the bow as I headed south into the wind.

When I had paddled about 1.6 miles, I turned west and paddled across the lake. My aveage speed paddling across the wind was 3.7 mph. After I got to the western shoreline, I turned and paddled north back up to the house again. The max speed I reached paddling with the wind was 4.6 mph.

Heading north along the western shoreline.

Other comments (such as wildlife spotted): I saw three pretty birds near the shore that I had never seen before. They had a body shaped like a duck, the body colors of a seagull (white underneath, grey on top), but a brown head. I couldn't tell for sure, but it looked like they might have had a pointy bill. Not sure what they were. Also spotted a lone bird paddling along similar to a Loon, but it didn't have spots like a loon.

The mystery birds

Oh, it was during this trip that I finally figured out what those elastic straps are for on the sides of my kayak. They're to hold the paddles to the side of the boat when you aren't paddling. I have asked a few people here and there (like at Jack's Boathouse) and nobody knew what they were for, but it finally dawned on me yesterday on Newfound Lake.

Well, there you have it, my first official Paddle Log entry.

What else would you include in a Paddle Log?


Hilary said...

I've been trying to figure out what those birds are but to no avail. I think it's really wise of you to do drills.. yet totally expected from a military member. :)

You mentioned that you're on Facebook but I couldn't help thinking that if you were also on Twitter you could.. ahem.. "have your kayak and Tweet it too." Yeah, that was bad. ;)

Keep safe. :)

blunoz said...

Hilary - I flipped through a bird identification book at the bookstore today and none jumped out at me. The ones that I noted had brown heads like that were "mergansers."

Have your kayak and tweet it too, that's funny. :-)

blunoz said...

I found this list of recommended / possible data fields for a kayaking log book along with a couple of other articles on the merits of maintaining a kayaking log book like this one and this one.