Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Paddling on a very windy day

We finally did it, we got out for our first paddle of the year. Yesterday, April 4th was a perfect day for a nice lazy paddle. The temperature was in the upper sixties, almost no clouds in the sky, the water temperature was comfortable and the wind was out of control! Even though the wind was steadily blowing at about 25 mph we insisted on going out for a paddle. Luckily we used our expertise to navigate whitecaps that were constantly breaking over the bows of our boats.
Due to the shallowness of the Sinepuxent Bay even 15 mph winds can create a completely different kayaking experience. What were once still, glass like waters can turn into a frothy white mess of waves and wind. Usually high winds like this will force us to cancel our trips and tours but due to our stubbornness and need for adventure we pushed onward.
We paddled our normal Discovery Tour route stopping once to put on our rain gear then stopping a second time to pump all the water out of our boats. We then used the strong winds to push us toward the back side of Great Egging Island. We landed our kayaks and got out to dry off for a bit. We used this time to hike into the interior of Great Egging Island. This was a special treat because during the majority of the year Great Egging is a hot spot for blood sucking insects that make it impossible to explore the island.
After an hour of walking around, warming up and drying off we reluctantly re-entered our kayaks then the water. We were all happily surprised by how easy the return journey was. The 25mph winds pushed us toward Old Ferry Landing and made the last leg of our paddle fun and enjoyable. By the time we exited the water we were wet and exhausted but had an awesome time paddling the Sinepuxent Bay in weather that would scare most away.
We must insist that no one attempt to kayak in winds of 25mph unless you are a very experienced and prepared paddler. We are ACA certified and are always prepared with bilge pumps, rain gear, paddle floats, throw ropes, a first aid kit and paddling partners that would help in case of an emergency.
If any of you would like to experience the Sinepuxent Bay and Assateague Island National Seashore in calmer more navigable water please give us a call at 410-656-9453.

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