Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Ok, so for years, literally, many years, I have wanted to try a kayak. I have been in a canoe many a time, but there's a strange appeal to kayaks that I could not understand. So, on Thursday after work I went to Aquabatics in Calgary and rented myself a boat. Yep, finally. I was hoping to rent out their Liquid Logic XP10, but they only had a Dagger Approach 9.0. Fine by me...

My lucky car, with yet another thing it can haul along with it. Thanks to Thule, I have a nice kayak rack, so I put it to good use and off to Ghost Reservoir I headed. 10 minutes from my door... life is good.

The wind was up and the lake was choppy, so I stayed close to shore. Still, I felt like a cork bobbing up and down in the swells. The waves were so high, it was almost possible to surf them. But not quite, and perhaps I will save that for another day.

Kayaking came very naturally to me. After some minor adjustments, some foot pedal tweaking and a decent stroke, I was moving along pretty good. I've always wanted to travel to the little island on the east side of Ghost, so now I was finally able to. I could see off in the distance behind my Mt. Yamnuska.

Because everyone who paddles a kayak has to take this photo...

Since I had the rental for 24 hours, I got up early at 5am to get to the lake in the morning and do a 1st-thing-in-the-morning paddle. What a treat! 6am, no one on the lake, smooth like glass. The main purpose behind my kayaking is fitness and outdoor adventure, so the 6am kayak may become a regular ritual next year when I hopefully have my own boat.

This time, I paddled north up the inlet towards Ghost River. Again, like glass and I was able to hit the 9:00 minute/km mark with my paddling. A good pace for a newbie.

I felt creative, so I took this photo and called it Le Drip D'oar...

The cool thing about being in such a small boat is that you can go places you've never been and take unique photos. I'm sure you can go just as many places in a large boat, but there's something far more romantic about paddling with just the sound of your own breath and the swish of the paddles and wake. I paddled under the highway and took a photo that actually turned out quite a bit better than I had anticipated it would. It also showed me just how much graffiti there is under a bridge.

And of course, while paddling, one must look up. Tons of swallows who nest under the bridge were rather alarmed by my presence. It made for another photo opportunity.

I wish I had discovered or at least tried kayaking years ago, like when I was 13, cause then I could have been doing it for all these past years. But since I just discovered it, I will enjoy it now and from now on. I need my own boat. Until I can afford the one I want, I will just continue renting one. For me, swishing across a lake at 6am beats indoor cardio, anyday, hands down and paddles out.

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