Rochester Hills PCT Bicycle Club

April 1, 2006
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Early Saturday April 1, 2006 it appeared as if it was going to be a perfect day for kayaking.  I had recently purchased a kayak at Dickís Sporting Goods.  So, now I am able to join Bob out on the water of our local lakes.  Bob got his kayak last year and used it quite often.  We figure kayaking is a perfect compliment to bike riding.  The lower half of your body gets a good workout when riding and the upper half of your body has to carry the load when paddling a kayak. 

Bob has a roof rack and my kayak is a little shorter so it will fit easily inside a minivan.  Bob picked me up and we headed over to the lake at Stoney Creek.  There were quite a few people out jogging, walking and riding bikes as we drove to the parking lot near the lake.  We were the only ones out on the water once we launched our kayaks.  The water was relatively calm when we started out.  It was very pleasant slowly paddling around the lake.  I took a couple pictures of Bob and then handed over my phone so Bob could take a couple pictures of me.  See the bottom of this page for all the pictures from this day. 

We decided to head around the island which is situated in the middle of the lake.  There were many different types of ducks and birds flying around and floating on the water.  Some of the ducks had very unique and beautiful coloring.  I certainly donít know many duck species, but there were many types out that day.  At one point we thought we saw some type of animal swimming ahead on our left.  We thought it might be a beaver or otter.  We kept losing sight of it as it was moving along the coastline of the island.  We paddled faster to catch up and as we finally got close enough to get a good look at it we discovered it was just a duck swimming with itís face in the water.  I assume the duck was fishing otherwise it had a very strange way of making its way around the water. 

As we got to the other side of the island the weather all of a sudden changed.  It was almost as if Mother Nature had played an April fools joke on us.  The water was relatively calm and the sun was out when we started.  Now the sun was behind clouds and strong winds had started blowing.  We actually had waves with white caps out on the small lake at Stoney Creek.  I didnít think this was possible.  Water from the waves was actually splashing up and over the sides of my kayak getting me wet.  This was a good chance to experiment and try paddle straight into the waves and also try going at them from the side.  I found that your speed makes a big difference as to whether you get hit with a big splash or not.  In addition to dealing with the waves we also had to deal with the strong winds that had just kicked up.  To get back to where we parked we had to go straight into the wind which turned out to be a struggle.   

At one point after we had been paddling for about ten minutes Bob and I turned and looked behind us and I think we had actually gone backwards.  We were closer to the shore behind us than when we started making the effort to get back to where we parked.  Realizing what was happening we started to paddle harder and tried to go sideways instead of straight into the wind.  This method helped and we finally started making progress, but very slow progress.  Bobís kayak is longer and the design has less surface area in the front making it easier to go faster and less resistance.  Even though I was paddle as hard and fast as I could Bob was separating himself from me, even though we were both now making some progress. 

About 300 yards short of the area we launched from earlier I finally gave up and headed for the beach.  I was just too tired to continue paddling straight into the strong wind.  What I didnít realize when I pull over and pulled my kayak up onto the beach was that I was on the other side of the river and I wouldnít be able to carry my kayak over to Bob and the car.  Once Bob got his kayak out of the water he called me on the phone and said he would just drive over and pick me up after he loaded his kayak.  I pulled my kayak all the way to the parking lot where I was located to wait for Bob.   

Wouldnít you know it, just 5 minutes after I got out of the water the weather made an abrupt change.  The sun came back out and wind almost stopped.  The water calmed right down to a smooth surface.  As I waited for Bob two more kayakers came paddling by with ease in the same direction that I could barely move just ten minutes earlier.  After Bob picked me up we headed out for lunch.  Even though it turned out to be more of a workout than I planned it was still very enjoyable.
David Lindquist 


Bob in his kayak

View from the front Of David's kayak

Another of Bob

David out in Stoney Creek Lake

David in front of Bob
 

Another of David in his new kayak

David making a turn
       
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