On the Water

Kayak

New England has a funny thing that Midwest states don’t, or at least didn’t when I was a kid: Winter Break.  Winter Break, aka February Vacation, is a week without school.  There is also a Spring/April break.  The typical activity for Winter Break is going skiing.  The end of February is still the heart of winter here.  We’ll, it is most years.

I took two days off of work to spend my Winter Break on Cape Cod.  I arrived in the pouring rain, but it was a warm rain.  This afternoon the sun came out.  The temperature has dropped a little and it is very windy, but I decided to take the kayak out.  Amazingly this isn’t the first time this year.  I was on the water on New years Day!

I only did short paddle.  I had to wade in almost to my knees when putting the boat in the water.  The water was warmer than expected and my boots are neoprene so actually stay warm when wet.  Later, however, a few waves washed over and I hadn’t put the skirt on.  Big mistake.  I wasn’t cold, but I didn’t want to stay out too long with a lap full of water.

It didn’t matter, I had made it out onto the water.  And the little I did paddle was fun.  I actually found a calm area and did a few quick laps just to stretch out.

I know I’ll jinx myself by saying it out loud, but I plan on being on the water at least once every month this year.  I already have the hard two months, January and February, down, so it shouldn’t be too hard.

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17 thoughts on “On the Water

  1. lifeconfusions

    We have winter vacations here too but only in schools for15 days in December… and in the much colder areas they extend for over a month or two but they only have winter vacations instead of summer…
    Glad you had some time to chill by yourself, it must be very calming and relaxing! :)

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  2. Master of Something Yet

    I’d heard of Spring Break (it seems to crop up in movies a lot) but I didn’t know there was a Winter Break. Are they the only breaks between Christmas and the long summer holidays? It works a little differently here.

    I’m glad you got out on the water. As you say, having Jan and Feb behind you, a monthly outing is a reasonable aim. I am yet to go back to rowing. (Or running, for that matter.) It’s so hard to get started again when you’ve had a long break. I’m aiming to pick it up again during the school holidays in another month. If at all. Also contemplating giving it away all together. [shrugs]

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      I think Winter Break is a New England thing and maybe other places with a huge ski industry. In most of the country Spring Break is the only time off between New Years and Summer. The Summer Break here is long, over two months (was closer to 3 when I was a kid) and the new school year starts in September. In NE there are two weeks off in this time period, Winter and Spring.

      i haven’t been running in over a month. I sometimes try to keep it going all winter, and this was a mild winter, but… I do need to get started again. I do think I’ll make my goal of being on the water every month. I hope I will, at least :)

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  3. Pingback: If We Were Having Coffee – 2/27/2016 | Trent's World (the Blog)

    1. trentpmcd Post author

      It is great to get out on the water, I enjoy it so much. I did the drawing a couple of years ago and spent a lot of time with a photo of my kayak so it should be pretty accurate. Not exact, since I did do it freehand, but close enough.

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  4. joannesisco

    Based on your drawing, it looks like you were wearing both neoprene and a life jacket. Smart man!!

    This past weekend there was a young couple who had the same idea as you and went kayaking on a local river. Unfortunately they weren’t as lucky. They tipped with waters barely above the freezing mark and weren’t wearing life jackets. Very sad … obviously they didn’t make it.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      That’s very sad. It seems like it happens every year or so someplace around here.

      I know saying “in a lifetime of kayaking I’ve never flipped” isn’t a smart thing to say because often the first time is the last, but I do try to be very safe and stayed away from the rougher areas. The drawing was from 2 years ago, but yes, neoprene and a life jacket. I always have the life jacket with me and always wear it if nobody is around, it’s cold or it’s rough at all. Today was all three, so it was on.

      Still, sorry about that couple. Very sad.

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        1. trentpmcd Post author

          I always wear a helmet will bicycling.

          As far as kayaking – I do mostly flat water kayaking and have been on this little lake at least 200 times in all seasons and weather. It is very possible to tip over or for an accident to happen, particularly when it was as windy as today. But it isn’t as unpredictable as a river – even a flat water river is constantly changing and can be dangerous. And during the melt water season, even worse.

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          1. joannesisco

            I grew up with a mother who was terrified of open water, so I was instilled with a healthy respect for it.
            I love water, I love to be in it, on it, and near it. But I also know it deserves respect and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Those who do often meet with misadventure.

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