Saturday, January 30, 2010
Mud and Otters - 8.3 miles
What do you get when you go kayaking with an Adventure racer... Adventure!
On the right side of the GPS track at the bottom, you can see a loop. On the way out, we decided to cut the loop and portage over "land". Which turned out to be MUD. Lots and lots of mud. The swamp grass was not actually as hard to get through as I would have thought, and if you keep your feet near the base of the grass, it's pretty solid. There's really not much indication from the surface which mud will hold your weight and which mud will sink you to your knees. Fortunately I didn't sink that far, although David did a time or two. If I had, there's no way I would have got my shoes back. I almost lost them a several times... cheap water shoes. Anyway, it was hard work. At the end, David did a bobsled kind of a run though the mud (see picture), but I couldn't get my kayak to turn and didn't have the upper body strength to wrench it around. So back to the mud/grass for me... and finally, back to the water.
The water was nice enough except for a few places on the way back, fighting about a 12 mph wind across the bay. Brutal! My arms will be sore for a couple of days, no doubt!
I wish I got some otter pictures. First we saw one. An alligator? A nutria? No, this one's an otter! Little head with ears poking up. Back swooping over as it dives back down. Head poking up again. Then it pulled a disappearing act. We paddled down a little further... then, three otters! Swoop, dive, tail flipping up. Head poking up, looking back at us. Two heads. Swoop, dive, flip. Swim, swim, swim... dive. Head poking up. Whee! They swam for quite a while, checking us out. Finally they kept to our right and went back behind us. Could it be a mom and two little ones? They all looked about the same size.
I wasn't cold, suprisingly. No gloves, wet feet. The PFD kept me nicely insulated and I had a windbreaker on with two layers underneath. Grey, cold, windy day... who would have thought it would be a fun day to paddle? But it was.