Since I had the day off at work for Columbus Day I decided use the opportunity to go kayaking again. This year, I was able to convince another co-worker (Tom) to go with me, although he didn’t kayak. He took his 300HP, super-charged, jet-ski. I pulled his jet-ski with my truck and we headed out to Pueblo Reservoir State Park.
As you may have noted in some of my earlier posts, it’s been kind of windy this year along the front range of Colorado and Columbus Day was no exception. In fact, according to my Kestrel weather station, there were sustained winds of 18 mph with gusts in the 20s. Wind can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on your attitude and skill level. I’m not the most skilled kayak paddler, so I must confess that I was a bit nervous. Of course, Tom was quite excited as jet-skiing over three-foot swells is an absolute blast.
As I exited the marina I hit the stronger wind of the open water and got down-right worried. I was having trouble turning the 17-foot long sea kayak and as I got sideways to the wind . . . and waves, while turning around, almost lost it. I have paddled in this kind of wind before, but it’s been a while and all of my other trips this year have been on rivers (using a 13-foot boat) or much calmer water. After 30 minutes or so I got comfortable with the conditions and the trip became more enjoyable. The temperature was in the 60s, and as you can see by the photo, very sunny. It wasn’t long before I was shedding layers. We ate lunch in one of the coves, then continued on with our day. Tom had no trouble out in the middle of the reservoir, where the swells reached three feet, according to him, while I stayed within 100 yards of shore where the swells were under two, in my estimation.
We paddled for a couple of hours and it was me who called an end to the day as paddling in the strong wind is exhausting. I really enjoy paddling a kayak and while I can see the draw to powered craft, like Tom’s jet-ski, I still prefer my kayak. A great day for both of us.
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