Monday, April 28, 2008
It was a kayak filled weekend, just not much actual paddling. I gave a talk on kayak fishing at Midwest's Outdoor Expo, attended the auction and exhibits, and was generally immersed in paddle mania. On Sunday GalwayGuy and I headed up to St Cloud to a Greenland demo and rolling session at St Cloud State University. The demo was organized by Alex and ChrisG and coordinated by (who else?) the Coordinator for Experiential Education, Ivan Bartha. Ivan told me that he spent 10 years in Marquette, MI which had me more than a bit envious. There was an excellent demo followed by a marathon 3 hour rolling session. As a noted chlorophobe (or is the correct term 'anti-chlorite'?) I opted for paddling in the extremely high Mississippi River. This was likely not the wisest move in an 18' sea kayak but the river was wide and I was able to ferry across the current from Beaver Island back to the launch fairly efficiently.
Before I took off for my ill advised (though fresh water friendly) paddle however, Ivan and I snuck down to the little used aquarium-like viewing window underneath the pool. Lighting conditions created extreme suction, to use the polite term, but we still got some decent shots of underwater Greenland rolling. It was a great perspective that you normally don't see and it was fun to watch the form and the attempts to learn new rolls. GalwayGuy now has the shotgun roll and a kinda sorta stick roll added to his repertoire. The stick roll was working in Jeff's skin boat but a bit of work still remains to hit it in the new Capella. Which of course, puts him light years ahead of yours truly. We shall see where the summer takes me but I publicly vow to add the shotgun, crook of elbow, and a forward roll before the lakes become stiff again this fall. Ah, to be young.
P.S. Don't forget that the registration for the Northern Lights Qajaq Society's Traditional Paddlers Gathering opens on that favorite communist holiday, May Day. Speaking of tradition, that is also the day you need to get in line for tickets to the Great Taste of the Midwest beer festival in Madison. Coincidence? I think not.