Should be a good week for paddling

Weather this week in wv predicted in the 60s. Lots of stuff running- today Anthony’s creek!


60s yesterday in southern Michigan and might hit 70 today. The wind gusts yesterday were strong enough to blow me all over the river including backwards towards fallen trees so I made it less than a mile upstream. I think I needed a sea kayak and the skills to use it.

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yesterday on Anthony Creek

I had good water but a carry or attainment is required to get to a take out just upstream on the greenbrier river. The attainment was difficult and a little dicey paddling through some vegetation in a lot of current.

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Ice-out, arbitrarily defined as 95% (est.) ice-free, will be tomorrow on my favorite local lake. This will be the earliest since records started being kept in 1977 (it was March 20 in 2012). While I’m happy to see paddling season just around the corner, I can’t avoid a touch of ambivalence … it’s yet another indicator of excess heat, and this one in my own back yard.

Water temp is what counts.

Yep, that’s for sure. I’ll go in colder water (45+) but only where I know I can stand and only when calm. Also, no drunk power boaters this time of year, so that’s a plus too.


So if you can stand in water but roll over GASP reflex can’t happen?

Yes, @PaddleDog52 , it certainly can.
The ability to stand on the bottom, always wearing a PFD, and venturing out only on calm days are just three ways to manage risk. I also have experience in cold water swimming, which some say can condition people to avoid the gasp reflex, the violent shivering and/or hyperventilation that can come with sudden cold immersion. Again, it’s just some insurance, no guarantee.
My reasons are purely selfish. I like to paddle. If I were to wait for 70 deg water to go out in the spring and then pack it in when the water temp dips below 70 in the fall, I would be lucky to have a three month season. I can extend that by as much as two months by setting minimum water temp at 45 and combining with a rule of 110. That is, water temp + air temp must be >110. Is there still risk involved? Yes, but in my judgment it’s not a foolish risk. To be clear, no one should mistake what I do for serious, tested science. It’s just what I do to lower the probability of a bad outcome to a level I can live with. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:
I do appreciate your comment and I don’t question its validity.

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