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October 25, 2007

Training Paddle - Wakulla River

Had a nice afternoon paddle on the Wakulla and beat my record again. Did the six mile bridge to bridge in 1:48. Guess all that paddling over the weekend made a difference. No one on the river when I put in and then a bunch of people in the last twenty minutes or so.

October 22, 2007

Training Paddle - Ochlocknee River

Last weekend I did a long training paddle down the Ochlocknee river here in north florida. Ochlocknee is an indian word that means "River of fallen trees". Ok-Ok I don't actually know what it means. The first day I took off down river and was told by a family swimming off there house on the river that I should "camp high" because the dam was open and the water would be rising up to 6 feet. Soon I passed a pair of fishermen who said that last weekend I would have been carrying the kayak.

Did about 21 miles the first day:

I followed the advice and found a high place to camp. I set up my hammock even higher :) and tied my kayak as high as I could. I pulled the kayak as high up the bank as I could, until there was only the last 8 inches of the boat in the water. These were all good things as when the sun came up the water was three to four feet higher. Not a good night to sleep on a sand bank. The kayak was almost afloat by the time I cast off.

The river was incredibly changeable. It would go from wide and open to almost a creek flowing through a huge collection of snags and downed trees and then back to wide and open. A Klepper A2 not being a whitewater boat I got hung up a few times on logs and snags. A few times there was no way down the river through a downed tree and I found myself using momentum and the plentiful current to bust though some bushes on the edge of the river or the green leaves in the top of a newly fallen tree. Not my favorite kind of paddling. Many times I wished I had a Kruger and could just bash through with no fear of tearing my boat up.

One other challenge of this river is navigation. There where multiple places where there were options on which way to go. Once I paddled more than a quarter mile to ask a fisherman if he was in the river or if it was one of the side channels that are called "lakes". Turned out I had left the river and was in a lake. In another spot I found myself having left the channel and accidentally taken a short cut a Fish and Game officer had told me about but not been willing to attempt directions for. More than once I sat at an intersection trying to puzzle out which way to go, as twisty as it was south was not always the right answer. At one point I was worried that I was going up river (I was not :p). Guess this was very good training :)

The second day I planned to paddle twenty to twenty five miles. The middle of the afternoon came and I had already covered more than twenty miles. I called Christy and she told me there were thunderstorms forcast for that night. I pushed on and as the end of the afternoon neared I thought I only had ten miles or so before a takeout point so I pushed on. Total for the day was forty-two miles. By far my longest paddle. About half of that was in current (ducking and dodging fallen trees) and the other half fairly open without much current and with a headwind.

I must have done enough of a workout cause I am still sore :) Total count 16:45 hours in the boat and 64 miles traveled.


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October 15, 2007

Training Paddle - Suwannee River

Spent the weekend with the family at Stephen Foster State park in Whitesprings Florida. Great place to visit we had a nice time. I really liked the bell tower playing Stephen Foster songs. Paddled upstream from the park to Little shoals. Man was it tough. Current was really moving along. Paddled up for about an hour and forty minutes, less than forty coming back. Think I did about 5 miles.

Pictures: Wakulla River and Klepper Sep 2007

My digital camera broke a little while back so last week I took a old APS point and shoot camera with me. Here are the pictures, a little grainy but still a pretty river.

October 08, 2007

Training Report

I was curious about my training so I added it all up by month:

June: 28 Miles 12.5 Hours 8 days paddled

July: 14.5 Miles 7.75 Hours 3 days paddled

August: 9 Miles 4 hours (Hurt my shoulder then back) bah! 2 days paddled

September: 6 Miles 2.5 Hours 1 day paddled Yeah recovery!!! (mostly)

October: (So Far) 16 Miles 7.5 hours 5 days paddled (out of 8 wow)

My thoughts are that I need to kick it up a notch or three, but that I seem to be on the right track for this month.

My target this month is to be on the water 15 days and do at least 75 miles. Wish me luck :)

Training Paddle - Wakulla River

Best time ever going up and back on the Wakulla river! Made the 6 mile bridge to bridge route in under two hours Current was about medium. After my forced break in training it feels good to make some progress.

October 06, 2007

Training Paddle - Wakulla River

Had a great paddle down the Wakulla river from the north bridge to its confluence with the St. Marks river at the fort at San Marcos de Apalache in the town of St. Marks. Christy provided the shuttle service. Going down river only helped for the first three miles. After the 98 bridge where the river opens up I had a pretty good wind in my face for the rest of the trip. Best part of the day was that the weather was overcast with potential to have some storms so most of the motor boats stayed home. Lots of canoes and kayaks. Great day!

No photos because my camera has died.

October 02, 2007

Training Paddles

I have been a slacker about updating this. So.... here is a quick summary. Friday, took Christy out on the Wakulla river for a hour or two moonlight paddle. Saturday sailed the kayak around the St. Marks and Wakulla river confluence for a about 45 minutes then paddled for a couple hours on the St. Marks river. Sunday paddled with Gary aka Lugnut on the Wacissa river for about 2 and 1/2 or three hours. And finally Tuesday paddled Christy up the Wakulla river for about two hours. I love being back on the water.