As you might’ve read in my last post, I was just in Cape Cod for my family’s annual vacation together- and I did a lot of paddling there! Cape Cod always gives me so much opportunity for a good paddle, whether it be in the ocean (which I just tried for the first time, considering my boat isn’t exactly equipped for the waves) or in the various lakes and ponds that are easily accessible on the Cape. I’ve already done a feature on Walker’s Pond which you can find in my archives, which gives a detailed description of the area and its attractions.
Paddling in the ocean offers a different set of variables, and you need to think about a few more logistics than if you’re just launching from the banks of a pond or lake. It’s challenging to carry boats through thick sand and down the beach, especially in low tide; therefore, a harbor or boat launch is definitely preferable. My dad and I woke up super early (6:30 am, which is basically a non-existent time in my college life) and drove to Sesuit Harbor to put our boats in the water. Once in the harbor, we had to be careful about keeping to the right of the channel and giving space to motor boats, sailboats, and some larger yachts. Big boats often don’t consider paddlers as much as they could, and our little fiberglass boats will get eaten up if we don’t watch out. Luckily the wind wasn’t too strong when we got out into the open water, and we got a great view of Sea Street Beach- the beach I’ve been coming to since I was little!
Unfortunately I wasn’t as well equipped gear-wise as I’d like to be. My kayak has a rather large cockpit and doesn’t have a drain, so I was especially careful not to take in too much water. I really need a spray skirt…well, I really need a new boat. Some critters in our garage chewed a wire that’s rendered my foot pedals useless…and my rudder…and made it smell pretty bad. My poor boat! She needs some attention. Once I’m in grad school and have more space, I’ll definitely be investing in a boat that’s better suited to me. Until then, my boat and the Johns Hopkins boats will do just fine.
Besides paddling in the ocean, I also got a lot of time on Walker’s Pond! I even got in some Tough Mudder training by towing my cousin and sister across the whole thing against the strongest winds I’ve seen there in years…needless to say, that was and exhausting and creative way to get ready for the race! I’m always trying to multi-task…
Cousins paddling together on Walker’s Pond!
My next kayaking saga will most likely involve my applications to be a sea kayaking leader for the Outdoor Pursuits group at Johns Hopkins…stay tuned!