Tuesday, March 4, 2014

When the Water Freezes on the Paddle

The temperature dropped into single digits during the night, but there was no reason to get an early start with the high tide not coming until after noon.  By the time I set the canoe in the water, the air is near 20F but the north wind becoming west that the weather service predicted is nowhere.  The wind is coming from the south...I guess it is going the long way around the compass dial.

My first few strokes are through slush ice that has formed in the protected areas near shore.  I head up the coast in a small chop with following wind...

...and I arrive at the mouth of the Oyster River just behind the peak tide.  The lightest of current is flowing out.  I roust a good flock of mallards and a few hooded mergansers.  The river is open until the first big bend where the river doubles back a 180 degrees on itself.  Here, as I would expect, it is still iced in, the bend so tight that any large pieces of ice would have jammed during the few warm days we had in the last month.

I paddle a headwind home watching the drops of water that have fallen from my paddle to the gunwales freeze.

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