I've got to say, I had a very enjoyable Father's Day yesterday. We'd been thinking about going on the Father's Day paddle with the Norumbega WCHA folks, but it's a bit of a hike. (Sometime, Fitz, sometime.) Instead, we decided to break in DW's new Tupperyak and to do a mild shake-down for an up-coming paddling trip.
One of our favorite "accessible" places to paddle is a local state park with an easy put-in and decent parking. The paddle is usually not difficult, but the scenery is pretty and if you're there at the right time of year, you can pick wild blueberries right from the boat. The weather was perfect, so we figured we'd better go. We were, however, a bit taken aback when we arrived to find all of the parking was taken - we'd have to park in the woods along the access road. Once we got to the water, the reason became apparent:
There was some sort of kayak skills class going on with a large group of people. It was mostly a sea of plastic and fiberglass with the exception of these two wooden beauties. One appeared to be a Pygmy or CLC kayak and I couldn't place the design of the cedar strip kayak, but it was reminiscent of Nick Schade's design work.
Our contribution to the line-up was DW's new Tupperyak, the Charlotte (solo lapstrake canoe) and a Wabnaki (tandem cedar strip canoe):
DW appeared to be enjoying her new boat and it appeared to do quite well keeping pace with the rest of us.
Mountain Laurel was in bloom all around the edge of the lake and was quite spectacular. I don't know if it is due to the relatively mild winter or not, but we seem to have had particularly impressive displays of Rhododendron and Mountain Laurel this year. The Laurel ranged from a white to a pale pink in color.
We did a leisurely circuit of the lake keeping relatively close to shore to be able to see the flowers and other plants growing at the edge. DS is getting used to paddling in the front of a tandem canoe - he's not done that before. I do need to start feeding that boy cheeseburgers or something as the front of the canoe was up in the air. (-and no, the author does not need to go on a diet!) DD was doing well, but seemed to me to be using a great deal of the initial stability of the canoe she was paddling.
When we got back to the ramp, DS decided that he should take the boat that DD was paddling out for a spin. Still needs a bit of practice, but he's getting there. It's mostly his sense of balance that hasn't fully developed yet.