Sunday, March 8, 2009

Mar 7 09 - First Paddle of 2009!!!

The "Rainbow Bright" crew: (l-r) Rob, Ben, Igloo, Dimitry
& myself (no, Igloo didn't join us!)
Photo: Imroze Albert

The itch of paddling (for some of us) comes as soon as water begins flowing - like it did down my driveway when the snow melted not too long ago. Its kind of like the feeling you get in your bladder when you hear the rush of water and then have to go make a deposit. Well despite the seemingly protracted winter, with the copious amounts of snow and cold temperatures, the odd spell of really mild days have opened many local creeks and rivers. Throw in the rapidly melting snow and you have the makings of a runnable whitewater river!

Besides trying to co-ordinate time for everyone to go asap, (mild temps and high water levels do not wait for anyone this time of year) we also had to think about the ambient outdoor temperature since -14C just doesn't cut it. So when the weather forecast stated a high of 8C and rain this past Saturday, we jumped at the opportunity to paddle the Credit River in Mississauga.

Rob taking water temp and speed measurements -
as well as verifying the suits integrity!

Just after 11AM, a group of four assembled at the Streetsville Memorial Park donning colourful drysuits under grey skies. Yes, there were the odd stares, but we didn't care. We were giddy like kids just happy to get out on the water. (of course, did it not start raining once we got on the river!) There also was a more serious side to it as we also wanted to practice our whitewater strokes in preparation for the big Mountain River trip planned in July. But really, it was all fun and games.

Yes, that's a chunk of ice they are standing on. A brief break
to bail, rehydrate, & relieve ourselves - like you
needed to know that!

We could only arrange one canoe for the outing so initially we were only going to practice on a short section of the river in pairs, but two other friends unexpectedly showed up with 2 canoes! This meant we could all now actually paddle a large section of the river! Bonus! (thanks Jim & Arie!) So away we went, back ferrying around obstacles, eddy ins and outs, C turns and S turns - you name it we were doing it! (for the most part!) The river was moving fast and providing lots of large standing waves to smash through while having fun. It was pure pleasure despite the cold spray, constant rain, and the large blocks of ice that lined the river banks! So much so that we have the following Friday in mind for another long run! Stay tuned!
(Please stay above freezing!!!)

Congrats to the boys for starting the season on a good "paddle"!


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