open water and distance training

sup touring

Waldo Lake

Ok, so I realize paddling 6 miles can’t really be considered “long” distance, however, I haven’t been paddling the stretches I should be, so at this stage in my endurance, the half dozen mile loop I completed on the north end of Waldo Lake off 58 was a challenge and much was learned.

The first half of the paddle was along the shore line, which was a good reminder of how circuitous a paddle can be if you duck into every cove. Paddling to the furthest head land on the western shore line, I wanted to see how difficult it would be to navigate to the cove we left from, back on the eastern shore. This was a useful exercise for several reasons. It is more difficult to recognize landforms on a shoreline 2 miles away than I anticipated. Turning around and looking to the mountains or skyline 100 yards after disembarking is far more useful for approximating direction for return, than trying to determine the desired point from 1 or miles away . In the future, the most favorable solution will be to take a barring. Realizing how difficult navigation can be at a distance of two miles even in the clearest conditions made me wonder how hard it could be in mist, choppy water, or worse.

It is likely I will encounter fog on my upcoming southern hemisphere excursion. Paddling in the morning with a receding tide is favorable with the typical advantage of low winds, however, it is likely to be foggy, especially in my first destination, Marlborogh Sound, the tip of the South Island, New Zealand. Next step: a six mile paddle with 40+ lbs of gear.

Approximate route paddled

Approximate route paddled, Waldo Lake.

I was again, hugely impressed by the handling of the Hala Nass with high frequency paddle strokes. It was probably the fastest I have attempted to operate a board over the greatest distance. Having spent most of my paddle hours on a rigid board prior to the Nass, I was really impressed. Of coarse there is a slight difference on an inflatable, but compared to other inflatables I have ridden, the Nass has the least noticeable difference compared with a rigid board.

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