March Madness – Kayaking

Well it is early March and in Southeast Michigan and the lakes are open, the air warm 65 to 70 degrees and tempting for a paddle (Global Warming anyone?).  I took advantage and got my sea kayak into the water.   I upset lots of the waterfowl who thought they had the lake to themselves.  The little spots in the photo are hundreds of migrating ducks that took off with my presence, note how far I am away from them (click on the photo to enlarge).  I counted 49 swans, three blue heron, and of course the ubiquitous Canadian geese. I also heard spring peepers, the earliest in the season I can remember them making noise.

March Paddle

Little Portage March Paddle

Swans On Little Portage

Swans On Little Portage

I had on my new Kokatat drysuit that I had exchanged for a larger size having learned that adding layers requires a larger size.  The warm air made the drysuit appear unnecessary but the water is quite cold.  If in the case of an unlikely event (if I did something stupid) and ended up in the water failing to do a roll then I would be in trouble in the cold water without the drysuit. It should be noted that I always wear my PFD, even on the hottest summer days.

Paddle safe this time of year, don’t learn the hard way what the cold water can do to you and how quickly.  Don’t believe me? Go to this link:

A Qajaq friend of mine posted the following below and the above paddling fatality link, comments welcome:

The ACA commissioned a report of canoe and kayak accidents and fatalities that was published in 2007.

you need to scroll down to the report entitled “Analysis of Factors Associated with Canoe and Kayak Fatalities”


The shortened version of the 36 page report is this– if you want to die while in a canoe or kayak, follow this recipe for disaster:
Be male
Go fishing from your craft
Drink plenty of alcohol
Don’t wear your pfd
Paddle alone
Paddle a short boat
Make sure the water is cold
Find the biggest waves and highest winds
Be ignorant of, or willfully blind to, the above factors
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  1. That setting seems like the perfect time to kayak, with just you and nature. I agree, I think it’s a good idea to always have your pfd on than regret not wearing them while you’re out kayaking.

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