Paddling for a Year.

It's been a year now (plus four days) since this whole paddling business began. However, first today's discoveries: including this poor dinghy...

And yes, the sunken sailboat off Kits Yacht Club is still there 2 months later.

Near the Cambie bridge... I was going to make some smart remark about marriages and rocks... ...but getting married one day before the rrsp tax deadline probably says it better...

Most of the kayaks are all bundled up for the winter. Not so the dark blue one resting comfortable on the blue foam cushions!

So. One year ago: remember this? Here's where it all started! ...and the reason is shown on the tv: to get pictures where the kids are!

Well, it didn't take long to turn this into a great form of exercise! Here I am only a month later with paddle #3! It's super strong and light carbon fiber!

11 months, 1,437 km, and 214 hrs later: it's kayak #2 (longer, narrower), paddle #4 (bigger blade, still carbon fiber), and a gps heart rate monitor runner's watch strapped to the paddle.
The rubber band to the right of the watch is at the ideal hand position for me, so I don't need to keep checking to see if my grip has shifted.
My life jacket now rides on the back of the kayak. It made me too warm, restricted my arm movement, and it's not legally required to be worn.
(Yuko now has the previous paddle, making her one of very few beginners who have only ever used a carbon fiber paddle!)

Here's the reason to bring a gps (or two!): I can measure my performance/progress. You can really see the effect of the tidal currents!
On the left is paddling day #2, a 145 minute, 4.86 kph round-trip to Jericho dock. On the right is paddling day #135, an 83 minute, 8.02 kph round-trip to Jericho dock.

Just changing kayaks and paddles doesn't make you faster. Converting the speed of a particular kayak into Watts of power generated shows why it's faster now.
On that first trip to Jericho, I was generating only 9 Watts. I now average 50 Watts output for 1-2 hrs at a time, and can reach 90 Watts over short distances on sheltered non-tidal stretches.
For the Olympic paddlers, 300 Watts over short distances is "normal"! At kayak speeds above 5-7 kph (depending on the kayak), a 10% speed increase requires an 80% power increase.

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