K2inCanada's Blog

May 20, 2018

De-throned

Filed under: Canada, Kayak — K2 in Canada @ 11:15 PM

Well as expected Jeff and I are no longer the leaders at the TNR but we still keep close to them. May 1 it was Gareth from the island who really just played with us for a bit. Coming up from behind, he spent a bit of time with us riding the wash and then just took off. Nothing we could do.  Wes started off like a rocket and we had a really hard time to catch him but then he slowed down and we all past him about 3/4 of the way. It was a beautiful sunny night. Gareth deserved that win. We used to race with him a lot in the past when we were really training and were close. But I still am mad at him, kinda, for beating us at the Bowen Race in 2005 where we dragged him around the whole Island, away from the competition by playing the tides and then he passed us on a motorboat wash 100m from the end after 32km. Not fair but hey, that’s racing.

No Gareth at the start line May 8th but Wes was in form that night. He took off as usual and just stayed away. Our battle was with Shane, Linda and Alex that night – the station wagon as ball called them. Nothing we could do to shake them. It amazing how fast they are with a 3 year old in between them. We just managed to finished ahead of them but they beat Bob who had been sitting on our wash the whole race. Soon, we gonna watch their backs. That will hurt :-).

Missed the May 15th race since I was in Belgium for work.

Thanks Vivian for the picture and as usual results, write up and a ton more pictures can be found on the Deep Cove Canoe & Kayak website:

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April 30, 2018

TNR Apr 24

Filed under: Canada, Kayak — K2 in Canada @ 10:24 PM

Back in the double for that one. It was a beautiful, sunny and warm evening! The course, Beach Criterium, isn’t the best one for doubles since its a 3 lap course with very tight buoy turns at each end. We were hanging on to Wes’s wash for 2 laps. Took us half a lap to catch him and on the last half, as we were getting ready to sprint to the finish line, he all sudden stopped paddling to let Bob catch up to him. If it would have come to a sprint, I am sure he would have beat us – I had not much left! Guess our days at the top of the leader board for the TNR is coming to an end. There were two more double surfskis in the race too. The threesome of Shane, Alex (facing backwards) and Linda who surprised everyone coming 4th overall and Ty and daughter Ruby just a few more seconds behind. Pretty cool!

Full results and Amy’s write up: http://www.deepcovekayak.com/raceresult/april-24th-beachview-criterium/

April 29, 2018

Up and down the river

Filed under: Canada, Kayak — K2 in Canada @ 7:59 PM

After a week of glorious sunshine and warm weather the forecast for the weekend was wet, wet, wet and cool. On top of that Jeff got sick and wasn’t able to go paddling. So we spent Saturday morning cleaning the garage and the house. In the afternoon, I went for a paddle on the Fraser. The tide had just changed and it should start to flood soon but when I got to the river the current was still going out. I stuck with the plan to go down river though. It was nice to be assisted by the current a bit, especially since I was doing a workout 2′ on 2′ off x 20.  I went past the Arthur Liang bridge before I turned after 1hour (13 sets). The way back was supposed to be helped by the tide but there was not much so it took a bit longer to get back and I was getting tired obviously. The rain for the most part wasn’t too bad, just a constant drizzle.

Sunday started out a bit drier so we walked to the store only to get drenched on the way back. But then the rain did stop in the early afternoon and I took my surfski out again. To make it just a tad bit interesting I went up river this time. It was quite a bit of work against the current, despite the tide coming in. But the way back was blistering fast – an easy 11-12km/hr. The only scary-wave-throwing tug actually slowed down for me which was pretty nice. The wave was still big mind you and I was going into it. It was far from being sunny or nice but at least it was dry and a bit warmer than the day before.

This past week Wednesday evening, I actually got my first K1 paddle in on Burnaby Lake. It was a beautiful sunny, warm and calm day. Perfect! The super lancer felt okay after the first 5min of wobbles. Since Commodore Steve and Fort Langley Ben were out as well I even made it to the end and back.

Sun should be back next week!

April 22, 2018

What goes up

Filed under: Canada, Kayak — K2 in Canada @ 1:00 PM

…must come down. Up as in paddling up Indian Arm around Croker Island in the double surfski. It was a bit blowy when we left, maybe 20-30km winds out of the south-southeast, blowing right down the arm, and we got a phenomenal ride to the end of theArm. We were cruising along at ~12km/hr. At some point we caught some big motorboat wash and were riding the wave for what felt like 20-30sec at close to 20km/hr.  It was a sunny day, 10C and we dressed light for a hard workout trying to beat our record around Croker. I was comfortable enough on the way out but then we rounded the island and were facing into the wind. It was strong and our speed dropped below 10km/hr. And I was getting COLD. The sun was hiding behind some puffy clouds till almost Best Point. I was ready to go to shore and put on some more clothes but then we hit sun again. Still should have put my coat on, the cold does drain your energy quite a bit. We tried hard battling into the wind for about half way back but shortly after Best Point we packed it in. It was just too windy. It took us 1hr 18min to go up the 16km, it took about 2hrs back. I was dead tired, my legs threatened to cramp up and I was shivering. Seems like lately Jeff and I are underestimating the conditions quite a few times – never used to be like this. I hate getting old. Lucky for us the Maplewood does not only serve beer and food but also hot tea :-). And our waitress turned up the fireplace for us.

This past week’s TNR was the dreaded time trial around Jug which I had to do in my single. I dreaded it because I thought I would get beat by my good friend Jodi who has not paddled for a year and I hate to loose. She is a personal trainer, owns an gym, is super fit and strong and a pretty good paddler. We used to have great battles when she first started out paddling (surfski and K1) but after a couple years she left me in her wake. She took a year of racing to fix her shoulder, something I never had the patience for. On Tuesday, she did me a great favour and started ahead of me. So far ahead, that I could not even see her at first. I had a great first half and finally had her and Cynthia in sight. I managed to catch up to Cynthia first but that’s when I died and lost my rhythm. Which was surprising because usually I like distance paddles and get stronger with time. Guess I was trying too hard at the beginning. Time to do some more intervals. I managed to hold off Cynthia but never caught up to Jodi, 100m ahead. At the end I only finished about 15sec faster than Jodi. Next time trial will be in August and she will kill me by minutes :-).

Thanks again to Vivian for the pictures. Results and write up: http://www.deepcovekayak.com/raceresult/april-17th-jug-island-time-trial/

April 15, 2018

2 Paddle Weekend

Filed under: Canada, Kayak — K2 in Canada @ 4:23 PM

Well, the skis are put away for the season. Mind you, Cypress got 20cm of fresh snow Thursday night but then it rained all day on Friday. There may still be the odd snowshoe in our future but this weekend we paddled twice. The weather was supposed to be miserable but somehow we got lucky both days. Saturday we took the double for a long 3hr paddle. It was supposed to be windy but there was hardly a ripple on Indian Arm and the rain held off until we drove back home. We even picked up the pace a bit for the way back and only had the current against us. Today we took the singles. Tuesday’s race is the time trial and Jeff does not want to do it in the double. We may be winning the TNRs in our double lately but that’s all due to Jeff`s power from all the double poling he did this winter and me barely being able to keep up. Tuesday will tell the truth, sigh. Anyhow, we had a nice 2hr paddle today in our singles. The sun was out and the wind only picked up near the end (headwind of course). Only waves we had to deal with was lots of motorboat wash. I tried to pick it up a bit near the end like yesterday but on my own there is just no speed in me :-).

April 12, 2018

Liquid Sunshine

Filed under: Canada, Hummer, Kayak, Ski — K2 in Canada @ 10:37 PM

Well it is early April and the weather is behaving as it should. A bit of sun, a bit more rain and some wind. We made the best of it I think.

Spent Saturday morning bird watching at our balcony door. Besides quite a few hummers, there numbers seem to get bigger and bigger every year and they are sucking the small feeder empty in almost a day, there were a bunch of woodpeckers around picking at our tree.

In the afternoon we went for most likely our last cross country ski in Manning. It was a +2C day, overcast and light drizzle on and off which once in a while tried to be snow. Conditions were soft and slow but overall good to ski on – just everything took a bit longer and Jeff was almost ready to put his skis back on to look for me by the time I made it back to the car. Ooops. It was “The Stache” weekend at Manning as their long time GM Mike Baker retired. So everyone who put on a mustache was supposed to get $10 off. Well, that offer actually only counted for the downhill area. Oh well. Jeff and I still dressed up since we have to be thankful to Mike Baker for keeping the snow on the road at every Cascade Cup loppet! My mustache worked so well, it stayed on for my full 3+hr ski 🙂

 

Sunday was a paddling day in the Cove. Started out nice and easy up the Arm at a quite leisurely pace but for the way back Jeff had us do 1′ on 4′ rest intervals. Doesn’t sound as hard as it felt! Especially as we always seem to have a headwind on the way back. We were supposed to have current help us but that sure did not feel like it. And yes it rained a bit but also some almost sun.

 

Anyhow, the training did pay off. This Tuesday and we won the TNR AGAIN! Ex sprint national team member Wes Hammer was out and I was sure he would show us back into our place. But he has spent the winter at school becoming a teacher and we were able to hold him off. I am sure it won’t tale long for him to crush us all again as he used to do last year and the year before and the year before that :-). The weather was actually much better than expected – no rain and a bit of sun even. Still kinda cold standing around for the prizes at the end.

 

For Amy’s race report and full results go here: http://www.deepcovekayak.com/raceresult/april-10th-lone-rock-return/  Thanks to Viv from DCO for taking the pictures.

And a race video if you liked the last one: https://youtu.be/hlv5pYjN988

April 7, 2018

Start to Finish

Filed under: Canada, Kayak — K2 in Canada @ 10:30 PM

This week was the first TNR of the season. Apparently this is the 20th season of Tuesday Night Racing in Deep Cove. I think we started doing them in 2002. Back then everyone was in sea kayaks – we have come a long ways from there. Now surfskis and SUPs dominate the scene. But many of the paddlers are still the same :-).

Since Jeff has not been in his single for a while and we’ve gotten a couple of nice long steady paddles in in the double already, we took the double surfski out. I wasn’t sure how my body would react to actually getting my heart rate up and race. But it’s a short race, just around Grey Rocks, and I figured we should survive. We had a reasonable start and soon were leading the pack. Usually Jeff and I are riding Shane’s wash but this time him and Bob were sitting on our double for almost the whole time. Crazy Jeff had to put in some sprints every so often to see if we could drop them. All it did it make me nearly faint from the effort :-).  But the boat felt good and our timing was on. We managed to hold off Shane in the sprint to the finish line by an inch with Bob finishing just behind us. It felt good to win the first race :-). Race video below (if you don’t want to watch the whole thing, you can see Jeff and I at 1:30, 4:50 and 8:15).

For race write up by Amy from Deep Cove Outdoors and full results go here: http://www.deepcovekayak.com/raceresult/april-3rd-grey-rocks-return/

April 2, 2018

Easter weekend

Filed under: Canada, Kayak, Ski — K2 in Canada @ 10:13 PM

I did not want to go back to work today. What a nice relaxing Easter Long Weekend we had. Friday we slept in and then took the double surfski around Croker Island. The temperatures were much more agreeable than last weekend despite a good headwind on the last portion of the way back. It was a solid paddle. Spent the rest of the day eating and drinking and hummingbird watching and lounging around on the couch.

Saturday we slept in and then drove to Manning for an afternoon ski. Conditions were pretty decent for this late in the season. They still have a good amount of snow but the trails are going through freeze-thaws. It was 5C and sunny while we skied. Quite nice, really, even though the tracks were a bit of a mess in sections. North Gibson and Strawberry Flats was one of the best trails. And off course we finished off with a hot tub visit, beer and a huge plate of nachos.

Sunday was supposed to be another paddling day, after we slept in of course, but the wind was howling with gusts up to 40km/hr. So we were humming and hawing on what to do instead. We finally ended up loading the double surfski onto the car and drove out to Deep Cove. The launch site was protected well enough and we hugged the shore towards Cates just getting hammered by the odd gusts. At Cates Point, we turned around and rode the wind waves back. We did that 3 times. And for good measure we threw in 14 x 1min on 4min intervals. It was hard work and it got pretty cold when the sun hid itself behind some big clouds. But it felt good. Let the racing season begin :-). TNRs starting tomorrow.

I am almost finished with my Newfoundland blog – it’s only 14 pages so far and that is without pictures! And there are so many more stories I missed to tell last year. Hopefully I will be able to catch up before summer.

March 24, 2018

Holy cold

Filed under: Canada, Kayak, Ski — K2 in Canada @ 3:14 PM

Just in time for spring, the temperatures dropped again, sigh. There was a reason we stopped paddling in the winter. It was wet and cold on Indian Arm today, 3.5C according to the car. We did not bring the right gear! No full rain coats and no pogies. It was okay for the first 50min when we were protected from the wind. As soon as we went out to cross from Jug to Twin we had this icy cold from the east. We were closer to being hyperthermic and only paddling hard kept us going – I could not feel my hands at all at the end. We do HAVE all the right gear to paddle in those conditions but got fooled by the warm weather over that last two weeks.

Last weekend we paddled Saturday in the sunshine for 3+hrs. It was also windy at times but sooo warm, 10+C. On Sunday we went skiing again at WOP. It was cooler than the weekend before, between +2 and +5C I think, but it was still quite warm. Mind you when we left Vancouver in the AM, it was raining in town. 🙂 This time we only climbed up to Loon Lake, via Madeley Lake. The snow was still soft and slow in sunny spots but the differences weren’t as severe as the previous weekend. Grip was on and off and I did hurt my hamstring yet again. Rats!

This past week was the first evening paddle of the season as well. Thanks to my great friend and workout buddy Krista who pushed me to leave work early enough to go paddling. Usually I would be paddling on Burnaby Lake by now but I am getting lazy with age riding my bike up the hill. Hence I took the surfski onto the river. A beautiful, albeit short paddle. No scary tugs 🙂

P1230261 (Medium)

This past week was also the end of night skiing. An okay night to end the season, with a light drizzle and warm which kept the snow soft for good ski control. Ready for the last loppet tomorrow!?

March 10, 2018

Finally some easy weekends

Filed under: Canada, Kayak, Ski — K2 in Canada @ 7:37 PM

No races for 3 weeks in a row. Well Jeff was half thinking to do Sovereign this weekend but neither of us are in shape for a 30km skate loppet. Plus the weather in town is going to to be gorgeous. Today we went for our first long paddle which took us and our double surfski around Croker Island at the end of Indian Arm. Now I know why the paddle around Coker Island up Indian Arm is so hard. Per my Garmin watch it’s not only 33km long but 1648m UP. Compared to last nights ski at Cypress with an elevation gain of 164m. Maybe one should not trust those GPS devices too much. Blue skies and sunshine and temperatures were perfect at 12C. Water was quite calm but for the odd motorboat wash. We took it easy on the way out.  Saw some snow geese, I think, just past Silver Falls. Then picked it up on the way back, really pushing it for the last hour. Surprisingly nothing hurt at the end of it, or at least not more than before we started :-). My shoulder/neck (see P’ayak blog) is still giving me some grieve, mostly when I try to sleep. But I am good for skiing tomorrow – a real up experience.

Last weekend we also went for a paddle on Saturday, just our 2hr easy loop to Cates, Admiralty, Twin and back. It was also sunny but not quite as warm as today. Paddling after a 3 week break felt great! The Sunday we went skiing at WOP and I force myself through 2.5hrs of skating. Man, skating is so much harder than classic. No way to cheat like I can in classic. And I ended up with this huge blister in the arch of my foot – need to build up the callouses again, sigh. Conditions were perfect though. Mostly overcast with some snow and some sun peeking through a couple times and -3C to -1C.

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