Fall Sea Kayak Training Trip
12, seventeen of us took a day away from NRS for an intensive sea
kayak training trip. The objectives of the trip were ambitious -
try out cold weather/water paddling gear, use the expanded line
of Werner touring paddles, shoot some photos and escape from the
a good mix of boater skill levels - some very experienced
boaters, some who’d been a few times and some first-timers.
In preparation, we watched sections of the first two videos
in the Nigel
Foster Sea Kayaking and gathered our gear. We went up
north to the lower end of Lake Coeur d’Alene. At dockside
our experienced boaters gave clinics on boat types (we had
a selection of recreation, touring and expedition-capable
boats), apparel choices, accessories and paddle features.
a safety talk and landmark orientation, school let out and
we hit the water! Air temperature was in the 40s, low clouds
parted occasionally with a welcome shaft of warm sun. We
soon found ourselves scattered into small groups across
the bay, taking in the scenery and practicing paddle strokes.
Lunch was on a mud-shored island, which produced some humorous
boat exits. After eating, we traded boats and paddles to
gain experience with the different choices of gear.
Such a beautiful setting! The necklace of yellow-leaved cottonwood
trees lining the shoreline was topped by cloud wrapped mountains,
their dark-green slopes splashed with stands of orange Western
calls of ducks and the melodious honking of geese punctuated
the low murmur of the hundreds of feeding waterfowl that rose
in clouds when we approached. An immature bald eagle on a
dead snag watched us closely as we slipped past.
Out on the lake
it was easy to forget we were only 30 miles south of the 400,000
residents of the Spokane, WA -- Coeur d’Alene, ID corridor.
That’s the beauty of touring kayaking – you can go on
multiday expeditions, but you can also just slip out onto a local
body of water and leave the hustle-bustle of civilization behind.
It was a most successful day. Several of us got
exposed to a new boating experience, some got to “test out”
Drysuit when they took a swim and we all had a fine appreciation
of the Werner
We got back
after dark - tired, relaxed, renewed.
*Larix occidentalis – an “evergreen”
conifer that loses its needles in the fall, after they turn yellow-orange.
In our area, often called by the common name, “tamarack”.