It is over six weeks since the Bittangabee weekend, the last time I did any significant paddling, and finally my elbow felt well enough to get back in the kayak. On Friday we went down to Tuross where the usual paddle around Tuross Inlet was subverted by a "bubble and struggle" session, although half the group eschewed the dunking and paddled the regular loop. If you only ever paddle on lakes and calm rivers there probably is not much incentive to learn to eskimo roll.
Bubble and Struggle
Afterwards, we took our 20 plus year old Feathercraft up to John's place and spent a couple of hours in the sun trying to remember how to put it together. Pretty much every stage was accompanied by a statement in the vein of "Oh yeah, this bit is a tad tricky," and a minor domestic dispute between Doug and I as to what piece we should install next. Luckily, Peter arrived before we had gone too far as he had the all important flow chart which quickly revealed that neither Doug nor I was correct about the construction order. Once the whole boat was together it did look a bit sad, not wearing it's 20 years well, with the cockpit coamings a bit crooked, the ribs askew, and the entire boat faded and no longer really waterproof. John was trying to look positive but I suspect that Mrs Wilde will be less than impressed.
The feathercraft on a circuit of the Palua Islands
Saturday a subgroup of the usual sausage contingent left from Mossy Point for a return trip to Guerilla Bay and I went along with the idea that if my elbow got too bad, I would come back early. We had an easy exit from the bar at Mossy Point on a very high tide and then headed directly for Burrewarra Point into a light easterly wind. I found that as long as I kept my elbows in and my scapulae engaged I had no pain paddling thus blowing apart any reductionistic theories about my elbow tendonitis being an overuse injury propagated by the conventional medical establishment.
Heading for Burrewarra Point
When I tell people I have been going to a chiropractor who sensibly takes a systems approach and has been working my strength and mobility upstream (shoulders, neck and thoracic spine) and downstream (wrists and forearms) of the problem they look at me like I have a death wish, just the way I look at them when they admit following conventional medical advice. I guess we do have something in common after all.
Morning at Mossy Point
A solo kayaker caught up with us about half an hour after leaving Mossy Point and travelled with us for most of the rest of the day. Of course, the paddler was the holder of yet another sausage. Women are severely under-represented in the Aussie sea kayaking scene. We had a short break on the beach at Guerilla Bay and then headed back. The haystacks off Burrewarra Point were quite fun to bounce around in and there was a good following sea on the way back. A better kayaker could catch solid rides all the way to Mossy Point but I was fixated on keeping my shoulders engaged not catching rides.
The bar at Mossy Point looked a bit terrifying from the back with big swells rising up, but Mark had safely got in so I think we all figured it couldn't be too bad. I followed John in and only had to paddle hard for about 30 seconds. Mark had got out of his boat and was dashing along the rock reef trying to secure some astonishing video footage but, of course, on playback it all looked like nothing much at all.
Now here's a guy who knows about tupperware
We repaired to the local cafe where Doug and I had our usual black tea/coffee, and Mark, in between frothing about paddling backwards over the biggest wave of his entire sea kayaking career let slip that our tupperware lunch containers drive him insane, which, is pretty much the story of our life. Being odd. Sometimes, you've just got to embrace it.