Saturday I went on another physical therapy paddle with Tom. Tom reports that he is doing “some” of his formal PT exercises and so we are augmenting his recovery by engaging in regular functional exercise – otherwise known as kayaking. We launched out of Truxton Park in Annapolis, chosen because I had a secondary agenda of visiting Annapolis Canoe and Kayak (ACK) to check out a remarkable deal they had on a nearly new Current Designs Cypress kayak. The forecast for the day was low 50's but as we launched there was still a very thin sheet of ice in the still water by the beach and so we got the pleasure of the feel and sound of cutting through the ice.
We paddled out of Spa Creek and out around the Naval Academy into the Severn River. With the warmer weather plus chemical hand-warmers I didn’t have the same problems with cold hands I had had on the previous outing. Our previous PT paddles had been 4 and 6 miles, respectively, and I had upped the mileage by two miles once again with a roughly 8 mile route. I was afraid that Tom would want to push further but I was happy to discover that he was self-limiting on duration. Apparently he's taking his wife's advice (“you only want to do rehab once”) to heart.
Exploring creeks is always fun and in winter time has the added benefit of providing sheltered waters in which to paddle. After a false start into a dead-end creek we pushed back into Weems Creek as far as the Ridgely Avenue swing bridge, ogling the houses and big boats as always, then turned around to head back. The wind had changed direction (doesn't it always?) and so on we were paddling into the wind with some slightly choppy conditions in the Severn until we rounded the corner back into Spa Creek.
As planned we made a stop at ACK, pulling out at their dock. Do you know what I love about Annapolis? It's a place where just about everyone is involved in some sort of boating activity. So, when you walk into a store decked out in a dry suit and life jacket (PFD) no one bats an eye. In fact, the only one in the kayak shop who mentioned our attire was a customer who was in there shopping for a dry suit himself (he asked what we thought of our particular suits). Alas, the kayak I had my eye on had already had been sold. If our friend Dave, who is one of the managers of the shop, had been there we might have hung around to chat but he wasn’t and so we headed back to our kayaks (passing a contingent of maids from a yacht cleaning service (!) - who also didn't bat an eye at our attire) to paddle the last mile or two back to our put-in.
|Launching from ACK's dock (Maryland statehouse in the background)|
Along the way we bumped into another kayaker out enjoying the day, a fellow named Marshall. Not someone we knew - a nice guy though. He paddled with us all the way to Truxton Park where he got out of his kayak for a break while we unloaded out stuff. Marshall turned out to be 6' 6" tall, slightly edging out the 6' 5" Tall Tom and certainly making me feel like a Munchkin.
Y'know, in these postings I'm always harping on Tom's and my relative heights. As an engineer I like data and so I decided that for this posting I’d get quantitative about it. Look at the height density chart below. At 5' 10" I'm right at the average point. Now, look at Tom & Marshall's height range (77 and 78 inches). They're taller than the point marked as "Very Tall" (I didn't add this annotation). See, so it's not just me being height sensitive - the data backs up the fact that these guys are TALL – in the tail of the distribution occupied by primarily by pro athletes and Bond henchmen (Richard Kiel, who played Jaws, is 7’ 2” tall). As an average height guy I shouldn’t feel short, but I think I tend to notice the half of guys who are taller than I am more than the half who are shorter. But I digress …
|Height of North American Men|
I chatted in the parking lot with a SUP paddler about the benefits of a dry suit vs. wet suit – cold water is something that needs to be respected and one should always be prepared for immersion. As we packed our gear we saw a group of three people in street clothes launch in recreational kayaks. No cold water gear at all. I’m sure they were fine ... as long as they didn’t capsize.
Anyway, after a quick lunch at Quizno’s we headed home. We had originally planned to paddle on Sunday and when I awoke the next morning to bone-chilling rain I was glad we were able to move our outing to the beautiful weather of Saturday.