This morning’s paddle was very peaceful, there was not a soul on the lake (ducks and geese don’t have souls or at least that is what I believe having read “I am a Strange Loop” by Douglas Hofstadter). The rain held off but it was very overcast the air temperature was hovering around 40F at the lake and the water was very chilly. Thermals and fleece under the dry suit.
After completing my usual loop I sat for a while and thought about how to roll with more style and less haste. Jeff Bjorgo suggested spelling RELAX while underwater, Helen Wilson countered with PANIC, I ended up just waiting to float up rather than muscling my way up. I found it much more natural and I was easily able to end with a forward sweep stroke and bent forward.
Having had that success and not feeling too cold I eased myself into a static brace, I kept my knee hook strong as I have several times this year let that go and had the kayak roll on top of me. I was relaxed enough today to remind myself that the way up from the brace was to slide around onto the stern deck and not to attempt to push down (and hence rise up) on the paddle. It worked again perfectly and I decided it was time to quit, the back of my neck was feeling very cold by now being exposed and wet. I must find my Kokatat Surfskin Balaclava – it has mysteriously disappeared.