I was fortunate to get out on the water today for 14.7 more training miles. The day was sunny, however the wind picked up and got gusty once I was on the water. The outbound leg to the far end of the reservoir near Bleak House that normally takes me ~1:15:00 took me 1:40:00 due to the strong headwinds and strong current from last night’s rain. The water was up and once beyond Reas Ford Bridge there was serious current to contend with.
Outbound I was able to spot an American Bald Eagle but otherwise had the entire reservoir to myself.
On the return leg of the trip, the wind picked up even more and I made record time back being pushed by the wind. It was so windy, though, the water was very wavy and choppy and gusts of wind would whip up and catch me by surprise so much that I became very aware of what could go wrong and starting planning what to do in case of capsize. These were the roughest conditions I ever paddled in with my Thunderbolt-X kayak. The waves in the windiest sections were actually white-capped, which is rare for our local reservoir.
I spotted a cute little Mink on the way back and he seemed to run along the shoreline with me for a short while as if to say, “It’s OK.”
Then once I got near the boat ramp I spotted a kayak near the shoreline on the opposite side from the ramp. I decided to paddle up to this person to say hi and warn them of the windy conditions around the bend up by Twin Bridges/Earlysville Rd., but as I got near the kayak I noticed it was empty.
Not knowing if I was paddling up to a capsize that would turn into a rescue I once again starting thinking about a rescue plan if somebody had unintentionally entered the water.
Once I got to the boat I realized it was tangled in a tree on the shoreline and it became fairly obvious the boat blew into the water from somebody’s back yard.
So I towed the boat back upstream and put it at the first boat dock I came across. The house is somewhere on Lockridge Lane and when I got out at the boat dock, I noticed another identical boat just up the bank, so I figured it was a safe guess this was probably their boat.
So person on Lockridge Lane, you might want to secure your boats a little better. If not for that one tree on the shoreline your boat would have gone over the dam for sure.
And if I returned the boat to the wrong place, now you understand why you have a second, green Pelican kayak right next to your other one. If it is not yours, I encourage you to check with your neighbors to help return it to the right place.