Covid-19 Paddling and Virtual Racing

I’ve thought about what is appropriate to blog about during this current pandemic. I don’t want to act like what is going on in the world is insignificant with so many lives being upended, but I also don’t want to go completely radio silent or dwell on the negatives, either.

So I’ve decided to keep bringing content related to paddling. It might just brighten a day or two.

I’ll start paddling with my video camera again and stop and snap pictures along the way so I can share them with you, as long as I’m still allowed to venture out and paddle without a government “stay home” order.

Paddling Buddy Dave and I got out on the water yesterday for a 14.6-mile training run, the full length (and back) of our local reservoir.

me&daveMe & Paddling Buddy Dave keeping a safe, social distance

The weather was a chilly 50’ish degrees but we paddled hard enough to generate plenty of heat to stay warm. The only times I got a little chilly were the times I stopped to take some pictures. I paddled my Thunderbolt-X kayak and Dave paddled his Epic 18X, both decked boats so we could stay dry as the water still presents the very real threat of hypothermia should something go wrong. Plus lets face it, you almost always get wet feet and/or butt in a surfski and that is just no fun in cold water.

We had an American Bald Eagle escort us upstream to the headwaters of the reservoir and we also saw numerous geese and herons along the way, including this Tricolored Heron that I managed to catch with my camera.

tricolorTricolored Heron taking flight

Two of the geese, in fact, were engaged in behavior Dave and I had never witnessed. They were fighting on the water. Their bills were locked together and they splashed and made quite the ruckus. This went on for several minutes and we thought they would tire quickly, but they did not. It was interesting to watch.

output_tOf6y9Paddling Buddy Dave paddling past one of my favorite spots

I was testing out a new fitness watch and was pleasantly surprised when it vibrated and threw a little party on my wrist for hitting my step count goal. It is one of the few devices I’ve found that counts paddle strokes as steps.

Letscom Fitness Tracker

I’ve gotten word over the weekend that just about every race I planned to attend this Spring has already been cancelled or postponed. Some of these organizers are trying to create virtual events where paddlers race a course of known distance and turn in their times via Strava or a snapshot of their GPS results.

I don’t know about you, but this doesn’t appeal to me at all. Either I’m not all that competitive afterall or I believe these events are more about getting together with like-minded paddlers and enjoying each other as a community. Besides, there is no way to compare results if people are not paddling the same piece of water on the same day.

So I will continue with my “training” as paddling is still a wonderful way to stay fit and healthy and I’ll start capturing video to share with you.

Hopefully this will help lift the spirits of those paddlers who are unable to get out on the water.

Until next time, be safe and stay healthy.



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