Kayaking: The off-season and the season opener at Sebago Canoe Club

Chirp chirp, chirp chirp. Woh, it’s been quiet around here lately! It’s about time for some kayaking updates. I’m one of those warm weather paddlers. I just can’t justify purchasing a dry suit seeing as how the majority of people I paddle with don’t have one and those who do don’t launch out of the same boathouse I do. So…how do I keep myself busy during the cold months? A ton of skiing, kayak polo, and computer programming. With an old college buddy of mine living within a 1-2 hour drive of some of the best skiing in New Hampshire I made several trips up for some great skiing and had the opportunity to ride Bretton Woods, Cannon Mountain, Mount Sunapee, and Wildcat Mountain. When I wasn’t skiing I was either playing kayak polo or visiting my girlfriend Cathy up in Rochester. Lot’s of time on the road and lot’s of miles on old Big Blue (my 1983 Chevy Caprice).

In 2010 I started playing kayak polo with New York kayak Polo. For those of you who don’t know what kayak polo is, it’s basically water polo played in old style white water kayaks. It’s a challenging and exhausting sport (both physically and mentally). During the summer months NYKP plays in the Hudson River at pier 66 and in the winter they play in a pool at St. Peters College in Jersey City, NJ. This winter the club put on a couple of development tournaments that were aimed at introducing new players to tournament play. All I can say is they were a blast! Kayak polo helped me keep my boat handling skills sharp and towards the end of the season I even started to work on my roll. Something that has been eluding me for years. Yea — I’ve only been able to do it in the small polo boats but its a start and I hope to be rolling like a champ in my sea kayak by the end of this summer. Tom Potter from Brooklyn Bridge Park Boathouse was gracious enough to spend some time instructing me and even took a video of one of my rolls. Sorry Tom — I know my form needs some improvement. I’ll keep working on it!

Last weekend Sebago Canoe Club held it’s open house. Myself and a few friends made the trek out to Sebago to open our paddling season on beautiful Jamaica Bay. Following a solid week of rain we were all wondering if the weather would clear for Saturday and sure enough we had a gift from above. Warm temperatures and plenty of sunshine made for one of the nicest days in weeks. Paddling at a medium pace we circumnavigated Canarsie Pol, landed next to Canarsie Pier for a snack, and went over towards the Jamaica Bay Riding Academy before heading back to Sebago for a burger and a soda. Sebago members were gracious hosts and we had a fabulous time. It was a great way to start off the 2011 paddling season!

Thanks for a great day Sebago!

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