Saturday, April 26, 2014

Paddling at Lake Rogers on a beautiful Spring morning!

 Location: Lake Rogers. Creedmoor, NC. Temperature: 64F Wind: Light Conditions: Mostly Sunny

Saturday, April 26 was a mild temperature and low humidity day - the kind of day you wish could be bottled and opened as needed! It was also a perfect day for paddling! I decided to head to one of my favorite put in locations - Beaver Dam Lake. However, on the drive over Highway 50 to the park, I noted a number of bicyclists churning away, traveling in the opposite direction. As I neared the park entrance, I spotted a Raleigh police officer directing traffic. I carefully maneuvered around the cyclists and drove up to the park entrance office. Six bucks entrance fee and guess what? I was in the middle of the Inside-Out Sports Olympic Triathlon at Beaver Dam! The Triathlon is a grueling 1500 meter open water swim, 26.5 mile bike, and a 6.2 mile run. Literally hundreds of Triathlon athletes, and spectators had converged on the one spot this morning where I wanted to put in! Every parking space was filled and the boat ramps were closed. Time for Plan B. Next stop, was a paddling adventure at Lake Rogers! Click on the photos to enlarge.           

Put in at the Lake Rogers boat ramp. Conditions were calm and still. The water was like a sheet of glass.

I spied this Heron as I rounded a bend. The bird was wading in the shallow waters near the shoreline, hunting for food.

Here is one half of a geese mated pair. The two birds were slowly swimming towards my kayak. I stopped paddling and while drifting took several photos of the pair. The birds were not alarmed by my presence, and after approaching to within 25 yards or so, they turned and swam toward the opposite shore.

A fallen and broken tree, sprouting new growth in its branches, lies partly submerged in the lake waters.

Sunlight filters into a quiet, shadowy cove.

There were approximately six fishing boats on Lake Rogers. From what I saw, I was the only person wearing a PFD, and paddling a kayak this morning on the small lake.

A quick bio break and stretching the legs exercise.

As I paddled by the Lake Rogers dam, I spotted this knucklehead dangerously close to the spillway. There is an approximately 20 foot drop just under the traffic bridge in the immediate background. Excellent way to end up in the hospital or worse.

A gorgeous morning paddle on Lake Rogers!

Who can't love this photo? These "moments in time" are what sustains me until I can get back on the water for my next paddling adventure!

Copyright Durhamblogger. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Athleta - Apparel model not wearing a PFD!

On page 15 of the April 2014 Athleta catalog, one finds this attractive model (nice teeth!) paddling an outrigger canoe. Unfortunately, she is minus a PFD! Here we go again!

I get it. Athleta, that sports the marketing subtitle "Power to the she" is interested in showing off their performance / swimming apparel on beautiful bodies... and wearing a PFD will cover up too much.  

One of the most essential pieces of safety gear that persons should wear, at all times, while paddling, is a personal flotation device or PFD.  According to the United States Coast Guard, almost 75% of all persons killed in boating incidents drowned. Of those, 84% were not wearing a life jacket.  In my opinion, a PFD is NOT optional safety gear, but mandatory. Both Rachel and myself always wear a properly fitted PFD when paddling and I urge all my readers to do the same!

I fired off an email to the Athleta customer service team to get their take on my comments. I received the following response from Charla, Customer Relations:

"Thank you for your email. At Athleta, the safety of our models and crew at photo shoots is a top priority. We appreciate your feedback and will continue to meet the highest safety standards possible."

I just wish the "Power to the she" also extended to their models wearing essential safety gear (PFDs) when engaged in paddling sports.


Now, in contrast to the Athleta apparel model sans PFD, on the same day I received the Summer 2014 Endless Vacation magazine.I could not help, but take note on page 4 of a Fort Myers and Sanibel advertisement.

Well, what do you know? Two models, properly outfitted with PFDs, enjoying their SUP board and time on the water! Mike, the Durhamblogger, gives both Fort and Endless Vacation kudos for producing and accepting advertisements that depict safe paddling practices.

I wish more apparel, paddling sports, and other magazines would take it upon themselves to adopt these "best practices" in their advertising and marketing campaigns.

Copyright Durhamblogger. All rights reserved.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Paddling Lake Holt - First paddle of the 2014 season!

Location: Lake Holt, Butner, NC. Temperature: 78F Wind: Light Conditions: Sunny

Finally! The first paddle of the 2014 season for me occurred at 1:00 PM on Saturday, April 12. I had just gotten back from an exhausting week long business trip, and I was ready to unwind and relax! Rachel was recovering from a back injury and declined the paddle adventure. I decided to put in at Lake Holt, a short 20 minute drive from our house. Click on the photos to enlarge.

Put in at the Lake Holt boat ramp. The water levels were very high so that the majority of the ramp was submerged. I actually had to park my truck beyond the ramp, and "walk" my kayak down to the water's edge. Usually, the water levels are too low to pass to the right of the small island in the photo, but this trip I was able to easily paddle between the island and shoreline.

I spotted dozens of turtles sunning themselves on dead tree trunks by the water's edge.

The reptile's eyesight must be pretty good, because it is difficult to nearly impossible to paddle closer than 25 yards before they scuttle off, plop into the water, and disappear.

A snapping turtle. You really don't want to mistakenly step on this fellow!

I counted six turtles on this dead tree trunk.

The remains of a toppled tree trunk looks like a misshapen "monster" lurching out of the shallows.

Beautiful cloud formations drift over Lake Holt on a quiet spring afternoon.

A lone canoe, waits at the end of a dirt road, for folks ready for a paddling adventure.

A small gazebo. Looks like a great place to kick back, indulge in a cold beverage of choice, and contemplate life near the water.

I spotted this couple paddling on my return trip to the Lake Holt boat ramp.

Unfortunately, neither person is wearing a PFD. I spoke to the woman after I got back in, and learned that the couple had recently purchased these kayaks and were getting into the paddling sport. I hope that they will also remember to wear their PFDs at all times while on the water.

It was a great paddle on Lake Holt. But, aren't they all great when you can get out on the water?  I am thankful that I have several paddling areas that are located within 45 minutes of our house. To coin a famous movie line - "This looks like the start of a beautiful [paddling season]!" Until next time, remember to take life one stroke at a time.

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