Archive for November, 2014

Polar Plunge

Saturday, November 15th, 2014

GasworksArctic air gripped much of North America starting last week.  For many that meant snow or thundershowers, but here in Seattle, on the edge of the Gulf Stream, we saw weather that was bright and sunny.  It was colder than we expect it to be in November, but for us that means barely freezing.

I walked over to Lake Union and got out my new kayak. Its only prior trip had been from the Northwest Outdoor Center across the lake to the Moss Bay Rowing Club.  Now, on a chilly Thursday, I had the big urban lake pretty much to myself.  I encountered three other kayakers and one single shell, and chatted with the captain of a Duck half-full of tourists launching at the Sunnyside Street End; but on the whole there were more seaplanes than boats.

With no other errands, there was time to take a few pictures.  Above is the new kayak, with Gasworks Park across the lake to the north.  Below, a view of a few nearby neighbors, featuring the blue sky that can’t last for long.hulls

Once you’re committed to wearing a dry suit, cooler temperatures are a blessing.  You need to dress for the water anyway, so winter just matches the air to your wardrobe.  I was warm when I launched so I started out with half-finger gloves, but switched to the waterproof kind halfway across. As the afternoon warmed, there were fewer options:  I paddled slower, and dampened my cap.  In Loreto of course we adjusted our temperature by wearing progressively less, the practical limit being sun protection.  That’s not going to be a problem for a while.