Kovas 14, 2019 m
Komentarai (3)



The squiggly line you see in the center of the photo above – that is the path I made in ice, with my two hands, while trying to rescue myself and my paddleboard from the middle of the lake last Saturday. Not trying to brag here, just telling a winter paddling story, one of many storries that I’ve managed to accumulate during two winter paddling seasons on Cayuga lake. It might not seem like a right topic to talk about in a food blog, but that is my only space for public writing, so I put it in here with hopes that some day I could use it as an educational material.

Fist of all: why paddle in winter?

There are many reasons for that. I bet everyone who paddles in cold season have their own justifications for going out there, onto open water, when the temperatures are below freezing. I have my reasons too.

I paddle in winter because warm season always seems to be too short in this part of the world, it is never enough warm days, and never enough sunlight, so we paddle when we can, winter or not, instead of locking ourselves into hybernation mode for months and months with no end.

Another equally important reason is that winter paddling is an experience like no other. And it is not because of extra layers of clothing, or special paddling gear. Lake is different in winter. It is peaceful, no motorized boat traffic, no comotion of beach activities, no jetskiers, no tubing maniacs and other vulgarities. If there is a fisherman in a boat on the water, he (or she) will be there enjoying the same peace and solitude, and not disrupting the serenity in any way. But most likely there will be no fishing boat out there. There will be only migratory birds, flocks of geese, or ducks, or swans. Lake water will be crystal clear, due to change in algae contents, and due to decrease in all kinds of turbulences, created by abovementioned water activities. It will be ice on the water. Sometimes it will be still and quiet, other times the ice will sing, or whisper, or hiss, depending on the day. Sometimes the ice will make sounds like a string instrument, loud and clean. That type of sound happens when a huge sheet of ice, a mile or a few miles long, moves on top of unfrozen water. That type of sound is not good news for anyone who is near, unless you are a bird.

I’ve heard that string sound last Saturday. It was warm and sunny morning, no wind, the water was flat, the sky was blue, so I took my board and I went out on the lake. I was paddling, having greatest time, clearing my mind of all junk that accumulated during the week, and thinking all those happy thoughts that only come in a complete solitude on a beautiful sunny morning, surrounded by nothing but Nature. The sound was loud and very clean, not a hissing type or a whisper that happens when water is swooshing by the frozen shore. That Saturday morning the ice was playing music. And then I saw what was happening: a huge sheet of ice was moving out of the lake towards the shore, closing the canal of water where I was. It was like watching a ginormous zipper closing right in front of my eyes, and I was in the middle of it, beeing caught, and there was nothing I could do about it. I watched it all close completely. Me and my board were cought in the middle of the lake, in ice.

I self rescued. Adrenaline helped, of course. And also relatively warm air temperature. And a sunny day. I knew I will get to shore, one way or other. I picked the way that led me to my car. But there were other ways too. My life wasn’t in danger, but I guess it could have been, if things would have unexpectedly turned otherwise. I am glad they haven’t turned that way.

There is a very wise saying: shit only happens to people who do shit. If you are one of those people who can not stay still, can not hybernate or plant yourself on the coach, or find peace and happiness in crocheing your winters away, near the fireplace, I guarantee you one thing: shit will inevitably happen to you. You will encounter something totally unexpected, something new that you’ve never seen or experienced before; sometimes it will be something beautiful, other times something crazy, challenging, dangerous, all of it will be wonderful learning experiences, regardless of whether they are bad or good, and each of those experiences will make you wiser, stronger, braver. I suggest you never shy away from living your life, instead of just watching it to go by. But I also advise you to think more, check, and double check, and tripple check, especially if you are taking an unexperienced friend or a child with you. And after tripple checking, you check it all one more time. Every time you go out there, try to remember those past experiences and the lessons learned from them. Think ten times harder if the conditons are extreme, and back off gracefully, if the weather looks sketchy or things don’t look safe. There is no shame in not going and postponing your outing until the next time. Always be careful, smart, ready for unexpected, and ready to make decisions.

Thank you for stopping by.




















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AudrėKovas 19 2019, 10:44 AM Sprendžiant iš lentos būklės, buvo pakankamai pavojinga... Tekstas puikus, net šiurpuliukai kūnu nuėjo
AusraKovas 19 2019, 10:38 PM Audre, laime kad as nemaciau, kas vyksta su lenta; lentos busena pamaciau tik parkavimo aikstelej; antraip tai tikrai butu buve daug daugiau siurpuliuku; aciu uz pakomentavima; ir uz paskaityma didelis dekui;

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GerdaKovas 19 2019, 09:06 AM Šis įrašas tinka ne tik nuotykiams ant ledo. And it really helps :)
AusraKovas 19 2019, 10:34 PM :-) Aciu, Gerda!

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LinaKovas 14 2019, 10:57 PM Though I do enjoy my couch, shit still happens. Example, I almost lit Mt house on fire.I guess that just life.
AusraKovas 19 2019, 10:36 PM Lina, that's a totally different kind of shit, setting your house on fire, by accident; If you know what I mean;

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