Author Topic: My first winter paddle and now I know why the call em "Ice flows"...  (Read 4910 times)

NoSaltSuper

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Well, I finally got out during the winter and paddled!

Here's the story. I stopped by Waukegan Harbor on Lake Michigan on Friday to see if it was frozen. Much to my delight, it was wide open, no ice in sight anywhere! Too bad I didn't have my board then. Made decision to come back on Sunday.

Snowboarding all day Saturday, temps in the teens, great day to ride.

Sunday, I finally get my butt in gear and load my gear into the truck, it's about 1:30.

Drive to the harbor and WTF, there's ice covering 50% of it! Where did that come from? Hmm, wind is out of the east, ice must have been pushed in. No worries, it's still 50% open and the channel along the harbor is still open. Channel runs out to the green lighthouse you see in photo.

It's about 25 degrees out, I'm wearing under armour top and bottom, beanie, T shirt and my Ocean Rodeo drysuit. I'm comfy, although a bit apprehensive. Have neoprene-like socks, 6mm booties and brought bigger "wading" boots just in case, good idea.

I was really concerned about getting my feet wet with the booties, because of the cold. So I switched to the boots you see in the photo.

After carefully stepping over the ice on shore and slowly wading to where the fin doesn't hit, I launch. Man I don't want to fall in. Taking out my twitchiest board was probably a mistake, should have taken the Amundsom 11'6" surf SUP, so much more stable. But, I'm on my 12'6" LPC Stealth, displacement board.

Nervously, I paddled out to the lighthouse, the ice is just in front of it. What I didn't realize, the ice is coming in, I would realize that soon though.

Paddled down the channel for a good workout, back into the harbor, back to lighthouse, hmmm, ice is closer now. Well what the heck, one more paddle up the channel, then back into the harbor before the ice closes in.

I was too slow. The ice had come in quickly and my previously free entrance back to the beach, was now ice! Crap. Down to my knees, I hacked through the ice, pulling myself through, whew! Can't get over how fast and thick that ice came in. Lesson learned, there's a reason they call em ice flows and not ice sits.

All in all, it was a good paddled, only got in about 2 miles though. Now I know, wait for a west wind to blow the ice away!

OR Drysuit is simply awesome. So comfortable, I wore it to the beach, paddled, wore it to 7/11, then home. Had the suit on for 2 hours probably, never cold.

Pics and hopefully video below.


Video was after my paddle, showing the harbor now all locked up with ice, bummer.
http://youtu.be/y1bmnYTepmQ
« Last Edit: February 18, 2013, 01:00:58 PM by NoSaltSuper »
Semper Fi!

It's simple, either you get the wave or the wave gets you.

ZooSUP

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Re: My first winter paddle and now I know why the call em "Ice flows"...
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2013, 08:04:57 AM »
Nice pics man! Looks like a beautiful, sunny day for  a paddle.

Now, I feel lazy...need to get my butt out on the water on the next nice day.

stoneaxe

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Re: My first winter paddle and now I know why the call em "Ice flows"...
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2013, 09:28:40 AM »
Such a big difference in fresh and salt water...I've paddled plenty in the ice but never worried about it filling in on me in the time span of a paddle.

LOL...you need to check out Corran's video of river surfing in Montreal as the winter ice breaks up....new meaning to ice flow...bus sized icebergs coming at you at 15 mph.... :o
Bob

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PonoBill

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Re: My first winter paddle and now I know why the call em "Ice flows"...
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2013, 09:32:11 AM »

Floes.

Once an editor...
Foote 10'4X34", SIC 17.5 V1 hollow and an EPS one in Hood River. Foote 9'0" x 31", L41 8'8", 18' Speedboard, etc. etc.

NoSaltSuper

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Re: My first winter paddle and now I know why the call em "Ice flows"...
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2013, 10:24:56 AM »
Hah, thanks PB. Somewhere in the back of my mind I think I knew that but, the way the ice was "flowing", I just couldn't resist.

Yeah Zoo, it was hard to get out the door indeed, but I was sure glad I did.

Amazing, a little 2 mile paddle and I can still feel the muscles. I've got to get out more often in the winter.
Semper Fi!

It's simple, either you get the wave or the wave gets you.

cmprp

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Re: My first winter paddle and now I know why the call em "Ice flows"...
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2013, 12:07:53 PM »
Good stuff, NS!

I bet you'd be good with those 6mm booties for future winter paddles. As long as you make sure that your layers are smooth at the ankle cuff and that everything fits well, I doubt you'd get much water at all in the event of a fall.

Plus, the booties would probably give you a better "board sense" than the boots, lessening the likelihood of a dunk. Also, considering the worst case scenario of the two options, I'd rather have slightly cold feet than a gallon of water in my wading boots.

I've worn 5 and 7mm booties tucked into wetsuit ankle cuffs on Lake MI winter paddles and haven't had a bad experience yet. Plus, especially if I'm out on my traditional paddleboard, I spend a lot time neck deep  ;)

supthecreek

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Re: My first winter paddle and now I know why the call em "Ice flows"...
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2013, 01:22:47 PM »
nosalt... way to go! Winter paddling is awesome. Great that you took your camera.

Glad you didn't have to pay to heavily for underestimating the ice movement.

Winter is made for paddling... hell, surfers have been pushing head first, through winter waves for ever. Paddling is cake. You will find, as you get more into it, that it is not near as cold as you originally thought. Very comfortable most days.

I took a 2 hour paddle early this morning. 24 degrees and 15 mph wind. Lots of ice to paddle through... but saltwater, so the ice is softer until it gets thick. When I took my 3/2 wetsuit off at home, I was covered in sweat, my rashguard and compression shorts were soaked.


NoSaltSuper

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Re: My first winter paddle and now I know why the call em "Ice flows"...
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2013, 03:46:54 PM »
CMPRP, you're right indeed. Forgot to mention that after my paddle in those big ole boots, I dawned one bootie on my left foot and waded in to my calves.

Yes, I got some water in the boot, but not much. Chilly for 5 seconds, then it warmed up nicely. Continued to wear it for 10 minutes as a test, never got cold. So next time, it's the booties for sure. Believe me, I had concerns about 5 gallon boots full of water too.

Creek, you inspired me! I was super stoked to get out but, I was definitely nervous at first. The friggin ice coming in threw me. I took fairly crappy photos though, cause I just wasn't stable and confident, like in the summer. All in due time I'm sure.

I really had high hopes of paddling out the harbor and up the coast for some better pictures. Mother nature, had other plans!

I'm going out again this coming weekend, either on the lake "somewhere" or, I noticed the Des Plaines river isn't iced over at all. Then again, it's in the low teens for the next few days.

Oh, here was the other boarding activity I did the day before paddling the lake.

« Last Edit: February 19, 2013, 04:17:53 PM by NoSaltSuper »
Semper Fi!

It's simple, either you get the wave or the wave gets you.

supthecreek

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Re: My first winter paddle and now I know why the call em "Ice flows"...
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2013, 05:28:35 PM »
just a note... you probable already have this covered...

I carry my camera in a fanny pack, that I wear with the pockets in front. I zip my camera up in the front pocket... with the wrist loop hanging out. I slip my hand through the loop and TIGHTEN the loop, BEFORE I unzip the pocket. The camera goes back in... zipped up... before I take the wrist loop off...... Every time..... I don't want to lose a camera because of a bobble.

NoSaltSuper

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Re: My first winter paddle and now I know why the call em "Ice flows"...
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2013, 05:39:38 PM »
Great points Creek. I like your planning and technique. Funny how freezing water makes us think about such things.

I was more nervous about falling into the frozen abyss, than losing the camera! It's a Kodak easyshare sport, waterproof to 15' or so.

Plus, the OR drysuit has a sweet pocket on the outside, with a stretchy loop connected to the inside. My camera's loop strap goes through that loop, around my camera and voila, it's connected to me.

I can paddle with the camera dangling in front and grab when ready, or stuff it back into the pocket.

Thanks Creek, keep the input coming, you are the Winter Wizard!
Semper Fi!

It's simple, either you get the wave or the wave gets you.

spookini

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Re: My first winter paddle and now I know why the call em "Ice flows"...
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2013, 07:10:15 PM »
Creek, your new profile photo looks like Paul Sr. from "American Chopper"   :D
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