Author Topic: Moonlight Paddle - Aug 15th, 2019  (Read 4075 times)

Night Wing

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Moonlight Paddle - Aug 15th, 2019
« on: August 16, 2019, 09:07:15 AM »
It has been extremely hot this summer here in southeast Texas where I live. Starting around June 1st, we've been close to 100 degrees F everyday since then with heat indexes ranging from 101 degrees F to 108 degrees F. Last week we had 6 straight days of 101-102 degrees F with corresponding heat indexes ranging from 106 degrees F to 113 degrees F. All because of a dome of high pressure with it's center over Texas.

We did have a small cool front come through in the last week of July and it dropped the morning temperatures into the high 60's for three days and that was it. Our morning temperatures this time of the year are around 78 degrees F, but the last 6 days the morning temperatures have been between 81-83 degrees F with heat indexes of around 92 degrees F at 6:30 am.

Of course, this dome of high pressure suppresses the wind so there are hardly any waves of any size out in the Gulf of Mexico and zero waves along the beachfront so no sup surfing. Only paddle sessions I've been able to do is early in the morning on our subdivision's big private lake.

But with a dome of high pressure, there are no clouds at night and with no clouds, a full moon is a good way to enjoy a flat water paddle. I have not taken my new BP Duke for a moonlight paddle so last night was my night for a moonlight paddle with my Duke.

My Blue Planet "Duke" is 10'5" x 32" x 4.5" @ 190 liters. It also has 5 Futures fin boxes. I've decided to do all of my paddling, flatwater and sup surfing, with a Gerry Lopez GL-2 honeycomb, 4 fin quad setup (2, 5.10") (2, 4.34"). I do give up speed and glide with this setup for flat water paddling, but I've never been in a hurry when I'm flat water paddling. And with no wind, the glide I get is quite sufficient for me.

With this setup above, I don't have to change any fins out to do sup surfing on the upper Texas coast (Bolivar Peninsula, Galveston Island or at the surfing venue at Surfside).

I'm 5'8" (68") and weigh 145 pounds. The paddle I use is a 2017 model Naish Alana 75 Vario (adjustable) RDS which is basically a women's sup paddle, but it is is perfect for my small skeletal frame and with my Duke, the length I prefer is 67". I was also wearing my Mustang PFD as a precaution. I did not take along my sup leash though. In the dark, if I were to fall off my board, I didn't want the leash to get tangled around my legs.

Last night (8-15-2019) we had a full moon. I decided to go for a moonlight paddle. When I got down to the lake at 11:00 pm, the air temperature was 83 degrees F with a heat index of 92 degrees F. The lake water temperature was a "balmy" 91 degrees F. Felt like warm bath water.

I paddled for 2 hours with 4 rest breaks. I had brought along 2 bottles of Gatorade and left it on the shore at my launching point so my breaks were at my launching point.

As usual, this was a cloudless night with no wind. The moon looked big and bright. The moon's reflection on the lake's surface kept me company for my 2 hour paddling session. There were quite a few ducks on the shore close to the lake's edge. The turtles were out as usual and I could hear the big splashes and swirls right next to the shoreline where the largemouth black bass were in feeding mode.

If there is one thing I notice about a moonlight paddle, it is how quiet it is on the lake. The only noise being generated was from my paddle strokes. I never generated any wave noise from the nose of my board since I was paddling leisurely. Just paddling slowly and letting my sup glide every now and then is my usual flat water routine.

And my Duke's deck pad is quite comfortable since I've been paddling my Duke and my One World with Seal Skinz booties on my feet and no shoes when I'm paddling my sups. My feet and toes do not get tired or sore.

The houses that surround the edge of the lake keep their outdoor lights on all night and with the light from the full moon, there was plenty of light to see.

I returned to my launching spot at 1:00 am, loaded my sup up in the bed of my truck and was back at my home by 1:10 am. Off loaded everything, cleaned up my Duke and the rest of my gear by 1:30 am, took a shower and I went to bed at 1:50 am.

If the heat is getting to you this time of the year and if you can do a moonlight paddle when the moon is full or if there is enough light around a freshwater or saltwater marina, you should try a moonlight or a night paddle. It is a great way to beat the daytime summer heat at this time of the year and you will not regret it.

BTW, I've become a fan of sups which have more liters of volume in them than what I weigh. I really enjoy my Duke and my One World sups.
Blue Planet Duke: 10'5" x 32" x 4.5" @ 190 Liters
Sup Sports Hammer: 8'11" x 31" x 4" @ 140 Liters
SUP Sports One World: 11'1" x 30" x 4.5" @ 173 Liters

TallDude

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Re: Moonlight Paddle - Aug 15th, 2019
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2019, 01:59:46 PM »
Sounds like the perfect time to paddle. I've paddled at night in our harbor lots of times and it is a great time to paddle. It's quiet and calm. Plenty of light from the harbor street lights and dock lights. A full moon and stars are a bonus. We don't get that, as we are typically fogged in. I did have an awesome clear night paddling on Lake Tahoe with friends during a full moon. The lake was just lit up. It was our friends first time SUP paddling ever. He had such an great experience he went out and bought a board the next week.

Night Wing

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Re: Moonlight Paddle - Aug 15th, 2019
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2019, 06:12:29 PM »
For those who have a sup and a public lake is near to them, they can paddle around a marina with it's numerous covered boat slips. The slips at the marina are lighted at night so there is plenty of light to see when one is paddling.

This time of the year (August), flat water paddling at night is the way to beat the high daytime air temperatures and it's oppressive high heat index. I'm going to be paddling tomorrow morning (Saturday) from 5:00 am till 7:00 am.
Blue Planet Duke: 10'5" x 32" x 4.5" @ 190 Liters
Sup Sports Hammer: 8'11" x 31" x 4" @ 140 Liters
SUP Sports One World: 11'1" x 30" x 4.5" @ 173 Liters

deepmud

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Re: Moonlight Paddle - Aug 15th, 2019
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2019, 10:36:22 AM »
"high heat" here in Alaska,too!  - records for consecutive days above 75, lots of 80s - and for August holy moly it's crazy hot - this the a rainy crappy month before it goes to icey crappy. I've been hot and sweaty even when paddling into the wind! :D  I don't know how you guys live in real heat. For me, a nice day at 60 is the best, maybe an early morning paddle at 6am and 45-50, working hard and dumping heat :D If it was over 90 I'd just melt.

Night Wing

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Re: Moonlight Paddle - Aug 15th, 2019
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2019, 11:37:38 AM »
I had trouble sleeping last night. Went to bed at 11:00 pm, but couldn't fall asleep. I finally fell asleep around 2:00 am. Then at 4:15 am, my alarm clock went off.

I was groggy as all get out. Didn't feel like going for a moonlight paddle. So I laid in bed for 3 minutes and finally dragged myself out of bed and got myself ready for another moonlight paddle session (August 17th, 2019). Left the house at 4:50 am with my usual gear (PFD, paddle, Gatorade, etc) with the air temperature at 84 degrees F with a heat index of 93 degrees F. No wind and another cloudless night.

I was on the water by 5:00 am. But since I didn't sleep much last night, my arms felt "heavy". My paddling stroke suffered to say the least. With my paddle length at 67", I was just slightly ticking the right side of my rail every now and then. Out in the middle of the private lake, I knew I had to concentrate on my paddle stroke.

But I was not in the mood for concentration. I thought about paddling back to my launching site, loading up and heading on back home. I hate giving up though. So out in the middle of the lake, I just sat down on my board and since I was tired, I wondered if I could shorten my paddle length to compensate for my "not so good paddle stroke".

I shortened my paddle length to 66", stood up on my Duke and started paddling. To my surprise, I found the 66" length was doing quite well for my "heavy feeling tired arms". Since I wasn't raising my arms very high, about throat high, I was paddling without "ticking" the right side of my rail anymore.

I became elated knowing if my arms were tired, I could paddle being tired. Then I decided to see if I could paddle a straight line. So I picked out a neighbor's outdoor light on their house and started paddling on my right side towards the light. I could paddle a straight line without having to paddle on my left side at all.

Finding out I could shave off another 1" of paddle length perked up my spirits and I got my "second wind" so to speak. I didn't feel tired anymore. So I paddled the rest of the session using a 66" paddle length. At 7:00 am, I was back at my launching point, loaded up and headed for the house. Back at my home, I did my usual "clean up" routine (gear and me) and made breakfast for my wife.

The next time I do another paddling session, I am going to take my One World out and see if it likes a 66" paddle length.

One last item of note. Since we have 125' tall loblolly pine trees that line the edge of the northern end of lake, on one of the limbs of a tall pine tree and silhouetted against the almost full moon, I could make out our resident great horned owl. I guess the owl was watching me all the time I was paddling on the lake.



Blue Planet Duke: 10'5" x 32" x 4.5" @ 190 Liters
Sup Sports Hammer: 8'11" x 31" x 4" @ 140 Liters
SUP Sports One World: 11'1" x 30" x 4.5" @ 173 Liters

Zooport

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Re: Moonlight Paddle - Aug 15th, 2019
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2019, 06:42:38 PM »
I'm feeling it here too.  I mountain biked this afternoon in 103 degree temps with very high humidity.  It was brutal.  I might follow your lead NW and try biking with lights at night.
8'6 Soul Compass
9'1 Sunova Creek
9'6 WaveStorm SUP
9'8 Starboard Element