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Windy City

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Starting from City Point, Mark and I paddled out to Nixes Mate in Boston Harbor. Air temp at 8:30 AM was 48, and the wind was 10 knots with waves of one foot. This was my first paddle trip of this year, and I hoped to build on the skills learned last year on coached trips.

I paddled a new Looksha II-20 feet long, 20 inches wide, and Mark had a demo 18 foot Epic Endurance -designed by Greg Barton. Full saftey gear was on both boats, including radios, flares, smoke, and tow systems.

A nice lunch at Rainford Island, and after relocating two stranded hermit crabs we set back into 20 knot winds with gusts of 30 knots.

Each crossing got more "interesting" as the wind picked up and the seas were brisk and on the beam. For the final crossing, we swapped boats, and Mark provided a "boost"(tow) for the last mile. The combination of wind, beam seas and that special sideways tug of the tow made the last part of the 7 hour paddle very "interesting".

Reviewing today's paddle, with cold beer in hand, I gained a geat deal more confidence in my skill with the new boat, and in Level 4 conditions. It is important to pick your paddling partners/coach carefully, and practice makes (more)perfect paddlers of us all.

I love the smarttrack rudder system used on both boats-it performed great in these demanding conditions; I'd hate to think how many sweep strokes it would have taken to maintain a heading! And I'm not in as good condition as I had thought for a paddle of this length in these conditions- of course, I too am in above average condition, and ability!

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