Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Paddling Tims Ford - Pictures

I have decided to paddle the whole Everglades Challenge in a sea kayak this year.  When I originally began to train for the 2002 Challenge, I was going to paddle the whole 300 miles until pneumonia intervened.  Now, nine years later, I am training again to paddle the Challenge.

Sometimes, early in the morning when the air is cool, I am admitted into a beautiful world.  Last Sunday, for instance, I started paddling on Lake Fairfield under the stars and got to see the day awaken.

Here are some pictures from early, chilly mornings on Tims Ford.

Calderwood paddling and camping trip

The last week of October, Jarhead (Bill), Michigama (Gary), and I paddled Calderwood Lake, a narrow TVA lake nestled in a steep gorge between the Great Smokey Mountains National Park and the Slickrock Wilderness.

Gary brought Bill his new Kruger Sea Wind, so we were all paddling these wonderful sea canoes.  Bill and Gary had been paddling on Little Tennessee River lakes in the rain and wind for several days before I arrived.  It rained most of the first day, but cleared toward nightfall.  Still, it was a beautiful fall day.

Jarhead (Bill)

Michigama (Gary)

Me (Gary's Picture)

. . . and the rainy day.

The side creek where we camped.

Bill and me in camp

2010 North Carolina Challenge

The last weekend in September is the WaterTribe North Carolina Challenge. The race starts on Cedar Island on the coast. The route goes up the Neuse River, then through the slave-dug Harlowe Csnal into the Newport River and on to Beaufort. Here, the 50 mile Ultramarathon ends, but the 100 mile Challenge continues on up Core Sound and back to the beach on Cedar Island.

The boats lined up for the start.  The tall sail is the winning boat, an A Cat

More boats.  My Kruger Sea Wind with its Balough Sail rig is in the foreground

The Glassy Sea at the start as the sun comes up

After a glassy sea at the start, we paddled to the turn onto the Neuse at Point of Grass, then the wind was in our face.  The sailboats beat across and back.  The fast canoes and kayaks paddles on into the wind.  I was not smart.  I kept my sailing rig up and, despite its resistance, paddled into the wind.  I was only doing the 50 mile Ultramarathon because I had promised to help with the race after that.