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Saturday on the lakes — August 8, 2015


Saturday on the lakes — August 8, 2015

Full speed ahead.

The hot weather and bright sun on the lakes had us thinking fondly of the shade of Bayou Fountain, but the lakes had plenty of fun to go around on Saturday.

We arrived early at City Park Lake off May Street to help the crew from BREC Outdoor Adventure unload and stage two trailers full of kayaks and paddleboards for BREC’s Run Ride Row event.  We had the PaddleBR sign canoe (i.e. the “world’s worst-designed sailboat”) out there showing off, and after a bit of buoy tending, race time was upon us.

Racers ready and rowing.

Since we’re apparently skilled paddlers, the PaddleBR canoe was sent out to share watch duty with a BREC paddleboarder.  I drew the long straw (or was it the short one?) and got to leave everyone else on the beach while I enjoyed a nice course-level view from the water.  The lead paddler was around me in no time flat, finishing the water leg in basically ten minutes.  From there, the rest came on in a steady stream of quite a few craft.

Racers, ahoy!

I only saw one person perform an unscheduled dismount of their paddleboard (they caught the skeg on rocks at the point, it appeared), and they were quickly back on and away.  I spent virtually the entire time back-paddling to hold position against the wind, which was blowing everyone toward shore after the first turn.  Once everyone was through, we retrieved the buoys and headed in ourselves to load everything up and write an end to part one of the day.

Demo boats galore!

After a quick stop to grab something to drink back at race central, we headed down to University Lake for the second half of the day’s fun.  The Backpacker was there with a demo day, and we saw the KC Kayaks guys and others, too.  There were many people trying all manner of paddled and pedaled things, and we joined them out there with the PaddleBR sign canoe.

There we are again.

Mike took it for a couple laps around the area, and gave it a spin.  (Literally.  The wind wouldn’t let him turn left at the float, so he just made one out of three rights.)  I took my turn paddling it around, too, but after the sun all morning, I figured it looked just fine along the bank.  The breeze was actually quite nice (when not paddling a sail), and the sky was amazing (in moderation).

Here comes BREC!

We’d noticed the BREC Outdoor Recreation paddleboard trailer standing there empty by the time we made it to University Lake after finishing the loading (and truck-unstuck-ing) at City Park Lake, and sure enough, off in the distance, a paddling horde came around a point and into view.  (I don’t know why, but I always hear Wagner when I see a large group of paddleboarders moving with purpose.)  They looked to be making excellent speed even in the wind, sitting, standing, or whatever.  Someday we’ll invent a better skeg so paddleboards can take in the shady bayous, too.

Mike, a shady character.

We spent most of the rest of the time taking it easy and enjoying the breeze in the wonderful, wonderful shade.  Fridge magnets were given out.  Paddling locations, present and future, were discussed.  And plans for Friday evening’s Sunset Paddle with BREC Outdoor Adventure at University Lake were made.  I believe BREC’s completely out of boats, but we do have a couple canoes still available if you want to join in the fun and you don’t have your own paddlecraft.  It should be a blast, and we’ll be bringing details with us about our next PaddleBR night paddle (calendar update to follow afterward).

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