Paddle Bob Sailor Bob Transcendental Bob

Herons hate me …


Originally uploaded by Suffering the Benz

Anyone who knows me knows my interests become obsessions pretty quickly. Enter my latest obsession: paddling.
I’ve been going out in the canoe one or two mornings a week, slipping out of the cove before sunrise and exploring the Tennessee River as day breaks. This morning I saw my first truly transcendental sunrise after a series of cloudy, brooding paddles. This photo barely does it justice. I had to stop and drift for a while just to drink it in.
As I paddle, I leave a trail of croaking, pissed off herons in my wake. Often they’re dead asleep on a dock or a rock as I approach and I get incredibly close before they awaken and take indignant flight. Other times the warily watch my approach and move on only when it’s clear there is no alternative.
This morning I cut immediately over to the south shore at Parks Bend after exiting Duck Cove and paddled downstream about 2.5 miles to Sequoyah Heights. There’s a red buoy there that I set as my goal, and when hit it, I crossed to the north shore and passed the osprey nest on Coulter Shoal daymark as I headed back upstream. An osprey chick and one of the adults were in the nest, taking off and flying around for a bit while I passed.
I’m going to start uploading my paddling pictures to a Flickr photoset called, appropriately enough, Paddling Pics.

Paddle Bob Transcendental Bob

Foggy sunrise as seen from a canoe


Originally uploaded by Suffering the Benz

It rained last night. Hard. So this morning when I got down to the dock to launch the canoe, there were wisps of fog everywhere. It made for a great ride.
I’ve been taking the canoe out several mornings a week to try to break up my workout routine. I started by exploring neighboring coves, and then moved on to seeing how far up or down river I could go with a 1.5 hour total trip time. I went down river today, toward Lenoir City, and managed to get as far as the Osprey nest that’s on the Coulter Shoal Light and Day Mark (608.3).
Watching the Osprey chicks rise up and screech out of their nests was pretty cool. The water was like glass and there was a lot of fish action. I guess last night’s rain created plenty of breakfast opportunities.
After I got as far as the nest, I turned the canoe and paddled home. I’m using a used Old Town 12-foot canoe with a pretty wide beam. Instead of an oar, I’m using a kayak paddle to propel it, and I’m starting to get pretty confident. I’m really wanting to rent a kayak soon to see how much of a difference there will be …
Reading recommendation: The Kayak Companion by Joe Glickman. Very readable and informative. It’s helping tons with my paddling technique and when I’m ready to make the switch to a kayak I think I’ll be well-prepared.
Site recommendation: Awesome forums. Decent classified section. Lots of useful information.