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5/30/2022 – Chimney Bluffs Beautiful

Whenever you plan to do an open water paddle, the first thing you pray for is good weather. We could not have asked for better weather than we had on Saturday. An almost imperceptible west wind at two mph was with us the whole day. Both paddlers were experienced and proficient in making our paddling time for the round-trip tour a record. Boat traffic was light for the Memorial Day Weekend. It was just an all-around beautiful day on the lake.

Webster and Washington State

Two friends, one from nearby Webster and one from Seattle, WA, joined us for the paddle. Both were good paddlers and took to the boats quickly. It sometimes takes a while to find your seat in a kayak. You may have to paddle for a bit before feeling centered and comfortable. This is especially true for tall people who initially feel tippy or wonder why they are drifting to the right or the left. It only takes a bit of a shift to get centered in most cases. Once you find your seat, things usually even out, which was the case this Saturday.

Paddling Offshore Versus Following the Shoreline

Open water paddling creates the illusion that you are not moving very fast. The farther from shore you are, the more this feeling nags at you. Whether paddling offshore or along the shoreline, you are moving at an average speed of two to three miles per hour. About what walking the same distance would be. We reassure paddlers who are out in the open water for the first time not to worry. They are moving along.

The Offshore Drift

One thing that can happen on Lake Ontario, especially in a south wind, is a slow drift away from shore. We teach our paddlers to keep an eye on the shoreline and stay near the guides, who are very familiar with the action of the waves and currents in this lake area. The guides will make the call on every Chimney Bluffs paddle what route we take to the Sodus Point Lighthouse.

Natural and Man-Made Waves

Our paddlers often tell us that they would have never attempted a tour that we take them on alone. This is one of the reasons a guided tour can be more enjoyable than going it alone. The experience of the guides takes the worry out of the adventure. It frees the paddlers to have more fun learning about paddling and the area that they are touring. Something as simple as a wave from a passing boat can spoil a paddle if you don’t know how to negotiate the wave’s action properly. The guides are there to help and instruct how to handle the different conditions that might present themselves on a paddle, from a stiff headwind to confused seas from boat traffic.

Sunshine, Blue Sky, and Flat Water

Weather like last Saturday’s spoils us. Enjoy the photos in this log. They depict some of the best Lake Ontario conditions in which we have ever paddled.

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