Saturday, April 17, 12021 HE
Last week I ended up doing the first vTNR as a night paddle. This week I was hoping to be more organized and proactive and do an early morning run or at least a daytime paddle.
Below is a virtual tour of the racecourse created via Google Earth Studio.
I had ordered a head mount strap to trial for photos and video. The board mount setup that I currently have works well. But vantage point for the images is so low that I wanted to test out a different perspective. It is cool to see the water from this perspective but after my whale sighting paddle where I neglected to take a photo from my handheld camera because I had the board-mounted camera, I was keener to trial a new setup. However, at the same time, it was peaceful to just experience the moment and be present rather than feeling the need to reach for a camera. In any case, the head mount seems to be a logical melding of the best of both with the caveat of looking like a total tool with a cellphone strapped to my head.
I did check the weight differences out of curiosity. The Samsung Galaxy S8 is listed as 155 grams and without a case is rated at IP68 with the following qualifying statement, “*Carrying an IP68 dust and water resistance rating. Based on test conditions of submersion in up to 1.5 meters of fresh water for up to 30 minutes” (Samsung). Here is a list of the weights of various GoPro models (and in a slightly more readable format). Many of the GoPro models are waterproof and to various depths. Here is a link to which are and to what depths. Something else to keep in mind is that you may also need a protective casing for shock absorption depending on the environment you are in. When I weighed my Samsung phone with the waterproof case on it came out at 216 grams. It is definitely on the heavier side but I was willing to test it out. Below is the inaugural first-wear on the water.
This week’s course started again at Boulder Island in Indian Arm, so like last time I departed from Lowry Waterfront Park. This time it was a bit busier than my evening departure and I ended up parking on the side of the road. I was passed by three paddlers packing up their kit as I set mine up. And down the road, one other paddler was gearing up to head out too.
I had seen an infographic showing a clockwise route, so despite unfavourable wind conditions, I decided to paddle the course clockwise. Damn you stubbornness gene. One-quarter of the way into the route I was kicking my stubborn self in my mind’s eye. As I struggled upwind I thought to myself ‘there is a reason that they are Tuesday night races’, it is probably that the wind conditions are more favourable then (though it could purely be an after-the-workday convenience of timing thing too). I was paddling midday and I couldn’t shake the idea that the wind was both stronger and possibly in the reverse direction compared to the evening.
It was a headwind from Boulder Island up to Maple Beach at Gosse Point/Admiralty Point. I assumed that there would be a buoy, piling, or dolphin to do a pivot turn around and when I arrived there was. The conditions were choppy and with the beachgoer audience, I decided to do a wider step back pivot turn. I was glad it was a virtual race as I have yet to do a pivot turn in a jockeying situation.
From there I turned into even more headwind and now with the swell coming straight on as well. I was cutting across the mouth of Indian Arm heading westward out of Burrard Inlet. The next corner was the point at Cates Park. This proved to the hardest section as I was battling the winds and waves coming down Burrard Inlet. I changed up to a choke stroke to shorten my paddle and get lower in the oncoming wind. I spied the piling in the distance and it was head down paddling.
And below is the non-paddle obstructed view. Though the head-mounted camera has the disadvantage of my angled body position with an unedited photo.
Below is a video clip of the upwind paddle from Admiralty Point towards Cates Park. The exercise breath sigh tells it all, but at least it is gorgeous out!
And below is a sailboat taking advantage of the wind a little bit closer to Cates Park. I’m slightly envious at this stage as the wind is only a hindrance for me. Scenic Park is in the left background and you can just make out Iron Workers Memorial Bridge in the distant background.
When I arrived at the light station the water levels were too low to turn around it. So, I paddled to parallel with it and then pivoted to start on the third leg of the triangle. I know had a tailwind and a minor cross swell coming from my starboard side.
Cates Park was busy and there were many paddlers out and about. In the distance crossing from the Maple Beach direction was a paddler on a Starboard racing board. He was ripping and I was envious at the route he was taking as the wind and waves were in his favour. I am very keen to try renting a racing/performance board this spring/summer to feel what the difference is from my all-around board.
The one upside of my paddle route which I had considered was that the last leg was now with a tailwind. I guess that was the sacrifice/consolation for the hard start. Below is the view down the final leg with Boulder Island in the centre-left.
I paddled to the dock at Boulder Island and then had a brief rest, some water, and a snack. Next midday paddle I think I will bring my camel pack!
I took a leisure paddle back across the fjord to Lowry Waterfront Park. Then it was off to my in-laws’ place for an early weekend birthday dinner for my wife. A lovely end to a lovely day.
Below is my route and here are the results from TNR#2.