kayakers Lights on Lake

    Happy New Kayaking Year!!  It’s Jan 2, 2011 and finally a decent day to check out the “Lights on the Lake”.   
It’s the first paddle of the year and the weatherman predicted about a 28 degree air temp, a 48 degree water temp,
and a wind at 12-15 mph.   Wind chill temp on shore felt closer to zero, as we huddled between the cars.  It was way
too cold to take off my gloves to check what the thermometer said, so let’s just agree that it was chill-y.  Extra
layers of clothing, hats, gloves, etc. were added by all before launching.   The first brave ones to launch were not
blown back in, so the rest of us joined them.  We paddled into the wind along the shore and around the caution buoys
- reminders to watch out for pier cement under water.   The lights were sparkling and quite a sight from the water.  
People on shore were walking, running, staring, and driving through the parkway.   Jim H was taking photos and we
didn’t have to try too hard to smile.   It felt good to be on the water again, even if it was polluted Onondaga in winter.

We ran into a quick shower of frozen water (hail), but it didn’t last.   In fact it was much warmer in the kayak,
moving our arms vigorously and burying half our faces in our jackets.   A thick blanket of ice was impassible,
so we were forced to turn around after an hour or so.  Some begged and pleaded to try to find a way around, but
it extended too far from shore.   

Hummm , wind in your face on the way down means… yes,  wind whipping at your behind on the way back.  It took half
the time to get back to the put-in, and from the “eeks!” shouted by those who surfed on the way, it was none too soon.  
We were beached by the mildly crashing waves, but all managed to exit without dumping.   The boats were covered by a
thin sheet of ice, so we gingerly loaded them on the cars into their equally icy racks and tied them tight.   A few
snowflakes and Dave L welcomed us on shore.  Several years ago he proposed to his wife at this “Butterfly Garden of
Hope” launch site, formerly known as the place to watch submarine races.   Speaking of proposing- were you wondering
who Patty G was?  That’s our Patty Y.  She snuck off to Las Vegas and married Steve.  Congrats you two!   We caught
up with the rest of the latest undertakings by joining some warm weather kayakers & spouses at The Retreat:   Cindy,
Rick, Roger, Ann, Dave L, and Jody.  Food was great, friendship awesome.  

Report & Images by: Kim Wojnowicz Images by: Jim Hunter & Eric Zhaman

CNY Kayakers Syracuse NY