Blackburn Challenge: my last training update before the big day.

I haven’t entered a contest wherin someone said ready, set, go, since sophomore year in high school. I participated in sports as a sedentary left handed pitcher. But in 4 Days, 16 hours, I’m signed up to be on a starting line in the Annisquam River for the Blackburn Challenge.

I might come to my senses soon. I think I have enough ballast from the Lattof Farm monkey bread for a steady paddle. Meanwhile I went for my last training paddle on Saturday morning. Hoop Pole Cove, around Andrews Point, bearing 163 to the Straightsmouth Gap, past Gap Cove, and Whale Cove. Off Loblolly Cove the bearing of 219 to Eastern Point pointed into a solid wall of fog. Self preservation kicked in and I turned tail into Loblolly. Mobileme back home is telling my wife I have paddled onto dry land and I get text message, “Want a ride?” Yup. 4.8 miles in 1 hour ten minutes. Could I keep that up for over four hours? My arms still worked on Sunday so who knows? Crossing Sandy Bay there were 3 foot swells quartering me, the wind was in my face and the current seemed to make the lobster buoys look like they might motor past me so there might be hope.

Sunday I was washing my polypropylene kayak with a power washer. Instead of smooth and dark green the bottom now looked like light green fur. It’s over fifteen years old and I’ve been banging it on rocks a bit. So I whip out a heat gun, (a heavy duty hair dryer) and try to blow dry a spot. The fuzz disappears and the surface is shiny! Cool. I then blow dry the whole bottom. Hopefully I didn’t overdue it. When I open the shop up next I might be looking at a cow needing milking draped over two saw horses. I dreamt about paddling a cow and the beer runs out before I make it under the greasy pole. What a nightmare.

But my only fear is that I get in someone’s way. 200 boats wanting to get down the Annisquam river all at once is a sight I have never seen. Jimmy T not winning the men’s dory singles because parts of my boat are stuck to his skeg is not how I want to make it to Pavillion Beach.

I added “The four temptations of Paul” to my google map of the course. (Click on the purple martian things. Hint: first one is at The Market Restaurant.) If you don’t see me on the course you can meet me for breakfast.

I need to post at least one photo. Here is my daughter in said kayak spring of 2006 in Cold Spring Harbor. Our mascot Phil McCrackin looking on:


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