As my new favorite form of exercise is paddleboarding, I took Lil’ Red out to the river on my day off. The water level was really low through already shallow areas. Between that and the water acting like a mirror, I was really nervous about running into trees that have fallen into the river. I was concentrating so much on where I was going that many pictures were less than focused. I almost ran over a turtle. The poor little guy couldn’t dive to get away because of the water level and I did not see him until I was almost on top of him. I had my first otter siting but by the time I decided it was safe to try and get a photo, he became shy.
A few months ago I took my first photography lesson. During the lesson she suggested that I start using Lightroom to edit. It took awhile, but these are my first LR4 edits. It is a neat little program and look forward to playing with it more.
I had to figure a way to stand up paddleboard (SUP) in cold weather. My feet were my biggest worry. They get cold with socks on in the house. I needed to find something to wear in the water. At REI.com , I found a few different things that I could try. I decided on NRS Kicker Remix Wetshoe Water Shoes – Men’s.
I followed their sizing guide and was mindful of the comments on the page. So I ordered a size 10 in mens though I wear a 10.5 in womens. It was a good thing because the pair that arrived was the perfect size. My foot is apparently too monstrous for the women’s version.
My New River Friend
This weekend was especially restful, productive and refreshing. “Productive” does not usually fit with the other two. Maybe it was more a matter of having time to clean instead off logging on to work.
The paddle was fun. I went out with a small group to the river I go to often. The wind was a little high to relax on a lake. The skies were overcast and it was a little cool for Florida folk. That is probably why a few people backed out at the last minute. Somehow, I picked the coolest day of my short SUP career to fall twice. The first time my fin hit a log under the unusually low water level. The second time, I was setting up a wildlife shot and my fin nudged something…I am hoping another tree. I was not really cold until my silliness took me into a grocery store on the way home. I am simply too lazy to go home and change and then drive back to the store. I can confirm that their air conditioner works just fine.
Journeyed out to a lake this weekend. The water was like glass. A few birds and fisherman kept it from being lonely but it had a nice feeling of solitude. There were some fish around but they refused to pose for a picture. The water was much more clear than I had expected. The swimming area had been closed due to bacteria levels two weeks ago.
The more time I spend on the water, the more often I want to go. A meditative and relaxing time that I now crave. With the cold weather starting to move in, I may have to start hiking.
(the cartoon looking bird was not photo-shopped)
This weekend I felt really small.
It started with my new toy: a beautiful paddleboard!! The wonderful instructor that introduced me to paddleboarding helped me tie it down to the car. The board is small compared to other SUPs but it is still huge.
Once I arrived at the hotel, I had wished that I had requested a first floor room. The stairs were too small for the board. I was actually grateful for that. Six floors carrying the board…no thank you. The elevator was just big enough once I wrestled the board into the right position.
The next morning was my big chance. I had about an hour to get to the beach and christen the new board. The beach access behind my building was blocked so I lugged the board over to the next building and down to the water. That alone was a workout!
I surveyed the water and determined the best place for entry. The waves were huge! I have never been in water that rough but I was determined. Fish were everywhere. Did I just see 2 small fins swimming near the shore? …but I was determined.
I am still new at the whole stand up paddleboard thing, but from the first moment, I knew I wanted to have a camera on these trips. My SLR was certainly not a candidate. It has not learned to swim yet.
A few pictures around the neighborhood were underwhelming so I was anxious to try it underwater.
Today was my first day out with my new toy; the Nikon CoolPix AW100. I had the auto setting set to ‘underwater’ the whole time. This to avoid spending time or risk falling every time I wanted to take a picture. I added a little float strap in case I dropped it. While trying a new turn, I learned how to fly. Even with a splash landing there was no worry for the camera.
The water was not as clear as I had hoped and being surrounded by trees made the lighting a little sketchy. The angle is super weird because I took this kneeling on the board, still moving, still steering, and trying not to fall. Overall, I am very happy with it. Some practice maybe needed to adjust my SLR thinking. It will certainly be easier to take the underwater pictures when I am not a part of a tour group. One and a half thumbs up.
Look closer, hidden in the green: