Thursday, December 07, 2006

Getting along with the old man
(or not)

It's a paradox. I've always preferred cooler weather to hot weather. With the former I can always don a sweater and be comfy, but hot and sweaty conditions require retreat to an air conditioned area. I say it is a paradox because I really don't like cold.

I've never tolerated the cold well until I began sea kayaking. That was when, for the first time, I followed the advise to layer with proper materials and cover with fleece. Once I was onto the great cotton conspiracy, I found myself going onto the lake in all sorts of weather. My other issue with the cold has always been my hands.

Nothing keeps my hands warm in winter. On the water, 3.5mm mittens do the job. Still, all winter I suffer painful cracks on some finger and thumb tips (I use Aquaphor with some benefit...but I digress). In addition, my skin is dry all winter, a conditioned further aggravated by the city's chlorinated water. So, Old Man Winter and I have a love-hate relationship.

Then I read things like Michael's blog, A Canadian Sea Kayaker ( and am greeted by his heading that says he looks for wild places, the wilder the better. I am intrigued. I read on.

He is dog sleding...and seal hunting....with Inuits. The man is living the life from which our sport is born. I am intrigued and learn much from his posts. But, Michael, the cold. I have to wear long underwear and an extra layer of fleece just to look at your pictures.

Then I walk out of my garage and understand what is going on when my in laws tell me there are a lot of Canadians down there in Florida right now.

P.S. Thanks, Mr. Google, the pics went up nicely.

Paddle safe...



Michael said...

You're too kind! Actually the stories about living with the Inuit go back to the 1960's and '70's. The families I lived with back then were nearly the last ones living the old way of life. When I think back on those days, I realise I was very lucky to have been there!

Silbs said...

And, they are wonderful stories. Please keep telling them and sharing the wisdom you acquired from your experiences.

JohnB said...

Silbs, there's no kayak (sorry QAJAQ) on that snow covered vehicle! By the way, I found those neoprene mitts I told you about and have them in my car for the next time our paths cross.

I'm trying to figure out when I frost bit my fingers on my right hand--it's the only thing I can think of that with the least bit of cold they burn with pain. This has been a problem for a few years now, I used to only notice when paddling in cold weather. Now, I find they are a painin' even when wearing gloves while driving the car. I have to take the gloves off and hold my fingers in front of the heat vent.

Oh well, we have a heat wave coming soon.

Stay warm and keep the posts comin'!!!