Jun 9, 2008

Round Bowen

Round Bowen Kayak Race and much much more….

It is rare for me to spend a weekend at home. I really like to use my weekends to explore surrounding areas and use my week nights to further explore my wonderful backyard…..this weekend has proven to me that my backyard is pretty amazing and that a weekend at home can be just as plentiful and wonderful as one away.

Saturday morning I met up with Kim Steed, Tom C and Ward and we started off the weekend right with a fabulous 3 hour run on the Baden Powell trail. We began at the bottom of Grouse and followed the Knee Knacker route to Deep Cove. It was a great training run as I am racing the Knee Knacker race in a month and have been a little negligent on having some good long pure running runs in. It was so great to have company on a long run….at times you can lose yourself in conversation but at the same time you can just be quiet and run away with your thoughts knowing that someone is there pushing you…..oh and these guys are quick…..thanks guys…

I came home to having no plans for the rest of the day…I didn’t want to do too much activity as I was heading to Bowen Island to race in a 32km kayak race on Sunday morning….I called a bunch of friends with little success and was feeling a little bummed when an old high school friend gave me a call…him and some others were in town for the weekend. Next thing I knew after a 1.5 hour bike ride I was in Stanley Park, teaching Kyle and Howie how to slackline and some basic acro yoga tricks….it was such a great time, the sun came out, we caught up and despite not seeing each other for over 6 years it felt like just yesterday that we were sitting in the halls of SRB back in Nepean…these guys are hilarious! After some fun in the park two other guys joined up and we headed for all you can eat sushi downtown….

Following sushi I said my goodbyes (in hopes that our time together would not be the last in a while…Kyle, I’m comin to visit you in San Fran..woohooo!!!) and biked over to the Jericho sailing club to meet up with Cyn and Jessie for a sailing party. I can’t remember the name of the band but a local band was playing, I got to catch up with Jessie, a wonderful friend and ex roommate from my UBC days…A “small world” occurrence happened where I got to meet the girlfriend of an old Lithuanian camp playmate…I managed to sneak into bed just after 1am…exhausted but fulfilled and excited about Sunday.

Round Bowen Kayak Race

7:10am I got woken up by a call from my kayak partner Gary. CRAP! 20minutes to get ready….I’m becoming better and better at my last minute packing and managed to not miss a thing…woohoo!!!! We caught the ferry to Bowen with a bunch of other kayakers…quite the funny scene, lots of kayaks on wheels on the ferry boat. The wind was up, the rain had stopped but the clouds looked like they were there to stay for the day and the temperature was cold… it was going to be long 32km kayak race. There was a great turn out (140 people). Out of the harbour we turned right (south) and the race changed right off the bat with fierce wind, waves, currents, cold and lots of boats. Gary and I paddled the double sea kayak Passat and felt ultra stable so we could motor through the waves (that were hitting us from all directions). I was so happy not to be in a surf ski…A big congrats to all surf ski racers that survived this leg of the race and moved on to finish the entire course….impressive. The first half of the race was a battle with the waves and currents, at times we were getting knocked around and others we were surfing the waves and woohooing the ride….the other side of the island proved to be calmer but with a deceiving current against us….it was nice to have a little break but with the loss of the excitement with the waves and wind I started to feel the soreness in my butt… I never considered myself to have a bony butt but I think otherwise right now…I was wiggling and moving around a lot for this portion of the race. Our good friend Chris D snagged a little rest behind us in his surf ski before zooming past us. Heading into the last 4km of the race we were again welcomed with fierce winds and waves and our good friends Mickey and Bill flew past us in the double baidarka….In the end we finished off in a time of about 3 hrs and 15minutes which is great for a double sea kayak. We managed to score 2nd place in double mix kayaks behind a double surf ski (which really isn’t in the same field range at all as it is a much much quicker boat).

Following the race there was plenty of salmon, delicious bread, other great foods and drinks….a quaint quartet played some soft tunes and awards and prizes were given out. They were giving out a free evo think surfski which I was praying so hard to get….but alas it went to someone else…next time…

I finished off this fabulous weekend with a hot tub at Gary’s place and a great dinner with Gary and Andreja.

I feel refreshed and alive (albeit a little tired). It was so great to catch up with friends that I have not seen in awhile and hear what exciting life adventures they have been on and to share my own experiences with them. I am constantly being re affirmed that I live in an absolutely stunning place with endless opportunities. As I was able to enjoy the simple life in Nevada, this weekend I yet again was able to appreciate the little simple things in life and learn how beautiful and important they are to me like friends, the environment, healthy competition and peoples graciousness. Thank you!

Live, love, laugh,…DREAM!

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