Whitewater Christmas

A day on the water is a good day.  Add a few drysuits, and even winter days can be spent on the water.  So it was on Christmas Eve!  Five of us got out for a mellow float down the lower Washougal River (MP5 to Hathaway Park).

Gotta love drysuits! Photo by Andrew Romanelli

This splashy section of river was an ideal venue to bring two new paddlers along, and the holiday allowed our schedules to align for once!  This was also a good excuse for me to paddle a tandem IK (inflatable kayak) for the first time!

The Crew. Photo by Andrew Romanelli

Used to paddling hardshells, I found the IK slow to respond but exceptionally stable and forgiving.  I really had to pick my line from the top of the rapid to catch the eddies I wanted.  The abundance of stability actually made edging difficult, and the closest we came to capsizing was while catching eddies!  Not even while surfing the tandem IK (yes, you read that correctly) did we feel unstable.

Photo by Andrew Romanelli
Photo by Steve Pilch

The inflatable kayaks were a perfect addition to our fleet that day.  Along with Dennis in a medium Karma (Jackson Kayak) and Steve on a SUP’er Charger (Jackson Kayak), the Tomcat Solo and Tandem (Tributary) provided everyone with a craft suited to their desired experience on the river.

Challenge by Choice. Photo by Andrew Romanelli
That's a happy paddler! Photo by Andrew Romanelli

It was cold and foggy, but we were dressed well for paddling.  My hands were even steaming inside my pogies!  Still, a giant thermos of hot cider was welcomed when we reached the take-out.  Dreams aside, I did get my Whitewater Christmas.

-Andrew Romanelli

Photo by Steve Pilch
Photo by Andrew Romanelli
Fighting that wrist gasket? How about a hand? Photo by Jennifer Wilde