AWvsCBsteeeerike3 wrote: ↑
December 10 20, 1:52 am
Let me ask you real quick. Did it not freak you out being on the water at night on the 4th of July? My daughter broker her arm to the point of needing surgery and we missed the lake fireworks show where we keep the boat. Ended up going the day she got out of the hospital to the marina about 12 miles away which is a long way by a little pontoon boat standard that only goes about 20 mph and 10 or so at night due to ... well previous experiences... but shoot even with a bright as anchor light and navigation lights 2 massive spot lights and a motor I still kind of found myself in uncomfortable waters.
NAV lights i got for MR340, required. but technically required anyway by USCG. good to have, you can find where your friends went and vice versa.
night paddling - I'm guessing the awful urgency of your 4th July boating made it worse. We were just chilling drifting that night. also there was a full moon. -chatting with fishermen in motor boats at accesses that think paddlers are nuts especially SUPs. - I think the key safety difference is we are almost always going with the flow, not going against current,, crossing the river to get to a spot, or going to trees wingdikes and eddies for fish.
most my night paddling has been aided by full moon. and on the Missouri there is an app that can keep you in main channel for smoother waters,, typically away from logs, bouys, flying carp etc. (yes, a couple of IT guys that paddle wrote an app just for the MR340)
with testing out and chatting with other paddlers, I didn't use a big light on. like a headlamp light gives me tunnel vision, and you see nothing past the lighted area. I have Fenix flashlight in my pocket that I'd sweep with when necessary.
And MR340 is held during a full moon week. First night there was fog, and they really advise against paddling in it, but I had no place to get off river and paddled thru it for a couple hours until 4AM. probably 10 yards was the lowest visibility. I could always see the tree shadow on shores - but I've heard stories of not being able to see the shore and people up ending in dangerous side chutes etc. this was not my case. I could hear other paddlers that night, not see them except occassional nav light glow. I was nervous at first, but having that app that let me know I was in channel was a big deal. the app isn't foolproof, but some people that didn't have it, found me and tagged behind
2nd night of 340 I just passed Jeff City at dusk, and it gets very rural and dark until nearly Hermann. The moonrise over the bluffs was an hour later that night, so I had about 3 hrs in true dark. by that point I was tired and starting to hallucinate things . I just went slow, basically floated and didn't paddle. my hallucinations were pretty weird. I would see another boat, or something on shore, and know what it was, but couldn't make my brain form it into what it was. Trees are elephanrts. and castles like Lord of the Rings. but oddly instead of freaking out, you roll with it. oh there's another elephant.
my only real problem in 340 was I stopped in Portland MO that 2nd night. My friend/crew was on shore there set up a camp. Its a remote tiny access. I started looking for the access in paranoid state about half hour before I got there. I called my friend and he flashed his light, and went back to bed. I lost sense of the access around the bend. I phoned him and he met me on the small ramp, which is straight ramp with not much port, eddy area in high water. anyways. he grabbed the nose of my Sup on the ramp and my tail kept turning in the current and I fell in. it was cold shock. and the current started pulling me downstream. I managed forward a few feet and was safely in slow eddy and then clamored ashore. I had the shakes for hypothermic within a few minutes on shore - but quickly got in dry clothes and sleeping bag. whew. in the next AM light, the way off river there looked so easy. but not at night.