St Patricks Day seemed fitting for a marathon paddle. Matt Cesmat, Rob Cornwell, and I launched at the northern end of Lake Norman at 7am and paddled 27.2 miles south to the other end.
We never left the water or our boards, although we stopped several times to eat & rest. Total time was just over 7 hours. As far as we know, we were the first to stand up paddle across Lake Norman's entire length north/south. It turned out to be a beautiful day with almost no wind. When some light puffs came up, they were in our face out of the south instead of the forecasted northerly light wind we thought we would have at our backs. Saw some interesting sights - ospreys and their nests, island with houses, and a real helicopter dock (in the video).
Big thanks to Matt for scouting out the course and launching spot...and to his son Nick for dropping us off at the launch. I'm very grateful to have shared the experience and accomplishment with Matt and Rob. It was a long and tough paddle, but fun and a great way to see parts of the lake I've never seen before.
The day after was another beautiful day with no rest. Spent the afternoon with the family on bikes and SUP boards. We went out to dinner on the water by boat. My beautiful bride drove the boat while I SUP surfed its wake 2.5 miles all the way to the restaurant nonstop! Talk about some serious leg burn.
Wrapped up the weekend barefoot on the boat at sunset.
In the last 10 days, as if I was in the Gorge, I've:
- Had a windsurfing dawn patrol session in warm & strong SW wind while watching the sunrise and still got to work on time that morning.
- Flat water SUP workout
- Downwind SUP workout (paddled a good distance upwind, then back downwind...but the drop off downwinder is certainly possible)
- Single track mountain biking on 14 miles on some of Charlotte's finest trails at the US National Whitewater Center (& located just off the Catawba River which Lake Norman is part of)
- Wrapped it up today with a fun 5.5 windsurf session in strong NW wind.
- If there was more snow this season, we'd be skiing 2.5 hr drive away.
- Waves are 4 hrs+ away. SUP surfed a few weeks ago and might go next weekend.
- Going hiking & camping in the mountains in a few weeks.
If you're really into Hood River, Maui, and the Bay area, then you'll be disappointed in Lake Norman. Otherwise, we've got it pretty good here. It's not epic (although we do get a couple of really epic windsurf days per year here), but it will satisfy most outdoor adventure enthusiasts and multi-sport athletes. I haven't been in a gym in close to 15 years.
WaterTurtle = a nickname some of my friends gave me when we were learning to waterski over 20 years ago because I loved being in the water so much...and still do.
I love to windsurf first and foremost, but I also love mountain biking, stand up paddle boarding/surfing, and snow skiing. I enjoy other outdoor activities such as hiking, kayaking, sailing/boating, the occasional Panthers or Cubs ballgame and NASCAR race, etc. I am a husband and father to three kids, plus I have a demanding job in the tech field. This keeps me very busy as it is, but once in a while, I do get outdoors to enjoy a great adventure either in the water or on land. I hope you enjoy my online journal of outdoor adventure. Check out the videos, posts, pictures, and other web sites linked from this page.