Paddling in November

The short story is that I didn’t put my boat in the water.
Earlier in the week, the river was open. Ice was forming on ponds and potholes, but the river had been open. The days had been warm, with temperatures well above freezing. I thought I would take my kayak to Beaudry Park, west of Headingley and paddle on the Assiniboine.
I crossed the Assiniboine on Maryland, and glimpsed the river as I drove towards Assiniboine Park on Wellington Crescent. I saw a lot of floating ice. It appeared to be a couple inches thick, in flows from three to six or seven feet across. It seems to have formed along the shoreline at night, and broken up in the current. I thought it was collecting on shallow outside bends, I hoped that it might be more clear where the river ran straigher although I knew the prevailing overnight weather had been much the same across south-central Manitoba.
The ice was being swept close to shore at Beaudry Park. There is a little put-in in Headingley, but it was on a shaded shore and there was ice standing out from the shore. There was a lot of ice moving in the river. I decided that I did not want to try this. Most of my paddling has been on a lake in the summer. I have paddled in strong wind and waves, but I have not paddled in a current, or in ice, and I thought this was not a day to learn alone. Those flows weighed as much as my boat, and they were travelling with the current and wind.
I went home, checked recipes, and cooked a pot of chili.


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