Michaela Merz

In distress on Lake Zug

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It is an incredible day. The end of April and the temperature climbs above 25 degrees. Sunshine with a few hazy clouds. Nothing can stop me. Together with my youngest we pack our stand-up paddles and drive to Lake Zug. The access is ideal, straight from the parking lot into the water.

The water is still very cold but that doesn’t worry us. We are well prepared. Cap, sun-glasses, gloves, water shoes and of course the life jackets. We are both good swimmers, very sure on the SUPs and I am not expecting one of us to fall into the water accidentally. But you never know.

The shore is full of sun lovers and on the water yachts romp about at a very leisurely speed, because there is very little wind. We paddle along the shore and admire the reawakened nature. It is wonderful, calming and very relaxing. In the old city we stop at a kiosk and my youngest buys a ball of ice cream, which he licks with pleasure. The water is yellowish and in certain places even quite yellow, because the pollens have collected. We observe the hills across the lake and see light clouds of stirred up pollen dust. A unique, infrequent natural wonder.

He has finished his ice cream and we climb onto our SUPs. We want to paddle further along the shore and then straight across the lake to the parking lot. The wind is getting up and it becomes more and more difficult to struggle against it. The waves get higher and their peaks become white. And suddenly an unexpected wave knocks me over and I tumble over backwards, but thank God not into the water but only on my paddle. It becomes more and more obvious that we will have to change our plan and land on the shore downwind and wait until it has passed. My youngest stands very surely on his paddle and keeps calm. The wind is driving us and now I have to kneel down to avoid falling. All this in bright sunshine without a cloud in the sky. The “Föhn» blows and sweeps over the lake. With great difficulty we succeed in reaching land and dragging our paddles out of the water. We observe how other boats have to struggle and try to reach the harbour. A yacht got into distress and had to be towed away.

One can’t imagine, what we would had done, if as planned we had paddled to the middle of the lake. I am glad that that we escaped and glad that I always insist that we are well equipped. The water, the weather can become unpredictable. The yachts have been carried into the harbour, but instead there are suddenly numerous kites, which I have never seen in Zug in such numbers.

It seems that the wind here is often stormy. One man’s pain is the other’s pleasure.

Copyright: riot.ch

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