Today was a good day. Mostly. Sort of.
Today was the Short Creek Float with the Huntsville Canoe Club to start at 9 A.M. Float leader was Steve Berger.
It was also the ‘sea’ trials for the Whale…..
I got to Short Creek at around 6:30 A.M., specifically so I could test out my kayak without interfering or inconveniencing a lot of people who I get to meet for the first time. The kayak traveled fine on top the van. Nary a problem.
Trial #1….. I got the Whale off loaded and put into the water. I let is sit in the lake for 30 minutes to test and see if there were any leakages. Four coats of polyurethane works, no leaks what so ever.
Trial #2…..After all of the research and reading and making things to the suggested size for the user of the kayak I had a stumbling block…..the kayak fits me, I don’t fit the kayak. I am too inflexible to get into it easily. Joints don’t bend like they should or use to, and my left shoulder didn’t help matters any with the restricted and reduced range of motion. And, oh yeah, involuntary bath number one… at the boat ramp… in twelve inches of water. No, I did not have the camera running. Na na nana na.
Note #1…Kayak design #2 needs to have a keyhole cockpit.
After getting my morning bath, I managed to squeeze my lumbering fat ass into the Whale, she wiggled, but she didn’t groan one bit. Cautiously, I headed for the other side of the inlet. The water was glass flat at this point, tracking was good. She was a bit wiggly to start until I got some speed going and the wiggle stabilized some. I am pretty sure the wiggly was me, my first time in a kayak …ever. I went across the inlet and back twice, all went well. I even accomplished getting out without another bath. Once aground, I checked her belly to see if there was any water in her. Maybe a total of 1/2” deep in the center, and that was probably from the droplets running down the paddle loom. I tied the Whale off to the dock and let her sit in the water until the people from the Huntsville Canoe Club showed up, periodically checking for leakage. None that I could tell, or it was so minute that I didn’t amount to much.
After everyone got there, got ready and got on the lake…I did. Last. On purpose. Surprise, I got in the cockpit without another bath. And took off after Tom who was waiting for me.
Things were going fairly well until the breeze started. The Whale has a weather head. Aft end swings around.
Note #2…The Whale needs to have a skeg added, or a rudder. Kayak design #2 needs to have more bite aft of the cockpit.
About three quarters of the way across the inlet mouth the fun started. While trying to correct tracking because of a drifting stern, (drifting toward port (left), my bad side), I over corrected with my malfunctioning arm…and….wait for it…..got bath #2. A full bath this time, and on video all for your comedic pleasure.
I would have like to have tried a water recovery, but with me not fitting the cockpit, that was pretty much impossible. I did get the Whale upright again by myself. Oh and she does float full of water. (I am really, really glad that I decided to leave the Canon in the van, in spite of having a dry box.)
The people that I met to day from the HCC, are WONDERFUL people. Mr. Woods grabbed the Whale in tow, and Mr. Marsh and his Lady grabbed the puti balyena (white whale) in tow. And the pretty blonde lady, who’s name I don’t remember, recovered floating items. The only thing that I lost was my hat…and that is not a loss. My sis has been threatening to burn that Boonie for years and years.
Well, they got me and the Whale over to shallow water…where the comedy of errors really began. Bath #3 and Bath #4, in the mud.
I decided that since I had gone in the drink three times in 20 minutes that the Whale was talking to me. That and I was holding up the Float, and I didn’t want to inconvenience people that are wonderful. And after I finally managed to get back in the kayak, (Thanks Tom), I decided to call it a day and headed back to the dock…uneventfully, oddly enough.
So it was a wet AND wonderful day. I would call it a success, mostly.
Lose more weight, fat ass.
Bigger cockpit entry.
Make sure Kayak #2 is NOT a weather vane.
Tie on your damn hat stupid.
Learn the pretty blondes name so I can thank her too.
Dumping a kayak is not a tragedy, it is a comedy. Unless some one dies, then it is a tragedy, unless it is a lawyer or a politician, then it is a party. But since I didn’t die, it is a comedy and one hell of a Whale’s tale. Laugh and have fun.
The Whale needs a better ‘yaker then what I am. Make me an offer I can’t refuse.
Videos are being edited, promise. You can wait to laugh at me. Just hold your horses.