Saturday, April 07, 2007


I guess it happens as we get older, the desire to simplify. I, for example, own a lot of stuff. A lot of stuff I once had to have and for which I now have little use. There are the 35mm, medium format and large format film cameras, a professional wet darkroom, all sorts of "toys", and five kayaks. After a while, the things I accumulate seem to turn into stuff and even become a burden rather than a joy. If I had the money I have spent on all this stuff, I would be wealthy beyond belief (not really, but it sounds dramatic).

I now have a Romany which I use a lot. It is well suited for rolling and, with its nimbleness, for teaching. More over, it isn't quite a full size kayak and is, therefor, easy for me to off and on load. That's one. I also have an Arctic Tern, a wood boat I built from a kit. It was something I'd wanted to do. So I did. It is a good looker if you don't walk up to close to her. If you do, you will see the warts and imperfections of a first time effort. I am willing to part with this boat. That's two.

I have a Kevlar Perception Shadow with a rudder and smart pedals and have had the boat up for sale. It's a good boat made for tripping. It has a good deal of storage space. It does not track as well as I'd like (without the rudder); besides, I've become a skeg guy. I would like to sell her (and, don't tell Lady Linda, replace her with something else). That's three.

Then there are the 2 SOF boats (for you public school grads, that makes 5). One I made myself, the other was made by Peter strand. As you know, I recently got a short gash in the first (it is canvas...but I digress). I have sewn the wound, but the edges will not pull together, even after wetting down the canvas from the inside. I will make some filler with chalk and linseed oil and, finally, glue on a patch...probably with GOO. The second SOF is a pure rolling machine. That makes 5 boats, and I could do just fine with 3. I figure it would be more than enough to have the Romany for teaching and paddling alone, one SOF to play Inuit and something with a long water line so I don't have to work so hard to keep up during group paddles. Besides, I've been having thoughts of camping again and may want to do some short trips. I know, I know. The romany will hold more than enough for a short trip, but this is my wish list.

What I've learned from all this and from trying to sell used boats is that simplifying is anything but simple.

Paddle safe...


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