Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Old and the New
   Yesterday, P & H delivered my new Cetus MV to Rutabaga in Madison. I was on my way to Lake Michigan when the Boss (Nancy) rang my cell to announce the new arrival. I made a U turn, and you can see a so-so photo of my old Romany with the Cetus in the fore ground. It looks blue, but the deck is actually black. I know, I know. It will show scratches. I plan, however, to put a protective film over the deck before really using it.
   First impression: Quality of construction: Duh, It's a P&H. All hatches were dry (I did paddle on the pond). The skeg deploys wonderfully  and there is little resistance when bringing it back up. Once in the boat, it is obvious that it is an inch narrower than the big version I just sold. It makes for less wet surface to push around. The trade off is loss of a little of that rock solid initial stability.
   As I get the boat prepped I will have more posts.

Paddle safe...

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Subaru for kayakers
...not so much?

There has been some Internet discussions around here concerning Subaru automobiles. I chose to  purchase my Forester model using the ACA program which made for a decent price. I had wanted the Out Back model, but their new rack system was not suitable for kayaks.

Problem with the Forester is that, in order to avoid certain federal regulations, Subaru made the car ridiculously tall and, thus, not user friendly for loading a boat (which is why I bought and installed the Hullvinator). The tall back portion is also wasted space as piling things that high could result in stuff shooting forward over the seats during an emergency stop.

Subaru had a car well suited to our needs, but not so much any more. Time to look at other brands? Time for the ACA to make a deal with some other brands?

Paddle safe...

Saturday, April 23, 2011

I have inflammation of the saddle joints of both thumbs. I have to believe it is from paddling. I am wearing splints (on and off) that immobilize that joint. I took them off today because I just had to paddle.

I moved the shims (means something different here, Gnarly) under the front edge of the seat in my Romany. Much better. With little time available, I took to the river near my house. There is high water just now, and the current was easily 5+knots with a 20mph wind in my face to boot. Needless to say, I got my exercise in just fine. Admittedly, there were stops along the way to catch my breath and check for chest pain. Now my thumbs really hurt.

Paddle safe...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Days go by...
The days are racing by, and I am caught up in a land-scheduled life. What with teaching, writing lectures and exams and the usual day to day, I have not been on the water in several days. More over, winter-like weather continues to reappear, and it is hard for me to break out of my winter mind set.

On the bright side, I have my grand children here this week, and the house (when I can be there) is filled with child-energy and joy.

Oddly enough, this is turning into a period of reflection for me. My mind is filled with thoughts of elder life, service and a connection to something outside of myself yet deep inside myself. It is a flow of ideas that I periodically have visited throughout my life, often when some life-change is in the offering. What that change might be I cannot yet say.

Soon enough the warmth, my new boat and the pump I ordered will arrive. Outdoor lessons will get underway and school obligations will be over until fall. I just need to hang in there until then.

Paddle safe...

Friday, April 15, 2011

What about the cold?

According to the US Coast Guard statistic, there were 736 boating fatalities in the year 2009. Of those, 39 were kayakers. When I saw this my first thought was hypothermia but, to my surprise, none involved cold water. Instead, 34 were listed as drownings and 5 as unknown. There went the hypothermia theory.

Sadly, over half of the victims were not wearing pfd's. Such a basic and simple thing. Still, we don't know if they would have survived if they had worn life jackets since 16 of those who drowned had them on. I need to sit with this for a while. Meanwhile, wear your pfd and...

Paddle safe...

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Not a Bad Weekend.
   I flew to Washington DC on Friday and spent time and dinner with my grand son, daughter and son in law. I had a chance to see where they are living and time to play with JoeJoe (I absolutely creamed him in a pillow fight). 
   Saturday I gave my  6.5 credit cardiology  seminar, and I thought it went well. Afterward, the three of them  picked me up and we went out for dinner and ice cream. Turned out the ice cream place is owned by a fellow from Wisconsin. The ice cream was good. There was a chair which had written on its sear, "Present Obama sat here."
   Today I was up at 4 am (3 am Milwaukee time) and home before 10 am. then Lady Linda, her mom and a dear friend of ours drove down to Illinois for the 2nd birthday of our granddaughter. There was good food, lots of joking, presents and, of course, grandma's famous chocolate cake.
   It is now almost 8:30 pm on Sunday, and I don't understand why I am not in a coma. Still, I am going to head to bed early and fall asleep counting my blessings.

Paddle safe...

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

In Limbo
I have sold my Cetus, and it is on its way to Ct. My new MV is in Ashville. The truck is expected to come to this area in the next few weeks. In the mean time I have been paddling my trusty  old Romany, but for some reason have been uncomfortable in it.

I suspect it is the back band adjustment + the feeling that the front of the seat is higher than what I have been using. In any event, if I am going to paddle in the next few weeks I need to sort that out.

I have acquired sheets of 3M ScotchGuard tm which I plan to apply to the deck of the MV when it arrives. I will need to install a compass and will likely put in an electric bilge pump. For now, however, all I can do is wait.

Paddle safe...

Friday, April 01, 2011

 Steve Scherrer
Wilderness Systems
to Receive Honor
For Landmark Work on Boating Materials.

The National Association of Fiberglass Manufacturer's has announced that this year's recipient of their "Best in Industry" award will go to Wilderness Systems and noted marine designer Steve Scherrer. Although this will not be announced until next month, Steve has kindly given me permission to have the "scoop" on this announcement along with some inside information as to what he and the company will be revealing next week.

"It all began with Cindy and me sitting around the kitchen table and talking about how to improve our boats." To paraphrase his explanation, the two of them got to talking about how so many paddlers use duct tape for emergency repairs. "If the material is so great," Cindy had said, "why not incorporate it into fiberglass?"

They both laughed about the first. But Steve got thinking about it and got together with the techies at the company. They, too, were sceptical, but the idea was too enticing to let go.
That led to some experimentation with various "recipes" utilizing different percentages of ground up duct tape that was, as Steve explained, "Simply mixed with the resin and painted onto the cloth." Although he wasn't specific (there is a patent application in for this yet to be named material), He did say that they were able to come up with a new "glass" that is at least three times tougher than Diolene. Again, he wasn't willing (understandably) to reveal more details. When I asked about the weight of a boat made of this material, he just smiled in a way that suggested this material also provided for a lighter hull.

So, I await, along with you, for the "official" announcement and to hear when the first of these boats will be made available. And then there is the question of price.
Paddle safe...