Monday, June 15, 2009

CKC annual meet, signs of summer

Yesterday marked our annual Champlain Kayak Club meeting. For many members it is also their first time out paddling for the year as the water is finally warm enough that you don't need a wetsuit.

The afternoon started with tons of kayaks ready for launch.

Options at this point were a trip around Knight Island, or a strokes class from Todd Wright, who teaches kayaking (and other outdoorsey stuff) at a local college. He also brought their inventory of the new P&H boats for people to try out.

There was lots of "home made goodness." Here is Phelps with his Night Heron (white), and Paul with his stitch & glue boat.

In the last week Tom has been using the "Famed Zipper Boat." At least the references to this boat I've seen on the net all include the adjective "famed" so I'll use it too for consistency. It's a one-off with a carbon hull and a soft deck that uses drysuit zippers to access the front and back compartments.

Here North Hero Island narrows down to the width of the roadway, with this culvert allowing us access to the other side. I'm too tall to sit upright, and not enough width to paddle, but if you start with some speed you can coast through.

On return there was some time for roll-playing, swimming, etc, then the Coast Guard gave a general talk on water (& cold water) safety. People had a chance to set off their expired flares (sorry Bonnie, no pictures!) They were pretty visible in the daylight, but mostly useful to help someone find you if they are already looking for you. They are short lived enough (maybe 10-15 seconds) that they aren't too useful to attract potential rescuers if you're in trouble.

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