Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Call my kayak Adam

I've been using the skin on frame exclusively for a month or so. One thing that was a bit tight on the fit was getting my heel over a particular rib while getting in or out.
Building and rolling gurus Cheri and Turner said cut it out, one missing rib is no big deal. So I did.
Removed Rib
I guess the Adam name is only appropriate if I use the cut out rib to build another boat. Anyway, exit and entry no longer require any chinese puzzle box tricks with ankle and foot.

A lot of people hoist their boats from the water when not in use, either with a frame mounted on a dock or the bottom. This hand crank used an old truck rear end and is hanging over the edge of a short cliff. Not rigged now, maybe it was replaced by the electric one nearby.

Hand Crank Boat Hoist

Friday, June 19, 2009

Charlie's Boathouse

Wednesday we started at Charlie's boathouse, a venerable institution at the northernmost point of Burlington's lakefront, it is at the end of a dirt road.
It was also at the end of the bikepath, before the bike bridge over the Winooski River was built. Many a parent has urged his kids on with a promise of a snack from Charlie's.

We were supposed to meet the rest of the club trip (9 boats) at the river mouth as they were launching from the state boat ramp a few hundred yards upstream. We were headed that way and saw them turn around and head back up the river. Later report was the lake looked too rough. Does it look rough in the picture? Some waves, but no whitecaps.

Tom called today suggesting a nooner trip. We headed into Shelburne bay and did some playing. Tom does a hand roll in his Turner-built SOF:
Hand Roll

Then I worked on my upside down paddling.

That's actually one of the standard items for Greenland kayaking competitions.

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.