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Random thoughts from a sea-level commute
By:Karl Coplan
Date: 6/10/1998, 10:29 am

Thought I'd share some thoughts from sea trials of my Coastal last Thursday . .

What the hell am I doing out here?

Why is that thing that looks like a huge blue water heater on the other side of the bridge moving? Oh, it's a barge coming up the channel -- looks like it has containers on it. Funny, I've never seen a container barge up here before. Guess I should hold back and let it pass in front of me. Those waves in the channel look pretty steep, and I know I dont want to be learning a rough water paddle float reentry with a barge bearing down on me . . .

But, will I be able to stay stable while standing still here. Better give it a try -- hey this isnt too bad. Just use the paddle for sweeping braces. Its like swimming outside the surf zone, you go up, you go down, you dont get tossed around.

Oh, its not a container barge. Its just the bridge work barge. Looks like its turning around and going south of the bridge. Time to cross the channel.

Some of these waves look like they would be fun to surf. But I dont want to chance a broach and a roll right here. Use the paddle for course corrections and bracing, let the wind push me forward . . . some other time I'll play with the waves. Not this morning.

I could use some coffee. When is Nick going to design some cup holders into this thing? [there, no-one can say I went off topic from kayak design]

Here comes a motorboat, going slow. Wait till his wake combines with this chop -- that will be interesting. Here it comes -- wow, look at that curler there. Up. Brace! Down. No sweat.

5 reasons kayaking is like bicycling: 1) probably the first (biking) and third (kayaking) most efficient ways to get around under muscle power alone. (I think cross country skiing on a well set track is number two -- some of those Finns could travel 150miles in 24 hours) 2) in both, it is easier to stay right side up if you keep moving. 3) if you try to look behind to see what is sneaking up on you you will throw yourself off worse than whatever it was that was sneaking up would have. 4) and 5) I cant think of the other two right now.

Wow -- look at those whitecaps -- that gust over there must be over 20. Still, I am under control. This is easy, just take it easy.

What did that post I saw say -- Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from poor judgment. This is definitely a day I am gaining experience.

Two weeks ago I had Robin come pick me up in weather just like this. That was good judgment.

But the water is warm and the wind is blowing exactly where I want to go. Worst thing is I drift onto the shore.

It's getting easier now -- getting some shelter from that bulkhead. I'm here now. No problem. I dont even feel like I got my paddling workout this morning, just let the wind blow me here while I dragged my paddle in the water to brace.

....[later that day]

What am I doing out here?

But the wind has dropped, its only a steady 15 now. These waves are more like swells. Easy to paddle into. If I could handle this stuff downwind this morning, I can surely paddle into it now.

This is no riskier than any West Greenlander coming home from the hunt, decks piled high with seal meat. And at least I have life insurance. Somewhere I read that there is no such thing as a widow or orphan in Inuit culture, the survivors were all adopted by other families, so I guess that they had life insurance, too.

Frankly, I am probably at a greater risk of serious injury on my bike. 40 mph, with only concrete to land on and inches away from multi-ton vehicles traveling much faster.

Anyway, this is easy, I am not even coming close to tipping. Each stroke takes me into calmer water. And into the wind, you can power right into your problems and gain stability, not lose it.

There was that ad in Sea Kayaker with the headline "YOU WOULDNT WEAR A BICYLCE HELMET FOR KAYAKING, WOULD YOU?" Well, as a matter of fact, I am wearing my bike helmet. I figure bright green for visibility helps. Sure beats painting my wooden paddle blades day-glo orange, as one letter to SK suggested.

Here I am in the mooring field. No sweat. Time for my daily rolls before docking. Its so calm here -- hard to believe what the chop looked like out there. Now why is my paddle doing an air sweep when I roll? Oh -- I get it, my helmet is giving more floatation. I really dont need the sweep to pull me up. There it goes, right side up again.

. . . So, in case you guys cant tell, I am having a blast with my Coastal -- sure made the winter in the cellar worth it.

Though I guess its a pretty sorry statement when the most adventurous part of your life is your trip to work in the morning.

Sorry for going a little off topic -- but a report about how a particular design handled in certain conditions isnt too far off, is it?

. . .

Messages In This Thread

Random thoughts from a sea-level commute
Karl Coplan -- 6/10/1998, 10:29 am
Re: Random thoughts from a sea-level commute
Rick C. -- 6/11/1998, 8:51 am
Project List
Nick Schade -- 6/10/1998, 8:26 pm
Re: Blasphemy!
Don Beale -- 6/14/1998, 12:07 am
Projects solved. now how about some coffee?
Paul Jacobson -- 6/13/1998, 2:25 am
Re: Projects solved. How about cats and buttered toast
Nick Schade -- 6/13/1998, 9:12 pm
Re: Power for a small boat
Don Beale -- 6/15/1998, 12:53 pm
Mark Kanzler -- 6/15/1998, 1:10 pm
Re: I've created a monster.
Mark Kanzler -- 6/14/1998, 1:14 pm
Re: Running lights
Don Beale -- 6/15/1998, 12:32 pm
Re: Recessed permanent running lights
Mark Kanzler -- 6/16/1998, 12:48 am
Re: Recessed permanent running lights
Karl Coplan -- 6/15/1998, 1:32 pm
Re: Good Value on A Strobe
Mark Kanzler -- 6/21/1998, 10:09 am
Re: Flash bulb?
NPenney -- 6/18/1998, 8:09 am
Flash bulb? Try flares
Paul Jacobson -- 6/20/1998, 10:31 pm
Re: Flash bulb? Try flares
NPenney -- 6/22/1998, 6:32 am
Re: Flash bulb? How much power do you want?
Mark Kanzler -- 6/22/1998, 11:33 am
Re: Flash bulb? How much power do you want?
Mike Spence -- 6/22/1998, 1:22 pm
Re: Flash bulb? How much power do you want?
NPenney -- 6/24/1998, 7:52 am
Re: Flash bulb, strobes, wasn't my idea (I think)
Mark Kanzler -- 6/24/1998, 11:12 am
Re: paddle blade lights
NPenney -- 6/24/1998, 11:25 am
Re: paddle blade lights
Mark Kanzler -- 6/25/1998, 12:58 am
Re: paddle blade lights
Rick VanBuren -- 6/24/1998, 6:10 pm
Another way
Wes Boyd -- 6/22/1998, 10:56 pm
Re: Flash bulb ok, flares are only for emergencies.
Mark Kanzler -- 6/21/1998, 1:00 am
Re: Flash bulb ok, flares are only for emergencies.
Paul Jacobson -- 6/21/1998, 2:23 am
Re: Flash bulb ok, flares are only for emergencies.
Mark Kanzler -- 6/21/1998, 10:02 am
Just buy a personal strobe.
Mark Kanzler -- 6/21/1998, 9:56 am
Re: Recessed lights vs. Strobe
Mark Kanzler -- 6/15/1998, 1:59 pm
Re: Recessed lights vs. Strobe
Karl Coplan -- 6/15/1998, 2:05 pm
Re: Recessed lights vs. Strobe
Mark Kanzler -- 6/15/1998, 3:44 pm
Re: Projects solved. How about cats and buttered toast
David Dick -- 6/15/1998, 12:50 am
Re: Projects solved. How about cats and buttered toast
Karl Kulp -- 6/14/1998, 2:38 pm
Re: Boxing up kayak w/ refrigerator boxes
Mark Kanzler -- 6/16/1998, 12:44 am
Re: Nick, you're waaaay off topic.
Mark Kanzler -- 6/15/1998, 12:18 am
Re: Nick, you're waaaay off topic.
Rick C. -- 6/15/1998, 2:20 am
Re: Nick, you're waaaay off topic.
Wes Boyd -- 6/14/1998, 11:07 pm
Re: Projects solved. How about cats and buttered toast
Paul Jacobson -- 6/14/1998, 3:28 am
Better than cold fusion!!
Mike -- 6/13/1998, 10:35 pm
Just cold
Paul Jacobson -- 6/14/1998, 4:02 am
Re: Just cold
Wes Boyd -- 6/14/1998, 11:04 pm
Re: Hot n Cold
Mark Kanzler -- 6/15/1998, 12:29 am
Re: Hot n Cold
Mike Spence -- 6/14/1998, 2:14 pm
Re: Electrical outlets on kayaks
Mark Kanzler -- 6/13/1998, 10:05 am
Re: Project List
Don Beale -- 6/12/1998, 1:00 am
Too late -- competition beat you to it
Karl Coplan -- 6/11/1998, 5:21 pm
Re: How to post a link
Mark Kanzler -- 6/11/1998, 5:36 pm
Re: Distractions & Cross Town Traffic...
Mark Kanzler -- 6/11/1998, 2:17 pm
Re: Random thoughts from a sea-level commute
Mark Kanzler -- 6/10/1998, 6:09 pm