Jul 22, 2011

Paddling, quick notes

I took the kayak to my parents' place and tossed it in the pond on Monday afternoon. Dad (who does a fair bit of kayaking, usually with Mom, but not always) was around to give me some pointers, which were much appreciated.

I found out that:
- it's a nice stable boat
- when it's empty, reboarding is awkward but possible
- when there's water on board, reboarding is impossible without pumping
- a paddle float makes reboarding much easier

Accordingly, I went back to EMS and picked up a bilge pump and a paddle float. (Dad's advice on the pump: "I think it's easier to swim to shore and beach it than pump one out." I disagree, given that the midline of our nearest large lake is about 3/4mi from shore.)

Tuesday evening I got out of work and went to a very nearby small lake (2 miles long and a half-mile wide) to play. I put in at the DEC fishing access ramp and paddled east to the inlet, up the inlet until the deer flies drove me back out to open water, then a bit down the lake, back across, floated around in some lily pads and watched the fish jump for a bit, and then back to the ramp.

Wednesday morning the heat was starting to crank up, but I met a friend and former co-worker at the public docks on the large lake inlet, and we paddled around for a while - up the inlet, up a creek, and then hovered mid-channel under one of the highway bridges just to get some shade and chat.

So, far from being an experienced kayaker, these are my quick notes:
- the Pamlico 120 was a good bet for a first kayak. It's wide and stable, tracks well, and even with the relatively flat bottom is still a quick boat.
- the 230cm paddle I got (the longest at EMS short of getting into $300+ unobtainiums) is actually not bad for me. A 240 would be a *hair* better but isn't critical.)
- getting the boat on and off the truck is not difficult. That said, I'd like to pick up a Thule Goalpost at some point, if only to make the truck bed functional when kayaking - and to make room for two boats.
- a spray skirt may well be a good idea, if only to keep my legs from sunburning.
- a waterproof digital camera is definitely on the wish list.

So far so good, and more testing is indicated. ;-)


Ruth said...

I recently picked up a Kodak PlaySport. Digital video (in quality all the way up to 1080p though you don't get much time that way), and digital stills (at 5mp). Water proof (even functions underwater), but doesn't float unless the float accessory is attached (it does come with the accessory). Does require an SD card and I'd recommend springing for a nice big one. It was $120 at Sams a few months ago though I can't swear the price hasn't changed.

Ruth said...

Forgot to add: very easy to use, does not require a ton of techy knowledge to use or change settings.

Old NFO said...

Nice report, and glad it's working out for ya!