If you just go for a paddle than you can stop thinking about wanting to go for a paddle.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

2015: Post 19 – An RG and Hammer day

Neville missed our paddle yesterday (see previous post).  He e-mailed a few of us Saturday evening to see if anyone wanted to paddle on Sunday.  I had replied that I was interested but he had missed my response.  Then later I received an e-mail from him... "my wife won't let me paddle by myself..." he said.  I thought that was quite funny.

We met at the slipway in St. Philips this morning.  Neville had his P&H Hammer that he had picked up a couple weeks ago, and a new whitewater paddle he recently bought, and I had my new Karma RG.  Like yesterday, there was some wind but it was off-land and there was very little swell; still not the conditions I wanted to give the RG a good run but it was still time on the water to get more used to my new kayak.

We followed the shoreline all the way up to Topsail Beach and back, getting into all the nooks and crooks, and playing here and there when we found a little active water.

I took a bunch of pics, but they were all of Neville, so I won't post too many... but here are a few...

I took a few video clips along the way as well... here's a couple...

Today's paddle was a lot of fun.  The Hammer and Karma RG are similar type kayaks; they are made for ocean play.  Yesterday, with the other guys in sea kayaks, at times I found myself paddling along quicker to try to not get too far behind.  They would hold up now and then for me, but the RG is not a kayak meant to be used for a touring type paddle.  It is meant to lollygag along the shore, poking into places, and spending as long as you want to in one place when it is more fun than moving on.

In sea kayaks we can paddle from St. Philips to Topsail Beach, have a break and paddle pack in about two and a half hours.  Today it took Neville and I five full hours... twice as long!  With all the poking and playing around rocks along the way we even added a couple more kilometres to the normal distance we do in our sea kayaks. I think if we would of had some decent wave action along the shore to really give these play boats a good workout we would not have made it all the way up to Topsail Beach. 

In the right conditions, and at the right features along the shore, we could spend a lot of time not really going anywhere, just paddling through, over, and around some rocks, or just sitting in some turbulent water at the shoreline getting pushed this way and that, as if it were some kind of amusement ride.

Neville and I both agreed that we are quite happy with our recent kayak purchases.  We envision having some "woo-hoo" days when we can find the right conditions.  But despite the lack of the 'right' conditions today it was still another fun day on the water, made even more fun for me in my RG, and Neville in his Hammer.

We are both hoping our sea kayaking buddies might eventually get their own ocean play boats in due course... you just never know.  Until then I guess the guys will have to either leave us behind or wait for us on the days that Neville and I decide it's an RG and Hammer type of day...

Saturday, April 25, 2015

2015: Post 18 – Karmalita's first outing

This morning was the first time I had a chance to paddle the Karma RG since picking it up on Tuesday.    Unfortunately the water was fairly tame, but no matter - it was a good day to try to get the feel of paddling my new kayak.  Today was also the first time Hazen has paddled since having surgery a couple months ago.

We met at St. Philips and paddled up to Topsail beach…

A few pics to share...

On the slipway

Hazen must have been excited to be paddling as
he showed up already dressed in his drysuit.

Another picture of Hazen posing at a waterfall 

Terry checking out another waterfall


Tony getting a closer look at the RG

Hazen and Terry

While at Topsail Beach Terry’s kayak slipped down the incline on the beach and the sea tried to claim it.  Terry grabbled the closet paddle and managed to save his kayak.  The three of us stood watching the incident unfold… and of course I took a little video…

As for the RG… I like it just fine.  In this relatively short kayak I was not able keep up to the other guys in their sea kayaks, unless they held up to wait.  But it was fun to be able to get into places along the shore that I would not have been able to in my sea kayak. 

It will take a while to learn how to paddle the RG.  She is quite ‘loose’ on the water when the skeg is up, very maneuverable, which makes her fun to paddle among the rocks and tight spaces.   With the skeg deployed she tracks fairly well.  I will certainly have to learn better boat control and paddle skills in order to be a more efficient paddler in this kayak…. and by doing so I believe it will only serve to make me a better sea kayaker. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

2015: Post 17 – The waiting is over

Last night (Monday) I checked the website of the trucking company that was bringing my new Jackson Karma RG kayak; it was due to arrive tonight (Tuesday) at 23:00 hours.  So I would not get it until Wednesday.  Two more sleeps.

I just had to check again today.  So during my work lunch break I typed in the tracking number... OMG... it had arrived! The message read that they were to call the owner and schedule a pick-up time.  Hey now!  How come nobody called me as soon as it arrived at the warehouse?  Didn't somebody inform the warehouse workers, their children, their spouses, and their high school sweethearts that someone was to call me as soon as it came off the truck???  Oy vey!

So I took matters into my own hands and I made the call.  Yep.  It was there all right, and I could pick it up any time; they would be open until 7 pm...  

It was a long afternoon at work.  I informed people in the office that my new kayak had finally arrived.  They didn't seem near as exited as one would expect.  If you had walked into the office this afternoon you would have thought it was just another ordinary day, unless you came to talk to me.

Four o'clock came and that was enough... after all, I did have to get ahead of the after-work traffic...  

It was well wrapped, I'll tell you.  Those guys at The Complete Paddler know how to package a kayak... No fooling around....

She was wrapped in clear plastic and every seam of it was taped... and under the plastic was a white blanket, also taped in place.  I cut away the plastic and then the tape holding the blanket with nearly the same anticipation of a newly married fellow trying to get his bride out of her wedding dress...  

I finally cut through the tape and threw open the white blanket expecting to see her in all her fine glory... But there was another blanket of fabric, also taped, but this time it was black... Oh, the contrast!  Oh, the anticipation!!! 

The black blanket came off and there she was, well most of her anyway.  There was a layer of cardboard completely wrapped and taped in place around her mid-section; her travelling corset, no doubt...

Someone at The Complete Paddler (Kelly or Julia I am guessing) must have known a lot of our days are still chilly here in Newfoundland.  They put in a toque for me... that'll  come in handy on a lunch beach before our summer comes...

It was time to bring my new kayak into the house.  It was a little cool outside and I would need to do some outfitting.

When I removed the cardboard there were more presents; a Jackson nalgene water bottle and a sponge...

I set to work adjusting the seat position, the back band, and adjusting the uni-shock footrest system.  I did not need the hip pads so I removed them altogether.  Then I removed the footrests, dug out and installed my flotation bags into the bow, and put the footrests back in place.  I had a look at the skeg system as well... seems simple to use but I don't think I will be able to work it easily if I paddle this kayak in the winter months with a pair of neoprene mitts on... I will have to make an adjustment later on.

The Karma RG comes with grab loops behind the cockpit... it is just a piece of deck line inside plastic tubing to make grabbing them easy... 

The front deck has the hardware in place, but for some reason they do not install deck lines.  It was just a simple matter of making an adjustment to the bungee at the bow and then run a deck line around the perimeter on each side, leaving enough slack to be able to grab the line.  Perhaps later I may add some plastic tubing over the deck line like the way it is done on the rear... 

Well, there you have it.  The wait is over and the initial adjustments are made. 

Now, those who know me know that I name my kayaks.... the CD Sirocco was named Kay, the Pyranha Inazone 232 is called Ina, my skin on frame is Sofie, and my Valley Nordkapp is named North Cape Jenny (but I generally just call her Jenny).  

So what will the name of my new Jackson Karma RG be?  Well, I can think of no other suitable name other than... Karmalita....

I wonder how she will paddle?

Saturday, April 18, 2015

2015: Post 16 – Middle Cove to Flatrock

All of Tony's paddles for the last month have been out of St. Philips, and he pleaded with us to not paddle out of there today.  He suggested we go to Middle Cove and paddle up to Flatrock by way of Torbay.  Sounded like a plan to the rest of us...

The put-in

Neville paddled his Hammer again today... 


Clyde... yesterday was his last day of work.
Happy retirement to you.


Take-out for lunch at Flatrock

The sea decided to spit on Neville and Clyde...

Here's how Clyde does a surf landing in his retirement...

It was another splendid day on the water.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

2015: Post 15 – Jenny gets a little dolled up

North Cape Jenny has taken a few knocks on her hull in the last month of paddling.  I have been trying to dissuade her from going into rocky places but she just simply has a mind of her own.  

When I came home from work yesterday I brought Jenny into the house and cleaned off the hull.   Then I had supper and got together my Marine-Tex, rubber gloves, mixing sticks, etc... I ate my supper and piddled around the house a little, and then went to our kayaking clubs Wednesday evening presentation, leaving Jenny to acclimate to the indoor temperature.

I came home and watched a little television and then headed downstairs.  As I was mixing up the Marine-Tex I noticed Jenny was wide-eyed with curiosity.  

"Whatcha doing?" she asked.

"I'm mixing up a little foundation for your blemishes" I told her.

"Ohhhh.  Will it make me pretty again?"

"Jenny, you'll always be pretty, no matter how many paddling scars you acquire... but you just gotta watch those damn rocks, 'ol girl.  Now just hold still..."

Okay, I admit I am quite fond of all my kayaks, but most especially North Cape Jenny... and now and then I have found myself having little conversations with them in my mind. Truth be told, I once caught myself talking out loud to one of them (I think it may have been Kay) when I was in my shed.  Perhaps I need a new hobby to occupy my time. Perhaps I'll be committed one day...

Anyway, the 'foundation' was applied last night.  Before heading to work this morning I checked on things.  The Marine-Tex was tacky to the touch, but when I came home this afternoon it was ready for sanding.

I touched up a bunch of little spots here and there, but here's some before and after shots of the worst spots that have all happened in the last month...

Near the bow...

Behind the cockpit...

At the skeg...

All-in-all, I don't think my handiwork turned out too bad for my first time using Marine-Tex.  Just the same though, I don't think I'll be applying for any Make-up Artist jobs any time soon.   

Sunday, April 12, 2015

2015: Post 14 – Nails sold separately

Neville's P&H Hammer showed up last week but he was out of town.  Our good paddling buddy Tony picked it up for him and today was the fist day Neville got to try it out.

Four of us (Tony, Neville, Clyde, and I) met at the slipway in St. Philips this morning and took a run up to Portugal Cove.

I took lot of pics. Here's just a few of them....

The first put-in for the Hammer
under the captaincy of Neville





Clyde took the Hammer for a little
spin when we got to Portugal Cove...

... and then tried to stand up in her like he could do in his old
whitewater kayak.  Next thing it was "man overboard."

Heading back to St. Philips

There was one spot in particular that proved to be a bit of fun as the waves came in.... 

Dang it!  I ended up doing some damage to Jenny... this time on the bow.

Of course Neville had to see how his new kayak rolled...

It was a fun few hours on the water.  After watching Neville this morning having such fun in his Hammer, the anticipation of my Karma RG showing up was intensified... 

Thanks guys... and thanks to Neville for the coffee and fries.