Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Greenland Kayak Maiden Voyage

Last month, Kathryn took part in our Traditional SOF kayak building workshop. She built the traditional west Greenland design kayak, on the far right.

Greenland Kayak Report #1.
By Kathryn Propst.

December 2, 2012.
The Greenland float bags arrived yesterday along with gorgeous sunny weather, so today I went with a couple of friends for my SOF's first official "journey".
My primary and preferred means of kayak transport here is a bike and trailer. Our driveway is slightly elevated at the street and with my fiberglass boat, I have to walk the bike up the incline. Not today!! I made it to the launch in record time, too, without having that extra 25 or 30 lbs. We left from the Back River and followed the course of the Little Tybee Challenge (an annual kayak race for the local marine science center); it's about a 7.5 mile course that, as described in the race literature, passes "through narrow tidal creeks, broad tidal rivers, open coastal areas, and two surf zones".
The kayak handled remarkably well in all areas.
I stayed warm, comfortable, and dry the whole time.
As we entered the first surf zone, I took a couple of big waves; I'm not used to seeing the deck so easily washed over. Once, I was picked up and unexpectedly capsized by a large wave (large by Tybee standards...). Rolling was a breeze and felt completely natural and much to my relief, my spare paddle stayed secure in the deck lines. The spray skirt stayed tight and there was no water in the boat when we arrived back at the launch.
We didn't have to fight a lot of current or wind on this trip, but I felt that the boat handled very well and was responsive to correction. I was able to keep pace with my companions (in a Valley Nordkapp LV and NDK Explorer) who assured me they were paddling at their normal speed (though not their race speed). It was just a beautiful morning and I couldn't be happier with the boat.
I hope you all are having a good holiday season and that you're getting out to paddle some yourselves!
Happy Holidays,

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