Thursday, July 19, 2007

Bumpy Bits.

Managed to get out with the club again last night ! The tide at Chanonry was on the way out and there was a fresh breeze blowing against it from the east.

We paddled into the wind towards Fort George. Just around the point at Chanonry the tide runs quite fast, it was a nice paddle into the wind. We were pointing into the waves ( which I like ) but the swell was changing direction and coming more and more from the side.

When hillwalking you know that conditions can change rapidly, when sea kayaking the conditions and sea seem to change by the second - it's great !

Up ahead the waves were breaking on the shore just past the fort, we headed there. Neil took the first group in I stayed out and nearly went in with the bigger waves until Neil pointed out a better route to come in on.

That's what's good about paddling with the club, there's a constant flow of helpful info and advice, both theory and practise.

Once ashore I watched as Neil guided in another paddler.

Straighten up now...

There we go..

Once we had been fed and watered or tea'd and coffee'd we were going to go back to the larger waves but they had disappeared.

There was still fun to be had though, on nearing Chanonry the waters got a bit bumpy again. There was a wee section of overfalls ? which was quickly followed by some lumpy stuff like clapotis. We detoured to the right of this and took a shore route in. ( Sorry my descriptions of the water are poor, something to brush up on )

My boat performed much better tonight, even in the lumpy stuff, no problem at all in that sideways swell. I had two bottles of water fitted to the boat. YES fitted.

I wanted to make sure the bottles wouldn't shift if I decided to go upside down so I glassed in some fixings.

Add a strap and then your preferred ballast.

Doesn't look that pretty but it gives me the reassurance that the bottles won't be tumbling about if the sh*t hits the fan. Still working on the best positioning and number of bottles.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Ya Big Jessie.

A year or two ago I bought a river boat for myself and my son. I used mine to learn to roll and also during three star training.

We went out in the firth in front of the house and a wee paddle on the river in Alness, but quite frankly they weren't being used. I preferred paddling in the sea. What we needed was a double.

A guy at work happened to mention that a colleague of his in the fire service had a double for sale but didn't know much about it. To cut a long story short, I seen it, I tried it, I bought it.

She's called Big Jessie. It fits the description of a North Shore Atlantic 2. Thanks to the UK Rivers Guide Book forum once again.

She's big alright and a few years old by the looks of her.

She's had a few knocks, some of which will need repaired.

I had to remove this security shackle as it had punctured a hole in the boat.

I also need to have a closer look at the rudder which didn't drop down too willingly, that is not at all, but when pulled down it performed REALLY well.

The boat itself is six metres long and has a beam of 65cm. The hull is... just a hull I hear it has now been redesigned.

I paddled it with the wee fella in front and we were getting just over 7 kph. It's very stable both initial and secondary. We paddled it in the flat calm so I can't wait to get out in some waves.

I'll try to address some of the minor defects first though.