Ready to Paddle

Atlantic Street Stepford 001

Another beautiful day in Stepford - calling for rain this afternoon, but considerably warmer temps than we've had in the last little while

Awake

I awoke earlier this morning than I’d intended to, could not get back to sleep, got up and made some coffee.  The Sony Handycam program I installed the other day had completed overnight the task I’d given it – to backup some raw video clips to DVD after converting them to WMV format.  Took far longer than I expected – hours.  Windows Task Manager reported less than half of the available RAM was being used at any of the several times I checked, but CPU usage monitor indicated a consistent 92%.  This Hewlett-Packard DV6 has an Intel DuoCore processor that’s not particularly fast.  Maybe I will back up the same video files without first converting them to see how long that takes.

6:22 am

I’ve been up awhile, and it’s only 6:22 am.  I’ve just made a lunch to eat while I’m on the water.  Peanut-butter and jelly sandwich, trail-mix, and generic fig-newton cookies.  Pretty heavy on the carbs.  I’ll have a huge bowl of oatmeal before I leave the house.

Today it’s my goal to paddle the Pionier 450S folding kayak I purchased last fall.  I intend to try out the spraydeck/skirt combo and the rudder with the boat today.  Probably will paddle no more than eight or so miles – this will be my first excursion since my shoulder surgery last August, so I want to ease into this.  The Pionier’s far lighter than my Pouch E68, and is sponsonless.  I will probably try cartopping the kayak deck-down because the Gothic-arch cockpit is long enough the coaming should rest easily on the 850’s factory roof-racks.  That, and the fact that I never did spring for carrying cradles for the E68.

When I get home, I’ll let the boat dry out, leave it assembled in order to affix a keelstrip to protect the hull from further wear.  Yesterday, I spoke with Mark at Long Haul Folding Kayaks – his company sells gray keelstrips  17’ long and 2.5” wide that he said may be applied with neoprene cement.  I’ll probably buy one and cut it down, saving the remainder to use as patch material if that ever becomes necessary.

After the hull-work’s completed, I’ll disassemble the boat and see about any frame stripping and varnishing.  I need to have a look at that E68’s frame, too.

Again, I am writing this post using Windows Live Writer, so we’ll see how it works when I include a picture.

Purchases

Last week bought a Sony Handycam with 60gb harddrive and a memory card slot so that Caution-Lady can record the vidworthy antics of little 76. It arrived yesterday, so maybe I’ll try it out today and post some video of my now much-faded Campsis Radicans – a name no longer matching the kayak’s deck color.

First assembly of E68 in September, 2005.

Yesterday I bought a replacement skin for the E68 that will, I hope, likewise confuse, due to the brightness of its red, those expecting the boat to somehow match its botanical name. I’m ordering some 303 Aerospace Protectant to evit future fading.

Compare the photo above with the photo a couple of posts below taken Monday 30 June 2008. That’s quite a bit of fade in a little less than three years of use, especially in light of the fact the boat’s been stored, for the most part, disassembled in its bags in a clean, dry boatshed. Here’s a video I took late this morning with the Sony illustrating the deck’s current fade:

When the new (slightly used, actually) skin arrives, I’ll photograph it next to the old and post the picture here. The replacement skin will have a hatch on the foredeck I plan to make use of for a couple of small drybags and lunch, thereby reducing deck-clutter.

Why am I writing this stuff instead of paddling today, Independence Day 4 July 2008? I guess I want to finish reading a novel, lift, do some housework, wash the car, instead. Freedom, ain’t it grand?

Yes, it is.