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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 1:32 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 5:51 pm
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Location: Massachusetts
Went up to Newburyport this weekend and went out with some friends kayaking down to Plum Island. This is a State Wildlife Preservation and is pristine and quite beautiful. The wives dropped us off at a landing on the backside of Plum Island and then went to the beach and my friend and I kayaked down the inner channel under a bridge leading to the merrimack river and then made a 90 degree turn and onto the ocean beach on Plum Island. We both used hobie sports. The whole trip was about 4 miles and in a number of different conditions and took about 1 3/4 hours I think. The inner channel was bordered on both sides by high sweeping beach grasses which were quite beautiful with a number of different birds to view. Some little pipers were flying a few inches above the water aiming right at us and then going up just in front of us. We went under a bridge headed out into the merrimack river and things got a little more choppy as the wind was 7 - 15 knots and this was not as protected as the channel. We finally made our way to the river after about 45 minutes or so and things picked up again as it was a wide section. We had to take detours around several sand bars and found out later that a deeper water way was closer to the shore and could have saved us some time. Accross the way was Salisbury State Park beach which is very popular and has its own inlet to the river. We then hugged the shore headed out to open water and went by another beach on the right. As we got in front of the beach a life guard came running out into the water and whisted us down so we pulled in a bit and she was warning us of the turbulent water ahead and said we should use paddles to get through. I don't think she had ever seen the hobies and she was concerned. My friend told me that this inlet to the open ocean was the 7th or 8th most dangerous in the U.S. so that made me feel really good. He had a 18 foot Grady White which was a great boat and he said many times he wouldn't go near this area. I did feel more confidence from being in some hairy situations before but you still get a little pit down in the ol' stomach. It was a fairly calm day but as we got closer to the inlet the turbulence picked up but it was more rolling than breaking on us so that was good. We went by a couple of boats that were anchored and I yelled out to one of them that 'wasn't this a fairly calm day' and he yelled back 'sort of' as his boat was bobbing up and down. We pedaled out between some boats and the rocks on the right and just kept going in some fairly heavy turbulence. We got a few looks like ' are you guys crazy' but it really wasn't that bad. The pedal system is stronger than you think and if you point in a direction and pick up the pace it is amazing what you can pedal through. We made it through and banged a right and we were in the open water which was fairly calm. The view there was beautiful as well and we made a short stop at the beach. The waves were maybe two feet coming in and it was fun and no problem to come in or go out. We then went down to the Plum Island beach and met the girls and they went out for a ride and we went home and all went well. It took us about 1 3/4 and we felt very invigorated when it was over, no tiredness at all.
The next day the girls dropped us off at the same landing on plum Island and we started on a longer trip of 6 1/2 miles towards Cranes Beach just south of Ipswich. This whole trip was fairly easy although I did get hung up on a sand bar but luckily no damage to the mirage drive. The tide was getting low and we had to navigate and paddle sometimes to get around or through some sand bars. It was quite beautiful as well but we both felt a bit tired so not quite as enjoyable as the day before. We should have taken some food along as neither one of us had much for breakfast. When we got to a harbor and marina in Ipswich the current picked up and it was a good experience to be in itl That particular section has a strong current and we had to pedal a bit faster and occasionally make some harder turns to avoid sliding into some nice boats. We made it back in about 2 1/2 hours and were starved and then headed out for icecream and then some food. I found my strength picked up quite a bit from pedaling and paddling and when we got home taking the kayaks off the car was a breeze. Being on the water and in that environment just makes you feel good. The smell of the ocean water and those cooling breezes were wonderful. We got to Newburyport just before the end of a 10 day celebration and boy that place was hopping. The celebration and fireworks were right near the water with boats everywhere. Just a beautiful weekend which was in a big way due to our experience on the water with our hobies and our dear friends.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 7:23 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2003 8:55 pm
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Location: Saint Albans Bay, Vermont
Great story!


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 7:54 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2004 6:56 am
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Location: Tallahassee, FL
WTG jack,
Sounds like you guys are really putting the Sport to the test. Great tale--thanks for the report.
Dick

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 11:36 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 02, 2006 4:53 pm
Posts: 58
:shock: WOW! You really put your Sport to the test. I agree that when the going gets rough, simply point your Sport in the right direction and really crank on the pedals, and it'll get you there.

I was once caught out in the middle of a large lake on my Sport, when a fair weather wind burst hit. The waves and current were larger than anything I had attempted before, and opposite the direction I needed to go. I simply leaned back, hunkered down low in the seat, and pedalled the fastest I thought I could hold for an hour, and I made it back to shore in half that. Other than being wet from head to toe, and a gallon of water in the hull from the hatches being submerged most of the time, I made it back OK.

Thus far, I've noticed two conditions that can dump me. One is a series of waves hitting on the side with just the right frequency will cause a rolling motion and try to flip me. The second is a following swell, where the yak starts to surf, gets close to hull speed, the nose begins to bury, causing drag, and then the back end gets light and trys to turn sideways. You know what happens when it gets sideways!

Thanks for the wonderful story :D I agree that there is nothing like the feeling of being on a Sport in a beautiful area. Yesterday, I went to a pond in the San Jose, CA, hills to test out my yak after replacing my old hatches with the newer design hatches. I floated among the ducks and geese, including babies, with reeds and birds nearby, all while watching hang gliders launch overhead.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2006 7:29 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 5:51 pm
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Location: Massachusetts
New2yak,

That was quite an experience you had on that lake with the sudden change in weather. I felt the same way, pedal as fast as I could maintain for a good distance to get out of whatever I was in.
I have to work straight through for the next two weeks and I would love to be out on the water every day.
It is great to hear different stories about the sport. When I first started reading the messages it seemed everything was about the adventure and outback and I know they are awesome yaks but so is the sport. All of the hobies have there own great features and the new revolution looks great. would love to have one of each, all I need is a place to put them and more money.
Keep us posted on your experiences with the sport.

jack


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 8:30 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 6:00 pm
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You guys don't know how lucky you are--at certain points in tide changes that inlet is extremely dangerous. I know the area and have an adventure and would only take it through there at slack tides. I've seen boats swallowed up by converging tides and boat wakes


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 4:30 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 5:51 pm
Posts: 24
Location: Massachusetts
Joe,

Some of those inlets can be wild like you said. We've been a bit daring and pushing the limits and it has been fun and actually I've been surprised at how
well the sport handles these situations. It's good to push it a little to develop confidence but you're right Joe, we can over do it. We do wear a pdf, we may be crazy but we're not stupid. I also have to be careful where I take my wife because you do need some stamina to get out of some of these challenging situations.

jack


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