Do you think that using the zoom on my camera is what caused the size difference.
No. The size difference is all down to the settings of the camera. If you are taking pics and your camera is set to the highest quality then you are capturing more pixels, which means more info/detail and a larger file size.
For successful posting of pics you can either reduce the resolution using the camera settings (max of 1024x 768 or even 800 x 600) or you can use software to reduce the size. I remember Roadrunner once posted about emailing the pictures to himself because some email programs automatically shrink the pic.
Great work in being able to through bolt the crossbar!
What is your opinion of the sidekicks when sailing? I have often thought of getting them for my Tandem but was not sure of their durability. How do you think they would stand up to long term pounding from chop?