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PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2006 7:14 am 
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Saturday morning. Tired from the week and from getting up early to play with new kayak toys. The plan is to get the boat dirty tomorrow.

First, need to liberate the car from the soft rack system carrying the kayak. Okay. Hmmm.

Remove the bow stern lines from the car and kayak. They have locking pulleys and ¼â€

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PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2006 12:20 pm 
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Sunday 10:30

Recovery ward (aka garage to porcelain room, repeat).

As Captain, of course, I take seriously my responsibility for the safety of the boat and Crew (aka darn cat). It is also my job to be sure this ship’s log is maintained. So, late Saturday evening, the initial rigging of the boat began.

I put sawhorses under the garage rafters, the soft carrier blocks from the car carrier system onto the sawhorses, and lowered the Hobie Adventure onto soft -block-covered sawhorses. Crew asks what is the regulation number of times the Captain is supposed to hit his head on the kayak while walking under it; Captain assures Crew that twice is naval tradition for good luck and to check the soundness of the hull.

Scotty rod holder is initially frustrating. Crew appears to be enjoying the Captain’s struggle. Captain finally notices the mount and holder are keyed; tells Crew it was a test and that Crew failed to promptly offer the correct solution to an obvious situation. Angle and position of rod holder very close to Mirage drive pedals a concern.

Okay, if you were going to attach a lanyard to the Mirage drive so that the Captain, er, someone couldn’t drop it over the side, how and where would you attach it to the drive? Captain tells Crew that this test he will not solve for Crew and that he is waiting for an answer. Crew suggest a lanyard to be attached only just before the drive is to be removed; Captain indicates he will take that under advisement and to keep thinking on it. [Note to self: rig a lanyard for when drive is to be taken out, conceal from Crew.]

Captain demonstrates several version of the bowline knot while attaching a bow and a stern line, emphasizing that only the last version is the official and authorized knot. Crew notes there are no cleats or keepers large enough for the ½â€

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PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2006 12:44 pm 
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Captain hopes Crew did not notice that the one scupper plug string is long enough to run between and secure both scupper plugs; maybe there was only one to begin with?

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StocktonDon - fishing, diving, sailing, and wondering what's just around the next point. (A pen name for quasi-fictional-hopefully-amusing stuff by dwest.)


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PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2006 4:40 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 10:59 pm
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Location: Moreno Valley, CA
Yes it comes with only one.

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PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2006 6:38 pm 
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Sunday 6:20 p.m. After-action report

Still not feeling well but the weather is beautiful and it’s about 2:30, time to get the kayak dirty.

Scouts report the following:

Route to target: 18 paces from garage to gate of RV pad, 18 paces along RV pad to back lawn. 18 paces across lawn to intersect back cement path for closest approach to target, 18 paces down path to wooden decks, 16 steps down a series of short wooden decks to water edge of dock.

Height of water approaching high tide below top surface of deck: 20 inches. Depth of water just off deck approaching high tide: 4 feet, 2 inches.

Current upwards of 1/2 miles per hour, swells nonexistent, peak between waves apparently infinite, no shore break, no rip tides, no shark sightings in recorded history, wind upwards of 4 miles per hour from the west, bright sun.

Scouts have pre-positioned and concealed a pfd, paddle, and Mirage drive on the dock.

Mission a go despite internal and external conditions less than ideal.

Got the kayak on the wheeled cart with a minimal load of gear. Halfway down the RV pad the right wheel fell off. Repairs took 5 minutes: 1 to turn the kayak on its side to remove the cart, 1 to find a shady spot to check things out, 2 to determine the wheel just came loose and slide it back on the shaft until it snapped into place and tighten the nylon bolt; 1 to slide the cart back under the kayak and get rolling.

Easily across the grass, down the path, and bump down the levels of wooden decks to the dock. Turn the kayak on its side to remove the cart. Tie the bow line to a deck cleat as a precaution and compose a sit rep.

Water level is way below dock level: a challenging entry for a newbie kayaker. Even in the days I ran a canoe all over this would call for caution and preparation for capsizing. Apparently a 2.6 high tide is less than ideal. Crew (aka darn cat) expresses doubt and refuses to participate in the exercise.

Crew carefully notes that Captain also decides to leave his glasses, lunch, and hat on the dock. Captain, wearing pdf, then eases off the dock, and slowly transfers weight to what he hopes is the middle of the kayak. No way to use the paddle as a water or dock brace given the distance and angles. Captain notes approvingly the boat feels extremely responsive.

Fully on the kayak now and all is well. Captain then notices he is facing the stern. Responsiveness of boat difficult to calculate but seems somehow to be increasing. Crew somehow let the boat drift away from the dock; the bow rope is behind the Captain and effectively out of reach. [Note to self: next time put the paddle in or on the kayak.]

Captain tries to relax and enjoy the beautiful day while trying to convince himself that he can gracefully turn and slide his seat into the seat, without beginning the water re-entry drill portion of the program. Crew appears to be enjoying himself a bit too much, as the boat continues to drift with the tide toward a set of blackberry bushes arched over the water and equipped with a lifetime supply of very sharp thorns.

The Captain decides the risk of getting wet is far more acceptable than the certainty of being punctured. Primary stability challenged and overwhelmed; secondary stability challenged and overwhelmed. Not sure if clinging to the overturned kayak is tertiary stability.

Successful water re-entry drill. Seat in the seat. Hand paddle toward the dock until bowline comes to hand, then pull on the rope to the dock. The Captain’s planning was worthwhile: glasses, hat, Mirage drive, and lunch waiting safe and dry on the dock. Crew does not understand the fine points of a shakedown cruise, and again refuses to board.

Everything loaded safely and stowed with some kind of tether or tie. Mirage drive installed easily and drive plug placed on dock. Captain decides to leave glasses on dock also. Bowline untied and voyage begins.

Rudder deployment handle in fairly awkward place but works fine. Mirage pedals – so close that Captain hooks knees over ears to get one leg in position. That is not going to work. Captain hand operates pedals and boat goes forward; Captain waves hat in success to Crew.

Captain decides to put the drive in the keeper to bring the fins against the bottom of the boat, and to paddle. It is nice to be on the water at this intimate level again. Turtles and ducks are not so sure they want to share their neighborhood with the Captain and a mango-colored Hobie Adventure. Boat glides nicely with little effort.

Captain notices what unfortunately looks like deceased female mallard on a raft of dead tule reeds in his path, and drifts to a stop against the reeds. The hen pops up her head and give one quack, six fluff-ball ducklings pop up their little heads with many peeps; the kayak is maybe 2 ½ feet away. Nice.

Momma and fluff-balls form a tight armada on the far edge of the tule raft and swim slowly away. Momma gives Captain a dirty look. From a distance Crew urges Captain to invite family home for dinner.

Captain paddles the kayak forcefully, pulling with his torso muscle core, over the matted tules and some water weeds. A few reeds and weeds hang up on the Mirage drive fins but the parts trailing back near the seat are easily pulled off and the rest comes off as the boat moves forward.

The rudder works almost too well in the 10 to 15 foot wide channel of open water. The Captain tries to set the rudder in a neutral / straight ahead position and steer with the paddle but can’t help using the rudder from time to time – it’s fun!

With the tide going out the Captain begins thinking about returning to dock, and what to do when the boat gets there. A wide spot where the channel goes around an island gives an easy turn around.

Soon the dock is again in sight. The bow line is tied to the dock on what is now the upstream cleat. Distance from dock level to water is now well over 2 feet; the dock is almost at eye level. Mirage drive is tethered and then taken out and placed on dock, tether is released. Paddle is placed on dock. Captain eases over the side into about 18â€

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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2006 12:07 am 
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Crew (aka darn cat) pointed out that the Captain, in his rush to get into the water, ignored the bi-monthly tide cycle that would have made things so much easier. While the tide last Sunday afternoon peaked at 2.6, for example, the high tide this Sunday morning will be 4.4. This will mean that the deck-to-water surface difference will be very much less, presumably resulting in a much esier entry into the kayak than occured last time.

The higher than average tides repeat about every two weeks with the lunar cycle. As Crew enjoys long night patrols on moonlit nights, he has been put in charge of tide reporting. The Captain fears, however, that based on past performance Crew's idea of "reporting" just means reporting for breakfast.

The Captain would like to thank the many readers on this forum and others who posted ideas for Crew discipline. The majority who advocated Crew be made to walk the plank are clearly well-intentioned. Unfortunately this idea has been tried: Crew saunters along the plank like he owns it, stopping to rub his chin and other parts of his anatomy against the plank like a stripper against a brass pole, often making noises that would embaress a porn star. The Captain's morale will not tolerate any more such mocking of naval tradition, so the plank thing is a definite no-go.

Nonetheless, thanks.

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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2006 3:50 am 
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Long report to the admiralty about the pedal adjustment snafu. Captain inquires how in the name of opposable thumbs could the drive be delivered without instructions on pedal adjustment. Matter referred to naval intelligence, ensuring a thorough and incomprehensible study due out no earlier than the phase-out of this particular piece of gear.

Captain reports intention to get boat back on the water for shakedown cruise number two this weekend. Early morning high tide should bring the surface height up within a few inches of the top of the dock ensuring relatively easy kayak entry. Plans are under way for a temporary ladder that can be hung from the dock cleats for easier recovery at the end of the cruise.

Bow and stern lines have been downsized from ½ inch to 3/8 inch line. Still clear the kayak will need many padeyes, a couple of cleats, and several “leashesâ€

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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2006 6:01 am 
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Location: Tallahassee, FL
Don
Whew--I have to say that is probably more than I ever wanted to know about a first shakedown cruise, but a great tale (or should I say “tailâ€

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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2006 5:50 pm 
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Thanks, Apalach (I think). Captain’s loquacious posts are a condition of the kayak diversion program which the admiralty imposed as a result of a misunderstanding that cannot be mentioned. [Crew (aka darn cat): they think Captain can work out certain issues by getting involved in the type of activities that inspired his boyhood choice to stay afloat as much as possible.]

Nonsense! The Captain has no issues, except perhaps referring to himself in the third person, and certainly will not “work out.â€

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