Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sailing away

Yesterday, I went out paddling with Joe Karr, the Bohemian Blacksmith.  He couldn't get to his kayak, so I put him in my junior baidarkalounger, the one with 30 inch beam.  Joe has been working on a sail for his Greenland kayak so I brought along the George Dyson style sail that my friend Steve Kaspar had given me.  I figured Joe might like to play with this particular sail and kayak combo till he gets his own going.  
There was no wind to speak of. Still, Joe was doing about one knot, enough to get some sense of the mechanics of the sail.
Setting sail was initially a failure.  Since there wasn't any wind when we started out, I just threw the sail with all the lines all tangled up in the bottom of the boat and then later, when we were on the water, I tried to rig the contraption on the bow of Joe's boat from the kayak I was sitting in.  Getting all the lines untangled proved to be just too much from the narrow deck of my kayak.  So we paddled over to the beach where we were able to manage the untangling.  Part of the problem with sailing, too many lines.  This sail had six separate lines that you had to tend to.  One sheet to control sail angle, a halyard to raise the sail and a third line for reefing the sail and the same thing on the other side.  Good when it finally works, but a real pain when it's laying in the bottom of the boat with the lines all tangled up and you're trying to deploy it from a confined space with minimal mobility.  Best to get it working at the dock.

And here he is from another angle.  This was also my first chance to see this particular boat in action, to see how it trimmed.  It worked pretty well actually. 
But the best part was just being out, even though it was cold by Bay Area standards, 40 degrees maybe.  But ideal paddling weather.  Usually when the sun is out, the problem is getting overheated when wearing any kind of wetsuit or drysuit.

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