06 January 2010

Scarborough to Bribie - Keeping the Skin on my Tail

Starring: 8 members of the 'Claytons Group', Greg Schwarz, Gnarlydog, Adventuretess

Gnarlydog using his Flat Earth Kayak Sail and Elver Greenland paddle

The original seat in my Nordkapp LV ‘SIALUK’ has been rubbing the skin off my tail on trips longer than 15km. Very fond of the hull's shape but not of the "furniture", I tried, among other things, heat deforming the seat to change its shape but ultimately the best solution on longer trips was to duct tape the area on my butt that was likely to be rubbed raw.

Gnarlydog made me a new seat in the MEI (Multisport Expeditions International) workshop. After a week playing with kayak rolls, I decided to test the new seat during a 27km social paddle with members of informal kayak group The Southeast Queensland Sea Kayakers or 'Claytons Group'.

11 kayakers launched at Scarborough heading for Bongaree on Bribie Island, Group members quickly settled into their own paddle rhythms, the lack of breeze making the trip humid. Optimists in the group kept sails raised, hopeful to catch any whisper of wind. Unchallenging conditions combined with eager paddling made for a fast arrival at Bongaree.

Reaching the sand beach, some opted for a refreshing swim in the inviting water, while others practiced rolling. I separated from the group here to share lunch with some locals before paddling back to Scarborough later in the afternoon.

Afternoon sail

Sailing back, we noticed smoke flares and activity in the distance. The local Coastguard was undertaking a training activity, using a rescue helicopter to transfer people from water to moving boat and back again. Staying low to water and boat during manoeuvres, the ability of the chopper pilot was impressive. Watching the surface water dispersed by the hovering helicopter, I wondered about the effects the downdraft might have on a kayak....

Landing back at Scarborough with the skin on my tail intact, I was very happy with the new kayak seat, which only need minor mods to be perfect for me.

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