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Stories about trips
Despite all the times I have heard people protest "I would be afraid to put it in the water." I design and build my boats to be used. I use my own designs on the water, in all conditions, and all year around. On these pages you will find information and stories about using kayaks and small boats.
I put together a somewhat longer video of a trip in Frenchman Bay, Maine. It starts along Long Porcupine Island near The Hop, and ends along Mt Desert Island near Otter Cliffs.
I hope this gives non-paddlers a feeling for what it may be like taking a small human powered boat into the water in a beautiful location. Sit back and let the shore move by.
It has been exceptionally warm this winter. I would like some nice cross country skiing weather, but a nice warm day out on the water is always appreciated. Carl wanted to get out around 9, but I didn't feel like rushing out of the house early. Pete, Kate, John and Beth were planning on putting in at Esker Point around 10 and that was more like it. As it was I just got there 9:50, but I had everything ready so I just had to pull on my dry suit and lift the boat off the car.
Wayne suggested the idea. At first I was waffling. I had been out on Saturday and wasn't sure I wanted to drive all the way to Rhode Island, but I woke up to clear blue sky and almost no wind, so I decided it would be a lot more fun to paddle on the ocean than going to the Connyak pool session.
Carl and I were the only ones to show up. I guess other people looked at the weather and thought better of it. It wasn't particularly cold, but it wasn't exactly warm. They were talking snow, but the clouds were cracked, showing a little blue and the occasional glimpse of the sun. There were a few swells coming in on the beach, but the water was otherwise smooth, with almost no wind. It was a fine day for a paddle.
Pete sent out the plan last Friday before we had a good idea what the weather was going to be: "December 26 - Launch from Stonington Point and paddle out to Latimer Reef and beyond to Fisher's Island to look for seals." When I woke up on Monday it was raining hard, but it was warm at around 40 degrees F. I loaded up my Petrel sea kayak on the car and dressed for paddling, leaving my drysuit off until I got to the put in. The weather varied from thick fog and heavy rain to breaking clouds and sunshine and back again to fog.
Touring boats have two requirements, they need to have room for gear, and they need to be able to cover distance efficiently. Room to carry gear is primarily a function of boat volume, to more volume, the more room to carry gear. The volume needs to be configured so it is relatively easy to load and it needs to be distributed such that a heavy load will not cause the boat to bog down.
If you intend to travel long distances in your boat, it is important that the design can carry the load efficiently. There is a difference between being fast and being efficient, but they are related. Efficiency means that you will go the farthest distance with the least effort. Fast means that for a given effort you will go faster. Efficiency is related to speed in that when you put your time and effort in to moving the boat, you will go farther by going faster.