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Seals and Gaskets


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.

The water was glassy as we crossed Fishers Island Sound headed approximately toward Middle Clump. There were a few seals on the rocks and they gave us a the hairy eyeball as we paddled by. The current was pretty strong, flooding in from the east. We headed in towards shore to get in the slower moving water and followed the shore towards Hungry Point. We tried to stick really close to shore to give the seals out on the rocks as much buffer as possible, but they still fell in to the water to check us out. We looked at them for a while and they looked at us. After a while we got the impression that they were just waiting for us to leave, so we headed to a beach for lunch.

Kate was quite excited because she had recently had zipper problems with her Kokatat dry suit. The waterproof zipper wasn't staying hooked together after zipping it up. She sent it back to get fixed. When it came back it turned out to be a brand-spanking-new suit. They decided it was easier to provide a whole new one than replace the zipper on a 5 year old suit. It didn't cost Kate a thing and now water beads up on her suit like its supposed to.

After lunch we just paddled home, with the occasional sprint to work the kinks out and a little drafting practice to see how much easier it actually makes paddling.

When I got back and removed my suit, I got to the point where I needed to pull the wrist gasket over my hand. I usually reach in with my other hand to stretch the gasket as I draw out the hand. This time I figured I would just pull. The gasket came unglue and I was left with the gasket around my wrist.

I had recently had all the gaskets replaced. It looks like the glue they used was not as good as the original and the whole gasket came un-glued.

When I got home, I cut a piece of cardboard tubing that I get fiberglass cloth rolled on. It was about the right size for the wrist. I place this in the sleeve and rolled the gasket over the end flap where it is supposed to be mounted. I then folded back the gasket so I could see the inside of the gasket and the remains of the previous glue. I had some HH-66 vinyl cement in the shop. I spread this on both surfaces, let it dry a few minutes and then folded the gasket back on to the glue. We shall see how long it holds.

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