This is what sea kayaking is it all about – getting to places others find hard to reach, paddling past some iconic Cornish landmarks through a 3 to 5 foot swell and F3 winds, even on a cool March day! Excellent sunset, great times with my friend Raoul; disappearing East around the corner from Cape Cornwall deep into ‘Poldark’ country.
This was the first longer trip that I have done in the kayak – against tide on the way there and then with tide on the way home in some chunky conditions. How was it? Stable, and surprisingly fast enough to comfortably keep pace with Raoul. Again, I am surprised by how well the hull cuts through the water. It is no Explorer or Cetus when compared for speed, but I am finding it able to keep up with other longer boats without too much effort!
When the piccies below the tin mine were taken, the swell was rolling in at about 5 foot (the pictures never do it justice!), yet I could quite happily and calmly put my paddles over my head, take my deck off and reach for water etc and not feel any ‘wobble’ factor kick in. It makes me question if I should put the seat higher to its highest point to gain leverage and bring my butt even further out of the cockpit, as I still feel a bit low every now and again in the seat…
However, if the seat were higher, I wonder how much support I would then get from the foam block at the back? I have to tell you about the foam block backrest as I have decided not to opt for the normal backrest, as the block system reminds me of my playboating days, even reminding me of my old AQ and AQ2 (for those of you that don’t know, it stand for Aeroquatic – google it to find out how old I am!).
I have had to shave some of the foam off the block to get it to my level of comfort and this seems to have done the trick. At the moment, with the block system working so well, I have no intention at all of using the back strap – and don’t want the faff that it would involve to add it to my boat.
The other thing that I found out on this trip is that the block gives me ample room for 2 hand fishing lines. I like to take them everywhere, so this is a real bonus as I don’t have to have them around my legs at short notice when taken off the deck. I still need to see how much water the cockpit keeps in whilst being rescued because of the day hatch bulk head being further back than it would be on a glass ndk boat. I think I will wait for the water to warm up first.
I have had my first signs of the kayak starting to strain a little with serious use. There is an insulation pipe that goes around the cockpit rim on the inside of the boat which has come off. I don’t think that the glue is strong enough to keep it on. At this time of year, the padding that it gives has made no difference as I am not wearing shorts – however as the shorts get donned, I will tell you what it feels like. I also lifted the kayak onto the roof of my van by holding it using the fibreglass cockpit (I know BC – not a recommended lifting technique), and heard a ‘good’ noise of plastic against glass – however nothing structural has appeared yet.
Finally, the landing from our jaunt was on a 3 foot dumping, boulder strewn beach – it is so nice to have a plastic boat ?
P.S. I promised to weigh the boat last time, and have done with some dodgy home scales. 30kg’s is my estimate – does anyone have anything better for me on this one?