Thursday, May 31, 2012

First Ride

Nothing worse than picking up New Kayak on a Monday and not being able to get it into the water until the following Tuesday, talk about a tease,  Julie was getting pretty tired of me spending time in the garage just looking at it. 

Didn't think I would be able to get out but the kids ended up having plans at friends and Julie was working, hmmm what should I do,  how about strap this thing to the truck and hit the water.   Was a little interesting trying to get the Kayak onto my truck by myself, ended up having to lie it across the bed of my truck sideways then get onto truck bed and lift onto the roof, reverse when I get there.  Must be a better way, hmmm may have to build something....

Went to Holland River for a test drive, put in and started paddling towards Lake Simcoe,  boat rides so smooth and fast,  ok, was empty so doing 8km/h empty with no wind isn't probably breaking any speed limits, it was so nice to just get out, new paddle works amazingly as well, overall I am very happy with my new Kayak and can't wait for an extended trip.

Got about an hour into it and Julie finished work early,  decided to turn back and take a ride up to MEC and see if we could find her a kayak. Packed everything up and headed home. 

When we got back from MEC, Julie was laughing at me,  spent the next hour waxing and polishing the water spots off my Kayak.  At this point she is just shaking her head, she didn't say much though because I did finish painting the back deck before going kayaking. 

The background picture on this blog was the first picture I took while out on Holland River in the Yak.

New Ink

For years I have been wanting to get a tatoo but could never find anything I liked enough or had any meaning so just never got around to it.  Finally found one that I liked and seeing as Julie has been "bugging" me for awhile to get one, just made sense.   

This is my new tattoo on the left arm, Kayaker, though it was pretty cool looking, while I would like to take credit for the design, alas, I stole the idea and hope the original owner doesn't have an issue with it or some sort of weird copyright issue.  It's actually a company logo (part of it) but not in Canada so not like getting a pepsi logo or anything, nobody knows unless I tell them.  In the end the company gets some free advertising.

Why this one?  Well,  I have a pipe dream for what I have termed the "Ultimate Kayak Trip" and requires about a 8 months,  definitely not feasible at the moment given personal life with kids, Julie and work,  kids will eventually goto university, work can be dealt with eventually and one thing about Julie is she is very supportive when it comes to the things I do (can't ask for better than that)  who knows maybe she will come with me.  So this tatoo is a reminder of that trip and one day have the means to actually do it,  all begins with a simple concept and seeing as I have permanately inked the idea on my arm, well...  Maybe it will just come true.

First Trip...

Took tomorrow off work and going for a 3 day kayak trip, fully loaded and camping.  Sucks that the weather is calling for rain Friday and Thunderstorms Saturday, oh well, bought this kayak to use it and not letting a little thing like electrocution stand in my way. 

Julie considered coming but has work and family matters this weekend, not to mention the forecast doesn't lend itself well to her idea of a fun weekend.   I don't mind solo but would have much preferred her with me.

Haven't decided where I am going to go yet but am packed and ready.  Will post info when I get a chance, this will be my first real test of the new boat.

2012 Gear List - Jeff

I have done full reviews of most of my equipment on previous trip sites, feel free to email me directly if you want to know specifics about any of the items.

Kayak Equipment
·         Kayak (17ft – Fibreglass Seaward Tyee)
·         Kayak Bilge Pump
·         Main Paddle (Werner Kaliste Carbon Fibre)
·        PFD (Kokatat)
·        Nylon Skirt (Seal Zipper Entry)
·        Sealine Baja Deck Bag
·        Throw Rope
·         Paddle Leash
·         Sponge
·         Bow/Stern Ropes
·         Bumpers (x2)
·         Bailing Can
·        Cockpit Cover (for evenings)
·        Kayak Tie Down System (for transport)

Navigation Equipment

·         Garmin Dakota 20 Handheld Waterproof GPS
·         Garmin BlueChart & G2 Vision Marine Charts
·         Sunto Orca Deck Compass
·         Brunton ACD Summit Pocket Weather Station

Safety Equipment
·         Handheld VHF – Standard Horizon HX270S
·         First Aid Kit – Safety First Full Kit
·         Flares + Bear Bangers
·         Signal Mirror
·         Strobe Light
·         Fox40 Whistle (plus spare)
·         Ditch Bag
·         Waterproof Matches/Box
·         Fire Starter (Swedish Fire Steel)
·         Emergency Fuel Tablets
·         Headlamp (Petzl Myo RXP Headlamp)
·         Leatherman Multi-Tool Knife
·         Emergency Blanket
·         Titanium Dive Knife (PFD Attached) Wenoka

Electronic Equipment
·         Waterproof Box for Blackberry
·         Waterproof Lock Bag for Cables/Wallet
·         Portable chargers (battery operated)
·         Blackberry and Blackberry Playbook
·         Sony Reader 
·         Spare Batteries
·         Wall Chargers (BB/Camera)
·         Waterproof Case (i1015)
·         Waterproof Headphones (H20 Audio)
·         Digital Camera – Olympus Stylus Tough 6020
·        Portable iHome Speakers
·        Telemax Portable Backup Charger

Personal Items
·         Casio Pathfinder Sports Watch
·         Dry Bags to pack all equipment
·         Towel
·         Sunglasses/Sunglass Strap (plus spare set)
·         Log Book (Rite as Rain)
·         Waterproof Pen (Inka Titanium)
·         Pencil/Pencil Sharpener
·         Playing Cards + Portable Cribbage Board
·         Toothbrush/Toothpaste/Floss/Toothpicks/Q-Tips
·         Deodorant / Biodegradable Soap / Biodegradable Toilet Paper
·         Razor
·         Tylenol / Tums / Lip Balm
·         Afterbite / Bug Repellant / Mosquito Coils
·         Sunscreen / Solarcaine
·         Polysporin
·         Cortizone Cream
·         Anti-Chafe Cream
·         A5-35

Camp Equipment
·         Tent (Marmot Limelite 3P - with Julie)
·         Tent (Marmot Limelite 2P - when Solo)
·         Tent Repair Kit
·         Thermarest Pillow
·         Portec - Peak Hammock
·         Chinook Technical Inflatable Pillow with cover
·         Sleeping Bag
·         Silk Liner Insert
·         Thermarest Sleeping Pad  (NeoAir Trekker - Large)
·        Thermarest Fitted Sheet
·         Thermarest Trail Chair
·         Thermarest Repair Kit
·         Nalgene Water Bottles 1000lm (x2)
·         Nalgene Lid (Guyot Design Gription)
·         Water Filter System – MSR MiniWorks
·         Water Bucket – Collapsible
·         Sea to Summit Pocket Shower
·         Primary Stove - Primus Himalaya OmniFuel
·         Secondary/Backup Stove - MSR Whisperlight International
·         Primus Fuel Canister & MSR Fuel Bottle (20oz White Gas)
·         Cookware – MSR Blacklite
·         MSR Spice Kit
·         Plate/Bowl/Mug
·         Utensils – Titanium Fork, Spoon, Knife
·        Super Kim Can Opener
·         Mini-Folding Chair
·         Spare Rope
·         Duct Tape
·         Garbage Bags
·         Trowel / Mini Broom & Dustpan
·         Mini – Umbrella
·         Retractable Clothes Line (x2)
·         Lantern - BlackDiamond- Apollo Lantern

Clothing / Paddle Gear
·         Paddle Jacket – Level Six
·         Rain Jacket - Marmot
·         Paddle Shoes – Solomon Amphibian 2
·         Paddle Socks
·         Paddle Gloves (heavy)
·         Paddle Gloves (light)
·         Paddle Shirts – Long Sleeve (x2)
·         Paddle Shirts – Short Sleeve (x4)
·         Paddle Shorts (x4)
·         Paddle Hat (Tilley)
·         Camp Clothes (casual & warm)
·         Sandals

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Kayak Storage Lift

Ok, now I have a new Kayak, needed to figure out where to store the thing when not in use.  Decided to build a kayak lift pulley system in the garage to lift the kayak up to the rafters and out of the way.  Would like to say this went smoothly but took much longer than expected, more to do with me being finicky on how the thing worked,  went through about 5 variations before I settled on the final one, 17' and just enough room in the garage, limited on options due to the garage door mechanisms so had to lift horizontal to garage door but behind the door opener box.

After spending 4k on a new kayak, figured I wanted this lift to have a few failure points, probably went a little overboard but the last thing I want is to all of a sudden have it crashing down and smashed up because I just tied a rope onto it and lifted up the 56lbs.

There are two lift points, 1 on either side of the kayak,  the design for each side is completely the same so will only explain one side,  intially I had one integrated pulley system but figured if anything broke, everything comes down, this way each side works independently and I also put in some redundancy on each side so I feel more confident.

Instructions for each lift:

Used "U" hook fastener which is bolted with 2" lag bolts into the 2x4 rafters, there are two of these bolted down about 12" apart,  on the outside hook I ancored two 5/8 nylon braided ropes using non slip knots, the ropes go through a floating dual sheave pulley (rated 420lbs) this is the part that will attach to the kayak sling, two ropes are then fed back up to the second "U" hook mount point where I have another fixed dual sheave pulley attached to the "U" Hook with a caribiner, the two ropes are then strung across to the far lifting end of the wall and then fed through another fixed dual pulley connected to a "U" hook fastener and then down the wall (this is the part I pull to lift the kayak)  

Repeat above steps for opposite side of kayak.  This means that there are 4 independent reports being used, and two for each side, logic being that if 1 rope breaks the other will hopefully hold, hate having one failure point. 

For the sling, I used a locking tie down called the Tieboss, this is a neat tie down becuase it has hook (for connecting to the pulley) and hook on the other side that connects back to the first hook mechanism, hence a loop, ah perfect sling.   Then then used a pool noodle and threaded the tie down rope through that. 

To use, just unhook the sling on one side,  wrap under kayak and connect the hook back up,  walk over and pull the ropes, voila.   I do lift partially and then adjust the kayak on it's side to reduce pressure from hanging 99% of the time.  

As an added precaution, once everything is connected up, i have a length of rope with a caribiner on each end, i connect one side to the kayak security post and the other to the pulley holding the sling, this way, if the sling breaks there is an added link that hopefully will provide some measure of support.

I did play around with automating this, either by some winch system or hooking to the garage door, in the end, it's just easier to pull the ropes to lift and then wrap around a 2x4 bolted to the wall joices to prevent it from slipping down.  

Works very well and very proud of my hack job. 

Here is an overview of the design.

Here is what it looks like with the kayak hung up.

New Gear - Kayak

After 4 years and 3 multi-week kayak trips, finally picked up my own kayak, no longer need to rent and now can go kayaking whenever I want, which I plan to do lots.  Note: I also think Julie is going to get her own kayak, something about not wanting me out there alone all the time, sure sure,  you are as hooked as I am young lady, ok maybe not, but still, would be very cool if she does.

Struggled with 2 choices,  Seaward vs QCC kayak, personally I like the QCC much better and so wanted to pull the trigger,  in the end, Seaward won out purely on the fact that I could touch the kayak and see dimensions for packing/storage etc.. on the QCC which is only available online, I am such an impulse buyer and needed the instant gratification, even though the cost of the Seaward was much more, $3,600 + Taxes.  I still love the QCC boats and highly recommend you check them out if in the market for one. 

After 3 major kayak trips, I know exactly what I was looking for so I chose the Seaward Tyee for the following reasons, Note: Not bashing features of other boats, just for me, I now have some preferences and this boat addresses every one of them, don't feel as though I had to compromise on anything.

  • As I do multi-week trips mostly (not into day paddles) needed something much larger, went with 17' and the Tyee while it doesn't specifically say it, is High Volume, amazing that a few years ago I would have been like, whoa, how can you put everything into this thing to now,  whoa, look at all the extra room
  • Oversized cockpit,  wanted extra space behind the seat to store day items and as silly as it sounds, wanted more space in the sides of the seat to store, umbrella and rain gear. I would have preferred something a little narrower as this one comes in at 24" and 21" would have been nice, more than willing to sacrifice a little speed for storage space which is my number 1 goal.
  • Padded seat, no more hard shell fibreglass, actually have a padded comfortable seat, interestingly enough it also has a drink holder in the seat which is way cool, no more strapping to the deck and scratching
  • Oversized hatches,  not willing to mess with 8" diameters circles to try and pack everything, I want something you can crawl into and the Seawards really deliver on this one. 
  • Fibreglass,  I just can't go plastic, even though it makes sense in a lot of ways for just drag up on rocks etc.. just can't do it,  debated kevlar for extra strenth but hey, they didn't have in stock, back to the impulse thing
  • Having used 2 Seawards in the past, these boats are really waterproof, the seams from the bulkhead and cockpit is well constructed and the hatches with the neoprene have never failed me in the past, why change what has worked, I don't like my clothes and sleeping gear wet.
  • Rudder, can't stand skegs becuase they take up precious storage space in the rear bulkhead,  also wanted above deck rudder cable exits so they aren't under water leaking all the time and smart track rudder pedals vs push and pull.  Tyee has all these features and also instead of a pull rope for the rudder they integrated into a nice pull lever like they have for skegs, just a nice added touch.
  • Beyond that, nice looking boat with recessed attachments etc.. and lots of guy lines for spare paddle, bumpers, pump, etc..  
  • Also picked up a Pump, Throw bag, cockpit cover and skirt with center zipper for getting inside without having to take off the skirt and a kayak tie down system for the truck.

New Gear - Paddle

Have to like Christmas,  Julie knows that I want Kayak/Camping related stuff,  wrapped up under tree (slightly obvious cause how do you wrap a paddle to not look like a paddle) was a brand new Werner Kaliste Carbon Fibre Paddle. Wooohoooo..

Was killing me that it has been in storage since Christmas with no opportunity to get out and try it,  finally got a chance on the weekend with the new Kayak and man does this paddle work nicely,  so light and comfortable,  will make all the difference in the world when doing a quarter of a million strokes or so... 

First Post

Well... here we go again,  what started out as a somewhat "one-time" kayak trip over the summer has turned into a yearly affair, Julie and I will be doing another Kayak trip this year and very excited to get away.   Tenative dates are last two weeks of July and most likely leaving on or around the 15th of July. 

Destination still up in the air as we haven't decided where exactly we want to go yet, have a number of options and once we decide 100% I will update the blog with details.

If you followed along in years past, welcome back and hope you have enjoyed our trips, if you are new to this blog we hope you enjoy the information.