Monday, October 25, 2010

Day trip with the kayak finished

Since my last actions in this blog, I have done a few speed tests. 20 km. nonstop paddling brings me to an average speed of 7 km/hour, or nearly 4 knots. For short distances, I have paddled faster in this baidarka than in any other baidarka I have built - up to 14 km/hour, or 7,5 knots.

Today I did a 20-30 km day trip with my old friend and paddle-mate Erik. We paddled in the inner Oslo Fjord, and the weather was marvelous.


I have painted the deck bright orange. It was first painted yellow, and then I gave it a thin layer of clear varnish with some red color pigment added. It looked good, I think. The hull is now as smooth as it can get, and also covered with a clear varnish.

We had the whole fjord for ourselves, except for a few curious seals, who disturbed our lunch, begging for food?


I had brought the Kellykettle. The medium size nicely went in through the aft hatch, and we did a small water boiling contest, which the Kellykettle won (of course).



During lunch, a passing cruise ship raised some great swell, and the kayaks were thrown along the shore. We managed to save them. First, the kayaks were lying where you can see the wave passing in the picture.


On our way home, Erik managed to catch this little fish:


All in all, so far, I think the baidarka works perfect for me. It's fast and stable. It's also easy to maneuver, it tracks well and it has just a slight tendency to weathercock. I think I will attach a removable skeg, but not until I have some experience with paddling this baidarka fully loaded. A full load may change things. The deck rigging is the point I still have to work with. I have only made a standard rig now, that includes ropes across the deck fore and aft, and deck toggles that can hold a paddle outrigger for extra stability. I still need some fittings that can hold various gear in place.

The camera solution also has to be worked on. Having my heavy camera on the side of the front deck simply doesn't work. Today I tried to hold the camera between my legs - not so good. I think I will need some way of securing the camera on the aft deck, but that is difficult when you need instant access.... problems to be thought of, and, hopefully, solved....

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