Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A capital ship/ for an ocean trip...

Well, no, it isn't the Walloping Window Blind, as the song goes. And we're not going out on the ocean. But my trusty kayak, Mi Gaviota has spent all summer sitting around, because it has been much too rainy for kayak jaunts. But we have this sort-of-strange spell of good weather, so I put the kayak up on the car and off to Little Lonely Lake.
Miss G. is a Folbot Aleut, derived from a German tradition of folding kayaks. In German, Faltbot, or folding boat. She will come apart and fit into a package that could be put on a bush plane. You can still get Faltbote in Germany. The Rolls-Royce (or Mercedes-Benz, if you prefer) of folding kayaks are the Klepper series, made out of wood -- a marvellous (and very expensive) series. Kleppers have crossed the Atlantic Ocean. Folbot is a South Carolina outfit, and they make very well-engineered models. Perhaps a Ford, but a good kayak nevertheless, and extremely stable. Most kayaks, alas, are very narrow beam -- 60cm or less. Miss G is almost impossible to upset. This saves you from many an Eskimo roll. At my age, I think it wise to pass on the rolls. Anyway, Miss G has been out on the Inland Passage in Juneau many a time. She never shipped a drop of water. Slow, perhaps. In a headwind very difficult. But safe.
Being a weekday, there is no one on LL Lake. We can get into the shore, because we draw less than 15 cm of water loaded down. Lovely fall colors. There are houses on the lakefront; the satellite antenna looms on the left.
Some of the lakefront houses (all of them, in fact) have docks and assorted craft attached. Miss G slips on by them. We turn toward the uninhabited side of the lake.
At this point I rigged up my fly rod (in vain, as it turned out). This makes it much harder to take pictures. You have the paddle, the fly rod, the wind, the chop, and the camera; it takes six hands. But it's fun. It's quiet. The sun is shining. Can't ask for more. Well, maybe a bite on the fly! So eventually we head for the put-in place.
Note the fly rod. Note the complete absence of fish. Oh well, you can't have everything. A kayak is far from an ideal fishing vehicle; it takes both hands to do the paddle. You are quite cramped, and I always wonder how the Aleuts and the Inuit did it!

Eventually we get back to the put-in place, manhandle 20 Kilos of kayak up on the car, and drive a few minutes home. A wonderful day in the sun, even if we caught no fish. And Miss G is happy -- back in her element again.

The barometer falleth. We may not have a day like this until next year.

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