Tony and Val were a pleasure to meet. I started Tony with a 60 degree, 24oz paddle which was more feather and lighter than he was used to, and a 21.5” wide sea kayak. I think his brace hit somewhat edge wise because of the feather angle when he was testing the boat at the launch. He remarked about the difference in blade size, and his ww paddles have a larger blade. Glad the cockpit rim came off at the ramp rather than a capsize in conditions. He kept hold of the rim and I have some glassing to do when it warms up.
It was 20-25kt winds and gust to 35kt with small craft warnings issued both days we paddled. Highs were 48-50F and water dropped just below 60F during this cold snap. I think he was most impressed with how well the sea kayaks handled the windy conditions. We had white caps on the Stono River.
Neither of my boats fit him exactly right. He paddled my Shearwater Merganser 17w which I built a couple years ago. It is 23” wide. It also has a bit larger cockpit than the ocean style on my North Shore Buccaneer, but no foot pegs as I have foam against the bulkhead which fits me. It also does not have rudder or skeg.I should have brought my son’s CD storm as it would have been a better fit, adjustable foot pegs, and a bit more initial stability. He did fine though, and we saw some local wildlife (Bottlenose Dolphin, Willets, White Ibis, and other shore birds). Very little boat traffic on the water because of the wind and cold temps (for us southern folks), so we had the water mostly to ourselves.
Well I suppose I am obligated to give Tony a chance to get even. Went to a used book store and bought Bill Mason and Mark Scriver’s book “Thrill of the Paddle” and Paul Dutky’s “The Bombproof Roll and Beyond”. Looks like I may do a bit more swimming than Tony if I get up to WV for some white water this spring.
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