As my night-time boat building reality is unfolding, it seems more fitting to co-opt these pages to become my general kayaking blog - building and repairing, paddling, learning related skills and perhaps a little adventure here and there.
First I have to share some not-so-new news.
There were many amazing entries.To my surprise and delight, my boat received the "Best in Show" award.
My friend Dan Thaler from Moonlight Marine had received this award two years before for his fabulous Shearwater 16 Hybrid which he had built for his wife. This year his new magnificent and featherlight Petrel earned the "Best Kayak" award. Illustrious company indeed!
So, Iris has enjoyed paddling her new 'yak and we have done a number of outings. We also joined the "outcast paddlers", an informal group of experienced sea kayakers here in the Western PA area.
After paddling my Night Heron for two seasons now I am gaining skills and understanding which make for safer kayaking. At the same time the old truism still applies: the more you know that more you realize how much you don't yet know. To that extent I have become a (card carrying) member the American Canoe Association which provides an excellent reference and guide to further develop paddling skills and experience.
Along those lines I have come to the conclusion that the ability to roll a kayak is an essential element of kayaking safety. Even if you have an unsuccessful roll after an unexpected dump, you will develop a more confident relationship with all of the elements involved.
Finally, I am sorry to announce that after several years of using my small digital camera near water, it finally decided to get wet and - alas - cease to function. Since I do not see fit to use my phone camera on the water, I finally succumbed and acquired a waterproof camera.
In my next blog I will share a few sample clips of an outing on the "Three Rivers".