Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Today marked the first day since installing the new larger rudder on the Hobie Rev 11 that I got out with all three methods of propulsion installed and ready to go. I left the dock under peddle power, then once out in the fairway, the sail took over. When the wind died or slackened too much for my liking, I peddled in the desired direction until the wind took over again.

This went on for the remainder of my two hour outing. Very pleasant way to pass the time and get a bit of exercise as well. The wind got rather gusty towards the end of the day and several times I had to sharply round up into the wind to avoid spilling into the water. I suspect she doesn't roll all that well with the sail up...! The new rudder provides that extra control needed to avoid sudden swims, which I don't really need as the water is still chilly in places.

I didn't use the paddle at all in the end. It was more of a security backup than a means of propulsion today. Besides, I have 'real' kayaks for paddling. Which reminds me I'd better get back into them before I lose my skills! But this Hobie is just too much fun...

Thursday, May 17, 2012

I took the Hobie Revolution 11 out for a spin on my local lake yesterday with the hopes of sailing her now that I have the optional larger rudder. The original equipment rudder is too small to prevent the kayak from rounding into the wind each time a puff of wind hits the sail. Downwind, control pretty much disappears and she tends to broach risking a knock-down. Not pleasant...!

There was lots of wind on the lake yesterday, but I decided it was more than I needed and far too gusty to experiment properly. So as the above photo reveals, I went for a peddle! This is the kayak's strong point. She responds well and moves eagerly through the water, even facing the wind. As well the peddle action is comfortable and leaves the hands free to film, sip water, eat lunch, whatever.

Going downwind, I was hoping she would surf the waves, but try as I might it was difficult to grab a crest and ride. She just isn't fast enough, although it's also likely the fin drive provides too much underwater drag. I'll have to try it next time with the fins removed and the hole plug installed.

Finally, I used my Greenland style paddle yesterday instead of the Hobie one. I'm much more accustomed to the Greenland stick and found it much easier paddling. Oddly, the Hobie paddle felt 'sticky' in the water, especially when releasing it. Strange feeling, but true. Other's will probably not have the same experience.

I'm still waiting to try the sail rig. Hopefully the winds will be in my favour soon!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Capt Nemo's Residence...

Paddling the inner harbour of Cape May produced a surprise the other day. The high winds and extreme tidal currents in the area kept me off the open water for the day, so harbour exploration became the route of the day. Passing the lines of docked yachts and their adjoining condos, I suddenly found this surprise...

Surely an innovative house like this one, nearly all of glass panels some opaque, some not, with large doors permitting the entrance of one's submarine, a wind-mill for self-sufficiency and a cheeky little yellow submarine hanging in plain view from the rafters, has to belong to Capt Nemo or his alter ego!

Not all kayaking thrills are found in the tide rips!