Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Nose abrasions and other indignities
The VOR joined the damaged boat club last weekend, courtesy of Yours Truly. Being sustainable, carbon footprint, etc., etc., type of paddlers, we borrowed the SKOAC trailer and four of us piled into the Passat wagon with all our gear and headed north. After reassuring the VOR not to worry about the boats, I drifted into my normal hypnotic highway induced nap. I snapped awake when she hit the brakes and pulled over. The lovely blue Avocet had somehow come loose from the front saddle and was leaving a nice blue line down the eastbound lane of US 2. Somehow, and I still can't figure out how, the strap, still securely fastened, had come loose from the cross piece.
I accept full responsibility for this catastrophic failure. I know that as a modern, socially aware American, I should initiate a costly and lengthy legal action against SKOAC and the saddle, strap, and trailer manufacturer but I screwed up. Perhaps some government bailout money earmarked for itinerant kayakers whose boats are in foreclosure (what about the children!!?) is available but, again, I'm the culprit. The only consolation is that it isn't as bad as the time I tried to break my Aquanaut in two by running over the bow strap up in the UP. That screwup, at the start of a trip and provoked a stream of obscenities on my part and necessitated some emergency fiberglass and epoxy work on my part. Fortunately for those of us in the Twin Cities area that are not one with the fiberglass, gel coat, and carbon fiber, we have Northwest Canoe to bail our rear ends out.
NW Canoe are the folks that patched up the Aquanaut, seen above. I also had them add keel strips, below, to all our boats to help cushion those rocky Lake Superior landings. Nothing worse than having to baby the boat in to a rocky shore when the surf is rolling. My friend Bryan had an incident similar to the VOR except his involved his keel rather than the nose. RangerMark and the GreenThumbChef have their new Aleut II down there for some custom work as well. Heck, I probably should be getting commissions on this stuff, I've sent so much work down Dennis and George's way.
I guess smashing up boats is part of the paddling circle of life. I've often thought that I should put a few scratches in new gear right off the bat to avoid the angst that occurs when they accidently are added to the mix. The fact is that if you use stuff it's going to wear and if you don't have a few dings and dents you just aren't paddling enough. Now I just need to send this link down to the NW guys and see what the damages will be for a nose job......