Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Lead Banana Inc., LLC
RonO experienced a trying weekend up in the Apostles a couple days back. There was an inadvertent stabbing, not one but two broken paddles, a broken finger, seasickness, and an unconscionable amount of towing, an estimated 12 miles worth. Even so it was worth the trip because he retrieved our latest collective boat purchase, a Valley Aleut II tandem, the legendary Lead Banana.
If you will recall in an earlier post, RangerMark and the GreenThumbChef upgraded to exactly the same boat in the carbon fiber/kevlar layup. The upgrade was prompted by both the realization that they weren't getting any younger or stronger, and fact that the Aleut attacked a side mirror on the car when they were loading it up last year. They really love the boat. I christened the craft the Lead Banana after paddling with it on at least 8 fall trips over the past few years. The lowlight of any launch or landing always seemed to be getting the Banana into or out of the water, an effort that would be much easier with a pallbearer sized crew of eight. On the upside, its probably the most rough water worthy double made, and it holds a tremendous amount of gear. A double is always good on a trip because then you have a fall back if someone becomes injured or sick. They can be stuffed into in the front seat, which makes for a much easier tow assist if one person is actually paddling. It also has room for the 14" dutch oven, a vessel that addresses both quantity and quality when cooking outdoors.
After being denied in our racing attempt at Two Harbors a couple weeks back, we decided that a paddle around the Split Rock light with a take out at Silver Bay would be just the perfect alternative to racing. We managed to find some South Shore Nut Brown Ale on tap at the Cove Point Lodge and began to break down the weekend. I suggested that someone was going to get a hell of a deal when they bought the Lead Banana and the ManFromSnowyLegs suggested that SKOAC purchase the boat. RonO reminded him that the club basically has no money so that would be difficult at best. The MFSL then blurted out that the four of us should buy it. After five seconds of serious reflection, RonO, BDahlieOfMahtomedi, and I said hell yes, lets do it. I realize that many of you believe that no decision of this nature should be made without at least one female present (can you say Voice Of Reason?), but I think we did fine. Cash was anted up and the Lead Banana Corp was formed with 4 equal shares, right of first refusal for the other shareholders if someone wants out, and a solemn promise to carry the extra gear and beer supply on any and all trips.
This weekend the VOR's youngest brother, BeepBeep, will get married up at Lutsen. The Lead Banana will be on hand to introduce folks, especially the Colorado visitors, to Lake Superior. Even with their 'divorce boat' reputation,we feel that a double will be a nice addition to the respective fleets. After all, it worked for RangerMark and the GreenThumbChef all these years and they even got another one. Should be a piece of cake for we veteran paddlers.