Posted by Mac on May 25, 2004

Good Morning Paddlers!

We've just finished a long weekend in Canada, and Mac finally got a boat in the water!

My first cartop transport into the mountains of a 19 footer on a Caravan went great. I had so much strap and rope on there, the ferry operators were smirking. They asked if the yak was a lifeboat for the van in case the ferry capsized.

Got to the lake around 7pm Friday evening and by 7:30 I had the boat in the water, the wife with the 35mm camera (not digitaly ready yet), and me with a bottle of champagne. Wife didn't want to do the honors - preferring to record the event.

Louie the Loon had brought his mate and was keeping a respectable (safe) distance.

Show wife which button turns on camera. All set. "I christen Thee the Marjolaine One. God bless Her and all who sail in Her". Pour champagne on prow. Here a faint zzzt. Wife says "I think I missed it - do it again". Take two - same thing. "I think the camera's broken". Louie's starting to snicker.

Me "Gimme the &^%* thing".

Turn it on, take picture of wife - flash goes off. Hand camera back, pick up bottle. Take three - I'm ain't saying the words anymore - just pouring booze - zzzt. Louie's mate is saying to him "Hush now!". Too late. Louie's been drinking the poluted lake water and is bustin' a gut and doing Eskimo rolls.

"You're pressing the wrong &^%% button!" "Well if you're so smart, take your own damn picture!" Almost throws camera at me - realizes SHE bought the camera at last minute - and pouts instead. I appologize profousely, but I'm not sure she heard. Louie is in full voice by now, and his wife can't hold it in any longer.

One more try, more booze, flash goes off too little early - so I'll have one picture of me glaring at my yak and posing with what could easily be an empty bottle. I give up at that point, thank the photographer's back as she stomps off and decide to launch anyway as my feet are already wet and frozen.

Things got real good at that point - did the straddle and plop entry. Good thing I've got a 33" long coaming opening as I could *just* drag my toes in. Adjusted foot braces, jammed knees under way too big for me knee braces (will trim later) grabbed homemade Chris K paddle and blasted (wobbled) off to take a swing at Louie.

What a great feeling. As crappy a paddler as I am, the yak took pity on me and gave no feeling of instability (hard chine). Went down the lake, and neighbours were yelling for me to "Come show them". Nothing but raves - most of these folk didn't know wooden kayaks even existed - never mind in plan or kit forms. (How tempting to take full credit for design! - Didn't.)

Folks in mid-build, those just starting, those considering, please just do it. There are so many stages to this journey and each is wonderful.

One of the most enjoyable benefits of the build is not detailed in the instructions, in the books or in the videos - this forum, and the folks on it.

My thanks and gratitude to all!