The weather was uncooperative in that Wellington Is Fucking Windy kind of way for most of the weekend. The forecase said it was going to continue not to cooperate for another week. But yesterday afternoon there was a window between the nor'wester and the southerly where it dropped below 20kts, and I took it.
I wasn't allowed to go very far, because for the most part the harbour was a mess of whitecaps and frustrated yachties, but I got the opportunity to:
- paddle into the wind
- paddle across the wind
- paddle downwind
- experience a bit of chop
Then I took it into the lagoon and mucked about trying to remember my strokes.. reverse, ferry glide, low brace, sweep strokes.. the stingray I encountered helped me practice these by trying to stay in sight of it after my shark-shaped shadow passed over it.
And then I paddled back to the Fergs pontoon and did a couple of *ahem* wet exits. The first, I just tipped myself out - which was pretty hard to do incidentally - and clambered back on. I was pleased to discover that these boats come with a moulded handgrip underneath, right in the middle, which makes it easy to a) grab) and b) haul yourself up enough to tip the kayak back the right way up. The second, the guy gave me a paddle float, which allows you to use your paddle as a mini outrigger to brace the boat against while you climb in.
It was surprisingly easy, although the water by the pontoon is flat and I'm more likely to be needing to know how to do it in a rough sea. I have every confidence I'll find that fairly straightforward too - with the caveat that my first few trips are going to involve me getting wet while I practice to make sure.
I was impressed with the boat's stability and tracking (I tried it rudderless but will be using a rudder for my own outings because Wellington), and how easy it was to self-rescue. I found myself knocking knuckles on the side handles, but I suspect that's because of being accustomed to a narrower boat, and I'll get used to it. And it has all the convenient bits and bobs in terms of fishing - I like the placement of the centre console, and the rear well is big enough for that giant kingfish *cough* and the kitchen sink.
So yeah, my pocket is a bit lighter, and I have to wait while they add the rudder and running rig for anchoring, but I should be able to collect it on Thursday.
I R EXCITE. Now the weather has to cooperate and let me have a go at catching a fish on the weekend.
Other things achieved this weekend:
- grinding my shearing gear
- warming pombagira's house
- getting Cullen's tassets/overskirt to the almost-finished stage
- planting some onions, carrots, more broccoli, and spinach, and starting to bring in some new garden area
- greasing our horribly squeaky washing line
- making pasta sauce:
It took 2.5 hours to cook and about 6 hours to cool enough to handle, but we now have about 4 meals' worth of homemade pasta sauce.
And my chillies have chillies on them! Ooh er! I'm told the greener they are the hotter they are, but I'ma wait a bit to see what happens before harvesting them.
So anyway, I think this boat needs a name. The menfolk in my house suggested The Jolly Roger, and Jim. I am.. not sure how to be diplomatic about that. Although I suspect flippancy in the offering.
Anyway, suggestions welcome, from the sublime to the ridiculous.
Also, those who mentioned wanting to go for a paddle as a group, I think we should do that soon. Yep.