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Creek Running North

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August 22, 2004

Aquatics

After some deliberation, I bought one of these. Placed the order this morning, and should be hearing from the factory within a day or two about shipping dates. They make them to order, you see.

I ordered the yelllow one, as Becky informs me that it's the one I like best, being visible and all. Black below. I toyed briefly with the idea of naming it Hirundo, for the genus of the birds that swoop dramatically around the mouth of Pinole Creek, until I realized that it might not be the best omen to name a boat, essentially, Swallow.

Zeke and I went down to the Bay this morning to scop out launch sites. The boat launch at the creek mouth is overgrown. Silted in. In a word, useless. But when the tide's up by four feet, it turns out, one can launch essentially from the picnic area at Pinole's shoreline park. Drive down, put the kayak together, carry it down fifty feet of path (41 pounds!) and head into the wind for Wilson Point. If the tide slackens by two feet, I'll have a hundred yards of muck to traverse. Paying attention to timing will be important.

That beach, this morning, bore an unusual congregation of turkey vultures. (Now there would be a bird after which to name a vessel.) We investigated and found a 30-inch chinook salmon, lately deceased and since then deprived of a left eye and the adjacent cheek, but otherwise intact. If the scavengers leave the skull there, I'll bring it home. Gotta hand it to the buzzards: salmon cheeks are pretty damn good eating. Smart of them to get the best cut first.

Nothing like buying a kayak to make the blue parts stand out on a map of California.

Update the next day: Folbot sent an email saying that my boat will be built and shipped in one month. And oh, by the way, they're running a sale that they didn't bother to advertise on the web site, and they're charging me almost 300 bucks less than I expected.

Posted by Chris Clarke at August 22, 2004 09:49 PM TrackBack URL for this entry:
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Comments

I still don't understand why kayaks always have the bright colours on top and the dark ones below. It seems to me that it's when you're upside down that you most want to be visible to potential rescuers.

Posted by: Paul Tomblin at August 23, 2004 03:56 AM
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The good ship Cathartes aura... I agree. Hope you're still considering that one!

Posted by: Pica at August 23, 2004 07:00 AM
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What a wonderful present to yourself -- and it's on sale too! Bonus! :)

Posted by: Rana at August 23, 2004 06:08 PM
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now, this sounds like fun - even though i am not at my best in water. are they tippy? thought i was going to drown one time i went canoeing with my hubby! i am definately a terrafirma mammal.

Posted by: Anne at August 24, 2004 10:12 AM
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Well, all kayaks tip, but the Yukon is supposed to be pretty stable, because it's kind of wide and because it's flexible - it molds itself to the waves as much as it can. Part of why I chose it was the complaints I'd seen from some kayakers that it was too hard to roll.

Also, I'm going to pack it (and myself) with flotation.

But yeah, if I tried to paddle six-foot breakers, I'd probably get my hair wet. The good thing about shallow San Pablo Bay is the waves rarely pass three feet. Plus, if I capsize a mile out, I can just walk home.

Posted by: Chris Clarke at August 24, 2004 10:50 AM
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Oh lord.

I haven't been sea kayaking since we lived in Vancouver, a good five or six years ago. What are you planning on using this new toy for? (Not that it really matters - I looked at the description and it sounds nothing if not versatile.)

How is Zeke when it comes to water-craft? I have some fantastic humor-horror stories of my own dear dog and his experiences in (and out) of kayaks.

Posted by: Siona at August 24, 2004 11:08 AM
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Zeke is perfectly happy to watch any manner of water play while lying in water no more than four inches deep.

When we adopted him, the pound said he was part Lab. Must be the bottom part.

Posted by: Chris Clarke at August 24, 2004 02:33 PM
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COOL!! I can't wait to hear about your adventures! These look like terrific boats - cleverly designed, light, versatile - bet you can't wait for yours to arrive.

Posted by: beth at August 24, 2004 06:26 PM
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Ocean-kayaking is still near the top of the list of coolest things I've ever done. I am jealous of you, as usual. Darn.

Posted by: Allison at August 25, 2004 11:05 AM
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Allison: Ocean-kayaking is still near the top of the list of coolest things I've ever done.

My arms still hurt from towing you all the way back out of Elkhorn Slough.

Posted by: Chris Clarke at August 25, 2004 11:54 AM
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That's true, if by "all the way" you mean "halfwayish" and "towing" you mean "being attached to me by a rope while I was still mostly self-sufficient".

Posted by: Allison at August 26, 2004 02:23 PM
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"being attached to me by a rope while I was still mostly self-sufficient".

Hey, kid, I'm the one that does the Freudian Clarke family metaphors around here, got it?

Posted by: Chris Clarke at August 27, 2004 07:12 PM
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