Wednesday, April 30, 2008

playing in the waves and rolling

The last few days have been great , the waves were not too big , but still good fun for surfing and today everyone tried their hand at rolling. With the warm weather and water its ideal for rolling lessons, and once you can roll playing in the waves becomes a different experience. Here is a short video of us surfing and then rolling. the quality is not too good as its taken with my Olympus mu 790 and not a real video camera.
On the kayak building front, I am finishing the cockpit and the rim. At this stage I have to use every clamp that I have and even had to borrow a couple from a friend. It should be done by the end of the weekend.Next step is to put in the loops for the decklines, add the footrests and then join the two halves, add a couple of layers of varnish and thats about it. The end is in sight.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

what a great week it was

This week was all holiday,Passover is big stuff in Israel, almost the whole country is on vacation, and everything of importance just has to wait till after the holidays. You cant get anything done so you may as well just sit back and enjoy the time off.If you are a kayaker that means more time on the water, so we went out on Monday , Tues, Wed and on Thursday we had a skills session in the late afternoon which was a huge success. With the hot weather and warm water capsizing is not as traumatic as in the colder months, and so people are a bit more adventurous in finding out their limits.I have also used the time to get a move on with the new kayak and it is starting to look like a fine boat. Just need to finish the cockpit coaming, put on the rim and then a few more bits and pieces and it will be finished. I cant give a date yet, but it will be sooner than later.If you want to you can see the pictures here

Friday, April 18, 2008

Pesach {Passover} 2008

The doctor said that I could get back in my kayak after 8 weeks, that seems like a long time, in fact too long for me, so I decided Pesach would be a good time to start again. Its theme is get out of slavery and become a free man again, just the way I feel after my op. And so today, a day before Pesach 2008 I went for a paddle, and it was fantastic. Being back on the water , in the waves, playing for an hour or so and testing all the new parts, I feel like a new man.
So without too much natter, I wish everyone out there and in here
See you all on the water.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Life goes on regardless

This is the longest that I have not paddled since joining Optimist kayak club about 6 years ago.The last year has seen a huge influx of new kayakers coming to try out the sport , taking lessons and joining the club, so much so that after a 2 month break its like comming back to a new club. There are so many new members, it will take time to get to know everbody again.
Yesterday they had a trip from Habonim beach , about 16Km north of us , back down to Sdot Yam. that part of the coast is characterised by rocky cliffs with small caves that you can get into on a calm day and many small coves and beaches. It is a great place to explore by kayak and I am sorry that I was not there to enjoy the trip.I have hijacked the photos for my blog.
On the other hand I have been busy working on the new kayak, today fiberglassed the hull and next step is to finish the inside. The work is going well and it looks great. I have also been doing some long overdue repairs to my trusty Night Heron. I use the thing very hard and it shows, so now I can take the time to sand down all the scratches, repair major stress areas and give it a new coat of varnish. I would feel bad delivering a shiny new kayak to Hadas and paddling my beat up old thing next to her.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

fiberglassing the deck

Today was dedicated to fiberglassing the deck. This is a job that benefits from a little help , and Lynn is a good helper. First the glass cloth is laid on the deck and smoothed out, then the epoxy is mixed in small batches and painted on, when it has saturated the cloth the excess needs to be squeegeed off so the cloth lies close to the wood and filled with epoxy, when this is done the weave needs to be filled with a couple more layers of epoxy. Working as a team we managed to do a good job today and finished glassing the deck and putting on the fill layers of epoxy.The next step is to glass the outside of the hull and then its possible to sand and finish the inside of the kayak. And so it goes on , one step at a time. There are about 67 steps in building a kayak, according to Nick Shade of Guillemot Kayaks and now I am at step no.39.

Friday, April 4, 2008

homemade kayak progress

Seeing that I can`t paddle for at least another month I have began working on getting fit again. There are 3 areas that need to be worked on, flexibility, stamina and strength. It`s amazing how fast the deterioration sets in when exercise stops, and I can feel the need to rebuild the muscles that were damaged during the op. Also for kayaking the core muscles need to be strong, this helps a lot in kayak control as the edging and hip movements are crucial for good boat control in rough water and when doing rolls and braces.There are a lot of good exercise programs out there so no need to get into the details, just to mention the yoga is great for flexibility and the Swiss ball is good for strengthening the core , also dumb bells are good too as they force you to use lots of unknown muscles for stabilising yourself while working out.

On the kayak building front, I have begun to work on the epoxy and fiberglassing of the outside of the boat, today put on the fill layer of epoxy on the deck and tomorrow will do the fiberglass. The fill coat of epoxy is recommended in order to seal the wood which then allows the fiberglass cloth to absorb and fill with epoxy without worry that most of it will be absorbed by the wood

I have also began work on the seat, carving one out of a block of minicell foam and making cheek

plates that will be attached to the inside of the cockpit later on.