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Paddleski Paddling and Carrying

The rain front that descended upon us late yesterday afternoon bucketed down big time upon our abode. It  rolled back the heat and humidity that was unbearable enough to sentence me to a prostrate position for most of the day.

And today --despite the rain -- as far as my body was concerned, anything was possible: so I took the paddleski out for a paddle.

Sorry. I did not also take a camera...

With the rain still falling I peddled my rig 4 kilometres north of town behind a bicycle. I then launched upon the waters soon after high tide -- 2pm --  and paddled forth.

There was no wind. The surface of the water was potmarked by the descent of raindrops. With little to mark the horizon -- grey water/low grey sky -- it was easy to fuse with the overall Zenhood. Although I paddled a kilometre from shore I still had less than a  metre below the hull. I then pulled north towards Sandstone Point (map)   . .. before returning by navigating  close to the mangrove covered shore.

This was a test for the Gadget paddleski 'on the flat' . With no other extraneous factor impacting on performance the craft pulled better than I had expected from earlier excursions. I still suffered from old man's hips as I pulled through the water but I found I could relieve my stiffness by (surprize!) rising my backside to sit on the back rear rim of the 'cockpit'. You can paddle the paddleski like Lord Muck from on high -- but preferably not too far back as it will take in more water and slow you down as it sloshes about looking for the drainage holes it used to enter. 

I found that I could pull the craft into shallower depths than I expected. I ran aground somewhere just under 30-40 cm deep. This meant that I could navigate close into shore with the high tide and still dip my paddle in the water to drive forward motion.

However, after the tide turned I found myself  aground 300 metres from shore and had to drag the paddleski  through the shallower shallows  before then having to tuck it under my arm and carry  it over mud flats/sand banks so that I could make landfall. 

I expected this as the tide issue here  is a major complication for getting to and from the water. Nonetheless the Gadget's bulk was cumbersome tucked under my right arm and resting on my hip. I had to stop and rest occasionally. I ported it the last 100 metres from shore back to my bike cart on my head -- a canoeing portage standard --  but I don't recommend the activity as it is an 18 kgm helmet.

So all up I had to carry the craft 250 metres. It's do-able of you have to do it. But next time I'll make sure the cart is at the water's edge so that I can get some relief from the labour. 

It is also worth noting than any extra gear should be integrated into the same carrying ensemble unless you found some way to ergonomically lash it to the boat under your arm. For fishing I use an off-the-shoulder bag  transit is an all in one human package.

Check out my route (interactive)



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