We had some pretty nasty weather for a couple of weeks, high winds, then on to drizzle and rain. The weather broke and it was time to go do something!
I got big plans, which I’ll get into later, but what I need to do is to get used to my new (to me) kayak. I got my camping gear together and headed out into the bay for some night paddling, then to setup camp in the dark in a tough place. That place was the ParrotEyes Platform. This was to be just an overnight camp out so I can rediscover aspects of my camping gear that needs improvement and to get to be one with my boat.
I was a bit hungry as I started off and thought that would be a good thing, as I tend to sometimes get carried away with my goals and will paddle much farther than I had intended or was ready for, but today I was ready ….. for camping! My hunger would force me to head for camp before it got too late. The main mission of this day’s paddle was to evaluate my camping gear, find out what needs fine tuning and fix things now, vs having to just deal with them later, and later means who knows where I’ll be!
At sunset I was just about at the end of my road and I see my neighbors sitting on the seawall watching the sunset. I get them to take my first pics of me in my new boat and then paddle on. I figured that going up and back to Pier 19 would be good enough and I can paddle to the full moon as I headed for my campsite, the Parrot Eyes Platform.
I picked the Parrot Eyes Platform because I knew it would be difficult. We had a northeast wind kicking up and was getting cool. Also, with this boat, composite vs plastic, I’d have to be much more caring about the boat. A plastic boat I’d just haul up on to the deck of the platform, not so with a composite boat. First I had to tie off to the platform and my one bow line wasn’t enough. Then I had to get up and out of the boat. A kayak cockpit isn’t the easiest thing to get in and out of. Balance is needed getting in and out, but out is the hardest. Next I had to remove all my gear. It’s windy now, and my wing paddle is rolling around so I have to secure it so it won’t fly off into the water. Yes, I was near home, but it still wouldn’t be good to loose my paddle, not here, not anywhere! So I have to remove the bulk of the gear before I can haul the boat out. The wind is blowing stuff around, got to secure the gear and set up the tent. the next problem, just where am I to set up the tent? I have a freestanding tent so it doesn’t require stakes but I got to tie the front of the tent to something so it doesn’t want to blow away. There a cleat on the far side and it’s also on the windward side, perfect! Or so I thought, the wind on an open deck was playing hell with me setting the tent up, or at least keeping it down. The rainfly was a bigger pain, as for some reason it just didn’t seem to fit? Huh? This is the reason I like to test out my gear in nasty conditions, so I can id and iron out any problems like this. There was also a carpet on the deck, and it was wet, but was forced to set the tent according to where the cleat was. My old ground cloth idea of using two 55 gallon plastic trash bags wasn’t going to work in these conditions, I’d have to make a ground sheet that stays attached to the bottom of the tent. Until then I’d have to deal with the wet carpet making the floor of my tent damp.