Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it – no matter if I have said it! – except it agree with your own reason and your own common sense.” – Siddhartha Gautama, a.k.a. the Buddha


Lots of ‘coming apart’ out there

Scan around, look at the things we grew up with, and see whats holding its own,,,,

Like publishing houses, that actually have decent authors,,,  Oh, there are still some out there and I won’t list them by name; you have either heard of them or you haven’t,,,  But for the most part the publishing houses are burning down with WOKE crapitus, and people (like me, and others) are finding audiences in Self Publishing.  Granted there are tons of the less than talented crapwriters in self pubishing, but the mix is leaning toward talent.   Believe me, when I say I have read some truly craptastic writing in self pub,,,,   A few best left unnamed patriot writers who were able to convey ideas, but had zer talent for story development, or characters, or DIALOGUE,,,   and a plot that was verbatim between ALL of their examples; almost a boiiler plate plot with zero variation between examples.   It was taht sort of writing that inspired wings: come up with a different spin on ‘patriot’ and geeks,,,  and of course RC airplanes,,,,o

The Videeo of REN I embedded,,,  Another example of the old institutions faling.    Is his music my style?  Not really; the one video grabbed me because it reminded me of days where I have gone tooth and nail against my internal naysayer…  And there was the actual music side that grabbed my attention first.   I have since watched three others of his videos, and his guitar skills are in each.  His story-telling skills are there as well, but not really my style for relaxing and entertaining myself.   That he has talent is beyond question IMO, and I pray that he carries it forward, and while I wish him success, I pray he does not heed the sirens call of a label that will warp his talent for their profits without regard to what he is trying to teach people. (and his songs all have a message,,,),

Look around, you may have to lift some debris up to find it, but its out there.  The “Centralized” model of the world that was crammed down our throats since the peak of the Industrial Revolution is falling apart at the seams.  I see advertisements for schooling outside of the mainstream;  I am considering doing the tutoring thing here locally, be the subversive influence that some of my teachers were to me, sort of like.  

I have pointed out that you can find someone to teach you pretty much anything,,,  You can learn how to work on your own vehicles by checking on Utoob and other sites,,,  There are online diag guys that will help you walk through a problem, even send you copies of wiring diagrams and such (for a small fee,,,  )

Its free-market capitalism, and the usual ‘Buyer Beware’ applies, but its GROWING.   I know I can get on an app (don’t recall its name currently, but I have used it once before) where I can upload a CAD file and subcontract parts for it from various home workshops.  From Printed parts, to actually machined by hand stuff, and in quantity, and have it shipped to me for assembly.  There were even some that you could have all the parts sent to for that.  All you had to do was figure out where and how to market it (Zon, Etsy, Eevulbay,, etc)  uy

I think this ‘trend’ has a large part of why the “EELeets” are shitting their pants, beside the fact that they have raped the system to a hollow shell, and eventually, IF THEY DON’T BURN IT DOWN,,, the evidence will percolate to the surface and there will be a different piper calling the tune,,,

I keep saying ‘get skills’ as one of your preps, and being able to teach a skill IS a skill.   Being able to teach someone to read or write (handwriting, legibly,,,, )

We just need to start shucking the whole system that has been to the side, and take back control of our local worlds.   The more that wake up to the hazards of following the SIrens call of BigGov, the better the ‘shadow realm’ becomes, until the shadow realm IS the reality, and the BigGov is a screeching ghost of itself, that we can sweep up into the dustbin of history.

Key things we need to keep alive,,, Some form of currency, prerably with ‘real money’ attached to it,, And viable internet. The Net has been the key component to the last 20 years,,, and is the key to how quickly ideas can be evolved amongst people. (like this whole ChatGPT thing,,, that so many were freaking out about, yet in less than two months has shown its just a really talented bear, dancing for our entertainment, but NOT intelligent,,,,)

More tomorrow,,, beware the Stobor,,,,


Why so serious?

Because no else is gonna take me seriously, ya?

Then again, I can’t take myself TOO seriously either or things could get pretty ugly: that whole INTJ thing, with the last “Thinking” and “Judgmental” being the operative words.   I think the Introvert and iNtuitive side keep the other two in check to some degree, at least on the societal end of things.  At a personal level I feel they feed the OCD side that the last two induce in me. Been more than a few times I have fallen DEEP into some task and days have gone by and meals not ate,,,   Happens frequently enough that keeping my weight down isn’t as much of a fight as it could be: though maintaining a healthy diet can be problematic (because I will stave off munchies with total crap just to give the hands and mouth something to do and keep out of the way.)

And I have to watch myself closely.    example.  Recent forays into the world via the window of Utoob,,,  You know where I mean, and in this case is the exposure to the efforts of Mark Ervin, his Reverse the Bad tour of the Greater Loop (good name by the way Mark)

The desire to get out there and start doing that very same thing became STRONG, QUICKLY.   It rolls right up my alley as something I want to do before my days are done.    AH, but that’s the catch and the part that IRKS the Judgmental side of me.   And where I start saying “Ok, step back, let it sit a week and see where the feelz sit then”.  I must do this often on many things.   I have a very addictive personality and things can sweep me up in a whirlwind before I realize that I should be hugging terrafirma,,,   And why I am so cautious getting into relationships.  I have had more than one whirlwind romance that fizzled like a wet firecracker.  (and I have a boat named after one of them,,,LOL)

SO, Do I truly want to do the Great Loop?   (not the Greater Loop that Mark is doing, but up the Hudson to Erie skipping the Nova Scotia route)


But not RIGHT NOW.  and thats the whirlwind I must fight.

There are plans that need to be made for something of that magnitude.  Arrangements of things, FINANCING because food isn’t free as just a start, plus there are equipment needs that must be met (and while I have quite a kit, I do not have all I would need, LIke a VHF radio to comm with other craft and Locks. and it must be handheld, waterproof, FLOAT, and easily recharged by means I have yet to acquire as well.   One thing leads to another,,,,)

Then there is the “personal reasons” things.   Is this something I want to do just to say I had done it (usually a bad decision,,, just sayin’) OR do I want it to mean something bigger than just me?   Mark’s journey has a purpose beyond just doing the deed, and it shows how dedicated he is at that purpose by his interviews and interactions.

Another side of it, Am I ready PHYSICALLY?    OH to the hell NO!!!   Could I paddle a 50 km day?   Yes.  right now, yes.   Could I do it 6-7 days a week for 52 weeks?  ummmmmm,,,,,,,,,,   Probably not,,,,   BUT, that’s a ‘Yet’ statement as well.    I have done 37 miles in one day, but we sort of cheated.  It was during a dam release, and while we kept ‘outrunning the bubble’ of the release, it did give us a boost.   Even then, my arms were wet noodles by the time we hit the takeout.   (37 miles is 59 klicks.).  I can paddle a three-and-a-half mile-per-hour pace for hours on end, and that is also boat-dependent.  That three point five is in BJ, I am certain it will higher in Lizzy, who has a higher hull speed and MUCH smoother finish on said hull.   

As for the mental side of it,,,,,   I’m an introvert: we live in our heads more than we live in reality, so spending days, with little to no interaction with others is not that much a hardship.  I have found my limits on it while living in Texas, and how I came to share orbits with Voodoo, but that limit is measured in MONTHS, not days or hours like some people I know.  (and some people that orbit me (like Haley’s comet orbits our sun) can’t go 1 minute without getting a little unhinged.  They can’t handle the noise of their own minds.  You’ll know them by asking them to sit silently for five minutes.  In sixty seconds they are squirming like a 2-year-old after a sugar binge.) 

Now, some of what I would need is already in place, like this blog, a way of connecting to the internet anywhere I am, a majority of the gear I would need,   BUT, to attract those interested would require more effort on my part, and likely going the whole Utoob route like Mark did.   Driving donations, not just to whatever charities I decided to push for, but to myself as well (and I WOULD donate what donations I didn’t need to one of, or split between whatever charities I chose when it was all said and done.). yeah, more work to figure out, and that can wait until I decide when/how/what, IF I ever do.

And there might even be an option of writing about it, book form, after the fact.   People DO still read, (even though there is the question as to HOW MANY actually do these days, seeing the ubiquitous nature of video sites and the traffic they generate vs a written word site.

SO, fortunately for me, Mark is taking the Christmas holidays off from paddling.   He is visiting his father in Canada for them, and will get back to paddling after the New Year.   I have a chance to set things aside and see how I feel about them further down the road without feeding more fuel to the beast,   

And in two weeks, this may dilute down to the simple “bucket list entry”    

NOW, that’s not to say I don’t want to do an extended paddle with camping involved, A majority of my purchases the last year have been for camping equipment, and boats, so the desire to do that is much longer lived than the recent ‘oh, oh, OH,!!!” of doing a year-long paddle around the eastern half of the U.S.  My getting into kayaks spurred that dream from the get-go, and I have always looked for boats that can carry gear (with the exception of the WW boats, and also one reason why I struggle adjusting to them: they don’t fit the profile in my head,,,).  I was disappointed in Lizzy on that note, even going so far as finding and downloading the trip notes of the expedition she was designed FOR (the NORDKAPP expedition, 1975).  The paddlers of that trip noted how hard it was to stow gear, so I don’t feel so bad in my assessment.   BUT, long-distance kayaking has always been in the mix for me: this isn’t a new obsession, just a variation of a theme.

(funny note, Mark and I almost share a birthday, with him being 10 years and 364 days older than me. I found that hilarious when it came up on his Vlog.)

So why all the fuss

about an ergometer???

Many reasons,  but the most important is conditioning.  Conditioning my muscle memory to use proper form when paddling.  Since I am not worried about actually moving a boat in the water, I can focus on form a bit more.  The wobble board conditions me for how my movements will effect the balance of the boat.  I have found I brace if I get a little to far over one side or the other, and its becoming automatic, almost reflexive (maybe thats why they call it a ‘reflexive brace’, hmmm, may have something there,,,  DUH!!!   lol)

Conditioning for distance, and since this thing goes no where, time is how I am conditioning there.   Set a time period to ‘paddle’ and how I adjust the tensioner makes a difference too.  Usual incremental build up on time, adjust tensioner same way: build up and push limits.

I WILL be ready for this coming season, even if I can’t get out on actual water very often.   While that may not have won the last race I was in, I do feel I would have seen a much tighter second place than I did.   Then again, maybe it was hull designs in competition then, not just paddlers: seeing how he steadily pulled ahead of me the entire race,,,  Dunno, but I do know I was not conditioned for race and felt every pull on that paddle the next few days.

Now, the pulling the rabbit out of a hat and fixing Buffalo and NOT ding my work schedule.   Yah, I could have started pulling her apart today, but something told me, hold off, use the coming weekend to do it all.  A three day weekend, I should be able to get, if not finished, on the last legs of such, and if that happens,,,,   Whelp, the J.O.B. gets a call and I take whatever time out I need to get finished, and will work out the details of what needs paid and how much after the fact.   The fact that I usually double(or more) the minimum payment, gives me some flexibility in budgeting, though I bite the bit when I get pinched enough that I am forced to do the min.   Doesn’t happen very often, at least it DIDN’T happen very often, but with the way things have been going with inflation, and decreasing hours due to slow-down,,,, A slow-down I might add, in part due to other people feeling the pinch and tightening purse strings,,,,    

Makes you wonder if the WonderEconomists at the Fed even have a clue how things work.   OR, if they do know and this is malicious intent on their part (which would fall in line with the ‘great reset’ the schwabbies and davos crowds keep crowing about.)

ok, back to the ergometer for a minute, still in line with the ‘feeling the pinch’ thing.   Doing this, I figured some stuff out that wasn’t very clear in the videos or the plans I purchased from some dood in Ontario. ($7.04 USD).   SOooossss,,,,   I have been taking mad pictures, measurements, detailing certain sections, like that tensioner ( it uses all of the parts from the original machine with only one replacement part, the wood guide.).  I am heavily detailing making the ellipse wobbles.   I had the original cobbled up wobble board with a simple arc and it was highly unstable: the ellipse is still spritely, but reacts much closer to how a boat does as it approaches its ‘secondary stability’.   Yeah, I plan on posting up the plans for sale on another page here, and possibly (really should, but need vid editing software and,,,) making video of it in action, and detailed vids of some of the details (also part of the sale package, but need to research how to do that without using Utoob,,,)

I don’t expect to make a lot off of it, but a little something is better than nothing, AND, as Bruce said, there may be a way to turn this into something a little more lucrative in the local paddling community.     (and my next one will be even better, as I figure out whats working, what didn’t, and how to streamline the process.  Those ellipses are tricky!!!)

Ya know, B and I joke often enough “If I could find some way of getting paid for doing this, ” while we are out paddling around.    Too old to chase the whitewater scene like Dane Jackson, but the Sea-kayaking thing,,,   Hell, look at the graybeards in some of the Autumn Gales videos,,,  Sea-kayaking seems to attract the higher age ranges.  And I look in the mirror and see WHITE bearded me,,,,   running about 50% white on the top too,,,   Ain’t gettin’ no younger.

And if I could get paid for it,,,,, 

Mi vida loca

Man, if there was a way to get something completely F!ed up, I found at least one alternate version today.   Even managed to cut the cables to my solar panels while I was out shaving the rocks in my Minefield/obstacle course that is loosely called “the yard”.  

Easy enough fix, but dang-it!!!, I know I buried those daggum things when I put the panels on a rack. (formerly installed on roof. NOTE: do NOT do that.  Bad bad Juju happens to people that do that!!!). and I know it because there was fresh dirt where the mower grabbed them and pulled the remainder out of that trench.   That’s part of the problem living on this hill.  Nothing stays buried.  Rocks grow better than weeds, and the weeds grow better than anything that resembles ‘grass’.  Every spring, my liitle rock retaining wall grows a little bigger  as I add rocks to it as they pop up in front of and underneath the mower.   I replace the blades on the mower at least once a year.  Twice last year as I broke both.  Amazingly, I didn’t destroy the engine.

In about 20 years of annual mowing, this yard may become civilized.   Sure as heck isn’t right now.  Maybe I just need a herd of sheep to keep it trimmed,,,,

Sorry for the lack of posting lately, I just needed to take a break from things.  I didn’t even take the phone to work with me on Monday.  Left it here at the house and reveled in the peace of mind that settled in without the deluge of email notices, and other things.   

As was quoted of John Ross, RIP, talking about his sequel to Unintended Consequences: He said that he hadn’t been able to finish the book because the FRAUD kept giving him new material every morning.   I know exactly how he felt: I have the same problem coming up in the sequel to Wings for that very same reason.  I guess I should have written the whole thing further into the future or just ignored ‘current events’ while writing the original, but now I feel like I am locked into using our ‘history’ as it unfolds, and the FRAUD just keeps piling on more crap.  Even when you think things can’t get any stranger, they dump a shovel load of “WTF?” on and turn the valve open just a little further.


Ok, Confession time.  I am HIGHLY distracted right now, and it has NOTHING, absolutely NOTHING, to do with world events or any of that. My distraction explains why I am having little “oops” factors popping up on me too.   Nopes, I found another deal of the century in kayaky goodness, and I am trying my dangedest to make the connections that make it MINE!!!!    Don’t want to go into too many details, like make and model, or what not, but I can tell you it is a legitimate Seakayak, 17′ long, and honest to Dawg fiberglass construction.   Need some TLC, but from everything I can see in the pictures i have of it, the TLC is outfitting only.  The glass appears ‘factory fresh’, and I can see that the skeg is in working order.   So, new deck lines, possibly new hatch covers ( most likely) and I would have a ship-shape seakayak for a tenth of the price of a new one.  No, I am not kidding, ONE. TENTH. 818d4c31065b7acc8e9786747b21b6d1(not the exact version, but a good example.)

yup, its eating me alive trying to figure out how to get tab A into slot B and make all of this happen.  So, apologies to you all for my lack of focus on the bloggy stuff.  

Follow up on Oofff!!!

Hate to say it but the medal was kind of a “Gimme”; There were only two of us in that class. So, last place, woohooo… With that up front, it was competitive. I never lost sight of the other paddler, but he was running a home built Night Heron Design which Nick Schade came up with to improve on the Greenland Inuit designs. Hull speed is about 3/4 mph faster than mine and it showed. I never lost sight of him, but he continually pulled ahead of me and by the end of the race, had near a half mile lead on me. Neither of us EVER stopped paddling (other than to grab some water ’cause that wind was drying everyone out. Dry enough that you couldn’t spit!) and he was using a Wing Paddle where I was using my Greenland. There is a performance difference, but I am still impressed that a GP can still compete with a Wing: maybe not beat it, but it will give it a run for its money. Considering the GP was designed by primitive peoples using anthropomorphic measurements, and the Wings are computer designed high tech paddles, I think that says more about “human ingenuity” than mere words here can express.

And there were participation awards as well, but In this case I ain’t giving the promoters any shit about it. Just showing up at the finish line was a challenge and a half!!! There was a kickin’ wind coming out of the west, straight into our faces for the return trip and getting through that was no fun. Cooling, as the splash from the paddles kept the quickly drying sweat washed off the face, but damn!!! what a battle heading up-wind.

Selkie did frigging PERFECT. No splash off the bow!!! She just sliced right in and didn’t matter if it was glass flat or chop or wave sets. Chop did nothing against performance while wave sets played with her stern a bit, and she did surf a wave face or three. Not much, but enough to give the old dude at the paddle a momentary respite, and a small ‘turbo boost’.

What needs changed though? 6.5 miles will tell you something about your design that “isn’t quite right”. In my case, its the bulkhead footrest I came up with. It worked, worked well, but the angle is ALL OFF. My heels went numb fairly early, and I started shifting around trying to make them comfortable and that put the strain on other parts and by the end of the race, I felt like I had a hole bored into my left asscheek. Nothing wrong with my seat pad, it was all about the footrest and that is easy enough to fix.

Even though I felt stiff and unstable for the first mile, that wasn’t ‘a boat issue’: that was a “I’m in need of seat time” issue, and by the end of the first mile, my hips had loosened up and my mind put into ‘sea-legs’ mode and I was fine. Wave-sets off the rear quarter didn’t goose me after that first mile like they did when I started out, and I was paddling smoother with each hundred yards traveled; not the epileptic seizure splash and churn that I started with. I really needed to get A LOT more seat time in before this race, but is what it is, and now I have my mind conditioned for the rest of the paddle season.

B, the indomitable, stubborn persistent bullish paddler he is, came across the line last of the entire group. He had done the long distance run so had to do two laps to my one, and that wind was kickin’ EVERYONES ass. Even the surfski’s were looking rather dogged out when they crossed the line at the last. B was in a Perception Vizcaya (yeah, the blue one I used to own.) and while its a great little recreational boat, B (and meself vicariously) found it ‘It ain’t no race boat’. Great hull design for shallow waters where you want to ride over debris and what not, but seeing the double wake pattern along its gunwales tells me it creates its own drag.* You are fighting the boat to move forward at anything over ‘mild cruise’ (3-4mph). if you go for higher, you have to double your efforts to hold it and that wears you down. B did that for 13 miles of open water, 6.5 of which was in a head wind of at least 8mph with gusting up to 25.

And this was the first big paddle of the season. Wooofffff!!!!

T, bullheaded and stubborn herself, chose to do the same lap as I did, but she did it in her Duck; An inflatable whitewater ‘kayak’. She fought probably twice as hard as B and I did because she was still set up for whitewater, not flat water and the bow of her Duck kept trying to fly off the water when she was headed into the wind. I watched her crossing the bay towards the finish line and a halfway serious gust would lift the front and turn her boat ninety degrees to her heading, and she would have to fight to correct it. She paddled half the race from the kneeling position to keep her weight forward and stop that, but that’s a very hard position to paddle in if you don’t have the ‘saddle’ for it. She did finish, and I could hear the exhaustion in her voice while talking to her afterwards.

That fight she had was why I am saying not giving the promoter shit for the participation awards. Just crossing the finish line yesterday was a challenge and those that did, deserve something ‘just for showing up to the fight’.

Damned good day out, and I mentioned to B that I hadn’t felt this relaxed since around August of last year. I need to get out to the Church of the Two Bladed Paddle a whole lot more often. The world seems brighter today for it.

* In comparison, in Selkie, I didn’t see the first wake wave until well near my cockpit, while moving at nearly 5mph. And it was a lot smaller than the wave the Viz was making: it never rose to the gunwales like what I saw on the Viz. No way to change the design of his boat, but I am certain he will keep in mind what its capable of, and more importantly what it is NOT capable of, in the future.


As I said yesterday, it was time to take the kayak formerly known as Serena out for the very first float. In this time loop, I missed a full two months of water time: the first go-round, Serena had her first float the day before Turkey day. This round, I didn’t even have the skin on the boat until after the New Year roll over. Reasons, but I finally managed to do the deed.

No pictures. The water was 40° and I was dressed for such and since I was alone, decided to forego any distractions like GPS, Phone, extra paddle, paddle float and bilge pump. Just an easy little paddle around the bay of one of my regular put-ins. The wind was kicking HARD and I didn’t want to get out on open water, solo, in a new to me boat. Prudent too, because at one point the wind picked up and I could see the wake pattern shift as the boat was pushed laterally while moving forward. Interesting aspect, she did not weathercock: she held her heading even though she was being pushed sideways. No meed for a skeg on this girl!!! She is completely weather neutral. (No ‘good’waves so I dont know how she handles chop other than the frog ripples kicked up in the bay. Those don’t even register anymore.)

But her new name is SELKIE. And I am IMPRESSED. Great initial stability, solid wall secondary, even though she rides an inch higher in the water than Serena did. Easy hip snaps(though I didnt try a roll yet), perfect tracking even in wind, a little edge and she turns fast,and. FAST. Two or three good strokes of the blades and she is moving quick from a standing start. A couple more and she is cruising and then easy peasy maintain momentum strokes. No GPS so dont know what cruise is, but from experiance, I’d say 4.3 is close. And she holds it with so little effort, I could paddle all day and still be energized at the tail end.

Oh, and that hard decked cockpit? Frickin AWESOME. Control is rock solid with those thighbraces in there, and the adjustable footplate I made worked perfectly. (Tempted to find a ratchet system from an old IR reggie backband and improve what I have, but no rush)

She is gonna live on the truck now and gear will stay there as well. I intend on paddling at least once a week for the rest of the year. My drytop and other gear did just fine while trying my hipsnaps ▪︎(cold head but I do have just didn’t use, a neoprene hood.) My reactor Pogies always blow my mind at how warm they keep the forefeet, even when dipping them in 40°water repeatedly. So cold weather ain’tagonnabe a show stopper anymore.

(I promise action pics/vid soonest, just not this time)

▪︎ there was some leakage around the cockpit while hip snapping. I think, dunno for certain, that my spray skirt was not seated properly behind me. But the end amount of water in the boat was less than a 16oz bottle worth so I am not overly concerned with it.

ya might be addicted,,,

Slow day.  bored kittehs cuz it’s far too cold for bare paws to go outside for very long.  No need to make booties for them, they wouldn’t wear ’em anyways and I like my skin intact: ever tried to force a kat into doing something for its own good that it thought otherwise of?    


Ya might be addicted,,,

Yah, I might be.  

Yesterday eve, chatting with B about life the universe and kayaking, I brought all my cold water gear inside from the truck and was going through things.  Mostly to make sure I have it all together, but also to make sure gaskets and seams were still functional.   Decided to do a little testing of a sort: I doffed my street duds and climbed into all that gear.  Quick-dry long-sleeve undershirt, long sleeve fleece top, fleece vest.  5 mm wetsuit bottoms and dive boots.  Then the dry top.  Gaskets feeling a little sticky so I 303’ed them and donned that ‘straight jacket’.   Slide into the sprayskirt and sealed the double tunnel of the top to it.  (part under the skirt, part over it) then the PFD just because I am doing ‘a test’.   I am actually getting sweaty at this point.   Then, out onto the porch with a good book.  

It was 22 degrees out there and I always have a pretty decent breeze blowing off the hills. Wind chill is closer to 8 degrees.  Full (semi) dry gear and a breeze and I was out there for over an hour doing jack shit and the only thing that the cold managed to get, was my NOSE.   I never felt the cold air except on bare skin.   When I paddle in the cold, I add a neoprene dive hood but I didn’t need that to stay warm.  I think if I had worn it, I would have been sweating buckets under all that gear.   As for the handwear, I used to use gloves or mittens, but since I bought my pogies, I don’t bother.  My hands stay plenty warm even wet with the pogies.  Not the top of the line type, but they are neoprene with the ‘reactor’ fleece liner.   If its above 40 degrees, your hands WILL sweat in them.  (they were not a part of this test since I do know what they can do, and they stay fixed to the paddle in any case.   Hard to read a book with your hands incased in pogies.)

Now, I know that this isn’t the best test of my gear, and that I need to get things wet to really KNOW what it can handle, but I have done that in the past, just not down to the temperatures we had today.   I still won’t paddle in this crap without a wingman; Too easy for things to go sideways.  But I feel that what I have will work well enough, especially if I stay IN the boat and not pop that skirt.   I know the drytop will keep me completely dry so long as that skirt stays on the cockpit.

No, I am not suffering from kayak withdrawal or anything ;-P.   

My biggest worry with this test was Grizz.   I had to keep his attention off of me to keep those sharp meathooks away from a $300 drytop.   One little hole and the term is bunk.   It may not leak much, but the idea is for it to not leak AT ALL.  It’s why it has heavy rubber gaskets at the neck and wrists.   I know it doesn’t leak at those points from rolling Ghost while wearing it.   The only part that is gonna leak is around the waist IF immersed, and why I want to stay in the boat when the water starts trying to make like a solid.

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Won’t get that rough here, but that water is just as cold as it can get without going full solid.Img 0830

No kayaking THERE eh?

BUT, that test made me want to go out even more but reinforced that I REALLY REALLY WANT SPRING TO HURRY ITS ASS UP!!!.

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I hate feeling like I am getting ready for a shuttle launch just to go paddling.   Much rather this type of weather and after paddle event.

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come on SPRING!!!!! Wants away for a couple days,,,,

Not happy

Sorry for the lack of posting, been busy, its cold, and days are short, so I squeeze in what I can while I can.  Staying up on the latest outrage of the FRAUD is at the low end of that list (but I do keep a weather ear out for sudden shifts in tyranny to make sure I am not caught broadside)

Trying something a little different with the kayak.  Its not new; others have done it and reported good results, but I am not happy with what I am seeing.   Ok, gotta bring y’all up to speed here.  In both Serena and Duh!kee, I used a two part polyurethane system from Spirit-line.   Good results, but it can be finicky about repairs and re-finish.   Most people just ‘deal’ until such time as its time to re-skin.   Well, this time around I chose to go with regular spar varnish and pigment it like I do the two-part (very successfully at that).   


It soaks into the fabric very well, maybe better than the two part stuff does (less solids, more carrier solvents).  and it takes pigment pretty well too: nothing separating out when it gets on the fabric.   BUT,,   That finish is totally lacking any luster or appeal.   Its a smooth satin and I had to double check to make sure I hadn’t picked up a satin varnish ( ( didn’t, its high gloss).    It looks ‘Okay’, but it certainly lacks the ‘POP!” that the two part gave to Serena.   


And I am to far along and committed to a system to make the change to the other.   Heck, once that first line of coating went on, I was committed with no recourse for correction.   
But I will not be using it again.   

And I already told myself “Self, you shoulda tried it on a peice of scrap FIRST”.   Self responded that at the price I am paying for spar varnish, I was committed to the system and a test strip would have done little to my resolve.  Both selves are right.   I would have found a use for the spar varnish elsewhere, but at $18/qt and I bought a gallon, I was determined to use the crap on this boat.    Should’ve stuck to ‘tried and true’.   Live and learn, and I did learn and won’t be repeating this little screw-up.

Honestly, it looks like I painted the hull with a satin house paint, not varnish.   Blech!!!  

On other fronts, I have a 2 gallon pot of chicken parts stewing on the woodstove, and will be adding my dumplings in tomorrow after I skim out all the bones and other inedible parts.  That will keep me fat and happy for a week.   And the Kittehs are digging on the ‘other parts’ that they were given.   Grizz is especially fond of the livers and did something out of character for him: He growled at Mamakat when she went sniffing at his share.

It’s winter, chicken n dumplin’s are winter food and after a week of Chili, I needed a change-up.   (but DAMN that last bowl of Chili was EX-SEE-LANT!!!).  

May have a winter paddle forthcoming with B.   Watching weather and if things look stable, we are planning on a day trip out in the frosty cold waters of somewhere here local.   Maybe my fugly boat will get to make her first trip.   Even though the ‘paint job’ is shitte, there were a lot of cool features added in that I really want to try out.  That hard deck, the bulkhead foot brace and a slight shift in the hull design.   Yeah, I should make one change, try it out then incorporate it into another boat with another change: thats proper protocol when doing things like this, but then, I am anything but a proper kayak designer.   I figure if any one of the changes is bad, I will know right up front seeing how this is ‘almost’ the same boat that I started with.  (same length and beam, new ribs but same profile other than less rocker, which is a change I do know the results of.)

Ok, Grizz figured out I am seated and not moving, so its lap time for him.   I’ll post more soon.

addled mind, addled day

I really need to start working on a full time internet access point here at the homestead. I sat down to write no less than four posts today, and the lack of internet access ruffled my feathers enough that I just gave up. Its later in the day and the signals have settled down enough that I can now write,


Certainly not any of the posts that I tried to write earlier since they were blown out of the water before leaving the dock,,,


I wasn’t sitting on my duff doing nuttin’ all day. Been quite busy as you will see. I had that coaming about 2/5ths done last night, and today was spent ‘putting the polish’ on it. Mostly warping wood so that it followed curves.

This isn’t so much woodworking as sculpting. Each piece glued into place, then rough shaped with a flap-disc, a non-orbital sander to follow up and knock down the rough marks, followed by hand sanding of three grits to get baby butt smooth. I even went over it with some double aught steel wool to get that silky feeling to the final surface before a light wetting down with water. Another round with the steel wool when that was dry, wipe down with a dry cloth, and ready for varnish. I am not going to forget that lesson of needing a middle-man with fiberglass/resin.

I even put two of my skirts on it to make sure things were good to go. The XL deck skirt fit best, but the L deck went on too, with only a little bit of a fight.

And here she is in all her glory with linseed oil soaked frame and hard-deck coaming under varnish. I will do the glass later this weekend, or even over the Christmas break (between family events).

I just noticed that there is a plethora of dust on that gunwale and it looks ‘dry’. It isn’t, just looks that way with all the dust on top. Wiped down, it is just as dark as the fore gunwale.

Glass, final coat of varnish when that is cured and sanded, then SKIN TIME.

Ordered my two-part but it looks like it won’t be shipped till after Christmas. That means that I may not have this kayak finished until sometime in the New Year. Depends on when I get that goop. Skinning it won’t be that rough, but I don’t want the skin sitting there getting dirt on it while waiting either. It will be a situation of skin it, shrink it, and goop it up as fast as possible. Don’t want any fish-eyes in this skin like Serena had. (no one ever said anything about them to me, but I saw them EVERY DANGED TIME I was around that boat. kind of irritating.)(and with kittehs running rampant and bored by foul weather, even the best efforts would end up with dirt and gunk on it if I let it sit around for more than 5 minutes. That was my biggest problem making that coaming: Grizz kept wanting to help and with Cyanoacrylate, that was NOT going to be a good thing. yeah, I used quite a bit of superglue putting that coaming together. Better that then the alternative of wood glue and needing days to set up. The bond is tougher than the surrounding wood and I ‘filletted’ the joints with sanding dust to add strength. I can pick up the kayak by the lip and not hear any creaking or warnings of something about to give: She is TOUGH.)

It’s getting dark out there now, and supposedly the temps are going into the basement tonight. (cloud cover usually keeps them steady, but the forecast is near freezing by daybreak. Lovely,,,,). SO, I need to start getting the wood stove ready, just in case. (if temps hover over 45, I leave it alone and dress accordingly, otherwise, I am opening every door and window by 3am to cool the house down and not kill pets or myself.) and now you know where all those little end-cuts and shavings and what not that happen when building a kayak go to (and why I prefer building them at this time of year, besides the fact that the water is witches teat cold,,,)

More tomorrow as I catch up and maybe one or two of those blasted out of the water posts will make a come-back.

Its the details that kill ya

Alternate title: Sunday’s a bust

Spent lots of time energy and resources setting up the cockpit deck on my kayak.  The resources being the fiberglass and resin more than the wood.  The wood in this case is fine, but little details that I didn’t know, caught me, bit my ass and wasted a several hours of my time and more than a little of my working capital in wasted resources.

I had the kayak in the rafters of the house last night to help with the cure of the fiberglass and the linseed oil I had soaked the frame in.  The linseed oil did its thing, and the glass did something else entirely.  Oh, it cured, cured good and hard too.  But this morning when I took it out, that deck looked as wrinkly as the surface of a peach pit.  NOT the surface I was shooting for to say the least.   SO, dive into the nets and see if there is something I did, didn’t or need to do.  Five minutes of research and I hit the ‘FacePalm’ moment. 

First order of business is to get all of that resin and glass off the deck.  (interestingly enough, the interior side where i used the Matte, did just fine, and I will tell why as this goes along). Bust out the scaper to get the bigger chunks and keep my glass dust to as low as possible.  Then the sander with 40 grit pads to get the rest.  Gotta take it all the way down to the wood.   Two hours later and several discs of paper, back to ground zero.

So what detail did i miss?  Seems that wood and resin are not completely copasetic in bonding; they need a middleman so to speak.   That middleman is varnish: Varnish loves wood and soaks in creating a mechanical bond to the wood.  Resin loves varnish and ‘mates’ with it to create a chemical bond (stronger). But resin is a larger polymer and can’t absorb into the wood the way the varnish does.  Additionally, the resin “gasses off’ and that is what caused the wrinkles, gasses under the glass and the outer surface had cured already so couldn’t vent.

So why did my matte work where the fabric didn’t?  Rough surfaces.   I didn’t do much prep on the inner side of the wood since it won’t be seen and there were lots of saw marks, grooves and what not that the resin could get into to make a bond.   I also used more hardener in it to speed up the cure since it was getting cold and I didn’t want to fart around too much.  With the matte being thicker, was able to hold the heat from the reaction better, so cured cleaner, inside to out versus what the fabric side did.

The deck is all sanded now, minimal traces of the old resin (mostly in the joints where the wood comes together.  it stuck very well to the glues in the joints) but the whole deck is flat and smooth as a babies butt now.   One heavy coat of spar varnish on it and its sitting in the sun letting  the heat of daylight drive that varnish into the surface.   

I did not know that little detail of the varnish middleman or I would have done that first off.   Its those little details that will kill you.

So was it a wasted weekend?  Not at all; I revel in my failures as they are the BEST teachers. (so long as they don’t kill ya that is). This is not a mistake I will make again, EVER.    So I may be out a little cash on materials, (not in the budget this week, what with a truck in the shop and hours being down,,,   I’ll make it happen though.) But my knowledge has grown, and I consider the price paid a minor tuition in the school of hard knocks and busted knuckles.

It’s time to go off and do my domestic duties for the week, Not much I can do on the kayak until that varnish cures, and I need to pick up more glass and resin anyways.   Just a little wrinkle in my time loop this round, one that tells me this one has been completely re-written for something better.  Looking at the lines of the boat as she sits in the horses all ‘nekid’ without a skin, I see a sleek torpedo of a boat: My itch to get on water will have to wait till she is complete.

More later, probably about the cannibal feast I am witnessing in the EneMedia, with links to others seeing similar.   

Sunday ‘Git-r-dun’! apologies for late post

Been busier than I could express on this end.  Between the domestic duties thing, laundry, straighten up after a four day weekend of running hells-bells all over SE-KY, and ‘Oh yeah, there’s a kayak frame on my porch’ realizations,,,,

While doing the laundry, I cleaned up those parts I cut out on Wednesday, drilled alignment holes and ran both through a belt sander to get the edges lined up to perfect match.  (yeah, redneck machining trick 101).  Later on, Dad and I went to my Uncles place for lie-swapping and cowboy coffee (that shit WILL make you hair stand on end!!!).  He has a  48” Bench Brake and I was able to get a perfect bend in those two parts as needed.  Pics will be posted, just not today since I haven’t the band width to upload those files here on the hill.   

Get home, loaded my side porch with a couple loads of Cherrywood that has been seasoning for about three years.  My dad is trying to clear out his wood shed of the dead weight to clear space for all of this pin-oak he picked up the past couple of weeks.   No worries, I have no issues taking what he doesn’t want.  Makes what i have in my shed last that much longer and the way this year has started; every little bit is gonna be needed IMO.   And I kept tripping over that kayak frame on the main porch,,,,   Load up an armload of wood stack it, go in for something, and start noodling on the kayak,   “oh yeah, I gotta finish putting wood up”.  Back to loading wood,   noodle with the kayak, load wood, re-think what I was gonna do on the kayak, clean the stove out and start a new fire, sharpen my chisel so I can get clean cuts on the kayak,,,

You get the picture. Some days I multi-task pretty well, and not even realize it.   Sitting here, I look at all the stuff that I did get accomplished and swear to you I didn’t even TRY,,,  

She is almost ready for skin.  Setting up the deck stringers and that will be done shortly since I only need 4 small spacer blocks to finish that off. and she will be ready for skin.(but not today, the sun is gone and its getting colder than I care for out there.)


Still don’t have that coaming finished yet.   

Still looking for a donor’Yak for a cockpit I can use as a mold, and if I don’t see one soon, I am gonna break down and buy some marine grade plywood and go that route.   Skin is here and waiting on me, Dope is on its way and will likely be here before I am ready for it (but thats a plus.).   LOL,   funny how I ‘compromised’ and said I wasn’t going to cut that skin off until I had a coaming DONE, and here I am almost ready for new skin and still don’ t have that coaming.   Yah, I can be obstinate even with myself.

One thing I did that wasn’t ‘constructive’ was taking her off the cradles, putting her on the floor and sitting in her.  I wanted to finalize where my feet will be so I could set up the footpegs/sliding bulkhead (leaning towards a bulkhead setup)   She is gonna be a torpedo.   No rocker until you get past my ass and then it is very slight, maybe 2”.  She is gonna cut the water like a knife with very little wake.  The chisel point bow is going to slice waves instead of trying to climb them so she will be fast even in choppy water.   and there is just enough v-hull that edging should make her maneuverable without needing a rudder.   The shape is definitely ‘Swede form’ at the waterline so no need for a rudder to control tracking.(that may be partially true,  Wind may indicate need of a skeg or rudder, but until I have her out I won’t know if she is weather helmed or neutral, No/near zero rocker, she may be neutral in that aspect). 

Numbers that I can say for certain right now. Length 16’2” Beam 23”.   Loaded waterline 15’10” Beam @WL 20”.  Not as long as a surfski, but no wider than one, She won’t be much of a river-runner, but open water; she is gonna be a Barracuda.    Search for ‘barracuda attack’ on UToob and see what I mean.   And I THINK she will be much more stable than Duh!kee is.  More near flat hull where Duh!k has a sharp V almost her whole length.  The only time Duh!k feels stable to me is when the water is trying to stand up, and I don’t get out in storm waters often enough to need that “Bobber” attitude.

Working on a post for the AM, gonna have several links for ya: HIGHLY recommend you follow them, forward them to others and try to spread messages.  Kind of a “Make these Viral” bleg.  Look for that tomorrow.   Don’t want to put anything in this post on those lines for ‘reasons’,  you understand when you see them.

More tomorrow, stay tuned for that.   

kayaky NOPES mehbes, and oh-sh!t-yeahs

First up, NO, I am not letting the world at large slow me up in my personal endeavors, and neither should you.   I may get the depressions, blahs and what not, but I am not going to stop being ME, just because there are evil shits loose in the world that aim to make us serfs, slaves or DEAD.  

and with that little rant out of the way, onward to the point of this post in general.  

been doing the experimentin’ things, and was quite pleased with one in particular, nut just this morning, figured out that its a damned NOPE!!!

What that experiment entailed was trying to find a different material combination to make this kayak skin out of.   Materials in question, Ballistic nylon (known unit) Polypropylene cloth (unknown), combined with Two part Polyurethane,(well known) and polystyrene resin (known unknown) and combinations there-of.   Ballistic nylon and Polystyrene, rocking for coamings and other hard points, SUCKS for skin.   the resin doesn’t flex like it did early in the experiment process.  It now cracks, and cracks mean leaks.   A leaky boat is not my goal.   the two part is the way to go no matter what cloth I use, and the BN for making the hard points (vs the glass since its TOO fragile in those areas.  The polypropylene works for the skin, but nothing else no matter what I use for the resin.  And I like the polypropylene since I can shrink it with a heat gun and it is NOT hydroscopic like the BN is.   That was my biggest beef of all with Serena: if the humidity was high (or she had been capsized and filled with water) her skin would go all loose and floppy.  Not really an issue performance wise that I noticed, but she looked bad and it would take weeks for her to dry out enough to tighten back up.

Now, the Oh-Sh!t-Yeahs.    Single chines. 20211120 1324213818182277211228363 With the rocker knocked down to near nil, single chines look awesome on this hull.  What I am doing is a single chine between keel and gunwale, with a false chine at the base of the gunwale( to smooth the lines) that will allow some flex of the skin before it hits rib at the waterlines.  That set, she has a very shallow v at the cockpit area that rides true up to past the feet and well past the cockpit before converging towards the ends.   Very sweet liines that way and better cut into the water without plowing.  With that shallow V, she will have good stability in all waters even if she feels tippy in the calm.   She will feel tippy, but not nearly as much as her former self did.   The former ‘shallow v” was very short, less than 4 feet, and was almost useless with that radical rocker stem to stern.   The ONLY advantage of that rocker was maneuvering, and she was so daggum long, even that was a chore: she didn’t have that spin in place thing going like the Jefe does. (and the Jefe is ALL rocker in ALL directions)

Now the Mehbes:  Still have a couple ribs left over from redoing the original ones.  Ones that I replaced just because of changes in lengths or didn’t like the original bends with the new units installed.   And I think, I am going to use a couple of those ribs combined with fiberglass/resin to make the new deckbeams that need replaced.  I dropped rib seven in place of one of the deckbeams ‘just to get a look-see’ and the profile was encouraging.  Those ribs are well cured white-oak so a layer of glass wrapping them will be even stronger, and lighter than the 3/4” laminated beams I am replacing.    I will have the chines cut tomorrow, the wood is sitting in my rafter right now with the splice curing under clamps.   I should be able to lash it in before dark tomorrow and then, flip the old (new) girl over and start on the deck.  (I have the bow cutwater done, and the stern will be pretty quick too.  Pics of that forthcoming.)

And I am not worried about keeping to pure skin-on-frame materials for the build, nor strictly tied and mortis/tenon construction.   Yes, the keelson and chines are tied in, but that is not because its traditional (it is) but for flexibility of the frame as a whole.  I am not building a traditional Greenland type kayak, I am building MY version of what I have wanted, and what I found works for me.   (thanks Ghostboat for showing me a different path). I know the mortis and tenon build method works, as well as lashing: Duh!kee is still holding together after 3 years, me beating on her in less than optimal conditions, sinking her, capsizing her, and even jumping on her to show others that she is one tough boat.  Yeah, the method is tried and true and proven over centuries of use in bad conditions.   And it’s not like I have been a purist from the get-go anyways.  Using two part poly on synthetic skin, using synthetic sinew to lash the boat together,  Yeah, Not so much a purist as THIS IS BETTER, DO IT!  LOL

Apologies for the Hiatus.

just going through the routines currently.  Fighting a mild case of depression, a usual for me this time of year, and no need to delve into the ‘why’s’ as there is reason enough watching the world slowly devolve; like watching a dementia patient slowly slide into the final state.   Oh, wait, just like watching Emperor Poopy-pants the first discuss the economy by citing  “I. Pencil” for dummies after reading only the opening chapter.

Lots of good stuff out there on the webs,  Sarah’s pointing out that our IMMIVASION is nothing new and very much an old tactic for softening up a resident populace.  I take back my statements of “replacement population” and will resort to “INVASION FORCES”: in all reality, there are real fighters in that mess, and I have mentioned to keep an eye out for ‘strange conex boxes’ in obscure locations.   And if you find one before kick-off of the festivities, consider it an early Christmas for you and yours, distribute accordingly, and KEEP YOUR DAMNED MOUTHES SHUT!!!!

Just going through the routines.   Going to the J.O.B. every day, making sure to represent my skills the best way I know how, and watching the supply chain issues slowly creeping our way.  Granted, we have had supply side issues for months now, but I am beginning to see them stratify into my areas.   We are down to roughly half a bundle of pipe that I use for building most of our products.  A quick calculation tells me that if we don’t get a shipment in this Friday, I am on temporary leave until such time as we have the materials needed.   I currently have 4 pages of build notes, and those four pages easily burn through our existing stock and into another bundle, and NOT BE COMPLETE.   And those pages are added to daily.   

No, that’s not the cause of the depression.   Honestly, I could take the next month off and it wouldn’t hurt my feelings one bit.   Might dig into my finances, but it wouldn’t bother me to maybe get some of those other things done thatI get distracted away from by having the daily duty of making a paycheck, (and feeding four-feets, keeping the homefires burning (literally this time of year) and all the other stuff that accumulates on a single dood curmudgeon living on a hill in KY)

YAY,  Grizzy just brought me a very young mouse, quite dead, and looking pleased as punch with himself.   ANother problem that irritates the hell out of me this time of year, and my Furbabies are doing danged good at dealing with it.   (and when he isn’t looking, in the toilet it goes.  Don’t want him thinking I don’t appreciate his ‘gift’.)

One thing that messes with me this time of year, probably the trigger for my depression is loss of daylight.   I work through most of the daylight hours, then have almost none to work with for ME/MY PROJECTS, and I start feeling behind the eightball on things.   That usually leads to me scrambling to ‘catch up’ and that is ALWAYS when the mistakes start piling up.    I may not focus on “Perfect” but I hate redoing any work, especially due to me getting stoopid and (feeling) rushed.  I am also wating on the fabric for the kayak build.   Ordered, but, yet again, the company I ordered it through is sitting on things.   I may have to start digging for a different company to deal with that I can rely on.  This is the third time they’ve done this.  The last two times, Order confirmed, but nothing ever shipped.  At least they didn’t charge the card, even though it approved and showed transaction complete, it was never finalized on that end.   Just frustrating when you are counting on something to complete a project, and find you have even longer to wait as you look for an alternate source/product/material to replace the original idea.   At least this instance, this is a rebuild, and I am in no rush to complete since its colder than a witches teat in November (It is November Dio) and the water levels everywhere around here are sorely lacking for any reasonable paddle fun.   Like B says, most of the creeks are ‘frigging goat paths” right now.   Even the Cumberland river nearby is a ‘float scrape, scrape PORTAGE, float scrape” trip, and thats just in the first down-river mile from my place.   It may be awhile before I can test float the “Rebuilt Kayak carcass formerly known as Serena/now Selkie”, and I want to do it on river as I want the current for testing handling and stability.   Static water of an inland lake won’t do in this case.   Just fiddlin’ details that I am trying to correct in this build.

Oh, yeah, for the test float, I won’t be using the new (when it ships if it ships) skin.  I snagged a poly-tarp from the billboard guys and that will be my makeshift skin for the test float. (gonna look kinda funny with a giant cheeseburger design on the skin,,,, sure won’t be a permanent thing,,, )   Polyester shrinks under heat, so I can stretch the ‘skin’ on, then use a heat gun to tighten it up.  Its already waterproof so I don’t need to seal anything up for a test run.  Its not like I am going to try and roll it, and if I capsize, its a wet exit, swim for shore kinda day then.   I don’t see that as an issue though, Serena was stable as all get out and I am not changing much in the hull shape in the cross section, just the longitudinal.  If anything, she will be more stable since I am widening the beam by one inch and bring the CG closer to Keel by flattening that rocker.  (and anyone that ever saw me in Serena prior will choke on that ‘stable’ statement, her primary was shit, but her secondary was a brickwall.  She just ‘felt’ tippy in flat water, but she was stable as can be in wild water. A definite confidence builder when the waves started breaking on her bow.  Even with that ‘brickwall’ secondary, she was an easy roller, and surprised the hell out of me at the pool. ). Maybe I can get some serious work done on the frame this weekend and get closer to that test day.   As for a repeat of the time loop thing, not a complete fit this go-round.   I had Serena wrapped and tested prior to T-day in 2019, and skinned and sealed by December 1.  That may not happen again due to the skin supplier.   (one alternate, pricey, but doable, is from an airplane materials supplier.   Same concepts, and I can get NON-FAA certified material for this to save a little cash.  No need to have the FAA dealing with a silly single seat boat, eh?)

outside of my darkened thoughts, Da is doing good.  Bored, what with me gone during the days working, and not having much time between getting home and total darkness.   Came home today and he and a neighbor were playing with a backhoe and digging the ducks a larger wading pool.  Funny part is, they aren’t even HIS ducks.  They belong to a local Gentlewoman Farmer, but Da goes out and buys 50# sacks of feed for them (and her free-range chickens), built them a pond so they didn’t have to risk going to the river, and even built them a nest site under his porch “so if the weather turns, they don’t have to waddle home”.    He comes off like a mean grumpy bastard to most people, but the man has a soft heart for animals that most people would never guess at.  

I wonder where I get it.  LOL.    

Anywhoos, y’all take care, I’ll be back tomorrow with something more inline with the currents of this blog.   Just needed some ‘Me’ time.


SO, took Serena to the river.  Didn’t make it to the water.  Got a little ticked off at the situation at my usual put in/take out.   Someone had dumped several tons of trash in the area where you can park at.   This shit happens far more than I care to mention here.   I call it the “someone else’s problem” solution, and around here, its common place.  It will wash downstream in late winter when this area is prone to flooding, but that just puts the problem in someone else’s lap/backyard/riverfront/lower falls area.   It is a problem and one that no one around here seems to give a damn about.  Call the police and they ask if you saw the person, have video (and won’t do more than take a report if you don’t.) or have a bill or something with an address on it.  Dunno ‘bout you, but I really don’t want to spend my afternoon digging through several tons of someone else’s shit to see if MAYBE, they left evidence of WHO they are.  

And I picked up a roofing nail rolling out of there.  Slow leak, easy fix, but dammit, if it weren’t for that crap tossed away in some ‘no-name’ back hollar, I wouldn’t have had to fix squat!!!

SO, I came home to cool off and do something productive.   Even had Serena on the horses, knife in hand, and,,, 



Ever had to put down a pet?   It’s not quite that level of ‘couldn’t do it’, but not far from it either.   She is a “made by hand, BY MY HANDS” boat and while I do want to fix some of her issues, if I cut that skin, she is no longer the same boat.

I made a compromise with myself (and her).  I am going to build a new coaming, using a mold and fiberglass, and if it turns out right, THEN we do the reskin.     That is one of the issues I want to fix.  Her coaming is kind of pinchy.  I can wet exit just fine, but its the getting in part that sometimes rips off skin. And I can’t loan her to anyone unless they are my size or smaller, and she rides where I am about the low limit of her ‘needs’.(My usual set up is to load camp gear, even if its just a day trip, just to ‘balance’ her ride)     New coaming, +2” in width and length and see how things turn out.  Not used to using fiberglass ‘in the raw’ on a mold, so this one is a learning curve for me.  Spent the afternoon making the stuff I need to make the mold, put Serena back on the truck, just in case, and played with cats.   Still miffed at the pile of trash in my only local place to hit the river, but it seems like I am the only person here local that sees it as an “Issue”.   Frustrating, but, like I have said here before, “this area is not going to change FAST.” and that is one of those things that may never change around here.  (like dropping off the pets in some no-name hollar when the cost of feeding them goes up.  Another BIG issue around here.)

hO-Boy did that last post open up a nest of vipers

At least on my porch it seems.   I started listing out the things I wanted to do to fix Serena, and that list is now a full page in length.   BUT, I did start digging into what I will need to make some of the changes, at least the ones that have a dollar figure attached and THAT list is still under $300,    I could leave the whole thing alone for a whopping $0, or I can make her into something more suitable to my liking.   Not that I don’t like her, but that I know now, what I did wrong then and can correct things.   Each boat is a learning process is what I am finding, and I seem to recall Brian at Cape Falcon Kayaks told me much the same thing.   He also said that before any boat gets its maiden voyage, you are already planning the next one.   That rang true for Duh!kee, and it rang true for Serena.   

While I have purchased the forms to make a strip-built kayak, I haven’t started on it, other that to make the strongback used to hold the forms (and the horses, but those are utilitarian, not just for one boat.). Why haven’t I started on that.  WOOD.   As in, I have the log, but I have not taken it to the sawmill to get cut up, and until then, the whole project sits on the back burner.  Why, if I have the log, haven’t I taken it to the mill?   That, I dunno.  Lazy.  Not enough interest.  Too many distractions in my life.  all of the above?   Probably that last.   And I know that a strip-built boat is a months to years kind of project and I want dedicated space for that (though that is actually more of an excuse.   I could make it a MONTH project, but I don’t like rushing on something as intricate as that style of build.   And Skin boats I can design, layout and build in a week. Serena took me 2 weeks from first cut to last coat and I took my time on her.   (and still managed to NOT see that damnable rocker that drives me nuts.) Duh!kee took a little longer but she was my first and I had zero clue what worked and what didn’t, and that was also how she gained her name:  I had many a “DUH!” moment when building her.  And she is still the Flagship of my little fleet, even if she sits in the top rung of the rack and gets dusty, she is on her throne. ( she was first for many things.  The first to try and kill me.  The first one I sank while still upright.  The first to be made for a race she has never raced in.   The first of many, but not the last.)

Current fleet is Duh!kee,  Serena, Ghost the SWAG boat, and Jefe.   Jefe is strict WW boat, sucks ass on flat water, but will run a wave train like a cork.   I am fingering the idea of trading the Jefe for an oldschool WW slipper boat, like the Pirouette I used to own (that I am kicking my backside for selling).  While I did good taking the Jefe down the Elkhorn, I honestly think I would have had a better time in the Piro.  and of course, the only TRUE way to determine that would be to get a replacement of Piro, and try it.  BUT, you go with your guts and the Jefe just didn’t “FEEL” right to me.

Yah, I know, I know.  Dio! There is more important shit going on in the world!!!!

And you would be right!   But, And I think I can say this with sincerity and to ALL, You can’t stop this trainwreck, and I want to maintain my sanity in the meantime.  Kayaks are my current form of sanity.  Just like Motorcycles were back in the Nineties.  Just like X/1-9’s were in the early nineties.(with a brief foray into them again 2005-7) If I don’t have something tangible I can do something with physically, that is NOT geared to keeping me fed or roof over my head, I go a little nuts, and while writing does that to some extent, I need PHYSICAL too.   Paddling my ass off across a lake or fighting to stay upright in water that is more foamy soup than water is that.   At least in water, I don’t have to worry as much about getting run down like I did when motorcycling.  

So, y’all need to find your place to ground and center.  Building and using kayaks is mine currently.

Better than expected.

Took Serena to the lake today for a test run on the new set up. Checks for performance changes and leaks in order. A new skirt to test as well.

Performance comes in MUCH better, she holds 4knots with bare inputs and an easy 5.5 with steady power pulls. Able to edge easier, with my weight forward she doesn’t want to slice off unpredictably, and setting blade as a keel rudder works like a charm. It took a couple tries to figure the correct placement of the paddle blade to make this work, but watching my bow wake, you can see the boat drift left by a wider wake on the right, and it doesn’t ‘turn’, just drifts aside. (easier to see that when you are on a glassy lake: one reason I chose to go in the early morning before the wind started chopping up the surface)

Having built up some confidence in the Arc, (gotta come up with a new name there) I tried a couple other techniques I hadn’t tried before. Edged turns, braced leans (super fun ) etc. Sweeps seem to work better too. Likely due to being more centered in the boat.

Started getting hot so found a convenient stump sticking out of the water and used it to practice some hip flicks and to check for leaks in my handiwork. Woot!!!!! Dry all around. Considering my Snapdragon skirt leaks during capsize and this new skirt did not, I consider the price well within reason. So now I have 5 skirts for 3 boats. (Well, technically 4, but the Feathercraft K1 is still out of service for repairs.) Of those skirts, the 3 I spent high dollars on are the worst for leaking. The Seals skirt may as well not be on, it leaks so bad nor will it hold up under a capsize: it implodes every-time. The two snapdragons are great when it comes to keeping splashes out but leak at the lip when submerged. Its not so bad as to be a worry of sinking, but is irritating. The MountainSurf and Appalachian Extreme are bulletproof above or below, AND able to be pulled with one hand unlike the SDs, which wanna wrestle going on and coming off.

Anywhoooz, I had fun and added to my growing knowledge of boat building, hydrodynamics, and self-limitations (that last is a bar that keeps getting moved up.) I refuse to let the world direct my aimless path of self-improvement, so to all the haters in the world burning police stations and trying to make “A better world”: Y’all need to get off the pot and start looking inside yourselves to see where YOU can improve. The world does just fine without your damned socialist inputs.

The Tuttle Twins - a child's foundation of freedom

Reality break wknd

Took Sirena and the Carolina to lake Saturday. Had made plans to make a weekend of it with a friend, but, well, plans change. Friend hadn’t cleared things with wifey, or sumpin, dunno, but he was able to spend about 3 hours on the water in Ol’red. (The carolina14.5) fish weren’t interested in anything he tossed out and by 12:30, he was calling it quits.

About that time, another friend texted me and said he, his wife and son were near the ramp fishing: ‘swing by if’n ya can.’ Dude out with me was cool with that and wanted to head home. Me, being frustrated with friends attitude decided ‘sprint time!’. 1.6 miles, calm water and no power boats. Easy peasy! Sorry bud! Try to keep up,,,

Well, he held his own, seeing how Ol’red plows water, where Sirena cuts it like a knife. He did have a euro paddle and a stubborn attitude to not quit. Even so, by the time we made the ramp, both of us were a bit winded. Didn’t have the GPS with me, so guestimating speed at 5mph(based on distance and apx time by text message time stamps.) Not too shabby for this 51yo outta shape dude.

Sunday, after I finished my wknd chores of keeping my self and stead operational, decided my first boat was in need of some h2o time too. Duh!kee hasn’t seen water since last September when she squealed and had her hull ruptured. Repair made, but never tested. It was 84, rivers up about a foot and flowing fast, but Duh!k likes fast water. Water temp was near 60, chilly but ‘knock you to your knees’ cold.

Hard to see in that pic, but the water there is far more turbulent then normal. At surface, river seems to be flowing about 3, just below surface shes rocking at 5. Since I’m now accustomed to how stable Sirena is, I chose to NOT push my limits on the rapids. Duh!kee is similar to riding a freshly broken 1 y.o. horse: she’s just waiting for your attention to stray and is ready to throw you something crazy.

So, find somewhere near the eddies, practice rollling. Get a feel for my first girl again.

Know what that is? In some circles, busted paddle would be correct. In this case, blown roll would be more accurate.

Was not trying full rolls, just dip on one side, get duh!k over completely, then hip flick and lever back up. The current had drifted me into shallower water and the end of the paddle struck rock. Pressure went from whole blade to blade tip instantly and SNAP! I’m back in the water.

That smaller paddle on the deck is called a storm paddle and it was what helped me get back. With how swift the water was, it was time to call it quits without a full paddle. (The storm paddles work well enough, but its not a stroke I’m strong in. Not strong enough to get upstream in fast water anyways.)

Repair was a total success, no leaks; and Duh!k is back in the fleet again. She will continue to be my roller for learning that skill in detail, and for short days where I just want to get wet. Sirena will be my multiple day expedition boat as she can hold quite a bit of gear (and rides SO much better with a load). The Carolina is the loaner boat, also capable as a gear hauler.

Good weekend all around, mussed up plans and all. I feel a little more in-line with facing society again, and just in time for the workweek.

Gonna do it!

I shared in another post that I’m contemplating another Kayak. Well, I made my decision today.

Took Duh!k out for a spin on the lake after attempting to repair the leaks she acquired on that last scrape run down the river.

Nope, leaking worse. Not enough to sink me, or not enough to sink me fast, but definitely leaking more than I am comfortable with. The scrape marks aren’t the issue. Its the seams at bow AND stern. I buggered the welting up good, scraping along the Cumberland river two weeks ago and the leaks are graduating from drip to dribble.

So, while Duh!k can still float, for awhile, before needing bailed out, she isnt going to be trustworthy of a longer run. My fault of course, so she hasn’t been ‘trashed’, and there may be some strange thing I come up with to seal these leaks from the inside. (Can’t just reach back in those cubbies, they are 6′ from the cockpit)

Besides, she was the learning boat, and she has taught me well, and still has that potential for more, like the rolling thing! What little water she is taking on is minor compared to what I will deal with when rolling.

So! The other boat is on the drawing board, and the plans are being laid. First order of business is to go ahead and get all the little geegaws and stuff together before hand, unlike with Duhk, where I ended up waiting for stuff to ship, and one one occasion ‘over-engineered’ out of antsy-ness.

I’ve already discussed the details I am looking for in previous posts, so no need to go there.

As for why the sudden ‘git-r-dun’ shift. It spurred from a conversation. Someone mentioned failure/success and talked about how they’ve never been successful: and I thought to myself ‘only because you’ve never Failed! And only because they never TRIED!” (And there are those that say ‘I could never do that’ and I have to clamp down on my tongue to keep from saying ‘You’re right!’. Most people would take it as arrogance but its more agreeing with them, because they have already talked themselves out of “Do-ing”.) So, while Duh!k was a success for a first time boat where I had no real experiance to support me, she has failed. The failure is due to my inexperience, both in the build and use, so I take that failure, learn from it and make this one that much better. More elbow grease, more research, more materials, combinations thereof, but this one WILL be better.

I won’t bore you all to death with continual updates, but I will post the occasional pic as things go along. Thats in the near future: gonna order all those geegaws and bric-a-brac before the saw blade touches one gunwale. Those geegaws are extra sinew, skin and dope kit, more pigment, and another sprayskirt for a larger cockpit opening. I’m considering ordering the coaming and skirt together from Brian as the coaming takes way more clear wood than I have available currently. It requires a piece over 8′ long and I do have sections that length, but not clear. Pin knots sneak out on you when steaming them. I have had three attempts and had each attempt split out on me ; so far. Thats fine as the wood can still be used for ribs or lammed up for deck beams; it wont go to waste.

Addendum: I started writing this just after returning from the lake. Next Yak is still on, but I managed to fix the leak in Duh!kee. I mixed up a batch of 5 minute epoxy and injected it (killing a good 50cc syringe) into the skin of the area where the dribble was at. I then clamped off the area with a handclamp and a section of polyethylene cutting board, tipped Duh!k tail high and poured 5 gallons of water into her. The water was to force the epoxy back out any offending holes. I waited 20 minutes, removed the clamp and had to pry off the plate. Sanded the exposed epoxy smooth, but no leaks! Then did it again on the stern.

She should be good to go now.

But I’m still going to follow through and make another one. Just improved from all the silly mistakes I made on Duh!k.

Just thinking

The more I get the Duh!k on water, the more comfortable I become and the more we ‘fit’. That odd rib beside the point, things are getting better. I did a little edging today and while she seemed sluggish, I did find that if I leaned enough to get the gunwales in water, she would turn. And thats not quite roll zone. I have to have the gunwale and some of the deck and cockpit submerged before she hits the “lets duck daddy in the water” mood. Granted, thats flatwater only. You start tossing the surface around and things can get squirrelly fast. That was one aspect I wanted to learn today by going to the bigger lake. Power boats make wakes and thats the one thing I don’t get at the small lake I usually head to. Even with a 6″ swell abeam, she stays stable, though she feels goosey. I’d venture she could ride much bigger with no issues. Driving into the swells, I found that timing my dip and stroke to the bottoms worked great: reach the top and set up for the next stroke, hit bottom and pppuuullllll,,, repeat on next swell. She would hit that next swell, slice right into it and raise her nose like a breaching whale and I would set the next stroke up. Waves abeam were ok, so long as I was moving forward: goosey, but not hateful. Getting caught standing made her wallow like a pig and really taxed me on supporting strokes. I only let that happen the once. I wasn’t out long enough for a try with a following wave; maybe after I get the leak fixed and hull retrimmed… All in all though, I am not sure I need to make another kayak. The Duh!k is filling my ‘needs’ quite well, and the Carolina fills the gaps. The only real downside to the Carolina is weight: no load, she comes in at 63 pounds. Thats a beast when you’ve been paddling for several hours and you need to climb a hill to get to the take out. And those climbs are frequent enough around here.

If I do build another, and it is still quite possible, it will be as proposed already; wider in beam, slightly longer and flatter mid-hull. But I am thinking that I want to experiment on bulkheads and hatches in a Skin on Frame design. I have seen Tahe Marine Greenlands with hatches and am pretty certain they are SOF. Having separate chambers for gear would be nice, but the addition of a pair of float chambers in the event of a capsize is an even bigger incentive.

Seating (more yak-stuff)

Pulled out the horses so I could work on Duh!k at a reasonable level. Pulled all the old foam out of the seat area and cleaned things up. Found one of the ribs had taken a convex curve on the width at the bend and that was what was riding on those nerves, bones and blood vessels. It was definitely the problem all along as it was that cheek that was aching. A strip of 80 grit and some elbow grease and I smoothed that lip out and rounded all the corners just a bit more. Not too worried about structural issues as there is another rib 2″ forward of that one. Touch up the area I just worked on with some tung oil and spent some time looking at things, thinking.

I gathered up some materials, 550 cord, another sheet of 1/4″ foam, contact cement and I was ready. I laced that cord between the ribs and snugged the lacing tight then locked it with a double hitch on the end to hold it all in place, then moved the boat to the floor for a test fit. Much better even without the foam pad. Back to the horses, cement and foam layed over the lacing and a bag of sand to hold it in place while things cure. Without taking her out and doing a long run like I did this past weekend, I can’t know if this ‘fixed’ the issue or not, but things definitely felt better. I may find my balance point is higher too and that will effect handling. Maybe she’ll turn now. Maybe she’ll roll like a spindle on a lathe. Can’t know till she’s afloat with my knock-brained self in it.

I will use this for the next Yak before it gets skinned as its much easier to access the area then.

I also flipped her over to really get a look at those wear marks and was even more impressed by this skin. There are three places where the outer urethane was rubbed off right to the nylon! She never leaked! Not one drop! The water I had in her when I got out was from my shoes when getting in her. Not enough to reach the end of the bilge pump and barely enough to get with the sponge. What was in there flowed out when I hefted her up to portage up the bank for pick-up. (Note: the bottom finish was done in three layers. The first to saturate the cloth, the second to fill any odd spots and the final to smooth it all over.)

I’m going to go ahead and order the touch up kit anyways, but it is not essential, more cosmetic; and peace of mind as where its worn won’t take as much to wear through. $15+s/h is cheap peace of mind in my opinion.

Now I’m anxious for another day on the river. We had a little rain today, and are expecting more this week, so it could be the water level will be up some. That makes for a more enjoyable run for certain. Even if I don’t get things touched up, I’ll get out and see how my modifications worked out.