Tuesday, 7 February 2012

My kayaks so far

As I said in a previous post I grew up kayaking in the delta. My first paddling in a K1 was when I was 9 and short after was my first regatta.
My first regatta when 9, I got 3rd spot.

At 11 years old in my old K1.

At the end of ultramarathon "regatta del Rio Negro"

When we moved to Sydney some 5 years ago, I used to borrow a kayak from a friend:
The borrowed kayak chasing dolphins.
I used to paddle that kayak once or twice a month. I rode my push bike to his home and went for a paddle for 1 or 2 hours within the Sydney Harbour.

Almost 4 years ago my asthma got so bad that I finished in the hospital for a week. When I got admitted I could not walk more than 10 meters without running out of breath, I was coughing all the time to the point of not being able to sleep and I had lost almost 10kg, in hindsight the weight loss was because the lack of energy to get to the kitchen to grab something to eat.
While in the hospital my wife said as an incentive for me to get better that when I recovered I could buy a cheap kayak. It did the trick because I got better and bought from eBay a cheap kayak that would fit in my garage:
My new used kayak about to go out from Bondi Beach.
 Previous to this kayak I hadn't have much experience in the ocean. I had plenty in flat water even in storms and with lots of wash rebound from motor boats going around. I had paddled in some in white water, but very few in the ocean.

Paddling down some class 2 river in Chile
The kayak was not what most people call "sea kayak" but it didn't stop me, besides, for me paddling in flat water felt a bit monotonous. The kayak took me out in the ocean and never failed me. However I didn't go out when windy or the weather was a bit cold. I took it as a summer sport.
Two years later I had paddled all the coast of Sydney and I wanted to meet other sea kayakers. I found in the web about the NSW sea kayak club but they didn't accept me because the kayak was not up to the club standards....
I didn't agree with that but gave me the motive to get some budget from the home finance minister to upgrade the kayak.
I tested a few but when I paddled a Mirage 530 I felt it flew so I bought a second hand one:
Not very masculine colors but in Sydney who cares.
After 4 months with it out relationship was sour. We didn't get along very well, it was fast but not manoeuvrable, in bumpy waters I didn't feel comfortable and I got sick of sanding after each scratch on the gel coat.  We parted ways.
So the search started again but this time I narrowed the possibilities to plastic and playful. After testing more boats I got a Valley Aquanout LV:

Having fun, thanks Shawn for the pic.
It has been a bit over 1/2 year and apart from the fact that its hatches are not as waterproof as they were the first weeks, we are in love.

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