Today was my new Kayak's maiden voyage, and it felt great. I paddled on a mirror all morning and got the feel for how the boat and paddle handled.

Kayak stuff first:

As I said in an earlier post. I bought this particular kayak because it was a bit smaller in the cockpit than the HV version. I made a wise choice. I can only describe it as wearing a good pair of runners: my knees fit in the gunwales, my butt doesn't fall asleep and the back band is perfect. A few small adjustments to the pedals and seat position an I was off. I started paddling out to the small island just ahead of the "canoe beach" at thetis lake. I started with a vertical forward stroke to see how the paddle acts with the boat. It's a tad jerky and makes the boat veer a little, which makes me think the paddle shaft is a bit on the long side; however, I don't have much experience with long touring blades, so I'll compare when I have others paddling with me. I also had nothing to compare to for speed, but I ended up paddling about 6 or 7k and felt no strain or fatigue even after unloading the yak solo - it's a great feeling. No leaks, no attention areas in the hull.. this boat has been babied and I'm proud of her.


Now for the paddling experience. Watching the birds in my little binoculars, I saw something that caught my attention rather quickly. A young deer had gone for a dip and was swimming over to an island in the lake. Luckily this wasn't the first time I'd seen it, so I could focus on snapping a picture rather than questioning why this animal exists and how this behavior fits into the cosmos. :)


The weather was unusual for January. At one point I even saw sun and blue sky. A few light rain showers would pass overhead and then it would go back to pleasant. The wind was dead calm and Thetis lake was a still mirror. Lots of wildlife to see: many types of ducks, deer, cormorants and eagles. It's really nice having a pair of binoculars so you don't spook them. I was really surprised with how big the lake was. In all my years living here, I've never explored this local lake. The public part of the lake is only about 1/3 of it's total size, so there was much more to explore.


This bridge should have had a caption: this way to quiet. The morning paddle in the other parts of the lake led to more birds and quiet, relaxing places near shore. I sat there for a little time and just relaxed. I took a swig of water and started paddling back to shore double time, just to see what the boat had. It's a great feeling getting wind in your hair on a windless day. I was just amazed how fast she could go when pushed a little when compared to other kayaks I've tried.

Overall and extremely successful maiden voyage. I got the boat all set up for tomorrow's paddle into Esquimalt Harbour.

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