Carlene, my wife is the camera lady. Amy, Rebecca, and Calypso are the phenomenally photogenic crew.
The S4x3 performs very well, underway and at anchor. We swam with the regular contingent of Caribbean fish but a nurse shark and an albino manatee cruised through the snorkeling quartet of mermaids too.
And, we motored with a family of dolphins who had to check out the new gray and white critter on the surface.
It is so wonderful to be surrounded by beautiful happy women.
Calypso crafts beautiful earrings out of fishing lures with the hooks removed. Her displays are becoming most popular in Key Largo locations. She is using the Mangrove Tunnel paddle method where the end of the paddle is used to fend off, the grip is used to pull thru, and, once in a while, you get a chance to slide the paddle thru the water. Often, you have to spin the paddle like a baton to accomplish fending or pulling depending on the side of the tunnel where one technique or the other is needed. That is why she has the paddle held in the center of the handle. Much like a soldier handling a gun at forward arms. The tide does most of the work. And, we motored back up the tunnel because the ocean was ripping rough. We snaked thru that tunnel without a hitch but I did run out of gas later because of the longer run against the tide. Yes, the spare fuel can was tucked away in a hull tip. NBD.
Yesterday, My wife, son, and I spent the afternoon snorkeling and Wavewalking behind Grecian Dry Rocks. This shallow reef in the Florida Keys Marine Sanctuary does a pretty good job of acting as a breakwater on low tide. The water is perfectly comfortable and crystal clear. The W700 is a fine snorkel tender and will make a great lobster scout skiff when the season begins in August.
I am looking forward to combining swimming with Wavewalking to burn off the calories I gained during the commercial fishing season. It is pretty hard for a commercial fisherman not to eat up the profit.
On the way home, we stopped at a patch reef and caught dinner in a few minutes.
As much as I enjoy catching those Blue Cats in Maryland, it is nice to be home.
Please, feel free to visit. The fleet of Wavewalks is ready to transport you to grand adventures.
Tracking is the main problem that paddlers need to overcome when paddling in strong wind. Wavewalk paddlers usually report excellent performance of their boats under wind, since catamarans tracks well, generally, and also thanks to the fact that it offers multiple means for power-paddling, as well as for counter-affecting the wind. Since 2004, thousands of people have been paddling Wavewalk kayaks from the 300, 500 and 700 series, and none of these paddlers outfitted their Wavewalk with a rudder – that cumbersome device that has become an integral part of all other types of high-end kayaks used for touring and fishing.
Here are some tips that can improve your Wavewalk kayak’s performance when you’re paddling in strong wind:
1. Paddle only in the Riding Position, which is the optimal posture for power and balancing, and lean a bit forward, with your knees lower than your hips – That would give you extra power.
2. Paddle from the middle of the cockpit, as much as possible –
If you paddle from its rear it would raise your W kayak’s bow and expose it to the wind, and the boat will turn away from the wind.
If you paddle from the front of the cockpit, the stern will go up, and the kayak will turn into the wind.
3. Lean your W kayak into the wind – That would make it harder for it to affect the course of your W kayak.
4. Apply short J strokes on the side from which the wind is blowing, and more powerful strokes on the lee side (the sheltered side) – That would help you track. You may even hold the paddle not from its middle, so that you can apply longer strokes on the lee side.
6. Any object protruding from the deck is exposed to the wind, and therefore generates additional drag – Detach the spray shield if you have one attached, dismount deck mounted rod holders, and store your fishing rods inside the hulls whenever possible. A milk crate would act as a small sail that’s controlled by the wind, so you’d better avoid using one altogether.
7. Keep paddling in a steady pace and a straight course – This is not about one-time corrections, but about minimizing your effort and getting there. Precision and efficiency are as important as power.
8. IMPORTANT – Remember that you can easily move fore and aft along the Wavewalk’s saddle, and by doing so control the angle in which your W kayak will point relatively to the direction from which the wind blows: Paddling from a forward position will tend to point the kayak’s bow into the wind, and paddling from a backward position will tend to point the bow away from the wind. By applying small changes to your own location on the saddle, you can minimize the wind’s unwanted effect on your Wavewalk, and keep it tracking with little effort.