Sunday, 10 July 2011

First Launch

Today was the first 'official' launch of my new boat.  Just a simple trip on known territory to get a real feel for the boat and what it's capable of.  I decide to launch from the Knap Barry and aim for Penarth. 
I wade into the shallow water to get in as to not further add to the scratches on the hull.  There's a lot more thinking involved with a glass boat.  Doesn't help that everywhere around here is rock or pebble or worse, mud.
I paddle out to the point marked with a fixed buoy mainly fiddling with the outfittings and getting a feel for the boat.
I make my way across each of the bays around Barry only looking back to take pictures of Nells point watchtower and the lighthouse on the harbour walls.
I have a nose around the inner harbour at the Barry life boat before continuing my journey.
Out of the harbour as I make my way toward Sully Island there is a fairly brisk wind coming from behind.  Looking back the sea is awash with white horses, great for surfing! I can't believe how confident this boat makes me feel.  In my Easky I would be on my guard as the waves come up from behind trying to tip the boat and turn it into the waves.  With this it goes where I aim it, and with so much stability.  Catch a wave and it felt like I was on rails, it just dug in and absolutely drove on forward.  For once I felt in control of my boat and the prospect of wind on tide on the way back brought a big grin to my face.
With all that excitement I decide to stop off on the nice shingle beach at Sully Island, Oystercatchers clearing the way as I come in.
 My new seating arrangement.  I cut up and old camping mat as it doesn't get used anymore now with the self inflating gizmo's.  It's stuck down with some heavy duty Velcro and works a treat.  I also re-threaded the back rest and stuck down the hip pads.  I can honestly say no sore bums or back all the way there and back.
 More shots of the new boat, I cant get enough.
 I'm gonna have to remove that nasty black sticker on the bow and touch up the red tape.  I'll have to get some nice red Welsh dragons to match.
 Moving on toward Lavernock the tide slows down as it nears high water.

I make a perfect landing without touching a single rock and stop off for a for a cuppa coffee and a Snickers.
Heading back was great fun, the tide was ripping nicely around all the headlands kicking up some great chunky waves.  Paddling into the wind seemed a breeze (excuse the pun).  The bow lifted or cut thorough  every wave instead of burring into it like my Easky.
 A quick stop off at sully again to check for leaks.  The rear hatch was dry as a bone considering it's got two holes in it for the rudder wires.  Same with the day hatch but the front hatch had about a cup of water in it.  I put it down to the hatch lid as it looks very old and flimsy.  I've swapped it with the Easky hatch lid and see what happens next time.
 Paddling out across the bay toward Barry I get told to slow down as some sailing boats cross my path.  Never been told to slow down before!
Race rounding Nells Point.
More fun in the waves before making a landing back at The Knap and reminiscing on a great day.  I can't wait to get it back out, role on the weekend!


stoney (Martyn) said...

Oh to live closer to the sea!
Glad your enjoying the boat, I hope mine gives me the same enjoyment. I'm actually really nervous, not long now - 3 weeks and counting.
My deck hatches are really tight to get on, they are the type with harder plasticy centres.

soundoftheseagull said...

Boat looks like the dogs testicles well done

Stuart said...

Thanks Dave it feels like the dogs testicles too! Although as Will commented my last boat was a barge compared to this.

Oh do love to be beside the seaside! Why are you nervous? I should be able to get out there when your down, thinking of bringing the family camping, about time we used the tent. Have to get Richard to take us out to the Bishops :) haha listen to mr confident now.

stoney (Martyn) said...

I'm not sure about the nerves! I think its just as its son long since i went anywhere.
Just hatching a plan for tommorrow as I type! ;)

Taran Tyla said...

Nice boat :)

We'll have to get out for a paddle now I'm back...