Thursday, April 12, 2007

Fairhope, April 10th

If it ain't rainin', it ain't trainin'.

Since I got the Cape Horn, my kayak addiction has come back in full force. In the last eight days, I've taken her out six times. I don't even think I had that sort of track record in my past relationships. At least the kayak doesn't persistently ask me if her jeans make her look fat.

The Boat:

The (lamentably) discontinued Wilderness Systems™ Cape Horn 150™. A superb craft. Excellent handling, stability, and features, with a nice turn of speed. I outfitted her with reflective tape around the perimeter, making sure I'll be visible in low-light and if, God forbid, Search and Rescue ever have to come for me. Earlier this week I also fitted her out with a rudder. The rudder improves tracking in a straight line, especially in high winds which would otherwise slew her around a bit (I had that problem last week) and makes it easier to maneuver in tight waters like Fly Creek (more to follow below.)


6.0 miles from the Fairhope Municipal Pier up Fly Creek and back in 2 1/2 hours. I spent some time practicing rolls and self-rescues near the pier, slowing down my average speed. The weather was abhorrently bad, with rain and a thunderstorm that cut the trip short (I had originally planned on a 12-15 mile trip,) but I've yet to let bad weather ruin a good day of kayaking. It's a matter of staying close to shore so that I can get out of the water quickly should thunderstorms approach.

Fairhope Pier:
This landmark and fishing spot has had a rough go of it the last few years, what with hurricanes Ivan and Katrina. It just reopened in November after a near-complete reconstruction.

Fairhope Yacht Club (mouth of Fly Creek:)"One of these things is not like the others."

Hurricane remnant:A dismasted hulk lying on the bottom where a hurricane tossed it.

Close encounters of the wildlife kind:

Every time I get up close to these birds from a kayak, it's like being a five-year-old seeing them for the first time all over again.

Fly Creek proper: The dull, mottled greens of winter have been replaced by the vibrant greens of spring. Fairhope is an amazingly beautiful place.

The buck stops here. I turned around and went back, since there was no way I was going to get past this one. Pity.

This was a short trip, but well worth it.


steve said...

Citizen, you are one squared up fellow. I would bet everyday is a training day around you. You have however, failed to give her a name.The Cape Horn. Surely you must have a few in mind. looking forward to that.
Great post. Inspires my sense of adventure.

Citizen H said...

Just cooked one up. Thuella, Attic Greek for thunderstorm.

Mrs. Who said...

We've kayaked from the Fairhope area before. Most recently we went up Fish Creek. Recently meaning several months ago. :(

(My Cape Horn is named Nina. She told it to me as we drove up to the store to buy her!)