Every spring I schedule a flat water BASK paddle and campout on the Russian River. We camp at the Willow Creek Campground, paddle up and down the river, and if the ocean is calm enough we get to paddle there as well. On Saturday evening we paddle down to the Sizzling Tandoori restaurant and have a great meal and paddle back by moonlight to our campground.
This year I planed for Maryly wanting to stay dry around dinner time and I brought my double kayak out with me. I also brought my Coaster for most of the paddling. It seems that I have been making and buying boats so fast that I don't have time to play with them, so I also brought my new Feathercraft K-light. I arrived a day early to make sure we got the best campgrounds and had Friday afternoon and Saturday morning to laze around the campground. Instead of driving home and trying to get some work done, like I have done in previous years, I took the time to put the folding Feathercraft boat together a few times. The instructions say that with practice you can put it together in 30 minutes, but many people disagree. It certainly took me over 45 minutes the first time with all the false starts. But with practice I was able to get it down to 20 minutes! I mentioned this to Andy Chamberlain, who joined us on Saturday and who also owns a K-light. I challenged her to a contest to see who could put their boat together the fastest, and she conceded defeat without trying.
I attempted to roll this boat for the first time and failed. Like my baidarka, there is not very much room for me to spread my knees and hold onto the inside of this boat. In this case the rib pieces are molded out of plastic and are wider than they are thick. My knees bump into the edges of the rib which is painful and prevents me from getting a good grip. Iíll have to try putting some padding on the rib or making a thigh pad that hooks onto the longerons.
The ocean was too rough for paddling so we spent our time on the Russian River this year. On Saturday evening we all gathered and paddled down to the restaurant for the usually great meal. I have to plan these trips way in advance and I try to choose a day close to the full moon. But the full moon doesn't always conveniently land on a weekend. This year I chose the closest weekend after the full moon and this turns out to be a mistake. The moon rises before sunset in the days before it is full, and after sunset in the days after the full moon. So when we got out of the restaurant after our meal the moon had not risen yet. Rather than wait hours for the moon to rise above the hills in the narrow river valley, we paddled back up by starlight and managed to make it OK. Next year I'll be more careful about the moon!