Friday, February 20, 2009

By The Skin of Your Chinny Chin Chin

Recalling my ride in the car of doom from yesterdays post I was reminded of the same situation that came about when a friend with a two person kayak asked me to join him in paddling from Altoona to Rice Island on the Columbia.

I’ve kayaked the Columbia in my kayaks before, but this was the first time I was going to be at the mercy of an unsafe craft of someone else. This was a wooden framed kayak that was skinned with vinyl. I’m not talking about thick vinyl like in vinyl siding, but rather the vinyl that was used on cars with vinyl tops or maybe Nalgahyde furniture. It was thin and stretched tight over the frame. Rips were repaired with duct tape.

I felt uneasy at first, but my confidence grew as we got into deeper water. I was warned to look out for submerged pilings. A piling could rip through the craft with ease leaving us in the drink in little time.

When we returned to shore I realized that several of the duct tape patches were separating from the skin. Another hour in the water and we would have been swimming. The owner wasn’t bothered a bit. He ripped off the failing pieces, dried the vinyl and applied more tape. I never went back or attempted another trip with him. I found out the other day he is still alive and still paddling. That is truly amazing.


Blogger darev2005 said...

I've learned that kayakers, like cyclists and long distance runners, tend to be some odd critters. But then, who am I to talk?

8:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gorilla brand duct tape is twice as tough and sticky as the traditional stuff. Thats what I use on my boat, he leaked.
-Tom Swift

9:27 AM  
Blogger g said...

Macgyver would be proud.

i used to tool around rice in my 12 foot duck skiff. great times.

6:54 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Darev, I used to cycle 30 miles a day. I kind of miss it, though my knees will not allow me to return to it.

Tom Swift, your boat is a "he"? That's unusual.

g, We actually spent time on Rice Island and didn't see any of the signs that restrict trespassing until we left.

5:28 AM  
Blogger g said...

we'd get bored because hunting would suck and go look at where all the ducks/geese were hanging out.

1:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry Guy that was my lame attempt at a Tom Swifty style pun, ie: "I need a drink he said dryly". "Look at the size of that raven he crowed" "Play some Zappa! requested Tom frankly" "I only use the best duct tape to patch my kayak he leaked"

10:37 PM  

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