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Messages - deepmud

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Flatwater and Touring / Re: Joe Bark unlimited at -5f
« on: March 04, 2021, 08:04:03 AM »
Talldude - how crazy would it be to make a cutout for gear like Karl's NWP Bark on the my Bark and/or Hobie?  I would make it more square-sided - perhaps match this bag I have. I've done fiberglass before - I'm pretty sure my carbon-work would be just as  imperfect, and not well "squeezed out" - so it would add weight beyond just the design requirments.

Flatwater and Touring / Re: Hobie unlimited 12 klicks on the Knik
« on: March 04, 2021, 07:56:43 AM »
Which is better... well, I'm not sure yet. :D I'd have been happy with either one alone I think. The Bark - so roundy/smoothy on the bottom - really takes a big fin - I tried my Red Elite little fin and it was sliding sideways/fish-tailing all over. As you know, I was too far back so it could behave better had I gotten the weight up to get the nose into the water - but my larger FCS Touring fin got it to track straight. Both boards are stable - perhaps having a Red Elite trained me to be tolerant of bobble because I found the Bark very comfortable. Since it was so warm - and I had time - I took the Hobie on this much more adventurous run downriver - I was hoping to get out in the tidal/ice-blocks zone - it's pretty weird/dramatic.  The Hobie was very stable, tracked straight - and my over-large self on it, not that high out of the water. I stayed a bit forward, kept the nose in the water - it seems pretty fast. I hit 6mph a few times, but even with only the small current of the tailrace, it's hard to tell what my flatwater speed would be. It's winter, I'm not in top shape, not paddling 3 days a week or more like summer - but I can tell I like them. I would have been really happy with either - but it's fun to mess with both. I can't wait to try them back-to-back and I have friend who wants to try them too - so maybe a trip to Portage Glacier for more ice  - I've run out!(it's great in scotch - I got my big chunk to last over a year keeping it in the freezer)  I think the Bark will be very much a "sea kayak"  - I will have to search how to do the install - I can't tell what is going on with the pictures of this model Bark when steering. I can do what I did on the Red - fiber spring glued into the kayak rudder for "return to center" and terrible/loose 550 cord pulls on one side or the other - tension/stretch not too big a deal since it's not what keeps the fin straight. For sure at first I will set it up like that - mostly just need a zero-clearance fin for shallows/trees etc - that river was so low that I was constantly dodging submerged alders near the bank - deepest water was also the most hazardous. I cruised downriver farther out in the shallows but upriver I was digging deep for power - jamming my paddle in the bottom was not working. I should bring a 12ft pole :D
So - yeah - they are both awesome - I can't believe I'm so lucky - I bet these are the ONLY unlimited boards in Alaska.

Flatwater and Touring / Re: Hobie unlimited 12 klicks on the Knik
« on: March 02, 2021, 09:44:55 AM »
repaired - yeah - it's just when can I deal with 6 months recovery. Yes - it would be extra-bad to tear it fully out alone - so there is that. I would have gone for it last fall - but the wife had had to get a new knee first - we have to schedule our parts replacements carefully :D This won't be 3 months/minor repair as I have a big ol' arthritic/tendon-tearing knob on my clavicle - going for the Mumford like my left shoulder had 10 years ago. So - I'll be having no fun when I do it. I need a right knee 1/2 replacement to go with my left too :D I lost a bunch of bow-leg on one side and  - :D it's hurting my back to be offset! A straightened leg is longer than a bent one. This getting old stuff is not easy  :P

Flatwater and Touring / Re: Hobie unlimited 12 klicks on the Knik
« on: February 28, 2021, 10:13:08 AM »
edut*cold....ha this was balmy  ;D
It's weird how stuff "I just bought recently" gets super old when I turn away for a minute. Much warmer than this and I bail out of the drysuit and just drip dry if I fall in  8) . I don't think I can do another trip like this unless I catch a higher discharge of the power plant. My torn right shoulder needs to make it one more summer and pushing/plowing thru the sandbars upstream left me with severe overnight pains.  Doc warned me not to tear the last 10% of ligament holding on, says stretching the retracted muscle is no fun for me or him.  But I was having a blast.

The Hobie seems really suited for me ,I was sure I would be high out of the water and tippy. I don't see much room for cutting it to a dugout like Talldude had been planning.  I was only an inch or so above the water. I was extra forward to minimize rudder catching. I will modify both of the unlimiteds for a kayak rudder for rivers for sure this summer. Solves rudder issues 100%.

Flatwater and Touring / Re: Hobie unlimited 12 klicks on the Knik
« on: February 28, 2021, 12:16:42 AM »
map of the route.

and a fun link to the panorama Google made.

Flatwater and Touring / Re: Hobie unlimited 12 klicks on the Knik
« on: February 28, 2021, 12:10:26 AM »
The current was toughest at the bridges,  my old Blue Planet would be tough if not impossible for me to overcome the current with.
The shot with the wonky tree is my favorite.

At one point,  I got hung in a sand/silt bar . I tried to bounce to get out,  the silt liquefied and I lost my balance at the  suction released and the board shot out from under my feet.  Good thing I have the drysuit! I found that while the silt was not walkable I could put a knee on the board and kick along. Finally got back to the start point and called it a day.

Flatwater and Touring / Re: Hobie unlimited 12 klicks on the Knik
« on: February 28, 2021, 12:00:13 AM »
Further progress was blocked by an ice floe wedged against the shore.
Sort of good, as it turns out.  If I had kept going I could easily burned another hour and I was plenty tired getting back upstream as it was.

Flatwater and Touring / Re: Hobie unlimited 12 klicks on the Knik
« on: February 27, 2021, 11:55:01 PM »
Shallow water is a problem in winter, but this barge is so stable that I can tilt it over 45 degrees sorta pull the fin up out of the sand.

Flatwater and Touring / Hobie unlimited 12 klicks on the Knik
« on: February 27, 2021, 11:50:40 PM »
At a balmy 34f! So much warmer than last time out. I decided to make an attempt at getting downriver to where salt and tides interact with ice.

Flatwater and Touring / Re: Joe Bark unlimited at -5f
« on: February 22, 2021, 06:20:48 AM »
"This guy paddling" and "That guy on the sup" and "Paddler I saw" - and I suspect "that nut out on the water at -10!!" somewhere on the internet :D. that top image is bigger on FB (hey - went did the Zone start just adjusting pic size? It's SO much easier - I forgot to resize some photos and just loaded them and - ta-daa! - Zone is doing it for me now - SO much easier) and you can see details like water trailing from the paddle - I didn't look on real pc till yesterday and wow! the color gradient from left to right - light/pink to dark/blues - that is a striking image. I wish I'd known to pose I'd want a nice shot of the reach/stretch for the catch. I got a drone for my birthday - maybe I can figure out how to use it for shots like this. All I can see right now in all these is that I'm too far back and I should have worn a cooler-looking hat lol oh and the mittens look as clumsy as they feel  -  but my hands were warm so that was nice. Maybe this next weekend I can try the Hobie. I was oncall this week so no having fun/being too far from a keyboard.

Flatwater and Touring / Re: Joe Bark unlimited at -5f
« on: February 21, 2021, 06:53:48 PM »
 More photos lol. Photographers go to this location a lot. This was on a hiking page.
link for original Photographer credit:

Gear Talk / Re: New board 14x22.5
« on: February 20, 2021, 08:13:13 PM »
I wish this (sup) existed when I was 11 ;)  but I did get to kayak in Alaska so not soon bad.
I am interested in dugout boards so please keep posting. 

had to laugh about wanting to go faster since losing weight wasn't working. :D a nice slow wide board would be great exercise... ;) but hey I get it. Really when I first got my 14' Starboard and started hitting 6 mph and 37 ish 5k it motivated me to work harder... so it could still help!

Flatwater and Touring / Re: Joe Bark unlimited at -5f
« on: February 15, 2021, 06:07:55 PM »
That last photo is breath taking...
Thanks - the spot has that combination of man-made straight lines and nature's straight lines on the mountain, the black water, the white snow. That sun-lit peak runs from almost sea level to over 6k (Pioneer Peak) - There aren't any foothills in a glacier valley - so it's pretty much a sheer face going six thousand feet up.

I should have some nice photos in a couple days -a budding photographer came out to do a shoot of me in the fog and ice, and Chuck the kayaker came out so we got pics of both of us. Chuck is an AVID paddler, and I felt good just keeping up with his sea kayak. I think if he was in his 14' Klepper I'd have a good advantage, at least in flat water. In he 19'(17?) xNarrow :D sea kayak he can pull ahead but he has to work at it.

Standing position - once I tried stop - I was STUCK :D I tried scooting forward a bit - all I got was SLIPPERY footing. It really shows you how much you depend on driving power down through your feet when they won't stick to the deck :D  You can see in that photo of the decking it was covered in ice. Re: Heating pads - they don't like to get wet, and they need air - so you can't seal them up (like, they don't work well in a boot either :D )  I have a theory that my inflatable takes "warmth" from the water and carries it up to the decking, and that was melting the water under my feet - but I doubt the Bark transmits ANY heat up from below -and still, it was melted under my feet - despite layers of wool felt, neoprene, multiple pairs of socks - So - I seem to be melting ice under my boot soles. Maybe I should invest in electric insoles on the boots. Good ones exist - but this is not cheap - and I am cheap lol.  I keep meaning to bring a bag of rock salt - melt the ice, or give traction - either is good :D

Tie-downs. Suggestions? Screws and loops like a kayak? Just....silicone the screw holes? Glue? I'm like - hey - there are NONE :D I had to leave my bag of try-to-not-die gear on the shore. I couldn't get gorilla tape to stick in the cold - I burnt the tip of my right index finger a bit as it was, what with messing with phone/bag/tape without the mittens on. Mittens - SO much better than gloves, at least for me. I grew up in Alaska with various not great "ski gloves" and froze moderately both some fingers and toes - the circulation is not good on index/middle finger/thumb - they all go numb in cold with the gloves, but mitts work fine for me, even the thumb is warm.

Flatwater and Touring / Re: Joe Bark unlimited at -5f
« on: February 14, 2021, 07:32:04 PM »
I was surprised how easily I could turn it with either sticking my paddle out front at angle to act like a front rudder or  just a cross stroke. I suspect it will weather-vane in crosswinds. Maybe add a ventral fin?

Flatwater and Touring / Joe Bark unlimited at -5f
« on: February 14, 2021, 07:11:53 PM »
Got it loaded up this morning.  15f at my house but -5f in the shadow of the  mountain.  I at least got to try it out. Just as Talldude says, good secondary stability.  I wasn't able to try different positions as the deck got super icy except under my feet. The solid foam doesn't transmit any of the warmth like the inflatable.Hit almost 12 kph  ... but I thinks I got a 2 or 3 kph boost from the light current.

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