Upgraded to 2.6

I upgraded my blog to WordPress 2.6. It was extremely painless – I didn’t even bother to deactivate my plugins. So far, it looks pretty much the same. I do like the new plugins page, though. One of these days I’d like to see if I can get the Gallery plugin working – I had it working for a while, but it broke after a couple of upgrades of both Gallery and WordPress.

Wednesday night race: not getting any better

My boat is still broken. The skeg came in, but it turns out that the wire in the boat is too big for the hole in the skeg – evidently Valley made the skegs narrower in recent years and used a smaller gauge wire to fit it. So I’m going to have to wait while Dave at Baycreek rewires my boat.

I tried a Cobra Eliminator, which is a pretty fast sit-atop kayak. It was a bit tippy, but nothing I couldn’t handle. Unfortunately it had a couple of problems:

  • It had a tendency to turn left unless I held a bit of right rudder
  • the venturi self-bailer only bailed when I was going full speed, and tended to fill the boat if I went even a little bit slower
  • Even with full rudder, it couldn’t do a u-turn in the width of the creek
  • Most importantly, when I went out into the bay the water started coming in faster than it was going out – I ended up trying to balance the boat with the entire cockpit full of water
  • The cockpit was a bit too short for me, so my inner thighs were burning after a few minutes, and when I got tired my paddle kept hitting my knees. We tried taking out the seat so I could sit back further, but then I started sliding from side to side, which was a real treat when the cockpit filled with water again

So I decided not to use the Eliminator. The closest equivalent to what I’m used to was a Valley Nordkapp. It’s a little narrower than the Skerry, but it has almost no rocker, so it was very difficult to turn. Going out on the bay, it wasn’t bad, but when it came time to make the turn I discovered that the combination of narrowness and my unfamiliarity with the boat, and a new set of rollers coming from 90 degrees to my course, I dissolved into a quivering lump of “oh god, please don’t let me tip out here”. Needless to say, that didn’t do much to help my time. And the paddling I did before, and the bad technique during the quivering lump part of the course, meant that my second half wasn’t very good either.

Soon after I finished, and while others were still on the course, we got a brief thunderstorm. Those of us not on the water waited it out under the tarp, but the wind was coming pretty hard so we got wet anyways.

I need to work on my technique, conditioning, weight, and get a better boat. But other than that, I’m perfect.