Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Equipment upgrades

(See below for updates, added 10. june 2008)

For the past two weeks, new gear has been arriving. First of all, Jesper and I agreed to buy new kayaks for the trip. It makes good sense that both paddlers in the team use kayaks that are equally fast, so we avoid the situation of one paddler struggling to keep up with the other for all of the trip.

So - first new kayak is a (used) Rockpool Menai 18, which is now waiting to get the large seat exchanged for a smaller one. Apart from that, it is one mean load carrier, and from the experiences so far, it performs well on the water.

Next, we got a new GPS - Garmin GPSMap 76CSx. I'm using it this week for a round of geocaching to get familiar with it - next step is to get it in a waterproof bag (seems to be necessary even though it says "waterproof" in the manual), and take it for a spin on the water.

Update Tuesday 2008-06-10 on Kayak and GPS experiences:
Today, i recieved the seat for the Menai 18 - it fits perfectly and provides a much improved contact with the boat. This weekend, i had the chance to surf some waves on the danish west coast, which gave a good impression of the Menai's performance in rough water: Very forgiving and relaxing to paddle - the only thing i missed was some more edge control - the boat requires some effort to put on edge (compared to my Valley Avocet) - but i expect that this will improve with the new smaller seat.

Last week, i went geocaching for a couple of hours with the new GPS - it is a great tool (and toy) and after some hours of practice, using it becomes quite easy and natural. One of the neat features is that it can be configured to display information with really large digits, making it readable even when sitting in a dry bag in front of the kayak cockpit. One 'gotcha' that i needed an hour or two of paddling to figure out though, was that the built-in magnetic compass isn't useful (i ended up turning it off) when the GPS is not horizontal.

Happy paddling!


No comments: