Georgian Bay weekend

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Byron Walter

Georgian Bay weekend

Post by Byron Walter »

I just returned from a two-day kayak workshop for weenies. Although I have a folder (Fujita 480), the class was with hard shell Seaward kayaks. The class consisted of two students (me & Louise) and two female instructors, Colleen and Cristina… nice.

We spent the morning on basics after which we loaded up for an overnight trip. And this is where it gets good, really good. We departed from Killbear Provincial Park, Ontario which is located on Georgian Bay on the north shore of Lake Huron. The bay is about 130 by 60 miles and is alleged to contain 30,000 islands. This region is part of the Canadian Shield. The last ice age pretty much scraped off everything softer than granite. The retreating ice sheets dumped boulders, rocks, stones, pebbles, and sand. Conifers and deciduous trees have somehow managed to sink roots into fissures in the granite base and rock piles, creating small clumps of forest. While there are a few sandy beaches, most of the shores are rock, some steep and others with gentle slopes. This makes for a paddling paradise with many sheltered coves. But one thing is missing. Since there’s no dirt, there’s no mud. It’s like playing in a giant bath tube.

We paddled between a few of the smaller islands, crossed a two mile channel with moderate swells and headed for our target island. Many of the islands have dwellings ranging from shacks to pleasure palaces. We reached our island for the night, set up our camp and returned to our kayaks for more practice (all the usual crap for raw paddlers).
We returned to shore for map & compass 101 training.

Colleen finished up with some hygiene and sanitation issues. We were told that for doing the “number two” we should dig a hole, do our business, and cover the hole. That pretty much eliminated elimination since it seemed no one had the foresight to bring a diesel generator and a jack hammer.

After the evening dinner we told travel stories. I made a very brief attempt to demo what a cool guy I am by name-dropping a few exotic locations from my trekker CV. That was a mistake. All three of my companions turned out to be hardcore travel junkies. Anything I’d done they’d done times ten. For a moment I contemplated lying to them and making claims about how I’d climbed Everest, hunted whales with the Inuit, and could even speak Swahili. But in the end I just shut up and listened to tales of journeys to Kenya, Patagonia, Nepal, Kazakhstan, Borneo, Sumatra, Baffin Island… you get the idea.

That night it clouded up and rained intermittently. But Mother Nature was feeling benevolent and the rain had passed by the time we arose. Colleen was looking a touch haggard after having a rather difficult time sleeping as she had forgotten to bring her Thermarest pad. Did I mention that we camped on granite?

We loaded up and headed back to Killbear. After unloading the yaks we went out close to shore and I spent as much time as I could stand upside down in the kayak doing wet exits and t-rescues. By this point Colleen had commented that my kayak kung fu was pretty good and she wanted to film me doing wet exits and re-entries. Unfortunately in the presences of the camera I looked more like the bottom placer in a retard log-rolling contest. What can I say? I think that I’m going to get a sea sock for my Fujita and keep on practicing.

But what about the hard shell kayaks? We had two Seaward RM Tyees and two brand new Seaward Cosma TX’s. The Tyees measure in at seventeen feet and have beams of twenty four inches. They are stable, track well, but are hard to keep on edge.

The Cosma TX’s were the hot rides. They come in at sixteen feet and two inches and have twenty-three inch beams. The hull material is some kind of thermoform plastic that looks and feels just like fiber glass but with a slightly lower price point. The combination of multi-chines with a vee hull results in low primary stability and moderate secondary stability but even I could keep the boat on edge without flipping. And where the Tyee would take water over the deck, the Cosma would just glide on through, with barely a ripple in its wake. Since the Cosmas were brand new boats with no history, Colleen and Cristina had no idea of how they would hold up.

As the day ended I had one more very nice experience. The beach we departed and returned to is pretty much “out there”. But there were a few people. And there was this one woman that passed by. She was wearing a minimalist white bikini and she was exactly the kind of person that should wear one. Although she never gave me a glance, it was a nice note to end the trip on.

And if anyone cares, the seminar was presented by Black Feather. Black Feather offers guided trips on foot, canoe, and kayak. I might sign up for a winter Baja kayak trip. But my pasty white skin will probably need about a gallon of sun block.

jtmusiel
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How about...

Post by jtmusiel »

Although I have a folder (Fujita 480), the class was with hard shell Seaward kayaks. The class consisted of two students (me & Louise) and two female instructors, Colleen and Cristina… nice.
some photos?

you know, of the kayaks :wink:

Byron Walter

Re: How about...

Post by Byron Walter »

[quote="jtmusiel"][quote]Although I have a folder (Fujita 480), the class was with hard shell Seaward kayaks. The class consisted of two students (me & Louise) and two female instructors, Colleen and Cristina… nice.[/quote]

some photos?

you know, of the kayaks :wink:[/quote]

Many moons ago I actually worked as a photographer but have since given away all my many cameras. Over the past few years I have travelled but have been camera-less. One of these days I plan on buying another one... but it's gonna have to be water-proof.

If I had brought one I most definitely would have taken numerous shots of one of the Seaward yaks... probably the one with Colleen 8)

Anyhow, the Georgian Bay area has got to be one of the finest locations for kayaking in North America. Well, at least during the summer.

jtmusiel
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Re: How about...

Post by jtmusiel »

Anyhow, the Georgian Bay area has got to be one of the finest locations for kayaking in North America.
I have just started seriously looking at it as a destination. I always dismissed it as being too far away, but it's not nearly as long of a trip as I imagined. It will have to wait - this summers all filled up.

Byron Walter

Re: How about...

Post by Byron Walter »

[quote="jtmusiel"][quote]Anyhow, the Georgian Bay area has got to be one of the finest locations for kayaking in North America. [/quote]

I have just started seriously looking at it as a destination. I always dismissed it as being too far away, but it's not nearly as long of a trip as I imagined. It will have to wait - this summers all filled up.[/quote]

Just plan on making your trip before the next ice age...

...and try to avoid Toronto. I hope to go back next year. It's only about 500 miles for me.

BTW, I just spent the mid day on a nearby lake and ran into a couple of women in kayaks. One gal had an eighteen footer hard shell and the other gal was paddling a FeatherCraft Wisper. What a nice folder! The FC female's name is (I believe) Hika and she had a smokin' stroke. She was cruising at around 4.5 to 4.9 mph and clearly was not pushing it.

Alm

Post by Alm »

We had two Seaward RM Tyees and two brand new Seaward Cosma TX’s.
I didn't know Tyee existed in RM version - those that' I've seen, were fiberglass (and there is a carbon option, if I'm not mistaken). Huge, stabile boat - TAD wide for a hardshell, not the fastest, still a good ocean kayak. Faster than my Kahuna, anyway. Feels like a bus sometimes. Huge cockpit. Newer models after 2005 have reportedly different chine, or rather they simply "have a chine". Older hulls had "soft chine" (in other words, no chine), and now there is a chine, so it is easier to keep it on the edge. I own an old one.
The FC [Wisper] female's name is (I believe) Hika and she had a smokin' stroke. She was cruising at around 4.5 to 4.9 mph and clearly was not pushing it.
Even if it was 4.9 mph (not 4.9 knots), I think she just made you believe that she wasn't pushing ;-)...

Byron Walter

Good morning, Alm

Post by Byron Walter »

[quote="Alm"][quote]We had two Seaward RM Tyees and two brand new Seaward Cosma TX’s.[/quote]
I didn't know Tyee existed in RM version - those that' I've seen, were fiberglass (and there is a carbon option, if I'm not mistaken). Huge, stabile boat - TAD wide for a hardshell, not the fastest, still a good ocean kayak. Faster than my Kahuna, anyway. Feels like a bus sometimes. Huge cockpit. Newer models after 2005 have reportedly different chine, or rather they simply "have a chine". Older hulls had "soft chine" (in other words, no chine), and now there is a chine, so it is easier to keep it on the edge. I own an old one.

[quote]The FC [Wisper] female's name is (I believe) Hika and she had a smokin' stroke. She was cruising at around 4.5 to 4.9 mph and clearly was not pushing it.[/quote]
Even if it was 4.9 mph (not 4.9 knots), I think she just made you believe that she wasn't pushing ;-)...[/quote]

Hi Alm,

The Tyees were RM's... kind of a dull plastic look and one of them had a dent from sitting on a roof rack in the hot sun. I really liked the Cosma Tx's. They seemed to fit me very well. Both boats clued me into the factoid that my Fujita tracks like a drunken sailor. Several other people of various weights have also noted this.

I made a mistake with the Feather Craft paddler. She offered her ride for me to try and I didn't. It did look to track much better than the Fujita. She also owns a Khat (not sure which model). She said that she usually leaves her folders assembled and roof racks them, which seems like a good plan with the FC Khat which is said to be a pain to assemble.

Also had a second time run in with a guy named Ed who is into kayak racing. He was in a... maybe... 21 foot, 18 inch beam carbon fiber pencil of a boat and was smoking the water. The boat was so tipsy that he almost rolled while exhaling.

Alm

Post by Alm »

kind of a dull plastic look and one of them [Tyee] had a dent from sitting on a roof rack in the hot sun. I really liked the Cosma Tx's. They seemed to fit me very well. Both boats clued me into the factoid that my Fujita tracks like a drunken sailor. Several other people of various weights have also noted this.
Yeah, with a dent it must be RM. Have never seen any. 25.5" * 15 ft FC Kahuna doesn't track too well, btw - compared to 24.5" * 16 ft Tyee. Not like a drunken sailor, but enough for me to keep rudder in the water most of the time. But Fujita 480 is long and narrow, same beam and same length as Tyee. Poor tracking is probably due to Fujita's flex. Or - too much rocker. Again, the question is - how "poor". Like I said, Kahunas are not the best tracking boats, - good enough for me, but occasionally people find this annoying.

In Wisper I noticed a "negative rocker" once, when it was laying flat on the ground. The keel line between the stern and the seat was curved upwards. The owner said that this is how it should be. Could be also a result of high tension in FC frame, but negative rocker results in a better tracking, as I understand.

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krudave
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Post by krudave »

A couple of the Folbot models also show a little negative rocker ("hog") when out of the water. Never checked while in the water, but I suspect when the paddler loads the center of the boat, some (all?) of that hog comes out. Our G II was obviously hogged by an inch at least, and I never noticed any severe resistance to turning or pinning on a turn.

Somebody with a good mask and wet suit could check this out for us! :wink: :wink: :roll:
Dave Kruger
Astoria, OR
--
Folbot Kodiak, Cooper, and Edisto; three hardshells; Mothership: Surf Scoter the Bartender; dinghy Little Blue Duck.

BrianMcD

Post by BrianMcD »

"Anyhow, the Georgian Bay area has got to be one of the finest locations for kayaking in North America. Well, at least during the summer."

Tough paddling in the winter for sure!

Brian

Paul
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Post by Paul »

Funny stuff.

Did your kayak come with a rudder? How satisfied are you with it thus far?

When I paddled with Chuck in Tahoe I could not get the Khats to track very well. Chuck then told me that the Khats tracked better than the Kajak Sport Viking that he was paddling. He was going straight as an arrow without the skeg.

jcwlx

Post by jcwlx »

Byron, I fully agree with you regarding Killbear Provincial park and the waters/islands around it and nearby Parry Sound. I camped there 2 or 3 years ago, and took my Klepper Aerius 2 for a few short paddles during the short stay. I raved about Killbear to my friends in Wisconsin and in Ontario. Got to go back there and stay longer one of these soon. I'm a transplanted Canuck, who plans to spend my summers in Ontario at Lagoon City on Lake Simcoe, near Georgian Bay, so will have lots of opportunity in couple of years. I'm glad others are discovering the beauties of Killbear. BTW White Squall Kayaks is just outside the park and offers lots of rentals etc for those that don't have boats.

Chris

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