June 4-5 2011: The three of us made a trial run to shake out some of the initial kinks with new equipment. We lucked into an extremely beautiful weekend in an otherwise soggy spring in Seattle.
We headed up to Tracy’s cabin on Whidbey Island, a 14 mile paddle from Richmond beach. Because we were heading to a semi-civilized location we didn’t need to carry much gear – just a change of clothes, some food, and not much else. Perfect for testing out the hatch seals (dry!), spray skirts (also dry), rudder adjustments (good after some tweaks), and seats (needs customization!!).
No whales greeted us, but we encoutered seals, sea lions, eagles, and more, and we were surrounded by the gloriously clear mountains of Puget Sound. The paddle to Whidbey was against the current; we knew this going into the trip, but our speed was not very encouraging. Four miles per hour seems awfully slow after racing surfskis! However, the return trip the next day – with the same current we were fighting the day before – we were flying at an average of nearly six miles per hour. Much better!