Re: Beaver Creek Messabout Next Saturday, the 11th

John Purdy

I was going to let this slide, but today I got a message on my phone that a new "memory" has been added.  To my surprise it was a movie of pictures I had taken on the Beaver Creek Messabout on Jan 11th.

Was quite impressed by what the phone had done all by itself.  Figured out how to download the movie and made a Youtube video.

For your entertainment, here's a link:

Now here's the commentary . . .

Early in the week my thoughts had turned to wanting to construct keel 2.0 on the white water kayak and try it out on the upcoming Beaver Creek Messabout on Saturday.  Anyone on the Halloween Yaquina River Float saw my attempts at keel 1.0.  I had wanted to adapt the white water boat to make it track a little straighter in flat water. Keel 1.0 was a complete failure. The kayak was just as squirrely with it as without it.  The deep rocker of the kayak kept most of what I had added in the bow and stern as keel 1.0 out of the water.

Thursday afternoon got busy with some ideas, more pine shelving boards, a tape measure, and a jigsaw. Constructed keel 2.0 pieces, gorilla glued and clamped them to keel 1.0 for a deeper longer keel.

After some course sanding and shaping I left for the Brian Booth State Park on Friday night, overnighting near Eugene, then driving the remaining distance Saturday morning.  I wondered if anyone would show up as I drove US 101 south from Newport with wipers on high and gusty buffeting winds tossing the car side to side.  It was really miserable out.

Arrived late at the kayak launch parking lot around 11:00 AM, pushoff was scheduled to be at 10.  There were no other cars in the lot so wondered if I was in the right place.  Inland the wind and rain had subsided. There was a hint of sunshine.  Unloaded the kayak, carried it down the path to the kayak launch dock.  Got changed and took a GPS point so I'd be sure to be able to find my way back.

Shoved off winding my way through the little byways to get to the main creek checking land marks and looking behind me so I would be able to recognize the path back.  Although it was cool, it was rather nice out.  Paddling down the main flow towards the ocean I noticed two things ahead.  1) A very low bridge for the Beaver Creek road I'd just driven up, and 2) Dark clouds moving in fast from the west.  I arrived at the bridge about the same time the sky opened up.  Rain poured all around for about 5 to 10 minutes while I stayed dry under the bridge.  That worked out nicely.

Further down the creek came to an empty refreshment stand.  Odd, never seen anything like this before.  A refreshment stand in a shack on stilts in the middle of the water.  The water level was about 15" above the floor inside.  The creek flowed north for about another half mile, then a big turn to the left went west towards the ocean.  At the turn I noticed that the water was flowing faster to the sea than it was an hour and a half earlier when I'd started.  The wind was picking up and the area much more exposed.  Being unfamiliar with the area and alone,  I didn't want to take a chance on the flow increasing further and making it harder to return, so I turned around short of sighting US 101 or the ocean.  The wind gave me a nice push and I made good time up stream.  Broke out my sandwich for lunch.  I'd take a bite, make a few strokes then take another bite.  Reached the Y that would take me back to the kayak dock and thought, what's up stream?  Still lots of daylight left so I paddled up stream to yet another low bridge.  This one too low to go under.  Looked like about a half a knot of current there.  I lazily rode the current back to the Y then paddled up the narrow slew back to the kayak dock.  Navionics app says I traveled 2.8 NM in 3 hours 34 minutes, max speed was 4.2 knots, average 0.8 knots.

At the dock I counted my blessings for still having agreeable weather.  My car thermometer showed 49 degrees.  Loaded the kayak, changed to street clothes just in time to miss another downpour.

The keel 2.0 worked well, maybe better than to be expected.  I felt like I had training wheels on, the kayak was so well behaved.  The keel also increased the waterline from around 7 feet to just under 10 feet.  Not really sure if it's noticeable but the theoretical hull speed should be increased from around 3.5 knots to 4.2 knots.

Had an un-eventful drive back to Portland and took advantage of the weather to do some storm watching before I left the coast.  Once home, checked my email and sure enough, the event had been canceled, I'd missed the memo.

John Purdy



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