Thursday, May 2, 2013

Loading Buddy

I was seriously overloaded for the St. Johns River trip in Florida. Part of the reason was Ibi’s huge capacity allows it, but I was even pushing that. There was no dragging through the shallows. When she ran aground, Ibi was indeed aground. The other reason was being so far from home and not knowing what to expect. A year ago they were experiencing freezing temperatures clear down to Everglades City, so I went prepared for a wide range of temperature extremes. With the acquisition of Buddy (Hornbeck 14), it was obvious that a major trimming of gear and weight was in order. I spent part of three days going through every bag and pack, and finally got the load down to 110-pounds, and that includes a week’s provisions and three gallons of water. Everything was weighed and distributed to keep the canoe in trim. Best of all, it all stows mostly below the gunnels (or gunwales), so the center of gravity stays low. Then I screwed eyestraps into the gunnels for the lashings.

I had hoped to get Buddy to some water where I could capsize and swamp her just to see what happened, but the weather has been atrocious, as most of you the country over have experienced as well. I just couldn’t bring myself to stand out in 20-degree windchills, with 40-50mph winds, and play in the water.  

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