Sunday, March 27, 2016

What To Do in a Gale

So, what’s a paddler supposed to do when it’s blowing 55-60 miles per hour, or when it is blowing dirt at 25-40 mph for day after day, week after week after week?  Walking would be great except you stagger around in the gusts like a drunk.  I did ride the bike three miles to the store when it was blowing 55.  That was exciting, and once was enough of that.  On the downwind leg I didn’t peddle once, but more than made up for it in first gear on the way back.  There’s also planning trips, studying maps and Google Earth, and reading.  But, I’ve lately added a project for the grandkids---making layered animals.  When I sent one goat to the youngest granddaughter, her older sister swiped it and started sleeping with it.  That’s cute, but it was obvious I’d have to make more and spread them around to ward off sibling rivalry.  I didn’t know if they would really want them, especially the older ones, thinking that perhaps they were too old to enjoy them.  Instead, I ended up with standing orders, with even a couple for adults.

The plans come from The Winfield Collection (, with plans for all the animals in several different sizes.  There are other plans for a couple thousand other things for those really needing something to do.  If you like birdhouses, those are great.  This set of plans has full-sized drawings for 84 different animals.  I decided to do all 14 animals on the first sheet at once.  These include, so far, a goat, reindeer, turkey, elephant, rabbit, a saddled horse, cow, panda, pig, sheep, raccoon, goose, bloodhound, and a cat.   Over the last three weeks, I’ve drawn and cut out 293 wood animal pieces.  They are now bagged in gallon storage bags to keep the pieces together, and I can next shape, sand, assemble, and paint them, maybe getting out one animal for each of four grandkids each month.  We will see how that goes, because when the foul weather stops, I’m going paddling, kids.  Especially once my sail gets here, I plan on getting out in some rougher conditions to take full advantage of the sailing opportunities.

Added:  On the subject of gales and adverse wind, I received this precise breakdown of the Everglades Challenge results from Patrick Forrester:
When you count all kayaks including the Hobies there were 59 kayak entries in the 2016 EC. Only 19 of them finished.  When you count single conventional (not including the hobies) kayaks and decked canoes and subtract the tandem conventional kayaks only 13 out of 35 paddlers finished.  Tandem conventional kayaks did the best at 2 out of 4 finishing.  0 of the 3 single Hobie Adventure Islands finished.  3 of the 16 tandem Hobie Adventure Islands finished.  In the end the big head winds were just too much. If it could have only been a favorable wind there would have been a lot more finishes.

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