Sunday, June 14, 2015

Duckpunting on Greenlake!

I had an awesome day on Friday getting "The Donkey" out on Greenlake for an evening sail. The wind was light, which was good because I have a shoulder injury and hauling on the mainsheet or steering with the oar in heavy wind would have been painful at least, or worse caused injuries to areas I am trying to heal. As it turned out I did end up hurting my shoulder, or at least made things worse than they already were. Dammit!

I keep the punt on two sawhorses, which makes it really easy to strap my boat cart to it. Once the cart is attached it is a simple matter of filling the boat with all I need to go sailing, and then rolling the boat the two blocks down the sidewalk to the lake. Crossing Greenlake Way can be dicey, but cars usually give me a wide berth once I start rolling the boat out into the street! Once across GL Way it is a short roll down a gentle grass hill and I am at the waters edge. Then I unstrap the cart, rig the boat, and slide it into the water, the full process takes thirty minutes at the most. 

My intention was to sail a clockwise loop around the lake, trying to stay in close to shore. I wanted to make the loop as big as I could, and since the boat has no flotation I like to stay close in if possible. Here is a Strava track of the evening's sailing-

Halfway through the evening's sail I heard someone calling from the shore and as I looked over I could see my buddy Shawn waving. I had invited him down on the lake to do some paddle boarding while I was sailing but hadn't heard back from him. It turns out he had been busy, but dropped by the lake to say "Hi!" on his way home. At this point the wind was fading so I just paddled the boat over, canoe style. We chatted for a few minutes, and then it looked like the wind was lightening up even more so I pushed off to finish the lap around the lake while I still had a little breeze. 

I slowly passed a couple of fishermen out in fishing tubes who seemed to be having some pretty good luck, although there is no way I would eat anything from out of that lake. The water can be pretty toxic, and is sometimes closed to swimming from the dangerous concentrations of algae. Yuck! It was true Duckpunt sailing though, the kind I like best. Just ghosting along in the shallows, relaxing as the boat moves through the water gently and smoothly. 

About two and a half hours after starting I guided the boat easily onto the shore, and that's where my shoulder troubles started. The Donkey is heavy! Much heavier than it needed to be for its intended purpose, something I have regretted ever since building it. As I grabbed the bow to pull the boat up onto the bank I felt that sharp stab that means I have re-injured the area of my shoulder that I have been rehabilitating for the last three weeks. Unfortunately there was nothing I could do about it at that moment, and I still had to get the boat home, so I un-rigged everything, attached the cart, and started the slow roll back up the hill with my shoulder protesting the whole way home. 

As stupid as it was to hurt myself again, it was worth it to spend such a glorious day out on the water. There is simply no experience quite like sailing a boat you have built with your own two hands, it is satisfying on a level that only someone who has done so can understand. Build a Duckpunt and you will know what I mean!

Here is the video of the day's sail with some silly camera angles, and an appearance by the aforementioned Shawn, enjoy!

No comments:

Post a Comment