Here is a pic of Corey Freedman's skin-on-frame baidarka on display at the 2005 Port Townsend West Coast Sea Kayak Symposium. It's on a scale hanging under a bamboo tripod. That's Corey in the back with the orange shorts and blue hat.
Early in the day the scale read 18 lbs, but it must have started to stretch and later on it read somewhere between 23-24 lbs. Still pretty light!
Now for mine: I went over the hull with a scraper and scraped down the high spots and got rid of all the areas of dried glue. I shaped the bow piece a little bit with a crooked knife. Next I need to fill in some holes with wood slivers and wood filler. That's a good place to stop before I leave for Japan, because the next step is sanding, which is going to make a real mess.
The highlight of the West Coast Sea Kayak Symposium for me was the "Roll Off". I don't know if that was the formal name for the event, but it was the Greenland rolling demo with Dubside and Leon Sommé, from Body Boat Blade. When I took the 5-day kayak camp with Leon and Shawna Franklin in May, Leon told me that his goal was to be able to do all the Greenland rolls with a Europaddle, and it looks like he's gotten close to getting them all. Dubside started the "roll off" paddling an orange Ocean Kayak sit-on-top, then switched to another short fat plastic tub, then finally to his black Feathercraft Wisper. I took some video and uploaded a clip of Dubside's "double norsaq roll".
Upcoming events: A day of Greenland Rolling with Dubside and Leon, at Deception Pass, October 29th and 30th, 2005. Can't miss that one! Might Dubside and Leon become business partners?
I put up son's kayak up for sale, the black Greenland skin-on-frame I built for him this past spring. The story about how he helped build it is published in the summer issue of the Qajaq USA newsletter, The Masik. I asked him if he thought he would ever use it again and he said no. He really doesn't enjoy kayaking and is afraid of the water. How quickly dreams flourish then die! I am alone in my enjoyment of this sport.
I made a little sign out of foam core and asked Tom Sharp if I could set it up at his booth at the vendor's area at the West Coast Sea Kayak Symposium. Tom was promoting his new Greenland Rope Gymnastics (qajaasaarneq) video that he made with Dubside. "If you want to we can even carry your kayak inside and you could set it up right here next to the booth", he said. I opted to keep it down at the demo beach, where people could wander by and maybe even try it out on the water if they wanted to. I spent most of Saturday morning at the beach, chatting with people I knew and playing around in some of the fiberglass kayaks. I would sit on the sand wearing my drysuit, eat lunch and watch from a distance as people shuffled by and looked curiously at my son's kayak. As it turned out, no one bought it. But I bought a $25 copy of Tom's DVD, mainly because of my interest in how his film turned out rather than any interest I had in Greenland ropes gymnastics.
I call the Old Consulate Inn at 730, can't wait any longer. I talk to the innkeeper, Michael. He's helpful and immediately looks up the cancellation file. Someone named Maryanne took the call on 3-16-05, no reason given for cancelling the reservation. I rush home from work, and immediately take out my phone records. On 3-16 I see a call made to Port Townsend from my cell phone! I get this sinking feeling and go through my credit card records. There is no record of a $10 cancellation fee from The Bishop. Immediately I call The Bishop and ask if I still have reservations. I do, for Friday and Saturday! I ask to cancel.
"I wish you would have called me three hours ago. I just turned away a million people looking for a room this weekend!"
If they can sell the room I won't have to pay for it, otherwise I'm stuck with the bill. On their website there is a red neon "vacancy" sign over the front door. Just keep that sign on! I think to myself. Someone is bound to notice.
So why couldn't we stay at The Bishop in the heart of Port Townsend instead of at Port Ludlow a half hour away? Well, my paddling friends are staying at The Bishop:Kate and the paddling friends don't get along!
This weekend: the big West Coast Sea Kayak Symposium in Port Townsend. I've been waiting since January, made my reservations at both a hotel and a B&B. Back in March (I think) I cancelled my reservations at the Victorian Hotel (the Bishop) and they charged me a $10 cancellation fee. Today I realize that I never received anything in the mail from the B&B, the Old Consulate Inn, call them up and they have no record of my reservation.
"Are you sure?" I ask. "It was for the Master Anniversary Suite. I made the reservations several months ago, I think in January."
"We do have a room - actually a cottage - available Thursday and Friday."
"No, that won't work. And you know there is going to be absolutely nothing available anywhere in town this weekend!"
This will be by far the busiest weekend in Port Townsend all year. Apparently, because of a mistake on the Kayak Symposium director's part, both the Symposium and the Wooden Boat Festival were scheduled for the same weekend. Every hotel, motel, B&B, hostel and campsite in the Port Townsend area has been booked for months in advance and we have no where to stay! Kate has even arranged a babysitter to stay two nights with the kids.
I try to remember. Did I make reservations somewhere else? I could go over my credit card statements. Did they charge me a deposit? My phone records: what B&B did I call? I sent an email about it to Kate-- maybe it's still on my computer. Is there a confirmation number scribbled on a scrap piece of paper in my desk somewhere? I search through my old Palm V for clues.
I remember the conversation I had with the woman at the Old Consulate Inn:
"Do you have any rooms available for September 9 and 10?"
"Yes, we do. You have your pick. Would like our best room?"
"Sure, why not?"
It was the Master Anniversary Suite. At work, I look over my credit card statements online. It goes back to April 2005. I find a charge for The Old Consulate Inn for $10! What the hell is that?! I call up the Inn again and find out it's a cancellation fee. I remember the cancellation fee from the Bishop, and remember clearly thinking that I better not keep making and cancelling reservations for Port Townsend hotels or it will end up costing me a lot of money.
"Do you know exactly when it was cancelled or who cancelled it?"
"Sorry, I don't know. The innkeeper keeps records of all this in a file. He would be able to tell you but he's out running errands and won't be back until later tonight. I don't know how he organizes it so I would have no idea how to find it. It would be best to call him around 8 tonight."
So here I wait until 8 PM. A good time to start the blog I've been thinking about for a while. I post in a quiet corner at work. Fortunately, I got a room easily at another hotel, outside of Port Townsend, so the weekend isn't a total loss. But I need to know what happened. Did I call and cancel that reservation? Why would I cancel that reservation when I knew it would be impossible to get a room anywhere else that weekend? If I forgot that I did this and why I did it then what else have I forgotten? Maybe I'm forgetting a lot these days. I don't even know that I'm forgetting. So now I write it all down, in a blog.