Saturday, May 2, 2020

Another packraft and overnighter

Having done a few packraft trips I came to the conclusion that the canoe I have for mainly for family use could be replaced with another packraft. Thus I ordered another packraft and put the canoe up for sale. We got to try the new packraft almost immediately when it arrived.

The packraft arrived on a Wednesday and I immediately took it out on the neighbouring lake for a quick spin. The MRS Microraft L isn't primarily bought for me, but it fits me, even though it is a tight fit. It should fit the 15-year boy (183 cm) perfectly. My first test was very positive, a cruising speed of over 5 km/h is possible with this one as well, even though the top speed is lower than my longer MRS Alligator 2S Pro XXL. It also tracks quite well in cruising speed.

The real test of course was to take it out for a family trip. Caj and the packrafting gang went whitewater packrafting, but that was no option for me currently. My ear problems stemming from the December flue/influenza have been getting worse, and a few day ago a hole was made in my left eardrum and a tube installed to keep that hole open. Not really optimal for whitewater stuff, but no problems with a lake trip.

The weather for the weekend wasn't particularly great, with unnecessarily hard wind and rain, but there was a window with mostly ok weather. We thus packed our gear and drove to a nice lake, where we started to pack the rafts. The new packraft also has the internal storage system with a water and air proof zipper, to allow packing gear inside the packraft tubes, something which I wouldn't want to be without.

The first packrafting steps for Tor.

Having paddled canoes and kayaks before, he got the hang of it fairly quickly. You need to have a paddle stroke that doesn't turn the boat too much, otherwise it's pretty standard paddling.

Tor had my newer drysuit, which was only a little too big for him. I used my older drysuit, which does let in a little water through the neoprene gaskets, but not enough to be a safety factor. And yes, a drysuit is still totally necessary.

A short coffee break.

Continuing, we soon saw a canada goose on its nest. We immediately changed the course to keep us away, and it didn't care that we passed by.

Picture of yours truly by Tor.

Continuing, now in tailwind.

Now we arrived at a place that on the map seemed to offer an easy and short carry to the next lake. As it turned out, there was even a path there.

Launching in the next lake.

A little paddling before settling on a tent site for the night.

The only drawback with the internal storage of the packrafts is that they naturally have to be deflated to get to the gear. You inflate them back in less that five minutes, so it's not a big thing.

With the tent up, it was time for the pizza party.

I chose Järki Särki for the pizza again, it really is an excellent product. The pizza dough was made in the morning at home and the pizza was topped with tomato sauce, Järki Särki, cheese and a little blue cheese, as well as some oregano.

I tried a new way of getting top heat. Worked quite well, but I also have a deeper plate, which could bring the heat closer to the pizza.

And the result was just delicious! We had two pizzas each.

And then it was time to sleep. The cranes woke us up a number of times during the night, though.

It had rained a little in the evening, but the morning had sun.

I got up at seven and made a cup of coffee.

Breakfast for both of us.

Traditional coffee picture.

And off we went.

I had found a very interesting route on the map, which did involve a short carry.

Looked good. I did expect the whooper swans to have a nest somewhere, since I saw them in the same location a little further away from a road that we crossed.

We started ok, but after a while I notice the swan nest in a different place than I had expected and we came pretty close to it. Nothing to do but to get out of there as quickly as possible. We passed the swans and they flew in the direction of their nest, and I do hope that we didn't disturb them too much. There was a photographer's hide in the vicinity, so hopefully they were at least a little accustomed to something strange. The probability that any harm would have been done should be very low, but I do feel a little bad about it. Had I known it we would have carried the packrafts passed that place, which could have been done in maybe forty minutes. I won't do this route again during springtime, even though the route was great. Unfortunately, there is some risk in traversing nature during the spring months.

Otherwise the route was exactly as I had imagined. Very interesting.

And then we only had a little uneventful paddling back to the starting point. A nice outing and Tor thought that packraft was easier to paddle than a kayak, but that is mainly since I think I've had him out kayaking in unnecessarily hard weather.

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