T H E G R E E N L A K E P A D D L E R
TWO GREENLAND STYLE KAYAKS ON A BIG DUTCH LAKE
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ANOTHER GO, ON A MORE WINDY DAY
Today was just perfect to see what a Greenland boat would do in more windy conditions. A stiff
breeze was trying to take the kayak from my hands when hauling it from the car's roof rack, a
5 - 6 beaufort and cool too. Drysuit, fleece undersuit and a rubber balaclava will keep me
warm. Phone, gps for taking speed readings ( over ground that is ), a bottle of hot water,
a few carrots and fatty yoghurt ( to burn for energy ) will get me through this ordeal I
guess. Goodbye and take care ... to all my loved ones, shoved a spare paddle
under the loop on the frontdeck, time it was to take the plunge and went off.
The lake as seen like today, in a welcoming silvery green. This is heaven.
Bp, 30km run. North-East direction wind today, so off I went with a push in the back.
The run towards return point ( left side below on the map ) " Schellinkhout " was again pretty
snappy with surfing speeds peaking at 18 - 19 km / hr Ha! Not bad on these typical short
waves. The relatively narrow and low volume nose likes to take dives, prepare to lean
back and compensate, keep the nose over the surface and she just speeds away.
This boat is beautifully responsive to weight shifts, I can almost steer it with my
mind. The trick In this short steep chop is to use " just " enough skeg and no
more than just enough. This way the boat remains on its course fairly easy
and overtaking waves can not find enough grab to broach it off the track.
Modified BP, what are these mysterious domes glued on the deck?
Photograph of another go on the lake using a Wing Paddle. The end speed is not
higher paddling this type of kayak, but acceleration is a lot better compared to
a GP. Jumping into surf on the right moment becomes almost instant.
Now that was pushed by the wind, I took a break at " Schellinkhout " which was protected
from all wind by the headland and prepared for going home in the opposite direction
facing the wind full. The TG is a great surfer too but is moving forward slightly more
anchored to the water and to engage a topspeed surf a bit more elbow steam is
needed. Probably causes by her semi banana shape? More volume in the
bow and a seating position located farther aft make theTG dive less deep.
Sunscreen and Anti Scratch. The scruffy looking bottom I painted with Latex, giving the
kayak a sort of authentic look, in my view that is, and also protects the bottom from
overheating when the kayak is stored out in the open. Black can get extremely
hot on a summers day. With the help of a sponge, some methylated spirit
and a bucket of water this fake sealskin is easily removed, no problem.
The latex coating is a remarkable tough scratch protection as well.
... Holds up pretty well and looks really ugly, just like a real sealskin boat ...
THE WAY BACK
The extremely good surfing qualities come to a price in conditions as found in my homepond.
Waves were about shoulder height, as seen from my sitting point of view and breaking here
and there. When facing this chop the BP starts to act up ... a bit ....The shallow V shape in
the bottom goes all the way up front, so when it slams down on the water surface after a
wave passed under the bottom, it hits .. really .. hard. A deeper V bow can do a lot of
good for softer ''landings'', but since this boat is of East-Greenland ancestry I have
to live with its specific characteristics. But it shows that this type of kayak evolved
in an area where float ice packed waters dampened the waves out. TG's deeper
V nose is more forgiving in this sort of chop and way less tiring to ride. If you
are coming from a Nordkapp or similar kayak you will be shocked certainly.
Drip ring lovers have to look somewhere else, both BP and TG ride very wet.
TAKEN BY THE EAST GREENLAND NOSE?
Another speciality about the lack of sharpness in the underwater shape of the bow is the fact
that this boat tends to drift off-wind (over the nose?) more happily than a West-Greenland
or similar classic British kayak. In stiff wind situations I noticed more drift than usual
when heading for a fixed landmark. Not that the boat starts to lay in a noticeable
off wind course, it just wanders off sideways further than I usually do over the
same distance covered in a comparable situation. Nothing to worry about
too much though, but yet something to take into account. TG is better
in maintaining her beam wind position due to her sharper V shape.
Shallow East-Greenlandic V- bottom bow, loves to surf downwind and to slam upwind
and that's not a big help to keep speed up, The TG bow and stern show a deeper
V shape, making confused chop smoother to ride and pushing into the wind
easier to deal with, but you will miss a surf here and there going downwind.
SHORT PADDLE , SAVING ENERGY
The average speed on the way back varied from 8,5 km/hr at start, down to a meager
4,5 km/hr at facing the wind full. The Greenland paddle I used on this trip today was
on the short side, about a hand shorter than what is seen as '' standard '' for my
body length. A real benefit actually, otherwise my speed would have dropped
even further... going upwind. The homerun was not what you call a picknick.
After paddling these boats for a while I decided to modify the way I had to brace my feet
and took the rails out and replaced them by two aluminium strips, running from the
coaming / seatpan bolts all the way up front, where they meet with the bolts that
held the original braces first. A lenght of wood now acts as a new footbrace.
This setup gives good hard foot support without stressing the hull, also
it gives more ways of variation in placing my feet somewhere else.
The setup I've used for both TG and BP. Two plastic buckles over the original foot
brace bolts ( 2 ) holding the aluminium strips in place. (1 ) are seat pan bolts.
By the way, real estate is on the small side for me (1.87mtr body, 45 or 10.5 feet ) I have
to angle my feet forward to brace on the stick. Supple shoes or only neoprene socks
are a must here. For a smooth entrance through the tight cockpit coaming you
don't want a suit with rubberized knee pads or you will get stuck halfway the
process and have to wiggle your way in... and out.. It all just fits for me,
but only just. Anybody with larger feet, needs short legs ...........Or
A rock solid brace and a way to create more room for my feet. Toe Domes version 1.0
And foot room in the Tahe ... slightly more spacious. Up front you can see
the Masik ( knee grab ) made of minicell foam. My knees are
placed right beside it, exactly between the ugly bolts.
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