Last post was just the synopsis of events at Rock n Roll. The important part for me is what I gleaned from it. Each year shows up shortcomings or highlights areas of improvement. Here’s some:
Always an area where things go wrong despite my efforts to make it perfect. Last year I left towels and toothpaste and lamented the lack of refrigeration. This year I remembered the toothpaste, the towels and had refrigeration sorted with my new Evakool 55l Fridge and solar panels to charge the 100Ah battery. I had eggs, milk, bacon, beer, wine and cool Tim Tams. Awesome. That crazy Turk, Selim, either forgot all his stuff or packed it and couldn’t find it so naturally he gravitated to my hacienda for luxury dining.
Cooking became an issue with Selim moving in. The Trangia is a wonderful piece of kit that has served me well and always will but if I’m going to have tenants then a better kitchen is to be acquired. Not sure which way to go, here. I could get a Coleman cooker and new folding table or a Drifta car kitchen. Hmm, what to do.
Mold has become a problem. I discovered that the Taj had some mold inside and some corrosion on the skeleton knuckles which made it hard to collapse the tent when packing up so maintenance will have to be done. I should also get a tarp so I can set up a covered awning over the front of the tent. Watch out next year.
Several people remarked at my loss of weight and increased fitness. There were comments on my speed in the Assateague using my GP. Marvelous what divorce can do for a man. I have a lot more work to do on this but I really need to hone my sea skills. They’re not bad but not elite and I like elite. The Assateague has become increasingly uncomfortable to sit in and really needs a refit. That will happen but I have taken a real shine to the Rockpool Taran and after my excursion with Chris Walker and Chris James have decided to buy one and soon. Once this is set up I can concentrate on fitness and speed and am entertaining an entry in the Hawkesbury Classic! So when people ask if I’ve done the Hawkesbury, instead of saying ” nah, I’m too much of a girly fat boy with no ticker and numb legs” I will say “why, of course, shit it in”. Basically, I need lots more time on the water with skilled paddlers like the core klanners. Less coffee cruises and more bump and mess. A new boat won’t fix this just focus and application. I’m still getting a new boat, though. And a kayak trolley. Definitely a kayak trolley and soon.
Car choice is important for a kayaker. You have to carry so much crap that the right car makes life so much easier and the wrong car is a hindrance. The Subaru Outback is mostly excellent. It carries my gear if packed right and good off-road capability without being a truck. It is also comfortable and reliable. Problem is that it is a bit gutless and a bit small. Packing it is a bit like playing Tetris. What I’m thinking of is a Toyota Landcruiser Troopie or Land Rove Defender. That way I will have full 4WD capability, tons of space, dual battery and charger setup. I can also fit two boats on the roof where the Subie can only take one. A big turbo diesel will be handy and if I eventually go to a camper trailer then these trucks can haul it.
Some of these goals will be ready by Rock n Roll 2013. The Troopie might take a bit longer but I’ve come a long way since my first Rock n Roll when I slummed it in a Blackwolf Tanami with a cold sleeping bag, an old quilt and the Trangia on the ground.