I really needed to get to grips with using the sail if it’s to become a serious fishing tool over the summer months. The forecast looked good yesterday with winds of 10-15mph predicted. I packed what was needed (not a lot compared to a fishing trip!) and drove the short distance to the beach. I couldn’t believe it when I arrived, it was flat calm with barely a breathe of wind. I drove straight home, somewhat disappointed, hoping that the wind would pick up as the day progressed.
I drove down again late in the afternoon and things we ‘marginally’ better. To be honest it was still very flat, though the low clouds were moving along at a good pace which gave me a little hope. I decided an hour on the water was better than doing nothing, so I rigged up and headed down to the waterline.
The outriggers were fitted as I was hopeful that the wind would pick up, plus when I do go fishing with the sail for a day long or overnight trip, I’d be fitting them for sure. Once on the water I made sail and was immediately pushing along at a steady 3mph, surprising considering the apparent lack of wind. I messed around for a while, sailing with, against and across the wind.
The wind began to increase, that bought higher speeds and the fun factor increased no end!. I found myself sailing along at a steady 4-5mph, occasionally pushing a little faster. Even against the wind, close hauled, I was maintaining 2-3mph, better than I’d expected.
I sailed well over 6 miles in 2.5 hours, some of that time was spent on the drift messing around with my new Lowrance 4x DSI fish finder, getting to grips with that. I had a play furling and unfurling the sail in the higher wind, again, just to get a feel how it felt in different conditions. It proved quick and easy regardless, turning the kayak into the stronger wind minimised any potential of things going wrong.
I did notice towards the end of the trip that the insert on one of the Sidekicks was showing signs of coming loose. It’s apparently quite a common fault and is apparently easily remedied with some better glue, or a self tapping screw to keep it locked in place. I’ll have a look today and decide how best to address the issue. It’s minor stuff, keeps me busy!
Right at the end of the trip, as I approached the slipway, I was keeping a close eye on the depth to avoid grounding out the Mirage Drive fins. I was still in a comfortable one metre of water, when about 50m from the beach when I suddenly grounded out!. The depth has dropped to 20cm and the drive was hung up. I managed to free it and pull it out, not cursing… not much anyway. It turns out that the slips runs flat for a good 60-70m underwater, something I then recalled from a trip there 3 years ago. Oh well, a slightly frustrating moment right at the end of the trip, nothing is ever perfect!
Below is a short video, a little slow to begin with due to the light winds, though as the wind picked up so did the fun.