All it took was a momentary lapse of concentration that lead to me inadvertently casting a Williamson Gyro Jig right into the sail of my Adventure Island (AI), tearing a neat 4" gash in the process. This occurred just a few weeks before my Capricorn Coast kayak fishing expedition and was the perfect opportunity for me to perform an experimental Hobie Island sail field repair technique I'd been pondering for some time.
In my initial report on my recent and ill-fated kayak fishing expedition summarizes some of the things that went wrong and in a previous write up I discussed a bunch of other things that might go wrong. Pretty much at the top of that list was gear failure and it's very pleasing to report that although some things did indeed go wrong, little or none of it had to do with inadvertent breakages or failures. Infact, gear selection is probably the one thing I got right on this trip - almost all of the gear I used throughout the trip performed flawlessly and those that I didn't form an opinion on weren't used at all (there's a lesson in that). However, there were of course a few stand out items that performed just as well as I'd hoped and these deserve special mention.
To sum up my involvement as support crew for Josh’s 1,000km solo kayaking attempt- relief. I spent many hours over a number of days staring out into angry, swollen seas being heaved against vicious tides by unrelenting winds- hoping, hoping to see a small, lone red sail bobbing up and down on the horizon. I was never given that visual relief as Josh made landfall in Stanage on day 6, three days delayed from Josh’s estimated planned arrival.
I'm not fooling myself - there's a whole lot of things that could go wrong on my upcoming kayak fishing expedition (from Yeppoon to Townsville). This is a subject I've been dwelling on for longer than I've been planning this trip and have taken a lot of precautions in an effort to promote relatively smooth sailing. But lets face it... 1000+km is a long way to be kayaking solo, especially with an open deck platform adorned with knives, gaff hooks, hooks and sometimes teeth and spikes. By virtue of being fishermen we tend to put ourselves in harms way more so than most kayakers - the bigger and nastier the fish, the hairier it gets. But really... thats the least of my problems!
It's really pretty easy to go kayak camping overnight but the longer one is out there and the more they are on the move the more complicated it becomes. Storage, weight and management all become issues. Real estate is premium on your kayak for longer trips and the further one intends to go, the more every gram counts. Not just because of on-water performance, but equally so for ease of management. If you've never tried it, take it from someone who knows - hauling ones kayak up a long beach when it's full of expedition gear is hard work, especially after a big day on the water. Done day after day it becomes a serious burden on your back.
Not all that long ago I wrote a well received piece on the 8 common myths about kayak fishing. That list of myths amounted to eight (I'm sure there are more) and had I included the common myths we often hear about Hobie kayaks, it would have been a fair bit longer. But after having just spent the weekend working at the Coffs Harbour 4WD and camping show and hearing all those myths pop up again, I feel it's time to set the record straight.
One of the most commonly asked questions about the Hobie Miragedrive goes along the lines of 'what happens if you pedal the fins in water that is too shallow?' Typically what happens is that if enough force is applied to the pedals as the fins hit something (usually sand or mud) the mast can bend backwards and sometimes even pop out through the fin itself. In less severe cases the mast might be bent back somewhat (this isn't always obvious).