Thursday, August 16, 2012
Apostle Islands National Lakeshore - Sand Island Sea Caves
My boat and I, along with several friends, made the trip to the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore again this year. We were blessed with the excitement of summer storms and wind, giving us the opportunity to be flexible and spend more time getting to know each other and the Bayfield area. Although we were disappointed to cut our paddling time short, it was amazing to see and meet all the kayakers who were also coming in from the islands due to the storms. I've never seen so many kayakers together in one campground!
I was also amazed that my attempts at boat repair were successful. The week before the trip I was contemplating taking another boat because the Force 3 was leaking in all three hatches as well as the cockpit. After filling the boat with water and putting it up on sandbags it wasn't apparent that it was leaking from the hull. So what was the problem? I'd been spending a lot of time practicing rescues and the kayak had been upside down and rolled a lot this summer. I decided it might be the hatches. Or bulkheads. We sealed them all with 3M Marine Sealant. I sealed the compass and all the deck and foot pedal bolts, then I waxed the boat and applied 303 to everything. The color has oxidized over the miles and years, and it turns out that the skeg that was replaced 4 years ago isn't the right size - thus, I paddle on one side of the boat or the other from time to time. But, no leaks! There may be a new Force 3 in the future, but this old boat will always be my favorite.