Today's paddle is a momentous paddle. It's lifetime paddle number 100! Not bad for someone who took up this sport only two and a half years ago, and spent six months of that on the disabled list.
My personal stats break down like this:
15 paddles in 2005;
50 paddles in the first 11 months of 2006 before my bike accident;
29 paddles the last 9 months of 2007 after recovering from my bike accident;
and 7 paddles so far this year.
Paula, Louise and I returned to Ocean River to do some demo paddles.
Louise and I both tried the 17' Delta. She was in the Sport version, and I was in the Expedition model which is one inch deeper. Unlike the 14' Deltas that we currently own, this model has a harder chime and is a little narrower, so it was a little woobly at first. (Yes, "woobly" is a technical kayaking term. Or so I was told.) But it didn't take long for that feeling to pass, and the Delta gave us a smooth and fast ride.
We joined Mark from Delta Kayaks and some other Delta paddlers for a jaunt around the harbour.
Paula had to be different and she went out in a composite Eliza.
We both enjoyed the 17' Delta a lot. It tracks and turns very well and was very nimble. It went right to the top of Louise's list for a new boat. I enjoyed it, and I found that I had more knee room than in my current 14' Delta, and that was nice, but the cockpit is a little smaller and that made it a little tougher for me to get out with my bad shoulder. I also found my feet were in cramped quarters at the end of the cockpit (but I was wearing sneakers instead of my paddling boots, so that didn't help). It may not be the boat for me, but I can't say anything bad about it -- it was a sweet ride. I will try one again before trading up.
Will we see Louise in her own 17' one day? Stay tuned!