2,300 miles on a paddleboard
I secured my gear on deck. With my quick-dry pants rolled up and water shoes tied tight, I set a foot on the board, planted my paddle on deck for balance, and pulled my other foot out of the icy water and splashed it down on the deck pad. The water ahead was streaked with white. When a cowboy lingering outside the motel the night before said, “You know there are rapids on that river?” I’d brushed him off. Now I was fighting the urge to kneel on the board for balance.
Clearing Clutter from the Cockpit
Oars, masts, and spars get you where you want to go in a small boat built for rowing and sailing, but those long sticks are awkward to stow when they’re not in use. I saw one interesting solution to the problem when I was kayaking the coast of Croatia. In the island village harbors there were lots of small fishing boats equipped with natural crooks set in the gunwales. Some crooks had more than one branch, providing two places to set spars or oars.
Tom Santoro and has wife Carol had a cottage on Blind Lake, one of seven lakes on a chain of lakes in Michigan’s 11,000-acre Pinckney Recreation area, 60 miles west of Detroit. After Tom retired, they rebuilt the cottage as their year-round home. Tom had always enjoyed working with wood, and carved decoys, built wooden model ships and planes, and did simple furniture projects. In 2006, his daughter Amy gave him a copy of Kayaks You Can Build: An Illustrated Guide to Plywood Construction, by Ted Moores and Greg Rössel. It piqued his interest in building something on a larger scale and that he could paddle on Blind Lake.