When you complete some deed with very good results, they would say: you’d done it with flying colors, an archaic term originated from the age – of – sail, the maritime tradition of a ship (returning to its home port) flying its colors (flags) to signal that a mission had been accomplished. In contrast, strike the colors is an act of surrender, of giving up. Another term: to nail the colors (to the mast) means: to fight to the bitter end and giving up is not an option, cause flags that have been nailed to the mast can not be stricken (lowered), intentionally or accidentally during a naval battle.

I hoist my coded colors below… 😀

Seaduction: /si’dʌkʃn/ (noun), the act of of being seduced by boats, sails, sea, ocean, air, waves or sand between your toes.

hello world – 3, part 27

Gonna end the series on my Hello World – 3 kayak building & fitting here with some comments on the design. It is an excellent boat in almost every aspects. The outlook is beautiful and attractive, extremely good stabilities (both primary and secondary), good tracking capability, and turning is easy with some slight edging. The hull shape is good for surfing too, it goes into turbulences, water or wind, with great confidence. And it is roomy, having lots of space for gear storage on longer trips.

On another side, the boat is more suitable for bolder paddlers, in order to sustain a higher speed. Me, at 64 kg, belong to the medium – low paddler group. With my inexperiences (still) in building, boat weight is quite large. Everything put together, my whole day sustainable speed with HW – 3 is bounded into the [6.2 ~ 6.5] kmph range, a bit behind my expectation. Of course, my expectation is of my own, some goals set and to be reached, not something to blame on the kayak design.

And maybe my physical excercising has not been hard enough too! Like I’d mentioned earlier, boats are like shoes, you try until you find something that fits your needs, and also like shoes, owning 4, 5 pairs or more is just quite normal for an average person nowadays 😀. Looking back on all my building and boating experiences, the last 2 years is, anyhow a short period of time, for a life – time hobby. I’m still at the beginning of the road, there’re lots of things to be learned and to be accomplished!

Lots of things happened during that less than 2 years time period, at the beginning of which I even can’t tell the (now – obvious) differences between a kayak and a canoe, I didn’t know how to operate a hammer or a block plane, never done any woodworking before (as well as any other real ‘manual’ labour). Started from the most primitive A, B, C… sometimes I’d wished I didn’t have to do everything the hard way like that. Well, things gradually unfold, like the sceneries ahead of your kayak! 😀

hello world – 3, part 26

The other day, I was conducting some re – entry tests: supposed that you’re thrown out of the boat by waves, and you need to climb in again, pump the water out to continue paddling before another wave hits you. But the hatches leak so much that re – entry is very difficult, the harder the next tries, as the kayak continues to take water in, it becomes heavy and unstable. This is very dangerous, imagine if this happens on open sea, and I would never want to be in an… “Abandon ship” situation.

I ordered some Beckson deck plates (plus other things) from as a fix to the hatch leaking problem. But it took forever for the ordered packages to be delivered, first from Amazon to a friend in the U.S, then from him to Saigon (some goods can not be shipped directly to Vietnam, so you have to make it via a “freight – forwarder”). Can’t wait the progress, I decided to try another solution: install some rubber washers and tighten the locks to help sealing the hatch better. It works quite well indeed.

The packages arrive today finally! But 2 Beckson screw – in deck plates would be used for the next boat instead, as I’m satisfied with the leaking problem now. Also arrived are some rolls of 2″ – width fiberglass tape, those would be very useful for my next builds, and a spray skirt. A spray skirt is absolutely important for kayaking in rougher conditions. It recalls to me that I was really risking (and was lucky too) when paddling to Vũng Tàu last year with no working water pump, and no spray skirt.

Below are a couple of shots showing the spray skirt in action. On calm rivers and canals, it’s not of pretty much usefulness, but it would become critically important once you enter the steep estuary and coastal sea areas. Also showed is the beautiful lines of my HW – 3, people is all taking photographs or shooting video on the kayak when encountered along my paddling routes these days! Despite some building faults here and there, she looks so gorgeous, almost sexy, doesn’t she!? 😀

il pleut sur… sài gòn

Mais lui il s’en fout bien, mais lui il dort tranquille
Il n’a besoin de rien, il a trouvé son île
Une île de soleil et de vagues et de ciel…

Une vieille mais très très belle chanson sur les marins qui ne reviendras plus jamais, et sur les filles, les femmes, qui seraient toujours l’attendre: Les marins d’Amsterdam, s’mouchent plus dans les étoiles. La Marie qu’a des larmes a noyé un canal… Seules Titine et Madeleine croient qu’il est encore là, elles vont souvent l’attendre au tram 33… Peut-être un peu trop tôt, mais lui il est content, il n’a pas entendu que des milliers de voix, lui chantait “Jacky ne nous quitte pas!”…

Chez ces gens-là (Dalida, Jacques Brel etc…), on n’est jamais parti!