Saturday, February 21, 2015

Happy Seat To Cattle Point

Last Saturday (February 21st) Robyn and I went for an early spring paddle from Gyro Park in Cadboro Bay to Cattle Point. Nothing but sunshine and 13C temperatures to greet us as we explored the coastline while Robyn worked on some of her maneuvering skills.

Robyn and I paddling through the Royal Victoria Yacht Club marina. Photo by Gary Jacek

The Happy Seat fitted into the cockpit of my P&H Delphin
For me it was an opportunity to try a Jackson Kayak's Happy Seat that I installed in my cockpit earlier in the day. Recently I have been having some hip and knee issues while paddling my P&H Delphin on long flat water paddles and I saw this device in kayak at our local club (South Island Sea Kayaking Association) meeting last month. Since then I have been improvising by using my blow up paddle float partially inflated under my thighs to allow me to relax my legs a bit. It made a huge difference in the pool and on our last paddle over to Discovery Island, so I decided to get the real thing.

The Jackson Kayak website describes this device best. The Happy Seat is an inflatable bladder that goes under your legs just in front of your existing seat. It has two purposes. 1. It gives you more control in the boat. 2. It makes your legs more comfortable, taking some of the pressure off of your knees, hips, and butt. The Happy Seat comes with a cord to attach the front of it to your floor support, and the back end attaches by Velcro straps around your seat.  You should make sure it doesn't impede exit from your boat in case of emergency.

GoPro adhesive mount works great to tie down the Happy Seat
Installation was quick and easy and since I don't have a front tie down post like a whitewater boat might have I just used a spare GoPro adhesive mount that I stuck to the floor of my cockpit. Once on the water I inflated the bladder with the nice long air line and made sure that I could exit the kayak very easily. One of the features that I love about the Happy Seat is that when you drop one knee the air transfers from one bladder side to the other allowing the lower knee to be removed from under the cockpit thigh braces.

As we paddled towards Cattle Point I spotted someone in a sheltered cove taking pictures of what I thought was wildlife but soon figured out that it was our paddling friend Gary Jacek. Gary was out on a bike ride and he managed to spot us from Beach Drive as we paddled through the Royal Victoria Yacht Club just after leaving the beach.

Gary spotted me coming through the islets just as I spotted him taking pictures of us.

We landed our kayaks in the little cove to talk with Gary for a while and Robyn noticed on her GPS that there was a Geocache very close by. So off she went to make the find before we continued on our way. That's a pretty good selfie of Robyn with our kayaks, Gary and myself in the background. :-)

It's not often that we get photos of both of us together. Thanks Gary!

While the rest of Canada is frozen in winter at this time of year we sure have it tough on the west coast. They say that April showers bring May flowers but for us it's more like January's showers (no snow) bring February's flowers. Yes.... spring has arrived in Victoria!

Oak Bay and Willows Beach (right) in the sunshine

2015 Paddle # 8 - Caddy to Cattle Point
Distance: 3.96 nm (7.33 km)
YTD: 54.33 nm (‪91.34 km)

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