Friday, August 6, 2010

The Kayak Chorus

The Puppy Express has been canceled- at least for me. There is a better chance of a full relay team being in place for Saturday, so I have been relieved of my transport duties. I was going to be transporting Pickles, the Bassett Hound and two small pups to Lexington, where they would be handed off to the next person, and hour by hour, volunteer by volunteer, make their way to safety and homes in Pennsylvania. I am disappointed but it probably is better as I am not positive the wind is not going to catch hold of the kayaks atop my van and carry us to Oz. I suppose it was fortuitous in other ways as well, because Matt called with more requests of things I need to bring for his new apartment, and the van would have been sorely pressed at this point to fit even one puppy tail.

We felt it was essential to test drive the van with the two kayaks on top, which extends the vertical footprint of our vehicle to approximately 30 or 40 feet....(this is just an estimate, of course). It drove like a dream up to 40 mph. At 41 mph, a disturbing moan began. By 50 mph, the sound intensified to mimic a cat fight. At 60 mph, it was more like a tuba being blasted 3 inches from my face, and by 70 mph, the car was shuddering and the noise was the equivalent of 2 jet planes taking off from my eardrum. I don't think Pickles would have been happy and felt it was good he would be spared riding in my "make you deaf mobile."

I tightened straps, used a wrench to bolt down the "simple hand tighten" screws, and put a cover over the kayak hull. Then I was up half the night with visions of kayaks flying off mountaintops in my head. So at 4 a.m., I did some research on "wind noise with car top kayaks". What I discovered is , yes, there is wind noise with car top kayaks. Lots of it. From what I could tell, there is no solution and most people spend hundreds or thousands of dollars trying to find the kayak carrier that will not destroy the tiniest bone in your body, which is in the inner ear.

I am bringing the kayaks to Lexington because Matt will now live a half mile from the Maury river. I had bought him two inflatable kayaks, and he and Karissa are excited (I think) to develop this new sport together. The Maury right near where Matt lives is placid and has easy Class 1 rapids. I did a great deal of research about exactly where Matt will need to launch and get off the river. If he goes too far, he hits class 3 and 4 rapids, which God designed as a method of culling stupid, crazy people from the human race. I want to be sure that we all kayak together for Matt's first trip down the Maury, and find the take out point before we hit the area also known as Pulverizing Pass.

So, I am up well before the cockroaches have even felt it necessary to go hide in a corner again to try to develop a strapping system that will squelch all vibration and wind noise, and hopefully prevent us from mimicking an airplane wing. I am glad that Asherel and I memorized a verse together yesterday. I suspect I will be repeating it over and over as loud as I can to drown out the sound of kayaks breaking the sound barrier.

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9

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