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Old 02-21-2015, 07:15 PM   #1
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Spring Trips

Heading for the Everglades and Key West in a week. Anyone else traveling this spring? Last year was our first with an Interstate and we visited Colonial Williamsburg last spring, Michigan UP last summer and Vermont for a color tour last fall.

Randy
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Old 02-21-2015, 07:50 PM   #2
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Yep. Heading to Lake Havasu, Prescott and Mesa AZ on Monday 7-8 day trip.
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Old 02-21-2015, 07:54 PM   #3
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I plan to go out a week after St. Patrick's Day, no destination yet, live in NJ, ideas anyone?
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Old 02-21-2015, 08:19 PM   #4
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Florida for Spring break and again mid-summer.
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Old 02-21-2015, 08:34 PM   #5
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Grayton Beach State Park, Florida, in March.


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Old 02-21-2015, 09:07 PM   #6
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I plan to go out a week after St. Patrick's Day, no destination yet, live in NJ, ideas anyone?
If you haven't been, there's lots to see and do in DC and it's close to you.
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Old 02-21-2015, 09:26 PM   #7
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Leaving on March 20th for California via Dauphin Island at Mobile, AL, Sam Houston Jones State Park near Lake Charles, LA, Fredericksburg and El Paso, TX, McDowell Mountain Park near Phoenix, Crystal Cove State Park at Laguna Beach, CA and then on to Watsonville, CA to visit my boyhood friend and best man at our wedding (47 years in May) who has built a house overlooking Monterey Bay.

He has a fifth wheel and has planned a camping trip in northern California along the coast to Mendocino. Weather permitting, he would also like to show us around Lake Tahoe. We talked today and he is lining up a whale watch boat trip and a trip to the Elkhorn Slough while we are staying at his house.

We are taking eleven days to reach my buddy's house as we have allowed time each day for visiting anything we see along the way that may be interesting. On the way back we will be visiting with my sister in Los Angeles and, weather permitting, I would like to follow as much of Route 66 as we can back to North Carolina. Should be a fun trip in the AI.
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Old 02-22-2015, 12:32 AM   #8
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Several trips, but not anything special. A WBCCI unit rally in Picayune, MS. A WBCCI "military appreciation" rally at the Blue Angels Recreation Area inside Pensacola Naval Air Station. A non-WBCCI trip to Lake Bruin State Park, Louisiana, with my inflatable kayak. The park has private docks for campers in the lakefront sites, and the oxbow lake is beautiful. Last time I was there the weather was uncooperative so I have to give it another shot to paddle the lake.

Other than that I'll play it by ear.
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Old 02-22-2015, 09:37 AM   #9
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Protagonist, when is the Military Appreciation Rally at Pensacola? That sounds like fun.


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Old 02-22-2015, 11:11 AM   #10
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Protagonist, when is the Military Appreciation Rally at Pensacola? That sounds like fun.
April 27th through 30th. There is one catch, though. You either have to be the proud possessor of a military active duty or retiree ID card, or you have to be a guest of someone who has one. And each person with ID can only sponsor two guests.

At present, we have eight ID card holders and sixteen guests signed up, so we may not have room for more. If you are active or retired military, or active or retired DoD civil service with ID, we may be able to find more room, not only for you but for more guests as well. No guarantees, though. I'm not the one organizing this rally, and I don't know how many sites are still unreserved at Blue Angel Recreational Area.
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Old 02-22-2015, 12:15 PM   #11
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... with my inflatable kayak. .....
Which one? I have a Sea Eagle 330 two-person but it's about 11 years old and no longer reliable (I've already had to patch it once on the fly). I loved its durability but it was unforgiving on stability (i.e., bad). I've attached a pic of its favorite repose. Any other orientation was a metastable equilibrium at best.


I'm probably going to get a new one this year but I hadn't commenced the research. I am betting that the technology has improved in the past decade. This is almost thread-worthy: "Best Inflatable Kayak for Airstream Interstate".
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Old 02-22-2015, 12:54 PM   #12
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Which one? I have a Sea Eagle 330 two-person but it's about 11 years old and no longer reliable (I've already had to patch it once on the fly).
I have two. The first is a Sea Eagle FastTrack 385 two-person model. It is very stable and tracks very well.
https://www.seaeagle.com/FastTrackKayaks

The second is a brand-new single-seat Sea Eagle Razorlite which may prove to be a bit easier to tip over due to the narrower width but which should definitely be a bit more forgiving of winds, and more like paddling a regular canoe. It has a smaller removable skeg than does the FastTrack, but I've already checked and the FastTrack's skeg will fit, so when I take this one I'll bring both skegs and see which one I prefer.
https://www.seaeagle.com/RazorLite/393rl

As an aside, why do they call them "inflatable kayaks" when anyone with eyes can clearly see that it's an "inflatable canoe"? The mere fact that you use a double-ended kayak paddle doesn't make the boat a kayak.
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Old 02-23-2015, 07:14 AM   #13
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I have two. The first is a Sea Eagle FastTrack 385 two-person model. ...
The second is a brand-new single-seat Sea Eagle Razorlite ...
....
I looked 'em up... the FastTrack is obviously built for stability. Quite the premium on the price, however. I'm a bit concerned because they obviously did put substantial effort into the redesign but appear to be using much the same hull material as years ago. What I have found is that, while the hull stands up superbly to use, it doesn't do well in storage. Remember your materials science and what happens energetically at one and two dimensional points (corners and ridges). I've seen scary degradation at many of the crease marks in the 330; in fact, the one time I had to haul out and patch on the fly, it was at a crease mark. So I tried to "fluff" the deflated boat periodically so that the stresses would not accumulate perpetually in all the same spots, but that didn't seem to work well, so I'm left with a creased-up boat that I know will fail in any one of about a hundred different spots, given enough time. And it's hard to get excited about taking it out when I don't know which chamber is going to let go next.

What is the solution for this? Store partially or wholly inflated? Now there's a hassle - kinda defeats the purpose of having an inflatable. I would be amenable to dropping almost a grand on another inflatable but only if I knew that there was an effective workaround for this because I would want that kind of investment to last more than ten years.

Part of the problem with narrower model stability seemed to be the load weight. It might work better with higher loads. I am only 130 pounds wet (and wet I did get). Even routinely tossing a couple of small children into the nose of the thing, the CG was really high relative to the waterline, so any movement or reaching had a huge impact (see photos with one child, two children... too high, fixin' to roll). The children would get anxious because they would feel how unstable it was, and having no desire to get dunked in a Houston bayou, they'd take to whining... sigh...

Anyway my point is, as one person with a narrower model, you might not like that effect.
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Old 02-23-2015, 09:33 AM   #14
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Heading for the Everglades and Key West in a week. Anyone else traveling this spring? Last year was our first with an Interstate and we visited Colonial Williamsburg last spring, Michigan UP last summer and Vermont for a color tour last fall.

Randy
Just returned from a couple of months in south FL and the Keys...don't miss Bahia Honda and Long Key SPs..imho Bahia is the prettiest park in the Keys and you can't beat Long Key's campsites as all sit at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. Of course John Pennekamp and Curry Hammock are nice SP's too. If you don't already have reservations and can't pick-up one try the Big Pine Key Fishing Lodge. It appears to have a nice campground (though a bit tight) and the rates are less than most other private campgrounds in the Keys. Never stayed there but I hear that the key deer roam the campground.
Happy Trails
ps..if you like Key Lime pie check-out Key West (Kermit's) Key Lime Shop in Key West, turn north at Sloppy Joes and go about three or 4 blocks north, it's on the right, on the corner of Greene and Elizabeth Sts.
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