A boat trip and thoughts for the future.

Since realising that I’ve allowed my fitness to fall, I now want to make sure I get some real training value from every exercise session. 2 days after a high energy mountain bike ride I took my pedal powered dinghy down to the Leeds/Liverpool canal to sail for an hour. The sun came out as I left home and I enjoyed gentle sunshine for the entire trip. My plan was a simple one. I’d head north for 30 minutes then turn around to return to my start point. There seems to be a lot of floating weed at the moment and if I catch some on the rudder it creates a lot of drag. It also affects the steering but usually falls off if I stop or reverse for a short distance. At least with propulsion from a stern mounted paddlewheel I don’t have the curse of many boats in the form of weed wrapped around the propeller.

After often suffering from cramp in the leg muscles, and particularly the calves whilst sailing, I made sure I didn’t over do it. I ensured that I kept the calf muscles relaxed by not trying to claw the pedals downwards during their circuit and didn’t suffer during the journey. I stopped and got out for a brief stretch at the half way point and kept the pace down on the return leg.

I started to dream of building a new and better boat which, whilst still pedal powered, would also have a sail. Instead of a dinghy hull I’d like to try a catamaran which, for transport and storage, would fold in half with a hinge half way down it’s length. The floats would be filled with PIR foam insulating material to make it unsinkable. Time flew by and I was soon approaching the end of my trip. I could feel the drag of some weed on the rudder for the last 50 yards and as on my last sail I struggled to turn around to reach the place where I get out of the boat. I missed my spot and had to do an extra loop, which would have affected my average speed on the app. Strava.

By launching my boat from the same spot I have prevented the vegetation from taking over.

I’d covered 2.24 miles having been in motion for 52 minutes. It was a very enjoyable experience. I was complimented on my boat by an angler and the sun kept shining. Quite a treat on a day which definitely felt like the start of autumn.

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