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.
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.