The last sail of the year?

I chose to use my pedal powered dinghy again today for several reasons. Firstly I haven’t done anything more energetic than dog walking in the last 5 days. I had a Covid booster vaccination a couple of days ago and my only adverse reaction this time was tiredness so I haven’t felt like putting a big effort in. Today, back to my usual energy level, I could have ridden my mountain bikes but one is waiting for a new chain ring and another is desperate for a headset bearing. The others are precious classics which I’m reluctant to ride in the current muddy conditions.

There may be few, if any, days left this year when it’s nice enough to sail so I set off towards the canal. Someone, who often talks to me about the boat, asked if I was testing any modifications so I showed him how I’d changed the pedals.

I’ve put some pieces of plastic pipe over the 12mm steel rods. The hope was that these would spin on the rods and stop the tendency for my feet to move upwards whilst pedalling. I reached the water and chose to head northwards before turning to return to my start point. Yesterday, whilst walking the dog, I noticed how many fallen leaves had accumulated in drifts in the opposite direction and worried that they may stick on the rudder. I only encountered one area of leaves today which I ploughed through in each direction with no problems.

I was asked about the boat by a family and again pointed out that I need to sell it to make way for my next boat. Another unsuccessful sales pitch, unfortunately. I turned at bridge number 78 to make a 2.15 mile trip. On the return leg I took it easy but still averaged 2.6 mph.I could certainly feel the effort in my thighs. The modified pedals worked very well and may have helped to keep my calf muscles relaxed because I didn’t need to maintain my foot position in the same way as previously. If this is my last sail of the year then it was good to go out on a high after a very enjoyable trip.

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