Silver River – June 23, 2017

If there is anything I like more than getting a new piece of kayaking gear it is helping a friend get new stuff.  A couple of months ago a padding buddy told me he wanted to sell his Eddyline Denali because he had ordered himself a new boat that was due to be delivered in July.  I knew the Denali would be a little high volume for me (and besides I can’t justify having two 15-foot touring kayaks in my personal fleet) but I immediately thought that it would be a great boat for my friend Melanie who enjoys doing kayaking camping as much as I do.  After a couple of other folks had demoed the boat but had not made the owner an offer I finally got Melanie to set up a demo for this morning at Ray Wayside.  We took our boats along to do a little paddle up the Silver after the demo.

We met up with Al at Ray Wayside and got Melanie in the boat.  The cockpit is smaller than she is used to so she had some trepidation about getting in and out, but after paddling it around the lagoon and up and back on the canal I could tell she liked the boat / the fit, how well it tracked and turned, the day hatch and storage space, using the skeg, etc.

Melanie trying out the Denali at Ray Wayside

Melanie trying out the Denali at Ray Wayside

All smiles as she returns to the landing.  I think she likes it!

All smiles as she returns to the landing. I think she likes it!

She came back from the paddle and they started wheeling and dealing on the price.  Al also had two paddles he wanted to get rid of, a Werner Kalliste and a Wind Swift.  While they dickered I unloaded our boats and got them ready for our paddle.  By the time I returned it was settled – the boat and 2 paddles, the Kalliste for Melanie and the Wind Swift for another member of the 5-Star Yak Pak who was looking for a good paddle.  Melanie gave Al a deposit and we’ll pick all of them up next week and take the Denali on her maiden voyage.

We loaded up our kayaks and started upstream on the Silver.  We only paddled a couple of miles, took a dip in the cool water in the cove while talking to a couple of guys in a pontoon boat anchored there, and then we coasted back down.  Not much bird life in the middle of the day but I got some flower pics in red, white and (almost) blue for the upcoming holiday.   And Melanie took a picture of me with my Dulcinea pimped out with a new pinwheel, also in red, white and blue.

RED - Swamp Scarlet Hibiscus (Hibiscus coccineus)

RED – Swamp Scarlet Hibiscus (Hibiscus coccineus)

String Lily - also called Swamp Lily (Crinum americanum)

WHITE – String Lily – also called Swamp Lily (Crinum americanum)

Closeup of Pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata)

BLUE (ALMOST) – Closeup of Pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata)

My Dulcinea pimped out for the upcoming holiday

My “Dulcinea” pimped out for the upcoming holiday

Little gator in the weeds

Little gator in the weeds

Wood Duck pair (Aix sponsa)

Wood Duck pair (Aix sponsa)