Saturday, July 31, 2010

Anchorage Airport

I am sitting at Anchorage airport waitIng for our flight to LA,  watching huge cargo air craft, taking off and landing and wondering why we can no longer air freight kayaks into Alaska. Most of these aircraft are Air China or Singapore Airlines, or Korean Air many are unmarked, just big and white. Japan Airlines air freighted my kayak before and I have not seen one of those yet.
Looking down at my fingers typing, the backs of my hands and fingers are peeling having been badly sun burnt. I did not wear gloves in the race, just covered my hands in a thick coating of Vaseline each morning. This kept my hands dry. I got a small blister on my little fingers on the first day. I bit them and let the fluid run out, I adjusted my grip and had no further problems. I was also able to adjust my stroke to more vertical and keep a check on the release so water was not left on the blade and drip down the paddle shaft.
I tried also to keep a nice light grip on the paddle, except of course when we had drama times like emergency paddling around a gravel bank or island.
So apart from a bit of sunburn on the backs of my hands and the two small blisters that literally went away  I had no problems with my hands
Steve had big problems. He was paddling a much heavier boat to start with, and carried a lot more heavier food than I did. His instant tent was great, he was set up a ready for bed, while I was still fluffing around with logs to tie mine down but his tent was a full kilo heavier. That all added up to a much tougher paddle for Steve.
We talked about swapping boats a couple of times, but were worried about the seating change. Steve had a simple blow up pad. I had worked on my seat for months and fashioned the foam for the right angle and shape. I trained in my Horizon Tourer with this seat. It is the same boat essentially as the Flyer so I was able to bring it with me and It is repacked in my bag to take home. Neither of us had any trouble with our seats.
Anyhow Steve’s hands blistered up badly. He wore gloves which held together the bandaging he did each night. The last couple of days he must have been in a lot of pain, but in true Steve spirit he battled on.

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