Geeks can’t resist a good acronym. Or challenge. So when our friend Michele encouraged us to dip our blades into our first real race, the 2012 L2L (Lightouse to Lighthouse) in Norwalk, CT, we plunked down our entry fee and hit the road Saturday morning, 9/15, at sunrise. (EST, of course.)
The description: “Paddle or row 14 or 7 miles around the beautiful Norwalk Islands starting at Shady Beach, past Pecks Ledge Light, around Greens Ledge Light and back. Great location, competition, and after party. Open to all sea-worthy, human-powered craft!” The REALITY: “Paddle or row 14 miles around the beautiful Norwalk Islands starting at Shady Beach, and as you approach Pecks Ledge Light, the steady offshore NE wind will start gusting to 20 or 25 F***ING KTS at which point you’ll realize you’re in for one HELLUVA long slog, especially if your *&#*% skeg refuses to budge and you stupidly left your scopolamine patch (best seasick prevention ever!) at home.” So Jean turned back, earning yet another acronym, DNF (Did Not Finish) and spent a perfectly nice afternoon contemplating the Six Degrees of Freedom (6DoF): the freedom of movement of a rigid body (like, a Cetus LV with grumpy skeg) in three dimensional space (like, the Long Island Sound). Specifically, the body being free to move forward/backward, up/down, left/right (in 3 perpendicular axes) combined with rotation about 3 perpendicular axes, often termed pitch, yaw, and roll. BRILLIANTLY and HILARIOUSLY illustrated by genius Christina Sun (aka, bowsprite), six degrees of freedom and the drunken sailor. Do yourself a favor and check it out!
Defying (and working with) the 6DoF, Alex was a champ and finished the 14 miles in a very respectable 3:11:18!!! WTG, A! We were delighted to catch up with kayak friends at the after party, and look forward to installing skeg retro-kits ASAP and participating next year 🙂 BIG shout -outs to superb sea kayaking friends Marshall Seddon (2:26:05), Michele Sorenson (3:38:00), David McPherson and Al Golabek (2:32:40) and Henrietta Parsons (3:31:04). Slideshow for your viewing pleasure…