Friday, July 4, 2008

Skakedown cruise

Last Sunday, a few precious hours broke loose from this insanely busy summer… and I made the most of them by heading down to the Mississippi for some survey work. The day was perfect, and I launched from the west side of the river, just south of the bridge at 42nd Avenue North (there is a boat launch area maintained by Minneapolis Parks & Rec).

I had failed to charge my batteries for the GPS device on this particular trip. So instead of plotting additional trash targets and waypoints, I decided to do some light trash recovery. I gathered roughly twenty pounds of rubbish, including some plastic and glass bottles, a lawn chair, and a pair of water-logged personal floatation devices that had flown out of someone’s boat (I presume).

[Now… before I continue, let me offer a disclaimer: This blog nor its’ author have received any kind of funding or advertising revenue from anyone, including Wilderness Systems, Garmin, or Joe’s Sporting Goods. Joe’s and Garmin have simply provided us with a few tools for use in our work. They don’t pay us to say nice things. We say what we want.]

Anyway, while this day was devoted to an inaugural voyage for one of the new kayaks provided to us by Joe’s Sporting Goods, it revealed shakedown of another sort: I discovered a sixth safe that had been tossed in the river by an evidence-ejecting burglar. It was totally dismantled… I’ll return with my truck and utility trailer to retrieve this steel for recycling on another day. I guess I’ll have to add “safe #6” to add to our list of lock boxes found in the Mississippi.

Wow… I have to tell you, the new Wilderness Systems Pungo 140 is an absolute dream upgrade for this project. (Again, we don’t get paid for saying that. I’m just giving you feedback based on my experience with the kayaks Joe’s has allowed us to use!)

As you’ll recall, I used only an entry-level, ten-foot kayak last summer and fall. I could ONLY do survey work from that vessel, for the most part, as it was too small to carry much cargo beyond myself, and my daypack of GPS and camera equipment. But the Pungo has two dry-seal cargo holds (one fore, one aft) for daypack supplies. Plus, the airspace between the seat and the rear air-seal is a perfect trash bin for light debris recovery. I’m sure that’s not what Wilderness Systems had in mind when they designed it this way… but I hope the folks at the factory are pleased with the good they are helping me do.

We so appreciate these tools.

© 2008 Mike D. Anderson, Crystal, MN.

No comments:

Post a Comment