Well, I am still among the living, although the final outcome of my health challenge still hangs in the balance. Right now, the vision in my right eye is blurry (among other problems), although I can’t imagine that stopping me from going on my adventure if I am otherwise recovered.
Enough of that topic and on to a fun glimpse into the long-awaited arrival of my new canoe Saturday a week ago. Above are Jordan and Ed bringing her out at Maine Sport Outfitters in Rockland. It was love at first sight and I could easily carry her out to the car. We talked yokes and portaging and paddles and other fun details. Skip Ciccarelli had talked about the importance of a foot brace, so I was glad to see that my canoe did indeed arrive with one.
For those of you just tuning in, my boat is a 13-foot Wenonah Fusion Kevlar canoe, with skid plates on both ends (adding about 3 or 4 pounds). One thing I haven’t done is to take an actual weight, which I will do. The green removable seat that you see in the photo above came with the boat. So far, I have paddled her 3 times, with her fastest average moving time of 3.3 mph on a roundtrip lake paddle with light winds, about 0.8 mph faster than I would have gone in my kayak!
Fusion…the process of combining two or more distinct entities into a new whole. Like the Western cowboy and his horse, a paddler and her boat should become one. This fall, therefore, I set out in search of my missing half, a boat that might be faster and lighter than my kayak, while retaining many of the qualities I love about my old boat. Let me introduce you to the Wenonah Fusion, a 13-foot solo canoe weighing just 30 pounds in Kevlar, shown below.
By the way, among the many types of fusion (like nuclear), I discovered binaural fusion, the cognitive process of combining the auditory information received by both ears and binocular fusion, the cognitive process of combining the visual information received by both eyes. So even hearing distant rapids and spotting a bear (which I have yet to do on the river) involve fusion!
My new boat will arrive at Maine Sport Outfitters in Rockland in early May at the latest. The folks there were kind enough to arrange for a loaner of the same model in the heavier Royalex, which handled well on a surprisingly warm Christmas paddle on the Pemaquid River. So about a week ago I paid the hefty deposit, guaranteeing a place for my canoe in their large spring shipment. So now I wait, about as patiently as a small child nearing Christmas, for the chance to carry and pack and paddle my new Fusion.