Today I want to talk about staying warm and dry. Or mostly warm and mostly dry.
I took the Outback for a short cruise on the Willy yesterday evening out by Sellwood park. Tested out the upgraded turbofins, and the sailing rudder upgrade. Major difference. More on that later.
I put in wearing just some flipflops, cotton ripstop pants and a cotton tee. I knew in advance that I would get wet, that I was only going out for about an hour, and that the water temperature and air temp were warm enough for me to be running around like an idiot in cotton. For those of you who don’t know already, cotton is one of the absolute worst fabrics you can wear while in the out of doors. It absorbs moisture and holds it next to your body, instead of wicking it to the outside surface of the fabric away from your skin. Great for wet t-shirt contests, bad for playing outdoors in anything cooler than 70 degrees.
Luckily, nothing bad happened to me (the turbofins got chewed up by a gravel bar that I didn’t know about until I was on top of it, but minor damage). But I did get wet. The chop on the river last night was up, as well as the wakes from several powerboats (PBs from here on out). Pointing the bow of the boat into the chop or wake results in quite a splash coming over the bow, and being diagonally to moving water has it coming up over the sides. Which isn’t really a problem – the ride on a SOT kayak is a wet one, and the Hobie Outback, because of its hull design, is wetter than most.
Which brings us to the belt and suspenders bit. Bearing in mind how wet I anticipate getting on a regular basis, and knowing a bit about outdoor gear, I fully intend on purchasing a drysuit in the near future.
But, being the impatient, instant gratification type that I am, I want to go out on the ocean now. Or as close to now as possible. I plan on hitting up Pacific City tomorrow in the early, early am.
The surf forecast and ocean forecast looks okay for me. I anticipate getting knocked around in the surf, and getting wet.
But it is going to be cool. So I need to dress appropriately. Since I do not have a drysuit, I need to figure something out. Instead of spending money that I should be saving for the dryuit on something like a wetsuit, I plan on using gear I already have. Which means waders and a hardshell jacket. The upside is that I know that this combination works to protect me from rain and wind. The downside, and this is a huge downside, is that they really don’t do much for you when you get dunked. A Drysuit has gaskets at the neck, wrists, and possibly ankles (if it doesn’t have attached drysocks). My waders are chest waders, which means I am good to go in water cresting at about four and a half feet. If I huli, it is probable that my waders will fill with water. Which is bad. Luckily, my waders came with a belt. The idea behind this is to cinch down on the waist, so if you do get dunked, your waders aren’t going to ballon open and fill up. Instead, your torso down to the belt line gets soaked, and everything below may experience a little bit of a trickle.
I haven’t tested that theory. In fact, I have done everything in my power to avoid testing that theory.
We will see.