Sep 25, 2010

After You - Keller

(I didn't turn on the GPS until we were halfway through the ride.)

Gervais Lake on a beautiful September afternoon. After launching from Spoon Lake, the little bubble in the middle of the map, we headed north.

Lily, my awesome first mate, apparently heard there was a cold front moving in. She was bundled up and as it turned out that wasn't so bad. Sunny, but cool. Here she's enjoying a mid-cruise snack. We like to have snacks on the boat.
One of the many reasons for going out this time was to try out the new motor! It's a Gamefisher 3.5hp motor I picked up used and cheap. She fired up quite nicely and pushed us around the lakes on just a splash of gas. Her top speed wasn't quite 10mph (ok, by a couple) but it ran solidly. It has twice the power of the electric, but there's a lot less "give" - so when that prop spins, it spins! No slowing down for hills! As a result the push is considerably stronger. In fact, it's fast enough that "steering by weight" really comes into play. By standing in my usual spot in the cockpit and just shifting my weight left and right, I can get the boat to turn left or right by degrees. If I walk to one side of the boat I can get a strong turn out of it, without even adjusting the motor. Quite nice not to have to keep a hand back there. I am always within reach of the motor, however, and understand the risks. So don't start.

The motor is loud, so conversation on the boat dwindled. Lily eventually ended up doing some reading and hanging out in the cabin.

After the last bridge passing into Keller Lake, I let Lily try her hand at navigating the boat using the electric motor. She can't do much damage, and I was Right There in case she needed help. But I think she enjoyed it, and when she's legally old enough to drive a boat I'll let her take over a whole cruise. For now it's stolen moments like these to keep her interest!

We spotted a few birds and the electric motor let us get fairly close. We were going to try and get around the island in Keller Lake, but there's a walking bridge that we wouldn't have been able to clear - by inches!

All in all a wonderful expedition, the motor worked great, and launching/recovery both went quite smoothly.

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