Cape Falcon Kayak spring update 2012

Equinox, warmer rain,  breaks of sun,  chlorophyll floods the landscape,  there is light in the morning and the evening,  the farm comes to life,  my whitewater trips are slowly replaced by surf missions.    The thrill of spring is here!

We just finished our first class of the year here at the shop and for once we had nice weather,  in April!  We built four kayaks including these two beautiful Greenland boats,  some of the nicest to ever come out of the shop.

Loren,  a past student,  returned to the shop to build a new F1 for herself and her companion.   Now 13,  he has been riding like this since he was a puppy.

I was recently given back the very first F1 ever built at my shop.   It's still in good shape and I feel so lucky to get to paddle it again after all these years.

I finally took the time yesterday to build a real rack for all of the derelict boats strewn around the shop.

Tom Moen of thomaspaddles.com dropped off a rack of brand new blades for sale.   This perfect marriage of Red Cedar and Black Locust offers the toughest,  yet lightest wood paddle you can buy.   The shape is mine,  but with a much nicer finish than I have ever produced.  Very nice sticks.

A new project that I'm proud to unveil is this fresh batch of Adirondack Guide Boats.    After 5 years of testing the protoypes I took everything I learned and built a couple more.   One for myself and one for sale.   Go and check out the whole write up as well as photos here.

Ginger is the plant Diva here on the R-evolution Garden organic farm, and my job is to build things and fix things.   Our big addition this spring is these two 48ft long ROLLING greenhouses.   They slide on 150ft long pipe tracks,  allowing us to start things early and then expose them to the elements so bugs and diseases don't build up.

A few days ago Gin came running across the field,  "Brian,  Brian,  look what I found!"   These elusive little frogs always present but seldom seen.   We both enjoyed a close up look at the face behind the voice that sings to us at night.

With the sun now making regular appearances I watch with lust and glee as all of my solar contraptions begin to work!!!!    This is the inlet outlet gauges of the solar bath house loop,  giving me a 15 degree temperature rise at 2 gallons per minute.   I can't even tell you how happy this makes me.    Projects for this summer include a big solar oven and solar food dehydrator.

Many of you will remember this kitten from last years update.  M is now almost a cat!

I found a small clearing of these beautiful little flowers while on a walk the other evening and luckily I had my iPhone 4s on me to catch the shot.    After years of DSLR addiction,  things have come full circle and I've been really enjoying using the 4s  as my primary camera.   It has a great little lens but no zoom,  no exposure control,  limited focus control.   I like it because it forces me to adapt and be creative.   You can get a great photo out of it if you know how to work within it's limitations.    It's a lot of fun.   Like most wide angle point and shoots,  it loves to get close.

Stranded on an island in the bay, this eroded piece of driftwood is one of the natural wonders of my world.   I've always said that if I had a blind girlfriend I would take her here to impress her!   It's as tactilly wonderful as it is visually intruiging.

On the paddling side of things,  I'm still doing what I always do,  boating,  boating,  and more boating.   It's the most important thing one can do as a designer.   I'm pretty happy with the current quiver of Cape Falcon Kayaks,  but every year things get a little bit more refined,  a little better.    The video project is still happening and we are making slow project toward a release date of summer solstice.   I do a lot of things with my time so everything takes longer than I expect,  with summer approaching I can't imagine that problem will get any better.   Classes are mostly full for the year,  although we still have a few spaces left in September,  the nicest class of the year.   Hey,  I'd be happy to take September off to go surfing,  but it seems to me like someone out there would want to come build a boat during the best month of the year?   Sheesh.

Anyways,  that's all for now.   Maybe I'll see ya at the shop.


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Bonus Photo:

 I've been doing this for eight years and I have a reputation for getting things right.   In spite of my obsessive perfectionism,  even the best of us screw up once in a while though.   I was quite shocked when this gentleman had a hard time fitting into his new Greenland kayak.    He got in,  but I want things to go a little smoother for liability reasons.   "We can totally fix this.",  I said.   At the end of the class with evening approaching I hauled out all my tools and got to work.   I carved down the back of his coaming first,  next I crawled inside with an ANGLE grinder and reshaped the underside of the Masik, the spinning wheel just millimeters from the skin the whole time.  Then I reached as far as I possibly could forward and cut out the offending ribs that caught his heels.   Using a razor sharp chisel at the full extension of my arm I delicately cut out two pocket mortises and then steam bent a new rib in place,  fastening it in place with bronze ring nails.    He slid in much better when I was done.   Rebuilding a frame deep inside a finished boat isn't something you get to do every day.   It looks authentic and mimics the rib repairs seen in just about every qajaq in a museum.  

I strive to never make mistakes,  but when I do  I WILL fix the problem,  whether that means a crazy repair,  or even a brand new boat.