The launch

Well, the big day finally arrived last Tuesday. We picked up the boat, took it straight home, and threw it in the water. My first outing in Cross Lake was absolutely spectacular! This thing tracks well and is VERY stable. Just the ticket for 340 miles down the Missouri River. I will need to work on my exits, though. As I came cruising back to my apartment and pulled up to the shore there was a couple standing at the dock, enjoying the evening. They watched me race up, pull the boat up to the bank, and (try to) jump out. It seems kayaks are a bit more tippy when you’re getting out of them because I immediately fell over sideways – into the slime and muck. As I was laying there with my left eye underwater and my right eye looking at the bugs on the top of the lake I heard them say “We didn’t see anything – your secret’s safe with us!”

Finally here!

The second attempt was much more successful. I got home from work and out on the lake at 6:30 and didn’t pull in until 9:30. Covered a lot of miles in the boat, some of them out in the middle of the big lake. Once again it handled well and took some fairly big waves from the powerboats in stride. Half way though I pulled in to the Shreveport Yacht Club and rigged the boat lights, for safety, and headed back home. To get back to my apartment I need to go through an area of cypress trees growing up in the lake, under a small bridge, then down a bayou. It took me a while to pick my way through the trees, find the inlet under bridge, and down the bayou but there was a hot shower at the end of the trip. And I didn’t see any snakes or ‘gators so it was a success.

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On the bayou

It's loooooong!

From now on, if you see a blue and white ‘yak out on Cross Lake you’ll know who it is. The White Rock Navy is steaming full speed ahead! And, by the way, the pics were taken by my lovely wife, and fellow WRN crew member, Sharon, who’s here in Shreveport visiting me for the weekend.

64 days until the race.
108 members of the navy.
$616.00 in pledges for Haiti.
A whole bunch of sore muscles already!

Ned

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25 responses to “The launch

  1. Way to go, Dad! You’re awesome and you look great in the boat! Love you!!

  2. That looks awesome.. That is a long Kayak. Keep on paddling…

  3. oh cap’n my cap’n…off we shall sail … the river..the river…it beckons

    • The river DOES beckon. I really like this boat – even though it doesn’t carry nearly the beer those old aluminum conoes used to. But, it is a bit faster!

  4. Lookin good cap Ned!! Hope the river goes down, I was just in St. Louis for my brother’s 60th birthday, and the river was running very high.

    • Big snow pack upriver so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it stays fast! By the way, one of the women entered in the race this summer will be trying to break her own world record for the most miles paddled in 24 hours this weekend. She set it a couple of weeks ago – and did it in only 14 hours. I hope to meet her at the start of the race – I’m sure I won’t see her again.

      And – Sandy is turning 60? Oh dear Lord we’re all getting up there.

  5. Oh, and by the way – it snowed here today. May 24th. You heard it right, snow. Sometimes I wonder why I live here! Cathy

    • Snow? What’s that? Hey, Mudbug Madness is this weekend. Lots of warm weather, beer, and cajun crawdads in Shreveport LA! Y’all yankees are missin it baby. Let it snow up there and feed the Mighty Mo for race day in July.

  6. Lookin’ good Ned, remember, keep the blue side UP!!!

  7. You should have gotten the fancy Kayak edition. It comes with valet parking. Maybe next time. Good luck and don’t forget to let us know where to send the check after all that is the reason you are doing this.

  8. Patty and Jim

    Wasn’t there a band in St. Louis called Muddy Waters? Great going on the training – what a God send to have the lake “attached” to your apt.

    How do we pledge again?

  9. Heather Goodwin

    Welcome, to Shreveport, Ned. Stumbled across your blog via LinkedIn. What an awesome thing to do for the people of Haiti. Are you an experienced kayaker? Would love to actually see the beginning of the trip. I bet it’ll be an awesome sight. Good luck with it, looking forward to seeing how your training on Cross Lake goes. By the way, my husband works for Centerpoint. Small world.

  10. Thanks Heather. So far I’m really enjoying Shreveport. There’s the old saying that “I wasn’t born in Texas but I got here as soon as I could” but I think those folks are confused – it should be Louisiana and not Texas.

    • Heather Goodwin

      LOL! Just got back from a week in Destin. Had a great time, but couldn’t wait to get back to good ol’ Louisiana cookin!

  11. Jessica Jimenez

    Keep up the great work Ned!!! We love your pictures, thanks for sharing your kayaking stories with us. Best of luck with your big trip!!!!

    Jessica, Javi and Noah

  12. Ned, I love your excitement, your drive, your determination. The boat looks great with you at the helm. Keep those muscles pumping… Prayers are coming your way.

  13. Ned,
    What you need to do is strap a fishing pole to the kayak. You can kill two birds with one stone, get a good work out and have dinner on the end of the pole. Either that, or put a six pack at the end of the pole. at least you won’t get thirsty. Just some light humor. Great going, keep it up.

  14. Hay we will see ya at the Jeff city stop ,let us know what kind of sub you like we’ll have one waiting for you and the crew . Good luck , god bless, keep on floating .

  15. Ned, That’s vey exciting! Too bad you didn’t have this drive quite a few years back when I tried to talk you into buying a very, very small sailboat and sail all the way down to Brazil …
    Continue remando!
    Forte abraço,
    Sergio

    • I remember that sailboat – it was shorter than the kayak! And you wanted to put BOTH of us in there. Besides, there’s no fool like an old fool and, I guess I’m now an old fool.

      Abrocos para a familia la.

      Ned

  16. We’re all behind you and this awesome adventure. MR340 is quite a challenge but you’ve prepared well! The Haitians will be clapping when they hear of this adventure.
    Love,
    Les

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