Gear and Cluttered Kayak Decks.
Best laid plans this winter will be to design the uncluttered deck. Time at the pool may help. So far the deck consists of a hosed H2O bag, VHF radio, encased cell phone(with lighter)...and finally a pump. The pump can be rigged under the front deck. As for the rest....can I really carry that much on me and not look like the Michelin Man? My person so far consists of mini pocket flares, mini strobe, whistle, small knife, pocket water proof camera, power bar, and belt tow line...good god...can I fit more?
Missing is the paddle float. After seven years of kayaking I have practiced but never used it, I can't picture when I would. I recommend it to anyone just starting, or the occasional kayaker...but with ease of the re-entry and roll, as well as practiced scramble enteries....what state would I have to be in to use one(?)...it also seems to be the rescue that actually takes the most time and energy. Maybe it could be cinched in behind the seat.
What would remain topside, is a slick, low profile, spear paddle on the back deck that lashes on so as not to interfere with scramble entries. Only thing on the front deck could be small, occasional gear...a watch, sometimes the small gps and the chart.
I'm a believer in having the tow system as a belt. It then serves many functions. Towing and 'feeling' it. If you have to exit your kayak, in conditions, you can quickly clip-in, to stop you from being separated from the boat. Finally, you have a rescue line that is always attached to you.
So for what remains...I'll have to come up with a way to wear it all. I'm not looking forward to that. I'll have to keep it small and light weight. In the end, it may all be for the good. If I should somehow become separated from my kayak, I'll have some survival gear.
Photo: Alex checking out himself...and my new Nordkapp LV.