Today is a rest day, but an eventful one.
Last weekend’s experience breaking the backstay on my Alden Star convinced me that I would need a more reliable boat if I was going to continue to do coastal rowing. After the backstay broke, I suddenly felt very far away from land, and the boat felt very small. If the wind had been much stronger, I doubt that I would have been able to paddle with enough pressure to get home. Even as it was, I basically destroyed the bulkhead that the rigger attached to because of the flexure.
So, armed with the arguments about safety, I began the project to convince my wife that I needed a new boat. It was not a difficult project.
Me: Honey, I’d like to buy a new boat.
Her: Would it make you happy.
Me: Oh, yes.
Her: Then you should.
With that endorsement in place, I put my plan into action. I emailed Dana at Mystic River Boathouse. I told him that I wanted to buy an Maas boat, either a Maas 24 or an Aero. We went back and forth a little bit. The Aero is shorter and a bit wider so it slower, but it handles rough water a bit better. Based on the conditions that I have been seeing in Wellfleet, I decided that a rough water handling was the most important factor.
Typically, in open water events, the 24s and the Aeros are in separate event classes. For example in last year’s blackburn, there were 11 in the “Touring Class” and 8 in the “Racing Class”. The times on the course were not that dissimilar.
I inquired if Dana had an Aeros available on hand. He did…Specifically he had the Maas Aero Carbon, with self bailer. I asked him if I could come pick it up on Friday. He seemed delighted by the prospect.
So, this morning, I drove down to Mystic, Connecticut to go get my new boat. I was so excited, I showed up an hour early. Dana went through the features of the boat, then I loaded it up and came home.
Which leads me to the title of this post. This new boat will be christened with the name “Kanangra”. The name is an Australian Aborigine term, which according to my late father means Spiritual Resting Place. It is also the name of a National Park in Australia (Kanangra Boyd National Park) where my Dad went bushwalking while he was in High School and college.
When I was a kid, I sailed every weekend with my Dad on his Ensign, a 22 foot Pearson boat. My Dad spent a while trying to figure out the right name for his boat, and ultimately came up with Kanangra. It was a lightbulb moment. As soon as he thought of it, he knew it was perfect. He owned two other boats after the Ensign, and the Kanangra name was passed along to each.
Now there will be a Kanangra on the waters of Massachusetts Bay once again.