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DemoTex

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Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 22,354

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Native Watercraft Slayer Propel 10 Test Drive

PROS:
1. The pedal propulsion system is awesome. I achieved some good boatspeed on a small mountain lake on Caesar's Head. The direct-drive allows instant reversal. Mechanism kicks up when shallow water is encountered (or can be totally retracted with ease). The two-bladed plastic prop is big, with an easily accessible sheer pin.

2. I loved the left-hand rudder steering tiller. Reminded me of a Boeing jet!

3. The Slayer 10 is stable enough to stand up and cast a fly rod, with care. But it ain't a beamy Boston Whaler!

4. A tripod fits fine just in front of the seat, without the pedal-system installed (see CONS).

5. The high seat is a fantastic improvement (for my back) over my Folbot kayaks'. This alone is why I am considering this class of kayaks.

6. The Slayer 10 paddles very well, with a very long paddle (because of the boat's beam). My longest paddle was a good 6" longer than anything Sunrift Outfitters had available for their demo kayak fleet. Turns on a dime, yet tracks well with the rudder centered.

CONS:
1. With the pedal propulsion drive installed, there is very little room for anything in this 10' kayak. The only storage is behind the seat, and that is hard to access underway. There are optional accessories (like rod holders) that address this problem to a degree.

2. The pedal drive mechanism is a pain when stripping off fly line (line catches). But I think a beach towel thrown over the exposed drive would take care of that.

3. Native Watercraft claims a fitted weight of 57 pounds. When pigs fly! I am used to a true weight of 38 pounds in my Folbot Aleut. However, the Slayer 10 was manageable solo. And with my Hully-Rollers back on the Rack-N-Roll trailer (they are down in Greenville, where they don't belong) it will be much easier.

4. Pricey! You pedal, you pay.

I'm giving this kayak a 8.0 (out of 10) for fishing, and a 6.5 for photography. The Slayer 13' appears to have the same "space" problem up front, and (I am told) the 13-footers' higher aspect ratio makes it a bit less stable for stand-up casting (which would be expected).

I return the Slayer 10 to Sunrift tomorrow, and pick up the Wilderness Systems ATAK140 (14'). The ATAK140 is longer and heavier than the Native Watercraft, and it does not yet have propulsion other than paddle (or an umbrella as a sail, which I often use in my Folbot!). But it is roomy, and an electric motor option is in the works. Plus, it is built right here in Greenville, SC!

Three of my favorites ..


Death Valley, CA


Apalachicola, FL


Mogollon, NM

Three for thee


Mogollon, NM


Apalachicola, FL


Death Valley, CA

White Sands/Chihuahuan Desert: A Photo Memoriam (PHOTO HEAVY)

I last hiked the Alkali Flats "trail" into the White Sands National Monument dunes late in the day on July 12, 2015. I carried two cameras, a tripod, lots of water, a Sylvan Ranger compass and a map. Shadows were long with the sun low in the west, and outflow from some distant monsoonal thunderstorms cooled the Chihuahuan Desert. I have been on the Alkali Flats Trail before, either early morning or late afternoon (and usually in a cooler month than July or August).
I always count "trail" markers, and then - usually - turn due south by the compass and count paces (as best I can in the soft sand), until I find a good spot to shoot the sunrise or sunset. Hiking back by compass puts me right on the trail markers (there is no well defined trail in the constantly sifting sand).
The man and woman from France who died at White Sands a few days ago were hiking near the Alkali Flats Trail, very close to where I hiked last month. It is a sad story that well illustrates the dangers of the desert (as did the death of British actor David Legeno - "Harry Potter" - at Death Valley, California, in July 2014).
I post some of my White Sands collection (all photos I have taken between 2012 and 2015) in their memory. Good people doing what they thought was a good thing. In the desert, one just cannot be too careful.


















Fire Season 2015 in Photos (Part 1)

My Arizona fire season ends on 7/24. Here are the first of several groups of photos from this 2015 Fire Season.







Fire Season 2015 winds down as monsoon flexes muscles. I scramble for photo ops.

My boss told me today that we close the lookout on July 24. Tentatively. But with the rains we are getting, most likely. I am way behind on my "photo-quoto." But today was good. The hawks must have heard my lament. They showed up at the lookout early, and played all morning. The monsoonal sunrise was great. As was sunset during a storm.







Fire Lookout Rainbow .. just now! (6/26/2016 at 6:45 PM)

Incredible! What a day! What a sight over the Wilderness of Rocks in southern Arizona!



"Rachel's Righteous Rant"

I'm in Tucson on a required day off, tomorrow. I had a steak across the street, and came back to watch a little TV: MSNBC. Rachel Maddow. What a righteous rant! All about SC, and the secessionist flag, and the Citizens Conservative Council (ersatz KKK). And the history of the rebel flag over the SC state house (raised first over 100 years after the start of the Civil War, in 1962, as a message to the Civil Rights movement). If you did not see it, check it out on the innertube. I'm sure it is there.


Ironically, I post this tonight from the most western outpost of the ill-fated Confederacy. Old Pueblo (Tucson) flew the Confederate flag for a time. The CSA dream was a coast-to-coast, southern tier, break-away nation, with an economy propped up on the backs of African (and maybe others, later) slaves. That dream faced reality at a place northwest of Tucson called Pichacho Peak. Unionist sympathizer troops from California met the Confederate sympathizers from Tucson. Several times. The Californian's repelled the Confederate advance

So lower this obnoxious symbol, wherever it flies in government or public domains. If you love it, and the specious times it represents, display it in your home. Revel in it. Put it over your basement bar, where no dark person will ever venture (except maybe the "help"). Toast it with your friends from the club. Party like you are at the Dallas Country Club on the night of November 22, 1963 (and a friend of mine was, and disgusted by the celebration over JFK's death, resigned the Club).

Or put it in your front window, and display your ignorance and racism to the world. Because, if I see it I will shoot it. I promise.


Godamn, Rachel Maddow is steamed tonight!

The South's CCC (Citizens' Conservative Council), as an ersatz KKK. Great stuff. I'm watching it at 9PM PDT, so it might have been posted before. Go Rachel!

BOHICA - the moon-ass photos guaranteed to get me banned At DU


Painted Hills of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, Oregon


Bend over. Geological pornography, in color.
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