It was good not to be muffled down to the calves when the little waves started splashing over the bow of the kayak. Today I was out in the little Mini-Tripper, which is really a child's rec boat. Not one for a choppy day, but it wasn't choppy, just a few rolling waves about a foot high once I was away from the beach.
I tried leaning forward and back, to see how my balance pitched the bow down or up a little. This kayak has a very straight, level keel with no rocker.
Boy, could I ever tell the differences among my kayaks! The Eliza fits like a shoe. At three times my height it's exactly what traditional Greenland kayak makers recommend for a sea kayak. The rocker isn't as pronounced as the Romany kayaks I've tried; rather, it's what feels like exactly enough rocker for me in the kinds of choppy water I'm likely to encounter. The Eliza can surf on a following sea and it feels great doing so.
The Dragonfly inflatable fits tighter. At eight feet it's shorter than the Mini-Tripper, but wider and more stable. I'd rather put a child in the Dragonfly than the Mini-Tripper for a first paddle. And though this inflatable is more like a sit-on-top than a hardshell kayak, it's got rocker! Plus, it steers better than the Mini-Tripper. And it rides waves way, way better.
I went as far as Sheep Cove, to look at the red bridge, then came back. The waves that had been splashing spray all over my legs in the open cockpit were now coming from behind. I tried surfing a little, but thought the Mini-Trippers no longer than a surfboard, it's just not the same shape.
Back to shore and off to run an errand, getting ready for Christmas. What a day!