Trak Kayak Outing #2: Montrose Beach, Chicago

My second outing in the TRAK Kayak was a bit more of a windy and wavy day on Lake Michigan and just perfect to get my feet wet with a bit more of the Trak Kayak’s ability to handle the rougher water of open lakes. trak-kayak-sunset-on-lake-michiganOuting one as you can see in the photo to the right was unusually calm but a great way to enjoy a thursday evening sunset.

Trak Sea Sock

On this paddle I had planned on going out to the edge of the line of piers that stretch north so I decided to give the Trak sea sock that I purchase as an add-on accessory for the Trak kayak a try. The sea sock is used to create a water proof barrier between the cockpit opening and the inside. This keeps water from getting to inside of the kayak as well as any sand / dirt from getting on the skin from entering and exiting. The sea sock makes a great safety feature for any skin on frame kayak as if the kayak is flipped or your spray skirt comes loose it prevents water from filling up the whole inside. Couple that with the flotation bags in the stern and bow of the kayak and you have a very safe and buoyant boat that will make self rescue and re-entry much easier. This is key for open water and sea kayaking along with the included spray skirt. The sea sock can take a bit to get used to as you essentially have your lower half wrapped with a piece of fabric but if you get water inside the cockpit the rewards for getting used to it becomes worth it. Once you get out all you have to do is live the inside center of the sea sock up high above the kayak, while keeping it attached around the coaming,  and the water will easily be removed without having to turn the kayak upside down. If you get dirt or sand in the sock just rinse it out at the end of the day and hang to dry.

Lake Michigan: Two to three foot swells

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Trip Map from Montrose Beach, Chicago

The kayak handled very well with a quick forward motion despite having some good size swells for kayaking in. The Trak felt stable riding up and over the waves while cutting through them with relative ease. Its times like this where a good sea kayak comes in handy. In this map you can see the trip I made, 4.7 miles. The stop at Foster Beach going north was to adjust the foot pedals back a notch, and also provided a perfect opportunity to snap the above photo and watch the dogs running out into the waves playing. A great stop and proved to be fun / challenging to get back out due to waves being funnelled in from two sides. Learned lesson today; always land closer to the pier side if possible of a beach as it will have more shelter from the waves.

Lean more about the Trak Kayak at www.rethinkkayak.com

 

– Please remember that Kayaking is a high risk activity and appropriate caution is crucial. Always be safe and tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be finished! Yield to larger boats (all boats), know how to swim, wear a Quality Type III PFD, have a loud whistle or sounding device on your PFD, dress for the water temperature, check the weather and use caution when kayaking in high winds and waves. Remember the average adult submerged in 50-60°F water has an expected survival time of 1 to 6 hours and exhaustion or unconsciousness in 1 to 2 hours.