I took the raft, which I've decided to call the Gute Fahrt, out on Battle Ground Lake just north of Vancouver for it's maiden voyage yesterday!
Lessons Learned:
  1. Use a checklist!  I forgot to bring the PVC that was going to be used for the tarp frame so the tarp was mostly useless.  It did, however, still act like a sail which wouldn't have been prevented had I remembered to bring the frame.
  2. Use a real oar/paddle.  I bought a $14 plastic paddle from Walmart and found that it was also mostly useless.  Every stroke of the paddle resulted in the paddle bending almost 30 degrees and gave the raft little propulsion.
  3. Bring an anchor.  Once I was able to get out into open water, I ended up spending most of my time paddling just to stay in the same spot.  Next time, I'm going to get a big rock or something that I can tie off to the frame to keep it from drifting while relaxing.
All told, I count it as a success since the Gute Fahrt floated and the hammock worked like a champ.  The next time out, I anticipate that we'll be better prepared and will have an even better time!
 


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