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Kayak camping with a telescope?

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#1 jrbarnett

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 02:42 PM

I got a kayak for Christmas. I'm digging it. One of the better dark sky sites within an hour and a half of home is Lake Sonoma. Lake Sonoma is a recreation area managed by the Army Corps of Engineers. Obviously it has a lake. But also, it has a large number of "boat in" campsites that look to have very good horizons.

Now, obviously moisture is the enemy of optics and electronics. Dry bags, though, come in all sizes. I'm wondering if anyone has had the temerity to kayak camp with a telescope and mount, and if so, what telescope and mount, and how did you pack it in the Kayak?

Thanks!

- Jim

#2 mountain monk

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 03:08 PM

I kayak all the time with my 16x70 Fujis. Answer: Pelican case for the binos, dry bag (or nothing) for the Bogen tripod. Twelve foot kayak with a waterproof compartment--but I don't completely trust it.

Dark skies.

Jack

#3 jrbarnett

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 03:23 PM

Thanks Jack.

I'm thinking 20AH battery, Celestron 6/8 SE mount head and tripod, roll up solar panel and regulator, C6 OTA, 2P tent, compressed sleeping bag and foam pad, heavy fleece, Snow Peak stove and fuel canister, freeze dried food, water filter.

My kayak has no lidded dry storage. Instead it has a big rear deck with bungees that can accommodate a bunch of mid sized dry bags. Lots of storage fore and aft inside the kayak though.

Hmm...I may need a bigger kayak. :lol:

- Jim

#4 mountain monk

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 04:00 PM

One always needs a bigger kayak until you start portaging them!

Sounds like you are going to need to a collection of dry bags. Camping next to lakes is great for observing, especially is you have a view to the south.

Dark skies.

Jack

#5 mountain monk

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 04:14 PM

More. Keep the heavy objects inside the boat and forward. Otherwise the load strapped to the back will sink the stern too much and make it hard to steer. And, lots of weight on top will make you tippy. Test the bags; they are not all completely waterproof. And make sure they are all attached to the boat so you will not have to go swimming around after them if you dump. Been there, done that.

Dark skies.

Jack

#6 azure1961p

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 04:55 PM

Lol Jim, well almost...


I have a 17'5" sailing kayak with outriggers so it sails like a trimaran kayak. I bought another sail for it so its schooner rigged with a total of 70sq.ft. Of sail. I haven't packed my Ranger in it yet but surely it shall go...

For my piece of mind Ill have it sealed in a plastic bag with a twist tie then placed inside of a drybag and lastly my rear hatch BOLTS shut so not even air can escape. I also want to go kayak camping with my compound bow strictly for target archery and the same bag in a bag protection should suffice tho ill keep it above deck.

Beyond that I have no worries. The ONLY issue Im concerned with is that of salt air dewing. Not a lake issue to be sure but its a concern of mine with regard to observing and camping on a beach or behind a dune. I think battery powered dew removal is mandatory here for that.

The Ranger is on a plain Jane alt az tripod so no worry over electronics. Again my only concern is salty dew - it's a different beast altogether.

Pete

#7 kfiscus

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 06:37 PM

Or turn a dob INTO a kayak?

Seriously, though- temerity is the right word. Besides the water, the bumps would worry me. Good luck.

#8 azure1961p

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 10:09 PM

Well on a lake as opposed to whitewater it'd be a pretty non jarring ride.

Pete

#9 Bill Weir

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 01:31 AM

Boy you don't plan on packing light do you. Pack all that stuff on the upper deck and you sure better be prepared to learn the term "turning turtle". What type of kayak is it anyway? With it having no inside storage capability makes me suspicious it isn't up to the task you ask of it.

Are you proficient at kayaking? If you balance ability is good then I suspect you might be able to pull off but with weight on the top if wind comes up things might get difficult. I kayak on the ocean and water isn't anything to challenge as it often takes no prisioners.

Bill

#10 jrbarnett

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 10:17 PM

Hi Bill.

It's a Jackson Regal. Basically a sit-inside designed for livery use. Wide, stable as a carrier, slow and simple. It's high sided. I use it in a 20 mile long tidally influenced slough; a river that flows both ways, twice daily. :grin:

Lake Sonoma can be windy, and there are power boats so wakes are likely, but no currents really.

Regards,

Jim

See below for details on my boat.

http://jacksonkayak....g-kayaks/regal/

#11 bremms

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 11:52 PM

Questar in a Pelican case. .. Just get a pelican case for the scope. Small maks are good travel scopes. Had a Questar that I borrowed for a couple of trips. So nice but man are they expensive. Not too familiar with today's small maks. I might just get one to try it out.

#12 nirvanix

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 11:19 AM

In kayaking weight is not your friend. Balance and load shifting is one issue, but also the more your kayak is loaded down the more work to propel it through the water. I use an Orion 100 f6 on a video camera tripod - total weight 11 pounds. It's doable. Big dry bags stored front and low.

#13 bunyon

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 11:54 AM

I would think the most interesting astronomer in the world could use a Dob as a kayak. A truss Dob even.

Seriously, test the dry bags and be sure they are securely fastened to the boat. For no longer than you'd be out, I doubt humidity would do any long term damage.

#14 Mike E.

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 04:48 PM

I've done a lot of float and canoe trips over the years. Unless your in a hurry to get from point A to B, considered towing a large truck innertube inflated around an ice chest to carry additional cargo. Even if you roll over, the tube won't.

#15 David Castillo

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 07:08 PM

Tow an innertube like Mike suggested. In my youth we'd float a tube along with an ice chest strapped on top . I suppose you could throw a small scope an supplies in it and seal it up without too much effort. Worked with beer, why not astro equipment :shrug:
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#16 mountain monk

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 01:50 AM

Tubes. Fine for flat water and no wind, but in even slightly rougher conditions they are IMHO dangerous. and the heavier they are the more dangerous they are.

Dark skies.

Jack

#17 Mike E.

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 07:56 AM

Tubes. Fine for flat water and no wind, but in even slightly rougher conditions they are IMHO dangerous. and the heavier they are the more dangerous they are.

Dark skies.

Jack


Dangerous in what way? I don't think a white water trip is the intent here.






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