Thursday, July 3, 2008

Another kind of r-and-r

Off with the old; on with the new. Most of what you need to replace your dry suit's neck gasket.

The first couple of days after we return home are taken up by laundry, bills, weeding, returning calls and emails, and other mundane activities that expand like kudzu in our absence. There's no time for the conventional r-and-r (rest and relaxation). But we have an r-and-r of our own: repair and reconnect.
Sharon's dry suit neck gasket gave out a month ago. We think it was a casualty of heavy use and sunscreen. (Even if you're careful to apply sunscreen after your dry suit is on, you'll get some on your gasket every time you get in our out of the suit.) So we cut if off (scary!) and followed Kokatat's excellent directions for replacing it with a new one.
What's a dry suit and why do you wear one? It's a waterproof garment with latex gaskets at the neck and wrists (and sometimes the ankles, unless it includes booties) worn when water temperatures are low enough that a paddler might risk hypothermia (at worst) or discomfort and unwillingness to take risks (at best). Ours are made of breathable GoreTex, so they're surprising comfortable in warmer air conditions. We bought them when we realized that they could extend our paddling season. They're by far the most expensive pieces of clothing we own and the most indispensable.
The other "r" stands for reconnecting. We've caught up with our families and many of our friends. It must be time to go paddling again!

Sharon helps Watermelon Man try on her dry suit.

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