Thursday, March 3, 2011


Text and Photos by Olaf Mitchell

My friend Ted built this prototype inflatable cat-a-raft from scratch.
Ted has an engineering degree, a wild imagination, and a passion for adventure.
He constructed the pontoons in his parent’s garage in Kansas. He used a center mounted universal off of his wind surfer. Used the rudder system from his old Hobie 14, he constructed the frame (with ore locks) out of aluminum tube and built it so that it broke down to make it compact He constructed his ores so that they broke down as well. The sail was rigged on a two piece aluminum windsurfing mast. The sail was a modified Dacron windsurf sail that was battonless and reef able.
For the maiden voyage Ted packed the cat-a-raft and a few essentials ,very few, He bought a ticket on a Greyhound bus from  Topeka, Kansas to The U.S. border at Mexicali.

 He then transferred to a Mexican Dina Bus to San Felipe Mexico.
Ted off loaded in San Felipe bought some rice filled his pontoons set his rig up and launched out on The Sea of Cortez.

Ted rowed when the wind was still or very light and sailed when the wind was stronger.

He pulled ashore every afternoon and spear fished. He would build a fire and cook rice and fish every night.
Often he would meet up with other adventures and trade fish and his stories for whatever they had to offer.
I ran across ted on the beach in Los Barriles at the end of his journey down the Sea of Cortez.

Ted and I fished off of his cat-a-raft every morning that winter.
We ate very well and fed every one that was living at north beach.

We wind surfed every afternoon and another winter passed.      

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