Monday, October 30, 2006

Don't You Just Love Controversy?

I do. I love that we don't all agree, I love diversity and variety. I'm not too keen on ignorance or stupidity, but I excuse most who I just decide don't know better.

Gordon Brown, a very experienced and skilled sea kayaker from Scotland is about to publish his book "Sea Kayak". Finally, a book supposedly written for intermediate and advanced sea kayakers".

While promoting his book, he was interviewed on a web podcast, and referring to Greenland style paddling, made the controversial statement:

"I have said quite pointedly that there is no place in modern sea kayaking for those [Greenland paddles]...The Greenlanders were a race of survivors. If and when guns came along, do you think they still used harpoons? And when outboard motors came along did they still use kayaks? And when nails came along, did they stop tying kayaks together? As sure as we are sitting here, if they had carbon fiber paddles, they would have used carbon fiber paddles..."

I would have thought he knew better.

Derrick's blog posting last Friday titled "Lynched", is a good discussion on the controversy. I'm just not going to go there. If you've read my blog, you know that I believe more than anything that there are "different strokes for different folks". And though I'm proud of my BCU 4* rating, and I love my British NDK Explorer, which I paddle primarily with a Greenland Paddle, these days I'm loving my Kruger canoe and single blade paddle. And having completed the WaterTribe Ultimate Florida Challenge, a 1200 mile circumnavigation of Florida, I'm not talking flat water canoeing.

Hmmm, I wonder what Gordon would think about the fact that I also enjoy paddling a ruddered sea kayak with the single blade. Course most "real" sea kayakers likely can't picture this, as they couldn't get past that other controversial word 'rudder'.

I just spent the weekend in Edenton with my friend Dan. Dan has years of recovery ahead of him after a very serious shoulder surgery. He is not able to paddle his kayaks, but has been able to get out in his canoe, on calm days. I visited to show him that with a ruddered sea kayak, and a canoe paddle, he could still paddle, and do it in a playful way. What fun we had, 25 kt winds, huge gusts, and Dan paddling a sea kayak.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Update on the Boys

Looks like the boys are getting a bit more serious about boat choices for the WaterTribe Everglades Challenge next March. I wasn't really worried, I knew that canoe with windsurfer mast was really just about having fun :)

Alan has put up a blog at, where they are going to keep their progress posted.

Their blog description:
"These are the adventures of Alan, Matt, Chris and Mike. Four college kids who decided to do a 300 mile expedition race in Florida during their spring break. Details of our adventure so far."

After reading his latest posting on the Wa'apa, a three board canoe, I sent him an email and asked if we get to keep one after the race :) It's a very nice looking sailing canoe.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

No Team Name Yet...

or boats, or paddles, or sailing rig, or gear, or anything really. But they have the drive, and the spirit. I call it the WaterTribe Spirit.

Alan (my son), Matt, Chris, and Mike, all Juniors at North Carolina State University, are hoping to participate in the 2007 WaterTribe Everglades Challenge as a team of 4.

Their plan, as Alan described on the WaterTribe forum: We are looking for two (identical sized) fiberglass canoes between 16 and 18 foot (whatever we can get at this point). We plan to modify both canoes with decks, cockpits, freestanding masts (one each), sails, rudders, and leeboards. The canoes will have the capability to be catamaran’d together to be sailed with the advantage of the two sails. In still air, the boats can be separated and paddled. We would plan to be catamaran’d for a majority of the race since this configuration improves stability in open water and would be a must through any surf. However each boat will be equipped with a removable outrigger(s) for use in situations when stability is needed (while not catamaran’d) or in emergency situations. Plenty of reasons for this stow able stability. We would enter as a
dependant team with two Class 3 boats and 2 challengers per boat.

So the guys showed up at our house Saturday morning with an old canoe borrowed from NCSU. They rigged up one of the windsurfer masts and sails, and set out for Lake Jordan. It was a rainy but breezy day, and they figured they'd go have some fun, and think about what they'd need for the EC.

Future engineers and an architect, they are looking forward to the challenge and experience of making do with what they can scrounge. To them that's the fun of it, and the first real challenge.

Alan has always done thing his way. His training will be very different than mine too. Starting by getting ready for the 2006 Krispy Kreme Challenge. An annual NCSU race which begins with a 2 mile toward downtown Raleigh to the Krispy Kreme bakery. There, participants each consume 1 dozen of the legendary hot glazed doughnuts, then run back the 2 miles to the belltower to finish the race, all in less than an hour. Last years winner had a record time of 34 minutes, 27 seconds.

P.S. If you've got two canoes your willing to loan or donate to the challenge, you would really help thier cause.

Monday, October 02, 2006

New Toy, or An Addition to the Fleet

Depends on how you look at it.

Lucky me, I now have a new Concept2 indoor rower.

And, I might have found a new goal :) the "One Million Meter Club". The Concept2 website has motivation forums, workouts, and even goals and competitions. The computer that comes with the rower has preprogrammed workouts, games, and options for customizing workouts. Fun, fun, fun!

What else is in my fleet? I have a Kruger Dreamcather, NDK Romany Explorer, Aquaterra Chinook, Wilderness Systems Pamlico, Dagger Crossfire, Dagger Redline, and an almost finished skin-on-frame low volume Greenland style kayak. Still, there are many more boats on my wish list: a Feathercraft K1, an outrigger canoe (OC1), a double kayak, and I'd love a Balogh sail rig for the Kruger.