Wednesday, July 12, 2006


We've been on a family vacation, back home visiting family in Hawaii.

Sunrise walks on the beach every morning with my daughter Tana.

Paul and Alan have been windsurfing every day.

Tana surfing at Waikiki beach.

Tana and Alan kayaking on some sit-on-tops.

Here I am boogie boarding at Kailua beach.

And most importantly, it's all about family..

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Not Quite Following in my Footsteps

but close enough.

The photo is of my son Alan (on the wire) and his sailing partner and good friend Trey, on Trey's Nacra I 20. They were racing at the 'Statue of Liberty Catamaran Race' over the 4th of July weekend. Both are juniors at North Carolina State University and have raced on the NCSU sailing racing team.

For most of Alan's life I've tried to turn him into a paddler. He learned to roll a kayak his first time trying, and he likes kayak surfing at Bogue Inlet. He knows how to paddle, but, not unlike his sister, neither has much interest in it. It's either a bit too much work, or I'm a hard act to follow. But he sure loves sailing. Alan's life is either about sailing, remote control airplanes, and finishing his degree in aeronautical engineering (in that order).

So imagine my surprise when he announced he was going to participate in the 2007 WaterTribe Everglades Challenge (EC), sailing his Hobie 18 in class 4. I didn't really think he knew much about his Mom's races/adventures, and in fact, he didn't seem to know much about them prior to my participation in this years Ultimate Challenge. This year he followed my exploits as reported by my husband on this blog, and the accomplishments of the other Tribers on the WaterTribe forum during the race. It's actually quite exciting following the race online, the WaterTribe website gets racer reports daily, photos, videos and comments from those following the race (over 500,000 hits) during the week of the Everglades Challenge.

More importantly, Alan noticed there was a catamaran racing. So now he's hooked. He's currently registered as SOS for SonOfSandy, though I expect that name will change soon. And luckily the EC dates coincide with his spring break next year.

The sailor in him is excited about the race, the engineer in him is excited about modifying the boat. He's talking about building a pedal driven propeller system (still not wanting to paddle any) for those times with the wind is not cooperating and he needs to keep it moving. Internet searches have found quite a few interesting models of small sailboat/trimarans that use a pedal system, and could be bought or built.

We've told Alan we'd be glad to buy him this, other than that he's on his own.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

YRQ and Peeing

The Yukon River Quest (YRQ) race is over. Water levels and an extremely strong field of accomplished racers made for some great race times. WaterTribe alumni did very well.

Brandon Nelson and David Kelly came in 1st place overall and 1st place in tandem kayak. Nelson is also known for his recent 24 hr Kayak for Care World record paddle. Brandon and his wife Heather (see below) were 1st place finishers in the WaterTribe Michigan Challenge in 2002. They also have a new kayaking blog under the WetDawg website, and Heather and Brandon's personal website at ChargeLife.

Carter Johnson took 1st place solo male kayak and 3rd place overall. Carter was an incredible winner in Class 2 WaterTribe Everglades Challenge this year, racing in a double surfski (unbelievable in an expedition adventure race) with partner Sally Mason.

Steve Landlick and Gregg Nelson took 1st place open canoe and 4th place overall. Landlick a long time successful canoe racer, is well known for his partnership with then father-in-law Verlen Kruger during their Ultimate Canoe Challenge, 28,000 miles through North America. He is also the only paddler to ever roll a Kruger. I'm still working on it :)

Heather Nelson, racing solo, took 1st place in the solo kayak female division, and an impressive 6th place overall. Heather is also a well known adventure racer, and, outside of the racing community, is known as a seakayak expeditioner among paddlers who have read about Heather and Brandon's expedition to Siberia's Lake Baikal (written up in Sea Kayaker magazine, June 2004, and on the WetDawg).

Marty Sullivan, a respected and successful WaterTribe racer (SaltyFrog) made all the Tribers proud by his 6 place in the solo kayak male class. His WaterTribe accomplishments are too long to cover on this page, but can be viewed on the WaterTribe results page.

When I read books on expeditions and races, I often want to know about some of the nitty gritty details that one needs to worry about, and especially the challenges women have. So I was very interested to see that in an article on the YRQ, Heather talked about how she pees during the race. The article stated:

"Peeing in their boats is never an easy or fun task for River Quest racers, but it’s even more challenging for women. Nelson, with help from her husband, cut and created a special seat for her kayak with a hole in it. When she pees, it goes through the hole into a compartment underneath the seat. The pee then comes out of the compartment through a tube, which is controlled by a foot pump that’s easy for Nelson to access. It’s all topped off by an exhaust valve on the front of the boat to get rid of the pee.“So I can now pee and never have to stop my boat during the race,” she explained. To make matters even easier, Nelson discovered skorts, which are shorts with a skirt over top. So she’s able to have a hole in her shorts to bee through, but still have the skirt coverage for privacy."

I am often asked these kinds of questions with regards to my WaterTribe Challenges. Finding a place to land in order to pee is often difficult, and certainly time consuming, and constant hydration is so important. This year during the Ultimate Challenge, I used a device like a LadyJ that my husband made for me, and could then pee into a bottle. The higher seating in the Kruger Dreamcatcher made this easier to do. Previous years in my NDK Explorer, I just peed in the boat, added some seawater and flushed using my installed foot pump. Not pleasant, very smelly, and the heat of Florida puts you at risk for diaper type rashes. Heather seems to have it all figured out.

And, on a personal note (hmmm, seems the one above was pretty personal too), I've had a great week and stated my training for the MS150 bike ride in New Bern NC in September. I'm updating my training journal daily. For the next 2 months, my focus will be on biking for fitness and the ride, but I'll certainly be paddling 1-2 days per week.