Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Monday, October 29, 2007
Friday, October 26, 2007
Finally it's raining, there's been rain for three days now. Of course it'll take quite a bit more than this to get us out of our drought, but it's a start.
Unfortunately, it also looks like Friday nights Full Moon Halloween paddle is going to be cancelled. I spent hours making a costume for my Kruger Dreamcatcher. I sure hope it gets rescheduled for later in the week, else the costume will have to wait another year. I don't have any pictures, but I do have the blond braids and helmet.
My weekend of ocean paddling, kayak surfing, and beach camping is also getting cancelled. Small craft advisories, rain, and thunderstorms are predicted for the whole weekend on the coast.
So, while Alan and Paul work on building their boat. I think I'll get to working on my skin-on-frame.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
But, Brian and Marissa (Capt'n of the 0'dark 30 and Super Boo) will be the very first father - daughter team, and Boo will have the distinction of being the youngest Triber. Welcome to the Tribe Boo. Father and daughter will make their final plans after they finish the Kruger 100 Challenge this weekend.
Those of us who follow the Captn's blog, have been reading about her exploits for awhile now. Super Boo, just 11 years old, has become quite the adventurer, and, she's quite a paddler. Not just for fun and adventure, Boo's planning to give back. Her blog, The Adventures of Super Boo, and her participation in water based challenges and adventures will be dedicated to raising awareness and money for breast cancer, an illness her mother is currently fighting. And, to do it all while playing with Dad will be moments to treasure forever.
I'll bet KiwiBird is just chomping at the bit to be the first mother - son team when that 'wee' one is a bit older.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Paul and I have been wanting a sail boat for the past few years, though Paul's interest included building it himself (he has always been the kind of guy who just "makes it himself"). We always thought this would be a retirement project in the future.
Not as interested in the catamarans that Alan loves and sails, Paul still wanted something fast, and I wanted something that would let us explore and camp around the NC sounds. Last year, seeing the EC22 'Southern Skimmer', designed, built, and raced by naval architect Graham Byrnes of B&B Yacht Designs, Paul found a type of boat he was interested in. And Alan approved, it not only had been raced, it was fast.
Alan had been thinking a lot about what boat to race next year. Then I'd seen a posting by another WaterTriber Greybeard who mentioned he was building a Core Sound 20 for the race. I suggested Alan look into this possibility. Graham had previously won an EC with a Core Sound 17, his boats are proven. Being a Mom, I was thinking that this boat was the safest suggestion I could think of (you have no idea some of the ideas Alan was considering).
Paul and Alan had teamed up for a weekend of sail racing with Alan's Hobie 18 at the Outback Regatta a month ago, and they had a great time together, even came in 2nd place in their division. It was a great father-son adventure, and I can't tell you how pleased and proud we are that Alan asked Paul to team again, both in building the boat and in racing it. It took a bit of convincing Paul at first, statistician that he is, he needed to do a bit of research and work out some projections to assess the feasibility. He didn't really stand a chance. Like his Mom, Alan can justify anything and everything, it's all good.
I thought they would be building in the garage, but apparently it wasn't going to be big or warm enough. Our basement, though rarely used, is a finished basement, even carpeted, it is not a workshop. But it is big enough, so I've packed up my sewing and quilting supplies, moved my "in progress" skin-on-frame kayak out of the way, and voila, one weekend later, it's a boat shop.
What's the real exciting part of it all. We'll have Alan home most weekends, and through the winter holidays. Now it's time to think of a role for Tana. To have them both home so much would be heaven.
Speaking of Tana (and giving equal face time), Tana was home for a couple of days during her Fall break. During her visit we went for a nice morning hike on our local Bolin Creek trails.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
During our paddle, in the dark, and with our lake at drought levels creating lots of new beaches and islands, I found myself often disoriented to my location. This in a lake I have paddled weekly for over 12 years. In fact, people have often asked me if I get tired of the same Lake. I'm just so thankful to live near a body of water that I can get out on all the time. And I've found seasonal changes, weather differences, even the different times of the day, make the lake different every time. And none more so than now with the low water.
After we'd finished, and helped put boats on cars, we started planning future paddles. Most of this group are year-round paddlers, and many have kept me company on my distance training paddles over the past few years. I was so pleased to hear there is interest again in keeping me company on my Friday night 15's (miles) starting up in a few weeks, as my WaterTribe training begins. The company more than makes up for the dark and cold of winter nights on the Lake.
This weekend and next is starting to look pretty interesting too. Paul and Alan are off to the Coast on a big shopping expedition for their 'big build'. I expect Alan will post something soon about their plans, pretty exciting. I'll be back on the lake. Then next Friday is the Halloween paddle, followed by a weekend kayak camping trip at the beach with my friend Dee.
It doesn't get much better.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Yes, I'm as tired as you are hearing about how I"m finally going to finish my SOF. But I've really gotten the bug now, and, with WaterTribe training coming up, and then Ironman training, it's now or much later, as I'm going to start getting very busy.
I built this SOF kayak years ago (see pics), and failed miserably at my attempts to skin it with a heavy polyester. It just sits naked in the basement. So I've decided to follow Michael's lead, and cover it in canvas. Easy to replace (if and when needed), and I think a great compromise for me on this my first SOF. I find I'm also excited about possibly doing something a bit creative when painting it.
I've ordered the canvas (cotton duck #10). The basement is clean (thanks Alan for coming home Sunday and helping us). I've lost some weight so this skinny kayak should fit. And I'm freeing up some weekend time to finish it.
Of course first I need to finish the Halloween costume I'm making my Kruger Dreamcatcher for the Halloween Full Moon Paddie at Jordan Lake on the 26th.
Monday, October 15, 2007
The rocks in the lower right are the end of the boat ramp, it's easy to see how low the lake is.
It's pretty eerie paddling through this grave yard of stumps.
The lake covers 13,940 acres, certainly not large by some standards, but I've managed 35+ mile paddles. But right now, the lake is emptying.
Normal levels are 216 ft, current levels are at 210 ft. Our area is classified as being in an 'exceptional drought', this is a higher level than 'extreme drought'.
Drought, a fixture in much of the West for nearly a decade, now covers more than one-third of the continental USA. Half the nation is either abnormally dry or in outright drought from prolonged lack of rain that could lead to water shortages.
According to the National Climatic Data Center, this is the driest spring in the Southeast since record-keeping began in 1895. Dry episodes have become so persistent in the West that some scientists and water managers say drought is the "new normal" there.
Reinforcing that notion are global-warming projections. Kathy Jacobs of the Arizona Water Institute says "Droughts will continue to come and go, but … higher temperatures are going to produce more water stress."
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Thursday, October 11, 2007
During his circumnavigation, he capsized in the North Atlantic Ocean, broke both legs, was chased by a crocodile in Australia and arrested on suspicion of spying in Egypt and threatened with a 40-year prison sentence.
Bearded and looking tired, a clearly emotional Lewis crossed the Greenwich Meridian line at the Royal Observatory by carrying his boat with the help of supporters and cheering well-wishers.
Monday, October 08, 2007
Aside from setting myself up for my own challenges, there is nothing I love more than encouraging and supporting other's in theirs. 12 miles or 1200 miles, the distance is not important, it's about having a dream Then the process and the personal accomplishment is unbelievable pay back, regardless of the final result. Or your age.
Some really good reasons for taking up a challenge
- Daring to chase your dreams
- To find out what you are capable of physically and mentally
- To learn the power of commitment and determination
- Doing something for your personal satisfaction
- Becoming a role model for your Family and/or Friends
- Learning about the process of reaching difficult long term goals
- Striving to achieve something personally difficult & challenging
If you follow the WaterTribe, there have been some interesting conversations going on between NCSU (Alan) and our home. Here are some snippets:
- Dad, lets team up and build a boat for EC 2008.
- Not enough time, it's less than 5 months away.
- No problem, I have a great idea.
- Your supposed to be a full-time student.
- Hmm, we'd have to build it in the basement, the garage isn't big enough or warm enough over the winter.
- We'll have to clean the basement :(
- Is it really 500-600 pound?
- Hmm, we'd have to remove the sliding doors and door frame to get it out.
There were 27 in attendance, all with different boats, from recreational, inflatable, plastic, kevlar, expedition, and racing styles. As different as the boats were, so were the tents and camp setups. I came home ready to hit Walmart, Target, and REI. This was car camping at it's finest.
Launching off Radio Island
Monday, October 01, 2007
Applications (video with accompanying bios) go in without even knowing where the trip is, knowing only that a team of 4 will be judged on their ability to endure the hardships and technical challenges found on a multi-day expedition to a remote location. Winners were selected by online vote, and were announced at the West Coast Sea Kayak Symposium.
Check out the basic rules here.
Check out the entry video's here.
This year's winner was Team Sweetwater, headed by Russell Farrow, a partner at Sweetwater Kayaks in Tampa Florida. Their entry application video included shots from the Labrador trip most of the members made a couple years ago. Russell was one of the instructors and a presenters at a Barrier Island Kayaks Symposium here in Swansboro N.C, a couple years ago. I was there and heard him present this trip, where gear included shotguns and electric fences for the polar bears.
I'm certainly one for challenges, and don't shy away from them. But I do know the difference between a challenge and a vacation. Hell's not one of the things on my 'to do' list.