Monday, September 29, 2008

Those Kruger's Sure Can Travel

Stacey Fritz and Ryan Tinsley, have set off on a multi-season voyage along the western Arctic coast by Kruger Canoe with Balogh Sailing Rig, to explore the cultural and environmental history of the Cold War's northernmost 'distant early warning' radar outposts.

This is all part of Stacey's anthropology dissertation research project. You've got to read their journal and look at their pics, it's quite a story.

You can't beat a Kruger for a trip like this.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Here I Go Again

This is how the waiver begins for next July's Yukon 1000 canoe and kayak race.

The animal hazards are a bit different then the WaterTribe Challenges:
Animal hazards are common. Among these risks are bears, Moose, wolves, wolverines, beavers, bees, hornets, wasps, ants, ticks, mosquitoes and black fly. Other dangerous or annoying critters, too numerous to mention, are also in abundance. As an expert you are expected to know how to counter these attacks and it is expected that you have an adequate first aid kit and that you know how to use it.

Mosquitoes will be present. Mosquitoes can carry diseases including but not limited to West Nile Virus. And there have been documented cases of large animals dying from mosquito bites alone due to loss of blood. As an expert you are expected to be able to deal with hordes of mosquitoes approaching the size of small raptors and avoid or cope with other animals.

You can can read the whole waiver here. IT'S GONNA BE A BLAST!

Race registration is now open, KiwiBird and I will be officially registered soon.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Falls Lake Marathon

Sunday was the 2nd annual Falls Lake Marathon paddle. It's not a race or an advertised event. It's a distance challenge made up by the local paddlers around here, all about fun, friends, and paddling. I wasn't able to paddle the inaugural event last year so was pleased I could make it this year. Last year they had 8 finishers, this year there were 5 of us, only 3 who had time for the entire distance (25.5 miles).

And it took some time. We didn't get on the water till after 10 having to wait for the gate to be unlocked then shuttle cars. We took 3 fairly long breaks from the mild but continual headwinds, including a nice picnic.

Then once we hit the Eno River, we had a bit of trouble finding our way. It's not an easy place to navigate normally, lots of winding channels, but with the water levels so high after Tropical Storm Hannah last week, there were no discernible channels. We ended up missing an important turn, and then every thing looked like our next left turn. We paddled right into a swamp, even while consulting our multiple maps and GPS. Dave described it as "this way, that way, not the right way". We finally retraced our path and paddled up to a small fishing boat figuring we'd follow them in. They were lost too, had run out of gas, and were waiting on a relative to find them. We turned around, went the wrong way again, retraced a bit further and finally found the right channel and our way to the take out.

We finally finished just at 7:30, the sun had just gone down, the full moon was already out, but there was lots of twilight left to pack up.

As usual, it was another great day on the water.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

KiwiBird Come Back

I’ve decided it’s time for KiwiBird to come back to the world of paddling, she’s been gone way too long. We all know how busy life can be when you have a young child, and I know she has been really crazy with the new job too, but, come on, we’re talking about KAYAKING here.

So I sent her one of those "Helllloooo Out There" emails today asking her to please come back. I miss her, and I miss her blog. Obviously many of you do too because I've been getting all your emails asking about her.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

An Evening about SOFs

Here I am checking out Christine's SOF frame at our local Skin-on-Frame meeting/social Sunday evening. About 8 members attended, our group is now 17 strong.

Joe brought his SOF which he'd completed a while ago, and I brought my 'all it needs is paint' SOF. It was really interesting comparing the 3. As are most home built SOFs, all were different in size and shape, and all built using completely different techniques. Craig has just started getting organized for his big build, and is following Yost, yet another plan,. Ginger and Camille, anxious for SOFs, are still in the dreaming and thinking about it stage.

It was three plus hours of talk all centered around SOFs and kayaks, and a wonderful barbecue. Christine was a great hostess, and is quite a talented kayak builder (she's previously built a beautiful wooden strip kayak).

Greenland Paddles have become quite the rage here, as it seems to have become nationally. We're proud to count Bill Bremer, owner of Lumpy Paddles one of our local resident paddlers. I've only ever seen a couple of SOFs on the water around here, but I expect will be changing soon too.

Below, Joe and I are helping Christine get in her frame for the very first time to check out and discuss fit.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Spend Your Time in Your Kayak

I'm becoming more and more aware of how fast the hours pass when sitting at my computer, reading my favorite blogs, participating on paddling (or other) forums, and communicating through email. In fact, I'm finding it's taking up just too many hours of my daily life.

I'm a pretty early riser, always before 5am. I usually start each morning with a cup of coffee, while watching 30 minutes of news, and responding to personal emails. Then I'm up and moving, either going for a run or a bike ride before getting ready for work. There used to be a time I even went for an early morning paddle once a week.

But lately, and all too often, I've looked up from the computer to find I've wasted away hours on my laptop, there's more email than ever, more interesting blogs, and so many forums. Before I even realize it, I've lost all my free time, and need to rush around to get ready for work.

And don't you just hate it when someone sends you an email through a forum, and you respond in a personal way, without realizing you have replied to the whole forum group.

So.... a new personal challenge, limiting my computer time. Limiting blogging to my favorites, and including forums, possibly even scheduling my daily computer time. It's just too addictive, and way too much "sitting-on-my-butt" time.

Some of this really hit home when a friend sent me a link to something called Paddle Spin, a social network for kayakers. This I do not need. Luckily for me, I hate the term "social network".

So I'm off to Jordan lake, I expect it's overflowing after all our rain yesterday as tropical storm Hannah came through. I'm meeting up with a large group this morning for a 20 mile training paddle. Our annual marathon paddle (26.2 miles) on Falls Lake is next Saturday.

Then this afternoon/evening I'm meeting up with a local skin-on-frame club, for a meeting and barbecue. My SOF is skinned, the cockpit is in, and I'll be painting it in a few days. I'm looking for some advice on how to build a combing lip on my cockpit.

I don't need any electronic social networking, I need to get in my boat!

Time to go!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

He's an Ironman

And we are so proud of him. Though the clock says 15:16:44, his official time was actually 14 hours and 44 minutes after adjusting for his actual start time.

I'm sure he'll be posting a slide show and story about his and Adam's race on his blog or on the Team Norsa blog, as soon as they have a few minutes. It was very exciting.