Paddling Planet

December 19, 2014

Kayak Yak
kayaking the We(s)t Coast of British Columbia

Kayak Tour to see lights in Brentwood Bay

When I went looking on the blog for postson our times paddling in December to see Christmas lights, all I could find at first were posts mentioning Christmas... So I guess we'll just have to do a December paddle on the Gorge again this year to look for lights. And if you'd like to do your own paddle while watching Christmas lights, there's an opportunity for you in Brentwood Bay! Just saw this notice in the newspaper:

See Christmas lights from a different perspective at Saturday’s Family Kayak Lights Tour. The two-hour tour takes participants into Brentwood Bay in a flotilla of kayaks and canoes.
Tour operator Pacific Paddlesports will give a brief lesson before setting out in the boats, which will be decorated with Christmas lights. Participants are encouraged to dress warmly with a waterproof layer on top. Bring a travel mug for free hot cocoa.
Cost is $25 per person or $75 for a family of four. No experience necessary. The tour runs 4 to 6 p.m. at Port Side Marina, 789 Saunders Lane, Central Saanich. For details, go to

by (Paula) at December 19, 2014 03:37 am

December 18, 2014

Essex Explorations
Our membership is small…but that’s by design. Each of our explorers is a recognized leader in their respective field and brings a unique set of skills to the group. Whether a certified instructor, commercial guide, or in the case of our latest member, a professional photographer, each is passionate about explorations, pushing their boundaries, and then sharing that experience with others.
Greenland Or Bust - Helen Wilson & Mark Tozer

Calling all paddlers – FREE BEER and FREE DVDs at Storm Gathering USA

The biggest challenge about writing a blog is getting people to read it, and FREE BEER at Storm Gathering USA and a FREE DVD might be the way… If you’re a paddler, we want to convince you why you should come to Trinidad, California for Storm Gathering USA, and if you’ll stick with me for a few minutes, I think that we might just be able to do that…

Trinidad, California

Trinidad, California

I began sea kayaking several years ago in Trinidad, California with a group of paddlers from the local club, Explore North Coast. The Club organizes paddles that are always tons of fun to attend. Through the Club I met “The Paddle Pals,” a group of like minded kayakers that meet every Sunday morning for what we call “Sunday Services.” For years I’d look forward to Sunday, with each week bringing new adventures. I remember launching one Sunday and paddling to the front of Trinidad Head to sit in the 28 foot swell. The swell would lift us to incredible heights, and at the top, a strong gust of wind that was generated from the swell itself would blow over us, causing our chests to lift as we inhaled deeply before dropping down into the trough. I remember thinking how that deep inhale filled my body with so much energy that I felt like I was going to explode. It was that same day we watched porpoises dancing in the powerful swell under a double rainbow. Other days we’ve been followed by whales, Stellar Sea Lions, California Sea Lions, Harbor Seals, River Otters, Harbor Porpoises, and once, a great white shark. The ocean is an incredible being, and Trinidad is where I fell in love with it.

Trinidad has the option of a harbor launch that allows paddlers to get into very large swell without having to negotiate a surf zone.

Trinidad has the option of a harbor launch that allows paddlers to get into very large swell without having to negotiate a surf zone.

When Mark and I became, well, Mark and I, he also became a part of my business, Greenland or Bust, and I began working with him on organizing the UK Storm Gathering Symposiums, which began in Mull, Scotland in 2006. I have been co-organizing that event with Mark since 2011. I remember the first time Mark and I paddled in Trinidad together, I told him that I thought that it was an ideal location to run a sea kayaking symposium, and he agreed. Time went on, and we began loosely organizing. About a year ago we took the plunge and decided to do it. Storm Gathering USA takes place from March 6 to 8, 2015.

“Smack Wall” is a popular feature among locals.

The biggest challenge for running a symposium in this location, is that it is five hours away from the nearest major city. This means that people need to travel to get here, but we guarantee that it’s worth it. Trinidad is located in the coastal redwood forest of Humboldt County, which is home to the tallest trees on the planet. Standing under them is magical and an experience that you won’t forget, and paddling next to them is an adventure that few kayakers have had. If you’re coming from out of the area, consider bringing your non-kayaking family, because they’ll have just as much fun off the water as you do on the water. We’re a five hour drive north of San Francisco and an eight hour drive south of Portland. There is an airport 10 minutes from the event (Arcata/Eureka – airport code ACV) with United flights coming in and out several times a day. If you get to the airport, we can help get you to the event. P&H will be on site with kayaks to rent, and you can choose how much you want to spend on accommodation, from a cheap campsite, to affordable cabins, to The Lost Whale Inn – a FANTASTIC B&B that is a pricier option, but well worth the money if you want to splurge.

Being on land isn't so bad either.

Walking amongst the redwoods is magical.

The event is staged out of The Emerald Forest in Trinidad. The Emerald Forest has cabins, campsites and RV sites, as well as the “Celebration Hall,” a rustic community room with a warm wood fireplace and a kitchen.

Rough Water Boat Handling is just one of many open water classes.

Rough Water Boat Handling is just one of many open water classes.

There are many fantastic instructors out there, and narrowing it down to just a few was tough. The group that we came up with are all highly qualified paddlers and coaches, but more importantly they’re wonderful people who always put their students at the top of the learning experience. We have asked each coach what they want to teach, which means that when you take a class with them, you know it’s something that they not only excel in, but love teaching as well.

Three levels of rock gardening classes are also offered.

Three levels of rock gardening classes are offered.

The classes we’re offering are designed for three levels of paddlers; advanced-beginner, intermediate and advanced-intermediate/advanced. Participants are asked when they register to assess their skill level and pick the classes that are right for them. Among those classes, we’re offering various rock gardening, surf, rolling and paddling technique classes, but we’re also offering specialty classes, such as Kayak Sailing and Fun with Foster. We’re handling registration a little differently than you may be used to, as we’re asking people to pick their classes, and then we’re setting the schedule. This way, if lots of people want to take the same class, we can offer multiple sessions of it at the same time. Classes with designated instructors, such as Simplifying the Roll with Helen Wilson and Fun with Foster, clearly have limited availability however.

Simplifying the Roll and Combat Rolling are also offered.

Simplifying the Roll and Combat Rolling are also offered.

There will be presentations at Trinidad Town Hall on both Friday and Saturday night, with Friday night being a report from one of our coach’s recent expeditions (more details soon) and Saturday night being an entertaining evening hosted by Ben Lawry. There will also be an auction with GREAT prizes from the event’s sponsors… and FREE BEER, also provided by sponsors.

Dinner is included in our “Option 1″ registration packet, and although we’re still figuring out the menu, dinners will be catered by one of our local businesses.

The coaching staff.

The coaching staff.

Gift certificates for registration (of any amount) are available. Please contact us at for more information.

Visitors to the area are often surprised by the abundant wildlife. Here a whale makes an appearance.

Visitors to the area are often surprised by the abundant wildlife. Here a whale makes an appearance.

All this said, are you thinking of coming? If so, drop us a line, we’d love to hear from you and are happy to answer any questions… And a little incentive to register early. If you register from now until Christmas you’ll receive a FREE DVD (a $29.95 value), either Simplifying the Roll with Helen Wilson or Yoga for Outdoor People. Of course, if you’ve already registered you’ll receive one as well. That’s our way of saying THANK YOU for registering early. We can’t wait to welcome you to our playground.

Here’s the website again:

We hope to see you in March!

We hope to see you in March!

by helen at December 18, 2014 09:54 pm

Being the Continuing Adventures of a Woman and her Trusty Kayak in New York Harbor, the Hudson River, and Beyond. (with occasional political rants just to keep things lively!)

More sad news - farewell, Half Moon

Not the same kind of sadness as yesterday, but I was still VERY disappointed to read that the Half Moon, a historical replica of the 17th-century ship that Henry Hudson sailed up the river that eventually came to bear his name, will be leaving us for the Netherlands in 2015. You can read more at the Working Harbor Committee's blog.

I suppose it's not truly bad news, at least not for the vessel herself. The report mentions financial difficulties and lack of a home port as reasons for the move, and perhaps she will fare better in the Netherlands. I'll miss her, though, her lines and cheerful always brought a smile to my face (and thoughts of Narnia to my mind) whenever I spotted her.

Photo above taken at a very drizzly NY Harbor Blessing of the Fleet in June 2009. Click here for more from that day.

by (bonnie) at December 18, 2014 09:08 pm

Mountain and Sea Scotland
Hillwalking and Sea Kayaking in Scotland

Cairn William and Pitfichie Hill - across the granite

Shortly after leaving Whitehills stone circle a mountain bike trail leaves the main forest track and swings up through the forest to emerge at a cairned top. The heathery ridge of Cairn William lies ahead across mixed terain of moor and some scattered stands of trees.  Above the forest I was exposed to a very cold westerly wind and was glad I'd planned the walk to have it at my back.  The bike trail is easily followed but was icy in parts, especially where it crossed granite slabs and boulders which were smeared with verglas-like hard ice.

The upper part of Cairn William is a dome of granite planed smooth by the elements.  It gives good walking......

...if the ice is avoided!  The hill is traversed by a bike trail which links granite slabs, minimising any erosion.

The summit is easily reached and has a nice view across to Millstone Hill and the Mither Tap of Bennachie. At 448 metres/1470 feet Cairn William is a diminutive hill but is a "Marilyn", having an all round drop of over 150 metres.

The view to the east takes in a wide sweep of the Garioch (pronounced locally as "geerie"), the rich farmland around the River Don.  In the foreground and across a shallow dip is Pitfichie Hill, really an outlier of Cairn William.

The view on the descent from Cairn William towards Pitfichie Hill is really fine.  Bennachie dominates, as it does from so many places in Aberdeenshire despite being a relatively small hill.  A beautifully wooded stretch of the River Don snakes bethween the hills, part of the wood near the foot of Pitfichie Hill is named Paradise Wood for good reason.

Little effort is needed  to reach the summit of Pitfichie Hill which is 379 metres/1243 feet high.  In mid-December the days are short and although it was quite early in the afternoon the sun was sinking quickly.  There are a number of routes which can be taken to link up back to the Forest Enterprise car park, the one I chose using minor roads would be the longest in distance but would avoid the icy forest tracks and so actually probably be quicker.  I made the steep descent down to the road at Pitfichie.....

....passing the pretty Pitfichie Castle on my way.  Originally built in the 14th century, Pitfichie was a ruin by the 1960's but has been restored and is once again a private residence.

The walk by the route I took is about 17 kilometres, the going is good for almost all the way with just an occasional muddy stretch.  The paths and trails are primarily mountain bike tracks and if walking it's wise to keep an ear out for cyclists who can fairly fly the trails.

Cairn William and the surrounding area are situated awkwardly on the deges of Ordnance Survey 1:50K Landranger sheets 37 and 38, and also on the edge of OS Pathfinder sheet 405.  Usefully, Forest Enterprise have a map of the mountain bike trails.  Perhaps the most useful overview is to take a picture of the trail information board at the car park - there was a leaflet published by Forest enterprise and although it seems to no longer be available, there are copies online (as here).  The route I took used the white trail to post number 3 before angling up to join the red route at post 16 and working down eventually to post 11and taking the road back to the start.

by Ian Johnston ( at December 18, 2014 08:53 pm

The Ikkatsu Project
In the Service of the Ocean



Puget Sound has approximately 2,500 miles of sheltered coastline and of that, more than one-third is armored. Property owners, concerned about erosion along their individual sections of the shoreline, construct bulkheads of concrete, stone or logs to heel back the waters, thus holding onto their land for a while longer. They know the implications for the wider Sound – or they ought to – but they do it anyway, for the same reason that jackass down the block blows leaves around the neighborhood instead of raking them up. It’s Garret Hardin’s “Tragedy of the Commons,” in a more aquatic setting.

A report done by the USGS that goes by the catchy name of “Puget Sound Shorelines and the Impacts of Armoring—Proceedings of a State of the Science Workshop, May 2009,” has some things to say about bulkheading and none of them are very positive. In the Pacific Northwest, beaches are made by erosion and deposition, the redistribution of sediments from the land via the waters. Bulkheads shut that process down, stopping the waterward movement of the soil and quickly changing the nature of the beach. Habitat for sea birds and other species is lost, and with the sea level rise that is upon us, these monuments of stone and shrapnel will cause more havoc as the decades go on.

The best summary that I can think of comes from a finding detailed in the report. “Armoring of individual properties is often treated as a benign activity, but the cumulative result of armoring multiple properties may have significant long-term impacts on beaches and drift cells.” If you don’t know what that means, read the report (it’s not very long); if you own property along the shoreline someplace, you have some soul-searching to do.

by Ken Campbell at December 18, 2014 08:08 pm

Essex Explorations
Our membership is small…but that’s by design. Each of our explorers is a recognized leader in their respective field and brings a unique set of skills to the group. Whether a certified instructor, commercial guide, or in the case of our latest member, a professional photographer, each is passionate about explorations, pushing their boundaries, and then sharing that experience with others.

December 17, 2014


Vayas donde vayas.... alli estarás..!

La vida es descubrimiento.... no hay nada peor que rutinizar nuestra existencia en una sucesión de actos y escenarios conocidos, en los que encontramos nuestra zona de confort. En el contraste está el estímulo, en la diferencia la riqueza y en el contacto con la alteridad la humildad.

by Jose Bello ( at December 17, 2014 10:40 pm

The Ikkatsu Project
In the Service of the Ocean

Lions in the night


California sea lions are common around the waters of south Puget Sound, but only in the winter. While you might see a few at other times during the year, congregated most often in Commencement Bay in Tacoma and Elliott Bay in Seattle, they really aren’t present in significant numbers through the rest of the year.

This year, however, we’ve had three or four large adults hanging around in the Tacoma Narrows. By “hanging out,” I mean I don’t think they leave. The eating must be good, this season’s winter salmon runs all funneled together at one of the narrowest points in the Sound, and they haven’t seen any good reason to go anywhere else. They are magnificent, 7 or 8 feet from tip to tail and solid as cement trucks.

I don’t see them so much as hear them these days. In the early morning hours when I am on the water, before the thin winter light starts to bleed through the clouds and christen another gray day in the Pacific Northwest, I hear them surfacing all around me. Sometimes close-in, loud and aggressive (those are the times I almost crap myself in mid-paddle), and sometimes quietly treading water and watching me from a distance. They have no fear of me, at all, something they seem more than happy to prove to me over and over again.

I enjoy these morning games of tag, even if they do scare me a little from time to time. I know that they won’t be here forever and when the season is gone, they will be too.

by Ken Campbell at December 17, 2014 10:18 pm

kajaknördar - paddling verkar kul
tid utomhus räknas

Vitare, svalare och fluffigare vatten

Pia spårdräller strax ovanför Grönskär

Pia spårdräller strax ovanför Grönskär

Paddling verkar kul brukar vi ju skriva. Och det stämmer rätt så bra, verkar alltså. Nu har vi inte blött ner paddlarna sedan förstaadventspaddlingen i Misterhult ;)

Men vatten i svalare, vitare och fluffigare form är rätt okej det med. Gött att glida fram i finfina spår i finfin fjällmiljö i Trysil. Och här är verkligen inte trångt nu. Kan tänkas att det blir lite fler i helgen när julfirare och helglediga fyller på.

Spårdräll och finhimmel

Spårdräll och finhimmel


by Erik Sjöstedt at December 17, 2014 06:43 pm
Lightweight canoe and kayak travel

Launching Your Kayak in Light Surf

One of the challenges for new kayakers is launching your kayak in light surf, especially if you haven’t had any instruction and haven’t developed a sense of balance or gotten your sea legs. A light shore break can feel mighty challenging if you’ve never paddled out before, especially one with a slight dumping wave. The viral video making the rounds on the Internet right now shows a man trying to get through the surf break on a sit-on-top kayak. He fails big time, ends up mowed over by his kayak several times and eventually ends up on the rocks. While the video is suppose to be humorous, it shows the potential dangers that you can encounter during a launch into even light surf. The man in the video is lucky that he didn’t end up injured. I’m sure he had some serious bruises.

You can find the video here:

The key on getting out through the surf is threefold: position, timing and power.

  • Position: You can break down the position aspect of launching into two components: where to launch from and how to position you kayak and self during the launch.
    • You want to select a position that has minimal hazards, where the waves are smaller and try to avoid locations where the surf is dumping on the shore. You also want to think about what would happen to you and your kayak if you swam and avoid locations that could wash you into danger.
    • When positioning your kayak, position it 90 degrees to the surf in an area that balances being floated out on waves before you enter your kayak and are ready and having to push yourself across the beach to even get into the water.
    • In addition to positioning your kayak, you should also position yourself. Once on the water as you encounter larger foam piles or waves, you may need to change your body position to spear the wave with your paddle and lean into the wave or even get low enough that it looks like you’re hugging your deck to offer the least resistance to the wave.
    • Watch the position of your shoulders; try to maintain the paddlers box so that your hands remain out in front of your shoulders and never go behind them. And watch that your hands don’t go avoid your shoulders as the force of the wave could easily push your arm backwards and injury your shoulder.
  • Timing: Is knowing when to launch and once you are in the break when to wait and when to go.
    • When getting away from the shore, you want to watch the waves and pick a time when the waves aren’t breaking on the shore, at a lull in the sets or after a set as passed. You may get pushed around waiting, but you can often hold your position in the sand with your paddle.
    • If you get turned sideways, you might just be able to fall over on your shoulder and swing the kayak back to 90 degrees into the waves or you might need to get out and reposition.
    • After you’re away from the shore hold your position in the whitewater/foam piles/soup and wait for the right set of waves or lull to appear before heading out through the break. Timing your jaunt over the break during a lull or through a small set is much easier on your body than tackling the break over the largest waves.
  • Power: Getting out through surf isn’t easy. You need to have a powerful stroke to make it through.
    • That powerful stroke is particularly important when getting of the beach, through foam piles and over the break. When getting off the shore, you may find that you have to push your kayak if the stern is gripping the beach. Don’t be timid with your pushing, because if your kayak gets turned slightly, which is likely, your anchored stern acts like a pivot point and causes the kayak to turn. A kayak is much easier to control when it’s completely on the water.
    • When in the soup, you’ll need to power through any oncoming piles and sometimes just as important to have a powerful reverse stroke to slow down your momentum once over the piles to hold your position.
    • When going for the break, commit to your timing and power through. If you end up on a steep wave keep on paddling hard, launch off the backside and keep going until you know you’re outside the break.
    • It’s a good idea to have good braces as well.

If you fail at getting through the zone and end up swimming, make sure that you’re behind your boat as it’s coming in, and never get between your kayak and the shore. A kayak in the surf zone can easily run you over and a kayak full of water is heavy enough to break bones or worse. It’s also a good idea to wear a helmet.

So where did the man in the video go wrong? In lots of places, but I sure don’t like the location that he’s launching from. With that much sand to his left, carrying his kayak away from the rocks seems to be a pretty easy choice to make to minimize the risks from the rocks and the confused waves there. A unzipped lifevest does no good. It would be easy to go on. One thing that might not be apparent is, if you end up having a yard sale like this guy, pull your kayak high up on the beach and out of the shore break and then go back and get the rest of the gear. Take a rest and try again after you recover.

The post Launching Your Kayak in Light Surf appeared first on You can leave a comment by clicking here: Launching Your Kayak in Light Surf.

by Bryan Hansel at December 17, 2014 06:24 pm



Il viaggio in Groenlandia di Giancarlo Albertari e Luciano Riva deve essere stato davvero entusiasmante. Le emozioni sono calate sulla sala insieme alle luci. Il racconto per immagini ha subito catturato l'attenzione dell'uditorio. Un centinaio di persone sono state trasportate tra i ghiacci del grande nord, tra iceberg cristallini e paesaggi incontaminati (o quasi). Chi si è fatto prendere dalla frenesia dei regali natalizi o è rimasto impigliato nelle incombenze tipiche del fine settimana ha perso un'occasione unica: quella di conoscere da vicino la Groenlandia di Ammassalik, di scoprire uno dei luoghi di nascita del kayak da mare, di solcare le acque fredde dell'Artico... e di sentire il rumore del ghiaccio che si spacca, quel crepitio che arriva da vicino e da lontano e riempie il silenzio.
Il film di Giancarlo e Luciano ha vinto il primo premio della rassegna annuale "La Canoa Esplora il Mondo" organizzata dal Canoa Club Milano e continuerà a girare l'Italia. Ci saranno certamente altri incontri con i due amici pagaiatori, che già pensano di tornare in Groenlandia. Vale davvero la pena di ascoltare i loro racconti e di condividere l'esperienza straordinaria da loro vissuta...

Giancarlo in azione...
Un gran bel posto per scrivere il diario di viaggio!
Il viaggio è stato guidato da Martin Rickard: sono già uscite le nuove date per il 2015...  
Tutti sul palco: il presentatore, il rappresentante di Sullacqua e gli esploratori artici
Una delle immagini dell'avventura dei Ragni di Lecco...
La serata organizzata da Sullacqua lo scorso sabato 13 dicembre 2014 presso la sala polivalente del Comune di Lavena Ponte Tresa è stata un piccolo successo. Adulti e bambini hanno seguito per qualche ora le vicissitudini di diversi esploratori artici. Insieme a Giancarlo e Luciano, infatti, anche Matteo Della Bardella ha presentato la spedizione a Scorebysund: 200 km in kayak per raggiungere il campo base da cui tentare (con successo!) la prima scalata di un parete verticale impressionante. Dopo lo Shark's Tooth i tre scalatori dei Ragni di Lecco si sono cimentati in altre scalate e poi sono rientrati, sempre in kayak, al villaggio Inuit da cui erano partiti alcune settimane prima. Loro tre sono stati più fortunati di Giancarlo e Luciano: un orso polare lo hanno incontrato per davvero, una femmina curiosa che si è spinta a frugare fin dentro il rudere in cui avevano trovato riparo per l'ultima notte... ed il fucile era rimato nei kayak: deve averli accompagnati sempre una buona stella!
E' stato molto bello assistere allo scambio di sinceri compimenti che Matteo, Luciano e Giancarlo si sono scambiati sul palco: si erano appena conosciuti ma si capiva che si erano trovati...

by Tatiana ( at December 17, 2014 06:10 pm

Being the Continuing Adventures of a Woman and her Trusty Kayak in New York Harbor, the Hudson River, and Beyond. (with occasional political rants just to keep things lively!)

Sad news from the world of children's publishing -

Sad news yesterday from Martha's Vineyard, which was just shared here at Scholatic via company email - Norman Bridwell, creator of everyone's favorite Big Red Dog, passed away at the age of 86. 

 Here's a link to a post that I did in 2013, when Scholastic celebrated Clifford's 50th birthday. That was an exciting time here; the official birthday was on Valentine's Day, which was when the original Clifford the Big Red Dog was published, but the celebration had actually begun the year before, because it was in 1962 that Mr. Bridwell had originally sent a set of drawings which included one of a little girl with a very big, bright red dog. Relinking today in honor of Clifford's creator.

 What a wonderful life to have lived.

by (bonnie) at December 17, 2014 03:22 pm

Essex Explorations
Our membership is small…but that’s by design. Each of our explorers is a recognized leader in their respective field and brings a unique set of skills to the group. Whether a certified instructor, commercial guide, or in the case of our latest member, a professional photographer, each is passionate about explorations, pushing their boundaries, and then sharing that experience with others.


Don’t let this photograph fool you; it’s far more than just a house in its last throes of life. This old structure is, or more accurately was, the Tokeland Lifesaving Station. You can’t see it from this view, but on the other side of the structure, the old rails used for launching the surf rescue boats still lead down to the water’s edge.


Camera Settings


Unfortunately, shortly after this photograph the station was destroyed by a winter storm leaving a handful of pylons as the only evidence. Given the history of Tokeland, it’s a fitting end.

That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history. – Aldous Huxley

Tokeland was once a bustling community supported by both the lumber and oyster industries. It also had a thriving boardwalk catering to Seattle tourist arriving by either steamer or carriages. The only vestige of the former boom times is the historic Tokeland Hotel, which offers both a breathtaking view of Willapa Bay, and a peek at the past.

A word of warning if you’re considering paddling in the area. The bays is extremely shallow, and most of the bay goes dry at low tide exposing boot sucking mud. Be cautious of falling tides.

The post Tokeland appeared first on Essex Media & Explorations.

by Steve Weileman at December 17, 2014 01:51 pm
Kajak, Foto,Friluftsliv

Flat earth sail på Tiderace Pace 17

Att montera Flat earth segel  med få borrhål i kajaken funkar bra på Tiderace pace 17. På den här bilden ser man att befintliga fästen går att använda dock med fler fästpunkter än original monteringen. Att rigga sin kajak med ett Flat earth segel kräver att man ibland hittar olika sätt att montera. Funderade även att sätta en  fästpunkt bakom luckan så att man kan ha en enkel lina men valde att inte göra det då jag tror att den ofta skulle vara i vägen när man ska använda luckan. Mitt segel sitter med fem stycken fästpunkter. Här är en bra video även om det där monteras med kajaksport fästen som borras så kan man hämta idèer till ditt eget sätt.Den extra svarta tunna linan som går från segel till sittbrunn på vänstersida är ett snabbrev , är nog lite överkurs då det i regel funkar bra med skotlinan. Någon som dock måste fixas som borde vara bra att få med när man beställer seglet är ett snakeskin(smalt överdrag) för att hindra fladder och få undan seglet säkert när det ligger fastspänt på däck. Behöver bara täcka ca en 50-100 cm på den del som ligger vid sittbrunnen, får ta fram symaskinen..



the pace 17 from Mick MacRobb on Vimeo.

by Bengt Larsson at December 17, 2014 12:05 pm

Mountain and Sea Scotland
Hillwalking and Sea Kayaking in Scotland

Cairn William and Pitfichie Hill - wild music

The December weather in the north-east of Scotland has alternated between deep low pressure systems bringing gales and snow, and bright sunny interludes.  The wind hasn't dropped for long so there hasn't been opportunity for sea kayaking, but conditions have been good for walking.

As a first hillwalk since returning home I chose two local hills, Cairn William and Pitfichie Hill.  The starting point at the carpark for the Pitfichie Forest Cycle Trails is just ten minutes from home, but despite this I still got started an hour later than planned due to faffing about finding kit.  After four months away, things seem always to migrate to the furthest corner of cupboards; it takes a couple of walks or paddles for everything to be reassembled to a state where I can just pick up and go!

The morning was bright and sharp, almost brittle and from the sky came the calls of the geese flocks, so evocative of winter.  In small groups, in flocks and in skeins, the geese were writing patterns across the morning sky as they moved from their roosts to feed on the farmland. Predominantly Greylags but the higher pitched calls of Pinkfeet could be heard too, echoing faintly in the quiet of the forest.

There is a walk of a few kilometres through the wood to start this walk and it proved the most challenging underfoot conditions of the day.  Recent snow had partially melted and then re-frozen into hard translucent ice.  The forest roads were lethally slippery and I had to pick a way along the margins to walk safely.

The track heads uphill for some way before swinging north and emerging into a clearing containing Whitehill Stone Circle.  This is a recumbent stone circle of the type found only in the north east of Scotland and appears to have the same alignment as nearby (7.5 km distant) Old Keig circle in being oriented to the major lunar standstill which occurs at 18.6 year intervals - at the standstill the moon appears to move from high in the sky to low on the horizon in just two weeks.

Whitehill circle is well signposted from the road and is one of the more frequently visited monuments despite not being the most complete of stone circles.  One of the flankers has fallen and lies next to the recumbent with just one face above the ground while all but a couple of the circle stones are fallen or missing.

The interior kerb of stones is one of the most complete examples though; the kerb and central cairn were usually built over a burnt area, leading to an interpretation of a part-funerary purpose for these enigmatic circles.

It was cold in the breeze despite the sunshine and I didn't stay too long, returning to the track to continue on towards Cairn William.  We are fortunate in having so many remainders of our ancient past in circles and stones here, however little we truly know of their purpose or the folk who built them.  Some things can't have changed down the millenia though, the December winds would still have been cold and the geese would still have graced the winter skies with their wild music.

by Ian Johnston ( at December 17, 2014 11:41 am


Rainy Sunday on the lake...

Un'altra domenica di pioggia sul Lago Ceresio: 20 chilometri di nuvole basse, tonalità cinerine e silenzi prolungati. Nessun'altro sull'acqua, salvo aironi, folaghe, germani, svassi e cormorani. Ed i tanti cerchietti regolari delle gocce d'acqua... Dei quattro compagni di kayak, uno solo ha continuato a sorridere per tutto il tempo.

Poco oltre lo stretto di Lavena Ponte Tresa...
Gianni in tenuta invernale e sorriso d'ordinanza!
La magia di queste giornate piovose d'inizio inverno...
One more rainy Sunday on the Lake Ceresio: 10 nautical miles into clouds, grey colours and long silence. No one on the water except us and some herons, coots, mallards, great crested grebes and cormorans. And lot of little circles made by raindrops... Between four paddle buddys, just one was smiling all the time.

by Tatiana ( at December 17, 2014 10:00 am

Paddle California
Thoughts from the world of kayaking centered in California. Ocean, whitewater, flatwater, wherever the paddling takes me. Trip reports, gear reviews, teaching and leadership, with pictures and video.

Sea Kayak Symposia

I've been invited to teach at the Storm Gathering USA in March, 2015. It's an rough water sea kayaking symposium organized by my good friends Helen Wilson and Mark Tozar at Greenland or Bust. I've had the honor to coach at several great sea kayaking symposiums in the past, and since they seem to be growing in popularity I thought I'd share a little bit about what I think are the true benefits of such events.

There are different types of symposiums out there, but I'm focusing on educational events - ones with a selection of classes over several days taught by instructors from beyond the local area. This is quite different from your paddlefest type of events, where an outfitter, or group of outfitters, have a bunch of demo boats and run people through short clinics or discussions. Those can be valuable too, but they're not the focus of this discussion.

The most obvious benefit of taking classes are the things you'll learn in those classes. I'll just assume that people agree that learning in a class can be valuable (though it's fine to learn through other means as well). But you could probably take the classes through your local retailer, or find a private instructor, or just a skilled mentor willing to guide you. You could often do it cheaper, break it up over convenient weekends, and maybe at a closer location. What makes it better at a symposium?


While learning anything takes time, and physical skills in particular take much practice and repetition, there's a certain psychological advantage to immersing yourself in something for an extended period of time. It can be tiring, both physically and mentally, but the blending, combining and reiteration of ideas you get from back to back courses really helps. It will take time after a symposium for the material learned to sink in, but there's an efficiency to getting so much information downloaded at once. It allows you to draw from a bigger base of knowledge when working to improve. It primes you for more learning and lasts longer.

Variety of Instructors

Lumpy Waters
The truth is, there are a lot of skilled kayak instructors out there. Wherever you are, I bet there are some excellent and inspiring local instructors who could teach you anything you wanted to learn. But any one teacher, any small group of instructors, is limited. We all have our own styles and preferences, our own beliefs and approaches. The more of these you see as a student, the more you'll find the way that works best for you.

Symposiums tend to bring in some of the most experienced and well-traveled coaches, who not only bring their personal experience with them, but also the experience of all those people they've interacted with in other places and at other symposiums. Again, the more variety the better. It's something that's hard, if not impossible, to find in any one area of the country.

(Another perk is that these folks tend to bring their stories with them, sometimes even a little video. If you want to be inspired, these are the people that can do it)

Variety of Location


Why is it better to learn someplace new? Because learning is about the new - it's about leaving the familiar behind and taking risks, even if it's just a little pride on the line. Venturing into the unknown changes your mental state and that's good - you want to be a little on edge. It forces a sharper eye and focused mind. As long as you're in an appropriate class, you shouldn't be freaked out about conditions or worried unduly about your safety (that shouldn't happen in any class). But a little bit of concern is good.

If the symposium is happening in your back yard, then maybe the venues won't be new in themselves. But there's a good chance you'll get different venues from one day to the next. Again, it's back to the benefit of variety, the chance to put to use what you learned yesterday in a new context today. It's a new way of looking at a familiar place, and that alone is worth a lot.

Safety Ratios

It might seem like a small thing, and it hopefully won't be an issue at all, but most of the events I've taught at (GGSKS, Lumpy Waters) have great instructor/student ratios. There's often a safety officer and luxuries like motorized boat support that you don't normally get in a kayak class. And it's not uncommon to have additional safety boaters in the more advanced courses. People often push their limits at these symposiums, and the organizers are prepared for it. It doesn't mean you should sign up for things beyond your skill level, but it's nice to know that when you stretch yourself there will be people there to support you.


Perhaps I'm saving the best for last, for quite often the best part of a symposium is not found in the learning at all. It's the chance to meet like-minded people; to immerse yourself with your fellow paddlers; to meet people from diverse and interesting backgrounds; to make contacts with others from near and far. The experience of the event always ends up being something greater than the mere coursework.

I know that these symposiums can often seem expensive. It's difficult to take the time off from work, travel to a far off venue, work your body hard for three or more days. And it isn't something you need to do often. But if you've never been to such an event you're missing out. Treat yourself at least once. It's worth it - and you deserve it.

by Bryant Burkhardt ( at December 17, 2014 07:40 am

Gnarlydog News

To club or not to club

. "Keep on pumping, don't stop, you are doing fine!" Those were the words of encouragement that I was saying to Tim*  hoping he could hear me; he was clearly shaken by the experience. It was windy and the waves were large enough that he no longer could brace efficiently and eventually he fell in. I was holding his flooded kayak stabilizing him while he was furiously trying to empty it with the

by gnarlydog ( at December 17, 2014 06:00 am

Kayak Yak
kayaking the We(s)t Coast of British Columbia

1890 Canoe Race on the Gorge

Found two old photographs in the City of Vancouver Archives, taken May 24, 1890. They show a holiday scene on the Gorge Waterway, and they're titled "Indian canoe race in gorge, Victoria, BC."  You can click here and here to see the image on the Archives website, and look through other images.

Wonderful to see the canoes, and the rowboats much like those newly-available through Whitehall with their reproductions of classic designs. The shoreline is still thickly forested, while nowadays in this industrialized part of the Gorge Waterway there are trees only on a few private lots and in parks.

I think the location of the 1890 canoe race is on the part of the waterway called the Upper Harbour and Selkirk Water. Races were certainly held here in the past. This part of the waterway is below the narrows under the Tillicum bridge, so these holiday boaters would be avoiding the reversing waterfall at the narrows. If you want to see some modern photos of Selkirk Water and the Upper Harbour, check out these posts on Kayak Yak with photos taken by John.

by (Paula) at December 17, 2014 01:52 am

December 16, 2014

I am a paddler, explorer, guide, and coach. Any day on the water is a good day, and I can't get enough.

Turkey Day Downwinder

Winds from the south to 27, gusts above 35, and clear skies. There was nothing I was more thankful for this Thanksgiving than stormy seas and my ma, to shuttle me and drop me off upwind. Thanks Ma!

by donaldcheyette ( at December 16, 2014 08:49 pm

Being the Continuing Adventures of a Woman and her Trusty Kayak in New York Harbor, the Hudson River, and Beyond. (with occasional political rants just to keep things lively!)

Last night's fun -

I had a very good time last night at the monthly gathering of the NY Ship Lore and Modelbuilding Society. Tugster Will was last night's speaker, presenting "15 Weeks and 1500 Miles on the Erie Canal", a talk about his summer travels as a deckhand/educator on the NY State Canal System tug Urger.

Will ordinarily earns a living by teaching English as a second language, but this summer, he was feeling in need of a break and decided to take an unpaid leave. Originally he was going to work on a memoir, but when he found out that the NY State Canal System tug Urger was looking for a deckhand/educator for the summer, he jumped at the opportunity. His presentation last night was a slide show of his favorite photos as they travelled the canal.

He's an excellent photographer and a terrific storyteller and it made for thoroughly enjoyable evening. 

Bowsprite was running the slides for him, wearing green feathers in honor of their recent trip to New Orleans. Oh, btw, it's probably too late for this plug this year but she brought some holiday cards with one of her designs and they are gorgeous - my NY harbor boating friends might want to stock up for next year! It was a big hit, too, not that I've been a member for that long, but I don't ever remember the studio being this packed. Fortunately they did have enough cookies (phew). 

Great fun, made me want to run home and rummage through my pictures from my own summer adventure again - well, maybe over my Christmas break.

Thanks for sharing your adventures, Will! Visit to read about Will's voyage with the Urger, and much much more.

by (bonnie) at December 16, 2014 07:35 pm

mark tozer's blog
embracing the elements on the water and in the mountains

Storm Gathering USA: Step-By-Step Registration Process

Photo Credit: Helen Wilson Collection.

Storm Gathering USA Website

Step 1: Read through the booking conditions on the registration information page and make sure that you understand them. Look over the website categories to make sure you have an overview of the symposium.

Step 2: Read through the self-assessment criteria and decide which level best describes you. Feel free to ask us if you are unsure where to place yourself, or seek advice from a friend or coach who knows you.

Step 3: Look at the classes that are on offer in March, and decide which you’d like to attend.

Step 4: Look at the accommodation options, and think about where you will stay. The price of the ticket does not include lodging. We are happy to make further recommendations.

Step 5: Make sure to consult your physician to ensure that you are in good enough health to participate in potentially strenuous water activities.

Step 6: Registration begins on Monday, Dec. 1. Complete your booking form, making sure to complete all of the required fields at EventBrite - Storm Gathering USA.

Please answer all questions to the best of your ability. If you wish to pay by check, money order or require an invoice, write to us directly and we can assist you with these options.

Step 7: Read over the confirmation email and check for any errors on your ticket. Contact us with any questions. Once we have a general idea of the classes participants wish to attend, we will allocate the right coaches and build the best schedule for everyone.

Step 8: After that, get out and keep active until we see you in March.

The main Storm Gathering USA website can be found here.

Contact us if you have any questions, queries or want more information about the event.

The Storm Gathering USA Team.

by Mark Tozer ( at December 16, 2014 05:47 pm

A Storm Is Coming…

Storm Gathering USA Website

The main Storm Gathering USA website can be found here.

Contact us if you have any questions, queries or want more information about the event.

The Storm Gathering USA Team.

by Mark Tozer ( at December 16, 2014 05:47 pm

Storm Gathering USA: Event Details

Photo Credit: Helen Wilson Collection.

Storm Gathering USA Website

Date: March 6 to 8, 2015

Location: Trinidad, California

Cost: There are three ticket options -

- $450: This allows admission to all event activities and meals from Friday lunch to Sunday lunch (seven meals). It does not include accommodation.

- $400: This allows admission to all event activities. It does not include meals or accommodation.

- $125: This allows admission to a single, half-day class. It does not include meals or accommodation.

Description: The Storm Gathering USA symposium on the west coast is being organized by Mark Tozer and Helen Wilson of Greenland or Bust.

Mark and Helen are also the organizers of the UK Storm Gathering Symposium (UK SGS), which has become increasingly popular since its inception on the Isle of Mull, Scotland in 2006.

The event will be based at the Emerald Forest of Trinidad.

Booking will be taken from December 1, 2014 through EventBrite – Storm Gathering USA – The West Coast Event 2015.

Updates will appear on this website, via Twitter and Storm Gathering USA's Facebook page.

The main Storm Gathering USA website can be here:

Contact us if you have any questions, queries or want more information about the event.

The Storm Gathering USA Team.

by Mark Tozer ( at December 16, 2014 05:46 pm

Storm Gathering USA: Event Schedule

Photo Credit: Mark Tozer Collection.

Storm Gathering USA Website

Following is the schedule for Storm Gathering USA, taking place from March 6 to 8, 2015.

The SGS USA Team reserves the right to alter the schedule as appropriate and within reason depending on the prevailing weather, marine forecast and other circumstances.


10:30 a.m. Check in Begins at Emerald Forest (continental breakfast/lunch will be available for ticket holders)

12 p.m. Welcome and Announcements at Emerald Forest

1 p.m. Session One Begins (various locations)

4:30 p.m. Session One Ends

6 p.m. Happy Hour at Trinidad Town Hall

7 p.m. Dinner for ticket holders at Trinidad Town Hall

8 p.m. Presentation at Trinidad Town Hall


7 a.m. to 7:45 a.m. Outdoor Yoga for Paddlers at Emerald Forest (weather dependent)

8 a.m. Breakfast for ticket holders, and receive packed lunch at Emerald Forest

9 a.m. Morning Gathering and Announcements at Emerald Forest

9:30 a.m. Session Two Begins (various locations)

12.30 p.m. Session Two Ends

Lunch Break

1:30 p.m. Session Three Begins (various locations)

4:30 p.m. Session Three Ends

6 p.m. Happy Hour at Trinidad Town Hall

7 p.m. Dinner for ticket holders at Trinidad Town Hall

8 p.m. Presentation at Trinidad Town Hall


7 a.m. to 7:45 a.m. Outdoor Yoga for Paddlers at Emerald Forest (weather dependent)

8 a.m. Breakfast for ticket holders, and receive packed lunch at Emerald Forest

9 a.m. Morning Gathering and Announcements at Emerald Forest

9:30 a.m. Session Four Begins (various locations)

1:30 p.m. Session Four Ends

2 p.m. Symposium Roundup

The main Storm Gathering USA website can be found here.

Contact us if you have any questions, queries or want more information about the event.

The Storm Gathering USA Team.

by Mark Tozer ( at December 16, 2014 05:45 pm

Storm Gathering USA: Class Descriptions

Photo Credit: Mark Tozer Collection.

Storm Gathering USA Website

Important Reading:

  • To ensure your safety and that of your fellow paddlers, please read through the self-assessment criteria before making your class choices.
  • Possible venues include Trinidad State Beach, Trinidad Harbor, Moonstone Beach, Big Lagoon County Park and Humboldt Bay. Actual venues will be determined by the prevailing weather and marine forecasts during weekend.
  • When purchasing a full event ticket (option one & option two), you are registering to participate in four classes during the symposium
  • Please pick your first four class choices, and list them in the priority that you wish to take them. That is, the class that you’d like to take the most, list first.
  • The Storm Gathering USA Team will do their best to give you your first choices. To help us, in case of class cancellations or maximum numbers reached, please provide four additional choices (total of eight).
  • We will consider your learning progression while scheduling the classes. However, there will need to be some flexibility as to which session you take which class.
  • ALL classes are subject to weather and sea conditions. We reserve the right to make changes to venues, schedules, instructors and students at any time.
  • The Storm Gathering USA Team will not provide refunds due to weather or sea conditions. We will work to provide alternate classes and safe venues as appropriate.
  • By signing up you are accepting the risks with full knowledge that we cannot guarantee safe sea conditions for all classes.

All Levels

Effective Forward Paddling

This stripped-down, back-to-basics, paddling essentials session with coach-led analysis of your performance, will focus on how to generate efficient forward boat speed. If you are looking to get more miles for less effort in stormy conditions, or are hoping to ready yourself for greater challenges, this is the class for you. The class will include a number of on-water activities to improve performance.

Developing Boat Control

The aim of this class is to look at the principles of active posture, balance and connection to develop more fluid boat control skills. The focus of this session is improving bracing, maneuvering and directional control through stroke analysis and dynamic coaching activities. The goal is to enable you to become a more efficient paddler, whatever the conditions.

Fun with Foster

Description coming soon!

Simplifying the Roll

This is a multi-level class. Topics that can be covered include first rolls, other-side rolls, layback paddle rolls, forward finish paddle rolls, norsaq rolls, hand rolls and beyond. The techniques examined can be used with any type of paddle and any type of kayak.

Kayak Sailing

Seen as safety features in Australia where the modern kayak sail was developed, sails provide auxiliary power and increased visibility. Sailing develops an understanding of wind and helps with mastering slicing strokes. It’s also a ton of fun. Learn to raise and lower the sail, stow it efficiently and use it to sail across the wind, paddle-sail up to 45-degrees upwind and, of course, fly downwind. Catching wind-waves suddenly becomes easy. Practice a roll with a sail, and learn to modify a quick capsize recovery. The Flat Earth Kayak Sails used for this class are authentic Australian sails which freely permit all paddle strokes, edging and performance paddling. The sail folds flush on the deck when not in use. Suction-cup-mounted sails are available to attach to your fiberglass deck.

Level 1 - 2

Surf Zone Fundamentals

This class takes participants into a gentle surf zone where they will learn fundamental surf zone skills. Participants will develop confidence while learning to read the water. This class is about comfort, safety and understanding the dynamics of the surf zone, it is not about learning to “surf,” although that may be covered as well.

Storm Paddling Essentials

This class will give participants a safe and enjoyable introduction to storm paddling with the emphasis on essential kayak skills to develop boat confidence and abilities. Participants will be introduced to a range of boat handling techniques for use in wind and swell.

Fundamentals of Rock Gardening

This class is for those new to rock gardening. You’ll learn essential rock gardening skills, such as timing waves and swell, reading water and safely playing around rocks, tunnels and/or caves.

Core Rescue Skills

Performing a deep-water rescue at sea does not have to be a complex task. The aim of this class is to enable participants to come away with a clear understanding of the key principles involved when performing a rescue. Participants will explore a range of common scenarios and be shown straightforward strategies that can be practiced with confidence. Both self and assisted rescues will be covered.

The Fundamentals of Sea Kayak Leadership

This class will focus on the fundamental of leadership needed by sea kayakers who want to take responsibility for others in easy and moderate sea conditions. Participants will journey along a suitable stretch of coastline, exploring the principles of planning/anticipation, communication/group management, route choice and positioning.

Ocean Journey

This class will cover the essentials needed when planning a coastal sea kayak journey. Participants will go for a journey in a sheltered coastal location. By the end of the class participants will understand the planning and considerations that should be done before day tripping on the ocean.

Level 2 - 3

Long Boat Surfing

Participants will learn how to safely catch and ride a wave in a sea kayak. The aim is to draw upon the knowledge and expertise of respected coaches who will enhance the participants understanding of surf skills.

Short Boat Surfing

Participants will learn how to safely catch and ride a wave in a short boat. The aim is to draw upon the knowledge and expertise of respected coaches who will enhance the participants understanding of surf skills.i

Moderate Water Boat Handling

This session will have participants paddling with confidence and efficiency in moderate water conditions. Participants will learn how to turn with accuracy and control using their boat to its full potential. The session will take a progressive approach, building upon established skills while exploring the ocean coastline.

Whitewater of the Sea

In this class participants will use whitewater kayaks to find features and work on water reading, finesse and timing to play, play, play. Participants will learn to move their boat more efficiently, work with the water and maybe even get creative with some fancy moves. A reliable roll is required.

Intermediate Rock Gardening

This class is for those who have previous experience rock gardening and would like to take things up a notch. The class will take place in rock gardens that are more exposed to swell and waves, have tighter turns, more obstacles and longer pourovers than the Fundamentals of Rock Gardening class. Previous rock garden experience is required.

Combat Rolling

This class is for those with a “pool” or “flat water” roll who want to try using it in a more dynamic setting. The class will take place in a gentle surf zone, where participants will become more comfortable rolling in both surf and with obstacles that are often present in a “combat” situation (such as sand or rocks).

Incident Management

This class is designed to cover skills and procedures that will help participants develop a step-by-step approach to handle potential incidents on the ocean while under pressure. As an active group, participants will be faced with a number of challenging scenarios. The aim of the program is to decrease the chances of these incidents from occurring and increase each individual’s ability to deal with them safely using clear operating principles.

Practical Leadership & Group Dynamics

The goal of this class is to share thoughts, experiences and elements of leadership theory in a practical, interactive way, which will enable intermediate and advanced sea kayakers to become more aware of the role they play in group paddling dynamics. The class will use boat based activities and/or scenarios which will help participants to take on an effective leadership role.

Sea Journey 

If you are planning to leave the coastline behind and head out for the distant blue horizon, or if you are looking for top tips and techniques to fine-tune your open ocean planning skills, then this class is for you. Participants will receive advice and practical training to help them to prepare for their own offshore adventures in the future.

Level 3

Tricky Launch, Tricky Landing

This class will look at launching and landing in tricky surf zones. This class is not about surfing, but instead it covers reading a tricky launch or landing site and the techniques to get you through the surf zone effectively. Please note that this is an advanced-level class that takes place in a tricky (but safe) surf zone. Participants must have previous experience in surf and a reliable roll.

Rough Water Boat Handling

This class is for intermediate and advanced paddlers who want to master the skills needed to maneuver a sea kayak efficiently in rough water and challenging conditions. Participants will develop confident boat control using swell and waves. They will paddle the most exposed parts of the coast, actively searching out “adventure.” Strong seamanship skills, solid paddling ability and a desire to get a bit out of your comfort zone are a must.

Rock Garden Safety and Rescue

In this class participants will learn how to safely maneuver through tricky rock gardens, caves and/or tunnels that are directly exposed to swell and/or waves. Scenarios will be presented that the group will come up with solutions for. Please note that this is an advanced-level class and requires previous rock garden experience and a dependable roll.

The main Storm Gathering USA website can be found here.

Contact us if you have any questions, queries or want more information about the event.

The Storm Gathering USA Team.

by Mark Tozer ( at December 16, 2014 05:44 pm

Storm Gathering USA: Booking Conditions & Payment Methods

Photo Credit: Damon Maguire.

Storm Gathering USA takes place from March 6 to 8, 2105 in Trinidad, California.

Storm Gathering USA Website

We will be using EventBrite to manage bookings. If you wish to pay by check or require an invoice, write to us directly and we can assist you with these options.

Registration opened on December 1 and closes on February 23. If maximum numbers are reached before February 23, then registration will close sooner.

This event is not suitable for minors, unless accompanied by an adult family member.

ALL classes are subject to weather and sea conditions. We reserve the right to make changes to venues, schedules, instructors and/or students at any time. We will not be providing refunds due to weather or sea conditions. We will work to provide safe venues despite the weather. By signing up you are accepting the risks with full knowledge that we cannot guarantee safe sea conditions for all classes.

Booking Conditions:

1. The symposium fee includes access to all Storm Gathering USA workshops, presentations and social events.

2. The symposium fee does not include accommodation, transport or equipment. It does not include classes that take place outside of the main symposium timeframe.

3. A place in the symposium can not be considered booked until a completed submission via Eventbrite and payment of all fees due have been received by the event organizers.


1. Bookings and on-line payment should go through Eventbrite: Storm Gathering USA.

2. Checks and/or money orders should be made payable to: Greenland or Bust and mailed to: Greenland or Bust, PO Box 4183, Arcata, CA 95518, U.S.A. Please include your phone number on all checks and/or money orders.

Cancellation by Participants:

1. All cancellations must be submitted in writing to the event organizers.

2. Cancellations must be made in writing 14 days prior to the event. You will receive a refund minus a $25 administration fee.

3. Cancellations made less than 14 days before the event may be liable to a loss of fees paid unless the symposium organizers are able to fill that place with a new participant. If the place is filled, you will receive a refund minus a $25 administration fee.

4. Non-attendance will incur the loss of total fees paid.

Cancellation by the Storm Gathering USA Team:

1. Whilst every attempt will be made to ensure that all planned classes and journeys actually run, the event organizers reserve the right to cancel a class at any time where numbers fail to reach a workable minimum or where conditions are not suitable for the required level of participation. As much notice as possible will be given, and participants will be offered a revised class option(s), including indoor activities.

2. The event organizers will not be liable for payments made to other service providers such as for travel, equipment hire and/or accommodation.

The main Storm Gathering USA website can be found here.

Contact us if you have any questions, queries or want more information about the event.

The Storm Gathering USA Team

by Mark Tozer ( at December 16, 2014 05:44 pm

Outdoor news and teaching secrets revealed...

Just posted, The Kayak Mainline Podcast Episode 13 is here for Your Listening Pleasure

Just posted, The Kayak Mainline Podcast Episode 13 is here for Your Listening Pleasure
After a short break, Kelly and I are really happy to announce the latest episode of our podcast, Kayak Mainline. Sweet, lucky episode 13. This time we get together and discover a contest to win $10k for a PFD design a weird amnesty pond for unwanted goldfish the strange history of nuclear-powered wetsuits. Plus more science fiction book reviews and why Trailer Park Boys is the best Canadian TV show (except for the Beachcombers). I hope you enjoy this one as much as we did putting it together. There are several different ways to get our sweet voices directly into your ears: You can stream it live in your browser here: You can directly download the mp3 (Right click and select, "Save target as..." or "Save link as...". Subscribe via iTunes Subscribe via Stitcher iTunes user? Subscribe and get each new episode downloaded directly to your iPhone/iPod as soon as…

by (David Johnston) at December 16, 2014 05:00 am

December 15, 2014

Have Kayaks Will Travel
Paddlesport Coaching

Introducing our Poet in Residence


Mark Hochmuth, poet in residence of Have Kayaks, Will Travel.

Doesn’t every paddling blog have a poet in residence? Well, we do.

We met Mark Hochmuth at the Great Lakes Sea Kayak Symposium two years ago, when he was a student in our one-coach class (in which a group of students stays with the same coach or coaches for the entire weekend, instead of taking part in the a la carte symposium classes). His enthusiasm and his questions were inspiring, and we had a great weekend with him and nine other participants. He signed up again the next year.


Our one-coach crew from 2014. Mark is second from the right.

In between symposia, Mark sent us poems. Some were about seasons, some about paddling. At one point, he sent us a collection of poems inspired by the Beaufort scale. He doesn’t submit his poems for publication or read them at public events; he just shares them with people he thinks will appreciate them. Which includes us.

After much thought, we asked Mark whether he’d be willing to be our poet in residence, and allow us to publish some of his poems on our blog. And generously (not to mention modestly), he agreed.

So here is the inaugural poem of Mark’s poet in residence program–a poem about a young Arctic explorer from Kalamazoo–that reminds us how fortunate we are to be able to get out in the cold and return safely home.

Thank you, Mark, for agreeing to share these with the paddling public.


For Edward Israel, Arctic Pioneer; b. 1849 d. 1884

Sergeant, Signal Corp, U.S. Army; 1881 Arctic Expedition

A writer’s ink flows in the warmth of home

As his thoughts drift to a snow covered hill

In the old cemetery called Mountain Home

An obelisk endures another winter’s chill

Where it has stood one hundred thirty years

For Edward Israel who perished in arctic cold

Scientist and explorer, age twenty-five years

A monument to bravery and suffering untold

One of eighteen men who starved to death

A national tragedy, an arctic expedition

On Ellesmere Island in Canada’s far north

Another executed for stealing food rations

Relief ships in ice, three years no resupply

Desperate 500 mile retreat, six men survived

Including commander Lt. Adolphus Greeley

Only body of  Edward Israel not cannibalized

A historical marker commemorates his short life

The museum has last letter written to home

In pencil with calm resolve explaining plight

Though all experienced history will never know…

We, who seek the out-of- doors in winter, empathize

Whether by foot, skis, snowshoes, kayak or canoe

Hopefully, like hardships none shall ever realize

And always return to comfort of hearth and home

by havekayakswilltravel at December 15, 2014 10:58 pm

South West Sea Kayaking
The personal blog of Mark Rainsley

Dungy Head

It’s the bit just west of Lulworth Cove. It’s nice.

Filed under: Dorset, Isle of Purbeck, Kayaking

by MRY at December 15, 2014 10:31 pm

kajaknördar - paddling verkar kul
tid utomhus räknas

Solig arkivbild 141215 – Ulsholmen

Under bar himmel på Ulsholmens utsida

Under bar himmel på Ulsholmens utsida

Bilden ovan från en go julimorgon på Ulsholmens utsida. Vi tog oss några paddeldagar i Bohuslän när det var som varmast i somras. Dessutom svaga ostliga vindar så öarnas utsidor var lugna och tältbara. Gött att bo under bar himmel för optimal stjärnspaning och slippa slita på tältet ;)

Go kväll på Ulsholmen

Go kväll på Ulsholmen


by Erik Sjöstedt at December 15, 2014 07:24 pm

Paddle Making (and other canoe stuff)
Functional paddle art and other canoe related ramblings

Canoe Art - Winchester Ad

From the December 1904 edition of Rod and Gun in Canada is this neat ad for Winchester rifles. It features a romantic image of a hunter in his bark canoe with the his paddle propped up supporting the shot. The artist also correctly captured a carrying bar lashed over the centre thwart which was common practice for some bark canoes to take the strain off the centre thwart lashings. There's also a wanigan box resting in the hull with his hat and pipe thrown on for good measure.

Paddle Closeup

by Murat ( at December 15, 2014 09:55 am

Extreme Sea Kayaking Adventures
Exploring the Pacific Ocean Coast of California and Oregon

Snake Bite Medicine – A Sea Kayaker’s Cure-all

by Tsunami Ranger Commander “Tortuga” Deb Volturno Editor’s note: ‘Tis the Season, and once again we address the engrossing subject of What to Drink When Kayaking! A celebratory toasting tradition is rooted in river kayaking for me, and has richly endured over the years.  While toasting and celebrating the safe completion of a river run, [...]

by Nancy Soares at December 15, 2014 07:45 am

Being the Continuing Adventures of a Woman and her Trusty Kayak in New York Harbor, the Hudson River, and Beyond. (with occasional political rants just to keep things lively!)

On A Clear Day -

Another nice simple paddle today, this time with TQ - nothing fancy, no breaks, no brunch, no beachcombing, just out into the bay, around Ruffle Bar and Canarsie Pol and then back to the club. It was about nine miles and we kept moving at a nice clip, we're both feeling the overindulgences of the season and we wanted (and got) some exercise.

The day had started out a bit on the gray-and-gloomy side but by the time we hit the water in the midafternoon, things were clearing up beautifully and I took this picture of the Manhattan skyline from just west of Ruffle Bar.

Definitely click this one for detail!

by (bonnie) at December 15, 2014 03:28 am

December 14, 2014

Have Kayaks Will Travel
Paddlesport Coaching

Year-end product round-up

Blog poagies-1Another year, another round of kit we’ve put to the test. Here’s what we tested and what we liked in 2014:

North Water Dynamic Sea Tow Pro

DynamicProSeaTow1North Water’s newest tow system, developed in consultation with Leon Somme and Shawna Franklin of Body Boat Blade International, features a bag that opens completely (rather than into a pouch) for swift deployment and packing. We love the interchangeable parts and the adjustable shock absorption system. The bag is also more flexible and less bulky than the Sea Tec Tow Line, enabling it to wrap against the body. $100

Kokatat Icon Women’s Rear-Entry Dry Suit 


The flat, flexible waterproof zipper makes the drop seat on this dry suit unnoticeable — until, that is, you’re happy to be able to relieve yourself without taking off all your gear. The Icon zips across the back of the shoulders instead of diagonally across the chest. This dry suit also has the features that make the Meridian great: reinforcement on high-use areas, neoprene cuffs over the latex gaskets on wrists and neck, and excellent customer service for the lifetime of the garment. $1,150

Peak UK Open-Palm Mitts

These fantastic 2 mm. mitts are perfect when it’s too cold for bare hands but not quite cold enough for pogies. Unlike gloves, they allow contact between your hands and the paddle shaft. Stitching between forefinger and middle finger make them stay on when you want, but allow you to easily slip them off your fingers when you need to do things requiring more dexterity. $32

Snap Dragon Designs Hot Hands Pogies


When the weather is one notch colder, these 3 mm. pogies are ideal. The neoprene is stiff enough to make entry and exit easy, and the 1.5-inch velcro strip keeps them secure on the paddle shaft. A canoe version has a hole in one pogie for a paddle grip. On a recent canoe trip, they prevented some serious misery. $35

West Marine Stainless Steel Serrated Rigging Knife



We’ve experimented with all kinds of rescue knives and hooks. This one holds up well to fresh and saltwater, is easy to open and close with one hand, and is cheap enough that it’s not a tragedy when you lose it. $22

Kokatat WoolCore

woolcoreWe wear Kokatat’s WoolCore top and bottom alone under a dry suit on cool days, and under another layer on truly cold days. It wicks well, dries quickly, doesn’t get stinky after multiple days of use, and doesn’t chafe. $80

MSR Twing Two-Person Tarp Shelter

msr_twingSuper light, super compact, the Twing provides protection when you or your gear need a dry spot, even in wind. You can pitch it quickly and easily with a paddle and wait out a storm in comfort. $300

Axel Schoevers Chart Case

chartcaseThis navigation must-have was designed by Axel Schoevers, a Dutch paddler, coach and expedition kayaker who was frustrated by leaky chart cases. It’s super simple–just a thick plastic sleeve with tubes on two side–and has proved bombproof on all our journeys. Body Boat Blade provides an online tutorial for using it, and is also the only place we know of where you can purchase it. $50

Rest in Peace Department

We will mourn the day these three gems wear out because they’re no longer being manufactured. You can sometimes find them on eBay, Craigslist, and close-out sales.

Keen Gorge Boot



Why we love them: Solid contruction, grippy soles, wide toe box and overall comfort.

Nikon Coolpix AW100


Why we love it: Sturdy and seriously waterproof, with plenty of features and minimal shutter lag. We’ve taken loads of great shots with these cameras.

Kokatat Surfskin Tops

shortsleeveWhy we love them: Like the existing Surfskin pants and shorts, they are stretchy like neoprene but warm, thanks to their fuzzy lining.

by havekayakswilltravel at December 14, 2014 10:58 pm


El barco del arroz

La segunda entrada de este blog fué una foto dedicada a nuestra visita a este pecio.

Este era un barco de origen chipriota, que embarrancó el 27 de febrero de 1994, cargado de arroz hasta arriba. Se llamaba Weisshorn, e iba a remontar el Guadalquivir hasta Sevilla. Pero aunque los locales ya conocemos los peligros de la desembocadura, el capitan del cargero no.

Por aquí es típica la frase "eso está más perdido que el barco del arroz"..

La travesía desde la costa hasta el naufragio es bonita y sencilla, con el fondo de las playas del Coto de Doñana, pero ojo si hay mar de leva.  En este vídeo sin embargo disfrutamos del entorno en un día de mar pacífica.

by Jose Bello ( at December 14, 2014 07:05 pm

Mountain and Sea Scotland
Hillwalking and Sea Kayaking in Scotland

Rise and shine

After a week of storms and snow showers, a calm morning.  I headed out from the house just as the light was coming up for a circular walk of an hour or so.  A pale wash of colour to the southeast hinted at a nice sunrise to come.  The night had been cold and the temperature was still minus 5 degrees Celsius, bracing in the still air.  The dominant sounds were the early morning jostlings, greetings and conversation of the farmland specialists, the "caw" of Rooks, the sharper "chack" of Jackdaws and, in the distance, the high call of a Buzzard

I'd just reached the top of the lane from the house when the colours in the sky drew me to abandon the route of my walk and head up the field edge to a wooded ridgeline with a view east.  The crunch of the icy ground and the brush of my boots through the barley stubbles alerted a small party of Roe deer, three does and a calf.  As their heads swivelled up and towards me I stopped and stood absolutely still.  I was treated to a nice close view for some minutes before the deer moved off with graceful bounds.

Up on the ridge and through the trees, the view across the houses of Bridge of Alford and beyond to Benaquhallie was lit by a glorious sunrise shading from brilliant yellow through gold and pink.  I stood and watched for some twenty minutes as the colours lightened to a searing yellow-white as the sun rose above the higher ground.

The low sun gave a very faint pink tinge to the light and the frigid air rendered everything pin-sharp; the frosting of the trees on Coiliochbar Hill clearly visible across a few kilometres.

The snow cover on the Correen Hills appears well established, but this early in the winter a couple of mild days would strip the brilliant white back to more muted shades.  In the early light the hillside fairly dazzled, offset by the warmer browns of larches.

Now chilled from standing around in the cold air, I turned to head back home.  The sun was yet to reach the houses and a faint waft of woodsmoke was just detectable on the almost still air.  Time for breakfast.......

by Ian Johnston ( at December 14, 2014 10:24 am

South West Sea Kayaking
The personal blog of Mark Rainsley

Mupe Rocks

Lovely December sunshine yesterday, for a spot of rockhopping on the Purbeck Coast. Mupe Rocks are a chain of stacks about a mile east of Lulworth Cove, surrounded by shallow reefs. As with most local geology, the rocks form serrated edges which love to destroy your boat, should you get careless…

Filed under: Dorset, Isle of Purbeck, Kayaking

by MRY at December 14, 2014 08:30 am

Crimbo Presents


Looking for a Christmas present for that special someone? Look no further…



Of course, if the salty stuff isn’t your loved ones’ thing, then obviously they’ll need a copy of the *other* book I’ve worked on recently…




If you have gotten this far and not bought anything, then you’ve completely misunderstood the spirit of Christmas. Or maybe I have?

Filed under: Writing

by MRY at December 14, 2014 08:11 am

December 13, 2014


Siempre están ahí...

De vez en cuando nos encontramos en nuestras travesías con gente, animales o cosas. Opino que cualquier encuentro nos "aporta" algo. Tanto que es así que en este blog hay un apartado dedicado específicamente a ello. 

Sin duda los encuentros más frecuentes son con aves y especialmente con las gaviotas nuestras  compañeras infatigables..... y generalamente somos nosotros quienes les damos la lata.....

by Jose Bello ( at December 13, 2014 09:38 pm

something to sink your teeth into
sea kayaking in Israel and kayak building

good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from bad judjement

The sea was too rough for a club outing today but anyone with  their own kayak could go out on their own responsibility. So we all got together at 7 for some fun in the waves.
Out at the rock, the surf was pretty big and messy, there were no surfers nor any SUPS out there today and this should have been a warning to us. Some  stayed in the bay and practiced in the soup,   others went out to sea for a trip and the rest of us stayed and played in the big waves .
Soon we began to see kayakers swimming  after being dumped by the big surf and we all had to help each other with rescues.
I had 3 interesting  rescues, first was retrieving a lost kayak and towing it back to the owner waiting patiently in the water, then a regular T rescue made interesting by being in the surf zone and finally while on my way out I saw a kayak on the beach but no kayaker in site. After looking around I spotted a swimmer in the water, I thought he would use the surf to get back to shore but after about 5 minutes I noticed he was not making any progress so I paddled over to see if he needed help.
When I asked him if he was ok he replied NO,  He was struggling to swim back to shore but was caught in a rip  and was not making any headway. I had my GO PRO mounted on my rear deck and so could not get him to climb aboard, so thought the best thing would be to try and tow him in with my towrope. This turned out quite difficult as we were in the surf zone with waves breaking over us and progress was slow, then he hung onto my bow and I tried to paddle in reverse back to the shore, also dangerous as the waves were breaking over us  and I feared he would be smashed into the bow of my boat. We did manage to get closer to shore but at some stage we separated and he was still on the rope. Communication was not possible  because of the noise of the waves  and at some stage the rope got tangled round his leg but he thought he would get to shore and then release it.
I was being pounded by the surf  at this stage and didnt know that he was tangled. I tried to call for assistance to 2 paddlers on the shore and eventually they saw us and came to help.
Once on the beach we saw that the rope had gotten tangled round his leg and when the waves pulled  the rope tight it caused a  burn round his foot. Back at the club we treated him with aloevera and lots of  support.
Lessons learned ,
Its very difficult to tow a swimmer with a rope, easier if you can get him on your rear deck, but for that you need a clear deck, once I had assembled my Go Pro on the back deck with a kayalu  tripod, there was no way to get him up on the deck. I could have transferred him to a  fellow kayaker but didnt think of it at the time.
Its important to be aware of whats going on around you all the time and watch out for each other all the time. Never assume that everything is good,but go and check up on those who seem to be in trouble.
I had my Go Pro on all the time and heres a video of todays adventure. the Kayalu monopod got pushed by the surf and some of the angles are a bit off but you can get a pretty good feeling of what went on.

by Steve Gordon ( at December 13, 2014 11:54 am


Spedizioni in Groenlandia...

Il richiamo del grande artico è sempre stato molto forte per tutti noi kayaker.
Pagaiare tra i ghiacci della Groenlandia è un sogno che per alcuni è diventato realtà...
L'associazione Sullacqua, una delle più attive sul territorio, organizza una serata all'insegna del kayak e dell'avventura: nella sala polivalente del Comune di Lavena Ponte Tresa, sabato 13 dicembre 2014 alle ore 21 (ingresso libero!), sarà possibile incontrare i protagonisti di due spedizioni davvero particolari lungo la costa orientale della Groenlandia...

Una serata per sognare insieme: non mancate!
Tre ragazzi dei Ragni di Lecco si sono cimentati in un'impresa fuori dal comune di cui abbiamo già parlato nella newsletter di ottobre 2014: pagaiare per 200 km, raggiungere il campo base e poi scalare la parete verticale dello Shark's Tooth a Scorebysound.
Diverso approccio per i due amici kayakers Giancarlo Albertari e Luciano Riva, che seguiamo da tempo nella preparazione della loro avventura artica (newsletter di luglio 2014): hanno trascorso tre settimane tra gli abitanti del distretto di Ammassalik e sono rientrati carichi di entusiasmo, ricordi, filmati, aneddoti e... voglia di ritornare in Groenlandia!!!

by Tatiana ( at December 13, 2014 10:00 am

Living on the Edge
It's not like Alaska isn't wilderness - it mostly is. But most Alaskans don't live in the wild. They live on the edge of the wild in towns with schools and cable TV and stores and dentists and roller rinks sometimes. It's just like anyplace else, only with mountains and moose. Tom Bodett


Oh yeah!!! The chili turned out really good.. A little more heat than I anticipated, but that just makes it go good with a pint of Homer Brewings finest Bitter. 
Gonna have to bring it down to Karachters this weekend and share!

by Ron ( at December 13, 2014 12:18 am

December 12, 2014

Living on the Edge
It's not like Alaska isn't wilderness - it mostly is. But most Alaskans don't live in the wild. They live on the edge of the wild in towns with schools and cable TV and stores and dentists and roller rinks sometimes. It's just like anyplace else, only with mountains and moose. Tom Bodett

Friday Night

My sweetie is off working late tonight so what to do.... 

I guess I could go and join in the local nightlife, or, I could take some quiet time at home and busy myself with some reloading. Setting up to reload for the 30-06, and some 30-30. 
One can just make them fast, or you can take some time and maybe, just maybe, they will shoot as good or better than the factory made stuff. Years ago when I got into this as a hobby, the goal was to make ammo that was better than anything you could buy already made up.. Well the factory stuff has gotten pretty good over the years so now, well, at least I can make it a whole lot less expensive. And really, that's a pretty good reason to roll yer own. 

Start out with 20 fired cases..

Knock the old primers, resize the cases and look things over close.. 

Make some repairs...

Press in some new primers

Now we're ready to make some choices with powder and bullets. 

Looks like the bullet choices I have on hand are not really what I'm looking for. These are better choices for the 30-30. 

We'll pick up some better choices and continue another day with the 30-06. 

I know I have a bunch of 30-30 brass here somewhere...

by Ron ( at December 12, 2014 11:35 pm

OCEANPAX Paddle / Run / Be
Reflections on life, self-propelled outdoor pursuits, and all manner of things that may come to mind while sea kayaking on the waters, and minimalist running along the trails, of south Vancouver Island and Gabriola Island in beautiful British Columbia, Canada.

Braving the corners and the curves of change..."comfort" foods and routines.

When dreich* turns to rain and sleet - and the North Sea vanishes into the clouds.
It's been way too long since last posting, but "conditions" have been less than ideal. The grey seas have been turbulent and inhospitable to our narrow boats, the hills muddy and slippery, the weather generally "dreich"...and there's been a lot of change.

The locum term at St. Margaret's concluded and leaving very special folks behind, we began a new locum, close to the sea, in the Kingdom of Fife. My new "work station" is 900 years old. The building is rather unique, the oldest part, the apse, dating back to the 1140s. Visitors from all over the world come to see this 12th century Norman Romanesque church, set high on a picturesque hill. Imagine what it has seen and heard, in the nine centuries its faithful people have offered hospitality, sanctuary, and spiritual food to passers-by, pilgrims, and to those who have resided within its parish boundaries.

I have a dear friend, with whom I have frequently (and occasionally annoyingly) waxed lyrical about the necessity of "change" and how it must be embraced with affection and a hungry sense of curiosity. Of course, I believe that...but I will admit to her that change is not always easy. Life is full of curves and bends and that can make life very interesting. There is often, however, a small measure of anxiety in not knowing for certain what will appear around the next corner. 

Not that we ever run fast enough...but generally good advice.
Setting out in any new direction is a time for a deep breath, a desire for exploration, and an open mind. And not unlike leaving the safety of the trailhead parking lot, with a new and intriguing hill to climb - there must be a degree of planning and preparation. There's the need for a map and compass, extra clothes, water bottles topped up, adequate "nourishment" for the journey, and sufficient spirit of adventure to explore trails that beckon - especially those that may not even be on the map.

After planning and preparation, some sense of continuity is also essential. Continuity brings comfort. The pack that you know fits well, the hiking boots that feel familiar, the rain gear that has already proven to be dependable serve to enhance the experience. There is less left to chance. You know you can trust and depend on your kit.

I suppose that's what "comfort food" is all about especially when everything around seems strange and new, or when the "territory" is just a little unfamiliar. For me, it's a good time to sit down to a steaming casserole of macaroni and cheese, just the way mum made it when I was a little boy - with extra strong cheddar and a crispy topping of oven-broiled Parmesan cheese. A few mouthfuls, and life seems normal again. The gastronomic pleasure, experienced decades ago, returns and there is a reconnection to a time that was safe and comfortable and familiar.

Almost home...and ready to welcome the corners and curves of change.
So yes, new adventures and directions always benefit from planning and preparation. And after you set out from life's familiar "trailheads", the moments of uncertainty (that will come) can be soothed by a gentle retreat into the familiar. 

The morning run, once again, is that familiar place for us. It serves as an anchor, a place of sanctuary, an opportunity for refreshment and revitalisation. It is the comforting and strengthening routine that ensures, for the rest of the day, we'll more confidently brave the corners and the curves. 

And it is often those unexplored paths, and the newly discovered trails that bring the greatest delight of all.

*"Dreich"...a good Old Scots word that describes dismal, dreary, overcast, and generally miserable weather. Such days are, of course, admittedly rare here. ;)

by Duncan and Joan ( at December 12, 2014 10:00 pm

The Ikkatsu Project
In the Service of the Ocean

High tides and crazy winds

photo copy

It’s the stormy time of year in the Pacific Northwest. The Pineapple Express has been rolling through this past week and disrupting the routine here and there. Power outages and falling limbs, gushing storm drains and flooded roadways. The Tacoma News Tribune is still littering the streets of town with their useless and unwanted advertising Bombas, and their plastic-wrapped, decomposing remains are being washed into the waters of Puget Sound as we speak, another reminder that Tacoma’s “local” newspaper doesn’t give much thought to Tacoma or the environment. The Ikkatsu Project sends a lump of coal and a hearty Bah Humbug! to the most profitable and invasive littering campaign in town.IMG_1274 IMG_1274

Other than that, the high tides that have been hovering at the edge of flood for the past week are finally subsiding, but not for long. Christmas promises to be most interesting this year, with predicted tides almost a foot higher than what we had this week. That’s going to get up to that edge again, and then go right past it. If the pressure is low and the winds are up when all this happens, there will be even more of an impact. That we will have some waterfront drama this holiday season, there is no doubt.

On a brighter note (literally), it’s only 9 more days until Solstice and the lights start to come back on slowly. So there’s that.

by Ken Campbell at December 12, 2014 09:07 pm

IKDM Channel (video)


Greenland 550 CS Canoe A greenland kayak, looking quite similar to a Qaanaaq despite the different size, 5,50 m x 50 cm. The cockpit is a keyhole type,75x40 cm, the fit is precise. The front hatch is 10" and is installed perfectly flush to the deck.The rear hatch is oval and allows to fill larger objects. Anyway the storage space is limited. The boat has a medium rocker, bow and stern are slim. The sides are well flared, according the east greenland style. This should give a good speed expecially upwind. Same for the rolling, it should be quite easy. Si tratta di un kayak di concezione groenlandese ispirato al Qaanaaq ma decisamente diverso nelle misure (5,5 m per 50 cm) Il pozzetto è molto ampio, quasi un key-hole,75x40 cm, aggancia molto preciso, ottimo il sedile fisso avvolgente. Il gavone anteriore è da 24 cm perfettamente incassato. Il gavone posteriore ha il tappo ovale che permette di far passare gli oggetti più lunghi. Lo spazio sotto i ponti è comunque poco. Il rocker è medio, poppa e prua decisamente filanti. I fianchi sono ben sfilati, in accordo allo stile delle barche east greenland. Ciò conferisce una buona velocità e capacità di risalire il vento. Idem per il rolling. Filmed with camcorder GE DV1

by IKDMCHANNEL at December 12, 2014 08:45 pm


Level 3 Coach training around Palmaria Island...

Tre giornate di sole primaverile, qualche scroscio di pioggia durante la prima notte, folate di vento gentile a scansare nubi sfilacciate per lasciare il giusto spazio alla luna piena.
Due allievi, otto amici, un'isola. E tutto il suo fascino.
Il mare all'intorno, la macchia profumata, il sottobosco pieno di funghi porcini (raccolti e cucinati con la polenta!). Il sentiero che si inerpica fino al forte, vari belvedere affacciati sul mare, il profilo lontano di Gorgona a sud-est e dello scoglio Ferale a nord-ovest. Il campo montato sotto il solito boschetto di pini marittimi, la tavolata imbandita sulle pietre di scisto, la scorta di liquori per accompagnare la notte...
E poi la traversata tra le onde, lo sbarco tra i frangenti, un salvataggio seguito da una zattera ed un traino. Ed ancora lo scivolo di alaggio con i grossi tronchi spiaggiati, la spiaggia mangiata dall'ultima mareggiata, la pagaiata conclusiva nella risacca schiumosa sotto le scogliere di Palmaria, Tino e Tinetto. Le campane a festa di Portovenere che salutano il nostro ingresso nello stretto, la solita pausa a Tellaro tra decine di scatti fotografici, un kayak che si avvia solitario nel tramonto...
L'isola della Palmaria è una piccola oasi di pace, un luogo magico nella sua comune semplicità. Un lembo roccioso adagiato ai piedi delle Cinque Terre dove non è mai difficile trasformare i sogni in realtà.

Alla partenza da Marinella di Sarzana con Marco, Andrea, Mauro, Gianni, Mirella, Andrea e Guido...
Il temporale della sera...
E' sempre difficile lasciare l'isola...
The end.
Three sunny days, a rainy night, some wind and waves waiting for the full moon.
Two students, eight friends, one island. And its charm.
The blue sea all around, the perfumed Mediterranean scrub, mushrooms around the camp (cooked for dinner with polenta!). The path to reach the top of the hill, lot of viewpoints along the way, the profile of southeast Gorgona Island and of the northwestern Ferale rock-cliff. The tents piched up under the usual maritime pines, the table made by stones and the seat made by wood, bit of alcool to go along the night...
And then the crossing among the waves, the landing among the dump, a rescue followed by a double raft towing. And still the sliding way made by old big trees, the beach eaten by the last coastal storm, the last day paddle in the foamy backwash under the cliffs of Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto islands. The lunch stop in Portovenere and Tellaro among tens of pictures, a single kayak that slides alone in the sunset...
The island of the Palmaria is a small oasis of peace, a magic place in its common simplicity. A rocky edge abandoned to the feet of the Cinque Terre in Liguria, Italy, where is always easy to come back for turning dreams into reality.

by Tatiana ( at December 12, 2014 06:28 pm

Paddle Making (and other canoe stuff)
Functional paddle art and other canoe related ramblings

Burt Reynold Deliverance Canoe Auction

A potentially bit of interesting canoe history is up for auction - a canoe belonging to Burt Reynolds that has a loose link to the film, Deliverance. I had posted about this canoe back in 2012 during the 40th anniversary of the film when it was housed at the Burt Reynolds museum in Florida (original post here).

Deliverance Cast - 40th Anniversary (2012)

Now Julien's Auctions has posted some more pics of this canoe on this listing

"Deliverance Canoe" - Julien's Auctions - Lot 316 of 676

"Deliverance Canoe" - Julien's Auctions - Lot 316 of 676

"Deliverance Canoe" - Julien's Auctions - Lot 316 of 676

Of course a casual glance of this canoe shows major reconstruction efforts that were done quite amateurishly. Also this canoe is much shorter than the tripping canoe feature in the film with no seats or a center thwart.

In the classic "destruction scene" of the canoe, Jon Voight's character goes down a rapid backwards and the canoe breaks in half after slightly getting hung up on a rock. This scene likely cemented the idea in many peoples' minds that these sorts of canoes are fragile eggshells  despite the fact that wood canvas canoes survived many epic canoe expeditions  in history. The truth is that the dramatic scene was accomplished with a bit a of Hollywood special effect - the canoe had been cut in half amidships from gunnel to gunnel so as to break as quickly and cleanly as possible. You can see the scene at the 2:38 mark from the Youtube Trailer below:

Some background research by Benson Gray of the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association revealed that six identical, 16' Old Town Guide canoes (in dark green) were shipped to the film location in Clayton, Georgia a year before the film was released. Furthermore, the serial numbers on either stem of Burt Reynold's canoe are still visible and match the build records from Old Town Canoe Co. It appears someone "reconstructed" this canoe with ends from two of the original 16'  Guide models resulting in a shorter 11' 6" boat cobbled together with bits and pieces.

Serial Number 184432

Build record for 184432

Serial Number 184739

Build Record 184739

The auctioneer cannot guarantee any proof that these actual canoe bits appeared in the film but thanks to Benson's research, at least there is some association, even indirect, with this iconic canoe film.

Dec. 12 Update: Benson Gray just posted that the canoe went for a hammer price of $14,000 to an internet bidder.   It was expected to fetch $800-1200.  Wow!

by Murat ( at December 12, 2014 03:53 pm

Kayak Yak
kayaking the We(s)t Coast of British Columbia

Old School Irish Kayaking

Here's some British Pathé coverage of a kayak race on the River Liffey in Ireland. If you like a lot skin-on-frame kayaks overturning then this clip is for you.
Check out the embedded video below:

by (John Herbert) at December 12, 2014 08:30 am

December 11, 2014
Kajak, Foto,Friluftsliv


Ask måste vara kajakfixarens dröm, så lätt att forma. Tog värmepistolen en sväng för att få till den här provbiten och en ny sittbrunnssarg. Ska bli kul att basa och se vad man kan göra.




by Bengt Larsson at December 11, 2014 10:22 pm


Cuevas y resplandores

Entre Málaga y Granada......... contraluces y contrastes verdeazulados.

by Jose Bello ( at December 11, 2014 09:01 pm

Essex Explorations
Our membership is small…but that’s by design. Each of our explorers is a recognized leader in their respective field and brings a unique set of skills to the group. Whether a certified instructor, commercial guide, or in the case of our latest member, a professional photographer, each is passionate about explorations, pushing their boundaries, and then sharing that experience with others.

IKDM Channel (video)


A wonderful kayak day trip around Portofino Headland - Italy Una magnifica giornata di novembre in kayak intorno al promontorio di Portofino

by IKDMCHANNEL at December 11, 2014 07:05 pm

Being the Continuing Adventures of a Woman and her Trusty Kayak in New York Harbor, the Hudson River, and Beyond. (with occasional political rants just to keep things lively!)

Paddling the Light Fantastic

Canadian photographer Stephen Orlando's glorious photos have been all the rage among the salty set of my Internet friends in the last week or two, and I can't resist sharing them here today. I've got a good cooking post planned but I want to go practice archery again tonight (I felt like maybe I was making progress last time I went, but I think that was at least a week and a half ago and I'm still very early on in learning so that's too long!) and the pozole post will be a bit on the long side to start in on after that, so this is the perfect chance to slip this in.

You can read a little more about the artist and his process, and see more of his photos, on - click here to visit. Enjoy! 

by (bonnie) at December 11, 2014 04:18 pm

Living on the Edge
It's not like Alaska isn't wilderness - it mostly is. But most Alaskans don't live in the wild. They live on the edge of the wild in towns with schools and cable TV and stores and dentists and roller rinks sometimes. It's just like anyplace else, only with mountains and moose. Tom Bodett

Chili kind of a day

Taking the afternoon off to make some chili. Have some moose burger and a moose roast to cut up in little pieces, add some dark beer, coffee, and a bunch of chili fixins and will see what happens..

by Ron ( at December 11, 2014 04:03 pm