Paddling Planet

December 04, 2016

josebelloseakayaking

Udalatx



Este monte, aunque pertenece a la misma cadena del Anboto, se separa de la raspa calcárea de Durangaldea, de manera que queda como una atractiva y hermosa cima aislada.


Subiremos desde el sur, la ruta no es complicada, pero hoy hay viento en altura, lo que hace más interesantes los pasos sobre roca, especialmente cerca de la cumbre.


Comenzamos en un bello camino desde Udala, con frondosa vegetación. 


Nos adentramos en un encinar para enfilar bastante recto el punto más alto, que se adivina desde abajo.


La subida es muy rápida.


 Se va produciendo una rápida transición en el escenario.



Vamos tomando altura, empieza a bajar la temperatura, al menos la sensación térmica.




El viento aparece...


Buscamos un conjunto de canales herbosos que nos facilitan la subida entre las masas de roca.


Ainhoa se lo sigue pasando bien.... el lugar es espectacular.




Increíble ubicación de una antigua ermita...


Al final de las canales comienza a ponerse pino...


Detrás el Anboto.  



 Llegando a la cumbre

Arriba mucho, mucho viento .......


Hasta la próxima...!

by Jose Bello (noreply@blogger.com) at December 04, 2016 11:02 pm

Merci pour le kayak !
Pratique du kayak de mer

Retour de Norvège sud (3) : bivouac

Texte : Laurent Malthieux & Arzhela Dans les pays scandinaves et en Ecosse, la loi autorise et réglemente le libre accès à la nature. Ici, pas de crainte de se faire déloger en pleine soirée par un propriétaire hostile ! Pour en savoir plus : visitnorway.fr et wikipedia. Une côte rocheuse Un lieu de bivouac facile […]

by Arzhela at December 04, 2016 05:58 pm

Mike Jackson's Paddling Journal
A journal of my sea kayak trips.

December 4th - Cadboro Bay (#116)

I took the surfski out for a late morning paddle around the bay. There were lots of birds about: buffleheads, hooded and common mergansers, western grebe, pacific loon, pelagic and double-crested cormorants, black turnstone, black oystercatchers, harlequin, great blue heron and more.
I ran into John H out at Cadboro Point and chatted for a while. He has a nice-looking sterling progression! I managed to visit Cadboro, ten mile and cattle points on this run.
click to enlarge
9 km, YTD 984 km
(maybe one more paddle to reach my 2016 distance goal of 1000 km?)

by Mike J (noreply@blogger.com) at December 04, 2016 05:29 pm

Woman on Water
A woman's perspective on kayaking and outdoor adventures.

Okay!

Communication is a key skill in paddling (and all aspects of life).  There are many means and needs for communication on and off the water.  One is to check in with someone.  Sometimes, a paddler has taken a spill, is swimming, or is just a little bit spaced-out.  A common way to see if that person is okay is to use signals.

When using the okay signal on the water it is a question and answer.  One gives the okay sign and if the others are okay, they give the okay sign back.  Close up, we use the universal hand signal for okay.

This tells us a couple of things.  First being that the person is okay.  Second that maybe they really are or aren't okay.   If the person is slow to respond or doesn't make a clear okay sign, we need to investigate a little bit further.  When someone doesn't make a clear okay sign, they could be a little bit shaken or could possibly have issue that they are unaware of.  For example, one of the signs of hypothermia is a decrease in fine motor skills.  If they aren't making their index finger touch their thumb, hypothermia could be a concern.

From further away, we use one tap or a fist on the head.  Again, we make sure that we close off the "O."  The fist on the head forming an "O" is a universal sign for okay among the US Coast Guard and other Search and Rescue teams.

From larger distances or when view may be obstructed by swells or waves, we make a big "O" over the head with both arms meeting above the head.

Many paddlers use a tapping motion on their head to signal that they are okay.  This is often understood in the boating community but is not universally recognized.  It also can look like a signal for help.  We encourage paddlers not to use the head tap but to make closed "O" with a fist on the head, a hand signal, or arms overhead.



by Cate Hawthorne (noreply@blogger.com) at December 04, 2016 08:17 am

kajaknördar – paddling verkar kul
tid utomhus räknas. Tid i kajaken räknas dubbelt

Advent på Örö med brumbrumbåt

Dragskärsmorgon

Dragskärsmorgon

Mysig skog och finfin strand

Mysig skog och finfin strand

Här hade vi tältet i midsomras :) Vyn fårduga även i november!

Här hade vi tältet i midsomras 🙂 Vyn fårduga även i november!

Advent på Örö har funkat förr så det kändes som en bra plan. Jag (och min axel) är dock mer väderkänsliga än normalt så vi skippade paddlandet och bestämde oss för båtfärd till/från Örö i Misterhult.

Tog stugbilen och körde mot nordost på torsdagseftermiddagen, ställde oss ute på Dragskär och hade en go kväll inne i Winzent. Finväder med nån minusgrad på fredagsmorgonen, efter frukost tog vi en go promenad innan vi for vidare.

Vid Lindnäs varv bytte vi färdmedel till båt, mysigt att åka brumbrumbåt genom skärgården som vi paddlat i så många gånger och mycket trevligt att snacka med skepparen Marcus som hade bra koll på skärgården och dess invånare.

Varmt och skönt i skärgården. Dessutom mjuka dynor och vindrutetorkare, det tar sig :)

Varmt och skönt i skärgården. Dessutom mjuka dynor och vindrutetorkare, det tar sig 🙂

Virkigt stughäng på Örö

Virkigt stughäng på Örö

På Örö var vi helt ensamma, blev promenader och så småningom kom Leif & Maria som paddlat och lite senare kom Elisabeth och Owe med samma båt som vi fast norrifrån.

Mer promenad, stugmys och svalkande bad innan det blev mat hos E&O.

Sov sött, efter lite toksurf på morgonen blev det morgonbad efter promenad. Fler övarv och längtande efter skärgårdshus.

Vid lunch kom resten av gänget som traditionsenligt bott en natt på Lilla Bergö, Christian, Helene, Magnus, Katarina, Jesper & Challan.

Efter glögg och lite i magarna promenerade vi runt ön igen & några soffsurfade.

Som vanligt dopp före bastun och sen gött bastuhäng. Brukar ju säga att bastu tar bort den Goa känslan av svalkande bad men för häng & snack är det där med bastu med bad klart gött ändå.

God mat med älgiga inslag och så småningom somnade vi sött. Vaknade ovanligt sent så vi hann inte med morgonpromenad innan frukost men däremot ett snabbt bad för min del.

Vindprognoserna var lite tjuriga så paddlarna drog iväg lite tidigare än vanligt i medvinden. Definition på medvind är all vind som inte är rak motvind 🙂 de hade det lite slitigt på vägen in hörde vi i efterhand. Själva blev det övarv, lunch, lite gött häng i solen, lite snöinslag, klart varierat väder. Vid ett kom båten och det var nästan vindstilla och varmt i solen.

På vägen in blev det dock rejäl vind och rejält snöfall, kul med variation.

Vi äntrade stugbilen och snurrade runt lite här och där, promenad vid sjön Gästern strax öster om samhället Misterhult och så småningom parkerade vi med strandtomt på väg ut mot Värsnäs norr om Kalmar. Finfint ställe 2 meter från vattnet. Högt vatten gjorde att även hjulen fick lite vattenkänning på kvällskvisten.

På måndagen så sakteliga hemåt med lite stopp, havsspan och promenader innan vi landade i Knäckebröhult.

Trevlig adventshelg trots avsaknaden av paddelinslag. Nog tillochmed så att det där med brumbrumbåt gav mersmak; avsevärt mindre att släpa på och inga kajaker att krångla med på bilar och sånt 😉

Bilder från tidigare adventspaddlingar: 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 20102011201220132014 & 2015.

Solnedgångspromenad på ön

Solnedgångspromenad på ön

Lite senare solnedgångsljus

Lite senare solnedgångsljus

Bastuljus

Bastuljus

Skärmhäng

Skärmhäng

Paddlarna ger sig av i medvinden :)

Paddlarna ger sig av i medvinden 🙂

Vi promenerar vidare

Vi promenerar vidare

Fotograferar lite silversmycken med riktig kamera

Fotograferar lite silversmycken med riktig kamera

Go morgon med stugbilen precis norr om Kalmar

Go morgon med stugbilen precis norr om Kalmar

Vattennära boende

Vattennära boende

Kalmar känns ju lite som världens ände men fin vass har de :)

Kalmar känns ju lite som världens ände men fin vass har de 🙂

Tomt och finfint vid Kristianopel

Tomt och finfint vid Kristianopel

Inlägget Advent på Örö med brumbrumbåt dök först upp på kajaknördar - paddling verkar kul.

by Erik Sjöstedt at December 04, 2016 08:11 am

Frogma
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!)

Erie Canal Day 4 Addendum - Old Lock 60 park


As promised, here are more pictures from the historic Lock 60 park. The Erie Canal I've been sharing with you recently is actually the 3rd version; the original one that opened in 1825 was immediately overwhelmed by its own success, with the amount of cargo being transported quickly exceeding the amount the planners had projected, and an expansion got underway in 1834. The first upgrade did involve some straightening of the original route in places, but a lot of the project just involved enlarging the original canal to allow for more traffic. This particular lock actually went through 2 separate improvements, first being enlarged, with a second lock being added later to allow vessels to lock through in both directions simultaneously. 

The final version of the Erie Canal, in 1918, saw the old canal replaced by the New York State Barge Canal. By this time the canal builders had learned more about flood control methods, and digging technology had improved, so in this version they were able to put many of the natural waterways to use. Where this meant the old route was abandoned, a lot of the old facilities are still there to see. This was one of them, and we really enjoyed taking a look at the lock. 

Most information from Wikipedia's Erie Canal page (although you'll see a good bit of it is on the info sign I took a picture of there).

BTW, reading about the work that was put in to allow the Erie Canal to achieve its maximum potential reminds me of a fascinating article I read in the NY Times recently. Not much commercial shipping on the Erie Canal these days, but there is a lock on the Ohio River that dates back to not that long after the final version of the Erie Canal that shipping does rely on heavily -- and that is evidently getting to be a problem.


Here are the photos! Click on the first one for a slideshow view. 



by noreply@blogger.com (bonnie) at December 04, 2016 04:24 am

December 03, 2016

Padlemia
En blogg om padling og annet friluftsliv i (hovedsakelig) Vesterålen

Lurt ut på tur i minusgrader - Skjervøyan

Helg, og det tikket inn melding fra Jørgen om at han hadde store padleabstinenser. Det passet ikke helt egentlig før søndag, men planer kan jo ofte forandres på. Så da ble det gjort, og vi møttes lørdag formiddag i flotte himmelfarger, for padling.

Turmålet lå ikke helt i smørøyet fargemessig, men vi fikk da med oss noe. Det var på tide at han fikk se nærmere på området Holmsnes/Skjervøyan, så vi kjørte til Vik og satte ut her. 

Jepp, tangen i fjæra har frosset til is. Det var frost. Sju minus var vi innom på kjøreturen. *Hutre* Jeg har jo egentlig slutta å padle i minusgrader, men da SMSn kom var det ikke så kaldt og jeg lot meg lure. Lurt ut på tur - det har skjedd verre ting, for å si det sånn.

Som sagt, fint lys på himmelen, og fjellene laget jo fine profiler mot himmelen.

Vi begynte med å padle over til Årnesan, så han fikk sett uværshula her. Litt sånn sightseeing må til innimellom. 

Strendene jeg hadde skrytt av bortover her var ikke så lette å se i snøen og snart flo, men jeg tror han trodde på at de var her likevel.

Så fulgte vi Holmsnesøyene utover. Her ute begynte vi å merke litt kjølende drag i lufta som kom bakfra.

Litt drag i sjøen her inne faktisk. (Bildene blir litt varierende og rare, en ting er at det var lite lys og kameraene reagerer forskjellig, men jeg har også fått ny datamaskin som babler om fargeprofiler, ny skjerm og i det hele tatt...)

Skal vi krysse over til Skjervøyan og padle dem også? Jepp, det gjør vi.

Nå økte det på med vind i ryggen. Vind i ryggen liker vi. 

En og annen småsurf, de største bølgene gikk an til sånt bruk. Jeg padlet forresten Døcken, avocetn har fått komme litt opp av kjelleren. Den funket greit nok, men jeg må ordne paddingen.

Straks framme.

 Skjervøyan i sikte - tid for mat.

Men hvor er folkene?

Den ene tar bilder, mens den andre springer i seg varmen igjen etter matpausen, før vi drar i retur. Det var virkelig kjølig i dag. I minusgrader er det bare å hive på seg tre lag ull, så enkelt er det med den saken. (Men det hadde jeg glemt, ettersom jeg jo har slutta å padle i minusgrader, sånn egentlig.)

Kaldt!

På returen var det blåst litt mer opp, så da tok jeg ingen bilder for å beholde varmen på hendene. Men plutselig dukket det opp en sjark tett ved. Hæ? En sjark her nå? Hva i all verden? Hvem kan det være, det var da et pussig sted for en sjark å være akkurat nå? Det var egentlig litt upraktisk, for jeg finner ikke lanterna og var følgelig ganske uten lys på. (Riktignok med lys på vesten, men det hjelper jo lite når man ikke husker å slå det på. Stryk på den.)

Det var selvfølgelig Fredrik (før sett i bloggen på surfski) som hadde vært ute og fiska kveite. Han tenkte noe sånt som "Hæ? Padlere her nå? Hva i all verden? Hvem kan det være, det var da et pussig sted for et par padlere å være akkurat nå?" da han så oss, tenker jeg.

 Se for øvrig bildet for størrelse på kveita. Han har haillet i orden tydeligvis, for det er ikke lenge siden han fikk DENNE. Det kan også være det ikke har med haill å gjøre i det hele tatt, men at han faktisk er flink på å fiske etter kveite. Mulig.

Vel, det ble en retur i motvind hele veien, det synes jeg egentlig var like greit for da padler man seg i varmen. Flott å bli lurt ut på tur selv om det var minusgrader, den blir glatt tilgitt.

by Miamaria Padlemia (noreply@blogger.com) at December 03, 2016 10:16 pm

Greenlandorbust.org
Greenland or Bust - Helen Wilson

3 Sea Kayaking Destinations That Should Be On Your Radar

This Blog can be found on Outdoor Research’s Verticulture site. Click HERE for the link. Thanks for reading! – Helen

by helen at December 03, 2016 07:29 pm

Pouls kajakblog
Jeg hedder Poul, og jeg er kajakoholiker! Denne blog - der mest er min egen dagbog over mit "kajakliv" - handler om mine kajakture og det udstyr jeg benytter mig af.

Decembertur

December kan sandelig også byde på flot vejr og fine kajakoplevelser.
Jan inviterede på tur. Jeg havde en aftale med en "brændestak"m ne den blev klaret, og lidt over middag  mødtes vi på Fjorden. Det er til at se på solhøjden at vi nærmer os solhverv.
Der var ikke meget blæst, så vi havde rigeligt overskud til at sidde og nyde de mange fugle, der holder til på fjordene.
Et par hejrer lod sig ikke gå på af vores tilstedeværelse. De ellers så sky dyr økonomiserer på kræfterne i den kolde tid
Vi rundede Karlsgab, og det var tid at gå i land.
De medbragte madpakker, müslibar, kaffe mm blev nydt i den varme sol - havde vi haft et par liggeunderlag med, kunne vi have snuppet en lille lur, så behageligt var det i solen. Heldigvis gjorde vi ikke det for to ørne fløj forbi ude på fjorden.
Efter at have sagt farvel til Jan ved Lindholm, fulgte jeg kysten tilbage til kanalen.
På et tidspunkt spottede den lyse plet på rumpen af en hjort og listede mig ind på. Helt inde på 5-6 m's afstand havde den ikke spottet mig. Mens jeg lå og nød synet rejste en anden hjort sig fra sivene. De fik nu øje på mig. kiggede nysgerrigt og gik stille og roligt ind i sivskoven.
Jeg roede også stille videre - og snuppede lige en lidt utraditionelt selfie

17 km

by Pouls kajakblog (noreply@blogger.com) at December 03, 2016 06:51 pm

Mike Jackson's Paddling Journal
A journal of my sea kayak trips.

December 3rd - Cadboro Bay (#115)

I led a group of ten SISKA paddlers for a morning paddle around the bay before our annual lunch party. There was a little wind in the forecast, but it was pretty calm in the bay. Lots of buffleheads and hooded mergansers around.
click to enlarge
7 km, YTD 975 km

by Mike J (noreply@blogger.com) at December 03, 2016 05:12 pm

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

c1880 "G.W." Etched Maliseet Paddle

The good folks at The Cherry Gallery have once again posted another vintage paddle find.  I always look forward to a new month in order to check out their lovely current selections postings. This one is utilitarian birch paddle with a simple flattened grip. Photos and their detailed description below...

Maliseet Canoe Paddle
Circa 1880
6" w, 66.75” h

This birch canoe paddle has the characteristic details of Native paddles including a wide, flat handle, chamfering along the edges of the neck, a square-to-round profile transition at the throat of the shaft, a center ridge extending from the lower shaft to the upper blade, and a graceful beavertail-shaped blade. It also has two incised lines on each side of the handle which is a minimalist decoration seen on other Maliseet paddles. It retains its original dark, worn surface. The blade is chipped along one edge. There are incised initials “G.W.” on the back side of the handle.



Grip closeups



Blade closeup including chipped side

The Cherry Gallery's new find reminded me of another "user" paddle that was also authenticated to be a utilitarian Maliseet item. Back in 2011, I was contacted by someone wanting to post about a circa 1900 paddle for sale in their collection (read full original post here).


Circa 1900 Maliseet Paddle


Diamond shaped secondary grip


This paddle had been appraised in 2007 by Donald Ellis, one of Canada's renowned experts on native art. It had also been identified as a Maliseet paddle by the Curator of Cultural History and Art at the New Brunswick Museum in Saint John. At one time someone painted it white, then green which the curator mentioned likely preserved the piece. Not sure about the fate of this one, but hopefully both paddles have gone to a good home.

by Murat (noreply@blogger.com) at December 03, 2016 10:12 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.

2016 Holiday Sale on A Paddler's Journey

It's holiday season again and I'm making it easier to purchase my kayaking memoir, A Paddler's Journey. If you haven't heard me talk about it before, the book tells my story as a kayaker, from a complete novice floundering in the surf and on the river, to a highly respected instructor and expedition paddler. It's about paddling, but really about the journey we all take in life to find what we love, to improve ourselves, and to come to peace with our place in the world. Even if you've never touched a blade to the water you'll understand the action and recognize the lessons learned.

There are a couple different ways to purchase the book in print or electronic form, but the sale prices won't last forever. If you purchase a print copy through the CreateSpace site (a division of Amazon) and use the code XUW6M6ZV you'll get $3.00 off the cover price. That makes it only $9.99!



And if you want a signed copy you can order that through my website. You can even tell me what you want on the inscription and have me mail it directly to someone special as a gift. I have limited stock on hand so first come first serve for Christmas gifts. You'll need to order by 12/15/15 in order to make sure it gets there in time. And if you order in December I'll even through in a free copy of my Paddle California DVD, highlighting some of the best kayaking our wonderful state has to offer.

(with free Paddle California DVD)


The digital version is only available at Amazon and at $2.99  - but for one weekend it's FREE! (only through 12/5/16)




And if you've already read the book, let me know what you thought - I love to get feedback. You can always leave a comment, or if you want to share your thoughts with the rest of the world, consider writing a quick review. (Reviews also help drive Amazon search engines, so just by leaving one you'll help other people find the book)




And for those who missed it the first time, here's the trailer if you want more info on the book itself:



by Bryant Burkhardt (noreply@blogger.com) at December 03, 2016 09:53 am

josebelloseakayaking

Presentación de los instructores del Simposium Internacional KDM 2017Pagaia

Otra buena idea de los chicos del Pagaia, organizadores del Simposium Internacional KDM 2017, los instructores nos presentamos personalmente (pica)





by Jose Bello (noreply@blogger.com) at December 03, 2016 09:15 am

December 02, 2016

Björn Thomasson Design

Ambitiöst!

På Goods Home Design finns det inget som heter "Too much". Skall man göra något gör men det ordentligt. 

(Hmm, gamla Passaten har ju med åren fått några små märken i plåten på parkeringplatser – kanske dags att go bananas med plywoodskivor och trälister. Njae, kanske inte ändå ;-)

Bilden från Goods Home Design (via Dan Caouette på Kayakforum)

 

 

by Björn Thomasson at December 02, 2016 08:09 am

Frogma
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!)

Erie Canal Day 4 - Fairport to Newark

Rainy-morning breakfast

Eastbound, locks 30 and 29. 17.3 nautical miles.

10/13/16 - The day began with rain, so we slept in and then just lazed in bed for a while enjoying the sound of the rain on the cabin top for a while before we went for our morning ablutions. Back on the boat, TQ asked me what I was thinking of for breakfast and I said "How does French toast, chorizo, and eggs sound?" and surprise, surprise he was OK with that. I even customized our French toast - the grocery store where we'd picked up our provisions had King's Hawaiian dinner rolls, which I of course insisted on getting, and I made my French toast with a couple of those, and TQ's with sourdough (he's lucky, he hasn't got half the sweet tooth I do). Came out delicious! And yes, that's real NY state maple syrup. 

We finally got underway around noon, by which time the rain had mostly stopped. It stayed overcast for a while, but the wind picked up and it gradually turned into yet another lovely day. 


Eastbound now, back where we came from.

Our first stop for the day was at the Mid-Lakes Marina, which Cruise-USA had recommended as a good place to stop for fuel; we'd been told that the fuel gauge was accurate, and it wasn't giving us any cause for concern but we were getting into the range of engine hours at which point we'd been told it was a good idea to refill, so topping off here made sense. The marina manager was a very nice lady, this was not our most graceful docking and she didn't raise so much as an eyebrow, just caught our lines, gave us a friendly greeting, and asked how she could help us today. We got the gas, we also decided to go ahead and pay for a pump-out here (most of the towns have free or very cheap pumpout facilities but we just figured we might as do that too while we were there, one less thing to worry about), I got a few more postcards, and then we headed on our way. Good recommendation.

This turns out to be one of the places where you can rent one of these English-style narrowboats, and they also offered day cruises on the Emita II. Seemed to be a nice operation. 

My journal says "No problems at Lock 30" - I think we may have been a little unnerved by our klutzy docking at the marina because by this time we were fairly comfortable with this procedure, so it's kind of odd I even mentioned it. Went fine though. No particular mention of (or even photos of) Lock 29, I may at this point have been feeling like I had enough lock pictures. 

Another heron. So many herons! 
Old Erie Canal Lock 60 park, with remnants of Erie Canal, version 2. This was cool enough that I'm going to give it its own post, we'd spotted it as we were heading for Fairport the day before but since we were meeting folks there we didn't want to stop; today we had a shorter distance to travel and no particular time we had to be anywhere, so we did.  


We got to Newark a little after 5, went for a little stroll after getting ourselves all sorted out. We met one very friendly local - he was sitting on those steps looking very photogenic, but when I stopped to take a picture of him he came right over to say hello. 

We just wandered around for a while

Came back to find the moon rising - getting closer to full. 

End of another fine day.

by noreply@blogger.com (bonnie) at December 02, 2016 04:30 am

December 01, 2016

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.

My oldest pal, and co-adventurer...


Andrew Rippin PhD, FRSC was the much-loved former Dean of the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Victoria, and one of the of the world's leading and most respected scholars. Most recently, Andrew was Professor Emeritus of Islamic History at the University of Victoria. He was a renowned specialist in the Qur'an and the history of its interpretation. He was also the Senior Research Fellow - Qur’anic Studies, Institute of Ismaili Studies, in London. In academic circles, he's been referred to as a "titan". But to me...for fifty-three years, he was "Andy", my oldest pal, and co-adventurer. 

Andy passed away, from cancer, on November 29th. We enjoyed so many adventures together over the years...back country skiing and mountain biking in the Rockies, trail running, sea kayaking, hiking, and exploring. We discussed weighty subjects, philosophical and theological - until it all went over my head! And we enjoyed, as much as anything, talking about the next adventure, kayaks, classic VW vans, rock 'n roll, our now-famous drive to California in 1971..and how my Harris tweed jacket looked much better on him. Through much of this, our patient spouses just rolled their eyes. ;)


Here's a taste of one of the adventures we enjoyed, several years ago...our circumnavigation, by sea kayak, of Salt Spring Island. Dreamers, we had thought about paddling around Vancouver Island, but felt we should get a more moderate paddle completed first. ;)


Here's how it went...

DAY 1 


Total Distance: 20.03 km (Maple Bay to Wallace Island)
Moving Time: 3 hr 19 minutes 
Moving Average Speed: 6 km / hr

With Salt Spring Island so close at hand, it has long invited us to plan a circumnavigation by sea kayak. Estimating an easy trip of about 80 kilometers, the logistical challenges were simply finding a "window" of three or four days and discerning where camping would be possible. The latter was, for a while, the most illusive. Surprisingly, there is really only one (authorized) camp site that is easily accessible by kayak and that is Musgrave Landing, at the south end of Sansum Narrows. The other camp sites would be on Wallace Island and Prevost Island, both short and easy crossings. The most logical direction of travel would be clockwise, so that the last day would be a short one - ahh, more time to "savour" the previous days!


With my usual paddling partner (Joan) serving as "support crew" and looking longingly after us, Andy and I left Maple Bay around 10 in the morning under grey skies and drizzle. By the time we had reached the beach at Vesuvius (on Salt Spring), the sun was shining and after a short replenishment break we headed up the coast. Amazingly, the GPS recorded a maximum speed of 10.8 km / hr - our sleek crafts "turbo boosted" at times by following wind and waves! Soon after 1300 hrs, we had reached Idol Island, a most photogenic little islet - and a perfect place to stretch legs and feast on homemade fruit leather and Logan bread. Rounding Southey Point, on the north end of Salt Spring, the wind picked up and the crossing to the campsite on Chivers Point on Wallace Island was "lively" with our loaded kayaks enjoying the occasional "plunge" into the waves as produced and delivered by the brisk quartering wind!


At Wallace, we met six other kayakers, the only ones we were to share a campsite with on this trip. The month of May really is a good time to plan such a paddle - usually good weather and availability at the limited campsites. 




Wallace Island Marine Park is a great place to overnight and it even offers an 8 km (return) trail run. We had both brought running shoes for such a possibility - but you'd better watch out for the rocks and roots! They have a way of tripping you up!

Day 2


Total Distance: 20.7 km (Wallace Island to Prevost Island)

Moving Time: 3 hr 27 minutes
Moving Average Speed: 6 km / hr

After a hearty breakfast of oatmeal (and superb coffee) on Day 2, we left Chivers Point and entered the Trincomali Channel with the tide, calm seas, and magnificent sunshine all going our way. Galiano Island is another short crossing to the northeast - tempting, but another day. In what seemed like no time at all, we were back on the shores of Salt Spring near the Fernwood dock and heading towards our day's destination at the end of James Bay on Prevost Island. Throughout the morning, seals would pop up and then, with barely a ripple, disappear into the depths. Massive kelp, flowing in the current beneath our hulls, affirmed that once again, we were receiving a little supplemental "ride" from the tide.


Exactly 4 hours and 30 minutes after leaving our campsite on Wallace, we entered James Bay, where a tall ship, the S.A.L.T.S. Pacific Grace, was anchored while its young "crew" were enthusiastically enjoying a little shore time - and clearly burning off a lot of energy! Prevost offers an excellent venue for camping in a old orchard in addition to several "premier" possibilities along the point where we were delighted to find the equivalent of buried treasure - an old folding table and two very weathered deck chairs - one of which was barely held together with duct tape! An absolute luxury to behold in a primitive campsite - who needs gold and silver!




The Prevost camp site, part of the Gulf Islands National Park, also offers an excellent hike out to Peile Point where you can view Mayne, Galiano, Salt Spring, and Wallace Islands - and get cell service to tell everyone back home what they are missing!

Day 3


Total Distance: 28.07 km (Prevost Island to Musgrave Landing)

Moving Time: 4 hr 37 minutes
Moving Average Speed: 6.1 km / hr

The last full day began with seas so calm our images were reflected in detail in the water beside us. The skies were clear and there was a "soft" feel to the air. Paddling the shoreline of Prevost, Secret and Ackland Islands reveals a serene beauty that lulls you into a meditative state of mind - the "carved" sandstone, the exotic arbutus trees, the eagles, the warm sun, and the even rhythm of the paddle strokes. 




The two and a half kilometer crossing back to Salt Spring and then along the shore of Ruckle Park brought us into the mouth of Fulford Harbour where we looked forward to a fortifying bowl of soup on Russell Island and the opportunity to stretch our legs.

The views from the south end of Salt Spring are simply magnificent - in front, the Saanich Peninsula with the snow-capped Olympic mountains beyond. Behind, Mt Baker which must be one of the most mystical and snowy mountains in the world, rising above the Gulf Island hills. Rounding Cape Keppel, you look into the wide expanse of Cowichan Bay behind which rise the snow covered tops of our own Vancouver Island mountains - it just doesn't get much better! Almost six hours after leaving our camp site on Wallace Island, we came ashore near Musgrave Landing to the primitive campsite made possible in part through the efforts of the Salt Spring Paddling Club. After twenty-eight kilometers it was time to give our kayaks a rest! A short hike takes the paddler, who still has energy to burn, into the small community of Musgrave Landing where there is a government dock and a few homes. A delicious meal of spicy Indian cuisine and a cup of hot tea topped off another perfect day in this paddling paradise.


Day 4


Total Distance: 12.57 km (Musgrave Landing to Maple Bay)

Moving Time: 2 hr 11 minutes
Moving Average Speed: 5.7 km / hr

The last day began with our usual 0530 start and by 0730 we had prepared and eaten breakfast, packed up gear and tents, built a temporary launch ramp and an inukshuk, and launched our kayaks for the remaining twelve kilometers or so back to Maple Bay. We savoured the remaining paddle strokes and felt most fortunate to have had the opportunity share in this small "expedition" together. There would be lots of stories to tell, gear lists to fine tune, further adventures to plan - but for now there was simply a feeling of deep satisfaction and gratitude for having had the opportunity to connect so closely with the natural world for just a few days. 




The energy of the paddle eddies left behind will have joined with the currents and the tides and will remain for this writer, a small symbol of the interrelationship of all life and all energy on this fragile and so very beautiful island planet.

Aristotle was right, "adventure is worthwhile."

Thank you, Andy...we sure had a lot of good times together, didn't we? And here's the thing, "the adventure continues". I promise you that. Thank you, Beth, for sharing the love of your life with us.


Andrew Rippin PhD FRSC
Peace and love, my friend. :)

Duncan and Joan.


by Duncan and Joan Barwise (noreply@blogger.com) at December 01, 2016 08:59 pm

November 30, 2016

kajaknördar – paddling verkar kul
tid utomhus räknas. Tid i kajaken räknas dubbelt

Der ingen skulle tru at nokon kunne bu

Bo långt ute i avlägsen skärgård eller långt ute i väglöst land

Bo långt ute i avlägsen skärgård eller långt ute i väglöst land

Så otroligt många koola ställen människor bor på. Programmet Der ingen skulle tru at nokon kunne bu har gått i ganska många säsonger och besöker folk i norge som bor lite, eller i många fall, väldigt mycket off. Långt bort från sunkiga städer och ofta långt bort från allt möjligt annat också. Väldigt ofta nära, eller mitt i, mycket fin natur.

Har även gått på SVT, Där ingen skulle tro att någon kunde bo, fast där är det lite sämre med avsnitt på SVT Play. På NRK verkar alla avsnitt ligga kvar.

Superinspirerande! Lätt att bli flyttsugen. Hade varit kul med nåt liknande från sverige.

https://tv.nrk.no/serie/der-ingen-skulle-tru-at-nokon-kunne-bu

der-ingen

Inlägget Der ingen skulle tru at nokon kunne bu dök först upp på kajaknördar - paddling verkar kul.

by Erik Sjöstedt at November 30, 2016 08:32 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.

Hidden Beauty of Port Orford

Port Orford

I’ve only been through Port Orford a few times. Blink twice and you might very well miss it; 90 seconds on Hwy 101 will take you right through it. However, what it lacks in size it more than makes up in charm. What’s always drawn me is it’s marina and the unique method it has […]

The post Hidden Beauty of Port Orford appeared first on Essex Media & Explorations.

by Steve Weileman at November 30, 2016 04:21 pm

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

Historic Paddle Photo: Admiral Digby Museum Collection

A photograph in the graphic collections of the Admiral Digby Museum in Nova Scotia features a paddler about to embark in his canoe. The closed gunnel canvas canoe is a real beauty. Likewise, the paddle has pretty shape with a simple flattened grip.

Title: Man standing by boat looking at it. 
Admiral Digby Museum
Accession number: 1980.25.59
As per their Educational Usage Policy

by Murat (noreply@blogger.com) at November 30, 2016 09:01 am

Frogma
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!)

Erie Canal Day 3 - Lyons to Fairport


Morning in Lyons


Day 3, 10/12/16 Another unhurried start in Lyons, breakfast, hot showers in the very nice boater facilities provided by the Lyons Fire Department, and a walk into town to get something or other (oh, I think this was the day we plugged the galley sink and the one thing we couldn't find on the boat when we needed it was a plunger, so we went to a hardware store to get one), then we set out for the town of Fairport.

It was another beautiful day, we cruised around 25 miles and went through locks 27, 28 A and B, 29, and 30. I did a little bit of a journal entry partway through the trip, saying "Not to curse us since we haven't hit 30 yet but we are getting reasonably good at these". I also mentioned that the weather was continuing to be spectacular and that there were more jumping fish and herons and kingfishers and some nice foliage too - that was about all I got in at that point before something (possibly Lock 30) came up to distract me. We made good time and got to Fairport by 3:30, which gave us a little time to relax before Dave and Lenore, who we'd sailed with in the US Virgin Islands back in January 2015; we did a little walking around scoping things out, checked in with the dockmaster and paid our exorbitant docking fee - seven dollars for our little 24 foot cruiser, no, not $7 a foot, $7 for the whole boat for the whole night!

After that we went back to the boat and got out our books, but that's when I remembered I'd brought a sketch pad along, and with a bridge quite nearby and the canal not being very wide here,  this was a perfect setup for actually trying to draw our boat, so I did, and was happy enough with the result that I'll share it again. :) Mostly when I draw anything that's more than an actual doodle (all of my artsy stuff gets labelled "doodles" here, but there's real doodles and then there's the stuff I actually spend some time on) I'm copying from a picture so it was interesting to actually draw our boat from life, and with something of a time limit too (the thing I find the most frustrating about my attempts at drawing and painting is how unbelievably slow I am, so doing this with the clock sort of ticking was a good little challenge). 

Lenore and Dave showed up right on time - I think it was 5 - one of the things we'd done in the scoping-out-the-area process was get some more beer, because I'd envisioned us maybe having some cheese and crackers on board before we headed out and I wanted to be able to offer some nice local beer, but as it turns out, four adults on this boat turns out to make for a very crowded Nomad, so we dropped that idea and just showed them the boat (which took all of 5 minutes and even that was kind of superfluous as it turned out Lenore's dad had done the exact same kind of trip as we were doing at some point, so they'd seen it before) and then headed out for the fun trip to Powell's that I'd already shared as my Halloween post. After that, we came back for dinner at Mulconry's Pub, which had some really good Irish pub grub (I had a steak and mushroom pie that was just wonderful), then repaired to the Fairport Brewing Company for one more round, they have a great setup there for pleasant Fall evenings with an outdoor seating area where there are tables with firepits to keep you nice and warm. It was great catching up, I think the only thing that could've improved that would've been if there were marshmallows to roast over the firepits. I suppose that could get messy, though.

Another fine day on the canal. This was the westernmost spot on our travels.

As usual, click on any picture for a better view, but I did put some captions and additional info that you might find interesting in amongst the pictures this time

 Fire department heading out for a call - boater facilities for Lyons are here in the firehouse.

More morning in Lyons shots as we go to the hardware store

Lock 27, leaving Lyons

There were tubs of peppermint at the stairs up to the firehouse, prominently labelled "Peppermint"; I didn't recognize the significance of that until we were leaving town and saw the big sign - remember how I was learning about each of these canal towns having a manufacturing specialty of one sort or another? It turns out that Lyons was "Once the Peppermint Capital of the World". 

There's another canal boat,
 This old tug caught my eye - turns out she's caught my friend Will's eye too, more than once, her name is Grouper and Will's done a whole series of posts about her over on Tugster

Cruising, lovely day, lots of people out fishing

Lock 28 B - going up

Newark, NY, loved these murals they had on the bridge - wish the brush hadn't been allowed to grow up over the one on the side, it's neat how it shows a mule team walking right where the towpath would've been.

More of these later in the trip.

Foliage

More Foliage

Heron!

Speaking of towpath, a lot of the old towpaths are now maintained as recreational trails, and there were tons of bikers and hikers and joggers out enjoying the day. This would be another great way to explore the area - you can cycle town to town, inn to inn - I'm not even a cyclist and that sounds like a lot of fun to me.  

The railroad follows a good bit of the Erie Canal route; I wish I could've gotten a shot of one of the Amtrak trains coming through because I'd seen a canal boat from the train when I went home from Michigan that way during the summer and it was fun now to be seeing the train from a boat - they all came through too fast though, so this CSX locomotive will have to do. 

Rower a little ways outside of Fairport


Same rower in Fairport heading home again.


Fairport foliage

Canal from the lift bridge - we're on the left, up by the smokestack and the reddest tree (that's the one shown above). 


This is when I went across the canal to draw our boat - didn't have time to do the whole scene but at least I took a picture. 

A couple more pix of Fairport's  waterfront, and that's it for today. 

by noreply@blogger.com (bonnie) at November 30, 2016 04:30 am

November 29, 2016

Mountain and Sea Scotland
Hillwalking and Sea Kayaking in Scotland

Reflecting on Loch Laggan

Towards the end of October, with a spell of several months working away from home looming, I was keeping an eye on the weather charts for a day of settled weather to go paddling. A forecast day of very light winds and dry conditions looked ideal, so Allan and I discussed where we might go. The simple choice would have been the Moray Firth, but the autumn colours blazing across Scotland tempted us to look for a location to combine a day paddle with the autumnal trees.



Our choice was Loch Laggan, a fresh water loch a couple of hours drive from home.  I've paddled here before in autumn when the colours were at their best..... we hoped for something similar. Actually this was the second freshwater loch I'd paddled in a couple of weeks - but more about the other one in a future post.

Grey and misty weather on the drive across wasn't greatly encouraging, but the mist was beginning to break up as we unloaded our boats by the roadside just west of the car park for Creag Meagaidh National Nature Reserve.  The comparatively dry summer had resulted in quite low water levels, as a result the carry was quite a bit longer than I remembered!






Conditions were rapidly improving as we started out, initially heading southwest along the northern shore under a vast cloudscape.  The A86 road runs close to the shore, but for almost the entire length of the loch is hidden from the water and we were hardly conscious of it.






The mist broke up rapidly to give views up to some of Creag Meagaidh's southern corries above woods of birch, oak and rowan.  Warm sunshine began to light the scene and we were soon thinking about removing a layer of clothing.






Quite suddenly, the breeze died completely to leave very calm water - with no coastal swell the change was rapid and noticeable. Ahead we had a long view down Glen Spean to the distant Grey Corries.  Kayaking on freshwater lochs may lack some of the vibrant interest of the coastal environment, but being surrounded by mountains does offer a great perspective.







We arrived at the southwestern end of the loch and landed on a large, flat beach criss-crossed with the tracks of deer, herons and geese - but devoid of human footprints.  We found a spot of grass to sit on and took first luncheon while enjoying the views along the length of the loch and across to Creag Meagaidh's outlier spurs.  We were in no hurry at all, the pleasant weather and the view suited the relaxed pace of the day perfectly.





Leaving the beach we started back along the southern shore of the loch, which has an estate track but no public road.  The colours in some of the Birch trees were absolutely stunning.

Allan is a keen motorcyclist and had recently done a long route across the Highlands including circuits of several lochs.  He pointed out that in the vast majority of cases the main roads pass along the north shores of lochs while the southern shores have minor roads, if there's any road at all.  We speculated that this might be due to the north shores getting more sunlight in the winter, so being snow-free for longer than the southern shores which would be in shade?




While we were reflecting on the geography of Highland roads, we were treated to some superb reflections right alongside our boats - it seemed a shame to disturb the effect with the ripples from our boats!

by Ian Johnston (noreply@blogger.com) at November 29, 2016 08:54 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.

Coastal Winter Storm [Flickr]

Essex Explorations posted a photo:

Coastal Winter Storm

Sunset after a winter storm on the Washington coast. Took this a few year back while paddling down the coast looking for tsunami debris.

by Essex Explorations at November 29, 2016 06:17 pm

Horisont Kajak
Kajak i Stockholms Skärgård

Tropical September trip

Tropical September Kayaking Trip in the Stockholm Archipelago

We went kayaking a tropical September weekend. Good friends, soft rocks and a calm sea. What else do you need to be happy?

We open for rental again in May 2017. Book your self guided kayaking adventure in the Stockholm Archipelago now. 

Inlägget Tropical September trip dök först upp på Horisont Kajak.

by Carin at November 29, 2016 01:58 pm

November 28, 2016

Jersey Kayak Adventures
Sea Kayaking tours and courses in Jersey

Paddle away with a 30% saving in 2017

Buy our Christmas gift vouchers to give as festive presents, or treat yourself. Save 30%

by derek at November 28, 2016 05:24 pm

kajaknördar – paddling verkar kul
tid utomhus räknas. Tid i kajaken räknas dubbelt

Det var en gång…

… en liten tunn pojke och en liten tunn flicka som blev ett par idag för 25 år sedan 🙂 De hade träffats mer eller mindre i ett mörkrum i bottenvåningen på ett stort tidningsförlag i södra Helsingborg. Ja, alltså tidningar på papper var är en typ av gammelmedia som många bläddrade i förr 🙂 Pojken fotograferade en del och tjejan framkallade bilder.

När vi la ut bilden ovan på facebook kommenterade en före detta kollega (Lars Kjellberg) med ”Eller som någon fotograf i huset uttryckte det när Erik gick före framkallningskön: Måste man gifta sig med framkallerskan för att få något gjort här?” Vet inte om det var så pass men bra blev det 🙂

Rätt koolt att ha hängt ihop med en annan person i mer än halva livet. Dessutom tänkte vi försöka fortsätta med det ett tag till!

Numera har vi, alltså Erik & Pia, alias pojken bivit mer gube och tjejen mer guma och den där tanigheten har nog avtagit markant. Men rund och spolformad är också en form.

Fotointresset håller i alla fall till viss del i sig. Har nog ökat markant för Pia sen november 1991 och har nog avtagit en del för Erik men en och annan bild blir det i alla fall då och då.

Hoppas vi ses på böljorna blå, på en skärgårdskobbe eller på en stig in the skog

Vigselfoto under en gatlykta utanför Ängelholms stadshus 2008. Inget fånigt tillrättalagt bröllopsfoto. Kan själv, keep it simple :)

Vigselfoto under en gatlykta utanför Ängelholms stadshus 2008. Inget  tillrättalagt bröllopsfoto. Kan själv, keep it simple. Hur svårt måste det vara? 🙂

 

Inlägget Det var en gång… dök först upp på kajaknördar - paddling verkar kul.

by Pia Sjöstedt at November 28, 2016 02:38 pm

Biking and Hiking and Kayaking
Ramblings of an outdoor person trapped indoors.

Thanksgiving Calorie Cancellation via Capital Crescent/C&O Canal and Catoctin Traipsing

calories need to burn off thanksgiving meal infographic

A fine Thanksgiving was had by all - too fine. We only had three days to work off those calories, which conservatively had to be at least 2x the 1330 calories that wimpy pilgrim ate in the above infographic.

Delcarlia

Carole and I started the battle on Friday am on a cool and overcast morning by first stopping at Qualia Coffee in the Petworth neighborhood of DC for a caffeine infusion and then parking at the Little Falls Stream Valley trailhead off of Massachusetts Avenue. From there it was about 2.5 miles through the edge of NW DC on the trail system, following by some sidewalk walking through the Brookmont neighborhood to cross the Clara Barton Road and get to the towpath. About 2.5 miles of towpath walking got us to the Fletcher's Boathouse area that has restrooms that meet Carole's stringent standards. We then walked back up the Capital Crescent trail for a very nice urban 7 mile walk, which almost cancelled out the gluten free chocolate coconut bar we shared at Qualia.

Catoctin

On Saturday, I was ground crew for Carole getting in an 8 mile training run around BWI airport. On Sunday, Carl and I did the southern most 6 miles of the Catoctin Trail west of Frederick MD. Since we did it from north to south, the first 3 miles are downhill but then you have to gain back most of that altitude - twice. This is a beautiful section of the Catoctin Trail, though we have had hardly any rain for months and the streams were not as burbly as usual. A few mountain bikers were out, on the southern end many dog walkers.

20161127_115252

I always forget about the last climb going in this direction - I always think the parking lot is just around the corner from this nice flat section, but nooooooooooooooo - about a 3/4 mile long climb after this.

by John P. at November 28, 2016 01:43 pm

November 27, 2016

Mike Jackson's Paddling Journal
A journal of my sea kayak trips.

November 26&27 - Surge Narrows (#s 113&114)

I went up to Campbell River to stay with Alan and spend two days paddling the wave at Surge Narrows. On Saturday we with Walter and on Sunday Walter and Craig. The 3 or 4 of us had he wave to ourselves, and the wave was pretty friendly throughout our time there. I learned a few more things about staying on the wave and had some wonderful rides. I figured out that a 5 minute ride at 6 knots is like riding a surfing wave for 1 km! Conditions were pretty good with very little wind and some light rain. A Steller sea lion checked us out at one point and gave us a look that made me think we were hogging his wave! You can see the current was still fast as we returned from the wave both days, but the tide had risen to the point where the wave had flattened out. Hope to head back up again soon!
click to enlarge
8 km, YTD 968 km

by Mike J (noreply@blogger.com) at November 27, 2016 09:43 pm

Björn Thomasson Design

Najad – Asbjørn Solberg

Najad – Asbjørn Solberg

"Hei.

I dag ble min Najad sjøsatt for første gang.

Jeg er veldig fornøyd med kajakkens design, den er stødig, går godt i vannet og fungerer slik Thomasson hevder. 

Jeg fikk prøvd den i ganske brukbare bølger og det var full match allerede første gang, jeg fikk ingen overraskelser hverken fra siden, skrått bakfra eller rett akter. Alle kajakker greier vel motsjø ganske bra så det tar jeg mer som en selvfølge at den var god. Jeg holdt grei fart i motvind og motsjø, kajakken skal kunne gi brukbar toppfart og marsjfart men den krever en rimelig sterk padler på toppfart.

Jeg padlet en 10 kilometers tur og merker at det går fint å holde ganske god marsjfart, en god del høyere enn på mine andre kajakker. Dette fikk jeg ikke prøvd så godt da det var grov sjø i starten av turen, det ble ikke stille før jeg kom tilbake.

Kajakken er utstyrt med 3 skott (inkl. stort dagrom) så den ble 1 kg tyngre enn jeg hadde håpet, 21 kg, det er jo likevel lett til å være en så stor kajakk fult utrustet kajakk. Den virker særdeles robust.

Mvh.
Asbjørn Solberg"

by Björn Thomasson at November 27, 2016 08:28 pm

PaddlingLight.com
Lightweight canoe and kayak travel

A Simple Menu for a 12,000-mile Backcountry Journey

dave and amy freeman kayak on Lake Superior

On backcountry kayak camping trips, a varied and robust menu seems a given. There are dozens of camping cookbooks devoted to the topic, and 100s and 100s of recipes and even magazine columns devoted to cooking tasty treats while on the trail. All that food planning and preparation takes time and effort, so you might be tempted to ignore all that advice and just pack mac and cheese. National Geographic Adventurers of the Year Amy and Dave Freeman did just that on their 3-year, 12,000-mile kayak, canoe and dogsled journey from Seattle, Washington to Key West, Florida. They ditched the fancy menus and simplified each of their daily meals to just one of two choices.

“We found that we preferred this simplicity for the sake of easier packing, shopping and traveling. What I mean by traveling is that we didn’t have to put much thought into our meals and could focus more on the trip itself. Believe it or not, neither of us got sick of the limited menu,” said Amy.

For breakfast, when they had enough time to boil water, they cooked oatmeal, otherwise granola. Occasionally, when wind bound, they’d splurge and cooked bannock. To spice up the meals, they carried raisins, dried fruit, nuts, powdered milk and peanut butter.

Dave and Amy Freeman paddling canoes in the BWCAFor lunch, they ate tortillas filled with peanut butter and jelly or a meat and cheese. For the meat, they’d either pack summer sausage or tuna. Just like breakfast, they’d carry along something to spice up the meal. Their favorite condiment was mustard. Lunches can consume lots of time, because you have to land your kayak, get your lunch out, make your lunch, put everything away and launch again. When paddling big miles, paddling time is of the essence. To save time, the Dave kept the lunches packed inside of a dry bag at his feet. That kept it easy to access and even saved time from having to open and repack a hatch.

“Our two dinners were really exciting! Pasta or rice and beans,” said Amy.

To add variety, the couple varied sauces. For the pasta, they’d make either a tomato or cheese sauce, and for the rice and beans, the variety came from the choice of beans and spices. They ate black beans and hot sauce most often, but would sometimes eat lentils and curry. Vegetables, dehydrated before the trip, and textured vegetable protein (TVP) were added to bulk up the dish. When the couple paddled in more populated areas, such as down the east coast, they packed canned and fresh vegetables. Carrots, garlic, onions and cabbage lasted the longest in the hatches, but they occasionally carried broccoli and green peppers.

Every morning after breakfast, they rationed out ready-to-eat energy bars. The Freeman’s favorites included Clif Bars, Shot Bloks and Macro Bars. They ate granola bars, gorp and Pop Tarts when running low on Clif Bars. Because they could easily reach these snacks throughout the day, lunch became less important.

While reminiscing about big water days, Amy said, “There were times when we would have to just keep paddling due to big swell, limited places to land or plain old crummy weather. Having an ample supply of accessible snacks was crucial on these days because we might find ourselves stopping for a very late lunch or not stopping at all.”

Even the Freeman’s spice kit was simple. It contained basil, oregano, curry powder, a bottle of hot sauce and parmesan cheese. In the kit, they also carried flour, baking powder and a small bottle of oil. The flour and oil allowed them to make bannock or bread an occasional fish. During parts of their journey, they caught and ate fish regularly.

U.S. Forest Service fire grill in the BWCAEating like this allowed the Freemans to concentrate on route challenges, making camp and the physical exertion of the day instead of preparing food. The menu was flexible enough to adjust to the number of calories used at different parts of the trip. During the canoe and kayak legs of the trip, they carried 1.75 pounds of food per person per day. For dog sledding, they increased the food allowance to 2.5 pounds and included more fatty foods. This menu was also cheaper, simpler and saved both space and weight. The most complicated food preparation involved putting the beans into a GSI Fairshare Mug in the morning to allow them to hydrate and then boiling water at dinner. This saved time at night to carry out other chores such as journaling and updating their expedition website.

When asked about special food treats, Amy said, “We wouldn’t do this every day, but a good bar of chocolate, rationed out piece by piece was a much anticipated dessert.” Much like the rest of their menu, the simplicity of rationing chocolate kept it interesting.

While this menu seems simple, the combination of spice choices kept it interesting. Could the Freemans pair the menu down further? Amy said, “If we had to limit ourselves further, we would both choose granola for breakfast and rice and beans for dinner. I think I really would be okay with eating these things every single day. This answer is based not only on taste, but the energy we get and how we feel after eating these meals.”

While Dave and Amy didn’t simplify down to just mac and cheese, their simple menu of only two choices for each meal, kept them fed well throughout their 12,000 odyssey across North America. The only downside: they couldn’t write a cookbook based on their menu.

The post A Simple Menu for a 12,000-mile Backcountry Journey appeared first on PaddlingLight.com. You can leave a comment by clicking here: A Simple Menu for a 12,000-mile Backcountry Journey.

by Bryan Hansel at November 27, 2016 05:51 pm

Frogma
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!)

Escape Part 2 - Sebago to Gerritson Creek, 11/26/16


Friday was pretty low-key as our Escapes from Black Friday go - TQ had things to do around the house so I just went to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden for a couple of hours. I've been much less of a regular visitor there since they suspended their science program in 2013 (I do wonder how they are doing on making progress on their promise to restore it, the article I linked to was pretty much the last thing I heard on it), but the southern end that had been under construction for a while opened this year and friends from Sebago said it was worth a visit. I was originally planning to go for another walk around Prospect Park but I've done that a few times recently and the amount of time I had was good for a visit to the garden, and it was pleasant. Weather was nice in the morning but turned gray and drizzly just about the time I went out, but I was glad to get out for at least a little while.

My more serious outdoor fun for Thanksgiving weekend had been planned for about a week, when I went out for dinner with clubmate Ilene, who was looking for people to paddle with on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. I was up for that and TQ was too, and we were joined by another "regular suspect" clubmate, Margrethe, and then it was a lovely surprise to get to the club and find Dave and Ollie, old friends from my Pier 63 days, getting ready to paddle. It was a total coincidence that they were there, but we consolidated our groups and had a lovely paddle out to Gerritsen Beach and back. It's a 12 mile round trip and there was a pretty serious NW wind (forecast said 11 to 15 gusting to 20 and I'd say that's about exactly what it was, only not so much at the 11 end of things) so it was a headwind all the way home once we turned the corner going into the bay, bit of a slog but I'm still so out of shape, I need to do more challenging paddles like this more. We set out under clouds, stopped for snacks at Gerritson Beach, where the sun came out and the day turned absolutely glorious.

There's a 2 hour paddle and leftover potluck at the club today -- I'm skipping the paddle today, I feel like yesterday was enough to tide me over for a day or two (OK, plus I'm just not ready to pack up and put on all the gear AGAIN, this weekend's weather and water temperatures call for full winter gear, sigh).

A few pictures from yesterday's paddle - it was a fast group so I didn't take as as many as I sometimes do, but it got so pretty I had to stop for a few!

As usual, click on any photo for a slideshow view.

by noreply@blogger.com (bonnie) at November 27, 2016 04:14 pm

The Ikkatsu Project
In the Service of the Ocean

Black Friday

When Black Friday comes
I stand down by the door
And catch the grey men when they
Dive from the fourteenth floor
– Steely Dan

I took advantage of the #optoutside idea and didn’t buy anything on the busiest shopping day of the year. (Nothing I couldn’t eat or drink, anyway.)

Something to think about as this season of consuming gets into high gear. Our overall rate of consumption is so far out past sustainable that this might actually be a good time to examine wasteful spending habits, especially as they involve items that don’t last, that aren’t necessary and that are often made of plastic. Or wrapped in plastic.

Seattle is a beautiful place to paddle on a cool winter evening. The Arboretum, houseboats, Gasworks Park and the entire Seattle skyline… no lines, no hassle. The way to spend Black Friday, for sure.

by Ken Campbell at November 27, 2016 03:49 pm

vincent kayak

droplets and wavelets

well i s'pose the waves 
were larger than wavelets
.....but the drops were very fine
in the clear evening light 
hence the alliterative title





or

by vincent (noreply@blogger.com) at November 27, 2016 01:46 am

November 26, 2016

Travels with Paddles
a sea kayaking journal

On the grid again

It has been a very active two weeks for me. First I was on a Wilderness First Responder course in Scotland. A full-on week of intensive classes daily from 08:45 until 21:00; with breakfast before and the shortest of lunches and dinners inbetween.

Last week I spent a week on-board a yacht for a Competent Crew / Day Skipper course around Anglesey with some very interesting and challenging conditions... The few moments off AND with internet I could not be bothered other than essential e-mailing. More about those courses at a later date.

Saturday in Anglesey with a georgeous sunny and windless day. What else then the Skerries? I joined Tavy, Misha, Geth, Rachel & Paul for a paddle to the Skerries from Cemlyn and back.

@Peddelpraat WKC
I hope you all had a productive meeting for next years' Peddelpraat club trip calender! This is only the second time I had to miss this annual meeting in more than 15 years.

by noreply@blogger.com (Axel) at November 26, 2016 06:00 pm

SimonWillis.net
Triathlon, cycling, sea kayaking, swimming and life in the Scottish Highlands

A Fluro Bike Jacket That Fits - Pearl Izumi

I like riding and running in a fluorescent jacket.  I do not appreciate looking like a sack of spuds.

When I lived in the city and rode to work, a practical, large pull-over-everything commuter fluorescent jacket was perfect.

But riding for fun is different.  I want a waterproof jacket which breaths, keeps out water, fits snugly, packs small and looks good.

In this Pearl Izumi I think I've found it.  It's the Peal Izumi Elite WxB Waterproof Jacket in Screaming green which cost me £135.

The two-colour fluorescent panels of yellow and green looks good.  (Well, I think so).

It is cut to fit when on the bike, which also works for running.  That means it'll be a bit tight across the shoulders for everyday wear, but perfect when running and riding.


There are some reflective panels and pretty much nothing else. (cont)
That's a good thing.  There's no attempt to add needless bells and whistles to hit a price point.  I'm all for lightweight.


At this stage I've only used it in cold, dry weather.  Yeah, I know, not the best conditions in which to test a breathable waterproof.  It has been so cold I've barely worked up a sweat.  So let me tell you what I've found so far.

The fabric is Pearl Izumi's own WxB so it feels quite different to my other top end jackets which are GoreTex and fairly old.

It doesn't have the thick Goretex feeling of being  'bombproof' and that's a pleasant change.  It feels light and it rolls up small - to about the size of an orange, or given the colours, large lemon.

Note to Pearl Izumi - a mesh stuff sack would be nice.

I've considered some of the newer, ultra-light GoreTex jackets that pack exceptionally small.  I rejected them because, like the first Model-T Fords, they only seem to come in black.

I understand why some cyclists feel they shouldn't have to wear fluorescent kit.  However, I don't share their view.  I like wearing these bright colours, particularly on the roads around our highland home.


In low winter sun, drivers coming from a brightly lit section of road to an area of sudden deep shadow can find their vision compromised and that's dangerous on our narrow single-track roads.  With a whacking big slab of screaming green I leap out of the shadow.  Plus, as I say, I like the colours.

by Simon Willis (noreply@blogger.com) at November 26, 2016 01:41 pm

November 25, 2016

Frogma
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!)

Escape from Black Friday 2016



A variety of promising escape routes, all right here in Brooklyn! How convenient.

     O
:D />
0






by noreply@blogger.com (bonnie) at November 25, 2016 11:12 pm

Travels with Paddles
a sea kayaking journal

Day & Night Skipper

My upcoming sea kayaking trip with a team led by Justine Curgenven on the Antarctic Peninsula in February 2017 involves 3 to 5 days on the sailing yacht Spirit of Sydney out of Ushuaia and back.

I am not sure how I will cope with Drake Passage and life on a 60 ft. sailboat with a total crew of 9 people and watch duties. So I signed up for a Competent Crew / Day Skipper course with Plas Menai. While sailing and life on board would be new for me, at least the area would be familiar.

The week started with a lot more 'excitement' than I could ever have imagined. First day 10:50 AM storm warning for the Irish Sea was NE 9 increasing 10 imminent. Andy was our (Cezar and I) instructor on the Menai III. Despite the forecast we headed out of Port Dinorwic to go through the Swellies. I knew that the Menai Strait was fairly safe in almost any weather, but how far would Andy take us... The Swellies navigation (on motor) was quite familiar, allthough I now learned the transits that make the passage a piece of cake for a 'big' boat, even in this weather.

Once past the Suspension Bridge it was difficult to see (literally) where this could go. Slashing horizontal cold rain in our faces and eyes and a solid gray horizon. We returned and tried to pick-up a mooring south of Port Dinorwic, but the very strong wind, and possibly our limited experience, prevented a succesfull hooking-up to the mooring. So back in Port Dinorwic just in time for the tidal window would close for using the lock there. That meant for the next day again an afternoon start...

Tuesdays 24 hour forecast was 'only' Northerly 6 to gale 8, occasionally severe gale 9 at first in west, veering Northeast 4 or 5 later. This day we headed south towards Abermenai Point, crossing Caernarfon Bar and possibly along the west coast of Anglesey to Holyhead. Not knowing how this would go I had put my Kokatat dry-suit on; at least one thing less to worry about...

I mentioned to Andy that I was happy with my navigation all the way up to South Stack, but that we would hit South Stack & North Stack race against us mid-tide. And by-the-way, from Llandwynn Island onwards it would be in darkness. My thought was that Andy would anchor for the night at Llanddwyn. We continued sailing close-haul all the way to South Stack.

Feeling a bit queasy I did not appreciate the tasks that Andy gave me: to go below deck to log our position. While Cezar kept us on a very steady course. Also all the sailing terminology was new for me and had me mentally focussed and strained on the various sailing tasks we helped to perform. And this all on top of my anxiety of how we would manage from South Stack onwards. In daylight in my sea kayak I would exactly know what and how; even in this wind. Appreciating the cup of tea Andy offered me on approach of Rhoscolyn, I concluded that I could have felt much, much worse.

We dropped sail in Abrahams' Bossom (safety-lined-up) and Andy took the wheel passing close by South Stack; avoiding the race. A very familiar area for me in a sea kayak, but not on a yacht. When I could see the harbour light off the Holyhead breakwater and when I thought we had the worst behind us we hit North Stack race... Now it felt good that it was dark that I could not see the waves... Andy gave me another task: to inform Port Control via VHF of our arrival and route. Focussing on communications, Port Control asking questions, while it is difficult to stay in the seat. I found out that what is not locked into cupboards is flying about in the cabin... Thinking and acting takes a bit more time. As soon as we rounded the breakwater it was flat-calm and at 21:45 we moored in Holyhead Marina; closing traffic. My first day of sailing.

The next day we stayed in Holyhead harbor for dock manouvering, mooring and sailing using all daylight hours, learning to feel the wind.

Because of the wind direction we returned to Port Dinorwic via the West Coast again. Now during day time arriving at Port Dinorwic spot-on 17:00. A georgeous sailing day.

I am a bit more prepared now on how my body and mind reacts to sailing 'rough' seas and in darkness and life on-board a yacht.



by noreply@blogger.com (Axel) at November 25, 2016 06:00 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.

Cape Flattery [Flickr]

Essex Explorations posted a photo:

Cape Flattery

A small cove we camped in just south of Cape Flattery.

by Essex Explorations at November 25, 2016 05:20 pm

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

Book Review - Canoes: A Natural History in North America

I was fortunate to receive a review copy of a highly anticipated book set for release in November 2016.  Canoes: A Natural History in North America by Mark Neuzil and Norman Sims is a richly illustrated hardcover containing a whopping 416 pages of content to satisfy the interest of canoe lovers everywhere.


Canoes
A Natural History in North America

Mark Neuzil and Norman Sims
Foreword by John McPhee
$39.95 cloth/jacket ISBN 978-0-8166-8117-4
416 pages, 95 b&w plates, 228 color plates, 10 x 8, November 2016


The style of the book takes one on a formal history lesson of the canoe in the Americas. Beginning with the story of various dugout forms, the book continues with the evolution of the birchbark and the subsequent transition to all wood canoes of the late 1800s. The natural progression to wood canvas canoes sets the stage for the era of aluminum craft and today's modern marvels engineered with industrial chemical synthetics. At each stage, one begins to realize that the basic form of the canoe has remained timeless but generational "improvements" in materials have been the defining feature of the craft.

Hardcore canoeists often view the world in paddling metaphors. Reading through each chapter felt like an adventurous backcountry journey, sometime through familiar territory, but with pleasant surprises along the way. The over 300 illustrative plates (some never before published) offered plenty of visual diversions, not unlike the excitement of spotting elusive wildlife on a trip. Historical maps, classic artworks and rare photographs had this reader frequently pausing  to take in the visual feast. Interspersed amongst the general text are short 2-3 page essays on various satellite topics such as "Canoe Sails", "Canoe Patents", "Canoes in Wartime" . These breaks felt like literary portages, a chance to get off the main route a bit and stretch your legs on the trail.

Published by the University of Minnesota Press, the book does have the obvious feel of being heavily American influenced to this Canadian observer. Of course, we Canadians have often arrogantly hijacked the canoe as our own national symbol but the book does the craft justice in representing the canoe as having a truly North American story.

Of particular interest to this reader was the writeup on the world's oldest known bark canoe, now at the Canadian Canoe Museum. Previous posts on the topic have been featured on the site here and here. The most detailed description of this vessel was written by  legendary bark canoe builder, Henri Vaillancourt and appeared in Wooden Boat Magazine (Sept/Oct 2011 - Issue 222 - Page 72). A bit of a shame that more detailed photographs of this historic craft were not included in the brief excerpt of the book.  

As a bit of consolation however, a beautiful colour photo of another aged birchbark canoe (rarely available for public view) has been reproduced in its full glory. The famed "1826 Penobscot Canoe" in the collection of The Peabody Essex Museum, Massachusetts was the subject of a restoration and construction analysis in 1947. The resulting article published in The American Neptune (Vol VIII, No. 4, 1948) has been graciously reprinted with permission online by the WCHA. It was a real treat to see this elegant craft in full colour after being exposed to only grainy black and white photos from the past. 

When I first read the table of contents on the book's press release page, I was ecstatic that Chapter 7: Canoes and the Human-Powered Movement contained a subtitle for "Paddles". Working under the assumption that a detailed discussion of paddle forms with perhaps photos of historically significant paddles would be on display, the teasingly short, 2 page write-up contained few photos or satisfactory information on this rich topic. Granted, the focus of the book is obviously the watercraft, but just as canoes have evolved over the centuries, the paddles that have propelled them have as well. To this obviously biased paddlemaker, it was akin to seeing a bunch of meticulously restored vintage cars without their engines on display.  

These very minor short-comings aside, this new publication adds fresh perspectives and novel content to the topic. Given that paddling season is now over for most of us in North America, the timely release of the book will allow us to go on a very satisfying literary expedition over the winter. No matter what era of the canoe story you might have a special spot for, this book will certainly take a cherished place in your library collection.


About the authors:
• Mark Neuzil is professor of communication and journalism at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. He is the author, coauthor, or editor of seven books and a frequent writer and speaker on environmental themes. A former wilderness guide and summer park ranger, Neuzil is an avid outdoorsman who began canoeing in the 1960s with his family. He is a past board member of the Society of Environmental Journalists and Friends of the Mississippi River.

 • Norman Sims is a retired honors professor from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a past president of the International Association for Literary Journalism Studies. This is his sixth book. A longtime whitewater canoeist and an active member of both the Appalachian Mountain Club and the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association, Sims has a small collection of antique Morris wood-and-canvas canoes. 

• John McPhee is the author of more than thirty books, including Encounters with the Archdruid (1971), The Survival of the Bark Canoe (1975), and Coming into the Country (1977). Since 1963, his articles and all of his books have appeared in The New Yorker magazine. He received the Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1977, and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Annals of the Former World in 1999. He lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

by Murat (noreply@blogger.com) at November 25, 2016 03:56 pm

DIARIO DE KAYAK
Fotos,videos y relatos de mi navegaciones en kayak de mar

COMO FUNCIONA SAFETRX

La aplicación Safetrx es una app de Salvamento que es genial no solo para kayak sino para cualquier embarcación. Es gratis, aumenta la seguridad al navegar y muy recomendable de usar. En este entrada te cuento como va, después de usarla . leer mas

November 25, 2016 10:56 am

November 24, 2016

The Ikkatsu Project
In the Service of the Ocean

T-Day Report

If you were to take a poll of countries around the world, you wouldn’t find many that set aside a day of Thanksgiving as a national holiday. The United States is among the few that actually have this custom enshrined in law and practice, and it is not necessarily the worst idea our government has ever run up the flagpole. With an eye to the incoming government’s decisions that have yet to be put into action – and it’s hard not to be braced for the worst – it’s important to take a moment or two and consider the concept of thankfulness.

I am thankful for a rainy day paddle on Puget Sound, with dark wavelets tapping on the weather side of of my hull and a hat pulled down low on my eyes. Thankful for the tea in the thermos and the knowledge that in another few hours, I’ll be pulling up my chair to the family table, and eating all kinds of seasonal fare, then waddling back for seconds. I am thankful for a day of peace and rest, and thankful for the wood stove too.

I know, however, that it is not a day of peace for everyone, not even within our own borders. It is hard to stop looking at the reports out of North Dakota, where even as I type this, people are being shot at with water cannon and tear gassed, Americans torturing other Americans, for money. The video and photos are hard to watch and yet impossible to ignore and there’s no arguing about whether all this one-sided violence is justified. (It isn’t.)

I am thankful for my life, for my family and the warmth and safety I enjoy. I would be even more thankful if everyone could say the same.

by Ken Campbell at November 24, 2016 10:24 pm

Mike Jackson's Paddling Journal
A journal of my sea kayak trips.

November 24th - Jemmy Jones Island (#112)

Dan and I went for a morning paddle in the windy bay. We had to work hard to paddle out against the 20 kt wind and also had to go to Loon Bay to empty our cockpits after launching!  You can see the slow progress we made out and then the wonderfully fast, almost straight, return. We were able to catch and surf a good number of waves on the way back. An hour after our return, the bay was calm! A short but fun paddle!
click to enlarge
6 km, YTD 960 km

by Mike J (noreply@blogger.com) at November 24, 2016 03:09 pm

Frogma
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!)

Erie Canal Day 2 Addendum: Doodle du jour - Belted Kingfisher

There were lots of kingfishers on the Erie Canal, but they're much smaller and faster-moving than great blue herons and the modest zoom lens I have is not sufficient to the task. Haven't done one of my bird drawings in a while, but I was thinking about these great-looking birds tonight and decided I would try drawing one, and here she is. 


Happy Thanksgiving!

    O
:D />
0

by noreply@blogger.com (bonnie) at November 24, 2016 03:39 am

PaddlingLight.com
Lightweight canoe and kayak travel

The Canoeist and Kayaker Holiday Gift Guide

canoe in a national forest

Paddlers being the picky, hard-to-please group that they are, are extremely hard to shop for during the holidays. Most paddlers already own everything they want, except for that new boat. While that new NDK Romany or Northstar Magic would look great under the tree spending a couple grand probably isn’t within everyone’s idea of a perfect gift. Here are a few unique gifts for canoeists and kayakers. It’s something to surprise them with and maybe something unexpected as well.

jon turk crocodiles and ice

Jon Turk’s Crocodiles and Ice

A more detail review is coming on this book, but in essence this book details several adventures including Turk’s kayak and ski circumnavigation of Ellesmere Island. The book takes you on multiple physical journeys and a mental journey about humanity’s impact on the planet and how adventuring in the wilds can help humanity rediscover our connection to earth, and how that connection will eventually save it. Turk is one of the best adventure writers. His stories feel gripping and this book ranks up there with his best.

Buy on Amazon: Crocodiles and Ice

gerber river shorty knife

Gerber River Shorty Knife

Every paddler should have quick access to a knife, especially if he or she has a tow rope. A knife could save your life if you get entangled underwater. The Gerber River Shorty has a serrated edge to quickly cut through ropes and it features a blunt point, which helps prevent puncture wounds and puncturing a drysuit. The sheath that comes with the knife is designed to hook into standard lash tabs on life vests.

Buy at NRS: Gerber River Shorty Knife

colter stargazer bandana

Colter Co – Stargazer Bandana or the Know Your Knots Bandana

These bandanas make fun gift ideas for canoeists and kayakers. Both are 100% cotton and made and printed in the USA. Each measures 22-inches by 22-inches.

The Stargazer bandana shows the summer night sky in North America. It is printed with a glow-in-the-dark ink that looks bright against the night sky. While night sky smartphone apps are popular right now, gifting this bandana means that your favorite paddler won’t need to pull the phone out and ruin not only his or her night vision but also take away the break from the work-a-day that gazing at the night sky bestows. This is a fun way to increase your connection to the night and the world around you.

Canoeist and kayakers should know some knots, because you’ll eventually run into a situation where knowing the right knot can mean the difference between securing something completely and praying that your knot holds. The Know Your Knots bandana is the perfect gift for someone first learning how to tie knots. It covers 16 different knots:  Lark’s head, overhand knot, whipping knot, sheet bend, double fisherman’s knot, slip knot, figure 8 knot, figure 8 loop, alpine butterfly, bowline, clinch knot, clove hitch, square knot, timber hitch, taut-line hitch, and two half hitches. The easy to understand diagrams will have your knot-tying novice soon up to speed.

Get the bandanas here:

trailkeg getting ready to go.

TrailKeg – Stainless TrailKeg Package

When your canoe or kayak lover also loves beer, the TrailKeg makes the perfect gift. The TrailKeg Package include a TrailKeg Growler, which is a 64-ounce, vacuum insulated, stainless steel growler that keeps beer cold for 24 hours. It can also be pressurized by CO2 cartridge using the included regulator. The regulator hooks into a special lid that includes a safety vent and a connector for the included tag. It’s like bringing a mini-keg into the wilderness. There’s nothing like downing a cold microbrew after a hard day of paddling. And if your paddling buddy paddles on cold water, get him or her two growlers. At the end of each day, just plop the growler into some cold water and it’ll stay cold for another day for beer on day two.

Get the TrailKeg Here:

olympus camera

Olympus TG-4

After messing around with waterproof cameras, camera dive cases, soft waterproof cases and more trying to find the perfect high-quality waterproof camera for paddling, I’ve found that most solutions leave you wanting for more. Or in this case: less. That is less to get in the way of paddling. And until a camera company comes out with a waterproof point and shoot with a large sensor, we stuck with small-sensor point-and-shoots. The Olympus TG-4 is about the best of the point-and-shoots and it shoots RAW! The ability to shoot RAW gives you just a little more image quality and helps make up for the small sensor. Finding this under the tree will make your paddling shutterbug happy.

Buy it at Amazon: Olympus TG-4

 

Vargo Titanium Ti-Lite 750 Mug

Vargo Titanium Ti-Lite 750 Mug

For solo trips, this is now my cooking pot and mug of choice. It’s big enough to boil enough water for a freeze-dried camping meal and it’s big enough to cook a noodle dish in. It’s also lightweight. It weighs just 3.8 ounces. You can read PLight’s First Impressions: Vargo Titanium Ti-Lite 750 Mug review to learn more.

Buy it at Amazon: Vargo Titanium Ti-Lite 750 Mug

lightweight dry sack

Sea to Summit Lightweight Dry Sack

This is the perfect stocking stuffer. It’s a high-quality dry bag that weighs much less than the old school SealLine dry bags. While not the lightest dry bag in Sea to Summit’s lineup, it’s light enough (3.3 ounces in the medium size) and holds up well to abuse. I’ve used several on multiple expeditions and paddling trips. The best sizes are the 8 liter, 13 liter and 20 liter. For kayakers, stick with the 8 or 13 liter. For canoeists, the 20 liter fits well in a portage pack.

Buy it at Amazon: Lightweight Dry Sack 

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the Stargazer and Know Your Knot bandana for free from Coltor Co. in consideration for a gear review. I received the Stainless TrailKeg for free from TrailKeg in consideration for a gear review.

The post The Canoeist and Kayaker Holiday Gift Guide appeared first on PaddlingLight.com. You can leave a comment by clicking here: The Canoeist and Kayaker Holiday Gift Guide.

by Bryan Hansel at November 24, 2016 01:39 am

November 23, 2016

Pouls kajakblog
Jeg hedder Poul, og jeg er kajakoholiker! Denne blog - der mest er min egen dagbog over mit "kajakliv" - handler om mine kajakture og det udstyr jeg benytter mig af.

Havblik

Der  var inviteret til tur onsdag kl 11. Jeg kom lidt stresset af sted hjemmefra efter en 13 km gåtur fra morgenstunden, så da jeg sad i kajakken - og Anna, Henrik, Birgit og Knud var klar - havde jeg hverken vest eller spraydeck på. Det var en ommer, og jeg bad de andre om at ro af sted, mens jeg fandt tingene frem.
Det var et fantastisk vejr, og jeg kunne ikke lade være med at tage et par billeder af de flotte, frønnede, rådnede pæle langs kanalen. og efterfølgende lege lidt i Picasa med et af dem!
Fjorden lå spejlblank, da jeg nærmede mig
Og med en bleg novembersol hængende lavt var det sgu smukt på fjorden
Jeg stødte til de andre da der rundede Lindholm. En kajak fra Karrebæksminde mødtes med os på Bagfjorden. Det var Jan, der havde sendt en SMS jeg i mit stressede norgenmode ikke havde set.
I sivene lå et par andre kajakker. Det var jens og Karin, der havde tyvstartet på turen. De slog sig sammen med os ved Karlsgab, hvor vi holdt frokostpause. Det samme gjorde en havørn, der under hele pausen sad på engen et par hundrede meter fra os. Da vi roede videre, gav den en flot flyveopvisning i lav højde. Hvorfor, var svært at gætte, men de obligatoriske kragefugle hang selvfølgelig i luften omkring den.
Derefter gik det stille og roligt hjemad, hvor vi efter en dejlig novemberdag kunne pakke sammen - og efterfølgende nyde en kop kaffe i klubbens pejsestue, hvor Lars havde tændt op.
17 km

by Pouls kajakblog (noreply@blogger.com) at November 23, 2016 08:57 pm

Mike Jackson's Paddling Journal
A journal of my sea kayak trips.

Novemebr 22nd - Cadboro Point (#111)

I went out to Cadboro Point in the afternoon to play in the waves which were predicted to be big in Baynes. I had to paddle fairly hard against a headwind to get there, and when I got there, the waves were bigger than I wanted! I chatted for a while with Ben and then paddled home with the wind at my back - catching a few small waves! Buffleheads, hooded merganzers and a pacific loon were on the bird list.
click to enlarge
6 km, YTD 954 km

by Mike J (noreply@blogger.com) at November 23, 2016 07:04 am

Frogma
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!)

Erie Canal, Day 2 - Seneca Falls to Lyons


Morning in Seneca Falls

Day 2 - 10/11/16 With no deadlines and the whole day ahead of us, we didn't bother with an alarm clock. We slept in a bit, as we did pretty much every day, we both work pretty hard and have a tendency to not get enough sleep in day to day life, so vacation ends up being a time to catch up on zzz's, and did I mention that the bed arrangement was really comfy? Sleeping on a boat is great! Eventually we got up, had a good breakfast and idled over tea and coffee before really getting going on our day. I didn't take notes on breakfast in my journal, but I know we had eggs and some really amazing bacon from The Piggery (unsolicited plug, it was just really good, my friend Louise had recommended it and she was right!) in Ithaca so I suspect this was one of a couple of team-effort mornings when TQ took the bacon out to cook on the grill on the back deck while I did something with eggs in the galley.

After we'd cleaned up, we spent a little time sightseeing in Seneca Falls. The town is famous for 2 main things (or at least I know of 2 things it's famous for, there could be more!) - it was supposedly the real-life model for Bedford Falls in the movie It's a Wonderful Life (which I found out as we were getting ready for the trip, the charter company provided a couple of itineraries with info about the various towns where you could stop) and it's also considered the birthplace of the women's rights movement - so being a woman who appreciates her rights, I owe a debt to the people who started it off here, and I especially enjoyed visiting this town where it all started during such a historic Presidential race.

The town has a small but very nicely done museum, the Seneca Falls Museum of Waterways and Industry, right on the town wall where visiting boats tie up during their stay (in fact the visiting boater services like laundry and showers are on the ground floor of the building); what with our slow start and 31 miles to cover before the end of the day,
 we didn't have time to visit the Women's Rights National Historic Park, but the Museum of Industry and Waterways did have a corner devoted to the conference and the movement, including a very informative video which I hope I can find on YouTube to watch again sometime. Very interesting how the canal system facilitated the movement of not just the goods it was intended to move, but new ideas, too - I found a good little article plus many more with a Google search under "Erie Canal as a counduit for ideas", which was a phrase we ran across many times during our trip.

The museum also had a lot of information about the town's industrial history; it seemed like every town along the canal had some particular industry at which they excelled, in Seneca Falls it was foundries and the museum has all sorts of examples of the things made of iron that the town's foundries produced. They also had lots of information about the canal, including a very cool wall painting of a canal boat such as you would have found in the original version of the Erie Canal, done life sized, with the boat seen from head-on, floating in a cross-section showing the dimensions and depth (40 feet wide, 4 feet of water) of the original canal. I got a few postcards there, and then we walked out to the main street and then back down to our boat.

We got underway around 1, retraced our path through locks CS 2 and 3 and then north into new territory through CS 1, and then hooray, we were actually on the Erie Canal! It was a beautiful day, so calm and quiet that in certain places you could see the tracks on the water as hundreds of water striders skimmed about. Loads of birds, too - herons, herons and more herons (I said to TQ at one point "Great Blues are like pigeons up here!", and I got a little obsessive about trying to get good pictures of them, eventually TQ started doing it too!), kingfishers, a hawk, and one possible bald eagle. There was also a swimming squirrel (it was chugging along quite nicely, not far from shore and headed in the right direction) and a zillion jumping fish - made us wish we had some fishing gear!

We made it through locks E 25, 26 and 27 without any trouble and got to Lyons, our next overnight location,
 around 6. We went for a little walk and noticed the familiar neon "B" that indicates a bar that serves the fine products of the Brooklyn Brewery hanging in a window; we decided that a beer or two would be just the thing and Growler's Pub turned out to have a really nice beer list (the Brooklyn sign drew us in but we ended up ordering some local brews, there's some good beer being made in this part of the state) plus some decent pub grub, so we ended up having dinner there before heading back to the boat for our evening journal and postcard writing, book reading, and eventually bed. Another excellent day!

click on pix for slideshow view.





















by noreply@blogger.com (bonnie) at November 23, 2016 05:05 am

November 22, 2016

Mountain and Sea Scotland
Hillwalking and Sea Kayaking in Scotland

Equipment Review - Exped Downmat UL 7 sleeping mat


A good sleeping mat is pretty much essential for a good night's sleep when camping or bothying, particularly when the weather is colder.  Up until two years ago I'd used Thermarest inflatable mats for about ten years, which were a big step up from the closed cell Karrimats I used before that.

A friend recommended looking at the Exped range of downmats - I was intruiged by the concept and after some research took the plunge and purchased a Downmat UL 7.

Exped are a European company with a reputation for producing innovative lightweight camping equipment, and the downmat series certainly fits this theme.  The Downmat UL 7 is an inflatable mat with 170g of 700 fill-power goose down distributed along the tubes.  The combination of the down and the thickness of the mat are designed to provide insulation from the ground, claimed to be effective down to -24 degrees Celcius.  At a suggested retail price of £180, this is a premium product.....  so is it any good? 






The pack size is very compact - 23cm x 11cm and fitting into a 2.2 litre stuffsack.  Shown here against a 250g gas canister and a lightweight "traditional" inflatable sleep mat, the pack size is noticeably smaller, and lighter too.  The mat itself in the Medium size weighs 575g, and is supplied with a stuffsack, a useful repair kit and instructions (both of which fit into a pocket in the stuffsack - a good bit of design).  Also supplied is the inflation method.....






.....which Exped have named a "Schnozzle".  This is a large and lightweight stuffsack-type bag with a roll and clip closure and a "beak" fitted with a valve.







On the mat are two large valves, one to deflate and a non-return inflation valve.  To avoid the down getting damp from oral inflation, the method is to attach the Schnozzle, capture a bagful of air and squeeze it into the mat.  This takes a few goes to get the hang of, but is a really efficient method of inflation.  In a breeze, the bag can be fully filled and the mat filled very quickly.  The non-return valve ensures that no air escapes when removing the Schnozzle.  Deflation is very quick via the large deflation valve and the mat is easy to roll up. Unlike many outdoor products, it also fits easily back into the stuffsack with the Schnozzle and other accessories.  Incidentally, filled with spare clothing, the Schnozzle makes a useful pillow - I find it most comfortable if I then put the "pillow" of clothes inside a fleece top rather than sleeping in contact with the nylon bag.

Exped's website is packed with information about the mat, including full instructions, tips and repair instructions.






Fully inflated, the Downmat UL 7 is (as the name suggests) 7cm thick, the comparison with a traditional inflatable mat is quite striking.  This provides not only insulation, but evens out bumps in the ground under the tent.  The medium size is 183cm long and 52cm wide, ample for a 175cm tall, 75Kg adult.  Although lightweight, the construction is tough. Like any inflatable product, care needs to be taken to avoid punctures, but this mat feels well made.






Of course the only measure a sleep mat should be judged against is whether it offers a good night's sleep.  I can honestly say that the Exped Downmat has revolutionised my comfort and the quality of sleep.  The combination of insulation and the "plush" feel of the 7cm thickness make sleeping on this mat more akin to sleeping in a proper bed.  The outer two tubes are slightly larger than the other tubes which helps prevent any tendency to roll off the mat whilst asleep. Some lightweight and ultralightweight sleep mats sound like "crisp packets" when they are laid on; the Downmat is not, though there is a slight rustle when turning over. 

The Downmat has is astonishingly comfortable in use.  No more waking up with cold spots, and no more emerging from the tent in the morning feeling like the night has been spent lying on bumpy ground.  It's and expensive product, but in my opinion pays this back many times over in the quality of sleep it provides. Another noticeable benefit of using the Downmat is that there's no condensation on the base of my sleeping bag or under the mat itself. After a look at my mat, Douglas and Mike also took the plunge and bought Downmat UL 7's - none of us would consider going back to our previous sleep mats for a second!

After multiple uses, the down sometimes "clumps" in the tubes a little, this can be made out if the mat is held up against bright light.  Inflating the mat and giving it a good shake redistributes the down along the tubes.  One thing to look out for is the length of the mat.  For average sized folk, the Medium mat is well long enough at 183cm; if you go for the Long model,  it's 197cm and it would be worth checking if it will fit in your tent.  For very cold climates, a 9cm thick version with more down is available.

Having used the Downmat UL 7 for two years, in all kinds of conditions from well sub-zero to comparatively warm, in tents on a variety of surface and in bothies, I can highly recommend it - put simply it provides an extremely comfortable outdoor sleeping experience.


by Ian Johnston (noreply@blogger.com) at November 22, 2016 09:34 pm

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

William Armstrong Inspired Ash Paddle

It's been an enjoyable fall working on some more paddles in the backyard workshop. This next one was carved out of narrow plank of ash. The limitations of the board meant that this design would have a slender 4-1/4" blade. Had a chance to test this one out on the earlier Toronto Islands Daytrip to get a feel for it. The shaft felt a little too bulky so it was worked down a bit more.


Also finally purchased a cabinet scraper to help with the finishing stages. After multiple wettings it was scraped downed and then sanded with 320. Never really liked the open grain feel of ash but with this extra work, it is much smoother.

As for decoration, I felt like doing something simple and once again looked back into history for some inspiration.  A common theme seen in many historic paintings is a red checkered pattern on the paddle blade.

Paddle image from A View near Point Levy opposite Quebec with an Indian Encampment, Taken in 1788 
Thomas Davies (1737 - 1812)



Decorated Paddles from Indian Encampment near Amherstburg, c. 1819-1830
William Bent Berczy
Original Post Link



This paddle pattern is most apparent in multiple artworks by William Armstrong (1822–1914) that have been posted about many times on the site.



Paddle image from The Distribution of the Government Bounty on Great Manitouling Island 1856
William Armstrong



Paddle image from Indians Completing a Portage
William Armstrong
1873 watercolor



Paddle from Hudson's Bay Store, Fort William
William Armstrong
c. 1860-1870


Anyway, I had some left over Regal Red Tremclad rust paint left over from repainting the 14' Chestnut / Peterborough earlier in the summer so thought I would put it to use here. This oil-based waterproof paint doesn't need a topcoat of varnish which works well given that I prefer to oil all my paddles.

My older son was interested in helping so he assisted in laying out some tape. Painting has never been my strong suite or favoured medium and there's no way I could replicate the clean lines otherwise .





As an extra bit of decoration, I also painted part of the elongated grip...



It still needs to be oiled which will turn the plain ash into a much more golden hue but the weather outside has turned.


by Murat (noreply@blogger.com) at November 22, 2016 09:07 am

NORCAL YAK
Northern California kayaking adventures

Learning to go with the flow on San Francisco Bay

A gorgeous day on the bay proved to be just a  bonus for our paddling group   A kayaking class on tides, currents and rough water…. …recently reminded me that I took up writing as a vocation...

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by Glenn Brank (noreply@blogger.com) at November 22, 2016 07:37 am

November 21, 2016

kajaknördar – paddling verkar kul
tid utomhus räknas. Tid i kajaken räknas dubbelt

Måndagsmys på Skälderviken

Snart blött

Snart blött

Efter lite förmiddagshäng hos sjukgymnasten för axelrehab blev det lite eftermiddagsdräll på Skälderviken. Glömde visst containernyckeln hemma så det fick bli en runda hemåt mellan.

Svaga sydosliga vindar, lite solglimtar mellan molnen och skapligt tomt med folk på vattnet. Lite strandhäng med fika och sen tillbaka igen.

Gött med lite friskluft och lite paddelplask 🙂

Solglimtar

Solglimtar

Fikahäng

Fikahäng

dsc_3911-redigera-redigera

Inlägget Måndagsmys på Skälderviken dök först upp på kajaknördar - paddling verkar kul.

by Erik Sjöstedt at November 21, 2016 08:22 pm

josebelloseakayaking

Los flysch del Estrecho de Gibraltar

Hace poco, hablábamos por aquí de los flysch, como espectáculo geológico de la costa vasca guipuzcoana. Constituidos por capas alternantes de roca dura (calizas, pizarras o areniscas) con roca blanda (margas y arcillas).
 
Este fenómeno también lo encontramos en el extremo sur de la península, y norte del continente africano. Como parte de este complejo, el paleo entre Tarifa y Algeciras, se convierte en un recorrido especial  por estos afloramientos de origen miocénico.
 
 
Los diferentes estratos duros han conformado a lo largo de la costa, canales navegables en kayak, de lo más interesantes.
  
 
 

El momento de la marea influye mucho en las posibilidades de "jugar", con las rocas y las olas.
 
 
 
 
 
 La visión desde la costa es menos "completa" que desde el agua.
 
 
Fuente: La estructura de las unidades de Flysch del Campo de Gibraltar. Consecuencias tectónicas y paleogeográficas. A. Martín-Serrano.Boletín Geológico y Minero. Tomo 96 Fas II. 
 
La Torre de Guadalmesí, desde diferentes perspectivas..
 
 
 
Esta construcción es una torre almenara del siglo 16, que se mantenía en contacto con las torres de la isla de las Palomas y la del Fraile para la  vigilancia de tránsito por el Estrecho. Sin embargo su función defensiva principal consistía en evitar que los barcos enemigos pudieran recoger agua potable en el arroyo de Guadalmesí, único punto en verano en este trozo de costa.
 
 
Como siempre, con el kayak es fácil encontrar rincones exclusivos...
 
 

by Jose Bello (noreply@blogger.com) at November 21, 2016 05:59 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.

Mystery Bay [Flickr]

Essex Explorations posted a photo:

Mystery Bay

Sunbreak over Mystery Bay on Marrowstone Island.

by Essex Explorations at November 21, 2016 05:32 pm

Biking and Hiking and Kayaking
Ramblings of an outdoor person trapped indoors.

"I am Not Hill-Worthy" Biking Penance Ride, Followed By Strolling Through the Wind to Sykesville

 

Clarksville

Big winds were forecast to move in on Saturday afternoon and I wanted to get some hill riding in, since too much of my mileage this year has been flat to rolling. I had some errands to run, so I combined all of the above, loaded the bike in the car, sent some packages off from the UPS store in Clarksville and then hopped on the bike to ride the roads of Howard County.

At each intersection I tried to choose either the longer way around or the hillier way around. Other than the long eastern stretch on Rt. 216, I was mostly on sharp but short rolling hills with a number of 8% grades in the mix - much shifting up and down. The winds started to pick up when I was headed west back to the start but the big winds didn't start for several hours. Not a long ride - ended up a bit under 31 miles - but it felt longer.

Capture

The next day, Carl and I decided to do a two car hike to explore yet another new (to us) section of the trail system along the Patapsco River, from Henryton west to Sykesville. The winds were still active but down from the 50 mph range to the 20 mph range and the temperatures had dropped into the high 30s. 

20161120_093102

This section is pretty flat, with a few easy climbs over a few hills and ridges. It is also not that long, ended up a bit over 4.1 miles. But it is one of the prettiest sections of the trail system, following some very scenic sections of the river with the rail road on the opposite bank. Several patches of mountain laurel, probably a good stretch to hike in the spring. Didn't see a single hiker or mountain biker - maybe the winds and threats of "widow maker" branches coming down scared everyone with any sense away...

The trail ended at River Road, so we had about 3/4 of a mile of road walking, passing a women walking two poodles - one of which was walking on its hind legs only. Hmm, soon that dog may figure out the mystery of the doorknob and that woman is in trouble. We got back to Carl's car, which was parked in a overflow lot across the street from the new "Shrimptown/South Branch Skatepark" - a concrete skateboarding park, where at about 11am on a Sunday morning many parents were dropping off their kids and their skateboards - about the only activity in sleepy Sunday Sykesville.

by John P. at November 21, 2016 01:22 pm

josebelloseakayaking

La costa vasca

Euskadi siempre merece la pena, y su costa es una pasada. En algunos días puede palearse por completo. Su belleza desde el agua nos hace testigos del encuentro entre las montañas vascas y el mar Cantábrico, todo un espectáculo.


La ajustada entrada para acceder a Pasaia.


La logistica al llegar a grandes ciudades es más compleja, sobre todo si vas en autonomía y solitario, aquí va bien llevar un carrito para moverte.


Siempre hay posibilidades de jugar un poco. 



La geología del litoral de gipuzkoa, miríada de colores.


Momento de encuentros no programados con amigos, este mundo es muy pequeño...


Día increíble, mar difícil de encontrar así por aquí.






Al fondo el ratón de Getaria.



Los finales de etapa con entrada en rías la mayoría de las veces.


Desembarcos en algunos casos currados....



Las inevitables cuestiones de logística entre etapa y etapa.. hay que secar el equipo para mañana.. 




Brutal.....


Los flysch, entre Zumaia y Deba, se muestran como las hojas de un libro, en realidad son capas alternantes de roca dura (calizas, pizarras o areniscas) con roca blanda (margas y arcillas).






Llegando al precioso pueblo de Lekitio.



Algunas etapas en solitario, al fondo San Juan de Gaztelugatxe.


En estos casos solo fotos a distancia...


...... o fotos subjetivas, al fondo Lemoiz

Algunos puertos tienen una entrada complicada para los pesqueros, para el kayak no hay problema, en este caso Armintza.



Al frente el paso entre Cabo Villano y la isla del Fraile que es siempre interesante, porque hay poca profundidad y el agua se mueve



Aprovechando un viento del nordeste entablado en fuerza cuatro, con olas de un metro por la aleta de estribor, prueba del skua en surfeadas.. Javier dice que es un kayak que surfea bien.... comprobado, entre cabo Villano y punta Galea hay 5,5 millas, tiempo empleado una hora, no esta nada mal para ir de travesía con el barco cargado. También es verdad que sin demasiado equipo y que ya estaba acabando la etapa, que concluía en Getxo, y había ganas de llegar. 



by Jose Bello (noreply@blogger.com) at November 21, 2016 11:29 am

SimonWillis.net
Triathlon, cycling, sea kayaking, swimming and life in the Scottish Highlands

Keep On Open Water Swimming

With snow on the mountain tops, ice on car windscreens and a chill in the air it's all too easy to stop open water swimming.

True the water is colder, but compared to the air temperature, it's relatively warm.  Here are a few tips.

1. Swim well away from the mouth of rivers or large streams.  Rivers, swollen by rain and snow-melt, are much colder than the sea.

Where they meet the sea, and within quite a few hundred meters, they put a layer of cold, fresh water on the surface.  As soon as you go in you can tell because the sea suddenly tastes a lot less salty than normal.

2.  Try not to swim in rain - it makes the water colder.  It's much nicer to swim on sunny days - see below.

3. Wear the right kit.  At the moment I swim in; Zone3 neoprene shorts; Zone 3 neoprene vest; Gul thermal rash vest; Orca Hydro booties; Zone 3 thermal booties on top; Lomo thermal swim gloves; Aquasphere balaclava; BlueSeventy neoprene cap; BlueSeventy Reaction wetsuit and goggles.  I always use ear plugs.

4. The shivers can start when once out of the water and the cold water is still trapped in the neoprene layers.

Keep the neoprene hat on until you can replace it with a warm woollen hat, then get something like the excellent DryRobe over everything.  With these and a warm drink to hand, we find we quickly recover.

5.  Keep swimming.  Even if it's just a short dip, the best way to tolerate cold water is to keep tolerating it.  It really does get better.

by Simon Willis (noreply@blogger.com) at November 21, 2016 11:27 am