Paddling Planet

August 02, 2015

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.

A Paddler's Journey Now on Sale!

Finally, it's here! After a year of hard work, lots of help and support from friends, my kayaking memoir is now available in paperback and ebook formats. I think I've talked about it enough that everyone knows what it's all about, but in case you missed it, A Paddler's Journey is filled with the interesting adventures and misadventures on my path from a newbie kayaker on the ocean in Southern California to the multi-discipline ACA Instructor Trainer and expedition paddler I am today. On the one hand, it's a collection of fun stories. On the other, it shows how I learned and grew as a person through paddling, the same way most of us evolve as we participate in any activity that is so all-consuming and challenging. If you appreciate my blog I'm sure you'll like the book. In fact, I'm sure people who have never paddled a boat in their life will still understand what I went through and relate to the experiences. It even has some pretty pictures if you like that kind of thing :)

All the ordering information is on my website, and that's the only place you can get a signed copy of the paperback. But here are some quick links to all the ordering options:

($20 with Paddle California DVD)

For my blog readers: use the code XUW6M6ZV to get $3.00 off!

eBook $2.99

If you want to support this endeavor in more ways than just buying the book, I wrote a whole post on the subject HERE. The main point is help spread the word. Share this with your friends. Post it to your local paddling club. Pass along your book when you're done reading. And most importantly: leave me a review and let me know what you thought:

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 ( at August 02, 2015 05:00 am

August 01, 2015

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.

Celtic, cool, and "Keen"...the Munro.

As we enter the last month of our year and a half locum in Scotland, before returning home to Canada for a little while, it was time to get some elevation. Mmm...yes! Mount Keen (Monadh Caoin, the Gentle Hill) is the most easterly "Munro", a Scottish mountain over 3000 feet. The trailhead was a ninety minute drive to the north, through the lovely Angus Glens. History permeates these hills. Isolated Mount Keen promised solitude, wide open spaces, and a view to be savoured.

The heather was blooming, the countryside lush and vibrant with colour. The vista was simply...Celtic. Last summer, it seemed we were never in the right place at the right time to see the colours...probably because the paddling weather was much better.

The first part of the trail parallels the Water of Mark which joins the Water of Lee (from Loch Lee) to form the River North Esk.

About two miles from the southern trailhead in Glen Esk is the Queen's Well, the location of a flowing artesian well. It appears from a distance, amidst fields of newly shorn sheep.

It's marked by a massive stone crown, erected by Lord Dalhousie. 

On one of the buttressed pillars, there is a marble plaque reminding those who pass by that ''Her Majesty, Queen Victoria, and his Royal Highness the Prince Consort, visited this well and drank of its refreshing waters, on the 20th September, 1861, the year of Her Majesty's great sorrow''. This was the year that marked the death of her mother, and her husband, Prince Albert, who was only 42 years old.

I understood, for the first time, why Queen Victoria chose to wear black, the colour of mourning, for the rest of her long reign, and the remaining forty years of her life.

Leaving the well, the cottage at Glenmark is the beginning of the zig-zag climb up the most direct route to Mount Keen. There are two small burns (streams) to cross, Easter Burn and Ladder Burn, but at this time of the year they present no difficulties.

The colours continued to be wonderfully radiant, especially on the slopes that receive the sun's rays. (I think "summer" in Scotland was on a Tuesday this year!)

To think...this luxuriant carpet of purple and pink and green is whirling though (the minus 270 degrees Celsius) vacuum of space. What a planet!

Navigation is's a well-travelled path.

As elevation increases, the views become increasingly dramatic.

When the obvious trail ends...the "stairway to heaven" begins. It is humbling to think of the time and effort so many have put into maintaining these back-country pathways into the sky - dedicated labours of love, indeed.

Looking down and along the glen, it seems we have walked forever...a cold, west wind has picked up...the chill now requires an extra layer. It has become a very cool more ways than one.

A large stone "tub" offers shelter from the wind, and a place to have lunch.

The triangulation pillar (trig point) at the 3,081 (939m) foot summit is now just above our heads.

The rest of the world is far down below.

Mount Keen offers a good day out, and a little elevation. Elevation always provides a clearer perspective on our "surroundings". It's easy to get lost, or at least temporarily displaced, in life's valleys. The hills and the challenges that rise around us can block out the sun. They sometimes obscure the paths we are searching for. They often disorientate us, and confuse our sense of direction.

Elevation, however, can be gained by simply walking to the summit of a high hill or a mountain. It can also be gained by some quiet time in reflection, or in thoughtful and honest conversation with a good friend. Elevation can be achieved when we spend some time writing down our thoughts and the things that cause us to be anxious. A journal or a diary is a wonderful way to gain clarity. We gain a higher perspective when we dare to explore and push our comfort levels to new heights. The thing is, we humans are usually successful when we "go for it"...and that liberates and empowers us to push even further. Elevation is almost always gained when we leave, for a time, the busyness of life and invite some quiet and solitude into our hearts and minds. Most of the best work we all do comes following times of rejuvenation and refreshment...elevation gain.

This day's activity, surrounded by the blooming heather and the wooded glades, pastured sheep and running streams, was just the kind of thing...we're always rather "keen" to do. ;)

by Duncan and Joan ( at August 01, 2015 09:36 pm

Paddling Otaku
Otaku is defined as ' a Japanese term used to refer to people with obsessive interests'

Why I quit my dream job

I have been dreadfully absent for most of the last year, and for this I apologize. I took what my wife and I were referring to as "a big boy" job. For the first time in a decade I am working real hours, with real responsibilities. As I write this I am the Senior Instructor, for a large company that does outdoor education. And while the company is well established, the market I am working in is new. I am helping to build a new program, training instructors, scheduling classes and creating systems so at some point it runs well. I have 13 field instructors, and 20 something instructors that teach indoors - If you know who I work for please don't mention it here.

I am responsible for these people. I am responsible for their safety (along with the safety of their students), I am responsible for making them the best instructors they can be, and along the way, I want them all having fun.

I said "as I write this" because by the time you read this, I will have resigned my position after a year - I honestly had planned on doing two, and finding another challenge. There were a couple of factors that led to my resignation. The biggest, was my wife got a large promotion that would require a lot of her time. So much so, that I won't be able to work the 40 to 50 hour weeks I have been, not to mention my 1.5 hour commute each way - did I not mention the commute? All big boy jobs have a commute.

My wife and I discussed how for us both to keep working, and shortly after the beginning of the discussion we realized we were working hard to figure out a way for me to keep a job that I wasn't really enjoying! I was making huge sacrifices for a job, and I didn't like it! That is a huge mistake, and I think way too many people do it.

I spent years building myself a simple, practical minimalist lifestyle. I wasn't a slave to my phone, or email. I had three keys on my key chain - I know that is a bizarre measure of how complex life can be but it works - and I loved it. When I left work, I was done with work. I paddled for fun. I was on my feet and going constantly, and it was wonderful.

Then one day I looked at my key chain and it was full of keys. I looked at my computer and I had over 1000 unread emails. My phone beeped and buzzed at all hours of the night. I got sucked into a life I spent years avoiding.

Instead of spending my days on my feet, interacting with people, I spent my days in front of a computer interacting with windows - and really as a life long apple user having to use windows was the last straw, when they tried to upgrade me to windows 8 I hid my laptop! And all this computer time had a negative effect. I gained 15 pounds in under a year, and I am terrified to know what happened to my blood pressure.

There is a reason that I chose to not have a normal work life for many years. There is a reason I work hard to live a peaceful stress free life. The reason, is my father. My father was a wonderful man who died way too early at the age of 58. He lived a sedentary life, was a long time smoker, and a lot of the time ate food that was bad for him. Add to this that he worked most of his life doing a job he hated, and it was incredibly stressful. When I was 15 I asked him if he hated his job, why didn't he do something else, to which he replied "this is what I know how to do." He was also very good at it, and made a great living - he actually put his older brother through dental school. My brother and sister went to college (as would I if I had cared to) and my parents lived in a big house and they drove nice cars. But in my head this is the formula for an early grave. So I worked hard to live a different lifestyle. To eat well, exercise, and be as stress free as possible.

All of this collapsed this year. I got sucked into a cool title, and more - but still meager - money. The hallmarks of the 'successful' life we have all been taught to want. The problem is I didn't want it. I just got stupid. Stupid, and scared. Scared that as I aged I wasn't going to be viewed favorably by my contemporaries. That my friends with successful careers were talking about me. "Can you believe that guy? He gets paid hourly! works like 30 hours a week! Doesn't have a couch in his living room! What a loser!" I should have realized none of that was going on, when I went to New York early last year, and met up with a friend of mine who is a Judge. An actual NYC Judge. She asked if I was going to Alaska during the summer and I told her I was. But I felt I needed to add "but I'm not making any money." to which she replied "you are living the dream!" The issue, the judgement was all being done by me, and at the end of the day it was that fear within myself that caused me to judge my place in the world, and decide that a cool title would fix it. I was wrong.

So August first I will drop the word Senior from my title, and just be an instructor. I will limit the hours I can work, and spend time getting my life back in order. I need to get my cardio fitness back, eat healthier and essentially undue a year of knots that worked their way into my body and my psyche.

First on the list, deleting a lot of unread emails.

by paddlingOTAKU ( at August 01, 2015 06:08 pm

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

New Podcast - Kayaking Shetland

If you've listened to all the Sea Kayak recordings then you'll know we already have an interview about routes off the Shetland Islands.

So why another one?

When I recorded the first, almost ten years ago, I asked author of the Pesda Press Guidebook Tom Smith to pick his three favourite paddles.  

We assumed ideal conditions, which is a heck on an assumption for Shetland, as Liz and I discovered when we went kayaking there in June.

So we hooked up with Angus Nicol who has taken over from Tom Smith and he have us a rough guide to paddling these extraordinary islands in less than perfect conditions.  You'll find the recording, along with many others, at and in iTunes.

by Simon Willis ( at August 01, 2015 08:30 am

bi- (sometimes multi-) lingual bits and pieces about travelling and kayaking, though being in wheelchair

Greifensee, Montag 27.07.2015

Am Montag schöne Tour auf dem Greifensee mit Chris. Wir mussten die Tour allerdings gegen 14 Uhr, etwa 4-5 km vor dem Bootshaus in Nieder-Uster, abbrechen, da der Wind immer stärker wurde (Böen mit gut 45 km/h). Dummerweise drückte uns der Wind auch noch gegen den Schilfgürtel. Eine unangenehme Vorstellung, im Schilf zu kentern…Auf dem Wildwasser und auf dem Meer habe ich es ja öfter erlebt, dass man eine Tour abbrechen muss – aber auf einem soo kleinen See war ich nicht wirklich darauf gefasst ;-).

Das Transportieren der Kajaks auf dem Landweg zurück zum Bootshaus war dann eine logistische Herausforderung, die wir (insbesondere Chris) aber gut gemeistert haben. Bis auf den Wind herrschte wunderbares Wetter, so dass wir, als am Schluss beide Kajaks endlich wieder richtig versorgt waren (meines auf dem Regal, seines auf dem Auto), beim Segelclub noch im bewegten See schwimmen konnten.

Ich habe eine kleine Tabelle zusammengestellt mit der Entwicklung der Windverhältnisse zwischen 9 und 14 Uhr am Montag:

Sturm am Greifensee

Leider habe ich keine Fotos gemacht, aber das Foto unten (zu einem anderen Zeitpunkt aufgenommen) gibt die Stimmung wieder. Allerdings war es am Montag nicht so bedeckt wie auf dem Foto, sondern ziemlich sonnig.

by esyned at August 01, 2015 05:37 am

Sea Kayak Podcasts .com
Interviews with interesting sea kayakers

Shetland part 2

Interviews with the world's most interesting sea kayakers. More than seventy free mp3 interviews online at

by Simon Willis ( at August 01, 2015 12:30 am

July 31, 2015

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.

Flot tur langs Stevns Klint

Jes var frisk til at tage med på en tur til Stevns. DMI havde lovet 9m/s fra NV, så vi regnede med at en tur fra Rødvig ville blive i læ fra Klinten.
Fra Rødvig havde vi en frisk vind i ryggen, så det gik raskt af sted. Vi oplevede rovfugl på klinten, huler mm. Det var lidt svært at få armene ned. Stevns Klint er med rette en del af Verdensarven.
Efter en kort rast ved Højerup Kirke, hvor vi havde en lang og hyggelig snak med formanden for kajakroerne På stevns, gik turen videre.
På et tidspunkt faldt vinden til det forventede vindstille
Men inden vi vendte om tæt på kridtbruddet, nåede vi at få lidt modvind.
På turen hjemad roede vi tæt på land for at slippe for vinden.
Der ligger enkelte store sten, men vi slap tilbage til Rødvig i fin stil.

Kanon tur i flot landskab og med en god romakker - 19 fantastiske km

by Pouls kajakblog ( at July 31, 2015 11:08 pm

Tirsdagstur i ny kajak

Denne tirsdagstur var lidt speciel for mig da jeg roede i klubbens nyeste Scott HV kajak.
Det blæste en voldsom vind, og der var sjove bølger på fjorden. Det var også hårdt for dem der ikke havde så mange kræfter.
Heldigvis var der nogle bundgarnspæle vi kunne lægge bi ved og vente på de sidste.
Madpakkerne blev nydt i relativ læ ved Karlsgab.
Så gik det løs på den bagerste fjord
Strid modvind og bølger gjorde at der skulle lægges kræfter i for at komme frem
Men flot var det
og selv om DMI havde lovet torden og lynild, skinnede solen på store dele af turen
Kim prøvede at sætte sejl med sit regnslag på turen hjemad, men jeg drev næsten i samme tempo med kajakken løftet.

18 km blev det til.

by Pouls kajakblog ( at July 31, 2015 10:55 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.

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

Helgeland del 3 - Gammøya–Otervær

Foto: Gunnar Noer
Dag 2 skulle vi ende opp i Rødøy-området. Del 1 av helgelandsturen ligger HER og del 2 ligger HER.

Men vi våknet opp på Gammøya, til dette kanonværet. Steike ta – det stekte i teltet. Her var det bare å åpne på vidt gap. Den som nå ikke hadde hatt kortermetjakken fremst i baugen, hadde nok tatt den på... Men det hadde jeg, ennå.

Siden kvelden før hadde det dukket opp noe allmektig med fluer av en eller annen sort. Merkelige typer, de hadde sansen for Rema-poser, blant annet. De var overalt, må ha vært noe sverming på gang eller noe.

For noen var det bare å pakke, og ta ned teltet.

Andre tok ned teltet, pakket – og måtte så ha leteaksjon etter solbrillene etter at teltet var tatt ned. Den var resultatløs, men de ble heldigvis funnet et annet sted senere. Men i det minste var det litt underholdende mens det sto på, som dere ser. Ser litt ut som Spøkelseskladden. (I Donald, for et par evigheter siden.)

Før vi setter ut må kartet sjekkes og dagens rute dobbelsjekkes. 

Så er vi på vannet igjen, en times tid tidligere enn dagen før. I dette området, utenfor Bolga, var det ei og annen hytte her og der på øyene. 

Og ett og annet båtvrak. Dette var et ganske stort et.

Men først måtte vi innom dette, som var litt mindre. Noen som har peiling på hva dette er for båter? Like utenfor Bolga, altså.

Den store må ha ligget her en stund, den kan man se tvers gjennom... Tidens tann har tært en del ja.

Skal vi se, hvor er det vi skal… På tide kanskje å ta opp det faktum at NJ argumenterte meg med på turen blant annet med at kart, det kunne jeg få låne av ham for han hadde da gps også. Men så jeg noe til den kartlåningen?

Korrekt, svaret er nix. Men årsaken var nok at turlederen lånte dem istedenfor, så det var greit nok. Det er jo en god idé at turledere har kart, det er jeg jo enig i. Og da kunne jo dessuten jeg bare slappe av med navigering og sånt. Jo færre kokker jo mindre søl?

I dag la jeg mer merke til plantene i området. Her var det flere som jeg ikke er vant med hjemmefra – men mye av de samme også. Prestekrager for eksempel, og blåklokker. Herlige sommerblomster.

Vi snirklet oss imellom, og så var det en liten kryssing over til Oterværet. (Det lille, ikke det som er reservat. Det siste ligger sørvest for der vi var.)

Egentlig husker jeg ikke helt når og hvor alle bildene er tatt, men prøver sånn høvelig å sette dem inn i riktig rekkefølge. Her er det rødøyløva vi ser til høyre. Det er mange som padler på Helgeland har jeg fått med meg for lenge siden, men under turen så vi også mange seilbåter. Seilere kommer også i grupper, de har bare hele gruppen i én og samme båt.

Svartisen i bakgrunnen. Vi lurte litt på hvorfor den heter SVARTisen når den er skinnende hvit. Ifølge Wikipedia som tror den vet det meste, så kommer den gamle betegnelsen svartis, som betegner den karakteristiske dype blåfargen i isen, med kontrast til den hvite snøen. Ismassene viser et spekter av blåtoner, fra transparent is, til turkis og mørkt blått.

Den er for øvrig fastlands-Europas lavestliggende, og i dag faktisk to deler, står det også. Kult.

Her har vi faktisk funnet fram til øya vi skal lunsje på. Men her står det noen bygninger, så vi padler videre forbi. Turlederne vet om en laguneaktig plass like om hjørnet, som skal være mye finere. Hello Kitty-lakken, som en i klubben liker å kalle den, glitrer fortsatt i sola.

Foto: Nils-Jacob Schelderup
Dette tas med kun fordi jeg vil ha bilder av meg selv med i bloggen. Det har man rett til å bestemme i sin egen blogg, og jeg benytter meg av den retten. Herved gjort.

Wow! Vi fant lagunen. NÅ var det litt leire nederst med noe slimgrums, men det får vi se bort ifra – det er nok ikke hver dag det er så stor fjære. (Søringspråk: lavvann) 

Her kom vi inn til pauseplassen. Rødøy-løva venter der sør, og den kommer til å bli et trivelig bekjentskap.

Her har noe vært ute og gått, av forskjellig størrelse. Vi så mink, så det er godt mulig at de minste sporene er etter den. Men da må her nesten ha vært oter også, for de andre sporene var mye større. Eller så er det kanskje en oter med unge? Artig med spor uansett.

Her er ruta fra morgen til lunsj. Videre rute var nokså rett sørover, snirkelsnorkel mellom øyer og holmer, til ny leirplass i Rødøy-området.

Denne her var passelig disgusting, den fant jeg plutselig på refleksvesten. (Som jeg har liggende klar i tilfelle det kommer båter vår vei under en kryssing.) Men selv om den både ligner og er i slekt, så er det heldigvis ikke flått. Det er en midd! Høres også litt ekkelt ut kanskje, men da er den straks mer kul synes jeg. Sær, men ufarlig.

Foto: Nils-Jacob Schelderup
Jeg lærte en viktig, ny ting på denne turen. Nils-Jacob hadde nemlig med seg tørket mango, og det var kjempegodt! En ny turmat-snack, definitivt. Nå var ikke dette det beste merket på smak, men det er nå denne de har i butikkene på Sortland.

Prestekrager er rett og slett fine. Her i samplantning med en liten steinbedplante som jeg ikke husker navnet på i farta. Gule blomster, tror jeg.

Ikke så verst pauseplass, hæ? Vi ble lenge her, for å si det sånn. Leeenge. Så lenge at halvparten tok seg en ekte siesta.

Så nå tar vi en siesta, så kommer del 4 når den er over...

by Miamaria ( at July 31, 2015 04:59 pm

Hokkabogen - check • onsdagspadling

Første onsdag etter ferien, på tide å få i gang onsdagspadlingene igjen. Rimelig fint vær de siste dagene, så vi tok sikte på Holmstad–Hokkabogen med grilling underveis. Dag liker last i Taranen sin, så han skulle bringe med ved til bål.

Jeg er skikkelig til etters med innleggene nå, har flere fra Sommarøya igjen, Helgeland og nå også ASKR. Men får jeg slengt ut dette så nærmer de andre seg.

Vi ble åtte stykker på tur, faktisk. Slett ikke verst, siden mange jo har ferie ennå. Disse fire var imidlertid ikke i feriemodus, de føk av gårde så spruten sto som vi ser.

Ferskingene var litt småskeptiske til vinden i dag, og tatt i betraktning at Dag Arild gikk kurs i fjor, bare har padlet et par turer sist høst siden, så hadde de vel et poeng. Man kunne nok ønsket seg litt mindre for ham på årets første tur. Men det er jo ingen skam å snu, så vi padlet av gårde og så fikk vi heller se hvordan det gikk. Vinden roet seg litt mens vi rigget oss til, dessuten.

Det gikk helt fint, alle kom vel over i solskinnet. 5 kilometer cirka var det, til dit vi skulle. Her ser vi fritidshuset i Hokkabogen, pyntet med litt tåkedott i bakgrunnen.

Utenfor fant vi igjen Bent og Ulrika, som Dag Arild slo følge med videre innover. Trond, Anja og jeg skulle nemlig samle oss en post, og da må vi jo ha riktig bildedokumentasjon etter standardkravet.

Her! Det hadde blitt kulere om det var flo, men den var som vi ser langt unna, så den gadd vi ikke vente på.

Ja. Jeg som ikke synes noe om disse ti på topp-greiene leder altså nå an i 10 på skjæret... Men det er fordi 1 jeg er i komité og må jo da gå foran, og 2 jeg har utfordret folk med at jeg lager sjokoladefondant til de som klarer å samle flere enn meg. Og det blir jo et helsikes styr om det blir for mange.

Inne i Hokkabogen padlet Ulrika rundt og så på en steinkobbe, mens resten var kommet seg på land. Vi fulgte etter.

Det ble fyrt bål og lett fram godsaker som pølser, marshmallows, jordbær og tørrfisk. Og øl, noe svensken ble kjempeglad for. Finnes det Munkholm på boks forresten? Jeg liker ikke å klirre med flasker i kajakken, men Munkholm hadde jo vært kjekt å ha med seg. (Null alkohol, full av smak.)

Ganske så fint i Hokkabogen, selv om det ikke akkurat var strand der vi gikk i land. Jeg padlet for øvrig i kortermet jakke i dag. Den får oppmerksomhet hvor enn jeg har den på meg, folk er misunnelige. Mulig jeg ville blitt misunnelig på tørrdrakt om jeg veltet, men det vil eventuelt vise seg. Neppe denne gangen.

I det fine været så vi ingen grunn til å stresse hjemover, selv om tåka truet bak fjellene. Vi holdt det gående til halv ti faktisk, da pleier vi å være kommet oss på land og på tur hjem vanligvis.

Men da hadde bålet brent ned og det var blitt merkbart kjøligere, så vi tok omsidet på tur hjem. Hadde egentlig forventet at vinden skulle løyet nå, men det var minst like mye – og etter hvert også mer enn da vi først dro over.

Turen tilbake ble det ikke tatt noen bilder på, men den ble innholdsrik. Stikkord: Surfing, gledeshyl (skrekkblandet fryd, ble det sagt), velting, kameratredning, sleping av flåte, kontakttauing og alle i god behold til andre siden. Og noen lærte at andre tar seg av slepinga hvis man har pakket ned slepelina. Svarte... Skal prøve den selv neste gang, he he.

Så lenge man har verktøyene med og kan bruke dem så synes jeg det er helt fint å dra over på det viset, selv om forholdene var litt mer enn noen ønsket denne dagen. Det er jo blant det vi har klubben for, at folk skal kunne bli med erfarne padlere ut og padle litt utenfor den innerste komfortsonen, for å utvikle seg. Ellers blir man jo værende der – men lengden på skrittene kan jo diskuteres, he he.

Det verste som skjedde var nok gangsperre i dag, på noen. :) Og dét har de jo bare godt av, ha ha ha.

Foto: Tjyvlånt fra bålmeister Dag Eide
Tilbake på stranden ble det fyrt opp på nytt, og det ble alt for sent for min del før jeg kom hjem. Men da har man jo hatt det særdeles trivelig, så det får være greit. Selv om det ikke er ferie for min del lenger, så er det fortsatt sommer.

Hvor drar vi neste onsdag? Det vil vise seg.

Tolvte post i boks.

Bent har også blogget turen, hans bilder finner du HER.

by Miamaria ( at July 31, 2015 04:47 pm

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

Why I Got Out of the Sea Kayak Guiding Business

According to a study published in APS journal Psychological Science, after receiving an unappealing prize for hard work, a six-year-old kid will hold on to it. Whereas a four-year-old kid who works hard for an unappealing reward will detach themselves from that reward by giving it away. The six-year-old, says the study, “tend to employ a cognitive strategy to accommodate the knowledge that they worked hard to earn an unattractive reward.” They revalue the reward based on how difficult it was to earn it. The four-year-old doesn’t perform that metal jump and sees the prize as it is: not worth it. In this way, six-year-old kids function more like adults, and for the three years I ran a sea kayak guiding business I was like the six-year-old.

It was the perfect job. The second summer I lived in Grand Marais, I got a job guiding sea kayaking. I would wake up in the morning, head to work, haul kayaks to the beach, give a quick lesson to 8 to 10 people and then we’d go out paddling. We’d either explore small sea caves and go to a rock that looked like George Washington’s profile or we’d paddle to a replica, albeit tiny, Statue of Liberty. After landing on the beach, I’d clean the wetsuits, haul kayaks up to the racks and call the day.

a kayaker doing the paddle float rescueDuring that time, I earned my ACA Level 2 Coast Kayaking Instructor Certification. The company I worked for only paid for Level 1, but the Instructor Trainer recognized that my skills were higher than that and said he would have liked to give me a Level 3, but he couldn’t because the course wasn’t long enough. Of course, this was before there were levels in the ACA system.

I paddled five days a week for work and then paddled on days off. When the surf was up, we’d cancel trips and head to the river mouth at the resort for some surfing. We called it “professional development.” It felt more like fun when trying paddlefloat rescues in 3-foot surf and catching waves. We had many adventures, such as when the 11-year-old girl, whose parents lied about her age shouted at the top of her lungs, “Daddy. Daddy. My legs are asleep make me a doctors appointment.” We had “epic” fun such as when on a two-guide tour with 10 boats on the water, we had four capsizes all at once, then a tow and a capsized tow. We got to watch yard-sale surf landings. We met many people who said the highlight of their trips was kayaking on Lake Superior. We also encouraged people to take up kayaking. One of my students eventually became an instructor. For years, my summers were perfect. I wasn’t earning much money guiding (and the tips at the resort which gave away the trips to their guest for free were absolutely pathetic — I made much, much more guiding trips when people paid for their trips), but I also wasn’t 100% dependent on a guiding job for income so the lack of good pay didn’t detract from the experience and fun.

Eventually, after leaving for an expedition, I realized that maybe I needed to make more money and the resort and I couldn’t come up with a good salary for me, so I left. I got a job offer to set up a new store in town, took it and then quit after the owner yelled at me for not doing someone else’s job in his other business while pounding his fist and saying, “I pay your checks.” I told him to shove his check up his ass. Later, he was arrested for prostitution, so I was glad to have left when I did. After that I figured I was out of the sea kayaking business for good. It had been 15 years either selling sea kayaks and outdoor gear or guiding trips. I figured that was a good run.

But, I had this idea floating around in my head from years back that I should start a sea kayaking business that was trailer based, operated by meeting the paddlers at the destination’s launch point, and maybe had beach space in the harbor. Low overhead. Low work. High fun! A year later, I started my own sea kayak guiding company.

With only $250 spent on advertisement and equipment bought with money from my savings account (actually made over several years from affiliate links and advertising on this website, so thanks!), I launched the season. I rented beach space and had a good season. I paid off the equipment and ended the season with more money in the bank that I had put into the business. I didn’t really need a paycheck because photography was paying my bills, so I didn’t draw any money.

The next year, I sold off the unstable boats, bought new equipment, an extra trailer and hired two contract employees — and good friends. We had a good year. I paid off all the equipment, had money left over in the bank, paid my contractors and and significantly expanded the business while only spending $100 on advertisement. On a personal level, I felt my skills grow and mature. And I earned my ACA L4 Open Water Coastal Kayaking Instructor certification.

hansel_bryan_140712-201Year three started off with a bang. I hired one of my contractors as a full-time employee. She guided almost five days a week and I guided almost five days a week. And my better half helped out when we needed her to. We had two trailers and were always running trips. Some of the trips were large, but I had purchased a bunch of tandems to handle the expected increase. Each trailer could handle 8 participants and I rented kayaks from a friendly outfitter in town when I needed more. Money was pouring in, things were paid off and there was money in the bank. I still hadn’t taken a draw because I didn’t need it.

At the end of that summer, I was exhausted and wanted nothing to do with sea kayaking. The business was growing and for the fourth year could have supported two full-time employees plus myself. I’d need to buy a new vehicle and trailer and more kayaks to meet the expected demand. And it seemed like our multi-day trips were about to take off based on the number of emails I fielded, so I’d need to find a person who could take off to guide week-long trips.

But, there were downsides. The work was extremely hard. I was routinely working 12 to 14 hour days, 7 days a week. The reservations were ringing the phone off the hook, so if I guided a tour, I’d have five or so calls to return at the end of the day. Cleaning and organizing equipment fell on my shoulders, and because we were trying to get by with one vehicle (two now and then), I’d have to move the trailer for the other guide before doing my trip and haul it off the beach at the end of the day. And don’t get me started on the accounting and payroll paperwork. Even though I used an online payroll service, keeping track of everything that the government(s) required and wanted and the surveys they send out randomly was overwhelming for someone trying to do it on his own. Paperwork was calf high and piling up. There would have been enough money to hire an accounting company the following year, but that was taking a cut. And while there was money to spare, I wasn’t sure it would be worth it. I’m not even going to mention all the harassment I received from my old boss. I never knew what my former boss was going to pull next, so it was stressful.

I spent the winter between year three and what would be year four debating whether or not to continue. But, I had worked so hard that I decided I should soldier on. And I almost did…

But I decided to get out of the business.

Cave of Waves, Tettegouche State Park KayakingAfter I got out of the business, people would ask me why, and I’d say because my photography business was making more money (which it was), that I lost money in photography because of the kayaking (which I did), that I could increase my photography business by more than I would lose from getting rid of the kayaking business (which was true), that I had a house to remodel (which I still do), that I wanted to spend time with my newly born kid (and I’m so glad that I have the extra time with him while he grows up). All were 100% true, but I had a realization that made me get out of the business.

I realized that holding on to something only because I had worked so hard at it in the past made no sense for the future when the overall reward wasn’t high. While there were plenty of great times, the work was disproportionate to the reward, and it seemed that the more the company grew and the more money it made, the less rewarding it was to me. And what reward was there wasn’t all that desirable. Before I gave it up, I was like the six-year-old in the cited study. I was hanging on to something with little value only because I had put so much work into building it.

Luckily, I had an easy way out. If I wasn’t a photographer, I would have had to continue on with the sea kayaking business. I have a friend who did that even when it didn’t seem enjoyable to him. He eventually went bankrupt and is now enjoying life.

If the reward isn’t worthwhile even though it took hard work to get it, it’s best to think like a four-year-old and get out.

And now I get to paddle solely for fun again. It has been a blast!

The post Why I Got Out of the Sea Kayak Guiding Business appeared first on You can leave a comment by clicking here: Why I Got Out of the Sea Kayak Guiding Business.

by Bryan Hansel at July 31, 2015 05:29 am

July 30, 2015

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.


Costa W de Portugal .... Niebla

Esta travesia seria impensable sin compas..... Tenemos niebla todas las mañanas..... Aqui estamos esperando que abra un poco.....

by Jose Bello ( at July 30, 2015 03:36 pm

El inicio de una nueva travesia

Una travesia no comienza cuando das la primera palada. Siempre es necesaria una planificacion. Algunas veces compleja, pero siempre gratificante.... pues desde ese momento ya estas viviendo la aventura......

El viaje hasta ese punto que has marcado en la carta, trasportando los kayas es para mi una fase realmente estimulante. Vamoooos...

by Jose Bello ( at July 30, 2015 03:36 pm

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

Kayaks and Lightning

This picture is making the rounds on the Interwebs again, supposedly showing the remains of a kayak that was struck by lightning. I'm pretty sure that this kayak was not struck by lightning, but rather is the victim of a fire. There's what looks to be a gasoline-powered compressor at the far end of the dock, the deck is charred but not exploded apart which what one might expect if lightning struck the dock, and the smoldering deck fire was stopped on the right side by a garden hose. It's possible, of course, that the initial source of the fire was a lightning strike, but I believe this kayak succumbed to the fire, not lightning.
Regardless of the lineage of this photo, it does serve as a good reminder of lightning safety when it comes to kayaking. Getting struck by lightning is rare, and getting struck by lightning in a kayak is even rarer. But it does, unfortunately, happen, sometimes with fatal results. In our part of the world, we might get one or two thunderstorms a year, if that, so lightning safety is something that is rarely considered here.
Some good tips can be found at the Newburyport Kayak Report, and at The most important tip is, of course, check the weather forecast before heading out.

by (John Herbert) at July 30, 2015 02:00 pm
Kajak, Foto,Friluftsliv

Sven Thorell manual

Hej här är några pdf sidor om att bygga kajaker i duk på både ribbor och helbordläggning.


by Bengt Larsson at July 30, 2015 01:39 pm

Tält på mast

Tänk om skulle prova detta med tarpen och masten på min Pace 17


by Bengt Larsson at July 30, 2015 01:07 pm

The Ikkatsu Project
In the Service of the Ocean



The news channels and the twitterverse are all aflutter at the moment over the killing of Cecil the lion. Cecil was a collared lion who lived inside a park in Zimbabwe who was lured out of the park in order to be shot with a bow and arrow. It will likely be a while before we get to the bottom of it all but the shitheel that did the deed has been identified as an American dentist who paid more than $50,000 for the privilege. Because Cecil was a well-known and greatly loved animal in Zimbabwe, his brutal killing has sent shock waves around the world.

There is a lot that can be said about the specifics of the case, but it’s the big picture that bothers me the most. Whether individual steps in the hunt were legal or not is an argument that pales in comparison to the really big issue here, which is: How is the hunting of lions even something that still happens? Are there really penises so small that these desperate hunts can somehow provide their owners badly needed extra mass? What is the nature of the prize that is conferred by taking a life and mounting the resulting corpse on some study wall in Minnesota? How is it that we still insist on being somehow apart from nature, even with all we have learned to this point?

Cecil was a majestic beast, even for a lion. It’s easy to see how people can be upset by such wanton and purposeless destruction.

I saw another story on the news yesterday about a study that warned about the collapse of worldwide fisheries by 2048. This study claims that, with all of the pressures being put on the world’s oceans, there will be no commercially viable stocks of fish left anywhere in another 30 years. Whether that ultimately comes to pass or not, it’s a commentary on our own values and attention spans that the story was buried deep in the news hour, well down the list of items covered.

After we hear about Donald Trump for a while, then the confederate flag, then Hillary’s emails or another story of police violence in some squalid village south of the Mason-Dixon line, then maybe we’ll have time for a couple minutes about the extinction of ocean life.

At my core, I am concerned about the long-term survival of a species that will pay a decent year’s salary to kill a large, furry animal but that can’t spare more than a few moments to lightly consider the end of aquatic life as we know it. I worry that we don’t deserve this place.

by Ken Campbell at July 30, 2015 12:29 pm

Paddling to See- A blog about sea kayaking in Maine. Join us on scenic sea kayak trips in Maine and other beautiful places

Racing low at Naskeag (Maine)

Looking from Pond Island to Blue Hill Bay Light on Green Island

  As I sit in the basement, trying to get my brain to think on this hot, sticky day, it's hard to remember how cold it was last Saturday.  61 degrees (F)  with a light but steady wind from the east and iffy skies.  So of course we headed to Naskeag, a launch site from which we regularly get caught in fog or rain.

   But we go to Naskeag for multiple reasons; you can get to islands without crossing any channels,  it's easy to get to and rarely crowded,  and most importantly, there are so many wonderful places to go if it is clear enough

  There is plenty of parking for cars at Naskeag Point in Brooklin Maine, but less for vehicles towing trailers.  Some trailers parked on the beach (a firm crushed granite beach), some along side of the road, a few placed a trailer in one spot, truck in the other and one took up four or five spaces.

  Though the skies were gray, there was no fog, so we headed across to Pond Island, passing on the way Mahoney, a active bird island.  In addition to the variety showing up in the picture (cormorant, gulls, eiders) terns, guillemots, and loons hung out by the island.

  Our crossing took us to Opechee, then it was a matter of seeing if we could beat low to cross between Opechee and Jons, and again between Opechee and Black.  The water was just passable between Opechee and Black.

   Over 100 seals were spotted on various ledges.  This shot is of a crowded ledge east of John's Island.

   Only one raccoon was scene, running free on Opechee.

   Lunch, at just about low, was on Pond Island, before riding some choppy water back to Naskeag.

Another picture from Pond Island

  Summary:  Launch 10:30AM, low just about noon, finish about 1:30.  8 miles, one break.   Naskeag offers about 20 single car spaces, trailered vehicles tend to part on the side of the road.  Port-a-pottie.   All tides crushed rock ramp, dock, also a nice picnic area and beach at the launch.

by PenobscotPaddles ( at July 30, 2015 11:02 am

July 29, 2015

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

Poirier Lake

Another good round of commando kayaking on a summer day! I'm trying to learn all the buses in and around Sooke near Victoria. This time I hopped on the #63 again with my inflatable Lagoon (a dandy little kayak), and hopped off at the sign for Poirier Lake, with two five-car parking lots right beside Otter Point Road. Poirier is a little kidney-bean shaped lake a few hundred metres across, surrounded by tall trees and a hill, with a few houses peeking out from the trees. On the map it looks like the lake drains through a creek into Young Lake nearby. Poirier is one of several small lakes in and near Victoria that are part of a management plan.

As Hook and Bullet website says, 

Poirier Lake is a lake located just 2.5 miles from Sooke, in Capital Regional District, in the province of British Columbia, Canada. Whether you’re fly fishing, baitcasting or spinning your chances of getting a bite here are good. So grab your favorite fly fishing rod and reel, and head out to Poirier Lake. For Fishing License purchase, fishing rules, and fishing regulations please visit British Columbia Fish & Wildlife. Please remember to check with the local Fish and Wildlife department to ensure the stream is open to the public. Now get out there and fish!
As a matter of fact, one can go fishing only in lakes or the ocean on the whole island this summer. Long before the Department of Fisheries closed all the streams and rivers due to the dry weather, all the fly-fishing clubs and First Nations had announced that no one should fish in any of the streams or rivers. The poor fish are suffering from low water conditions, with some streams drying up to leave only a few warm pools of water.

I rolled up to the lakeshore and chatted with a pair of workers for Juan de Fuca Recreation and the Capital Regional District. I found the plans for park improvement online. There's a nice picnic shelter here above the shore, and a few picnic tables as well. The paths are crushed gravel, and there is a porta-john. Plans are in place to turn the two concrete pads into the base for good little docks for fishing, one of which will be a boat launch. No motor boats are allowed, but small rowboats, canoes, kayaks and the like are welcome. Swimming is not recommended.

The lake has a shallow muddy bottom on the north-west shore, with at least three kinds of water lilies growing. All around the lake are many sunken logs with branches sticking up near or to the surface. These would be places to look for fishes, and possibly turtles, but neither were visible today.

I turned on my SPOT beacon and sent an OK signal from the lake. Later I sent another from the bus stop a little way along the road while I was waiting for the bus. It's a nice way to let Bernie know at home that I've arrived at the lake, and then that I'm waiting at the bus stop after leaving the lake. Paddling alone is less dangerous when a person wears a PFD (always), chooses a sensible place sheltered from strong wind, and has a plan to avoid annoying problems when possible.

I can see why Poirier would be a popular lake for fishing. Not only is it right on a paved road (and a bus route!) but there are clouds of bugs fluttering over the lake so I'm sure the trout are snapping them up. While I was paddling slowly along the south-east shore near the steep hillside, the water looked deeper than where I launched. It was cool in the shade from the trees, there were dragonflies eating clouds of mosquitoes. Several big splashes told me there were big fish swimming unseen. All in all, a pleasant place to have a quiet and relaxed paddle in a small boat.

by (Paula) at July 29, 2015 10:24 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.

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!)

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.

Freya Hoffmeister
Home of Freya Hoffmeister

Vorträge “THINK BIGGER! – Survived.” —Meine Erst-Umrundung Südamerikas


Ich freue mich, für Vorträge über meine Erst-Umrundung Südamerikas in dieser Wintersaison in Deutschland/ Europa zur Verfügung zu stehen.

Anfragen bitte an Petra Hassler-Mattes oder direkt an mich. Danke!

Der Vortrag ist abendfüllend und sehr inspirierend, und dauert ca. 2 x 1 Stunde. Viel Spaß!

by Freya at July 29, 2015 10:53 am

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

Rob Stevens - Paddles & W/C Canoe Restoration

addling friend Rob Stevens sent in some pics of his recent paddle creations...

• 2 American Chestnut
• 2 Sassafras, including a northwoods style with notched handle
• 2 black cherry

 Notched Northwoods Grips

In addition to being busy with paddles, Rob also organizes the annual WCHA Wooden Canoe Assembly in New York State. He's also found the time to restore an old canoe for his daughter. The boat is a 14 footer from the 1960s, believed to be a Chestnut Fox or Peterborough Mermaid. 

A few years back at the annual Killbear Paddlers Rendevous, Andre Cloutier of Ravenwood Canoes brought it to showcase its original condition. In order to get it into the water, the weakened canvas was temporarily sealed with loads of duct tape. 

The magic of duct tape
Photo Credit: Andre Cloutier

Andre padding
Photo Credit: Andre Cloutier

Being a smaller guy, I'm partial to 14 footers for solo canoeing. Although my own cottage garage is getting cluttered with canoe gear, I'd be interested in acquiring another 14' vintage canoe eventually.

by Murat ( at July 29, 2015 11:36 am
Kajak, Foto,Friluftsliv

Tarp från Exped

Provade tarpen från Exped är mycket nöjd. Bra med fäste för mittstång och krokarna som gör att inga knutar behövs på linorna.


Postat med WordPress för Android

by Bengt Larsson at July 29, 2015 07:47 am

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

Swimmer and a Kayak Flotilla in Active Pass

On July 25, Karl and Stephanie were on a BC Ferry going from Tsawassen to Swartz Bay. While the ferry was in Active Pass (as in, a narrow passage between Gabriola and Mayne Islands with fast, swirling currents, where the traffic protocol is Stay The F*$% Out Of The Way Of The Ferries) they saw a swimmer with a group of kayakers for escort.

Here's the video Karl took:

If this video doesn't load, you can find it here on YouTube, where Karl wrote:
While taking the 1:00PM ferry from Swartz Bay (Vancouver Island) to Tsawwassen (Vancouver BC) on July 25, 2015, they told us that a person was swimming through Active Pass (Between Galiano Island and Mayne Island) with a group of kayakers. They said something about his route, but I didn't hear it. Swimming around Mayne Island perhaps? If anyone knows the name of the swimmer and their route, please post it in the comments. The ferry was the Spirit of British Columbia. Filmed with a Canon HD CMOS digital camera.

by (Paula) at July 29, 2015 07:30 am

July 28, 2015

Mountain and Sea Scotland
Hillwalking and Sea Kayaking in Scotland

The Kelpies - "stretch up your long necks to greet the sun"

Since they first rose out of the regenerated industrial landscape of the Helix Park we’d been intending to visit the much talked-about sculptures at the heart of the project.

On a bright day early in the Spring we travelled to meet family and visit the park.  Approaching from one of the car parks, the Kelpies are an astonishing sight….

At 30 metres tall, they simply dominate the landscape, towering over their surroundings.

Close to, the scale and ambition of these wonderful horse head sculptures is really impressive.  They face the canal system running through the heart of Scotland and welcome visitors to both the canals and to the Helix.  The intention was to reflect both folklore and the industrial heritage of the area – the Clydesdale horses used as the models for the Kelpies were once the prime movers of the industrial revolution.

Each piece is made up of individual stainless steel panels fastened to an intricate framework. The sculptor, Andy Scott, and the construction firm have done a superb job.

Although architectural and even industrial in scale, there is real grace and intricacy in the design and construction – and realism too.

The panels are sufficiently spaced to allow sunlight to stream through the structure, adding texture.  At night they are floodlit and I’m assured that they are quite a sight looming through the mist alongside the motorway!

In Scottish folklore, a Kelpie is a water-horse; a shape-shifting spirit inhabiting lochs and rivers.  In the sculptures this legend is intertwined with the strong industrial heritage of this part of Scotland.   Sculpted stone panels around the Helix are carved with phrases connected with folklore and with the sculptures – the one which struck me as most appropriate reads “Stretch up your long necks to greet the sun”

Scotland, and particularly the Stirling/Falkirk/Clackmannanshire area has been gaining a reputation as the home of some great recent works public sculpture.  There’s the elegant “Arria” (also designed by Andy Scott) alongside the M80 between Glasgow and Stirling, the many sculptures on traffic roundabouts through the “Wee County” of Clackmannanshire and now the jewel in the crown, the Kelpies

The Kelpies are a real achievement and are becoming, rightly, a great attraction.  But there’s more…..  the stretching of the necks, the latent power and the scale of these works is something for the Falkirk area and the whole of Scotland to be proud of.  

We'll certainly visit again!

by Ian Johnston ( at July 28, 2015 11:06 pm

On the Big Sea in a Little Boat
Trip reports and other kayaking related ramblings.

Not My Cup of Tea

H wanted to do a family paddle today. Her original plan was to do Wickford Harbor. It provides a nice protected area, ice cream, and proximity to friends. What could be better?

Bug had different plans. She didn’t want to ride in the car. She doesn’t like salt water. She didn’t want to go to the beach. She didn’t want to spend time in the sun. She didn’t want to go anywhere. She doesn’t like ponds….

I was not feeling overly accommodating, but H wanted to find some compromise that Bug would at least not melt down over. We discussed going to Walden Pond or Lake Cochituate. I was not thrilled with either option and kept making the argument that we should just go with the original plan. Neither Bug nor I were making H’s morning easy.

On a lark I threw out Essex as a possible place to paddle. In my head it was closer to home. It also offered some level of ocean paddling, and provided access to a real beach. After thinking about it for a little while, H decided it was a good compromise. It also meant we could squeeze a visit with grandparents in as well.

We packed up the paddling gear, the kayaks, and some lunch. In my head, this was a short process. It took more than an hour. The cradles needed to be attached, things needed to be found, water bottles needed to be filled one at a time, hair needed to be done, kayaks needed to be prepped and carried. Bug needed to be cajoled.

We woke up around 8am and hit the road before noon. With an estimated travel time of 45 minutes, we figured we would be on the water before 1pm. Then we hit traffic. 45 minutes later we still hadn’t passed the Rt. 93 split and Bug was complaining about the long car ride…. By the time we reached the 128 split we had been in the care for more than an hour and I was starting to complain….

Things turned around when we got to the launch. It was nicely appointed with easy access, free parking, a nice grassy area to eat lunch, nearby bathroom facilities, and a decent ramp. The weather was perfect: sunny, but not too hot. Breezy, but not windy. Everyones mood had turned sunny as well. We were all looking forward to getting on the water.

The paddle out along the river was great. Bug took out her paddle, which is getting a little small for her, and starting sticking it in the water. “Look I’m making plastic bags!” she shouted gleefully as the water arched over the partially submerged blade.

Then she started splashing the paddle side-to-side. “I’m helping paddle!” Then she looked back to see how I was doing it and started paddling backwards….

I explained to her how to paddle forward and she did a good job for a little while. The big smile was all the help I really needed.

Meanwhile H was enjoying paddling along in her own kayak. This was her first time out this season. She looked very comfortable.

When the narrow river channel opened up we were faced with a decision. Go left and follow the boat traffic around an island to get to the beach. Go right and wind through the sand flats to get to the beach. It looked like there was a clear path through the sand flats and it looked way shorter than paddling around the island….

The path clogged up a quarter of the way through the sand flats. We decided to hang out on the sand for a while. It was like a beach. Bug was nervous about hermit crabs pinching her feet, so we had to ensure her that was not a problem.

The sand banks were a great place to hang out. There were a bunch of clam shells to discover. There was also these funny looking holes along the edge of the water. H decided to do some exploratory digging and discovered a giant clam! It was cool. It was more cool to watch it rebury itself once we put it back in the water. The clam sat for a while and then flipped itself up on its side. Once it was vertical, the clam made speedy work of covering itself back up.

The green head flies munching on my legs kept the scene for being idyllic. There were not eating H or Bug quite as much, but the wind on the sand was starting to die down. No wind usually means more flies. Also, the real beach was within sight. I wanted to at least see the ocean.

There was enough of a water way to keep the kayaks afloat as we dragged them along and across the sand banks. We eventually found another channel that was deep enough for paddling. That channel took up into the open water between the sand flats and the beach.

When we hit the open section, we had to deal with current dragging us out to the ocean. It was not a strong current, but with an open double one cannot be too careful. We made a hasty crossing and found a spot on the crowded beach.

Everyone hopped out and Bug raced off to explore. Then she raced back to splash in the salt water. I wanted to walk around the point and see the Atlantic, so we made our way down the beach. Since we couldn’t cross the dunes due to plover nesting, we stuck to the shore line. This made Bug super happy since that meant more water time for her.

We didn’t linger too long on the beach. It was getting late and the green heads were still biting. We had to drag Bug out of the water and back into the kayak. After we promised ice cream she was more than happy to go back.

We were again faced with the option of following the channel or going across the sand flats. H reasoned that since the tide was coming in, the sand flats would have plenty of water over them…. We only had to drag the kayaks a little way while providing a feast for the green heads.

Before we hit the sand Bug turned around and looked at me with a big smile on her face. “Daddy, paddling isn’t my cup of tea,” she said. “But I know you like it, so it is OK."

Once back in the main channel, Bug got sick of the green heads and started splashing water everywhere to keep them away.

“Say got it when the water hits you. That way I know the flies are not getting you.”

We figured this would last for a few minutes and then she would settle into a new game. We were wrong. It lasted for the rest of the trip home. The good thing was that it kept the flies away.

The downside of the splashing was that it made it hard to keep Big Red on course. I was getting tired, so I dropped the rudder to lend a hand. The rudder made it easier to steer, but harder to go fast. I have a hard time paddling and steering with a rudder at the same time. (I can chew gum and walk.)

We got back and met the grandparents for dinner. Bug still insisted that she didn’t like salt water or paddling. The mind of a five year old is mysterious and fickle thing.

by Eric J. ( at July 28, 2015 06:51 pm

Outdoor news and teaching secrets revealed...

Kokatat expands SwitchZip in Spring 16 collection giving more options and versatility

Kokatat expands SwitchZip in Spring 16 collection giving more options and versatility
  Arcata, California - For Spring 2016 Kokatat is expanding its offering of gear with the award winning SwitchZip technology, which features a fully separating watertight zipper allowing paddlers to wear a garment as a full dry suit or as an individual top. Kokatat introduced the innovative zipper system that fully separates at the waist last year with the GORE-TEX® Idol dry suit.  For Spring 2016 SwitchZip will be integrated in the new touring specific GORE-TEX® Radius Dry Suit, the GORE-TEX® Surge Paddling Suit, and the GORE-TEX® Passage Anorak.  The Passage Anorak, as well as the tops of all suits with SwitchZip, can be warn alone or mated with any other SwitchZip compatible pant, including the Idol.   “Last season paddlers saw how fantastic SwitchZip is in one suit.  With the expansion of the technology, they get additional versatility as they can now mix and match tops and bottoms,” said Jeff Turner, Kokatat Sales Manager. Kokatat Radius   The GORE-TEX®…

by (David Johnston) at July 28, 2015 04:18 pm

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

Finfärgade skosnören


Lätt att bli extra glad när man hittar skor, Scarpa Mojito, med finfärgade skosnören. Dessutom väldigt bekväma. Har även sett att de finns i helorange! :) Blir nog nya favoritskodon! Matchar dessutom min Arrow Play ganska bra.

Inlägget Finfärgade skosnören dök först upp på kajaknördar - paddling verkar kul.

by Erik Sjöstedt at July 28, 2015 04:10 pm

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

Canoe Jumping

Stunt jumping ain't been the same since the late Evel Knievel retired. But if he'd ever gotten into a canoe, I bet he would have tried something like this. Check out the video below:

by (John Herbert) at July 28, 2015 03:00 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.


På en ferietur til Gotland havde jeg kajakken med. Det blev ikke til så mange ture, men jeg fik da roet 47 km på lidt forskellige steder. Jeg har nu roet over 13.000 km i mine havkajakker.
Den første tur var på nordsiden af øen, hvor jeg roede langs en flot kalkklippekyst, mens fruen fandt fossiler på stranden.
Da jeg på et tidspunkt skulle i land og lette det ene ben, fandt jeg også en del store og spændende forsteninger.
Vi havde på et tidspunkt været på en flot huletur ved Bummelunde. Der så vi en troldetand i klippen. Jeg fik øje på en anden del af troldens anatomi i klinten.

Næste tur udgik fra Suderstrand på Fårø lige nord for Gotland.
Vejret var bedre og jeg nød naturen og fuglelivet
Vendepunktet var øens nordligste punkt, hvor et fyrtårn - stadig i aktivitet - advarer om klippeøen
Selv som kajakroer måtte jeg passe på sten og klipper. Flere steder var der meget lavvandet langt ude fra kysten, og da istiden har efterladt en del sten, så der skulle holdes godt udgik.
Andre steder var der de fineste strande. Men det lykkedes da mig at få ramt en sten med min finne, og så sad den fast.
Det viste sig at den var meget slidt og knækket ved "hængslet" oppe i finnekisten. En Leatherman, en pind limet ind i skyderen, gaffa i de rigtige farver :-) og lidt fingersnilde fik klaret en repearation, så jeg kunne ro videre med en virksom finne - dog med lidt reduceret udslag.
En enkelt rotur måtte jeg afbryde da en heftig byge både både blev ledsaget af en skypumpe samt lyn og torden.
Vejret skiftede meget, og på den sidste tur roede jeg af sted i fint vejr og surfede hjem i overskyet og rygvindsblæsende vejr.

by Pouls kajakblog ( at July 28, 2015 02:25 pm

Hyggetur til Karrebæksminde

Jeg skulle prøve en kajak som klubben evt skulle købe til seniorerne. Kajakken var en Hasle plastkajak. Den var fin nok at komme ned i, at rulle med og at ro i, men meget besværlig at entre fra vandet, og derfor ikke særlig egenet til klubben.
Lige ved Svingbroen mødte vi en ung mand, der var meget fortørnet over at blive fotograferet på sin jetski. Han havde måske lidt dårlig samvittighed over at have fræset ind gennem det meste af kanalen. Han var meget truende, men Ole fik snakket ham lidt til ro - og da han heller ikke kunne starte sin jetski, der var gået i stå, tog vi det roligt ud gennem kanalen.
Turen gik til Karrebæksminde, hvor vi slappede af på stranden inden turen gik hjemad.
På vejen hjemad mødte vi en flok af de nye - en enkelt var i turkajak. Alle klubbens havkajakker var på vandet.
Turlængde 17 km

by Pouls kajakblog ( at July 28, 2015 01:53 pm

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

Rock hopping the delightful and sublime mysteries...of castles and caves.

Rock hopping: close quarter paddling amidst rocks and skerries, weaving and manoeuvring through narrow passages and caves.

Castles: large buildings, usually very old, strongly fortified against attack, with thick walls, battlements, and towers.

Caves: hollow or natural passages under or into the earth.

One of the perks of sea kayaking in the "old world", is that it's not unusual to find oneself paddling through history. Anything can appear around a headland...such as a medieval castle, or an ancient cave.

Some castles are fully intact and even occupied, others are in ruins, a magical shadow of a mystery-filled past glory. Findlater Castle is one such castle that occupies a lonely and rugged promontory, near the village of Sandend, on the Moray Firth.

The clifftop ruins date back to 1450 but incorporate earlier works dating back to as early as 1246. (The parish church that I currently serve, arguably one of the most historic Romanesque / Norman buildings in the UK, was built between 1183-1187 and is still in use!)

The Vikings occupied the site for a time but very little appears to be known about that period of the castle's history.

The remains that can be seen from the kayak cockpit, are thought to have been built by Sir Walter Ogilvy. 

In 1560, the castle was passed on to Sir John Gordon, son of the 4th Earl of Huntly. The real estate market must have been hot, the castle was returned to the Ogilvy family in the early 1600's. They then opted for more upscale and modern digs in Cullen. Perhaps the need to "keep up with the Joneses" has been around for some time!

A little rock hopping, in the gentle swell...

...takes the paddler to the next stop, a most inviting and intriguing gully, between steep cliffs.

The high and precipitous walls are home to a community of birds, nestled comfortably into the nooks and crannies.

Nearing the end of the breeding season, they seemed so a peace and at ease with one another, and the two curious sea kayakers below...

...who were about to glide through a natural passage in the headland, and then back to the vast expanse of the North Sea.

It is always a surreal thrill that is granted by Mother be permitted to pass through the cliff walls.

Inside the earth, there is a coolness and a silence, a comfortable and peaceful eeriness that bids welcome to the paddlers of narrow boats...but only on certain days when the capricious and unforgiving sea permits. 

In these brief moments, between sea surface and cavern ceiling, time pauses.

And then we are released, gliding back into the sunshine...emerging almost reluctantly. 

For these moments and places are both precious and rare.

Mystery is a wonderful thing. It can be birthed in the ancient and crumbling ruins of a once fortified building, high on a cliff. It can come to life in a dimly lit space, inside the earth, created by tens of thousands of years of waves and tides.

The mystery of objects and places such as castles and caves can as delightful and sublime as anything else in the world. Both could tell a thousand thousand stories from their static place on the land and seascape.

Rock hopping the North Sea certainly can...well, rock. :)

by Duncan and Joan ( at July 28, 2015 01:00 pm

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

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

Helgeland del 2 - Teksmona–Gammøya

Del 1 av denne Helgelands-turen (Ørnes–Teksmona) sammen med Tromsø Havpadleklubb finner du HER. Dette er utsikten jeg våknet til, på Teksmona. Det bor folk på denne øya, men ikke på den siden vi padlet. Traff en kar her om dagen som faktisk bor der, det var jo litt skøy.

Her nedover skulle vi padle videre. Det så jo lovende ut?

Det var såvidt begynt å bli liv i leiren på dette tidspunktet. De var ikke akkurat tidlig på'an disse tromsøfolkene, men vi padlet jo til seint om kvelden så det var veldig ok for meg.

Så kom Hurtigruta, og da ble det straks mer liv i leiren!

Jeg var jo litt spent på å dra på tur med disse folkene, men interessen for hurtigruta var et bra tegn. Alle stoppet opp med det de holdt på med for å se på den gå forbi.

Vips så var etter hvert hele gjengen oppe, og det var steike varmt til frokost. Klegg kom det også på besøk, men ikke mer enn et par stykker som vimset rundt i slengen.

Godt utpå formiddagen kom vi oss omsider på vannet. Det var ikke videre innbydende å skulle kle på seg tørrdrakten i dette været må innrømmes, men de andre padleklærne hadde jeg pakket helt framme i baugen... Det fikk gå med tørrdrakt, tok så lite som mulig under.

Det ble varmt. Ikke akkurat noe vindpust utpå her, heller. VARMT!

Heldigvis la vi av gårde i et bedagelig tempo, og etter et stykke kom det også (og heldigvis!) et lite drag i luften. Puh!

Først skulle vi gjøre en kort kryssing, over til en liten gruppe holmer (Gåsvær) der vi skulle ta lunsj. Neste øygruppe (Varkgård/Flatvær) var verneområde med mye fugl (til Helgeland å være, skulle det vise seg) og ilandstigningsforbud fortsatt. Da er det greit å ha gjort nødvendige ærender på land like før.

Foto: Gunnar Noer
Ingen andre båter på kryssende kurs da vi padlet over, det var kjekt. Irriterende hvit bunn på den kajakken fremdeles ser jeg. Svart hadde vært dobbelt så tøft, men Tykje glimter i hvert fall til i sola. Da kommer glitterlakken til sin rett.

Ennå hadde jeg alle fire kameraene i god behold. Jeg hadde med Goproen, speilrefleksen med makrolinse (105 mm) på, det vanntette kompaktkameraet, og et kompaktkamera som ikke var vanntett, for bruk på land. På havet brukte jeg mest Olympus Though TG-2, det vanntette.

Turleder Gunnar hadde oppe et større kamera fra tid til annen. Det gjør helst ikke jeg lenger, etter at mitt falt i havet med favorittobjektivet på. Det ble for dyre bilder, rett og slett.

John og Alf er klare for lunsj. Og det passet bra, for nå var vi omtrent framme der vi skulle ta pause. Bare litt leting etter et ok sted å gå i land på.

Glitterlakk på nærmere hold. Bolga i det fjerne (tror jeg). Den veien skulle vi etter hvert.

Tid for lunsj. Så langt synes jeg det var merkelig lite fugler på Helgeland, vi har da mye flere hjemme. Ørn for eksempel, dårlig med det. Lite teist og alt mulig. Ja, for ikke å snakke om lundefugl, det er jo havet fullt av hjemme for tiden. Pussig.

Etter lunsjen skulle vi krysse litt lenger, over til naturreservatet. Nå har vi også kommet så langt ut at vi kan se Svartisen inne bak oss.

Foto: Gunnar Noer
Nok en utgave av klassikeren "fotografen blir selv fotografert". (Hadde jeg hatt på GoProen hadde jeg fått enda en versjon... Eller, den sto vel på men vet ikke hvor bildene er blitt av.)

Her kommer resten av gjengen. Litt mer liv i havet nå, antydning til skvalp når vi passerte ting. Det var såpass at jeg så støttetak, faktisk. (Ikke for Tykje nei. Han ordner sånt sjøl, så det trenger ikke jeg å tenke på.)

Huhei hvor det går! John og Nils-Jacob i farta.

Svartisen til venstre. Ambulansebåt til høyre. Hjemme er det redningsskøyta som er ambulansebåt, men her har de en egen, med gul farge. Den var litt kul.

Her er ca. dagens spor.

Og her er det Grete som kommer susende, med Gunnar og John like bak.

Nå nærmer vi oss Bolga, her kommer Bjørn ogsås.

Litt "padling i motlys" må vi også ha med, for utsikten utover.

Så var vi kommet gjennom reservatet, og jakten på camp-plass begynte. Turlederne hadde gjort en del research og hadde rimelig kontroll, men med et utall skjær, holmer og øyer er det ikke bare bare å finne fram sånn helt uten videre. Er det noe her framme tro? Vi snirkler oss imellom.

Foto: Gunnar Noer
Her kommer vi, og har en strand i sikte! Jackpot! Researchen ga gode resultater.

Tromsøfolket hadde med seg noen sjenniale bærestropper, sånn at man med letthet kunne være fire på hvert bærelag. Dessverre var vi bare sju, så vi var en i manko for et fullt bærelag. Det ville spart oss litt tid, men ellers ingen krise.

De bærestroppene var i hvert fall kjempelure – da slipper man at noen bærer i håndtaket sånn at hele driten ryker, og hver og en slipper å bære så tungt. Det er flere år siden jeg så dem på ASKR, så det er i grunnen merkelig at ikke dette fenomenet har spredd seg mer enn det har! Herved er det reklamert for, i hvert fall.

John slår opp teltet med Bolga i bakgrunnen.

For første gang hadde jeg solcellepanelet med på tur. Jeg hadde dessuten med meg ledningen til det vanntette Olympus TG-2-kameraet (har akkurat oppdaget at det er 2 jeg har, trodde jeg hadde TG-3), sånn at ovenfornevnte John kunne få ladet opp sitt. På mystisk vis hadde det allerede blitt helt utladet.

Om kvelden var det noe muffens, men om morran da det var blitt full sol igjen så ladet det som bare det. Han hadde det han trengte av batteri for resten av turen, faktisk.

Herlig sted for leir, eller hva? Tarptent-teltet mitt Scarp 1 fungerte fint som vanlig. Jeg skulle gjerne hatt et som var selvstående for det hadde vært enklere å finne plass til, men etter hva jeg har skjønt så finnes ikke det. Så dette er nok av de beste som fins, etter mitt behov. (To innganger er nødvendig luksus.)

(Red. anm. Det skal visst gå an å gjøre det selvstående med ekstra stenger. Jeg må skaffe meg sånne, så blir teltet perfekt!)

Diverse grillings til middag. Kasserollen til høyre er min, der varmes baccalao. De andre hadde med seg alskens godsaker til grillings.

Camp, strand og turleder m/middag. Han har satt seg her alene fordi han ble så forbannet pist da Nils-Jacob fyrte på med diskusjon om Padleforbundet, og hvorfor i all verden Tromsø Havpadleklubb ikke er med der, he he he.

Neida, just kidding. NJ gjorde så godt han kunne, men de beit bare sånn passelig på og ingen ble uforlikte. Boring, men kvelden fortsatte i fred og fordragelighet, med god mat, diverse snacks og tørrfisk. Ja, jeg hadde med noen biter som var vakumpakket. Sjennialt!

Fra venstre: Alf, mine sko, Gunnar, Bjørn og Nils-Jacob i kveldssol.

Middagskvil, riktignok i våken tilstand. (Man kan da kvile uten å sove!)

Utsikt fra teltplassen min, inn mot Bolga.

Utsikt fra samme sted, ut mot havet – og sola.

Et paparazzi-bilde av de andre, fortsatt tatt fra teltplassen. (Med 105 mm, kult objektiv.)

– Og god natt så lenge!

Fortsatt har jeg alle kameraene i god behold. Hvor lenge? Den som leser får se.

by Miamaria Padlemia ( at July 28, 2015 01:11 am

July 27, 2015

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

With Ben in Cooper's Cove

Today there was time for a quick paddle at Cooper's Cove with Ben. He's made various appearances on the blog, often quoted in conversation or chats, sometimes photographed when kayaking with us. Today he paddled our old red Pamlico, the go-to boat for a casual recreational paddle.
Bernie is the one who has taken this boat the most places around here anyone has ever handled this model of kayak, according to Brian Henry of Ocean River, and when in practise Bernie can stand it on its side. But he's been out in it twice this summer and doesn't feel in practise. As for Ben, when he took it out the first few minutes were taken up with practise leaning around and trying various grips on the paddle befoer he settled in and felt comfortable steering and picking up speed.
Cooper's Cove is a nice place to paddle, sheltered from most of the wind. Here's a link showing my SPOT message during the outing. Ben and I looked in particular along the peninsula where one could see the earth accumulating over time and eroding at the edges. As long as that soil has been accumulating since the ice age, people have been using this little cove. A pity that the cove took such a pounding during the construction of the water main from Sooke Lake reservoir to Victoria. There are some articles about that time here and here where the flowline sounds like an interesting sight to see.
Bernie came back to pick up the happy paddlers. Then I went off to the grocery on my bike, and came back to find Ben and Bernie crowbar-ing some damaged boards off the porch deck. Ah, summer!

by (Paula) at July 27, 2015 11:40 pm

Sea kayaking with
Imagine you are at the edge of the sea on a day when it is difficult to say where the land ends and the sea begins and where the sea ends and the sky begins. Sea kayaking lets you explore these and your own boundaries and broadens your horizons. Sea kayaking is the new mountaineering.

The wind mills of Kintyre were birling in the north wind.

Just round the headland from our camp site, the main sweep of Kilfinan Bay is sand. As David was getting himself ready I went off for a little beach combing. Our little beach had no sand but had these beautiful pebbles. As I was admiring their iridescent colours I heard the approach of an outboard motor... turned out to be my brother...  ...Donald who was out fishing in his SIB

by Douglas Wilcox ( at July 27, 2015 06:32 pm

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

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

Hilleberg nyheter sommaren 2015

Hilleberg Niak

Hilleberg Niak

Hilleberg Niak heter en av Hillebergs nyheter som premiärvisades härom veckan på friluftsmässa i tyskland. Ett 1,5-personers kupoltält som väger in på 1,6 kilo. Ser klart intressant ut som enmanstält för det mesta och tvåmans om man vill packa lätt.

Niak ingår i Hillebergs gula serie och det är alltså ett tresäsongerstält. Det går såklart att använda året runt men räknar man med stora mängder snö är det kanske inte optimalt fast då är de flesta av oss ändå inte utomhus! Hilleberg har haft Niak som modellnamn tidigare om jag inte har fel för mig. Nya Niak kommer säkert bli populärt, många som har Unna är nog sugna på en absid till exempel. Niak har två bågar, en absid och väven är Kerlon 600.

Tror nog vi får skriva upp ett Niak på önskelistan :)

Hilleberg Tarp 5 är en ny tarp, en liten tarp lagom för en till två personer. Väger in på 320 gram. Tillverkad i Kerlon 1000 som Rogen och Anjan. Femman i namnet står för storleken i kvadratmeter.

Med ett Niak och en Tarp 5 får man ett tvåmanstält med 5 meter veranda för under två kilo, helt okej.

Stalon XL. Oj, det här är ett jättetunneltält. När man ser bilden ser det ut som ett vanligt tält med en väldigt liten person framför. Stängerna är 17mm i diameter och väven är Kerlon 2000. Jag blev jättesugen på ett Stalon XL, perfekt som festivaltält och så slipper man lågprisalternativen. Verkar gå att konfigurera på alla möjliga vis och ett komplett för 14 personer verkar hamna på drygt 20 kilo. Kanske inte ultralätt men ultrakoolt!

Nyheterna kommer att finnas tillgängliga under våren 2016.

Mer info hos Hilleberg

Hilleberg kan handlas hos till exempel Outnorth

Hilleberg Stalon XL - gigantiskt och ihopkopplingsbart tunneltält

Hilleberg Stalon XL – gigantiskt och ihopkopplingsbart tunneltält

Hilleberg Tarp 5 - smidig liten tarp

Hilleberg Tarp 5 – smidig liten tarp

Inlägget Hilleberg nyheter sommaren 2015 dök först upp på kajaknördar - paddling verkar kul.

by Erik Sjöstedt at July 27, 2015 05:15 am

July 26, 2015

CASKA: Chicago Area Sea Kayakers Association
Chicago Area Sea Kayakers Association. Forum for news, kayaking information, trips and events, and other paddling information in and around Chicago, IL.

Mirror, Mirror, on the Water: A Tranquil Paddle on Mirror Lake

By Mary Fairchild

Mirror LakeChelsea Boots appreciates the serenity of Mirror Lake as she quietly discovers the oak/pine forest reflection before her for the first time.

...there is rarely a wind-stirred ripple on the water's still surface—

Mirror Lake is a narrow river-like waterway between tall cliff-sided gorges that is about 4 miles long. An impoundment of Sauk County's Dell Creek near the Wisconsin Dells, it is a 137-acre manmade lake that begins where Dell Creek flows under the Highway 23 bridge northeast towards the Wisconsin River .

In 1966 the state bought most of the land on the west end of the lake and opened up Mirror Lake State Park . Some families have kept their land and rustic cabins along Mirror Lake and the Seth Peterson Cottage. designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, has been restored.

The overlooks at the Seth Peterson Cottage have been the chosen sites for weddings over the years. The cottage now offers nightly rentals and open house tours are the second Sunday of each month from 1-4pm. In fall there is also a pontoon boat tour of the lake as well as hors d’oeuvres around the cottage fireplace.

The west end of the lake was once a popular resort area where Al and Lou Ringling enjoyed fishing when taking time off from the circus (Baraboo's Ringling Riverfront). Still a good fishing lake, the main fish species are bluegill, crappie, large mouth bass, northern pike, and walleye.

Mirror Lake

From the west end, Mirror Lake flows through the “Upper Narrows” where steep sandstone cliffs tower on each side. Protected by the cliff-sided gorges and towering oak and pine, there is rarely a wind-stirred ripple on the water's still surface—just like a mirror.


After the “Upper Narrows,” the water opens up wide at the Mirror Lake State Park boat landing and beach. Kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, canoes, and pontoons are available through commercial development on the lake (Boat Rentals).

Just south of the beach, Blue Water Bay, or Gray's Slough, is a wildlife habitat. Here a short trail leads up to the amphitheater where, last October, Chelsea was married (A Rustic Wedding at Mirror Lake State Park).

Just past the interstate bridge(I-90), on the south side, is the “Devil's Post Office.” Photographed by the late, and local, H.H. Bennett, the area has many springs including the Allendale Springs that make the ice unsafe during the winter.

At the end you will be at the dam which forms Mirror Lake.

About three hours north of Chicago, Mirror Lake is a serene, dreamy paddle. Any manually propelled vessel that's not furnished with a motor or sail (canoes, kayaks, SUPs, and rowboats...) is exempt from registration requirements in the state of Wisconsin. Depending on where you "put-in," however, you may need to purchase a state park sticker. The beauty of owning a small boat is that you can really put it in almost anywhere and you don't need to use a boat ramp. There are locations for free parking and easy put in at each end of the lake.


  1. Nestled Deep in Wisconsin’s Woods: A Rustic Wedding at Mirror Lake State Park
  2. Boat Registration in Illinois: Chicago Style
  3. Boater Registration in Illinois: What’s Whitewater Got to do With it?
  4. Forest Service and Public/Private Partnerships: Selling us Access to our own Investments
  5. While Vacationing in the Dells
  6. Baraboo’s Ringling Riverfront


by Mary Fairchild at July 26, 2015 08:42 pm

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.

The Art of Sea Kayaking: Surf Zone

This is part of a series of posts covering what it takes to paddle on the open ocean, exposed to swell and away from easy landings. I'll discuss the techniques and ideas I feel are important to understand in order to safely paddle in such a dynamic environment with the focus on how to approach thing instead of simply how to do things. While my intention is to help guide folks who are newer to the sport and possibly neophytes on the ocean, I hope some of the wisdom I share gives even the most seasoned paddler more to think about. This is not meant to teach any specific skills, but rather to inform people on what they should be learning and give some suggestions for going about it. Many of these things are covered in typical classes (some are not), and I highly encourage instruction from a skilled teacher. But I also know many paddlers learn through experience - properly so - and hope these concepts will lead to better learning experiences.

There's a sequence to these posts for a reason, so if something seems unfamiliar try starting at the beginning. Make sure to read the disclaimers and warnings in Part 1: Introduction. And feel free to ask any questions or share your own thoughts in the comments.

Part 2: Technique
Part 3: Rescues and Rolling
Part 4: Surf Zone
Part 5: Awareness/Judgment
Part 6: Forecasts
Part 7: Seamanship
Part 8: Working With the Water
Part 9: Rock Gardening

The Surf Zone

The Theory

If you can handle the surf you can handle the ocean. It’s a little simplistic but fundamentally true in a way that many people don’t seem to understand. Handling rough water almost always comes back to the skills you learn in the surf zone. The people who are comfortable in breaking waves near the beach are the ones who can paddle in breaking waves off shore. You can get by on the open coast without surf skills if you carefully pick your launch site and get lucky with the weather. But luck runs out. And in an emergency you can’t always choose where to land. If you really want to be an ocean kayaker you have to learn how to deal with the surf.

This doesn’t mean you have to surf. Surfing a kayak is one skill among many in the surf zone – it’s probably the funnest – but it isn’t the important thing to learn for coastal paddling. What you need to learn is how to launch through the surf, how to land with the surf, and most importantly how to brace against a wave.

But let’s step back for a second and talk about what the surf zone is. It’s where the energy of a wave gets released. That's what waves are: energy moving through the water. Most of the time that energy passes under a kayak with nothing but a little up and down motion. The wave continues on it's merry way taking the energy with it. It’s situations where that energy spills out of the wave - when the wave has broken in some way - and comes into contact with your kayak that are important. In the surf zone, the water runs out of room to travel forward (it happens anywhere the water becomes too shallow for the wave to travel freely) and the energy pushes the wave up and then it breaks, spilling the energy forward in whitewater. Learning how to deal with that energy is what it's all about. The surf zone is the best classroom because the release is largely consistent and predictable. When you go to the beach to learn, focus on the energy.

One key thing to understand is how to measure that energy, how to get a sense of the explosive power a wave contains. Everyone looks at how tall the waves are, but just like when you try to figure out how many dishes will pack up into your moving box, you need more than the height. You need the length of the box as well. In waves, that’s measured by the period, the time between one wave and the next. Longer period = larger box = more energy. [I’ll go over this more when I talk about Forecasts]  

It's also important to realize that the energy release can be fast or relatively slow. If the waves runs into a quick ending, meaning a steep beach, it will crash hard. If the slope is gentle, it will slowly spill over the top. Whether you're surfing or transiting the surf zone, you want to avoid being in the spot where the wave crashes. If you can't get outside the wave, then you want to get inside of it, moving forward or backward as the case demands to avoid being right under the wave as it explodes.

In general, avoidance is your goal. The most successful paddlers in the surf are the ones who have learned to read the ocean (same is true for those who want to play and surf the waves – the ones who pick the best waves have the best rides). Spend time watching and evaluating. See if different parts of the beach act differently. Learn how to spot rip currents and why they can be your friend. Wait for a few sets to see a pattern. Note whether the energy gets released in a thunderous crash all at once, or if the waves spill more gently farther out.I can’t tell you how many times I’ve arrived at a beach with a group and seen people charge in and get demolished. By picking the right spot and waiting for the right time, I often land or launch without getting wet. Patience is your friend.

To be honest, the only physical skills you need to get through the surf zone properly are a good forward stroke and strong reverse stroke. Couple with good timing and that’s all there is to it. But that’s in a perfect world. In the real world you have to learn how to handle a wave when your timing is off or the surf zone is too big to make it through between waves. You have to deal with that energy. That means bracing.

I don’t want to focus on the minutia of technique but make sure you get the principle. You brace against the energy that the wave is releasing at you. Same as if someone were trying to push you over, you lean into the push. What the paddle does is secondary. How much do you lean? Do you edge the kayak or lean your whole body? Depends on how strong the push is – the more energy that hits you the more you need to lean into it. What happens if you lean too far? You fall over. So learning to brace means learning to balance.

That’s the most valuable thing you’ll learn in the surf zone. If you can get comfortable in breaking waves, learn how to anticipate the energy coming at you, how to react even if it’s unexpected, and how to balance yourself against it you will be ready to paddle in rough water on the open ocean. When the sea gets confused from wind against swell or waves reflect off a cliff or a hidden reef causes a big set to break – that’s when you need to stay upright and keep paddling. That’s what the surf zone teaches you.

It won’t come instantly. It won’t come if you just paddle in and out of the surf zone. It won’t come while you’re surfing the wave. It comes when the wave has broken, the energy released, and you’re left side surfing and riding it out. The more time spent doing that the better a paddler you’ll be.

The Practice

Some things are fine to learn on your own. It might take a little longer, you might get a few bumps, but you can figure it out. Surf zone isn’t one of those. Even if you’ve spent time in the surf on a board or swimming, playing in a kayak is vastly different. Sitting inside a rigid kayak and holding onto a solid chunk of fiberglass with ends designed to catch water raises the stakes and complexity dramatically. What you get out of a one-day surf class from a skilled instructor will save you years on the learning curve and greatly reduce your chance of serious injury – and make no mistake, all that energy we’re talking about can cause some big-time injuries. So start out with a class. There will be plenty of time to spend practicing in the surf again and again.

That being said, here are some thoughts on what to do in that class and what to do after.

Swim. Yeah, I know I said it’s different than being in a kayak, but if you’ve never really experienced surf then it’s best to start without the boat. You can learn about energy in a direct manner that takes a lot of the complication out of the picture. And later, when you haven’t mastered your balance and you flip over and your roll fails because you were so eager to get out paddling that you didn’t spend enough time practicing in the pool – that’s when you’ll appreciate knowing how to swim in the surf.

In class you’ll probably work on launching and landing, because those are good and important skills. But make sure you spend time talking about the waves and the beach. Get some insight from someone with more experience. Spend time in the soup zone – the small, broken waves near shore which have already spent most of their energy. A good instructor will have a number of tools to help you work on your balance and bracing. Don’t think of this as time spent practicing a last-ditch effort to survive. Recognize it as the essence of coastal paddling.

Like any class, what you really learn is determined by what you practice afterwards. So plan on spending lots of time in the surf. Start small. If a beach has a lot of surfers it’s probably bad for two reasons: too much energy for a learning environment and too many hazards in your way. Try to find a beach that looks boring. What most people don’t realize is that on the ocean it’s not the whole wave that breaks. You might have twenty foot swells but in deep water it’s only the top couple of feet that are spilling over because of the wind. In the surf zone you have the whole wave breaking because it’s run out of space. A two foot surf zone gives you plenty of energy to practice with if rough water paddling is your goal.

As your skills build your desire to face bigger waves will grow with it. That’s fine, but give yourself an out. I’ve said before how harbor mouths can be a great place to work on skills in rough water without too much exposure. Well, the harbor jetty often protects a section of beach – or perhaps it the natural curve of the coast or outer reef that does it. Either way, find a beach that transitions from protected to exposed with waves that start small and get bigger. You can move along the beach as your success (or failure) dictates.

In those bigger waves you will inevitably decide to surf some of them. Like I said, that’s the funnest part so go for it. You’ll learn a lot from riding a wave and even more when the ride ends. Most people go kayak surfing for the enjoyment, not the learning. Most people happen to learn more when they’re enjoying themselves than when they’re working hard. Go out and have fun and you’ll be surprised at how quickly your bracing improves.

But even while having fun, keep your mind engaged. You need to stay active in the surf zone, both physically and mentally. If you’re sitting still you’re at the mercy of the water (and the sea isn't merciful). That’s all right if you’re aware of what’s coming and are ready for it, but it helps if you’re moving, avoiding the worst of the energy and controlling when and where you meet it. When launching and landing you want to be moving forward or backward, fast or slow, and always ready to change direction or accelerate quickly.

Another thing that surf zone practice will help with is your roll. If it wasn’t solid before you started you’ll get motivated quickly. You might even see the advantage of practicing in a controlled environment like a pool. You’ll definitely see the benefit to staying calm and collected while the energy spills around your upside-down body and you roll up after it’s passed. Better yet, you’ll learn how to tap into the energy of the water to do the work of rolling for you. It’s very hard to get to be a good surfer without being a good roller.

The surf zone can be intimidating. It will be humbling. But it’s where you pay your dues. Running a program I often saw folks who looked at the series of classes and checked off one after the other. That’s not how it works. You might be able to jump from SK1 to SK2, but you don’t jump from surf zone to the advanced courses that come after it. It takes time to learn all that the surf has to offer. Time spent deliberately practicing as well as playing around. 


If you want to paddle on the coast the surf zone is where it starts. It’s what you need to get through to reach the open water, it’s what you need to go through to get back home safely, and it’s where you turn all those flatwater skills into rough-water capabilities. It’s all that and a bag of chips.

by Bryant Burkhardt ( at July 26, 2015 08:41 pm

The Dash Point Pirate
I love wooden kayaks

Ginni Callahan: An Introduction to Kayak Sailing

Ginni Callahan: An Introduction to Kayak Sailing from Andrew Elizaga on Vimeo.

Kayak coach, entrepreneur, and writer Ginni Callahan founded and co-owns Columbia River Kayaking, and Sea Kayak Baja Mexico. With Mark Whitaker, she imports Flat Earth Kayak Sails and Sea Kayaking UK (Nigel Dennis Kayaks). With Anna Mallin, she publishes paddling guides to the Loreto National Marine Park.

Filmed at the 2015 Pacific Paddling Symposium

by aelizaga at July 26, 2015 04:43 pm
Cycling, sea kayaking and life in the Scottish highlands

First Sprint Triathlon - Notes to Self

Last weekend I raced my first Sprint Triathlon - The Loch Lomond Beastie.  

750m swim, 15km mountain bike, 5km run all in the grounds of Balloch Country Park and superbly organised by Loch Lomond Swimming & Triathlon Club.

These are the notes I made afterwards, mainly for my own benefit so I won't forget.  I am new to triathlon so please - experienced triathletes - add your contributions in the comments.

Like the half-ironman distance I ran two weeks earlier, I was aiming for a time not a finishing position. That said, with 117 competitors this time, as opposed to 28 at the Highlander, I was comping to place around the middle.  MORE

28th out of 117 put me in the top 20%, and 6th in my age category was very satisfying, but there are some negatives to note.

SWIM - I was 41st out of the water.  Clearly there is huge room for improvement.  I was slightly freaked by all the flailing arms and legs and I confess to a momentary panic "I don't think I can do this".  My open water swims in local Loch Sunart had gone well, and I thought I could start fast on this shorter distance.  But I went too fast, had a few collisions, swallowed some water and got whacked on the head a few times.  By the turn I was feeling much better and I feel my return swim was better form and probably faster.  I must get used to all this.  

BIKE - The course was three laps of tarmac, gravel track, slippery grass and gloopy mud.  I loved it.  I had forgotten how much I enjoy mountain biking.  Walking the course the day before made a huge difference because I knew it was going to be slippery and muddy.  My bike and my head were ready.  As it was I rode the whole course - many pushed on the wet, grassy hill or dabbed in the mud.  I was 23rd on the bike.

My biggest mistake was to misjudge my energy intake.  I used two gels and a sports drink on the bike, where I now realise (and should have realised then!) that in 1hr 30min I don't need any additional sugar.

RUN - As a result, the moment I started to run my gut cramped.  I had what felt a little like a stitch in my left side for 3km of the 5km run.  22'45" is a slow 5km run and I finished 58th.  Thank goodness I had done well on the bike!

So my main lessons are to improve my swim, improve my run and in particular pay attention to refuelling - don't take gels when they can't do any good.

I tried to thank all the marshals as I made my way to the finish.  It was a well run event, organised in conjunction with a shorter novice/super sprint (The Wee Beastie).  Both are deservedly popular.

by Simon Willis ( at July 26, 2015 04:15 pm

First Half-ironman distance Triathlon - Notes to Self

Every so often I like to attempt a challenge with a real risk of failure.  From walking the Pacific Crest Trail, to making kayaking DVDs, to cycling the Raid Pyrenean - in all of these I was absolutely uncertain as to whether or not I could finish.  

On Sunday I took on another challenge.

Now I have completed my first middle distance (half-ironman length) triathlon, The Highland Warrior organised by No Fuss Events.

I planned to write myself a de-brief so I don't forget all the many point I learnt.  Then I thought, "why not turn it into a blog post"?  Someone, might find it useful.  

Better still, more knowledgeable, experienced triathletes might add their own thoughts in the comments below.  So here goes.

I was never going to set a winning time.  I'm fifty six and, having missed a whole year of training due to a double hernia and repair surgery last September, I know I'm slow. 

I trained using a simple programe I found online.  I knew my time to swim 2km in the pool, ride 56 miles and run a half marathon, so adding in the transition times I estimated a finish time of  6:30:00 to 6:45:00.  I was 6:32:59.

I was 21 out of 25 (Results), and third in my Male Senior Vet category (Cat results).  OK, there were only three finishers in my age group and I was almost an hour behind the winner but as you'll read below, that wasn't the point.

Swim course - two laps out to the far blue buoy
Highland Warrior
I entered this middle distance event because it is local, friendly and small scale.  Even so, I left it to the very last minute to enter because I was fairly sure I would not complete it.  It was only the encouragement of Sean McFarlane, with whom I did some filming at the Celtman, which made me think "yeah, why not".

I also learnt a valuable lesson from an interview we recorded with another Celtman competitor Keith Maclure.  He was second out of the water last year and was asked if he'd be first this time, to which is reply was (paraphrased) "It depends on who turns up.  I'll go as fast as I can and I'll be faster than I was last year, but if there are faster swimmers than me, then no I won't be first". 

That axiomatic reply is crucial to my level of competition.  I have no control over who turns up.  Initially, I had thought I'd enjoy the event "as long as I'm not last".  Pondering Keith's comments the penny dropped - if everyone else who turns up is faster than me, then I will be last!  Appreciating that this factor is out of my control proved very empowering.

Overnight & early breakfast
The previous day I had a high carb breakfast - a bigger bowl than normal of muesli and low-fat Greek yoghurt plus toast.  Lunch was a cauliflower fritatta with more bread.  Dinner was 80g simple white pasta with a tomato and pepper sauce, all home made.  Despite being a local event, it started before Sunday's Corran ferry could get me to the race centre next to the Isles Of Glencoe Hotel, so I took the van to sleep in.  Midges were bad but I was asleep by 10:30pm. 

Breakfast at 5:30am was tea and some jumbo oats soaked overnight in almond milk, our standard 'take-away' breakfast.  Having read about the need for extra carbs I crammed down 2 white rolls with honey but instantly regretted it.  The nerves, adrenalin and extra food at that time of day made me feel sick - a feeling that lasted much of the day. 

NOTE - Try in training the Joel Friel idea (in Triathletes Training Bible) of a meal replacement drink to get in the extra carbs.  What do you do? Comments please.

My Dementor impression - stick to head nets
I had planned to go back to sleep but the activity outside the van made it impossible.  

Midges were bad and here I made a huge mistake.  So I could venture out and chat to the No Fuss Events team at registration I put Smidge repellant on my face.

All day I had a disgusting, chemical taste in my mouth that threatened to cause me to vomit.  I later realised my sweat was causing the Smidge to run into my mouth.  

As a repellant it's great.  As a health supplement it's boggin.  I should have just worn the headnet I keep in the van.  

NOTE - be careful what you put on your skin, including sunscreen, if it can run into your mouth.

I was surprised at the range of equipment and, more importantly, the way it was set out for transition.  

What's best?  Box or...
Some people used boxes full of stuff while others had the bare minimum on the ground and on their bikes.  

My set-up with a box covered by a Ikea bag was appropriate given the kit I was using and the fact rain was forecast.  

I didn't have Trishorts with a decent pad, so I had to add cycle shorts over the top and use a cycle shirt.  

At T2 the shirt had to come off so the bib shorts could come off, and then the shirt had to go back on - a waste of time. box
Also, the tight short sleeves of a cycle shirt aren't comfy for running as they rub slightly.  

Before starting I was pleased the shirt had three rear pockets so I could take a gillet and arm warmers.  

In the end I didn't need them and I carried my nutrition on the bike, so perhaps the pockets are not essential - I'm still thinking this through.

NOTE - Get some good Tri shorts with a decent pad and a cut-off sleeve Tri top, and it would be good if it had decent rear pockets.

I had both a good swim and a bad swim.  I was last out of the water yet I was pleased with my effort and with what I learnt. 

It was a floating start, not a dash into the water.  While we were bobbing around, trying to warm up, I was unaware that most of the field had moved away from me towards the starting buoy.  I was too consumed with trying to warm my hands.  So when the starter yelled "Go", I turned to find the nearest swimmer already 30 yards away. 

I'm delighted that, despite the cold, I didn't panic and try to swim too fast to catch the field.  That would have taken me into the red and I'd have gulped salt water into my stomach, which was already a churning mass of Smidge and porridge.  Instead I concentrated on my stroke and relaxed.  Although last I rarely felt out of touch.

Drunken swim!
My biggest problem was sighting.  Take a look at my GPS track and you'd think I was drunk!  This seemed to happen when I tried to forget about the race and concentrate on my form, using the techniques we were taught at Club La Santa last year.  I need to work on this because I wasted time and effort going off course.

Inconspicuous, moi?
In the pool I take 45mins to swim 2km (yes, I know that's slow - I'm working on it).  So 43:33 was a good time for the open water, especially with my meanderings.  

Water temperature was barely 10C so I had taken Sean McFarlane's advice and wore a 3mm neoprene vest and shorts under my regular Blue Seventy Reaction wetsuit, plus booties.  Gloves were not permitted or I'd have had them too.
Instead of a swim cap I wore a full head hood because I find this stops the cold water hitting my neck and taking my breath away.  Plus because it's fluorescent yellow it can be seen when Liz and I swim in our local Loch Sunart.  I must carefully position the goggles or the hood lifts them from my face and they leak.  

There were just two people in transition when I exited the swim and, partly because I had lots of neoprene to peel off, I was last to start the bike.

NOTE: Wear less in the swim and T1 will be faster.  Can you do without booties?  Work on kick and especially sighting.

This was always going to be my strongest discipline.  I have a lovely, light road bike (way too good for me!) and it wasn't long before I passed the two people who had been in transition when I arrived.  I would stay ahead of them for the rest of the race.

I'd been told to think of the bike as a 'rolling buffet', the place to eat and drink ahead of the run.  I planned to drink 1x 750ml of GoEnergy and 1x 750ml of Go Electrolite, plus eat a Mule bar and a gel on each of the three laps of Loch Leven with one final gel for the last push into T2.  I had my Topeak feeding bag on the top tube of the bike, stacked from the bottom; gel, gel, bar, gel, bar, gel bar. 

My ride - three laps
I normally carry food in my rear pockets so I had to quickly learn how to use this.  I'd open a bar, put the wrapper in a rear pocket, then eat the bar in small pieces.  Normally I'll wolf these down, but my churning stomach refused to handle anything larger than a tiny mouthful.  

Half way around the lap I'd take a gel.  On balance this worked well, and my stomach tolerated the gels better than the bars.  

I think it helped that I had a range of different gels (High 5, SiS and CNP) some of which were isotonic.  On a longer race I would need a bigger bag.

While cycling the Raid Pyrenean I had appreciated the 'real food' we'd stop to eat.  With this in mind I loaded one pocket with a white roll and honey.  Ugh - mistake.  There was no way I could get that down.

This was the first time I had used clip-on tri bars in anger and they were excellent.  I'd bought the cheapest, well-reviewed pair on Wiggle and had taken time to practice and tweak the set-up.  They really do work.  

Later at home, when I checked Strava I was amazed to find I had clocked the third fastest circuit of the Loch anyone has done.  Surely that can't be right...

T2 was slightly convoluted as I had to remove my shirt, remove the bib front cycling shorts I was wearing over my running shorts, then put the shirt on again - not easy in a rush.  I grabbed my running belt with race number and loaded with 4 gels, plus 2 gels I'd taken from registration, plus a small bag of jelly babies.

My run
Initially all went well.  Then just over 1 mile I felt a tingling in my legs which, ever since I was a kid, has warned me they were about to cramp.  Sure enough it came.  A lump the size of a golf ball on the back of my thigh.  Worse still was the threatened cramp above each knee at the end of my quads (Vastus Medialis) - if those cramped I wouldn't be able to stand, let alone run.  

I stopped, stretched, considered quitting, but pressed on slowly.  As the hill climbed my pace dropped from 9:30 to 10:30 and lower.  It never fully recovered. 

In the 2:17:59 of the run I went through four gels and three cups of High5 drink at each of the 3 aid stations.   

The chemical taste from the Smidge was worse than ever and once I had a mini-vomit moment but the jelly babies were good for the return stretch.  

On the return I kept leapfrogging a guy who repeatedly stopped to stretch out cramp but eventually pulled away.   The people running the aid stations were cheery and helpful - thank you to all the marshals for giving of their time.

My disappointment came when I realised the run was going to be just over 12 miles, not a full half-marathon 13 miles.  I had entered a Strava challenge to run a half-marathon and would be one mile short!  I briefly considered the idea of running another mile.  Very briefly. 

So then it was all over.  I came in with just two runners behind me yet completely satisfied by my efforts and determined to do another middle distance event and try to improve on my time.

Post race
I had a Goodness Shakes recovery drink waiting in the van fridge and, after changing out of my sweaty kit, I quickly drove home where Liz had a hot bath waiting.  Everyone says an ice bath is best for recovery so I looked into this.  The research shows that either a hot or a cold bath will improve blood flow to the legs and help recovery, with the ice bath offering a marginal gain over the hot.  If you're competing at the elite level then this marginal gain could make all the difference, but not for the likes of me. 

A good meal of roast veg started to replace the calories expended.   A rub down with some Aloe Relax Gel we brought homes from Lanzarote and some gentle rolling on a massage ball helped ease my legs.  The following day I was slightly sore but not too stiff and could take the dogs on a four-mile walk.  All in all, this post-race regime worked well and I'll do it again.

Will I do it again?  Yes, I've entered an Ironman 70.3 in September.  Training starts now.  Well, after a good massage and feed.

After reading this, if you're thinking "he knows nothing!" then you're right!  Please educate me.  Add your wisdom in the comments below and please check back, because I will respond, probably with questions of my own.

by Simon Willis ( at July 26, 2015 04:14 pm

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

Plask i Laholmsbukten

Grått, blött och skoj

Grått, blött och skoj

Igår körde jag & pia en kursrunda med Lars & Maria från BBKS. Sväng, manövrering, plask och klädsim utanför Båstad. Lite fukt från ovan och underifrån, lite vind från sidan.

Gött med lite frisk luft och gött med lite fukt från alla möjliga håll.

Blåhimmel innan uppifrånfukten

Blåhimmel innan uppifrånfukten




Trångt på vattnet ;)

Inlägget Plask i Laholmsbukten dök först upp på kajaknördar - paddling verkar kul.

by Erik Sjöstedt at July 26, 2015 01:11 pm

Travels with Paddles
a sea kayaking journal

Down the Yahoo! drain Pipes

It came to my attention that Yahoo! ends its Pipes service by 30 September. What the ... is Yahoo! Pipes, you are rightfully to ask.

I started using the free Yahoo! Pipes service some years ago to merge RSS feeds from various news agency websites to filter out kayak related news articles while not be bothered with a volcanoe. The graphical interface of Yahoo Pipes! made that very easy to do. The result was again a RSS feed that could be integrated on my blog, for instance. The feed was even 'pumped' to a KayakNewsFeed Twitter account to 'archive' the messages. For RSS is only triggered for new messages and old messages drop down the list and eventually out of it and are 'lost forever'. Little effort, big results.

Some interesting websites did not offer RSS feeds, though. Yahoo! Pipes made it also possible (directly or indirectly) to create a RSS feed out of any web page that has structured repetitive blocks of content. Converting the 'repetitive block mess' into a RSS format with 'Reg-ex coding' was not so easy though. Big fuzzy efforts (^.{0,99})( \| )(.{0,99}$), even bigger results.

A RSS feed provides only a snippet of each item. To read the whole article one is directed to the originating website. Everybody's happy? Surely the news provider wants some credit for supplying the news, by visiting their website. By offering RSS they have a way of telling the world 'read more? visit me!). For commercial use there would sure be loads of small print...

There are alternatives to Yahoo! Pipes. However that will mean hosting the alternative one selves and more hardcore coding... I am not so keen on that.

Moreover, there are other developments that work against RSS altogether. More and more websites use proprietary ways of offering news that cannot be 'scraped'. Those sites want you to visit them in the first place for advertising, logging and profiling. I.e. the developments regarding supplying news on Facebook based on profiled interests, tracking, friends' activities and related advertising. How 'independent' news would that be?

The other worrying example I found out recently is that the Dutch Watersports Counsel (WSV) is offering a news web page that looks like it is created from plain RSS, but in fact the news text snippets are a collection of images created with a kind of proprietary Adobe Flash. How to filter (OCR) the word 'kayak' out of image text? End of story for RSS?

I think the inventors of XML and RSS should be awarded an IT 'Nobel Prize'; even posthumously. My first job after College was writing software in COBOL to extract lines from bank balance and transaction statements from SWIFT 'wire transfers' off a computer reel tape. That was pre-XML and very hard-core coding indeed. XML (and RSS) would have made that a piece of cake. Yahoo! Pipes indeed rewired the web using RSS. Now some wires will be cut and lights start to go out.

NewsCURRENT will be reduced to a mere trickle by 1 October and the KayakNewsFeed will stop flowing altogether.

From all of these signs saying sorry but we're closed
All the way down the telegraph road
- Mark Knopfler -

by (Axel) at July 26, 2015 09:00 am

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

fighting the wind

The plan was to paddle to Habonim beach on Friday afternoon,spend the night camping and return the next day. Its not a long distance,about 15km one way and should take our group about 2 to 3 hours. In normal weather that is

Plans are made to be changed, and the weather plays a big part in this decision. So when the time came to depart we had to make up our minds. The wind was Northerly about 15 to 25K, the kites were having a blast and the sea was getting exciting.

In the end the decision was made to paddle against the wind and see how far we could go. There were plenty of camping options on the way so if the going got too tough we could stop almost anywhere for the night

The going got tough right from the beginning, the sea was building and the waves were getting bigger, it was very difficult to paddle against the strong wind but we  carried on regardless. Our usual landmarks came and went but the time to get there was more than double. It was very difficult paddling against such a strong wind and  after about 3 hours we decided to call it a day

Even paddling the double was difficult in such conditions and I found myself loosing ground all the time. Eventually we decided on a tow to help us keep up with the rest of the group

We reached Pigeon Island at abouit 6.45 in the evening and had a well earned rest hidden from the wind

It was a good time for some well earned bladder relief

and also to get rid of some of the water that had gotten into the cockpit

We landed on the beach at Kibbutz Maagan Michael  just as the sun was setting

A head count showed that we had not lost any paddlers along the way

Quickly we set up camp and prepared for food

The wind continued untill late that night

It was relatively easy to get the charcoal going in such a strong wind and soon we were feasting and drinking 

Next morning  conditions were more conducive to paddling, no wind and flat sea, making the trip back home a whole lot easier

On reflection I can say that it was quite an achievement for the whole group . We managed to paddle against the wind and the waves for about 3 hours, it was not easy and we stayed together the whole time. No one capsized and we used our tow ropes to keep the group together.
Paddling in strong wind is a real challenge to kayakers, this time we had the wind against us, making it difficult to gain headway , but easier to maintain control and direction.Next challenge is to go with the wind, in a following sea, this is more difficult from a boat control point of view but if you have the experience you can use the waves and wind to your advantage.

by Steve Gordon ( at July 26, 2015 06:32 am