Paddling Planet

January 16, 2019

Mountain and Sea Scotland
Hillwalking and Sea Kayaking in Scotland

First foot back in the boats on the Sound of Arisaig

Allan, Lorna, Donald and I met up on a chilly mid-morning on 2nd January 2019 for our first paddle of the year (a day later than we did in January 2018!).  The first paddle of 2019 was also the first day back on the water after a lengthy period for both Allan and Lorna who have been recovering from illness and surgery, it was great to be able to share this with them.  Douglas had intended to join us on this trip but had to pull out - so there's another "first paddle" to be done soon.

We met at Samalaman Bay and packed our boats before carrying them down to the water, the temperature encouraging us to get going - it wasn't a morning for standing around.

We were taking advantage of a huge area of high pressure over Scotland - the barometer showed 1040Mb during the day; unusually high for winter.  The preceding night had been so cold that Allan and Lorna's camper van froze up and they had the unusual experience of having to use an ice scraper on the inside of the windscreen!  The high pressure did bring settled conditions though and we paddled out onto a calm sea with the hazy outlines of Eigg and Rum ahead of us.

The plan was to paddle south down the coast to a favourite beach for lunch, then we'd return to Samalaman.  Donald and I would then continue on to Loch AIlort and make this our first overnight trip of the year.

We had a relaxed paddle down the coast.  Even with the short winter daylength there was no time pressure and the pleasure was in just enjoying being back out on the water.  Approaching our intended lunch stop, a cold wind blew from the shore, the wind pouring out of the north channel separating Eilean Shona from the Moidart shore - it was a stiff paddle to the beach for the last few hundred metres......

....but worth it.  Port Acadh an Aonaich is "port of the ridge field" in Gaelic which perfectly describes the place; a narrow point of clipped machair below a rocky cliff, it has small white sand beaches facing both north and south.  These beaches give the alternative name of White Sands - somehow a less ringing name than the Gaelic original.  Whatever the name it's a fine spot to pause for lunch.  We found some shelter from the wind and ate our lunch, followed by the statutory slice of Christmas cake of course!

After lunch we got back in the boats and made our way slowly back up the coast, exploring the rocky channels where we could and generally taking our time and chatting. We were back at Samalaman all too soon, where we would split up.  Allan and Lorna were heading home to Aberdeenshire while Donald an I turned our boats around for the next bit of the trip.

by Ian Johnston ( at January 16, 2019 09:32 pm

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

Circa 1770 Cree Paddle Reproduction - Part 2

Continuing on from Part 1, work on the hard maple replica of the c1770 Cree paddle in the Private Nagy collection proceeded well but slowly.

Hudson Bay Cree Paddle
68 Inch long
circa. 1770 
Photo Credit: Clinton Nagy -

Blank being shaped

Hard maple is exceedingly heavy so the blade was thinned considerably from the normal 3/8 inch thickness used by many paddle makers. Once the blade portion was done, I thought of staining to match the tones of the original paddle. But a decision was made to use a propane torch and do an extensive charring on the shaft and grip to mimic the aged patina and a lighter burn to replicate the uneven colouring on the blade.

After the brief torching process, I wanted to take some photos. Being distracted by getting the camera, I neglected to realize that some of the thinned maple edge were left smoldering and eventually revealed some splits. In the end, I salvaged the paddle by having to reshape the blade tip a bit from the original shape. Lesson learned when exposing thinned maple to a propane blow-torch!

The original notes provided on the webpage listing mentioned that the zigzag decoration was made by etching the surface when the varnish applied was still wet. I wasn't aware of native use of varnish sealants but after doing some additional research have learned that a rudimentary varnish made by clarified pine resin and turpentine has been documented.

In order to complete this paddle in the spirit of the original, I decided to try and make a similar varnish formula using harvested pine resin in my local area. Large globs of resin were collected from a neighbourhood park where some mature pines had been pruned. On my backyard work bench, the harvested resins were heated in the same old pot ($1.99 thrift store purchase) used for making pitch for the birchbark canoe years ago. The modest  flame of an alcohol camping stove provided the heat.

The melted resin smells wonderful but can spontaneously ignite so precautions must be taken, including having a tight lid for the pot to snuff out any flames.

 Once filtered through some cheesecloth, the resin was cooled to solidify into a block.

In a separate setup, a small shallow can was filled with some non-refined turpentine obtained at an art supply store. Using a double boiler method, the can was placed into another pot with heated water serving to warm the turpentine while small chunks of clarified resin were added in approximate ratio of 1:2 resin to solvent.

I eyeballed it to make enough for a single coat on both sides of the blade. Once thoroughly melted and slightly bubbling, the mixture was removed the heat an allowed to cool to room temperature.  The resulting liquid had the expected golden colour with the flow consistency of watery honey. First tested on some scrap, the thin homemade varnish went on well. Waiting roughly 24 hours between coats, the process was repeated 2 more times.

To mimic the zigzag etchings, a final coat of 2:1 resin to solvent was put on. The pattern was mimicked as best I could given the time restraints of the drying mixture and the difficulty of working with a sticky, resinous surface. Etching just the pattern worked, but given the charred surface of the wood, there was very little contrast to make them visible, so in the end, I let the homemade varnish cure for a few days and then scraped out the pattern to reveal the blonde maple wood below.

Afterwords I realized that my zigzags were not as steep or spaced as close together as the original, but I'm still happy with the results. The shaft and grip been oiled but the glossy sheen didn't come out in the photo I took. Here is my reproduction

Reproduction of the Hudson Bay Cree Paddle
Collected by George Holt
1768 - 1771

I've written an article for Wooden Canoe with more historical details and images. It has been printed in the December 2018 issue - Voume 41 No.6). 

by Murat ( at January 16, 2019 09:32 am

January 15, 2019

Fotos,videos y relatos de mi navegaciones en kayak de mar


Descárgate la guía 2019 de las novedades 2019 del mundo del kayak, paddle surf y canoa que se han expuesto en la feria Paddle Expo leer mas

January 15, 2019 10:24 pm
ute räknas. Ute med kajak räknas minst dubbelt :)


Äntligen en stugbilsnatt i Winzent. Finfin solnedgång, finfin soluppgång och go promenad i grymt fina bokskogar. Inte alls långt hemifrån, perfekt. Skapligt blåsig kväll så inget utesittande men såg den finfina månen och stjärnorna genom fönstren och vid tandborstning 🙂 Helt vindstilla morgon och västersjön låg helt platt. Satte på vintertäcket där framme för att hålla ... Läs mer...

Inlägget Stugbilsnatt dök först upp på

by Erik Sjöstedt at January 15, 2019 08:58 am

January 14, 2019

Travels with Paddles
a sea kayaking journal

Spellbound at Penrhyn Mawr

Finding myself (realizing a day later) to be the lead actor in a twisted version of Hitchcock's oscar winning epic film. The award for best actors go to JF and Justine. For me it can be described as a once-in-a-lifetime experience, that I do not remember...

We planned to go paddling to Penrhyn Mawr from Porth Dafarch. I remember, not vividly though, that I had to set my footrests before pushing off the beach. The whole process of changing into paddling clothes could have been 'automatic'. The same goes for joining and adjusting my paddle. My spare paddle on the deck, must have been a routine action? As for the paddling towards PM I can only remember taking some gullies to paddle through; my favourite thing to do. In PM I remember taking some pictures and paddling back into the big eddy. That's about it.

I am getting some awareness back sitting in a hospital bed. I see JF and Justine enter the ward and I instantly greet them with their names. A doctor does some checks on me and asks me questions. I am moved to a CT scanner, at least I remember a snippet of it. Back on the ward, JF asks me to remember a word. Minutes later he asks me what word I needed to remember. I reply: "Moose!". He asks me to remember "blue shoes". Seeing my yellow Crocs on the foot-end of my bed, I surely will remember that, albeit that it could have been "red shoes" for I imprint "non-yellow shoes". At that moment I did not know yet that JF had asked me many times before to remember "Moose" and only now I had any recollection of him asking.

I try to determine the date/time from the medical equipment on the ward. Thursday, January 10th 2019. I remember 4, 6 and 8 o-clock times. I notice I have infusion terminals dangling from my left arm. Also quite a few heart monitor stickers all over by chest and even on my ankles. I realize that something has happened to me and that I am in a safe place.

I walk to the toilet. I am still in my paddling fLeeces. I have a snippet of memory of being in an ambulance and explaining that it was my first time in an ambulance. Despite hearing some 'strange' language spoken on the ward, I know I am in Wales, for Welch, although I cannot understand it, sounds quite familiar after all those years visiting. That could have been terrifying 'waking-up' in an unfamiliar place and hearing an 'alien' language.

I start digging and cross-checking my long-term memory to randomly recall old memories, names, dates, events. NOTHING of that is missing, I think. What is missing is any recollection of what actually happened ever since I paddled into the big eddy at Penrhyn Mawr. I am in Bangor Hospital on the A&E ward. I am aware that my friends have taken some very important actions for me to be safe (again).

What the heck has happened to me? The scan results are totally clean. No stroke, no TIA (my first guess). No paralysis of any kind during the whole event. An almost complete memory loss for the duration of the event.

JF is the first to tell me that it might be a very rare condition called 'Transient Global Amnesia' (TGA). A (temporary) condition where short-term memory is not consolidated into the long(er)-term memory. Living in the moment, physicaly functioning, but not remember anything longer than a minute or so.

The condition is very rare to occur, even much rarer that it will happen a second (or third) time. Hence (knock on wood) a once-in-my-lifetime experience. Causes not very well known, but the trigger for me could be the 'acute emotional distress, as might be provoked by bad news, conflict or overwork' and/or a combination with one of the other factors like 'intense physical activity'.

My mother died in November after caring for her in her last years together with my brother. Her last year, month, week, day was a very intense time for us. At a subconcious level for sure I have not come to terms with that yet. The memory loss symptoms of TGA are highly directing towards a stroke; especially because TGA is such an extremely rare condition.

So how did Justine and JF find out that something was not quite right with me? I was slow leaving the beach. I was not as chatty as usual. In Penrhyn Mawr I was not catching waves and in Justine's words my skils of catching waves were 'shit'. We played for a bit and the waves got better but I was not really into it. They reckoned it was due to the feeling of loss of my mother. When I was waiting in the eddy and Justine asked me how I was feeling she did not get a clear response. When she asked if we should return I did not give a decisive answer, but Justine and JF decided to return. Just at the time Penrhyn Mawr race was at it's best she was keen to tell me later LOL. Justine told me she had never seen me like this and I looked surprised and replied that "I feel a bit zoned-out today".

I was not able to paddle against the middle race so they decided to paddle throught the 'Chicken Run'. I was shit at that easy task today. While I was physically functioning, Justine and JF realized that something was definitively out of the ordinary with me. When I paddled directly towards rocks JF watched expecting me to take action to avoid them. I hit the rocks, holing my kayak in the cockpit area. I NEVER CAPSIZED.

Justine noticed I was paddling slowly with a lot of bracing. By now my cockpit is probably full of water until we hit the beach again at Porth Dafarch. Once we landed JF did some tests on me for 'CNS' (Central Nervous System). Everything was 'working' except I could not remember the magic word he told me to remember. "What are you talking about? What word?" he told me later. He was mildly irritated that I was constantly repeating myself. I was extremely slow in changing. Everytime my eyes saw my kayak on the car roof I said: "Is that my kayak? Did I do that? I do not remember putting a hole in my kayak"; over and over again...

JF and Justine rushed me to A&E in Holyhead. From there an ambulance took me to Bangor hospital. JF and Justine could only think of I had suffered a stroke. A terrifying thought that must have been. But the totally weird situation that I had paddled to, IN, and from a rough Penrhyn Mawr in a weird mental state... That cannot be a stroke? or can it?

Transient Global Amnesia. A temporary total block on forming long(er) term memory. Even my being aware of something being wrong at the time but not remembering it. "There's definitively a lapse", I kept saying, Justine said. A constant loop of only short-term impressions.

My yellow Crocs got displaced in Bangor Hospital. Remembering my cherished overisized Crocs forever, the good care from the hospital nurses and doctors, the incident and forever thankful to JF and Justine for taking all the important actions. I was discharged from Hospital on Friday morning and Mirco picked me up and brought me back to Holyhead.

But why do I write about this?

During my coaching development I learned a lot about how we learn. It also triggered what I once saw in a documentary about a person (Henry Molaison) that, after surgery was left with ONLY short term memory and the inability to form new (long-term) memories. The person lived an otherwise healthy long life in an institution and was the subject of many scientific researches about how the brain works. They found out that he could learn and retain new motor skills, but not remembering how or when he ever learned them. Motor skills find a seperate way into (long-term) motor memory. For coaching we could explain a thousand times how to do things, but the actual repetition and variations of successful physical performance has the best retention. All we need is a safe experiential learning environment with a lot of variation. Probably how babies learn to stand on their feet and start to walk. Coaching can be that easy.

Today, Monday 14th January, Justine, JF, Geth and me paddled at Rhoscolyn race. I felt a bit anxious in the first fifteen minutes. How would I do? In the very rough water I felt totally in my element. Feeling the movement of the water and using my skills automatically. Consious of my environment (seen, felt or heard) but not thinking much about how to apply my skills. Unconsious competence and remembering every minute of a beautiful day on the water with great paddling friends.

by (Axel) at January 14, 2019 07:00 pm

Liquid Fusion Kayaking
Cate's blog about the kayak adventures of Liquid Fusion Kayaking in Fort Bragg, on the Mendocino Coast, and beyond.

Custom Mendocino Kayak Adventures

Mendo Your Way

One of the funnest ways to kayak on the Mendocino Coast is on a custom trip or private lesson with Liquid Fusion Kayaking.  We call this Mendo Your Way.  We have lots of options to choose from and are open to your ideas.  All custom trips are led by LFK's Jeff Laxier and/or Cate Hawthorne and include a photo gallery from the trip or lesson.
Custom Mendocino sea kayak adventures with Liquid Fusion Kayaking.
Dream up your idea Mendocino kayaking adventure and contact us to make it happen.  Here are a few of the custom adventures and private lessons that we led in 2018.
Rock gardening in sea kayaks on the Mendocino Coast of California.
Learn to kayak and learn to kayak better lessons on the calm waters of the Noyo River -  The Noyo River is an ideal place for beginning lessons and flat water perfection.  Harbor seals, river otters, and a variety of birds check us out as our students learn and perfect their strokes and fine tune their capsize prevention and capsize recovery skills.
The Noyo River is a great spot for learning what to do when your kayak capsizes.
The Noyo River is also an idea location for family and group kayak outings.  We customize trips for ages 0-91 (oldest so far) and even the family dog.  Last year our custom trips included doggie paddles, multi-generation family trips, and wedding parties.  Group sizes range from 1-25 and the smile meter is immeasurable.
A group of birders and wildlife enthusiasts out on a Noyo River Kayak Tour with Liquid Fusion Kayaking
Sea Kayaking- custom sea kayak lessons and trips are fun because we can customize the trip to your interests and skill levels.  Last year our custom sea kayak lessons included 1/2 day surf zone trainings, 2 day sea kayak rock garden and touring adventures, sea kayak surfing, and 5 day intermediate/advanced rock garden weeks.
Rock Gardening in a Cape Falcon Skin on Frame Kayak
Sea kayak surfing on the Mendocino Coast of California
Some adventures focused on skill building and some were focused on touring and play.  For those that want to see the Mendocino Coast, we recommend 2 or more days so that we can maximize conditions to show you the goods.  The students in last year's 5 day programs got a lot of it all and are talking about coming back again for more.
Looks like Santa came rock gardening with LFK on the Mendocino Coast
Rolling - we can rent space in our local indoor swimming pool for private rolling lessons and tune-ups.  In 2018, we had a variety of paddlers come roll with us.  Some came for a 1 session tune-up and others joined us for 3-4 sessions of learning to roll.
Kayak roll instruction in the local pool.
Surf Kayaking- Choose your craft and let us build your surf skills.  Last year, our surf private lessons included fishing kayaks, sea kayaks, sit on top kayaks, whitewater kayaks, and surf kayaks.  Lessons included how to safely launch and land with control and finesse and of course kayak surfing in sea, whitewater, and surf kayaks.
Launching and landing a fishing kayak through the surf.
Surf kayak lessons on the Mendocino Coast
Whitewater n Surf Safari - one of our favorite custom trips to lead is our trifecta of whitewater kayaking.  The trifecta is held over 3 days and includes rock gardening, surfing, and whitewater river running.  Mendocino County is one of the few places in this world where you can do all 3 of these fun whitewater adventures.
Whitewater of the Sea - aka rock gardening on the Mendocino Coast
Whitewater river kayaking on Mendocino County's Eel River
Surf kayaking on the Mendocino Coast of California
What Mendocino kayak adventure is right for you?  Drop us a line and let's do Mendo Your Way.

by Cate Hawthorne ( at January 14, 2019 06:25 pm

Merci pour le kayak !
Blog du kayak de mer

Sardaigne SO : Sant’Antioco

De la pointe sud de San Pietro, seulement 3 milles nous séparent de Isola di Sant’Antioco. Une escale au port de Calasetta, permet le ravitaillement en eau et une balade dans une jolie ville d’inspiration tunisienne. Nous poursuivons jusqu’à la Spiaggia Grande, dernière escale avant les falaises de l’ouest, elle est fermée par la Punta […]

by Arzhela at January 14, 2019 04:37 pm

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

Antique Penobscot Paddle

An Ebay seller has a listing for an antique Penobscot paddle acquired from a Maine estate. Unfortunately there is no date associated with the item. Likely carved from maple, the 62 inch long paddle shows heavy signs of usage including abrasion on the shaft, splits at the blade tip and a chipped edge on one side of the blade.  Still, the carving details of the grip shows it was made by some skilled hands.

Antique Penobscot Paddle

Split blade tip and chipped edge (upper left)

Grip Closeup

by Murat ( at January 14, 2019 09:18 am

January 13, 2019


Bespoke course on the lake...

Non mi capita spesso di tenere corsi individuali.
E fino a qualche tempo fa pensavo che non fossero adeguati.
Troppa concentrazione su un solo allievo, troppo lavoro per un solo allievo, troppa fatica per entrambi, allievo ed insegnante. Pensavo anche che non avendo la possibilità di condividere l'esperienza con altri allievi, il corso sarebbe diventato stressante o alienante per quel solitario praticante del kayak da mare. Temevo che avere come unico riferimento l'insegnante avrebbe potuto rivelarsi controproducente, un modello idealizzato che si considera inarrivabile invece di un compagno esperto disposto a trasferire le proprie conoscenze...
Ci sono molte questioni aperte sui corsi individuali, dal punto di vista didattico e tecnico.
Ma lunedì ho capito una piccola grande verità: i corsi individuali sono i più adatti alle persone che li scelgono. Banalmente, i corsi individuali sono i corsi migliori per rispondere alle esigenze individuali degli allievi. Sono i corsi giusti per essere tarati sui bisogni di ogni singolo pagaiatore.
E così, mi sono cimentata con rinnovato entusiasmo con un corso individuale.
Tutto al femminile, per giunta.

Insegnante donna (io), allieva donna (Chiara), entrambe forti dell'esperienza vissuta al symposium italiano femminile di kayak "Il sorriso del mare". Chiara aveva partecipato con convinzione, era stata una delle prime ad iscriversi e durante il symposium, vincendo una timidezza che nessun'altra notava, ha anche tenuto delle interessantissime lezioni sul primo soccorso. Anche se è dovuta rientrare prima della conclusione, ha vinto la pagaia groenlandese estratta a sorte alla fine dell'evento.
Chiara ha scelto di cambiare kayak e di prendere confidenza con il nuovo scafo e... con l'acqua.
Cambiare seduta e pagaia non è cosa che capiti ogni giorno e piuttosto che arrovellarsi da sola su tecniche diverse, ha preferito trascorrere un'intera giornata sul lago a lavorare sui fondamentali.
L'obiettivo principale non era tanto affinare alcune manovre, quanto invece acquistare più sicurezza. E non è così scontato e consequenziale che la sicurezza arrivi solo dopo che abbiamo imparato a rollare il kayak, oppure quando arriviamo ad eseguire spostamenti laterali da manuale, e neanche quando si riescono a fare virate impeccabili di 90 gradi. La sicurezza si raggiunge prima con la testa, con la pancia e col suore, e solo dopo con il corpo...
Almeno noi abbiamo lavorato su questo aspetto: con risultati incoraggianti, mi pare!

by Tatiana Cappucci ( at January 13, 2019 08:35 pm

Bespoke course on the sea...

I corsi individuali sono ancora poco frequentati, ma sono la soluzione ideale per progredire.
La scorsa settimana, proprio il giorno dopo Capodanno, Paolo si è cimentato per la prima volta con un mare formato per prepararsi al suo training di Moderate Water Leader (il vecchio quattro stelle della British Canoeing) e mi ha sorpreso per la determinazione con cui ha domato il Voyager, un kayak notoriamente molto instabile.
Ma tra le onde gonfiate dal vento abbiamo avuto modo di testare un po' di tutto: inclinazione e controllo dello scafo, equilibrio ed appoggi, virate in movimento, accostamenti e zattere, diverse andature con vento ed onde sia di poppa che al giardinetto ed infine al mascone.
Abbiamo potuto studiare il mare da vicino, dall'interno, da un punto di osservazione privilegiato: in kayak siamo seduti sul pelo dell'acqua e tutto diventa più chiaro...

Paolo sul Voyager appena fuori dalla spiaggia di Torre Paola...
Le perfette condizioni per il training: mare stato 3 e vento forza 4!
Uno scorcio sul Monte Circeo...
Lo sbarco tra i cumuli di posidonia, dopo un bagno imprevisto risolto con tranquillità!
L'arcobaleno dopo la grandinata che ci ha accompagnato verso casa...

Siamo partiti dalla spiaggia di sabbia di Torre Paola, ai piedi del Monte Circeo, una delle più belle località della costa laziale, dove è possibile navigare sia lungo incantevoli giardini di roccia che in impegnative zone di surf. Ci siamo diretti verso sud e dopo una faticosa ora di navigazione siamo sbarcati in una caletta accessibile solo dal mare, poco distante dal faro di Punta Rossa. Il rientro è stato caratterizzato da un vento in attenuazione ma da un'onda in scaduta più alta dell'andata, che nel punto di approdo creava frangenti di oltre un metro: la perfetta conclusione di una sessione molto interessante. 
E' stata una giornata piena di nuove esperienze, per entrambi: Paolo ha capito di poter affrontare il mare con maggior confidenza, io ho capito una volta di più quanto siano importanti i corsi individuali! Ho sempre preferito quelli collettivi, dove gli allievi possono apprendere anche dal confronto tra loro stessi, ma siccome siamo tutti diversi è utile promuovere anche corsi personalizzati. Non ero sicura che lavorare in acqua con un solo allievo fosse la soluzione didattica migliore, ma credo che possa essere una prova molto più formativa e duratura di altri corsi, perché tutta la concentrazione dell'insegnante è rivolta all'allievo e tutta la curiosità dell'allievo è soddisfatta dall'insegnante. Nella maniera migliore possibile: individualmente! 

by Tatiana Cappucci ( at January 13, 2019 08:35 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.

Wild China – Exploring a Different and Enchanting Land

Wild China

Along the way, I managed to cross the highest mountain pass I’ve ever been on, view the highest mountain I’ve ever seen, immerse myself in the cuisine and culture of ancient peoples, and gain a new and renewed appreciation for this home of ours which is, of course, my favorite planet

The post Wild China – Exploring a Different and Enchanting Land appeared first on Essex Media & Explorations.

by Brad Miller at January 13, 2019 08:21 pm

Mountain and Sea Scotland
Hillwalking and Sea Kayaking in Scotland

A "green winter" day in Glen Tanar

We took a walk at Glen Tanar today; the location chosen to maximise shelter from a blustery and strong north westerly wind.

Among the pines there's no obvious sign of winter - everything is green and especially so when the low sun lights up the trees.

A large pine had been brought down by recent storm force winds.  It had been moved off a path by cutting into sections and bodily dragged clear.  Someone with a very sharp chainsaw and a steady hand had been at work here!

The branches of the upper part of the tree showed the beautiful reddish colour of these iconic trees; it's not easy to get close to the upperworks of mature pines unless the fall or, as sometimes happnes, limbs become detached.

I gathered up a couple of handfuls of shavings from the tree to put in a spare food bag - this will be tinder for lighting a camp fire on a beach somewhere in the future!

So far, a "green" winter with generally mild temperatures, even some faint warmth from the January sunshine.  But there may be change on the way.  Subtle alterations in the stratosphere are giving weather forecasters indications of colder conditions towards the end of the month.

In which case this sign "Drive carefully down the hill" might be quite appropriate!

by Ian Johnston ( at January 13, 2019 07:40 pm
Kajak, Foto,Friluftsliv


Håller på att ordna med en ny kajakplats ute i Saltsjöbaden igen, var där ute för år många år sedan men tänkte prova igen. Containerlösning förvisso men fint läge. Tycker det är lite extra kul eftersom jag är uppvuxen där och har många minnen och kopplingar till Saltsjöbaden. Startade alltid långpaddlingar där tidigare!!

by Bengt Larsson at January 13, 2019 05:56 pm

Woman on Water
Kayaking and outdoor adventures on the Mendocino Coast and Beyond with Cate Hawthorne

Happy New Year 2019!

Happy New Year!  I hope that your year is off to a great start!!!  Yesterday, I heard on the radio that most New Year's Resolutions are broken in the first week of January.

"The greatest enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan." Carl von Clausewitz

Often our quest for perfection gets in the way of us just doing it.  Take a moment - think about it.

I find this definitely pertains to surfing.  Surfers dream of surf sessions with perfect waves.  We often go on the search and scout several breaks looking for that perfect wave.  If we don't see it, we move on to another spot and/or decide to come back later to see if the tide, wind, or swell changed and improved conditions.  One thing leads to another, and we don't get in the water that day.
surf kayak
Dreaming of perfect waves.
The reality is that we should quit being Goldilocks looking for the perfect conditions and get out surfing (unless conditions are too big or potentially dangerous).  When I leave the house to go surfing, I load my hp surf kayak, boogie board and swim fins, and whitewater playboat.  If the surf is not great, I have the playboat or boogie board to mess around with.  I feel great because I got out in the water and usually I catch a few fun waves too!
Surf Quiver
Quiver of Surf Toys - hp surf kayak, playboat, boogie board and fins.
If you are struggling with goals and New Year's Resolutions - don't give up!  Keep dreaming of the perfect plan (and perfect waves) but most importantly execute the good plan.
Bouncing and doing 360 spins on a wave is great fun!

by Cate Hawthorne ( at January 13, 2019 04:48 pm

January 12, 2019

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

Desperate Times Call for Leave No Trace Measures

Four Leave No Trace Musts for the Government Shutdown

You've read the disturbing stories reported from our national parks, now that the partial government shutdown has moved into January. The situation is serious—wildlife picking through bins piled high with trash, latrines overflowing with waste and unfettered off-roading in fragile ecosystems. With 85% of National Park Service employees furloughed, rescue services are limited and maintenance continues to be deferred. 

Please consider these recommendations for the duration of the shutdown from the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics:

1. Develop a Plan B: Choose an alternative to national parks and other federal lands if it is at all possible. The country has many vast and sweeping state parks and municipal lands, many adjacent or nearby. So if you can, give our national lands a breather. 

2. Pack Out ALL Trash: Plan ahead and prepare takes on an elevated meaning during the shutdown. Make sure that you equip yourself with extra bags for any potential trash that you generate and plan to remove all of it from the park. Pack out trash left behind by others to lessen potential impacts on wildlife and waterways, and the environment in general. 

3. It's Time To Try: Given that many restroom facilities on federal lands are closed or already compromised, the use of biodegradable, disposable toilet-in-a-bag-type products is essential. 

Even if it has never been in your repertory, this is a tremendously important commitment you must make to protect wildlife, water sources, and fellow users. 

Contact your local outdoor retailer and ask if they have Restop, Clean Waste or comparable products so you can pack out your human waste. 

4. Share Well With Others: With a lack of critical personnel on site are areas, many visitors will not receive important Leave No Trace information they would otherwise absorb from rangers. 

Share Leave No Trace principles far and wide with those around you. You may find that people are very receptive to hearing from you during the shutdown. 

Most importantly, if you are enjoying federal lands, do so with a gentle touch. All of us hope, for the sake of our beloved outdoors, that the shutdown ends soon. If it continues, we will share more information with you about efforts to help by our thousands of passionate members and partners. 

The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics supplies dome of the best information to help you make good decisions about enjoying our shared lands responsibly during this precarious time.

by Mark Tozer ( at January 12, 2019 01:48 am

January 11, 2019


First "sea kayak award" (old 3 star) close to home...

La British Canoeing è in continua evoluzione: è una delle cose che mi ha sempre affascinato di questa grande federazione sportiva, la capacità di innovarsi e migliorarsi anno dopo anno. E' un lavoro incessante, approfondito e di gruppo che richiede a tutti, praticanti ed insegnanti, un costante aggiornamento: adesso è la volta del "New Personal Performance Award". Ne parlerò in maniera più approfondita in un prossimo articolo, ma per il momento anticipo che i vecchi corsi 3 stelle non si chiamano più così a partire proprio dal gennaio 2019: sono diventati i nuovi "Sea kayak award"...
Quindi il nuovo corso del 3 gennaio ad Anzio è stato il primo "Sea kayak award" italiano!
Ci siamo ritrovati al Circolo Vela Anzio Tirrena con tre allievi che hanno sfidato le basse temperature invernali, rese ancor più rigide dai forti venti di tramontana, e che si sono cimentati nelle varie prove previste dal corso senza quasi pensare di trovarsi in pieno inverno: basta avere la giusta attrezzatura personale per affrontare il mare in sicurezza, anche a gennaio, e riuscire persino a divertirsi!

Una splendida giornata di sole ha attenuto le rigide temperature dell'aria...
Due donne molto determinate: Patrizia e Manuela... (grazie Pietro per lo scatto)
Ninja paddlers: esercizi di riscaldamento con la pagaia... (ancora Pietro dietro la fotocamera)
Uno degli ultimi salvataggi prima del tramonto...
Grazie Patrizia per la bella foto di chiusura del corso!

Ad Anzio abbiamo praticato e perfezionato la pagaiata in avanti, la pagaiata nel vento, l'uso ragionato della deriva, la correzione della rotta, l'inclinazione dello scafo per correggere la rotta, l'allineamento di diversi punti cospicui per mantenere la rotta ed il corretto attraversamento della bocca di porto.
E' stata una prima giornata molto piena che ci ha offerto l'occasione di lavorare sia sulla tecnica che sulla tattica della conduzione del kayak da mare. E nella riunione serale, davanti all'immancabile cioccolata calda del bar, è arrivata una prima gradita sorpresa: "In questi corsi ci sono sempre così tante cose nuove da imparare che rischio di non ricordarle tutte"!
Siccome il mare ad Anzio era spianato dal vento, il secondo giorno ci siamo spostati a San Felice Circeo, a circa un'ora di auto verso sud, dove le condizioni del mare erano ideali: onde di mezzo metro e vento costante a 10 nodi hanno imbiancato il mare quel tanto da farci riprendere gli esercizi in un perfetto contesto ambientale. Per tutta la mattina abbiamo lavorato sui traini di contatto e sul corretto uso della cima di traino, scoprendo che nel sali-scendi del mare poco mosso non è così immediato mettere in pratica quanto appreso in teoria: gli esercizi si sono succeduti fino al pomeriggio inoltrato, con una tale intensità che ho scattato pochissime fotografie. Abbiamo chiuso in bellezza con timonate, spostamenti laterali, appoggi, auto-salvataggi, salvataggi assistiti e rolling.
Un bel modo di vivere il kayak da mare d'inverno!

by Tatiana Cappucci ( at January 11, 2019 07:47 pm
ute räknas. Ute med kajak räknas minst dubbelt :)

Uppsprickande på Rönneå

Idag blev det en runda på Rönneå och lite havs- och horisontglimt ute på Skälderviken. I förmiddags tog vi (som vanligt) en skidrunda uppe på Vallåsen. Gåväder och lite väl slaskigt i backarna i dag men ändå gött med lite backhäng. På eftermiddagen sprack det upp och jag tog en liten paddelrunda från ÄSSS. Blev ... Läs mer...

Inlägget Uppsprickande på Rönneå dök först upp på

by Erik Sjöstedt at January 11, 2019 06:40 pm
Wild swimming, cycling, sea kayaking, swimming and life in the Scottish Highlands

The Best Bike Box I Have Used

The Bonza Bike Box is the best I've used.  You can probably find a nice discount code too.

But there might be an issue regarding rust on its catches which I'll explain in a moment.

It's not the lightest way to transport a bike.  If you have a 23kg allowance, you'll not squeeze in much extra kit.  But if you have EasyJet's 32kg allowance for bikes, you can get most of what you need for a week's riding inside and in hand luggage.

Check Airline allowances on Bonza's website.

Bike Box Alan is arguably tougher as the sides of the case seem to fit together better.  However, it's larger and more difficult to squeeze into a car, especially if there are two of you travelling.  Also the Alan internal strut is detachable (or at least it was on one I rented) and therefore can go missing.  Mine had the strut replaced with a random metal bar.

Polaris - one catch open at Malaga airport
Those two are good.  Now to the bad.

I box I've used most has been the Polaris, and frankly my experience with it has been dreadful.  Reviews online suggest mine is not an uncommon experience.

Two separate Polaris Bike Pods, on three separate occasions, have arrived with their catches open.

If I had packed small items loose in the box along with the bike, they would certainly have fallen out.

The only reason they stayed shut the fourth time was I had it wrapped in plastic at the airport when coming back from Andalucia earlier this year.

I wrote about the experience at the time.

In my view, the catches on the Polaris are flawed.  Squeeze the box together (i.e. load it with another case on top) and the catches pop open, regardless of whether they are locked.

You can do it with the box empty and standing upright.

Earlier this year I visited the warehouse for Bona Bike Box to closely inspect their offering.  Their catches fasten over a loop, through which you can put a lock or a cable tie.  The first generation of Bonzas had a weakness in their catch which meant it could ease open under load, but that has been fixed.

I notice that Pro Bike Kit are selling a bike box which looks remarkably like the Bonza but cheaper.  Is it a Bonza?  Did they buy a load of the 1st Generation Bonza's with flawed catches?  I don't know.  But it's a bit weird when Pro Bike Kit also sell the apparently identical Bonza for £75 more.

Their packing videos and printed instructions are a bit rubbish.  (Hey Bonza - I make videos if you want a decent job).  But the box system is good.  I like the fact the two support struts, that prevent the box being crushed, are attached to the supplied skewers that hold the wheels in place.  These keep the whole thing rigid when shut.

Bonza struts on wheel skewers
There's lots of internal foam and plenty of space.  I still remove my derailleur, bubble-wrap it, and cable tie it to the inside of chain stay.  Remove the stem and handlebars to turn through an angle.  It also helps to tape the brake levers in the pulled-on position because you can arrange the handlebar better.

Bubble wrapped derailleur
I had room for almost all my cycling kit.  Rather than scatter it around, I placed it in larger bags around the bike, just in case the box opened a fraction - which is didn't.  It's more difficult for a larger bag to slip out than a dozen smaller items like socks and gloves.  With essentials like shoes, helmet the first few days riding kit in hand luggage (in case the box went astray and I had to rent a bike) I didn't need to pay for extra hold luggage.

The photo below was taken before the flight home and, as you can see, my helmet is now packed in the bike box to make my hand luggage smaller.

Packing in the security room of a Marrakech hotel
I put a kayak roof-rack strap around the box as an added precaution, plus I stuck lots of white gaffa tape on the outside on which I wrote my flight details, addresses, name, phone number, and pleas to baggage handlers in the hope they'd treat the box gently.

The box and bike survived with barely a bash.  It was easy to wheel through the airport.  In all, I returned thoroughly impressed.  Then I stored it for a couple of weeks in a garden shed.  This is the result.
Rusting catches
The catches are rusting.  Using the box clearly banged then up a little - nothing the eye could see but clearly rust could.  Since we have a small house, too small the bring the box indoors, I'm not sure what I can do about this.

by Simon Willis ( at January 11, 2019 01:25 pm

Weatherproof Cycling Case for your Phone - and Do Good

This is a great phone case for a cyclist and it's made by Cycle Of Good.  Even if you read no further, please click that link and check them out.

The pouch is 'weatherproof', by which I mean it would be fine in a rear pocket, under a rain jacket, but don't try submerging it.

It's made from recycled, blown out inner tubes rescued from landfill, so it has sound environmental qualifications.

Plus it's made in Malawi, where an organisation trains tailors in one of the world's poorest places to earn a "decent living turning trash into treasure".

All the money made pays for childcare and non-profit enterprise in Malawi, a country with strong historical links to Scotland.

Mine arrived beautifully wrapped, the 'string' being a single shredded piece of inner tube, along with a signed card from the person who made it.  How cool is that!

The phone pouch is large enough (just) for my iPhone XS with a Speck case around it.  Without that case it would easily slide in and out, but I like the grip the Speck offers.

The pouch has a credit card slot on the rear, although I've yet to try it so I'm not sure how secure it will be.

I strongly urge you to check the Cycle Of Good website which has a range of similar product, including a great duffel-bag made from recycled coffee sacks.

by Simon Willis ( at January 11, 2019 01:24 pm

January 10, 2019

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!)

The Ducks of January

Actually, these were the ducks of April 2014, from a Sheepshead Bay duck walk photo taken in February of that year - I'm not sure I ever shared them here, though! No time for doodling right now as I'm getting ready to fly south for a week myself (can't wait) and the blog is getting neglected for the same reason, but I am taking time for a quack quick post today to to share one of the most entertaining Twitter threads I think I've ever seen.

That's not necessarily saying much as I'm not on Twitter myself and only go there occasionally when a friend shares something, but this is entirely delightful and I'm so glad Laura over at Coast of Illinois saw it and thought of my occasional obsession with (and this is the link to Twitter) artistic anatidae!

by (bonnie) at January 10, 2019 08:50 pm

Liquid Fusion Kayaking
Cate's blog about the kayak adventures of Liquid Fusion Kayaking in Fort Bragg, on the Mendocino Coast, and beyond.

2019 Sea Whitewater and Surf Kayaking

Grab your calendar and start planning to kayak on the Mendocino Coast and Northern California Whitewater Rivers with us in 2019!  

Liquid Fusion Kayaking's class schedule is now live.  We have lots of fun planned for sea kayaking, whitewater river kayaking, surf kayaking, rock gardening, and family kayaking fun.

sea kayaking in the rock gardens of the Mendocino Coast
Sea kayaking in the rock gardens of California's Mendocino Coast.
Sea KayakingWaves, wildlife, and wonder - the Mendocino Coast continues to enthrall all who travel here. Let us share the magic with you!  From kayak 101 to advanced level coastal exploration and rock gardening, we have fun and exciting adventures for all skill levels.  Join one of our Art of Sea Kayaking Mendocino Courses or rally your paddling pals for a custom adventure in the sea, surf, or rocks!
sea kayak rock gardening Mendocino
Riding a pour-over on the Mendocino Coast with Liquid Fusion Kayaking.
Whitewater River Kayaking -Winter and Spring, we are on the river! Get in on the fun with one of our March or April classes or rally your paddling pals for a custom trip with us on the Eel or another Northern California River.  Whitewater river kayaking is a great way to build sea kayak skills and explore new areas.
whitewater river kayaking class
Whitewater river kayaking class on Mendocino's Eel River.
Scouting exercise including sending in the probe.
Summer and Fall, get salty with our Whitewater of the Sea - whitewater kayaking, rock gardening and surfing in the sea.
whitewater kayak ocean rock gardening
LFK's Jeff Laxier uses a Sea Boof to style this ride.

ocean whitewater kayaking
First time kayaker get a taste for rock gardening with Liquid Fusion Kayaking.
Surf KayakingSurf is up year round on the Mendocino Coast.  Let us ratchet up your surf skills and fun in one of our surf classes.  Or let us create a custom lesson or safari for you in the craft of your choice - sea, whitewater, or surf kayak.  For those that like long boats, check out our Sea Kayak Surfpedition.
surf kayak lesson
Surf kayaking lessons and classes on the Mendocino Coast of California.

Rolling Learn to roll or tune-up your roll with Liquid Fusion Kayaking.  Year round, we are available for rolling lessons in the pool.  Or dial in your Sea Roll or River Roll with us.  Contact us to schedule your custom rolling lessons. 
LFK's Jeff Laxier teaches the kayak roll on the Mendocino Coast.
We still have space for your custom sea, whitewater, or surf kayak adventure or training.  Drop us a line if you have something in mind - maybe an intermediate/advanced Mendocino sea kayak adventure, a multi-day overnight river trip, or surf safari?
Kayak camping on the Eel River
Stay tuned for special new events!!! We have a couple in the works - Subscribe to our monthly newsletter to be the first to know!!!

by Cate Hawthorne ( at January 10, 2019 05:27 pm


Le Befane vengono in kayak...

Lo sapevate che le Befane usano una pagaia per volare ed un kayak per consegnare i regali?!?
Ecco, il 6 gennaio 2019 succede questo e tanto altro: ad Anzio dalle ore 9.00 alle ore 16.00!
Tatiyak organizza l'uscita delle Befane in kayak dalla sede del Circolo Vela Anzio Tirrena
(Via Zanardelli 62 - coordinate 41°26'59.85''N - 12°37'57.78''E)

Le Befane alla partenza da Anzio (grazie a Stefania per lo scatto!)
Molto contenta che il cappello fatto in casa abbia resistito fino a Tor Caldara (grazie a Manuela per lo scatto!)

L'ingresso al circolo, dotato di spogliatoio e doccia calda, costa 5€ a persona: chi esce in kayak per l'escursione giornaliera dovrà avere un proprio pranzo al sacco ed una adeguata attrezzatura personale.
Ci saranno spumante, panettone e dolciumi vari (si accettano doni!).
Ricordate: la partecipazione è riservata alle sole Befane, vere o che ne abbiano la parvenza (con tanto di cappello, maschera e mantello, o altro a scelta...)
Ci vediamo in acqua!

by Tatiana Cappucci ( at January 10, 2019 05:20 pm

January 09, 2019

Mountain and Sea Scotland
Hillwalking and Sea Kayaking in Scotland

Memories from 2018

The turn of a year is a time to look forward to the possibilities and challenges ahead, but also to reflect on the year just ended. While opportunities for longer trips have been a little restricted due to an alteration in work pattern, I've once again been lucky to have enjoyed some superb days in Scotland's great outdoors. As in previous years I've absolutely failed to narrow down just one memory of the year!

2018 was a year of meteorological contrast.  A more traditional winter than recent mild affairs gave large accumulations of snow and some superb conditions, even on lower hills.  The variety of light through the winter gave constant interest, and there were also some rather impressive full moon events.

The summer switched on in May and proved to be one of the best in living memory with lots of hot sunshine on offer.  A trip with Mike out to Eigg in June was made in really hot conditions....for once the white sand and turquoise water were matched by tropical temperatures!

As well as paddling out to, around and back from the island we climbed the iconic An Sgurr and found ourselves being fried on Eigg........

.......and of course there have been the sunsets!  So much of what continues to enthuse is the variety of light - solas - which Scotland has.

Autumn brought some great colours and the fulfilment of one of my "must do" paddles, on Loch Maree in the full glory of autumnal shades.

I made a conscious effort to visit bothies in 2018, including some which I'd not sen in many years and one to which I'd not previously been.  Visits included Gelder Shiel, Charr, Glencoul and Glendhu, the "Tarf Hotel" and Shielin of Mark.  All different, but all part of the wonderful institution which is bothying.

But...if pushed for a stand-out memory of 2018, it would have to be.....

..the utterly stunning week we spent in Harris.......

Light.  That's what Harris is about, and we were lucky enough to experience the arclight brilliance and startling clarity of Hebridean light at its very best.

And the colours were pretty special too!

I started this blog in 2009, nine years and almost 750 posts down the line I was startled to notice that just before Christmas this little corner of the internet had passed a half million page views!  Thank you to everybody who takes the time to drop by - I hope that it continues to provide some interest.

So, that was some of 2018 - and here's to 2019; Slainte Mhath!

by Ian Johnston ( at January 09, 2019 08:47 pm
ute räknas. Ute med kajak räknas minst dubbelt :)


En av årets nyheter i pralinasken var hallonpralin. Hallonen plockades hemomkring och de blev riktigt riktigt goda. Min favorit i år 🙂 Mät upp 150g mörk choklad (jag använde 56%ig choklad) i en bunke, hackad eller färdiga i pellets 120g hallon, gör en puré genom att värma upp de frysta hallonen och pressa ur saften ... Läs mer...

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by Pia Sjöstedt at January 09, 2019 08:00 am

January 08, 2019
ute räknas. Ute med kajak räknas minst dubbelt :)

Januaritisdag på Rönneå

Idag tog jag en eftermiddagsrunda på Rönneå. Lite smått duggregn, lite vind från nord, lite allmänt januarigrått med tre plusgrader. I kajaken varmt och gött såklart. Fin runda från ÄSSS upp till roddklubben ungefär. Träffade på två andra paddlare dessutom, kul att fler är ute. Två korta sitontops som också hade startat i Skälderviken. Gött ... Läs mer...

Inlägget Januaritisdag på Rönneå dök först upp på

by Erik Sjöstedt at January 08, 2019 07:58 pm

Tre år med Lendify

Vi började spara/investera lite slantar hos Lendify i december 2015.  Lendify är en P2P-plattform* där vem som helst kan låna ut pengar till andra och därmed få ränta. Man lånar inte ut hela sitt insatta kapital till endast en person utan lånen fördelas ut från flera långivare. Blir rätt mycket mindre risk att låna ut ... Läs mer...

Inlägget Tre år med Lendify dök först upp på

by Erik Sjöstedt at January 08, 2019 08:12 am

The Ikkatsu Project
In the Service of the Ocean

Thinkin’ ’bout Racin’

The Seventy48 is coming early this year, May 31-June 2. It’s an evening start again, with the prospect of paddling through the night for those who are in it to win it, and a lot of residual pain and sleep deprivation for everyone else in some form or another before it’s done.

Almost lost in all the race talk is the fact that this is a beautiful and unique stretch of the Sound, one that is seemingly made for small-boat travel and filled with wildlife on land and in the water. Blasting through it in the dark, while absolutely critical if you’re trying to finish, let alone win, seems blasphemous.

I’ve paddled the whole route before, though never in one swoop. (Last year’s Seventy48 only got me as far as Kingston on the garbage boat, the Basura del Mar.) I would like to paddle it again, maybe take a couple nights and check out the lay of the land again before the big push at the end of May. Time to get the calendar out, put some time aside and get on the water.

by Ken Campbell at January 08, 2019 02:59 am

January 07, 2019

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.

Første 2019 tur

Så kom jeg på vandet for første gang i 2019. I godt selskab og godt vejr roede jeg rundt om Gavnø. Se turen på dette smarte Facebookopslag. Henrik har også lagt lidt billeder på Fjæsen.

Selv fik jeg ikke taget nogen billeder, da jeg havde glemt kameraet.

Vi fik roet 19 km

by Pouls kajakblog ( at January 07, 2019 09:30 pm
ute räknas. Ute med kajak räknas minst dubbelt :)

Skamgränser 2019

Skamgränser 2019 Det där med nyårslöften brukar vi inte pyssla med. Fast några skamgränser skrev vi ner. Får se  om vi lyckas klara några… Minst en timme utomhus om dan, varje dag alltså, inget fuskigt snitt här 😉 (brukar missa några dar på ett år, när vi kör långt eller liknande) men över 350 dagar ... Läs mer...

Inlägget Skamgränser 2019 dök först upp på

by Erik Sjöstedt at January 07, 2019 11:51 am

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

Alert! Help the Paddling Community Save Lives With the COLD WATER SAFETY FUNDRAISING DRIVE

By Moulton Avery Editor’s note: Moulton Avery is an expert on heat and cold stress. He gave his first public lecture on hypothermia in 1974. He was executive director of the Center for Environmental Physiology in Washington, DC for ten years, and is the founder and director of the National Center for Cold Water Safety. He […]

by Nancy Soares at January 07, 2019 07:45 am

January 06, 2019

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

Oshkosh Museum - Pre 1848 Menominee Paddle

Wisconsin's Oshkosh Public Museum has a permanent exhibit entitled People of the Waters which features many artefacts of the area's First Peoples.

Included in the virtual online collection is a decorated paddle assumed to be Menominee in origin. The short paddle is roughly 47 inches in length with a 4-3/4" blade width. The upper portion of the blade is decorated with etched floral and diamond leaf designs. It is dated to be before 1848 and was discovered at Lake Winnegago, WI.  I was unfortunately denied usage of their images for this site without cost-prohibitive fees so interested readers will need to click and go to the page directly.

Page 339 of Alanson Skinner's Material culture of the Menomini depicts similar decorative etchings on another short Menominee paddle.

The other unique feature about the Oshkosh Museum paddle is the grip which features a triangular cut out with decorative scalloping down the sides. Interestingly, the grip appears to be asymmetrical as one side has a flat side and the other a half round roll grip.

by Murat ( at January 06, 2019 07:54 pm

Merci pour le kayak !
Blog du kayak de mer

Sardaigne SO : San Pietro ouest

San Pietro par l’ouest sauvage, c’est la promesse de belles falaises occupées par une grosse colonie de faucons d’Eléonore. En septembre 2018 nous sommes retournés dans le SO de la Sardaigne. Nous n’avions pas pu explorer l’ouest des 2 grandes îles San Pietro et San’t Antioco lors de notre précédente virée en juin, à cause […]

by Arzhela at January 06, 2019 05:51 pm
ute räknas. Ute med kajak räknas minst dubbelt :)


Vi har några Havtornsbuskar växande på tomten. Förra året var första gången som vi plockade och då testade jag att göra några havtornspraliner. Det blev riktigt gott och de fick därför vara med i årets pralinask 🙂 Havtornsganache • 50g frusen havtorn• 2tsk sockerKoka ihop, mixa och sila bort kärnor och pinnar 100g hackad vit ... Läs mer...

Inlägget Havtornspralin dök först upp på

by Pia Sjöstedt at January 06, 2019 03:15 pm

January 05, 2019

Le Kayak de Mer dans le Nouveau Monde: Nouvelles
Cette section du site Le Kayak de Mer dans le Nouveau Monde présente les nouvelles et actualités qui touchent de près ou d'un peu plus loin, le kayak de mer, le milieu marin, la faune et la flore, l'environnement, des trouvailles et nouveautés d'équipement de kayak et plus.

Une sortie en kayak tourne au drame à Montréal

by Agence QMI at January 05, 2019 11:01 pm

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

Årets første – Silsandholmen

Årets første tur! Jeg satte ut fra Vik i dag, med kurs i første omgang for Årnesan. Målet for dagen var faktisk ikke så samle posten på Skjervøyan, slik det vanligvis er når jeg setter ut her. Nei, tvertimot er det på tide med en ny post i området – og da må vi jo ha et bilde. Her har jeg kommet til Årnesan (taket på uværsgammen mot venstre i bildet).

Bilde fra nyposten var altså dagens mission – men jeg skulle også gjennomføre årets første rulle, og teste ut den nye storm cagen. Her har jeg gått i land på stranda ved uversgammen på Årnesan – du tror kanskje det er den nye posten (for øvrig til høyre i bildet nå, på odden)? Niks.

Nei, den nye posten er nemlig Silsandholmen. Det er noen år siden sist jeg var i land her. Men det er fint her, spesielt på fjære sjø en solskinnsdag om sommeren. Det er en grei tur fra Stokmarknes også, men det synes jeg personlig blir kjedeligere padling underveis.

Noen hadde vært i land her før meg.

Her. Vi ser øverst på tracket hvor jeg satte ut, nederst til høyre på tracket er Silsandholmen. Som vi ser tok jeg runden rundt Holmsnesøya (og en del brott det var mye liv i) også. Men jeg droppet Skjervøyan – både fordi jeg har lyst til å dra hit senere og da er det greit å ha en post som lokker, men kanskje mest fordi jeg hadde glemt både mat og drikke (nuvel, jeg hadde varmtvann men det var jo for å varme hender) hjemme…

Fortsatt Silsandholmen, utsikt over fjorden til Bø. Var høvelig flo i dag så det var ikke mye strand i forhold til hva det vanligvis er.

Rart merke på stake, grønt på farge. Ikke helt standard sjømerke akkurat?

Wow! O lykke! Hva jeg ser? Jo, jeg ser et sted det vanligvis ikke går an å padle, men som det på grunn av stor flo går an i dag – og jeg er, helt tilfeldig, på riktig tidspunkt! Hurra!

Et  lite gløtt i skyene! Det er ikke lenge siden vintersolverv, men det er merkbart lysere selv på en overskyet dag. Fredag var jeg også hos optiker og fikk nye linser, så det var merkbart lettere å se når det skumret til også. Det var en del fugl å se i dag, mest måker, teist og skarv.

Jeg gikk i land på Årnesan på returen også, jeg hadde som sagt glemt maten. Så jeg tok et lite dykk i sjokoladenøtteboksen før de siste meterne. Jeg skulle jo også ta noen flere ruller på slutten.

Ikke minst skulle jeg kle på meg storm cagen (for øvrig personlig leveranse på rekordtid fra Alfa Fritid), sånn at jeg fikk testet den også.

Det gikk aldeles utmerket. Den var grei å få på seg, og jeg merket tvert at det var kommet et ekstra lag på. Det er jo tynt stoff, men bare det at det er et vindtett lag gjør susen. Dette kommeg jeg ikke til å angre på at jeg har skaffet meg.

Jeg husket ikke om man skulle bruke spruttrekket under eller ikke, kanten på denne "jakken" passer jo også på cockpitkanten. Jeg padlet derfor med bare den til jeg kom i fjæra, så satte jeg på spruttrekk og cagen, og rett og slett testet. Ja seriøst testet, først høyt støttetak, så rulling og sculling og så wet exit.

Akkurat det siste fungerte helt fint frem til jeg kom opp av vannet. Da var jeg blitt drita kanon, så det var nå bare jeg ventet til jeg var kommet tilbake til Vik der bilen sto! Helt susa, det ble vel litt for mye kaldt vann i skallen kanskje. Jaja, det gikk over og jeg har opplevd det i svakere grad før så jeg ble ikke skremt heller. Det er sånt som skjer.

Uansett – flott tur, og de som melder seg på 10 på skjæret til Vesterålen i år har fått en ny post å glede seg til?

by Miamaria Padlemia ( at January 05, 2019 09:24 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.

Kayak Lesson: Expedition Mentality, Part 1

I am no longer a kayak instructor. In all honesty, I no longer kayak, though I occasionally get out in the canoe with my family. But kayaking is still a part of my life in that it helped shaped who I am, and a lot of the lessons learned through kayaking are applicable to many other facets of life, and I do my best to remember what I've learned in one context and see how it can benefit me in other places. I thought it might be worthwhile to point these out and encourage others to use what they know to improve what they do (and maybe who they are).

Expedition Behavior: We're all in this together

Let's say you're going on a kayak expedition. That could mean two weeks exploring a remote coastline, or a multi-day first descent of a river in South America, but it could also mean an after-work paddle on your local lake with a few friends. The same principle applies to each: everyone on the expedition is responsible for the team and we take care of each other.

If someone's food bag gets raided by raccoons, you don't let them starve the rest of the trip - everyone shares a little food because it will help them (and they will be strong enough to help you if you need it). If someone's foot peg breaks, you share your repair supplies to fix it. That's true if the break was a fluke accident or a poor decision. It's even true even if their boat is old, cheap, poorly maintained, and they forgot to bring their own repair kit. Regardless of the cause of a problem, be it chance or self-inflicted, everyone does what they can to solve it so the entire group can continue and hopefully thrive.

Some people on this expedition will be stronger than others. They'll have better skills, more experience, and better gear. Maybe that's because they worked harder to prepare, maybe it's because they have rich parents who buy them lessons and equipment. Those people will bear more of the burden than others: they'll tow the person who gets hurt, they'll explore the route and be first down the gorge. The good ones will do the extra work without complaint because they know it makes the team more likely to be successful, and they often realize they got where they are because sometime in the past someone better helped them out. It's a circle, not a line.

Now, you might like some of the people more than others. You might not want to go on another expedition with someone who constantly makes bad choices and shows no effort to learn or help others. You might want to spend some time paddling alone with the risks it entails. But while you are on an expedition, in the middle of the struggle, you know you have a responsibility to everyone else and trust everyone else to come to your aid if you need it. That's what expeditions are all about.

Life is an expedition. Sometimes it feels like we're on our own, but that's never really true. We buy our groceries from other people, drive to the store on roads built by everyone's tax dollars, and read interesting things on the internet posted by people we will never meet in person. You can try to define your tribe as an independent group, but they are really just one pod within the larger expeditionary force. Most people will treat their neighbors like an expedition member. The challenge is to treat the stranger the same way, especially the ones you won't ever meet. The mother in Detroit who still has to buy bottled water for her kids to drink while she showers with her mouth and eyes closed to avoid ingesting what comes out of the pipes. The father from Guatemala who has to decide if it's better to risk his children being killed by gangs in his home country or taken away and stuck in an internment camp while seeking asylum in the U.S. Life is a very hard journey for some and those of us who are having and easier time of it should use our skills and resources to help out those in need. That's expedition mentality.

by Bryant Burkhardt ( at January 05, 2019 07:11 pm

Björn Thomasson Design
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Frej och Isfjord – Miikka Pennanen

Frej och Isfjord – Miikka Pennanen

"Hej Björn!

Jag sjösatte en Isfjord kring 10 år sedan, men har aldrig kommit till at rapportera! Nyligen byggde jag också en Frej till min fru under 2015 till 2017. Så byggena har dragit ut av olika skäl men roligt har det varit! Förra sommaren blev det en hel del paddlat och båda kajakerna är mycket fina att paddla!

Isfjorden har inte riktigt än fått ordentlig utrustning men efter att ha övat med Isfjorden så fick Frejn med det samma ordentliga däckslinor, luckor, sits, skädda etc. Isfjorden är ett traditionellt bygge efter din byggbeskrivning men Frejn är ett lättbygge! Valde mycket lätt ceder (300kg/m3) och arbetade med 4mm ribbor vilket inte är helt simpelt. Bottnen fick sedan 150g kolfiber både på inre och yttre sidan och ett glasfiberlager på yttre sidan. Allt på bottnen laminerades under vakuum. Bottnen är mycket styv och stark, däcket är tydligt mjukare än på ett bygge med 5mm ribbor.

Jag var mycket noga med vikten överallt och Frejn väger 12,9 kg inklusive all utrustning. Den traditionellare Isfjorden väger 15,7 kg nu ännu utan utrustning.

Stort tack för de goda ritningarna och den fantastiska webbsidan som jag följer redan i många många år!

Bästa hälsningar från Helsinfors,
Miikka Pennanen"

Frej – Miikka Pennanen

Frej – Miikka Pennanen

Frej – Miikka Pennanen

Isfjord – Miikka Pennanen

Isfjord – Miikka Pennanen

by Björn Thomasson at January 05, 2019 02:52 pm


Hoy trail running en la sierra de Grazalema

Carrerita mañanera, dos hermanos y un perro.

Rutita sencilla y cortita, para ir bajando los polvorones. Salimos de Grazalema dirección a Benaocaz...

 Pequeña subida pero intensa, junto al Peñon Grande para llegar a los Llanos del Endrinal.

El dia inceible, tras pasar el Puerto de las Presillas ritmito.



Y... llegamos!

A Mangue lo hemos sacado de su terreno pero claro, el que tiene buenas piernas...

by Jose Bello ( at January 05, 2019 10:37 am
ute räknas. Ute med kajak räknas minst dubbelt :)

December 2018

December bjöd på lite paddling på Skälderviken i början av månaden men även lite mellandagspaddling. I övrigt en go nästan-tvåveckorsrunda i Trysil. Dessutom öppnade Vallåsen så det blev två mellandagsskiddagar hemomkring. En mellandagsnatt i stugbilen och så nyårsnatten också i Winzent invid Öresund, själva firandet skedde dock i trähus hos bror med familj 🙂 En ... Läs mer...

Inlägget December 2018 dök först upp på

by Erik Sjöstedt at January 05, 2019 07:31 am

January 04, 2019

The Ikkatsu Project
In the Service of the Ocean

Looking Forward, Part 4

As important as it is to collect good data, and as necessary as education is, none of that is going to actually make progress toward cleaning up the ocean. This is not a slam on those critical elements of the process… it’s a lot of what the Ikkatsu Project is all about. All I’m saying is that it’s not enough.

There has to be a real connection that gets created between a person and a place, something that operates at a much deeper level than reason, more basic and emotional. That’s where the drive to save a place comes from, somewhere deep inside and for reasons so essential they can often seem difficult to explain.

The Ikkatsu Project tries to get people to that point in a variety of different ways. (I suppose you could call it “outreach,” although I’ve never really liked the sound of that term. It sounds like a missionary word and that’s not what’s going on at all. No one is trying to convince people of something, simply trying to remind them of things that they already know to be true.) Getting the word out, however that comes about, is a good thing.

So there’s presentations, like the one coming up on February 20th in Gig Harbor, introducing the South Kuiu Cleanup to a new group of folks, looking forward to hearing their feedback. There’s this year’s Seventy48 race, from Tacoma to Port Townsend in a couple days at the beginning of June by sea kayak, with beach cleanups scheduled during the race at several points along the way. And there’s film, more specifically the release of “Decision,” about last summer’s work in SE Alaska. Other short films are planned for the spring and summer as well.

And that’s just the start. There are many other events that we do to get the message out, the message being about our use of single-use plastics, the effects of plastic in the marine environment and the connections between those two things. Outreach… because people have to feel it as well as think it.

by Ken Campbell at January 04, 2019 02:27 pm
ute räknas. Ute med kajak räknas minst dubbelt :)

Mellandagsnatt i Winzent

I mellandagarna blev det en natt i Winzent uppe vid Hjörneredssjön. Håkan & Lena var nere i skåneland så vi sammastrålade med dem och deras husbil. Blev en trevlig kväll med god mat och tjöt i deras husbil som är klart rymligare än vår. Lite promenad i krokarna. Sov sen sött och så blev det ... Läs mer...

Inlägget Mellandagsnatt i Winzent dök först upp på

by Erik Sjöstedt at January 04, 2019 01:30 pm

January 03, 2019
ute räknas. Ute med kajak räknas minst dubbelt :)

Premiärpaddling 2019

Äntligen lite paddling även 2019 🙂 Blev en sväng på Skälderviken med start/stopp hos ÄSSS. Fint kvällsljus även om solen hann smita in bakom moln. Lite svag vind, var väl det sista av stormen Alfrida, men det la sig medan vi var ute så helt vindstilla på slutet. Gött att även 2019 blev ett paddelår ... Läs mer...

Inlägget Premiärpaddling 2019 dök först upp på

by Erik Sjöstedt at January 03, 2019 06:10 pm

January 02, 2019

The Ikkatsu Project
In the Service of the Ocean

Looking Forward, Part 3

It’s all education. If it’s getting done right, everyone is learning something.

The educational programs that the Ikkatsu Project has on the go include a classroom/lab study that works with Middle School students on identifying microplastic in fresh water samples, collaborations with other organizations on single-use plastics seminars and curriculum development for these and future efforts. The idea of education is intertwined with everything else that is going on; it’s hard to separate it out sometimes.

That said, the fresh water plastics program At Lakeridge Middle School in Sumner is in its 4th year now. It’s covered in the Annual Report in some detail… the big developments coming in 2019 are going to be in the analysis portion of the class (students running all aspects of the lab), and with the program itself set to expand to several new schools.

This spring will include a collection of educational opportunities: a collaboration with the Sea Stars program from Harbor Wild Watch, where students 12-17 learn about marine plastics in the local environment as part of a larger unit of study; the Surfrider Leadership Summit, a reunion of sorts with members of the last three class cohorts, looking to develop adult and community education programs for the Washington Coast; curriculum development for an Alaska program that is scheduled to open in 2020 – this summer’s trip to Cape Decision will include some research and course construction sessions.

Film is another arm of education, and we’ve got that coming up as well, but here’s where the line blurs a bit between education and outreach. Not that it matters, really. Still, outreach will be the topic of the next post, ways to get people thinking about the problem on a level where something actually can be accomplished.

by Ken Campbell at January 02, 2019 11:05 pm
Lightweight canoe and kayak travel

Minnesota Border Route Challenges

The Border Route is a well-established 260-mile classic canoe route from International Falls to Lake Superior, following the international boundary between Minnesota and Ontario. The western half consists mainly of large open lakes, including Rainy, Kabetogama, and Namakan Lakes in Voyageur’s National Park and Lac LaCroix, Crooked, and Basswood Lakes in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA). The eastern half consists of numerous pristine wilderness lakes and streams, connected by frequent short portages and brimming with history from the fur trade era. Most paddlers complete the route from west to east, hoping for tailwinds and a light-weight food pack by the end when they reach the historic 8.5-mile Grand Portage down to Lake Superior. Each September for the past four years, a growing group of paddlers have come together to paddle this route, in order to experience the best of Minnesota’s canoe country and undertake a personal wilderness challenge.

In 1968, professional canoe racing pair Verlen Kruger and Clint Waddell were starting to plan a once-in-a-lifetime canoe journey across North America. In order to test themselves in preparation for the big trip, they determined to attempt to set a fastest known time along the Minnesota/Ontario Border Route. Verlen had read of George Simpson, Governor-in-Chief of the Hudson’s Bay Company in the mid-1800s, who reportedly made the journey from Fort William on Lake Superior to Fort Frances on Rainy Lake in just six and a half days with a picked crew of voyageurs. As far as he could tell, that record remained unbroken, so he and Waddell decided to make their own attempt. Setting out from Sha Sha Resort near the western end of Rainy Lake, they paddled nonstop for 80 hours 40 minutes to reach the Grand Portage Stockade in a record time which still stands today, 50 years later.

Kruger and Waddell went on to become paddling legends, completing a 1971 cross-continental journey from Montreal to the Bering Sea in a single paddling season. Verlen died in 2004, having paddled over 100,000 miles in his lifetime. Clint Waddell still lives in central Minnesota in a log home he built with his wife Beverly. He loves to reminisce about his adventures with Verlen, and he still paddles stern (his favorite position) as steadily as ever.

Since 2015, as a commemoration of Kruger and Waddell, a Florida-based paddling group of which Verlen Kruger was once a member (WaterTribe) has organized an annual challenge along the Border Route. The informal event brings paddlers of all skill levels together and has three challenge route options. The Kruger-Waddell Challenge is the longest route, 260 miles from International Falls to Grand Portage. The Voyageur Challenge is 200 miles from Crane Lake to Grand Portage, crossing the full length of the BWCA. The shortest route is the Moose Lake Challenge, 125 miles from Moose lake near Ely to Grand Portage, crossing the eastern half of the BWCA.

In 2017, Bob “BeaV” Vollhaber established a solo record for the Kruger-Waddell challenge route of 91 hours, impressively close to Kruger and Waddell’s original 1968 tandem time, and the second fastest known time to date. The 2018 challenge event was the largest so far, with twenty paddlers starting out. Launching from the Ranier City Beach on the western end of Rainy Lake at 8:30am on Saturday, September 15 were fifteen Kruger-Waddell challengers, forming teams of up to six paddlers each. Other groups started the same weekend at Crane Lake and Moose Lake. All had the same goal – to reach Lake Superior at Grand Portage within the eight-day time limit. As a special treat for the challengers, Clint Waddell was invited to Grand Portage to welcome and congratulate the finishers. The grueling route was made more difficult by unseasonably cold temperatures, prevailing headwinds, and thunderstorms. The challengers paddled as many hours at night as in the daylight, the stormy cloud-covered night skies offering little or no moon to show their way.

Challenge Coordinator Lori Johnson waited for the finishers to arrive at the Grand Portage Stockade. Wednesday morning, just 98 hours after starting at Rainy Lake, tandem paddlers Matt Peterson and Peter Wagner arrived at the Fort gates and dropped their canoe into Lake Superior. The next day a large group of six including BeaV reached the Fort in 122 hours. Next came Voyageur Challengers Isaac and Melissa Pardon-Varde, having completed their first Boundary Waters canoe trip. Then came Mark Przedwojewski (owner of Kruger Canoes) and Mack Truax, relieved to be finished portaging their heavy Kruger Sea Winds. Finally came David May and Russ Anderson, both in their early seventies and still paddling strong. Others were unable to complete their challenges because of bad weather and other troubles, but all still came to Grand Portage for the finish celebration.

The WaterTribe group spent hours around a fireplace at the Grand Portage Casino sharing stories of the adventure. Master of Ceremonies BeaV presented each challenge finisher with a medal and sprinkled them with a wet cedar bough, according to the old voyageur initiation ceremony. Clint Waddell shared memories of legendary canoe journeys, describing his and Verlen’s experiences on their 1965 Atikokan Canoe Derby win, their 1968 nonstop Border Route paddle, and their 1971 cross-continental trip. Brought together by shared wilderness experiences along the Border Route over the years, whether on fast-paced journeys or relaxed excursions, everyone was already looking forward to next year.

For those who would like to participate in 2019, the next round of Border Route challenges is scheduled to begin on September 14, 2019. It’s just a few day’s paddle to the Grand Portage Fort – be sure to arrive with a canoe on your shoulders!

2018 Minnesota Border Route Challenge competitorsSept 15, 2018: Kruger-Waddell Challengers starting at Rainy Lake.
Back row, left to right: Mark Przedwojewski, Steve Isaac, Nick Duvoisin, Marvin Brager, Bob Vollhaber, Todd Troskey, Jeff Bloomer, Jim Kretsch, and Kendra Leibel.
Front row, left to right: Russ Anderson, Mack Truax, Thomas Head, David May, Peter Wagner, and Matt Peterson.



The post Minnesota Border Route Challenges appeared first on You can leave a comment by clicking here: Minnesota Border Route Challenges.

by Peter Wagner at January 02, 2019 05:08 pm

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

LNT Saving The Natural World

Want to be a part of the movement? Become a Leave No Trace member today to show your support of the outdoors.

by Mark Tozer ( at January 02, 2019 10:51 am
ute räknas. Ute med kajak räknas minst dubbelt :)

2018 – ett år till :)

Nu är 2018 lagt till handlingarna. För vår del blev det ett bra år med skapligt med utetid. Mycket häng hemomkring med promenader, skogslufs, skogscykling och en del pyssel med odlingarna. Lite mer paddling än 2017 men långt ifrån så mycket som vi paddlade för tiotalet år sedan. Hoppas vi kan få tummarna loss och ... Läs mer...

Inlägget 2018 – ett år till :) dök först upp på

by Erik Sjöstedt at January 02, 2019 07:29 am

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

New Year's Day 2019 - A Weather Post

Pedro the Penguin Hat says "Happy New Year!"
We didn't get to paddle today but I still wore my New Year's regalia, of which Pedro is a key part. 

Sadly, high winds due to an incoming cold front meant another cancellation of the Sebago Canoe Club's annual New Year's Day paddle, but we still gathered for potluck and camaraderie on the shore of Canarsie's Paerdegat Basin. The same front that kept us off the water provided an amazing sky show as the remnants of the New Year's Eve rainclouds quickly gave way to a sparkling blue sky. I took these photos over a period of about an hour and 10 minutes starting shortly before noon.As usual, click one the first on for a slideshow view.  

by (bonnie) at January 02, 2019 02:54 am

December 31, 2018

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

Last Post of 2018 - Aquarium Links (with A BABY WALRUS!)

Happy New Year's Eve Day, and best wishes to all for a very happy New Year!

I had a lot fun writing the post about visiting the new Ocean Wonders: Sharks exhibit at the New York Aquarium. I enjoy it when I need to do research for a post, I like tracking information down, and for that post I did a little digging because I knew Sandy had set everything back by a couple of years, and I wanted to talk about things like how long the facility was closed to the public and how the construction timeline had been affected.

I ran across some pretty interesting articles in the process and though I would share those here, including this video, created for the 2018 conference of the American Zoological Association. It offers a glimpse of the downstairs area of the Sea Cliffs exhibit, where I used to go play with the scarf-chasing fur seal, with a couple of feet of sea water in the exhibit area, plus a pretty complete walk-through of the new exhibit. I see that I really did zip by a lot of information. Unfortunately the one I really did notice was with the types of shark teeth, it was quite interesting but I say "unfortunately" because what really caught my eye was that knuckleheads have already broken off most of the teeth and the entire lower jaw set of the seal-catching teeth was missing entirely. Maybe the exhibit was designed that way so that they can replace the teeth, not the whole head, when too many get broken, but it looked like poor Grandpa Shark lost half his dentures. Why must knuckleheads be such knuckleheads? Sigh.

On a cheerfuller note, it was fun to see an aerial view of the beach grass plots that I'd mentioned in my boardwalk stroll post as being planted by some of my swimmer friends and lots of other volunteers from the Coney Island community. You can see those really well in the flyover shots in the 2nd minute of the video.

Anyways, I also found some good articles that I wanted to share. I started with Wikipedia, of course (just donated to them as I do use that site a lot!), and they have a pretty solid article about the aquarium. That's where I got the bit about staff actually staying on-site and being able to save an impressive 90% of the animals who lived there, and fortunately the authors of that article did a really solid job with their references -- you know how I said "speaking of terrifying, I can't even imagine what the scene there must have been like as the Atlantic's cold October water came washing through the facility"? Turns out that I don't have to imagine it, the director told the whole story to the Times not long after Sandy. Click here to read that article, and then there was an interesting follow-up on the repairs and new construction in May of 2017. The Times of course also did an extensive review of the opening, but that repeats a good bit of the info from the older articles, so here's a shorter review from Curbed NY.

Will be watching for what comes next (maybe repairs to downstairs in the Sea Cliffs?), and just can't resist closing with a video that was not part of my low-key research, but is linked to in the first Times article after Sandy, and I just had to share. Enjoy! 

by (bonnie) at December 31, 2018 08:18 pm
ute räknas. Ute med kajak räknas minst dubbelt :)

Bästa nio 2018

Instagram är fortfarande kul även om fler och fler bara postar kortkorta filmer (händelser) som snabbt försvinner. Ovan’s (@kajaknu) nio bästa (mest gillade) Instagrambilder från 2018. Nedan våra privata konton @piafra & @eriksjos Vi är klart mer aktiva på våra privata konton men en och annan bild dyker det upp på @kajaknu också.

Inlägget Bästa nio 2018 dök först upp på

by Erik Sjöstedt at December 31, 2018 07:15 am

December 30, 2018

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

Gear Project: Woodstove camp case

Here are some old pics of a quick project update. A while back I picked up a Kni-co Trekker stove that was used once by the original owner after realizing winter camping wasn't for him and his girlfriend. The stove was in great condition, even though I could tell he lit the stove without using a false bottom or sand as recommended by the manufacturer. He lowered the price even further when I mentioned this so got it for around 1/2 price off retail.

Canadian Outdoor Equipment sells a false bottom for the stove but it is quite pricey and heavy. Came up with my own solution using a metal pegboard from Home Depot. The length was a perfect fit and the sides were already pre-bent. Measurements showed that a single piece would be too large to try and fit through the door. So I cut a chunk out of the middle of the pegboard and fold down a single side on each piece. The two pieces cover the bottom of the stove and fit tightly with a friction fit, but can also be easily removed if needed. One piece is more narrow than the other so it can fit nested into the other when inverted. Here they are on top of the stove and then placed in the burned chamber...

Galvanized pegboard made into a false bottom.

In burn chamber

The new false bottom doesn't interfere with the storage of the collapsible stove pipe...

Of course galvanized metal can give off nasty fumes when initially exposed to fire. The stove has since been used and the toxic coating safely burned off. 

Also ended up making a carrying case of sorts for transportation and minimize any soot transfer. I used scraps of fire-retardant canvas to make a case that snaps open and closed. With some grommets and cordage, two carry handles exit from the sides to make lifting easier.
Scrap canvas pieces made opened up

The design allows for just one side of the carry case to open so that access to the stove interior is quick and easy.

opened flap to access stove door

Once everything is snapped up, the case does its job to cover the stove. In camp, I've used the empty case (still snapped into shape) as a way of collecting tinder and small branches.

Finished carry case

It was used well on my late fall trip back in October and fits perfectly on top of the wanigan for transport across portages. 

by Murat ( at December 30, 2018 08:17 pm
ute räknas. Ute med kajak räknas minst dubbelt :)

Ekologik av Johan Thell

Ekologik av Johan Thell är en mycket trevlig bok som på ett vettigt vis ger hundra tips och berättar om hur vi kan bete oss för att leva mer hållbart. Jag tycker boken innehåller få pekpinnar utan förklarar på ett pedagogiskt sätt vad man kan tänka på och välja hur man konsumerar, reser, bor osv. ... Läs mer...

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by Erik Sjöstedt at December 30, 2018 03:24 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!)

Christmas Eve Day 2018 Part 2 - Sharks!


oh, wait, that's a penguin, only terrifying if you're a herring.

 :D />

Bring on the sharks!

The boardwalk stroll was a beautiful bonus, but the main reason for my Christmas Eve Day trip to Coney Island was to go see the New York Aquarium's new exhibit, Ocean Wonders: Sharks

The aquarium got absolutely wrecked by Hurricane Sandy back in 2012 and a lot of the exhibits are still being repaired, like the inside portion of the Sea Cliffs exhibit, where I used to love playing with one of the fur seals. I figured out that this seal was up for a play session after I waved my scarf for some reason while in front of the underwater window one day and the seal saw it and came zooming down and hung there looking exactly like a dog waiting for a human to throw a stick. I rolled with it and for a couple of visits before Sandy, a good game of chase-the-scarf was one of my favorite things to do at the aquarium. Ideally you run back and forth and play hide-and-seek with the seal behind the tank supports; these folks didn't get quite as into it as the seal might have liked, but you get the general idea:

But I digress from the sharks! The aquarium had gotten funding for this new exhibit not too long before Sandy, and it was originally scheduled to open in 2015, but of course the hurricane delayed everything. According to the Wikipedia entry for the aquarium, "A small group of WCS staff who remained onsite during the hurricane were able to save 90 percent of the animals in the collection" - speaking of terrifying, I can't even imagine what the scene there must have been like as the Atlantic's cold October water came washing through the facility. They reopened in the spring of the following year, with (if I recall correctly) signs posted at the entrance that a good deal remained closed due to hurricane damage.

Groundbreaking on the shark exhibit finally happened in January 2014, and construction went steadily from that point on to when it opened in June of this year. The aquarium invited the public with half-price admission up until Labor Day; I managed to miss that but I thought that Christmas Eve Day might be the perfect day to go - it was, as shown, a beautiful day, and I thought that there was a pretty good chance that a lot of people would be too tied up with holiday preparations to go. I think I was right about that, the crowds were small and also really, really into what they were seeing.

And it's pretty spectacular. The heart(s) of the exhibit are three large aquariums, each with a sort of a special effect all its own. 
You enter the exhibit through the first, this spectacular tunnel through a coral reef, with sharks and other fish swimming right over your head. The exhibit mostly focuses on out local waters. This is a really cool thing about it - it's mostly about what's going on in the waters right here around NYC, which a lot of people still think are horrible and radioactive and "ewww, how can you kayak there, do you glow in the dark?". I do have to say I get that a lot less often than I did back when I started paddling in the area back in 1999 (or was it '98?), but there's still a lack of awareness among a significant number of residents about how well our waterways are doing these days, and it's great to see the aquarium working on that.

I don't think this first tank is representative of a local environment (OK, I have to admit that I rushed through a little bit because TQ was working and I'd told him I was making duck soup for Christmas eve dinner, so I had to be home in time to make the stock, which just takes a certain amount of simmering time, and then I'd cut into my aquarium time with my boardwalk stroll - I'll go back one of these weekends and this time actually read the signs that tell you what things are!) but it sure does make you go "wow". Click on the picture above - this couple was really loving pointing out the fish to their baby!

The second large tank is bringing you into NYC, with the cityscape along the wall that curves around the big cylindrical tank full of creatures you'd find in local waters. 
Hello, flounder, I see you!

And this big what's-out-there-in-NYC-waters aquarium has a special surprise for kids as you walk further along the curved glass of the tank - there's another tunnel here, this one letting youngsters (and adventurous adults) crawl right into the aquarium for a sharks'-eye view!

I would totally have crawled through but was just a couple of days past throwing out my back and wasn't sure that was a really good idea just yet. The kids (and some of their grownups) were absolutely loving it, though. 
The next thing you walk into is a simulated shipwreck, showing how the many sunken vessels in the NY area become habitats. 

And then you walk out of the shipwreck room into what I would like to nominate as the most soothing room in NYC. 
This is the Canyon's Edge display. There's peaceful music and underwater ocean sounds playing quietly in the background, and shafts of light illuminate the water as a variety of sharks and other fish swim by. The back of the tank is lost in darkness, as though you were actually looking out into the endless sea. There is at least one sea turtle in here, I caught a glimpse of it swimming towards the darkness at the back when I came in, then it was lost to view - perhaps it had had enough being looked at for a while and went to take a nap. 
If I didn't have duck soup to make I could've just sat in here for an hour. Some children came in yelling with excitement - even they quieted down almost instantly, and I didn't hear their parents hushing them, I think it was just the calming effect of the space.
Did you know that there are sharks that like to snuggle? These are nurse sharks, first there were two lying nose to nose, then the third one came swimming down and joined them, cuddling up like puppies at naptime. 
Sharkshadows - something really neat about seeing the shadows on the sand as the sharks passed through the light.

So that was a quick dash through the new Ocean Wonders: Sharks exhibit at the New York Aquarium. There are a lot of educational displays that I'll have to go back to look at sometime when I haven't promised someone duck soup that night and haven't made the stock yet - but here's one I did have a moment to look at! That's right, even the bathroom is educational.

one last look back at the Canyon's Edge (aaah)

And then it was time to head for home. Coneyscape from the Q train platform.

BTW I actually did a bit of research for this post and found some really interesting stuff, including shots of the downstairs area in the Sea Cliffs exhibit showing the extreme damage. This post was already long enough as is but my next post will have links to those. 

by (bonnie) at December 30, 2018 02:52 am

December 29, 2018

Mountain and Sea Scotland
Hillwalking and Sea Kayaking in Scotland

An "ordinary" day to end the year?

The 28th December brought a calm day to the Moray Firth, perfect for a last paddle of 2018.  Arriving at the tiny harbour at Sandend, I set out on my "usual" paddle, west around to Cullen.  An ordinary sort of paddle to end the year I thought.

Straight away it was apparent that whilst the wind was light and the sea calm, it wasn't at all flat......

In fact there was a long-period groundswell from the north running at about a metre and around 11 seconds.  Huge and powerful, mountains of water were roaring against the cliffs and rocks, giving lots of noise and excitement.  There were channels and gaps which I'd usually paddle which were strictly out of bounds on this day as swell surged through.

Low winter sun over a calm sea, fantastic wildlife (over 20 species of birds plus seals today), rocky channels, sandy beaches, picturesque harbours, caves, arches and a ruined castle - an ordinary paddle?  How could any day on this superb piece of coast be "ordinary"?!

Luncheon was taken in the shelter of Cullen harbour, mine were the only footprints today.  I had a decision to make here, back to Sandend or across Cullen Bay to take in the Bow Fiddle Rock. Really it was an easy decision, I had plenty of time to take in the Bow Fiddle.

It all looks calm and serene in this image, but I waited for quite a while before committing to paddling out into the incoming swell.  Having done that, I felt disinclined to go back through as swells ramped up and rolled through the arch.  The nearby cave of the "Whale's Mou" was strictly off limits as the larger swells were closing the inner narrow end completely and bursting out into the shallow bay behind the cave.

I headed back, watching an interesting cloudscape form over the Moray hills as moist air was forced over higher ground.

After an uneventful paddle back and while winding down to finish at Sandend I completely failed to spot a very large swell behind me, rearing up over a submerged rock at Garron Point. The whole weight of the swell broke onto me and instantly capsized the boat.  Quickly recovering, I shook the salt water off my face and drained my "ordinary" paddle my foot! On my last paddle of the year it was the sea which had the last word - which is quite fitting.

by Ian Johnston ( at December 29, 2018 05:49 pm

The Ikkatsu Project
In the Service of the Ocean

Looking Forward, Part 2

Among the big-picture goals for the Ikkatsu Project, data collection and analysis is right at the top. This is a numbers world – so they say – and for good reason: without empirical input, we are mostly left with hunches and intuition. (While both of those things are incredibly valuable to each of us on a personal level, it is the data that we can assemble and the way that we read it that allows us to make informed decisions. More on the personal connections in the next post.) Beach cleanups and data gathering tend to happen together, and both are important to what we do.

The South Kuiu Cleanup is on the calendar again for this July. It’s a chance to survey remote Alaskan beaches, sample water for microplastics and pick up thousands of pounds of debris. In an amazing and stunningly beautiful location, with wildlife constantly around, and we get to stay in a lighthouse. It’s a good time making a real difference.

The Tacoma Shoreline Survey is scheduled for May 18th. It’s a chance to get a one-day look at what is on city beaches and along the waterfront, for volunteers to survey various sections and for the debris that is collected to be disposed of properly. The first survey, done this past November, had 78 volunteers tracking 13 miles of shoreline and resulted in almost 700 pounds of garbage removed.

The coastal monitoring program will also continue in 2019. Several beaches on the Olympic Peninsula have been on Ikkatsu radar since the 2012 Roadless Coast expedition, and the twice-yearly visits are planned again for April and September.

In addition to these programs, the Ikkatsu Project will be collaborating with South Sound Surfrider on monthly cleanups on beaches all over South Puget Sound. It’s an excellent organization with great people involved and has been an integral partner for years now in a variety of different programs. Looking forward to what this year has in store!

I’m sure I’ve left some things out but these programs here are the main events. Posting on these will be ongoing throughout the year and I’m looking forward to trying new ways to streamline the data collection process while generating information that is as usable and accessible as possible.

In the next post I’ll try to itemize the different education efforts that will be happening in 2019, from the classroom to the surf zone and everywhere in between. Stay tuned…


by Ken Campbell at December 29, 2018 04:18 pm

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

AHA Basic Life Support (CPR and AED) Provider

Basic Life Support, or BLS, generally refers to the type of care that first-responders, healthcare providers and public safety professionals provide to anyone who is experiencing cardiac arrest, respiratory distress or an obstructed airway.

by Mark Tozer ( at December 29, 2018 11:02 am

Reflecting On Happiness

For many people, December can often be a big month for reflection. What goals have you achieved in 2018? What can you do at the close of the year that you couldn’t do at the start of it? How have you made a difference to others? Have you been happy in your work and your life?

Here are four suggestions for enjoying a little more happiness at the end of the year and into 2019:

1. Let go of the rules you have for happiness and success.

You don’t have to be perfect, work hard, go it alone or suffer to earn happiness or be successful. Happiness does not come wrapped in a box, it comes when you enjoy the gift inside every moment.

2. Fuel your passion and do what inspires and delights you.

Ask yourself “when am I at my happiest?” and do more of those things you enjoy. Start by being kind to yourself and indulge in your personal version of happiness, success, and joy.

3. Enjoy the simple pleasures.

Laughter, fun, and dancing to your favourite music costs nothing, yet can be priceless. Play a game, read a book, or go for a walk and try and spot all the colours of a rainbow. What is on your list of simple pleasures?

4. Make time for love and friendship. 

Don’t be so busy with others that you neglect your most important relationships at work and in your life. Who would you like to spend more time with, be more loving with, and have more fun with?

by Mark Tozer ( at December 29, 2018 10:38 am

WMS Cold Card Guide In the Assessment and Care of Cold-Exposed Patients

The Wilderness Medical Society has published a free ‘cut out and keep’ style double sided card, summarising the key elements of hypothermia evaluation and field care for laypersons, rescuers, and first responders. 

The full-text paper explains its design and evolution, alongside high-resolution printable images of the card.

by Mark Tozer ( at December 29, 2018 10:15 am

NREMT Emergency Medical Responder

Emergency Medical Responders provide immediate lifesaving care to critical patients who access the emergency medical services system. EMRs have the knowledge and skills necessary to provide immediate lifesaving interventions while awaiting additional EMS resources to arrive. 

EMRs also provide assistance to higher-level personnel at the scene of emergencies and during transport. Emergency Medical Responders are a vital part of the comprehensive EMS response. Under medical oversight, Emergency Medical Responders perform basic interventions with minimal equipment.

by Mark Tozer ( at December 29, 2018 10:06 am