Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Release Date 6/22/2020

First message of 2020 almost halfway through the year.

We are still up in PEI, but its finally warm enough to kayak, and I found a great outfitter who was willing to rent me a boat: Outside Expeditions in North Rustico not too far from where we are staying. They were really cool and helpful there. I feel so bad so for operations like this they have a very short season, and because the island is essentially closed they dont have much business.

June has been very windy but the wind was light when I started. I just paddled a few miles down the coast and back.

Much of the coast is made-up of sandstone cliffs. The rock is very soft, so soft nobody ever climbs it and mussels and plants cant grow on it so it is always the same color and usually rounded.

This looks like the Grand Canyon but its Canada on the Coast!
There were lots of great little pocket beaches and I stopped on one for lunch and a bit of beach combing.

The wind picked up a bit, and it was right in my face on the way back. I posted the paddle to Strava which I have been using a lot for biking and other activities.

I started about 12:00 and went North stopped at the beach at 12:45, then started paddling again about 13:30. I went further North then turned around and paddled back into the wind. I finished around 15:30. I had to fight the wind on the way back, but I felt pretty good and only got a slight twinge in my back a few times.

 Truth: Plans Change.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Release Date 12/29/2019

I finally got my new Kayak in the water in Indonesia.

On Christmas day the kayak trailer I had commissioned finally showed up at our house. It took about 2 months but it came out really nice.

On the first test I sheared the connecting bolt off of the hitch, but we replaced it with another bolt, and more importantly added a bunch of rubber that would allow the hitch to twist on the back of the bike rather than stress the bolt. This seemed to do the trick and its working well.  I just went local with it, and got a LOT of laughs and weird looks from the local but I got to the water!

Im a bit worried that wheels are not attached well enough, but its hard to tell how much stress is on it.

The paddle itself was short just an hour to test it out.

Returning to beach in light surf.

One problem is my spray skirt wont stay on it, but im hoping the skirt that came with the boat will work better. My skirt is for a sharp glass kayak coaming.

The boat paddled ok, its about the right length easy to turn and handle in the surf, but still ok on speed. Im a bit worried about the quality of the seat and rudder assembly, but time will tell.
We put up some of our new wooden spearguns on the wall as art!

Kate made this cool batik for me.

These butterflies appear to be doing a mating dance:

Truth: shocks help

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Release Date 12/8/2019

We were rock garden paddling in Baja Mexico at La Bufadora south of Ensenada.

This amazing Taco stand in Ensenada is a must on each trip. 
The trip was organized by Jen Kleck who runs the annual baja kayak fest event. We usually go in the Spring when it is a bit warmer, but the weather was just perfect this trip, in the 60s and low 70s, although it was a bit windy on one day. 

This is a great location and it was my third trip down there for this fun and challenging location. Like last spring the weather was rainy and cloudy, with heavy actual rain on a few of the days.  This is very unusual for this desert location, but since it was pretty warm and we were wearing drysuits it was not a big deal.

It was a smaller group than in the past, and I really enjoyed the ability to paddle and more importantly hang out with friends. We had some great meals. The only problem was we ran out of IPA beer with one day to go, but we made due to alternate arrangements.

The coastline is amazing for miles in each direction
The timing didnt work for camping on the Todos Santos Islands, but we took a motor boat ride out there, and then paddled back home.

These two lighthouses are the main feature of the island. The one on the right is quite old.

This doggie works on the island and loves to be picked up!
I felt pretty good for the whole trip, just a touch of back and shoulder pain on some of the bigger days when we did more features or the long paddle back from the Island.

Truth: You can not put 10oz into an 8oz glass.

Monday, April 01, 2019

Release Date 3/30/2019

We went for a paddle in the harbor from Red Hook.

Low water at the Battery was at 11:30.

We launched about 10:00AM into a strong Ebb, and paddled against it up to Castle Clinton to see if there was any tide race waves to play in.

There were just a few small ones because the tide was on neaps and the wind was not against it, so after a bit of surfing we peeled off for a trip south.

We want to the very fancy golf course in Bayone. Its private members only and the emphasize its accessible by private boat or helicopter.  They don't quote the price, but the Internet has it as $150,000 initiation fee and $18,000 a year. Its probably $200 a round as well so a bit rich for my blood.

But I guess that's a deal since this article has Liberty National Course Initiation fee at $450,000, and a wait list!

Since we were on the golf course I had a shot with lunch!

The wind really picked-up like 15 knots from East so the initial part of the ride home was a real slog, but eventually we got out in the current.

We heard on the radio that two barges had come loose and we watched the Army Corps of Engineers boat go out and collect them and pull them in toward Red Hook. The mooring ball was still on the bow of one of them, so the Anchor cable must have just broken off.

Truth: The Rich get Richer.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Release Date 3/13/2019

I released this message near the little town of La Bufadora 20 miles south of Ensenada Mexico.

I was with the folks who run the Baja Kayak Fest.

The bunkhouse and living room

This is my second year going back here, and its absolutely the best rock gardening location I have ever been to. I capsized almost every day, my bracing is not what it should be, it all seems to be going fine, and then I'm drinking saltwater and looking to roll back up hoping I don't smash my head. Because its so deep it is not all that dangerous, most of the locations that they let us go in would flush us somewhere safe if we wet exited.

We saw all kinds of conditions from cold rain the first day to hot sun by the end of the week.

A highlight of a visit here is a trip out to the lighthouse on Todos Los Santos island and that is where I let the bottle go. I slept in the top of the red and white lighthouse. Its always a little chilly, but the views are amazing.

The Island was full of lush plants and flowers because it had recently rained a lot, but the locals said that might be it for rain for 9 months. Last year everything was brown and dried.



Dawn from lighthouse

This is an old-school light but still works.

Dropped the bottle out near Todos los Santos Mainland in distance.


On the day we paddled out to the Island there was huge 12 foot swells.

I needed a shave by the end..
 I saw dolphins and whales in front of me on the faces of the waves, and one point a gray whale went under another paddler, and because of the swell it was like seeing it on a movie screen directly in front of me.

The locals net Bluefin Tuna alive, and then put them in huge free floating pens to fatten them up. One day we paddled over near the pens and we watched as the divers and fishermen wrestled the fish up the side of the boat for slaughter, it was sad but really dramatic.

 Two men get in the pen with them, one grabs the tail the other puts a huge hook through the gills and they drag them aboard and kill them. The fish are huge and must weight 300 pounds or more and are all muscle.  We were told that they must be killed and gutted in 2 minutes, all the dudes were covered in blood.

The most dramatic paddling was at the location called the "Slot of Boom". This is a very long rock slot facing the sea. The swell was too big to safely go all the way through but we could paddle into it to play and then feel the rush of huge waves rolling down the slot that would flush us back out.

As usual I capsized at one point, but fortunately I made my roll to get back up. From this picture I can't tell if Im on my over or way back up!

At the end of the trip we had a nice day of goofing off and drinking in San Diego:

Its always worth going back to a beautiful place.




Thursday, February 21, 2019

Release Date 2/3/2019

Super Bowl Sunday in the woods.
A foggy morning boat ride out.

Its always super bowl Sunday on my February Hunting Trip, and my Birthday on the Fall one...

We had really great weather.

Another group who got out to the area before us shot a large hog.

I saw a mother with some little piglets but decided the little guys needed their moma they were pretty small. I watched them for a long time but at some point they must have smelled me or a made a tiny sound and they ran away.

The bottle hitting the water

I wore gloves to protect my hands, but still got Poison ivy or something all over my wrists so I have to wear longer gloves in the future.

We did make a treasure map and bury the head of the hog the other guys shot.
We stayed a very fancy condo. We were tempted to try hunting from the balcony since it looked out on the swamp.

Truth: Comfort is Contagious

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Release Date 11/12/2018

We spent several days paddling in CT and RI.

We stayed in a great house in Stonington. We had hoped to paddle over from Orient Point, but it was too windy to do the crossing so we drove up. We got a super early start, met for the boats at 5:30 and were at the house by Lunch time, plenty of time for a paddle, but not a paddle AND a nap.

On Friday night we hit the Holly Ghost Society for the Fish Fry and wasted money on the lottery game.

We went to Ram Island reef to paddle in the tide race created by the flood tide and the West wind. We put in at Esker Point beach.

 The race was pretty good, and we all did a bit of surfing. We stopped to rest on Ram Island and met a VERY friendly doggy, who loved to have her belly rubbed. 

The dog was less enthusiastic about being picked-up and played like a bass guitar, but she put up with it....

The next day we paddled out to Latimer Light for more tide race surfing on the Ebb in a very strong East wind. The waves were big, but I was intimidated by the really strong wind so I didnt stay out very long and went right back after a tough slog out there.

The house was great and we had a big feast one night. Local Oysters, and a mixed grill.

On the third day we drove up to Jamestown RI to paddle along Beavertail. This where I released the bottle.  We put in at very pretty cove near Fort Wetherhill State park, and paddled along the coast to the Beavertail lighthouse. 


The hope was to play in the rocks, but there was very little swell and I was afraid of tearing up my boat after recently having it repaired. Eventually I took off my helmet to wear a warm hat, then foolishly got in a little cove in the rocks and promptly got rolled by big wave and my head was dragged across the rocks underwater. Fortunately I rolled up and got out of there and wasn't hurt, but it was a good lesson about keeping the helmet on. I did find a really great fishing buoy for my collection. I only hope I can keep it.

On the last day we paddled out of Esker Point again, but there was no wind at all and none of the tide races were working. We paddled out to South Dumpling Island and got a history lesson on the Island from the caretaker who lives there to look after it for the wealthy owner. He told us some great stories about the incredible storms that he has had in the winter. We then went over to Ford's restaurant for a great Lobster lunch. 

Truth: Dosage is Important.