Friday, January 26, 2007

Release Date 1/25/2007

I did another paddle from Sea Trek with a friend out to Angel Island.

It was an errie day, some fog and some sun, but almost no wind. Apparently it was very unusual for the bay.

Angel island is a state park located in the middle of SF Bay. We had a leisurely paddle over to Tiburon Island to see the fancy homes, then on to the Island.

The park was almost completely shutdown, but we explored a little bit, and checked out the little museum, before paddling back.

Release Date 1/24/2007

I rented a kayak from Sea Trek kayaks in Sausalito, and paddled out through the Golden Gate Bridge into SF Bay.

The outfitter is a really nice company. They have good equipment, and are very friendly and knowledgeable about the area.

They gave me a Valley Avocet boat, because the Valley rep now works for them. They are just getting into British boats with skegs, and away from rudders.

This is a really nice paddle. The Bay has strong tidal flows, and I had to use eddies, and paddle against the current to get out. The whole North side of the bay seems to be open space, or parkland. There were huge rocky cliffs, and little pocket beaches.

I had a nice lunch, and one park, and picked-up some interesting trash at another one.

I got all the way to Bonita Pt., which is where the bay gives way to the open ocean. The weather can be very intense there, but there was only a few feet of swell, and very little wind, so it was pretty mellow.


If you drive or walk a trip it is much easier to remember the directions.

Release Date 1/22/2007

Released this message off of Moss Landing near Santa Cruz CA.

I rented a kayak and paddled up the Elkhorn Slough. This is a wetland area connected to the ocean.

It was a nice day, very warm for the winter here, and sunny.

I saw lots of interesting animals, including some very playful otters. One otter was eating a fish. One was a mother teaching a baby to dive and swim, by taking it for short dives on her chest.

The mouth of the harbor has a lot of commercial fishing boats in it, that were really cool looking.

I took a short trip to the ocean, but because the water was so cold, and I was alone I didn't try surfing in any of the breaking waves.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Release Date 1/14/2007

This was the first leg of our Cape May to Brooklyn paddle. It was a long drive down there. We left Brooklyn around 4:30 in the morning, and I didn't get back till 7:30. We spent 5 hours and 45 minutes on the water.
It was a very calm and overcast day when we started. The sun came out during the day for a little while, and the wind picked-up a bit, but generally was very calm.
The lighthouse is about the most interesting part of the paddle. There is a large lighthouse, and an old WW II bunker right at the start. It must be very nice, and busy in the summer. There were only a few people walking dogs in the morning, but a lot of folks when we came back to get the cars at sunset.

There is a video of the launch here:

The paddle along the coast was uneventful. It was very warm for January. I think it must have been up into the 60s when we were in the sun. Kids were playing football in shorts on the beach, and bugs were flying around our heads. It could have been May.

Truth: Sometimes doing nothing can still make a great day.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Release Date 1/1/2007

Released this message at Coney Island for the Annual Polar Bear Dip on New Year's Day. I've been going to this for the last couple of years now. The Polar Bears have been swimming on New Year's Day for hundreds of years, but we have only been doing no drysuit rolls for the last couple.
It's always a lot of fun, and a big party. They have a breakfast, music, lots of wacky characters, a few skinny dippers, and a whole bunch of icy cold water.
It was only about 50 degrees this year, practically balmy, but the water was in the 40's and it was foggy and raining. I was a little late getting on station in my kayak, so I missed the main parade into the water. There was a bit of surf so I couldn't get too close to the swimmers, but my friend swam out and took a few photos of me rolling. That's fear on my face in the first picture, and a real scream in the 2nd one.
I did stay in long enough for the beginning stages of hypothermia. I was shivering uncontrollably, and having trouble thinking after on 10 minutes.
Released the bottle off of Brighton Beach around 15:20 later in the day after I had my drysuit back on.
Truth: Cold can be very uncomfortable.