Sunday, October 27, 2013

Release Date 9/7/2013

I had a blast from the past and signed-up to do swim support for a CIBBOWS swim race. It was the “Triple Dip” race right along the edge of the beach which made it easy to police, but there were 3 groups of swimmers doing 3 different courses so that was a bit of a challenge.

It was an amazing day weather wise light breeze, clear, and not to hot. The water was still warm for kayaking, but a number of the swimmers on the long course got too cold and had to get out.

It was fun to help out those folks after such a long time, and great to see that their program has flourished to such a large size.

Release Date 9/29/2013

Went out to do a little surfing early in the day at Breezy Point.
The waves were small which made them manageable, but when its like this the break point is not consistent and I ended up chasing all over the place to try and get a good ride, often without success. I only got dumped a couple of times.

Lots of people fishing, but I hadn’t brought my line. After a bit we paddled out around the point, and long the beach. The waves were pretty big on the beach, but they were just dumping on the shore so we avoided them.

They are making MASSIVE changes to plumb beach building new rock breakwaters and 
moving sand around after the hurricane (Sandy). There is also a huge dredge out in the middle of the channel near the sandbar out by the point, so there must be big plans for that. Hopefully they don’t plan to suck up our sandbar and use it to build-up the dunes.

We launched really early 8:00AM, and I was back picking up lunch by 12:00PM.

Truth: Sometimes things change.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Release date 10/20/2013

It was my annual Hog Hunting trip in North Florida. 

The weather was absolutely perfect; it usually is time of year. Warm sun in the day cools at night. 

We did two days of hunting Saturday and Sunday. It was black powder season so the required weapon is a primitive musket. The guns are actually pretty sophisticated now with rifled barrels, and modern construction methods, so if you know what you are doing they are very accurate. The problem is you only get one shot. It takes at least 10 minutes to reload it.

I only saw two pigs, and had a shot at one of them. He started to come close, then headed away so I took a shot and missed, very embarrassing. There is a huge cloud of smoke and sparks when you shoot, and the brush is pretty dense, and the guns are VERY powerful with a huge 50 cal bullet, so its actually possible to kill one and then have to go check. I checked, no pig…

One of my friends did get one, so I did get a tasty hog ham to take back home to NYC.

We were leaving before dawn each day, and getting back just at dusk so there as some amazing scenery.

One morning we came across a bunch of kids tied up in canoes sleeping at the entrance to the canal we were staying on. They were about a 10 minute paddle from a nice state campground, go figure...

Truth: Sometimes things don't go as expected.

Release date 7/20/2013

Kate and I went to the annual City of Water day with some friends.

This is an activity that runs once a year where there are a lot of water related events and programs on Governors Island, and then they allow anyone who paddled to the island to camp-out, which we did.

This year it coincided with a display of turn of the century carnival rides that were actually very scary due the their speed and the appearance at least of appearance of danger. 

This is something like the 7th year they have done it, but it was the first time we were able to go. It was a beautiful night and we really enjoyed it. There was heavy rain about 5:00PM, but then it cleared-up.

The next day we went North up to the Brooklyn Flea event in Dumbo to meet some friends for lunch and then home, so we basically spent the whole weekend on and around the water, but still in NYC.

Release Date 7/14/2013

Released the message on the ferry halfway between Isle Royale and Grand Portage on Lake Superior. I was on my way home from a really cool 8 day canoe trip inside and around Isle Royale.


 The entire island is a national park and the number of people who visit it is limited by the ferry service that runs to and from Minnesota and Michigan.

We did the classic canoe camping thing where we loaded all our gear into two canoes which we paddled in the lakes, and “portaged” on hiking trails between the lakes.  

The ferry ride from Grand Portage took all day since it first landed at the West end of the Island, Windigo, then went on milk run around the island picking up and dropping off campers to leave us at Rock Harbor after about 8 hours of traveling. We spent the night there, and then headed out on the ferry again the next morning to Malone Bay to begin the trip. 

We did a short portage into Siskiwit Lake and started to paddle. The wind was 15 knots or more right into our face, and the canoes were so heavily loaded that they started to take in water over the bows so we had to stop after less than a mile and make an early camp for the night to wait for the wind to die down. This was a bit of a drag, but were able to get up and going before the wind picked-up the next morning and make up for the lost time.

Early in the trip when windbound exhausted and cold, the troops turned against Tim when we accidentally dumped the pasta on the beach.

We then camped for 2 days in Chickenbone lake. We did some catch and release fishing one evening and caught a few Northern Pikes. This was kind of a buggy boggy lake, but it was raining and we stayed 2 nights to wait for better weather.

Next we portaged through the island out to Lake Superior. We picked-up a food drop from the ferry that we had arranged and spent a night on Birch Island and a really nice campsite. Although the campsites are much nicer, and the scenery is really amazing on the “big lake” the weather is much more touch and go, especially for heavily loaded canoes.  Conditions that were no problem for a sea kayak were no paddle days for the canoes. The water is below 40 degrees in Lake Superior, so a capsize would be a very “serious situation” since we weren’t wearing any exposure protection. Baths were quick and painful...

We next spent 2 nights at Bell Harbor where were again wind bound and prevented from really paddling for one day. This was a really nice spot with great campsites and hiking, and very few other campers.

We managed to catch and eat fresh lake trout here.

After that we paddled and portaged back to Rock Harbor to finish out the trip, and had a long all day boat ride to get home.