Thursday, February 24, 2011

Release Date 2/21/2011

On Sunday Kate and I went out to Nusa resort to try paddling a double kayak, and it went surprisingly well. We went out to the blow-hole dive site for some snorkeling the same place I went last week. It was a bit rough and the water was kind of stirred-up, but the paddling was fine.

They have a number of double boats out there, We took a fairly short Italian kayak that wasn’t very fast and didn’t have hatches, but it was light and easy to maneuver. They have a much larger 3 piece one that we are going to try next time. The big one is big enough to camp out of. It has hatches and is ve
ry long, but it is really heavy.

We are thinking things might be a good solution for us, since Kate doesn’t like paddling as much as I do, and isn’t into paddling hard, but is happy to sit in the boat
while I get a good workout. Since there are 2 of us we will probably be as fast as if I was by myself.

On the way back in we came across the most incredible school of small fish I have ever seen. We could not see to the end of it from the surface or under the water, and we swam almost 50 yards apart from each other, and we were both in the middle of it.

We took some videos, but you can’t get a scope of the size of the school because the camera doesn’t see that far under water, but all the shadows and black spl
otches on just masses of fish.

On Monday and I didn’t have to go to the office. I planned on a big day of kayaking, but I started to work on something and got carried away. The next thing I knew it was 3:00PM and
I didn’t have much time left for paddling!

I sure found a nice office, check it out. That white space above and to the left of the monitor is the ocean.

The surf was pretty big, as it has been for a while, so I don’t want to come home after dark and deal with it.

As soon as I got out in the water 2 dolphins swam right up next to me. Because I was so close to the breakers they didn’t hear me, and I got right up to them.

Kate was out doing a visit to one of the communities they work in, and she had to go and set-up a planning meeting. My plan was to get out near Nago island so that I could see her when she came back, but she had landed before I even launched, so I wasn’t even close.

She did do some fishing on the way home, so I had tasty tuna for dinner when I got there. Once I got around past Nusa the sea was very smooth, since the swell was in the other direction and the wind had died. I got a great sunset. In the picture you can see the sun dropping below the Island of New Hanover way in the distance.

When I got back near our house there was pretty good size swell. A guy was driving by me in a motor boat as I was nervously putting on my helmet for the return to shore. He waved, but I noticed later when he saw that I was going in he turned around. I like to think it was to help me, but it might have just been curiosity to see if the white man would be smashed to pieces.

I managed to get past the first really big break, but a big mass of white water caught me and I capsized in the shallow water. The wave was so big that it was plenty deep enough to roll back up. I did loose my pump so I had to actually paddle around a bit in a very heavy tidal rip and the surf to recover it.

I got a good audience of local people on the shore watching, and of course the guy in the boat was waiting for me to get blown out past the breakers again.
In the end it was ok I recovered the pump, and was able to paddle back up against the rip tide to our house.

I’m not sure what the best strategy is for this big dumping surf, other than of course the obvious not to paddle in it. It almost seems like I might be better trying to go in sideways since if the boat starts to surf the bow gets nailed into the bottom. I don’t like the idea at all of trying to lay over sideways into a 4 foot wave either.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Release Date 2/8/2011

I went right on to snow and ice in NYC from our vacation and didn’t get back to PNG and into the water until February.

The surf has finally died down a bit so it is only a little bit dangerous to kayak out from our house now, but I make sure to always wear my helmet.

I wasn’t paying attention when this boat pulled out so I missed it, but I tried to hitch a free ride. They were trailing a skiff and then a rope from the skiff. This is an old Indonesian ferry boat that a local guy has bought. It is pretty narrow and has huge outriggers made of trees hanging off either side. This is a very lousy video of it.

Truth: If you look for something you can usually find it.

Release Date 1/8/2011

The picture is from the Sydney Harbor bridge way way up high.

These 2 guys were booking along on surf skis. Paddling the Sydney makes NYC look like a country lane. The traffic was tremendous, but these dudes were going right down the middle of the channel in their skis with no PFDs.

We went to NZ for a vacation over new years. I was too lazy to take a lot of pictures, and I haven’t gotten copies from Kate. I released a note on a piece of wood in NZ a week later. The beaches and coastline were really spectacular.

On the beach where I released the note we saw a penguin sitting up in the cliff. We tracked him from the water and found him sitting up in the weeds staring at us like Burgess Meridith.

No Truth: (there was no room on the piece of wood).

Release Date 12/21/2010

I went for a short afternoon paddle. I hadn’t been out in a long time…

I went by my favorite spot for surf pictures, the blow-hole. And got a short movie. This would definitely be a 5 star plus landing. Paddle up on the rocks at high tide, and land, then get the hell out of the boat quickly before the next wave.

Kate made this note for our “haus meri” describing how to feed the

dogs and asking her to keep an eye out for the top to her water bottle.

Truth: Christmas is coming.