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