Thursday, April 7, 2011

Kayak Camp Hampton Roads June 3,4, and 5, 2011

PPC, short for power paddle camp is an opportunity for kayakers to improve everything about their paddling. Check out the link!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Still Alive

I WILL post to my blog more often.

OK, so I now have a high schooler living in my house who gets up at 5 am, so I get up at 5am. As tempting as it is to drink coffee and surf the web, I'm proud to say that most mornings since school started (Sept. 7) I have dressed out and worked out. A few runs, some lifts and a few paddles. For all my early paddles the past two weeks I've used my Stilletto.

My Stilletto is an old ICF K-1 (Olympic sprint kayak) that I rarely paddle and almost never race. I think once last year I raced in her, and didn't take her out for a single training run. She's the tippiest boat I own, well used, and proudly bears multiple scars from underwater obstructions, being dropped on boat ramps, and once falling off my car at about 20 mph (damn cheap straps!). Last week's 2 paddles were easy, re-learning her feel and balance, getting used to how she's respond to a lean, intentional or not, and convincing the two of us to relax. This week it's almost back to old times-hammer out some intervals, trying to get from either point A to point A or point A to point B faster than we did the last time. Sometimes we do.

And as we cruise along, and the sun slowly breaks the horizon, and the egrets and herons croak their disapproval, and the mullet jump, and the fox, deer, and eagles watch us silently, we get the feeling that everything is exactly as it should be.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Paddled at First Landing Park in VA Beach today

Today's paddle was at the Narrows at First Landing State Park. Formerly called Seashore State Park, it is the most visited State Park in Virginia. Miles of hiking trails, one long (flat) biking trail, a boat ramp, a campground, launch access directly to the Chesapeake Bay and another access off 64th Street to the Narrows. The Narrows is a just that-a constriction that separates Broad Bay and Linkhorn Bay. It's a great put-in and a fun place to play. Boat wake rides are available all day in the summer, and if you catch the right spot in the tide change on a windy day you've got all the wave riding you want.

Highlights of today's paddle-low 60's air temperature, saw a juvenile bald eagle, a great blue heron, buffeheads, hooded mergansers, lots of double crested cormorants, lots of brown pelicans-including one who put on a show with multiple dives into the water right in front of us.

Weirdest thing I've ever seen there-a mud snake, which is a beautiful, shiny black and red snake, was moving in and out of ghost crab holes on the beach at the Narrows. I've only seen two of these snakes ever. The other one was dead on the side of West Neck Creek.

Most embarrassing moment there-while guiding a kayak trip at the Narrows in the summer many years ago, I decided I'd cool off (and show off) with an eskimo roll. So over I go, executed a perfect roll, and came up smiling. Unfortunately, in the course of 360 degrees of kayak movement I wrapped a jellyfish completely over my face, around my neck, across my eyes, in my mouth, etc. Instead of a post-roll celebration, I was now grabbing and slinging chunks of tentacles as fast as I could. Got lit up good! The sting to my skin and my pride faded soon enough.

Today's weather was my least favorite combo for winter paddling. Cold water and warm air. Since one has to dress for the water temps, warm days can be miserable. Lot of sweat today.

Coming soon-proper preparation for winter paddling.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

So my wife got me a kayak for Christmas.

A friend of mine received a new kayak for Christmas. Well, almost new, as his wife did the right thing and found it on Craigslist and saved some bucks. Other than it's a tandem boat, she doesn't really know what she got, and neither does he! However, he got lucky. Turns out it's exactly what he needs for the type of paddling he plans to do. It's a Swifty 2, which is a recreational sit-in boat that's extremely stable and easy to paddle w/either of his kids. It's also something he can paddle alone. He plans to poke around the Lynnhaven River and take pictures.

Of course, I wonder what would have happened if she'd brought home a surfski or a high performance sea kayak?

Try before you buy, is the best advice I can give before bringing one home.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

So I was thinking about paddling today but

The intracoastal waterway was frozen!! And L. Smith is frozen! And I didn't think I had time to get in a good paddle before dark in the bay. And the dog ate my homework. and....

So accuweather.com is calling for an inch of snow here Thursday night. That will totally shut down Tidewater (schools especially!!!), which will have me wide open to paddling with snow on the ground. Absolutely one of my favorite things to cruise down a creek through the white woods.

Keep your fingers crossed everybody!! Pray for snow!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Happy New Year!

New Year's Resolutions:
Paddle more!
Do more kayak classes!
Update this blog a lot more!!
Do more kayak races, adventure races and orienteering events.
Get my family outdoors even more-camping, paddling, racing, biking, etc....

Be safe, it's cold out there!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Re-entry and paddle float roll

Check out my buddy Karen doing her re-entry and paddle float roll!! What a champ!

video