Posts Tagged 'canoeing'

lake Michigan in a dugout [video]

here is a short teaser trailer about a summer adventure two women took on Lake Michigan.  the two of them paddled and sailed over 1200 miles on Lake Michigan over 93 days in the summer.  they added a Sunfish sail to their hand-made dugout canoe.

This summer my friend, Amy, and I circumnavigated Lake Michigan… Everyone dreams of an adventurous life. We took off out the back door running; exploring on our own terms, by our own means. This is a short teaser of our journey.

they also have a blog about it: Lake Michigan in a Dugout

I found their blog from one of the weekly “Rhumbline” emails from Laser Performance United.

Adam’s Rib: Gull Lake Boat Works [video]

this is an amazing look at the process used by Marc of Gull Lake Boat Works as he creates his custom wood and canvas canoes all by hand.

plus, he has a sweet set of tattoos on his forearm of the 4 symbols from Led Zeppelin’s 4th studio album (3:18 into the video).

HT: @SailvationMedia

a post about rivers

jp, over at Captain JP’s log, suggested everyone should post a blog about rivers to celebrate World Rivers Day, which happens to be today, September 27th.  I’m a bit late to the game, but here goes…

a few weeks back while on vacation at Camp Arcadia, I took my wife and 3 boys, joined up with some more family and friends, and we all drove up to the Platte River near Sleeping Bear Dunes to go tubing down the river.  the Platte River is a nice lazy river that slowly winds its way through parts of Sleeping Bear Dunes park, and eventually opens up at the sand dunes before dumping into Lake Michigan.  I’ve been canoeing and/or tubing down this river many times (almost every time I vacation at Arcadia during the summer, anyway!).

two years ago, we had planned to go canoeing, but realized that for the amount of money it’d cost to rent a canoe, we could just buy our own tube (or even a few of them)…  this year was the 2nd year using the tubes.  a few of the tubes we bought are actually more like a 2-person raft of sorts – they work great for an adult, especially if you need room for a young child to ride along, particularly if they don’t like getting too wet.

this picture is my 15-month old son playing in the water as he floats down the river with his mom.

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is doesn’t look like he’s too happy, but he really was – he’s just doing something funny with his lip… I’d say that he loved it, in fact, and was only fussy for maybe 5 minutes out of the 2 hours of floating – and the fussing stopped quickly after he got to snack on a banana!

as you can see in this picture, he was having a great time, this time sitting on my lap.  my tube was the Cadillac of tubes – instead of using the 2-person raft, mine is an actual “tube”, but it has a nice mesh bottom at the donut hole part of the tube – it keeps you nice and cool resting in the water, plus it has a nice backrest and cupholders… it’s fantastic!

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now, as this is a Sunfish sailing related blog, I thought I’d also talk a bit about the Sunfish race that used to take place on the Connecticut River – the Sunfish Connecticut River Classic.  I’m having trouble finding much information on it browsing the internet, but if you have a copy of the Sunfish Bible, there is an old magazine article, called “A Mighty Good Time” by Dom Degnon (starting on page 356) that talks quite a bit about the race.

the two-day annual fun race in May follows the lower Connecticut River from Hartford downstream to Essex, with an overnight camp-out at Hurd State Park… soon you are sailing past meadowlands and wetlands...

…Two people sailed per boat, carrying on board the necessary camping gear (tents, sleeping bags), life jackets, clothing and foul-weather gear, lunch and drinks for two days.  The folks at Alcort, builders of the Sunfish [at that time], provided the food, drink, and staff for the Saturday night cookout and a complete breakfast Sunday, as well as a postrace party.

It seems to me that it was more of a chance to drift down the river in a Sunfish, occasionally making attempts to race, but just as much spending time socializing with the other “racers”, passing snacks and cookies back and forth, and then having a good time at the mid-way campground.  honestly, it sounds like it would have been a great time, and I’m amazed that it hasn’t been continued on every year.  maybe some Sunfish sailors in that area can resurrect the tradition sometime in the near future.


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