Posts Tagged 'kayaking'

sailing & kayaking log: 2013-07-05 Round Lake

for the July 4th holiday this year, my wife and I joined several college friends at a lake cottage on Round Lake. this has become a little bit of a tradition, as I think this is now our 3rd year in a row meeting up there together.

Thursday afternoon we took the pontoon boat for a spin out on the lake and stopped to swim at the large sand bar.  we enjoyed some awesome food & drinks and fellowship, and then watched the beautiful sunset, followed by fireworks from all around the lake.

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I woke up Friday morning, and gathered up my things to take the Sunfish out for a spin on Round Lake.  the wind was pretty calm, but I thought I might as well give it a try… but it was pretty much a drifter the whole way.  at one point in a shallow area, I just got off the Sunfish, and walked a couple hundred yards through the shallow area, towing the Sunfish along behind me.  this is a screenshot from my GoPro video camera (that I ended up just turning off).

walking round lake

I saw (4) other Sunfish out on the water, and thought I might try to sail over to them to say hello – but I just couldn’t make any headway in that direction, and I think they realized it just wasn’t enough wind to be on the water, as they each made their way back to shore.  you can just barely see a couple of their little triangular sails off in the distance.

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after a short while, I gave up on sailing, and slowly started making my way back to the cottage.  a little bit of paddling was required to speed things along.  once I got back, I left my Sunfish more or less rigged and ready to go if the wind was to ever pick back up again, but it never really did.

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while I was trying to sail, I used my new Aquapac (Micro Whanganui) dry bag to keep my iPhone dry, and then turned on my Runkeeper app to use the GPS to track my sailing movements.  I guess in theory, it would be a pretty neat result, but since it was such light winds, I basically just drifted in a large circle (sailing route shown with blue lines on the map below).

later in the afternoon, two of my friends and I each took a kayak for a spin, and ended up paddling quite a long way around the lake. I used Google Maps to trace our approximate route (kayaking shown by red lines) – it ended up being about 3.75 miles of kayaking! not too bad for maybe my 1st ever serious kayaking.

round lake 2013-07-05

all told it was a great couple days spent on the water, enjoying time with old friends, and mixing in a bit of delicious cooking and cold frosty beverages.  the Sunfish sailing left a little to be desired, but sometimes the winds just don’t like to cooperate.

walk on water [kayaking video]

this is amazing – the story of a man, Greg Mallory, who lost the use of his legs due to a skiing accident, and he found extreme whitewater kayaking as a sport that he could get involved in, and not be hampered (too much) by the loss of use from his legs.  it’s great to see how other kayakers help Greg get to some of the difficult put-ins to start their kayak runs.

as usual, load it up in HD and watch full screen.

Greg is now on a 1-year kayaking trip in Patagonia – read more about it at http://www.southerntiptrip.com/

HT: Canoe & Kayak

of souls + water: the shapeshifter [video]

another awesome extreme kayaking video.

load it up in HD and watch full screen – it’s wild.

HT: @CanoeKayakMag

GoPro hero 3

just recently announced by GoPro – the GoPro Hero 3.  load it up in HD and watch full screen – looks pretty amazing…

et ego in Arcadia – Sunday

here’s the first day from our week vacation up at Camp Arcadia.  most of the post will be about Sunday’s activities, but technically the family week vacations up at Camp Arcadia are usually Saturday afternoon to the following Saturday afternoon.  the first day thus usually involves some frantic last-minute packing to get on the road ASAP, then a roughly 4-hour drive to get up to camp. here’s my Sunfish rigged up for the road, with a couple of the boys’ bikes riding along with my Sunfish PVC dolly.

after the long drive to Camp, the rest of Saturday is spent settling into the cottage, eating our first dinner at camp, and then watching the Talent Show by the Camp staff – mostly introductions, a few legitimate talent exhibits like singing or playing an instrument, and a mix of silly skits.

Sunday starts with a buffet breakfast, and then a short walk out of Camp and into the small town of Arcadia to Trinity Lutheran Church, a great historic church at 130+ years old.  it’s been a family tradition while driving into Arcadia on Saturday afternoon to see who can be the first to spot the steeple poking above the trees.

after the church service, we walked back to our cottage, and I started getting my Sunfish ready to take to the beach.  I used my Sunfish PVC dolly to roll it down some sidewalks and then the sand to the beach, and lugged all the extra gear down on a 2nd trip, and then headed to the dining room to have some of the buffet lunch before heading out to sail.  my youngest son (4 yrs old) was pretty geeked as usual to sail – he had his little sailing outfit on and everything, and was hanging around trying to help get it ready to sail.

it was a cooler day, and the water temperature was pretty cold, so I had a few layers on to make sure I stayed warm if I was to fall out or tip over.  on a day like this, I like to wear my Ronstan long sleeve rashguard underneath my shorty wetsuit.  and this year my new piece of gear is some NRS wetsocks from REI.  I really like all 3 of these pieces of gear – the wetsocks are a nice addition, as I have to wade in the water a bit to get the final rigging done, and then get the Sunfish started sailing.  the only disadvantage is that I can often get pretty warm if it is sunny and I’m not getting splashed with water (or falling out of the boat!).

the wind was fairly calm out of the south/southwest that afternoon, and the water was pretty flat, so it was a nice and easy sail across the Lake Michigan water.  on my first tack back towards shore, I could see my 11-yr old son T2 wading out in the water towards me, so I swung close and picked him up (and then gave him my life jacket because he didn’t bring one with him!).

while sailing with him, I sat to one side, and gave him both the tiller extension and the mainsheet – so he was in full control of the sailboat.  it was neat to see him learning how little adjustments to one or the other would affect the course we were sailing.  he also LOVED to hook his feet under the hiking strap, and lean so far back that his head touched the water!

after sailing with him for a little bit, I then gave rides on the Sunfish to both of my other sons, as well as several of my nephews, and a little girl who had been watching from the beach.  my oldest son T2 had switched over to the stand-up paddleboard that the camp owns – he spent a TON of time out on that, and was able to stand and paddle way out into Lake Michigan, often with one of his cousins riding along.  I only have this picture of him kneeling on it, but most of the time he was standing up.

while we were sailing, other members of my family took out the ocean kayaks, the rowboat, and the stand-up paddleboard – both adults and kids taking turns on each of them.  all in all, a great afternoon of messing about on the waters of Lake Michigan.  a couple of the kids took turning burying themselves in the warm sand on the beach.

then, they all joined together to bury their newest uncle and decorate him with beach toys.

I did end up missing the wine tasting that afternoon that was presented by Left Foot Charley, a local winery that is run by a previous staff member from Camp Arcadia.  after the awesome afternoon on the beach, it was time for dinner on the patio – amazing pulled pork sandwiches.

extreme whitewater kayaking [video]

this one is for bonnie: I thought your cold-weather kayaking in the winters of New York was pretty extreme, but this takes it to a whole ‘notha level.  it is a trailer for a new movie called “Frontier” by River-Roots.com.

take the time to load it up in HD, and watch in full-screen mode.

HT: my friend Ron, who sent me a link to gadling.com


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