Monday, December 31, 2007

The New Year

Just a wish for everyone to have a new year full of happiness, and good health. And if you go out and celebrate this evening, please stay safe and DON'T DRIVE!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Late Night Skiing

Was able to get out for some skiing last night. The lights are on until 10pm so after I finished catching up on some snow plowing, I had the last hour of lighting all to myself. French Lake seems to be a popular place for "after work skiers", but around 8 or 9 they all head home. I managed to get on a 5 person relay team for the Mora "Vasaloppet". This event (I'm told its NOT a race, but an event) is in February, and if I am going to be required to ski at an "event" pace for 15k, I am going to have to get out most every evening and do some conditioning. Dave has done a recent post on this "event" we are signed up for.

I did manage to get the kick wax on the ski's almost perfect last night, even with the fresh snow the uphills went went really well.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Madison WI

A recent article in Men's Health Living placed Madison WI number 1 on list for the best place to live for young men. One can expect to breathe deeper, and live 3.5 years longer. They used 10 different data sets including those mentioned, along with education levels, household incomes, and cost of living. This is just one more reason to be sure to add Canoecopia to the calender. Derrick did a recent post mentioning the list of presenters, it looks to be another great event. I did notice he is on the list for planning "Your First Expedition". I'll be there!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Sunday Pool Sessions

Finally was able to get to a pool session. It felt good to get back in the boat and work on some rolls, its been awhile! I need to add a good static brace to my list of can-do, along with the narsaq roll. Those two will be my goals for the Winter pools practice sessions.

That's John and Aras, the two QCC paddlers.

Friday, December 7, 2007


The ice is now covering all the lakes where I spent the last season paddling the new Valley Nordkapp. It was a challenging time for me in a couple of ways; first, I was determined to continue grow as a paddler, by earning ACA certification as an instructor, and to gain a higher comfort level in wind and waves on Lake Superior. I figured the Nordkapp would be the perfect boat for just that. I wasn’t prepared for how tippy the boat felt at first. I had spent the three years prior to this in an NDK Romany HV, formerly the Poseidon. Which by the way is a great boat, I still have it. I remembered the first time I sat in the Romany It felt the same way. I am average build, 6ft, and about 200 lbs. Add some gear and the number goes up to around 210 lbs. I would’ve thought my weight would be enough to calm the boat down in reflection waves, but it needs at least another 40lbs to settle it down in the water. At the 250lb range the boat is very solid. I’ve noticed all boats I’ve paddled have the same tendencies; it’s just that I feel the Nordkapp has enough liveliness in the hull to keep my full attention with an empty boat. A simple thing like retrieving a camera out of a PFD pocket, and taking some pictures, suddenly becomes a challenge in anything more than calm conditions. One of my paddling companions was quite apprehensive about handing me his $800 camera while on a Lake Superior day trip.
So this is not a boat for a 1st or 2nd year paddler, the initial tippy nature of the boat would put off a lot of folks. When I first started paddling the Nordkapp, I found testing how far I could edge the boat over would usually end up with the inevitable quick brace, or even the occasional capsize. Then quickly roll back up hopefully before anyone witnessed the untimely event. I was fortunate enough to be right next to Alex one afternoon while on one of the city lakes when I did a “quick roll”, only to see his puzzled look and “what was that?” The reward for learning the subtle edge control on the Nordkapp, is a very maneuverable boat, it turns very easily, and has the same good edging qualities either empty or loaded. Usually a maneuverable boat doesn’t track well with out using the skeg, but in calm conditions, the Nordkapp tracks well loaded or light without using the skeg.
We had a seasick paddler while on a weekend trip on Superior; he was having a hard time staying upright in the wind and waves. We stuck a paddle float on each end of his paddle, and tied on to him for a tow. I hooked up in the middle of a tandem tow, and the boat handled it beautifully. So far the biggest conditions I’ve gotten into with the Nordkapp were 3ft waves, and 20kt winds. The boat seems to be more comfortable in bigger waves than the choppy 1 to 2 footers or reflection waves off rocky shorelines. Here again, with the added weight of all the necessary gear for a weekend on the islands, the boat will settle into the water nicely. Add some wind, and the skeg becomes a real nice feature. I’ve found the boat to be sensitive to the slightest change in how much skeg is used. The boat can be paddled without, but the constant sweep strokes, and the subtle nature of edging the boat to control wind cocking, makes the skeg almost a necessity at my skill level. It is predictable in winds, and I’ve never felt I couldn’t control a heading as long as the skeg was working. The skeg adds quite a bit of stability while underway. If you reach down and quickly raise the skeg while at a good speed, you feel the skeg release the water as the boat quickly starts heading upwind.
When I first picked up the boat, the skeg was very stiff to operate. When I used it on an Apostle Island trip this spring, I forgot the skeg was down when I pulled the boat up on shore, and kinked the cable. I spent the rest of the trip with the skeg jammed at half way. What I should have done right away was remove the cable and lubricate it with some LPS 1 or a similar lubricant, I don’t know what Valley recommends, but LPS products have worked well for me on aircraft cables. I also now keep some repair tools, and hardware on trips, in case of another incident with the cable, even though it has worked flawlessly since I lubed it. The only problem I have with it now, is I tend to hit the control lever on occasion while paddling. If the lever were flush with the deck, this wouldn’t happen.
The Nordkapp is not the high volume boat like I thought an expedition boat would be. It is only slightly more than the Romany HV, but the real nice feature is the oval hatches. I will have to admit, I don’t have the backpacker mentality. I like to bring along things that make the trip comfortable … my Dutch oven comes to mind. A Dutch oven just will not fit in a Romany. The rear hatch skeg area is very long and narrow, perfect for a rolled up tarp, and some tent poles. I usually stow a folding saw there also. The day hatch is quite a bit smaller than the Romany’s, that’s ok; the main rear hatch is bigger because of it.
All the hatch covers are absolutely watertight. Never have I had a drop of water leak in, even when the covers are not pushed on tight with the secondary seal. I added some rope to attach the covers to the boat just in case I forget to fasten one correctly; these are great for grabbing hold of for removal, because with the secondary seal they can be tough to get off, especially with cold fingers. For engaging the secondary seal, I’ve found the end of my paddle works much better than trying to push it down with my fingers. The bulkheads came vented on this boat; a small hole is drilled through each bulkhead to allow the air to equalize on hot, or cold days. This was something I had to do to the Romany to keep the hatch covers from bulging in or out, as the case may be.
The Nordkapp is fast; keeping up with a group is not a workout. I haven’t used a gps for any speed checks, but paddling comfortably in a group with similar skill levels is as good a speed check as any. I did try a wing paddle one Saturday morning, I found it great fun, if I wasn’t so pleased with the Greenland style paddle, I would try switching to a wing paddle. The Nordkapp with an Epic wing blade could be a good match. A Werner Ikelos is another great paddle for getting the boat up to speed quickly, then with a relaxed pace, the Nordkapp is easily kept at a nice cruising speed. Most of my paddling has been with a lightweight carbon Greenland paddle made here in the Twin Cities by my friend Ron Stienwall at Novorca paddles. I’ve never felt at a disadvantage with the Nordkapp and a Greenland paddle, while last year on an eight-day trip with the fully loaded Romany and a Greenland paddle, I had a real hard time keeping up with the group.
I couldn’t finish this without talking about how the boat rolls, one of my favorite pastimes on a warm evening after work, is to hit a local lake, and practice different Greenland style rolls. The Romany has a lower back deck, and is easier for a basic sweep roll, or an angel roll. It has a flatter hull, with harder chines than the Nordkapp. What makes the Nordkapp more difficult for me is the round hull, it has to be rolled all the way up, not just to the point a flatter hull takes over and helps finish the roll. A reverse sweep seems easier, I’m not sure if it’s my technique, or just the nature of the roll. A sculling brace is different with a round hull because there really isn’t a well-defined balance point; it just seems to be somewhat neutral anywhere during the 360 degrees of a roll. I asked Alex to try out the boat, and he had no problem doing a variety of Greenland rolls, including a balance brace, and hand rolls.
The Nordkapp has challenged me this first season, and will continue to make me work to be a better paddler for some time to come. When I paddled Alex’s Nordkapp LV; I found it to be a great boat. In fact right after I paddled it, I made the comment “I may have to sell the Nordkapp, in favor of the LV”. The jury is still out on that one, the Romany HV I’d sell and go for the LV for sure. But I may have to hang onto the Nordkapp. I would like to see how the LV would perform with me, and 50lbs of gear. I’m not an expedition paddler, and don’t need an expedition boat. But I do spend a good deal of time taking long weekends on Lake Superior, and the occasional six to eight day trips. For me, the Nordkapp is a better choice for that job. Besides, it’s really a pretty boat!
I found so very little information on the Valley Nordkapp when I was making my own decisions on a new boat, and it is next to impossible to find one to demo. This isn’t so much a kayak review, as it is my own impressions on the boat, hopefully this will add something positive to the information that’s out there on Valley’s Nordkapp.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Minnetonka and Lake Calhoun

Was a beautiful day in the cities yesterday, blue skies, lots of fresh white snow. Some more pictures of a couple local lakes. More snow in the forecast for today and Saturday.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


Now if it would just quit snowing ... I could get some skiing in!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Local Lakes

A friend was out on a local flight yesterday, I handed him my camera and asked him to take a couple pictures of some local lakes for an ice check. The third and fourth are of Medicine Lake, bottom is of Bush Lake out near Bloomington. Bush is a great lake for an afternoon of rolling practice ... sandy bottom, and real clean water. All of the smaller lakes are froze over, the larger ones, like Medicine are close behind. Winter storm is forecast for the weekend so, time to get the skis waxed and ready.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


The first time I really understood the meaning of “solo” was the fall of 1991 at an airport in Omaha Nebraska. My flight instructor asked me for my logbook and wrote the line “ok for solo flight”, then signed his name. He was confident I could do what was necessary to take off, fly the plane, and bring it back to the ground safely. He had gone over everything with me, time and time again … what to do if the engine quit, what to do if I get lost, what to do if the radios quit working, what to do if I found myself inside a cloud. The most important thing of course was to continue to “fly the plane”. I did many solo flights after that first day. When I finally did get my pilots license, the meaning of solo flight was still the same. I was responsible for the outcome … no one else could come to my aid and fly the plane for me. I used to fly aerobatics solo … spins, loops, rolls, all the fun stuff. And I am far from an adrenaline junkie; I did it after hours of training, and only did the maneuvers I was signed off to do solo. We often hear of unfortunate outcomes to solo travelers, were these people really prepared for what they intended to do? I believe Andrew McCauley was prepared as anyone could have been. Aron Ralston, an experienced climber, went rock climbing alone … he lived through a harrowing experience being trapped by a boulder for 5 days. The stories are endless, but so are the truly unique experiences that can only be felt solo. I am planning on doing some solo paddles next summer, more than likely to the Apostle Islands on Lake Superior. Take a couple long weekends, spend some quiet time on the water, and take in the solitude. I’ve had more training than most paddlers, and my navigation skills are pretty good. So why does it feel like I’m planning something reckless?

Monday, November 26, 2007

Birthday Paddle

Sunday morning I did the bike ride through Baker Park to check on the Lake ... sure enough, the lake was open. The wind was blowing pretty good, so I figured any ice around the island would surely be broken up, and not a problem. John called me around noon for a lake update, I gave him the lets go, and we were on the lake by 2pm.
Lots of ice along the shoreline, but Independence is roughly 850 acres, so we had plenty of lake to play on. When we tried to get around the islands we did find the path blocked with ice. We also ran across 3 pelicans who, like us, were looking to get out of the wind for a bit. They didn't like the fact we were there so off they went to find another sheltered area. When we paddled around the island we saw maybe 30 ducks sitting along the shoreline, John says "what kind of ducks are those?" I couldn't give an answer, they just didn't look right. When we got closer we discovered they were plastic ducks. Along with two hunters sitting in the reeds.
We even got in some cold water rescue practice .. John has been using his new wing paddle, and I think they are a little unforgiving when used for bracing. Although I did get some time with Alex's wing paddle, and learned some basics, I've yet to spend some real quality time with a wing paddle. So I am not the go-to person for wing paddle instruction. Anyway, sure enough, John is a little ahead of me, and I see the boat go over ... is he going to try and roll up?!? No ... I am thinking, that the water is pretty cold, and he might like some help getting back into his boat. An uneventful T rescue, and a short search for the offending wing paddle, and we are on our way back to the beach.
Really a nice way to spend a 52nd birthday.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Frozen Lakes

Well, the plan was to get some paddling in this weekend. Last weekend there was some discussion about a "full moon" paddle for this weekend, but had a hard time getting takers. Then John and I decided to make some plans for Sunday on Lake Independence ... So far today, every lake I have driven past is frozen over. Looks like its either a river paddle, or wait for the upcoming pool sessions. I'll make a drive past Independence this evening, but it's not looking good.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


If you hang out at the airport long enough, every now and again something interesting will stop by ... a Chinook CH-47 was out doing maneuvers yesterday.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Gales of November

Wednesday was a day to take a half day off work, and do the third annual "Gales of November" paddle. This year we had some real wind, waves, and cold to deal with .. along with the occasional snow showers. Chris, Courtney, Steve, Colleen, Dave, Jill, and I launched from Cooks Bay on Lake Minnetonka, and paddled out to Goose Island hopefully to meet up with Duane, who had planned on getting out early and getting a fire going. Well we ran a bit behind and missed Duane, but a quick phone call, and since he still had his paddling gear on, me made the half mile paddle out from his home on the bay. A glass of wine, some cheese, some of Dave's venison sausage, and a piece of pumpkin pie. We managed a bit of night navigation for a return to Cook Bay through Black Lake, and Seton Channel. A stop at the Narrows Saloon in Spring Park finished of a great afternoon. Looking forward to the 4th Annual!

Monday, November 12, 2007

"As If"

What a day on Minnetonka, 63F in November! ISK had paddling day planned for "as if" we were planning an all day trip on Lake Superior. This would give people an opportunity to gain some experience in leadership, and navigation roles, for a day on Lake Superior. A good deal of emphasis was put into hypothermia awareness ... heck, the water was 41 degrees, and the air temp a balmy 63F. A perfect recipe for trouble on the lake. We had a great turn out, 17 people in all. Breaking up into three groups, and all taking different routes from Cooks Bay in the city of Mound, to Goose, and Spray Island for a quick break, then onto Big Island for lunch. Planned talks on hypothermia, proper gear, and clothing for the trip. Then those who had taken navigation, and group leading roles, switched. Then the paddle back to Cooks Bay. We returned a bit before sunset, loaded up, and stopped for a pizza, and a cold one at a local tavern. Its good to see clubs offering the training that the paddling community really needs. We hear all to often about the "kayaker" that succumbs to hypothermia after tipping over in one of the local lakes, and wasn't dressed properly, was alone and couldn't get back in their boat. Its a story we need to change, and it can start with experiences like this last Sundays trip on Lake Minnetonka.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Cold Rolls

A weekend at camp with Dave and friends will always be one to remember. Friday afternoon found Dave, Chris, Tom, and I, en route with a stop at the "Angry Minnow" in Hayward to pick up a growler. Then off to camp O. I was up for the annual fishing opener this spring, and noticed the almost total lack of fishing equipment that was brought along by the participants, and was not surprised to find a similar lack of hunting equipment brought along this fall for the Annual Grouse Kill. We had the foresight to bring along one guitar, and 4 kayaks, to keep ourselves out of mischief for the weekend. Some rolling in Lake O was the plan for Saturday. An interesting phenomena where the lake water, although very clean, is dark enough that when upside down in the kayak, is as black as midnight. Its as though you roll into a black cloud. After the rolling session we hit the sauna for some much needed heat. Saturday night there were a fair number of adult beverages served, along with a fantastic dinner. The cooking here is outstanding! Then music until the wee hours. The boys put on a good show, they even allowed me to sit in on a few songs.
After Sunday breakfast, we headed home, with a planned stop to do some paddling through the Bark Bay Slough, then to Bark Bay on Lake Superior. We all did a few rolls ... If your on Lake Superior in November ... it just must be done. The picture was just after loading up in Bark Bay. Credits to Dave for the pictures, I managed to leave my camera back at home this weekend.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Gone Paddling

Gone for the weekend for some paddling, and maybe some grouse hunting ... should be a great weekend either way!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Plowing Snow

It shouldn't be long and I'll be out late nights plowing snow. I've just enough to keep me busy for about 5 or 6 hours after a good snowfall. Here's hoping we get plenty of snow this season ... if I can't be paddling, I'd just as soon be skiing.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Sunday Bike Ride

Did a bike ride on Sunday instead of paddling. I know there aren't many paddling days left, but I haven't done much bike riding either. There is a six mile loop around a section of the preserve, a Trumpeter Swan preserve area, and lots of wildlife.

Makes an enjoyable afternoon.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Hunters Moon

An enjoyable evening last night, we were treated to a gorgeous sunset, full moon, and plenty of good food afterwards ... Dave did a nice writeup on it this morning.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Was able to get a picture a Blue Heron on Lake Independence Sunday. I watched her along the shore one evening while she was catching dinner. She didn't seem to mind I was only 10 yards away that night, I must have sat there for 20 minutes while she went about her business. This time she took flight right away.

Monday, October 22, 2007


I had John out in his new kayak this weekend, he has spent many years paddling skinny, and tippy racing canoes, so getting into his new QCC700 turned out to be an easy transition. The weather Saturday was almost to warm for dry suits, but the water temp made it a no brainer decision, especially since we were planning on some wet exits, T rescues, and touch on some rolling. We hit Waconia first to spend some time just getting him used to the new boat, and spent the better part of the day just enjoying the sunshine. Took a break on Coney Island, and worked on some rolls in the shallows. Sunday the clouds covered the sun, and brought along plenty of wind. This time we hit Lake Independence, did a circumnavigation of the lake, and found the waves on the South end to be just right for some surfing practice. Catching a ride on the waves, and then spend 10 or 15 minutes battling into the wind to setup another ride turned out to be great fun.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Fall Trips to the Lake

Good food, and good friends, abound this year at the 2nd Annual Pumpkin Paddle. I enjoy the Fall trips to Lake Superior, the weather is never the same two days in a row. But it also marks the soon to come, end to the paddling in the North land. I always look forward to meeting up with many of the people I'll not see again until the Spring.

Friday, October 12, 2007

2nd Annual Pumpkin Paddle

Going to spend the weekend at Little Sand Bay for a mainland camp, with some paddling out around Sand Island, hopefully this year the lake will be calm, and we can explore the sea caves. some pictures from last years "Pumpkin Paddle", thanks to Courtney for the photos.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Fall Colors

The fall colors are here, and going fast. The weekend was 88f degrees ... going to be in the 30's tonight. I did a little paddling over the weekend, and found the water to be getting much colder, next time out, I'll need to bring the dry suit if I do any rolling practice. Pool sessions will be starting soon, in fact I think ISK has started already for this coming weekend. I'd join them for some warm water fun, but will be up at Little Sand Bay for the 2nd Annual Pumpkin Paddle.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Thursday Night Jam Sessions

The past couple of years some friends, my son, and I have been getting together on Thursday nights for some guitar playing, and general foolishness. We had a month off after my son was in an auto accident, and hasn't been able be there. I mentioned his accident a few weeks ago, and thought I should let everyone know he's doing well, and out of the hospital. Of course staying home with not much to do is trying his patience, but at least he's home. The surgery's went well, and now some out patient therapy, he should make a good recovery.
Last night the rest of the me and the guys got together for some songs. The top pic is me, second is Robbie ... we've both had a shave and haircut since last winter when they were taken. The bottom picture was taken by Randy last night. Hopefully Robbie will be joining us again soon!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Monday Night Paddle

Days are getting shorter ... after work I had just enough time to drive to the lake, do 3 or 4 rolls, practice some bow jams, and watch the sunset. The water on Lake Independence is still warm enough for just a wet suit, I expect in the next week or so I will need to start bringing the dry suit.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Rainy Day Paddling

Was a rainy day yesterday ... perfect for paddling. I met Alex for a morning paddle on Cedar Lake. First I wanted to try out the new QCC 700. I was surprised with the way it handled, being a long and narrow boat, I expected it to be hard to turn without rudder, but that was far from the case. With the boat on edge, it will carve a turn very nicely. There was no wind yesterday, so I never had the chance to see how the rudder would effect handling. The boat seemed very stable, and when on edge, was predictable. The 700 is an easy roller, not at all like the 500. With a high back deck, I was limited to side finishing, and forward finishing rolls ... forward finishing rolls are not my strong point. Alex offered to let me try his new Nordkapp LV, so he got in the 700, and was able to do many different rolls. Hand rolls, sweep rolls, all the fun stuff. The hatch covers did leak some .. not much, but there was water in the hatches afterwards.
While Alex was paddling the 700, I was able to play with the Nordkapp LV some ... what a nice boat! So nimble compared to the full sized Nordkapp .. in fact its a completely different boat. I was able to do an Angel roll, forward, and reverse sweeps. The boat feels very stable, until you try and put it on edge, then (just like the Nordkapp) it keeps going until capsize. The balance point on edge is subtle enough that I'm not able to find it quickly, the result is a quick brace, or the embarrassing capsize and quick roll back up hopefully before anyone saw what I did. I do like the boat very much, I may have to consider selling the Nordkapp in favor of the LV.

We did try the "Bow Roll Rescue", this has been written up in the latest Sea Kayaker magazine, and has a nice video clip on Wenleys site. I was able to complete the rescue, but need some practice for sure.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

QCC 700

A friend had me take delivery of a new QCC 700 yesterday, I'll be storing for him for a few weeks until he returns from Canada. While in my possession I am told to "take it to the lake and try it out". I've only paddled a QCC 500 just a little bit this summer, mostly during some rolling practice. I found it a tough boat to roll. The 700 looks like it might roll a little easier, being somewhat narrower, and more of a round hull shape. John is a marathon canoe racer for many years, and is now getting into kayaking, I can see the same hull shape in his new 700, as I do in his racing canoe's. I'll try and spend some time with it this weekend on Lake Waconia.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

SKOAC Fall Ball!

Some weekends the winds just seem to blow the wrong way, no matter where you want to paddle. I think the only tail winds we had were the first 3 miles on Friday evening. While we were sneaking along in the protection of the shoreline, the cold front came through and kicked up some waves for the crossing to Oak. Usually the Oak crossing is just a mess of confused water, this time the wind came right down the channel, and we had 3 to 5 ft steep wind waves. Our small group of 7 intrepid paddlers came through unscathed, and pushing the edge of darkness we landed on the sand spit in good spirits. Jerome, and Jane had already made it to the island earlier in the day, set up camp and watched the winds come up. They had called to warn us "the channel crossing was going to be a b**ch and we should wait it out and come in the morning" ... we missed the call. Saturday was a great day of paddling, we hit Quarry Bay on Stockton Island for a lunch on the beach. On the way back ... you guessed it ... headwinds most of the way back. This weekend the forecast was about as close as it gets. Stace, Karen, and Elaine, made it out for Saturday afternoon. Stace brought along one of those new 5 litre kegs of beer, I don't think it lasted very long ... have to bring two next time Stace!

Potluck dinner on Saturday night proved to be fantastic ... everyone brought along great food, it was an evening to remember. We headed back on Sunday around 11am, into headwinds again, although none of the winds after Friday night really seemed to bother anybody all that much. A stop at Morty's Pub for a Whitefish Basket, and homeward bound. Another great Fall Ball has come and gone, and I had left my camera in the truck, so I didn't get to take any pictures of the trip. Maybe I can get a few from some folks.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

SKOAC Fall Ball

Looks like summer is starting to turn to Fall, I've noticed on a few other blogs people are noticing the colder temps, shorter days, school buses stopping and going along the drive to work in the morning. That can only mean the "Fall Ball" is close on the list of weekend "to do's". Most years past it was held on Sand Island in the Apostles, this year its still in the Apostles but will be on Oak Island instead. I haven't been to one since 2003, so I'm looking forward to this one.

Here's a link to some photos from the 6th Annual in 2005.
Weather update for Friday:
Never a dull moment on the lake ...

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Social Element

A while back this summer Summit Brewing met us at one of the local lakes for an interview as one of the kayak clubs in the cities for their new "Social Elements" promotion. Jill and Dave gave a pretty good interview, I had more of a rolling role in the promo. Go to the "Groups" cube, and click on #37.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

New Instructors

Approaching cold front on Monday night

We have a few new ACA instructors among us, Chris, Jill, and I finished off the ICE in fairly good form!! All told it is a great way to grow as a paddler, not so much as some sort of credentials to show a level of skill, but to have a little more faith in yourself knowing you have reached for, and attained that level of skill. I learned some things I need to work on, but also some new things. I hope that never changes, to always have the desire to reach for more.
After the ICE weekend, we had planned for a couple days on the islands, but the forecast was for gale force winds, and steep waves. Plan two was placed into effect, and we spent a day paddling around Sand Island, checking out the sea caves. Spent a good deal of time just hanging out on the beach for a long lunch on the West side of the island. The cold front came through as advertised, giving us a good view of one of Lake Superior's cold and unforgiving reasons why she is truly "the boss".
Unfortunately, while in northern Wisconsin my cell phone has such poor reception, I can rarely receive calls. On the return back to the cities, I discovered my son, who some may know he and I get together with some Friends on Thursday nights for music sessions, had been in an auto accident, and has been in HCMC hospital since early in the weekend. He will recover fully, but will probably take some therapy, and some hard work. He's young and in good health, which should help.