Sunday, January 28, 2007

Workng on Rolls

Working on rolls again at the pool .. I will eventually get the Butterfly roll down, I came so close today so many times, just never got it all the way up. After a time I needed something else to do so I went down to the other end of the pool to see if I could spot someone else on thier rolls. I believe teaching another person to roll, takes as much effort, and skill as learning the roll itself. I spent a lot of time last summer helping others to get thier roll going, with limited success. I often wonder if I am doing more harm than good ... maybe I was just patient enough to spot them until they figured it out. At any rate, working towards an instructor certificate is certainly a worthy goal. On top of the things I'd like to acomplish in the next couple of years, that would be one of them.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Lake Independence

All summer I will come here most every weekday after work. I leave the boat up on the pickup rack, and gear in the back, ready to go. Pretty amazing .. about 40 years ago my mother used to bring the family here to swim, although its obviously not the same old gravel road coming into the place, the park district has done a good thing here. Around the point there are a few islands to paddle around. Many times you can spot a Blue Heron, or possibly a Trumpeter Swan. The swans have been here for quite awhile, the Three Rivers Park District has set up nesting areas back in the preserve. There are about 6 miles of biking, and hiking trails here also. Along with FREE PARKING! Unless you have a boat trailer, then its $20 a year for a sticker. I feel fortunate to have such a good place to paddle, so close to home.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Sunday Pool Time

Great time at the pool today! Success with the butterfly roll! I hit it twice .. now to keep it. Also working on a static brace, that will take some time .. I had some good tutoring on both this afternoon. One of the pictures has two passengers on a boat for a roll, he made it look easy. I tried to catch the roll in action, timing is tough with digi cameras. Seemed to be much foolishness going on along with the learning, thats what makes it fun. Was a good day!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Gales of November

The second annual "Gales of November Paddle" this year was on Lake Minnetonka on the 8th of November. All had taken liberty from the workplace to attend an afternoon of warm temps, and sunshine. Dave, Steve, Chris, Jill, and I, put in at Greys Bay, and paddled to Big Island. After a glass of wine, some treats, we did a circumnavigation of the island, then headed back. Along the return we witnessed one of the finest sunsets we had seen that summer. Pictures by Steve Skarvan.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Winter is finally here!

The dark spot on Long Lake has just frozen over as of last night, I've never seen open water on the lake this late into winter. There is a small stream going into the lake not far from the area, I'm sure this has a little to do with the open water. Its an ok lake for an afternoon workout paddle .. just have to hug the shore line to keep out of the path of jet-ski's. They must have a truly unstable steering system, as I don't think I have ever seen one go in a strait line. At any rate .. I usually try and avoid them if I can.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Thursday Nights

Looking forward to Thursday nights again .. getting together with my son, and some friends to play guitars. We used to have an "open invite" to other musicions to come on by and join in ... for some reason we had a few rock stars show up. After a nasty scene a month or so ago we had to shut it down until after the holidays. Now where keeping it low key, learn some new songs, and enjoy the evening.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Pools Sessions

Learning the Greenland style rolls have been a natural progression for me in this kayaking endeavor, and pool sessions are a great place to work on these skills. Once a person is able to recover from a capsize by rolling back up, it allows you to learn so many new things. One advantage to working on other rolls, is getting yourself upside down, in all sorts of different positions, and using your standard roll to recover, you really bombproof your standard roll. So when your on Lake Superior in the wind and waves, you get your skeg rope stuck under your spray skirt, and tip over trying to pull the stubborn thing loose .. it becomes a none event .. except for losing another hat in Lake Superior. That would make two now.
Now and then a different piece of equipment will help the learning process. I tried a new carbon fiber Greenland paddle out today. It is about six inches longer than mine. At first like all things different than you are used to, it feels foreign, but after some time I found that one roll I had been working on felt so much easier, it wasn't the "magic wand" to fix my attempts at the butterfly roll, but the butterfly doesn't rely much on the paddle anyways. What it did do was add some power to my "go to" rolls. Both on and offside sweep rolls really worked well. The carbon fiber paddle was custom made by my friend Ron Stienwall, he is really coming along well with the design, and manufacturing process. If anyone is interested in a nice Greenland carbon paddle, his paddles are worth checking out.

I've carved some Greenland paddles out of cedar, these are two of the paddles I made.