Thursday, June 28, 2007

Nordkapp Rolls

While on Basswood Island last weekend, I took the opportunity to check out how the boat rolls while fully loaded with gear ... Rich Cook was on the shore and took some pictures ... thanks Rich!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Intro to Lake Superior

After reading Daves piece this morning about the kayaker who lost his life at Meyers Beach I have to wonder ... why. I drove by Meyers beach right around the time Friday night when this was happening, and never knew it. The warm weather, along with the cold water temps are the perfect setup for something like this to happen. My heart goes out to their families and friends.

This was a weekend SKOAC does an "Intro to Lake Superior" trip for the new members who have gone through the basic training class earlier this summer. I had the good fortune to come along as a support paddler for the instructors, and given my aspirations to complete the ICE certification this fall, its a good opportunity for me to be a part of the action. We now have 12 new paddlers who are ready to start exploring the Apostles on their own, with Friends, family, and club members. This was a group of strong paddlers, on Saturday we had the whole group finish the 9 1/2 miles across to Basswood and circumnavigate the island. We spent some time at the sea stack on the North end, then a short break at the quarry, with a finish back at the dock. Sarah does a great job putting this class together, with great support from Bill. Both SKOAC long time instructors. Both are famous authors by the way too. I think all the folks who came along got a lot of good experience by the time the weekend was over. Me too.

And Rich, as another support paddler, who has many great photos on the SKOAC website, and also does the website. Check out some of his pictures.

Note: If any of the on water shots look a little tipped ... the new Nordkapp is taking a little getting used to as a photo platform .... more on that later.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Basswood Island

Paddling with SKOAC on the "Intro to Lake Superior" trip this weekend. Every Spring SKOAC does an intro trip for people looking to get out on the big lake for the first time, I did this trip for my first paddle on Lake Superior, and was a great learning experience. Should be a good weekend! Planning on a circumnavigation of Basswood island, maybe check out a shipwreck, the North end of the island has a sea stack ... fun stuff.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Wednesday Skill Sessions

Some people came out to practice their T-rescues, and paddle float rescues. In between the thunderstorms that passed through the cities last night we had a good hour or so on the water. Once the thunder, and lightning started in earnest we had to call it off, and head for a beer, and some appetizers to discuss the evening events. Always a good time!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

New Nordkapp!!

Picked up the new boat Sunday on the drive home from Washburn. Was a long wait, but well worth it. Jenny and all the folks at Midnight Sun in Duluth are great people to work with ...

Monday, June 18, 2007

Inland Sea Weekend

Great weekend at the "Inland Sea Symposium". Much time was spent just hanging out on the beach with friends ... its good to see people you haven't had a chance to talk with for some time. Saturday was a day on the water. I managed to take the "Kayak Fun" class with Kelly Blades, this guy has a way with teaching, you just have to have fun. Climbing into, onto, tip it over, line them all up and climb over. The "Chariot Race" was a hoot! ... Eric and I paddling, with Derrick standing between us. I think we may have even won the race! Well, Eric seemed to think we won. The show of shows was Saturday night at the Paddler Idol contest, good humor, and some real good talent prevailed. The SKOAC team pulled of third place, with a William Shatner inspired rendition of "Gilligan's Island" with, Bill Newman on lead vocals, Ellen Nacik, and Nancy on props, Eric on harmonica, we had a super drummer (I have to remember his name) ... myself on guitar. I had my doubts at first, but with Ellen in charge, it just had to work. Also a rolling demo by Doug Van Dorn, and Alex Pak, lots of boats to demo, classes to take part in ... was a good symposium weekend. The picture was early Saturday morning.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Inland Sea Weekend

Don't ya just love trucks, just throw it all in the back ... There always seems to be plenty of room. Never mind the gas mileage. Kind of a solo trip this weekend, I should meet up with Alex and Chris. Dave O. mentioned he may show up sometime. At any rate, I am looking forward to the symposium, I haven't attended this one yet. Sunday morning I'll be doing the "Blog Blog Blog" talk. I've never been real good talking to a group, I do much better with small groups like 3 or 4 people. Will see how it goes!! Campgrounds sound pretty full after reading Derricks piece today, by my self shouldn't be an issue I guess. SKOAC board meeting tonight, then home for a couple hours of sleep, then head to Washburn about sunrise. Maybe get out ahead of some of the Friday morning traffic.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Busy week ahead

Wow .. deadlines this week at work. Planes have to be ready for departure for the fishing camp ... I need to finish details for a talk I am doing at the Inland Sea Kayak Symposium this weekend ... board meeting with SKOAC ... pack the camping gear ... and still need to get out a couple of evenings and keep working on the stick roll. I almost had it last night, after somewhere around the 20th try, I decided might have to give it a rest for a day or so.
The picture is Saturday night on Lake Independence. Was a good weather weekend.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Stormy Weekend

Picture of Long Lake on Sunday afternoon. Although I enjoy paddling in the rain, the threat of lighting made for a day off the water.

Saturday was a great day for paddling, you just had to watch the weather closely, thunderstorms abound from noon on. Early we hit Twin Lakes in Robbinsdale, I'd never paddled this lake even though I only work less than two miles from the boat launch. This was a workout paddle, trying to build up some endurance for the Two Harbors Kayak Festival this August. Two minutes of hard paddling, with another two minutes of easy padding for about an hour ... the two minute hard paddle somehow felt like a much longer two minutes, than the recovery two minutes. Then for the afternoon we hit Lake Independence for some leisurely paddling, except for the first half hour I worked with Jill on some rolls, even though it was sort of a "lets drown Jill" hour, she did get some nice looking rolls going! Way to go Jill!

Sunday was a little more of a rain day than Saturday ... perfect time to get some planing in for the Inland Sea Kayak Symposium .. more on that later.

Now there's a happy new Greenland paddle owner! Lets not forget Ron at Novorca paddles makes some very nice wood paddles along with the carbon fiber paddles he's know for.