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.