Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Cooper's Hawk

We had a Cooper's Hawk with a broken wing here at the airport yesterday. Birds and airplanes don't mix well ... sometimes the birds will take down the occasional plane, but most of the time the birds lose. This little guy managed to get off the runway and hid behind the hanger where we were able to keep him out of harms way. We called the Raptor Center and they came out to pick him up right away. A little excitement at the airport!

Update: At first we were told it was a Coopers Hawk. After some checking I think its an American Kestrel.

Update: 7/29/2009 We spoke with the Raptor Center today and yes it was a Kestrel. They had to put it down because the wing was way to damaged.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Wednesday Nights

What a great evening last night. The SKOAC skill are sessions on Lake Calhoun every other Wednesday night, and last night was a nice turnout. I think we had 18 people show up to work on everything from draw strokes to rolling. Michael got his first roll in last night by the way! Congrats Michael! The ISK group on their Wednesday night paddle even stopped by to say hi, with Jeff showing off the new Romany Surf he picked up from Chris at Boreal Shores Kayaking in Bayfield last weekend. Jill was sporting a brand new P&H Cetus she picked up at Midwest Mountaineering. Two new boats, one new roller, and a new resteraunt to check out afterwards so, really a nice evening. And I left my camera in the Jeep so no pictures.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Even with two paddling clubs, and many friends, I still do a lot of solo paddling around the cities. But when you add the uncertainty of paddling on Lake Superior, it makes more sense to go with others. Now I get the free time, I call the park service and get a campsite. I send a quick email out to a few folks and find schedules just aren't going to work so .. what the heck .. I go anyway. The big lake has a lot to offer the solo paddler, as long as the weather cooperates we're good to go. A solo trip out to Oak Island is an easy 5 mile paddle from Red Cliff Marina, the crossing out to Oak is a quick 2 miles. Really not much more than a morning paddle. A little exploring the shoreline on the East side of the island, head back and set up camp for the night. I did have to share my little island with a group of 7 women that showed up later in the day. Not that I am complaining ...

here's a link to the photos from the weekend.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Apostles - Packed up ready to go -

I haven't made it up to Lake Superior as often this year as in past seasons, so when I have some free time I need to take advantage of it. When I checked on available campsites in the Apostles for this weekend I was surprised to find Oak 1 open. Usually all the nice sites are taken right away. Being a last minute trip and everyone's busy schedule it looks like this will be a solo trip. I haven't done any solo trips to the islands yet, so this should be a fun weekend. Weather looks ok ... calling for winds in the 15 kt range with waves 2-4ft until late Saturday, then lighter winds with calm to 2ft. That may change, and it often does so, like always I watch the weather pretty close. So 4:00 pm I'm off ... Back on Sunday night.

Monday, July 6, 2009

4th of July Weekend

Other than a windy weekend on York in June, I haven't been out on the islands yet this year. With a three day weekend and some camping permits in hand ... many thanks to Courtney ... our small group of six paddlers had some of the best weather the big lake has had to offer in many weeks. That and NO bugs all weekend. I think during the summer months its a timing thing, and luck! The stars aligned and it couldn't have been a better time to be on the islands.
We even found some new sea caves we hadn't seen yet, along the rocky northeast shore of Manitou, and on the north shore of Bear we found some really huge sea caves. Some we were back in 20 feet or more.
We had the opportunity to check out the Raspberry Island Lighthouse since the recent renovation. Really nice! The tour is worth the time to see and listen to, the gentleman on staff there gave a presentation worthy of the history of the lighthouse.
I did meet this fellow .. he had devised a way to bring that little bit more gear along by towing a little whitewater kayak along on trips. If you look closely there is a 6 ft 2x4 with a skeg to keep it going strait. He was with a huge group was headed to Sand Island for the long weekend. I was thinking he was maybe hauling the beer?!
Anyway ... a great weekend. Lots of good food! Good weather! And no BUGS!