Friday, August 29, 2014

Sitting on The Dock

Here is a video of time spent sitting on the floating dock at Lower Rideau Lake.
It is a beautiful evening. Taking some time to relax, meditate and enjoy after a very busy day.

I will be able to get into the kayak again in another week.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Frontenac Outfitters Level 1 Kayak Skills Course

What an excellent weekend! The Level 1 course at Frontenac Outfitters was held on Pearkes Lake. The weather was perfect.

It is an intensive course. A good part of the Saturday morning was in our beautiful outdoor classroom under the shade of large trees. There we learned about navigation. Specifically UTM and LAT & LON. We also learned how to use the Garmin GPS units. ( waterproof but not buoyant, so attach to decklines).

After that it was onto the water and practice.
We geocached some rubber duckies. Fun, fun, fun.
A good part of Saturday was spent edging, low brace, high brace, rescue assists, paddle float self-rescues and more.
Sunday started with an analysis of two recent sea kayak critical incidents ... one off the east end of Prince Edward County and the other off the coast of Maine, USA.
In both cases the kayakers ended up in harms way because they ignored basic safety principals.

The rest of Sunday was spent on the water. About 6 hours in total.
We practiced high brace turns, low brace turns, towing, assist T-Rescues, and one arm only paddle float self rescue.
There was much more besides but I would have to go over my notes to recollect it all.

There were four participants in the course. On Saturday it was 2 instructors for 4 students. Sunday was even better with 4 instructors for 4 students. This was my fourth course at Frontenac Outfitters . As demonstrated by the instructor/student ratio, Christine and Larry know how to build value into the courses.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Kayak Dream Made Good

Here are a series of clips from my most recent Kayak Dream come true on May 20, 2014 on the Lower and Big Rideau Lakes:

In the first video there is an incorrect statement where I state that 'port' is to the 'right'. That is not true, 'port' is to the left ... 'starboard' is to the 'right'.

And I will also suggest that you subscribe to my YouTube channel to observe how improvement is possible. I would also like to suggest that you 'like' this video in an attempt to boost my 'video wannabe' alter ego.
If you do that then I will not have to beg, bow, or scrape for your attention in the future!

Consider it a favour that you perform for humankind!
And if you don't I could really care less anyway ... I will still continue to practice my unique blend of videography.

So there!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The First Splash

I finally was able to get onto the water this past Monday, April 28, 2014.
I only spent maybe an hour in the kayak but it was time well spent, as always.
The Delta 17s was purchased last November. I was able to try it out twice then.

Monday's original plan was set aside once I got on the water.

There were two reasons I changed plans. Firstly, I had neglected to drop the skeg. This resulted in two capsizes that required a paddle float self rescue each time.
Secondly, in securing the top zipper of the dry suit, I failed to ensure the zipper had closed completely. Even though the gap between the zipper head and the block was very small, it permitted a small amount of  water to seep in. Any leaks or seepage or leaks are a concern. I chose to land the boat and determine the reason for the leak.

So for the rest of my four hour visit to the lake, I 303'd the interior of the rear bulkhead as far as I could reach. While doing that, I discovered that the rear bulkhead had leaked because of a missing interior bulkhead cover, which I located while 303'ing it.

So the plan for my next kayak adventure is to use the skeg, ensure the drysuit zipper is properly secured and, capsize the kayak with the interior cover in place to ensure that the rear bulkhead does not leak when properly equipped.

Of course once I get to the put in I may elect to modify the timing of the plan ... I may do all of the above after returning from my paddle trip.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Iceman Gone!

So the ice is gone. I should be able to get onto the lake on Monday. It looks beautiful. A little choppy, but no whitecaps. Sail on Kayak Dreamer!

Monday, April 7, 2014

A Story About Walking & Paddling

It is a warm 13C/55.4F degrees in eastern Ontario this afternoon. Clear and sunny with the wind 16km/9mph out of the SE.

My walk was 5.6km/3.5mi. It took me just over one hour. It was 5,705 steps and I burned 417 calories. Very invigorating and head clearing.

I also drove down to Lower Rideau Lake to see that it is still covered in ice. The Tay River is open, but I did not have anybody to file a float plan with so I'm here at home instead.

Patience my friend, patience. There is still snow on the ground and although it is melting. The lake will not be clear for paddling until after all the snow on the ground is gone.
However we are supposed to receive a substantial mount of rain in the next couple of days so that should help turn the ice to liquid.
It has been 30 days since I posted the hope that 30 days hence the ice would have melted! It seems to be par for this very long, severe winter. At least the Great Lakes froze over more this year than in the last 20 years, so that will raise the water levels. Superior already has displayed higher levels in 2013. Huron, Michigan, Erie and Ontario should have significantly higher levels this year as a result of the freeze over.

Last year I successfully completed the Paddle Canada Basic Skills Kayak Course, click on: now.
Eighty days from now will be the Paddle Canada Sea Kayak Level 1 Skills Course. Here is a link to the Paddle Canada course outline.

This year I will conduct my kayak trips using the correct procedures.
I will file a float plan.
I will carry a first aid kit.
I will carry an emergency kit comprised of flares, etc.
I will plot my course on charts using the compass to establish bearings and back bearings.
I will carry enough food and water and gear for an unexpected night put-in.

Some of these things I learned last year in the FW course and some I have been learning from books and video in anticipation of this years course.

I remember very much the two lessons from last years trips, namely:

1) Spending an unplanned night in a raging thunderstorm on the isthmus between South Otter Lake and Doe Lake.
2) Paddling to Port Elmsley and ending up in Poonamalie by mistake.

It is not a question of will 'something' happen, it is an understanding that 'something' will happen! And I need to be ready.

So I will not be making the trip to northern Georgian Bay this summer. I do not have the required experience yet. I would have been making the trip with another kayaker with more experience than myself. But that is not the intention.
Next year after completing the Sea Kayak Level 2 Skills Course, here, I will be ready for that trip.

The reading/learning that I have been doing these past number of months are clear. Sound judgement requires one to operate at the current skill level ... not gamble our lives or safety, or that of others, by taking chances. 

So instead I am planning a trip after the Level 1 course. It will be from Rideau Ferry to Kingston and back. That will be a trip that I am confident about the conditions. 

So this is the end of this episode of the story, the journey, the dream.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Into The Single Digits

It is a beautiful sunny morning here in this part of eastern Ontario. The temp is finally into the single digits again at -7 degrees Celsius/19.4 Fahrenheit, yay!
It is forecast to reach a high of +1 or 2C for the next couple of days.
There may be a few nights of minus's in the double digits, but within the week, both day and night temps will be in the single digits!
So I am encouraged. Maybe the lakes will become liquid within the next 30 days or so.

First of let me link you to Alaskagraphy. Bixler and Krystin are Alaska sailboat sailors who enjoy going on hiking, fishing and hunting trips on their sailboat. They also have made a couple of good quality movies of some adventure trips in Alaska.
If you are sensitive to fishing and hunting, this may not be for you.  The fish they catch and the bears they shoot end up on the dinner plate.
This is the first one, about an hour long; Boats, Beaches & Bears 5 Months Sailing In The Last Frontier.
It is excellent viewing and learning fare.

I am still practicing the compass and chart navigation. To assist me in that effort, I recently purchased a book titled Sea Kayak Navigation Simplified by Lee Moyer for around $18.00. It is very clear and simple.

Time to start checking out the camping and kayak gear. I'll be ready!
More than likely my first trip will be down the Tay River to Beveridges Lock and into the Rideau System at Beveridges Bay. It is convenient at least. The Tay River is less than a block away from my front door. I can put in there conveniently without having to use the car even. Maybe a one nighter or two.

Dream, live the dream.