Rescues without a Life Vest.

My new friends Bob and Rachel were playing with their boat and paddle float while I was swimming.  I thought it had been a while since I have done a paddle float re-entry so I asked to try it with their Tsunami.  Today I learned a valuable lesson I want to share.  Don't practice re entries without your life vest!  I did and boy did I get some interesting bruises on my chest. Even when the water is very warm and you are just playing on the beach I recommend the life vest.

This picture was taken by Rufus who helped out all weekend and got a lot of great shots.

Another thing I noticed was that the paddle float entry is slower than the cowboy reentry event when there are boat wakes.  The deck on the Tsunami is quite high compared to most kayaks but I was able to swim up directly over the cockpit area for a faster re entry. Keys to making it easy to swim across the boat that work for me are:  

1) One elbow pressing against the close side of the cockpit

2) Other hand pulling across from the far side of the cockpit.

3) Kick with your feet until you hear them splashing the surface before you pull across.

4) Then swivel to kiss the front deck with your legs straight out into the water like outriggers.

This usually works well for me, but I am still working on it. In my favorite boat I tip over to the far side when I swivel about one time in five.

Why Women's Only?

As a man I wonder what is behind the women's only kayaking events?  I haven't seen where women are weaker paddlers than men.  Some paddlers are strong and some are weak.  Some are slow but skilled.  Others are fast but less skilled.  To me I see no correlation to sex.

I'm really suspicious that women only paddles, classes , festivals and symposiums are hiding something from the rest of us.  Is that is the only time they bring  the really secret good snacks?  What goes on at these secretive events?

Carolina Kayak Club Symposium Time!

21 instructors, 61 students, a couple extra volunteers, and no factory representatives!  Three days of camping paddling and fun has begun.  For $50 a person including the dinner shindig, free camping, and prizes this has got to be the best deal in paddling fun.

Here the best video of past symposiums made by Eva Klein:

Her blog is:  and you can click on it to the right.  Eva has been working on her roll this winter and has really got it going great!  So for the spring she and Tamas built a skin on frame baidarka for her to paddle and roll. Now I hope she'll get back to paddling more trips and posting the wonderful professional quality videos she makes so well.

If you have 15 minutes to spare and you are a paddler....

then you might as well check out the videos here:

I wish could spend an afternoon with them!  Seems like they are willing to take beginning (level 2) paddlers out to the rock gardens to have a bit of fun!

Hwy 50 Boat Ramp on Sunday Afternoon

I really like lazy Sunday paddles!

We had some new friends with us.

Aren't they a lovely couple?

The shenanigans begin!
Later she got her revenge by making him tow her back for practice!

After a short paddle down towards the dam we went pack the other way and there was much less boat traffic and more shade.

We just goofed off until we came upon and very friendly Stand Up Man.

He encouraged us to try his board.

Only picture of me actually on top of the water.

Apparently we are hams.

Great big Hams.

After paddling Maria got involved in a rock hunt.

The day's bounty was a yucky yellow slimy bobber and a yoga roller in great condition.  I paid more than $15 for a similar torture device at one of the sporting goods box stores. 

We had a great time and if given the chance we'll take our new friends to the right towards more placid water.

Camp Seafarer

Talk about paddling and sailing!  This camp has a big sailing fleet!  I think about 4 - 420's in almost new condition, about five larger day-sailors, a fleet of over 30 Sunfish, about a dozen canoes and a dozen or two kayaks.  I had fun working with the camp councilors and staff on their kayaking skills.

Camp Seafarer is the biggest summer camp I have ever seen and the folks are really friendly.

Jordan Lake

I paddled in Jordan Lake with a couple of friends from the Carolina Kayak Club.    

It was cloudy during our morning paddle and rained afterwards, but we did not have to worry about sun burn or lightning.

The wind was variable from 5 to 12 mph and there was an occasional white cap, but it was mostly just rough enough so we noticed it was lumpy going upwind and there were very slight runs to catch on the way back.

 Thanks guys for inviting me out.

More work on the Kestral 140

I've been doing some more work on the Kestral 140.  I added a 4 inch hatch to the center space between the bulkheads.

It was hard to open so I added a handle with tapered edges that will not catch you bathing shorts if you need to slide over the back deck cowboy style.

The 4 inch hatch did not allow me a lot of access and I may change it to a 6 inch hatch at a later date. But I really like the quarter turn removal much better than threaded hatches.  And it is more water proof than most 4 and 6 inch threaded hatches I have used.

Upon looking inside the center section of the hull I learn that there was no way to repair the boat from the inside.  So I patched each little hole from the outside with four layers of glass starting from dime size up to quarter size.  Then I added four thin layers over that whole section of the hull to improve strength and rigidity.  Part of the reason for the long crack was because the boat had a very flexible part of the hull rubbing on rocks right over a bulkhead. So it had to crack at the bulkhead.  Now I hope it is going to work better, but unlike the previous owner I may be a little more careful paddling it over rocks..... On the other hand I may have to find some rocks and some logs just to test the repair!

After this picture I think I added only one more layer of glass, sprayed the thing with Krylon and called it summer.  It paddles well and is strong, but don't look too closely at it. Maybe I'll make it even smoother this winter.  Or maybe the rocks and logs will buff it out?