Wednesday, February 28, 2007
On the beach pre-start UM 2006
Fort Desoto or Bust!
Watertribe events stirs a special passion in some people. For true adventurers, the journey blends the serenity of nature with the challenge of getting from Fort Desoto to Key Largo under human or wind power.
The Everglades Challenge takes them away from their everyday worries and forces them to focus on the task at hand, the water and the beauty around them. Good luck to all and have a safe and enjoyable journey.
The solution to any problem - work, love, money, whatever - is to go paddle - sailing, and the worse the problem, the longer the trip should be." - Capt'n
Monday, February 26, 2007
Sunday, February 25, 2007
Cherry beer - concoction
We are under a severe snow advisory and blizzard white out conditions, but it didn't keep us from dinner out on a Saturday night. The present winter storm has given us a great opportunity to slow the pace down and reflect.
With nothing but the beer light to guide us, Laura and I spent some quality time in front of a raging fire and had a few cocktails.
Enjoying the fire - no pressure
Rules clarification, untested equipment and light air didn't appear to dampen the spirits of Team RAF. They have used every free moment to build, redesign and fabricate their way into what is the world's toughest small boat race - The Everglades Challenge.
I've been following the "Boys" since the inception of their boats "The Rise" and "The Fall". They pretty much have done the impossible and will make it down to the challenge no matter what the E.C. throws at them. ( see the discussion thread about rules, rules changes and new class development on the WaterTribe Website )
Other boats being built that I have been following, wont be on the beach in Fort Desoto. Tridarka, Adventure Trimaran both out.
Keeping it simple: Team RAF and the "Wizard" get'r done
Anyone can make things bigger, more complex. It takes a touch of genius-and a lot of courage-to move in the opposite direction. -Albert Einstein
Saturday, February 24, 2007
It would appear the boys and their toys have shaken up the Everglades Challenge a bit with the ability to catamaran up or paddle/sail their boats as singles. Waiting on this weekends posts for some pictures of their Wa'apa canoes sail. See the controversy here
Chief is doing a great job in proposing a rules change vs. just changing the rules with out some discussion from the tribe. It will make for an interesting discussion. A great move on Chief’s part. I would assume it would be handled as two Sea Winds catamaraning up. But we’ll see .
Matt has fleas
Matt Layden the "Wizard" of Watertribe has shaken things up a bit too. Known for his very efficient "simple" "comfortable" designs, has pulled Enigma a 12’ ft Sharpie from the Everglades Challenge and he is at this very moment sailing to the start in an 8’ decked pram he is calling the Sand Flea.
Picture of Matt's Rob Roy Sailing Canoe of a few years back
Picture of Matt sailing away in Enigma
High winds – lot of snow – blizzard type conditions. Need I say more It's Wisconsin… probably a good thing as I would have paddled today on the Bark river, and there is definitely something wrong with my shoulder and neck.
Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces up, snow is exhilarating; there is no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather. -John Ruskin
Friday, February 23, 2007
My neck and back have really been bothering me this past week. A bit of radial pain into my left shoulder and arm. I backed off from working out to see if that will help. I find it very hard to sleep on my side as the pressure does not help the situation one bit. I can barely take my jacket off and on as I have lost some flexibility in the process. I am going to try some additional stretching and exercises that work around the affected area.
Looks like a huge amount of snow could hit this weekend, so I might do a trek in the woods, as the snow covered branches add to the beauty of a long walk. Paddling is most likely out, but you never know what is going to happen this time of year. If you don't like the weather, wait an hour or two.
There's always free cheese in mouse traps, but the mice there ain't happy. - anonymous
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Blown away… again!
Yesterday’s conference had me making collages on how I feel and how I reduce secondary trauma and stress in my life. (In my other life, I work for Human Services).
Thank goodness they had Outside Backpacker National Geographic magazines to cut pictures out of. Lots of canoes and kayaks and river lakes and mountains to paste down. We spent a couple hours on these projects and then talked about our "feelings" for hour and hours.
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Laura doesn't allow me to meet with Mike (oops, so much for that part of the secret) alone anymore, as we usually end up in some exotic location on some wild and crazy adventure whether by canoe, kayak, bike or foot.
Let's just say... I woke up around 2:30am this morning, poured my first cup of coffee and considered the possibilities. Anything is possible... right?
What? No no no can't say.... It's a secret!
I am caught in a web, drawn like a magnet to some pretty amazing individuals with a passion for exploration and adventure. Where's my passport?
Sleep is over rated - The Capt'n
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
For days like this. High 30's Sun shining bright - no wind. Gorgeous out, I was toying with turning the A/C on.
The last couple of weeks have been brutally cold with temps. dipping in the negatives. But a day like today makes it all worth it. Had some time to kill this afternoon, so did a little river scouting.
The Rock and Crawfish Rivers are iced over, but the Bark and Oconomowoc Rivers around Dousman and Oconomowoc are starting to open. If the weather holds, there will be a couple of hours of open water on the Bark by this weekend. Extended forecast shows mild temps. but some rain for the weekend.
Nature and wisdom never are at strife -Plutarch
Monday, February 19, 2007
A blast in the Sea Wind heading up the Yahara after a day of paddle sailing on Lake Menona in December
You can get around it in about hour and a half. Not very big, but to paddle in single digit temps. in bathwater is definitely an experience to be had. You get that Yellowstone National Park feel, if you have a very active imagination. I saw rainbows white elephants and pigs that could fly... :-)
SandyBottom aka Dawn -
Boy "O" Boy! You give a few suggestions and "BAM" you're a headliner! :-) Swing over to SandyBottom's Blog to catch the action of her preparation for the Everglades Challenge.
A good scare is worth more than good advice. - Horace
Sunday, February 18, 2007
Here is my garage door frozen shut. There is no way I'm getting this puppy un-stuck. Off to the side door!
Pile off boats just itching to be paddled... How the heck am I going to get the Sea Wind Out!
Sea Wind buried on the far end...Drats! Looks like I can squeeze the Summersong out the side door.
At the put-in on Lake Columbia. Power plant in the background. We are looking at 11 degrees F. right now. Shooting for high teens or low 20's. No WKCR Paddlers!
Getting ready to put in. Wind is picking up, should switch out of the South calm down a bit and pushing warmer air into the area. At least the temp. is in double digits!
Padding into the wind, heading over to the other side of the lake. A bit choppy but doable in the Sawyer Summersong.
Out of the wind, my own piece of heaven. It was an outstanding paddle. Nobody else out on the water, except some geese and a few renagade ducks and one lone fisherman that gave me a nod of understanding.
I begin to see that a man's got to be in his own heaven to be happy. - Mark Twain
Saturday, February 17, 2007
I got a chance to paddle with a few of the Wisconsin Kayak Canoe Race Group in January right before we got iced out on the Yahara. An hour and half with Kevin has helped my forward stroke immensely.
Here is information on the WKCR season opener to coincide with Canoecopia on March 9th - 11th.
Start time: 3:30 p.m. (Note that some earlier e-mails had mentioned 2:30 – we moved it back by an hour.)
Location: The Yahara River in downtown Madison, Tenny Park, just downstream of the locks, at the canoe racks. You can reach this parking lot from Sherman Avenue. Please note that this location is a few blocks North (upstream) from previous years.
More Information: Kevin LeRoy, Kevin.firstname.lastname@example.org
Gimmick: We try to set a race course where the winning time in minutes will equal the forecasted high temperature in degrees Fahrenheit. For your reference, the average high temperature in Madison on March 10 is 40 F. The lowest recorded high is 5 and the record high is 66.
Entry Fee: None. However, please note that you get what you pay for. All we are providing is a course and somebody to shout, "GO!" There are no classes, no door prizes, no awards, no safety support, no bathrooms, no t-shirts…the list of what this race does not provide goes on and on. Timing and scoring will be somewhere between casual and non-existent.
Disclaimer: It is very important that you understand the risks of racing on nearly frozen water. The casual nature of this race means that nobody is going to take any steps to ensure your safety. You are completely on your own. You should only participate in this race if you have sufficient paddling experience, understand what you are getting into; and lack common sense.
Course description: The race course will be laps up and down the river (number of laps depends on temperature). This stretch of the Yahara is almost exactly one mile long between Lakes Mendota and Monona. It is almost entirely straight, is generally about 3 - 5 feet deep and fairly narrow. Depending on water levels in Lake Mendota, current can range from minimal to moderate. This is an urban river with plenty of urban river features such as old bridge pilings, pipes, bicycles and shopping carts. You do NOT want to hug the shoreline (especially under bridges). The middle of the river, however, is clear of obstructions. If ice and wind conditions permit, we will also use part of Lake Monona. In the five years that we’ve held this race, we were able to use Lake Monona twice. Once it was too windy, and twice it was still ice covered. Our local ski club has an unofficial meteorologist, and he says we should expect things to still be wintery and icy in early March. (http://www.ssec.wisc.edu/~scottb/ski.html)
After the race: Several of us will go out to dinner. A specific restaurant has not been determined yet, but it will certainly be someplace that serves beer.
Before the race: This race is held on this date to coincide with the big Canoecopia paddlesports expo. For more information, go to http://www.rutabaga.com/ and click on "Canoecopia".
Also, the other paddlesports shop in town, "The Paddlin’ Shop", will be having special events as sales that weekend as well. See http://www.paddlin.com/ . We purposely set the race start time late in the day so you would have plenty of time for browsing at paddlesports gear and listening to presenters before the race. (And the late start time also helps facilitate post-race beer drinking.)
America is a great story, and there is a river on every page of it. - Charles Kuralt