Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Good Day Sunshine

Well Koa was found so that's a bonus, whew I hate that feeling of helplessness; But she's back and life is good!! She got a ride in a squad car which I think she had some mixed feelings about.
Anyway, had an extended weekend but back to work to day. Did a lot of paddling with the girls in prep for the MR340 and a long walks with Koa.
Yesterday we had high winds and the lake was kicking pretty good. I took out the Azul yesterday and did some wave bashing. Felt like a kid again having a Monday off and the lake to myself. Water temperatures in the 80's perfect.
Still can't roll, not sure if it my guardedness over a past back and neck injury, or am just challenged? Got some great surf rides and spent some time upside down, it's all good.
I switched back and forth using a single blade, 48" bent shaft and a epic comp double blade. Could have used a rudder. I had water in all compartments which was a bit of a mystery with Valley hatches. Not a lot but enough that water that if a dry bag wasn't used everything would be wet. Blah...
Looking forward to another extended weekend with the holiday coming....
Ahh, the days of summer. - The Capt'n

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Nighty night part 2

After an invigorating night paddle where the girls struggled at first with their night vision and there inability to paddle and talk at the same time, ( :^/ it was time to practice some rescues, recoveries and just have some fun on the water...

We practiced, and we practiced. The girls now have been run through a series of recovery scenarios and feel confident they can recover gear and themselves in a safe efficient manner. We do too. Having made a game of it, the instruction went pretty fast.

Here is a shot of a single person rescue, loss of paddle and recovery. Yeah the lake is pretty calm, but there was a light off shore breeze that let the girls know in a hurry a that the cruiser can drift away pretty fast. Solution: Stay with the boat, don't loose your paddle!!

Pretty proud of themselves, we're forced to endure and adventure to Lake Mills Country days, where the lemonade is 3 bucks and a corn dog / funnel cake with cost you a ten spot. Sweet revenge is when the girls after their second "scrambler ride" had them singing the blues. Not sure if it was the feast or the rides, but we had sour stomachs.

Notice the stirrup (rope) attached at the portage yoke. This proved extremely valuable for the girls when getting back into the boat.

We also got out on the river in the heat of the day, to see how everyone could cope. High eighties and a beating sun with lots of humidity. Even Koa got into it. She rode with Marissa and Hannah as there was shade in the cruiser.

The significance of this paddle was heat, minimal sleep and being very tired. The heat was an issue as the girls became too hot with their life jackets on. We need to look into some options, mandaory life jackets on the Missouri 340.

Tommy paddled my Sea Wind for the first time and loved it, I paddled the Sawyer.

Also at 12:o8 am as we were night paddling Tommy got an email (he goes nowhere with out his Blackberry) Confirmed another $2000.00 in pledges for Susan G. Komen by corporate sponsor E.L.M. consulting. We set a staggering goal of $10.000.00 between the two girls; we're more then half way there.

Outstanding!! - The Capt'n

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Nighty night

95 degrees paddling the marsh of Rock Lake... slice of heaven

We are on a mission.

Nighty night is right... time to take it to the next level and get the girls out on a night paddle. The plan is to put in just before dark and go through the night. Thank goodness we all took Friday off.

We're going stealth, challenge ready with fully loaded boats, does it get any better then this? Hope the weather holds.

This quote has no purpose being with this post, but it made me chuckle when I read it so I am passing it on.

When small men begin to cast big shadows, it means the sun is about to set. ~Lin Yutang

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tools of the trade...

Chief Joseph watches over the builds of the boats coming out of Mark's shop. Big Medicine for all the craft being built and the people that paddle them.

The tools are simple, the boats are built the way Verlen wanted them built. I do see a power cord lurking beneath the prep table, hmmm say it ain't so... power tools? :-)

Ah yes, back to the basics, a handful of sticks used during the bonding process. Notice the clean "black" line pictured right. That is the look of the interior before the deck and hull are bonded. previous pictures showed the hull being held together with duct tape on the outer side.
I'm getting all giddy, like a school girl on prom night! - The Capt'n

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Ultimate Adventure Craft - The Canoe Part 2

Mark prepares the bonding strips which secure the deck to the hull. As the temperature soars into the high 80's, Mark makes adjustments to the building/curing process, Everything all laid out for efficiency, the clock is ticking as the resin wants to kick.

Have you ever seen a shop so neat and tidy!! Dang Mark, you're going to make someone a wonder wife someday!! Oops bad PC I can feel the e-mails coming!! :-)

The deck and the hull, just popped out of the molds, a little bit of prep and set up, then line them up for bonding. Notice how the saw horses are cocked to hold the cruiser up-right, notice the rubber mats down on the floor, many many hours standing on your feet.
The Sea Wind in the rear of the picture is on end, for what is called an end pour. Expandable foam in two part liquid form is poured into the ends for floatation.

What's the point of building a canoe if you can't use duct tape!! Mark lines up the deck and hull; the outer edge has a very unique bonding strip that is hollow. All cables for steering fore an aft run through the strip, no fouling or hanging up on gear when underway. Yes, there are steering controls for both seated postions, great for when you need to do some onboard housekeeping while on the water.

The Cruiser is in a rope sling to assist for ease and access in the bonding process. The bite in the line forming a loop at the bottom is a tie off point to keep the Cruiser from swing while bonding the interior. It is in a rope sling to make adjustments in height very quickly, aiding in drip or run control while bonding. If you ever looked inside one of Mark's builds you will find a finish smooth as a baby's behind. Great for when your Cruiser is your home and your sleeping in the bottom of it, no scrapes or abrasions.

Walla!! You have a Cruiser!! But far from finished; The deck rim needs to be finished off along with the seat hangers, portage yoke, rudder fabrication and assembly, tie downs, spray skirt, lines. There is an estimated 60 hours of work left on the cruiser before it can be delivered.
Got adventure? - The Capt'n

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Ultimate Adventure Craft - The Canoe

Who is this masked man? Hard to recognize him without a paddle in his hand. It's Mark P. Manitou Cruiser as he gets ready to spray the gel coat for our new Kruger Cruiser Canoe.

Mark pre-cuts all the cloth and lays them out in secession. He has patterns for each layer which is so precise, that after 6 years of building canoes, there isn't enough material left to make a hat.

Rolling out the resin, getting good saturation, Mark squeegees the bow section. I called Mark numerous times this week, making sure he was feeling good and getting enough sleep before he started laying up the boat. He no longer takes my calls. :-)

Actually we're pretty excited about this boat, "BIG MEDICINE II" It will be the cruiser that Hannah and Marissa will be paddling in the MR 340.

The name is from a comment that Jack Cramer made will paddling with Mark one day. He said after a long week of work and having the need to wash the city off; That getting out and paddling a Cruiser, is "Big Medicine" So we named the sister ship to Mark's Cruiser, Big Medicine II.

The Cruiser is in the far side of the shop, still in the mold curing, the next mold over is the deck mold which will be bonded to the hull. In the fore front looks to be a very expensive work station, a Kruger Sea Wind being trimmed out. More to follow...

Stay tuned... - The Capt'n

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Paddle sailing rendezvous 2009

Another great day out on the water as Koa and I meet up with the gang on Lake Mendota for the 2009 paddle sailing rendezvous. All sorts of boats and many on lookers make this a great opportunity to share ideas and show off your craft(s)

Lots of characters attend, lot of beverages consumed, lots of fun had. There is a great story on the hammock picture left. We wont mention any names, but "JOHN" is always fiddling with his quiver of boats, (you might remember the double ender folding craft he had in his shop that I was bantering on about, the makings of a good bon-fire).

Anyway... Now John decided that he was going to rig this folding hammock onto his canoe for on board sleeping accommodations. - You can guess where this is going... yee...aap right into the water! There is actually video of it that Steve took, I hope I can get it from him, you would hate to see it fall into the wrong hands and be posted on You Tube! :-)

Now that I think about it, john fell twice into the water... I'd say too many barley pops, but it was only 10 am...
Winds were light and variable most of the day. Scow races were cancelled, lake traffic was light for a Sunday. It was perfect.

Inland lake sailing is very forgiving. You can usually swim your craft to shore if things go badly. No nastys in the water to worry about. Though Muskies (fish) have been known to strike on shiny wrist watches and rings on occasion. A lot of what was displayed was WaterTribe ready, others were not.

More craft displayed. A handful of people took out the Sea Wind with the PAS. All were excited about it, with its simplicity and stability. Paddle paddle.... SAIL!!

Poor John trying to defend his hammock debacle. Let me grab another beer, the story gets better and better each time you tell it.

The Graber Happy Cat was a site to behold. A really nice outfitted "boat in a bag". Workmanship and quality of rigging is outstanding. Built for big water coastal cruising, offers an amazingly dry ride. Reef points in the main, roller reefing jib... even set up with a sculling oar.
What a day! - The Capt'n

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Victors - Illinois river

After conquering the Illinois river, Tom invited us to his company's sky box to watch some area football. Pretty nice way to watch a football game; it has all the advantages. Gave the girls more time to socialize too.

The game was between Peoria Ill. and Green Bay WI. - Green Bay won off of a high snap! Score!!
Ah, to the victors go the spoils. - The Capt'n

Monday, June 8, 2009

Illinois river run

The girls got a chance to experience some big water this weekend. We cruised down to Peoria Ill. to meet up with Hannah and Tom for some Team Race to Heal training on the Illinois river.

Lots to see, from barges, bloated Asian carp to sea planes. It was pretty cool as the sea plane did a couple of "touch and goes". The Illinois river was much bigger then I envisioned... there are areas that open up into some pretty large lakes.

This would be the last of the glass like water. Two hours into the paddle, the wind picked up dramatically. On the nose we had gusts to 40 mph. The weather dude needs to be slapped briskly.
Tom and I were in a C2 - waves over the bow.. the old up one over one through one. Paddle paddle paddle....bail bail bail...
The girls did outstanding. 5.5 hours of hard paddling. With the wind coming out of the south, it was really stacking up the waves. We had three foot rollers with very steep wave faces.
After a 7 hour paddle, we were all pretty much spent. There is lot of stress when your chit- lands are on their own in big water. Very nerve racking. Quoting Boo, "All I knew was we had to keep the paddles in the water and the boat moving."
Seriously, I don't think there is too much open water these girls couldn't paddle. They have experienced quite a bit on these training runs; very impressive indeed. - The Capt'n

Friday, June 5, 2009

Gone Paddling!!

We're off to do some intense Barge Training on the Illinois River this weekend in preparation for the Misery 340 in August. Boo and Hashbrown will be paddling Big Medicine ( Mark was kind enough to give up his personal Kruger Cruiser for the summer.)

The dads will be in inner tubes on a float trip cocktails in hand... not! We'll be paddling a Bell Mystic, following along.

Mark is busy working in the shop and has just finished cutting cloth for Big Medicine II the sister ship. Sorry Mark back to work!!! No paddling for you!! :-)

Man we're closing in fast - 8 weeks till Kaw Point - The Capt'n

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Two a days...

This reminds me of my days as a football star doing two a day workouts, well not really cause I never played football or really played any organized sports for that matter. But I am on a mission with 8 weeks left before the Misery 340.
Two a days it is. Paddling in the morning and humping the large portage pack in the evening. Me likes the outdoors!!
Koa is there to keep me company most times, which is great. Today Walt and Olga dropped in early (5:00am "O" Dark) for a 2 hour paddle around Rock Lake and Goose Island. They can keep the tsunami kayaks moving at a round 5mph, which is a good pace for an ole codger like me in a canoe.
This weekend Boo and I are off to paddle the Illinois river with Tommy and Hannah, allowing the girls to put in some long miles together. Get the girls used to some river traffic - barge Captains beware!!
Should be a hoot!! - The Capt'n