Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Gabby under sail

Photo by: Ben Algera

The whole team seems to be perseverating over our adventure; quite exciting that it touch the crew so. Now where did I leave my voyageur toque? - Adventure on!! - The Capt'n

There she blows...

Still lurking over on the KCA Blog - telling tale of our journey; I'll be back blogging here next week >>>>

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Gabagouache Sail Plan

Been racking my brain on what sail configuration to set up on Gabouache the 26' Voyager canoe we will be paddle sailing during the Tip of the Mitt next week.
Things were looking really good when I won a bid on e-bay for a 55sq ft spinnaker, it was a golden moment as it was simple easy to set and stow.
Disaster struck when the seller would not ship the item as they had not figured in their shipping cost appropriately. Paypal + ebay + foreign seller = no sail/sale.
So I have been going through the boat house looking at sails masts and other assorted items I have collected over the years; A drift in a garage of worn out tired gear.
I came up with something like this for Gabagouache; though I have never seen Gabagouache up close, let alone paddle or sailed her. We're going over early to sort through the gear and see if we can rig something up that wont dump us into the pond if the weather starts to build.
So I am bringing over a couple of masts, 5 different sails from PAS's, jibs, tarps and a Balogh traditional canoe sail. Duct tape chicken wire and a bit of luck we may get something pulled together before Monday.
It's tough when you don't have the canoe in front of you testing some of this out; what worries me the most is all the pictures I have of canoe sailing with square rigs or some other configuration like above in the photos is they are all under sail in pristine conditions; Lake Michigan likes to kick up it's heels and I don't need a rig to come crashing down.
This should be interesting; Watch the KCA Blog next week as I will try to up date while underway on Gabagouache.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Team Project Lakewell -

Team: Project Lakewell will launch our 26' Voyager Canoe on the 20th of June" weather permitting". Navigate from Mackinaw City appx. 150 miles south to Manistee.

Project Lakewell Director Lynn Johnson will accompany this hardy team as they take a southern heading to Manistee; armed with a seasoned crew launching from Mill Creek Camping in the early morning hrs.
The team will be tracked by a road crew/cooks of 3, Beverly Wilson, Don Harper and Mike Leyer.

The rest of crew is in the following story by the Grand Rapids Press.
We cannot direct the wind, but we can adujst our sails.
Post Script:Those wishing to follow along with spot tracker or simply get updates log onto "krugercanoes.blogspot.com" we will have day to day updates provided by crew / webmaster CaptainOdark30 (Brian).

The Mitt

Tic toc, tic toc, - Boo and I leave for the Tip of the Mitt on Thursday.

News Article

When veteran paddler Bob Bradford embarks on a 150-mile canoeing adventure from Mackinaw City to Manistee on Friday, he won’t be alone.

Far from it.

The 68-year-old Lapeer man will be joined by wife Janet, 66, his frequent companion on the water. The two compete in about 10 races a year together. They wrapped up the 23-mile Black River Canoe & Kayak Race in Port Huron last weekend, and were to participate in the 12-mile Huron River Canoe Challenge in Ann Arbor on Saturday.

In addition, the retirees will share a boat with six other canoeists as they set out on Lake Michigan. Some are friends, and others they haven’t met.

Despite the often wild variability of Lake Michigan’s waters and the potential challenges, Bradford is confident chemistry won’t be an issue.

"We’re pretty easy going," Bradford said. "This is a fun thing for us to do."

When the couple paddled the 300-mile Everglades Challenge in 2010 from Tampa Bay to Key Largo, Fla., they were joined by four friends in a six-person Hawaiian outrigger. Bradford was captain.

"It’s all about making sure everyone’s needs are met," Bradford said. "We started out friends, and we ended up friends."

Bradford isn’t without a competitive streak, but it’s unlikely to surface during this event, he said. The inaugural Tip of the Mitt Adventure, organized by the Portland-based Verlen Kruger Memorial group, isn’t considered a race, per se.

Sure, the usual band of diehards that regularly steer the group’s events will strive to push themselves to the limit, though not in search of medals or glory. To them, it’s more about self discovery, communing with nature -- virtues extolled by the late Kruger, a paddling icon known for logging some 100,000 water miles in his career.

Mike Smith, 61, of Portland, is one of those guys.

He will captain an eight-person team, which will float out on Gabagouache, a 26-foot fiberglass replica of a birch bark freighter canoe owned by Great Lakes maritime history organization Project Lakewell.

Smith is an accomplished long-distance paddler. He completed the 490-mile Shore to Shore and More event in October. His longest trek is a 3,200-mile journey from Montana to Michigan.

He praised his friends’ abilities.

"They’re real strong paddlers, and it’s always great to have them around," Smith said, adding that Bob can "beat most young kids out there."

The rest of the crew is comprised of Toby Nipper, of Fort Myers, Fla.; father-and-daughter team Brian and Marissa Weber, of Lake Mills, Wis.; Lynn Johnson, Project Lakewell director; and Mike Doty, 36, of Grand Ledge.

Between 20 and 30 signed up as of this week to paddle the full, roughly 300-mile route, Smith said. A trek from Oscoda to Manistee tracing the mitten and an interior paddle along the Au Sable and Manistee rivers that is 20 miles shorter are the longer options. There is another 150-mile half route from Oscoda to Mackinaw City.

Figuring the mileage on Lake Michigan is a guessing game, Smith said. Foul weather easily could add an additional 25 miles.

"There are a couple who are gun shy about going out on the big pond, but it’s about making judgment calls," Smith said. "Wind and waves dictate your moves every day."

Monday, June 6, 2011

"Sweet Judy"...

Proposed route in lieu of high water on the Missouri River.

The Kansas River (known locally as the Kaw) begins at the confluence of the Republican and Smoky Hill Rivers near Junction City. It flows 173 miles to Kansas City where it joins the Missouri River.

The Kaw watershed drains almost the entire northern half of Kansas and part of Nebraska and Colorado (53,000 square miles). It is the world's longest prairie river.

The change in venues is a logistical challenge for Boo and I as we were going unsupported on the Missouri River - The Kaw posses some other challenges too; possibly 4 portages, the finish is farther away adding another day of travel to the adventure; and the "I know absolutely nothing about the Kaw" has me twitching a bit.

Darin who is paddling across America for obesity has found refuge and work in the Tetons as he waits for the water to subside. RV camping on the Yellowstone River, your dog and work to boot, sound pretty nice to me.

The Capt'n

Sunday, June 5, 2011

This is what they are talking about

Kaw Point launch under some high water and still rising; the biggest water from Gavin's Point dam is yet to come. Looking more then iffy for a July start of the MR 340. - changing rivers, more info click here to see the thread.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Neighborhood paddle

Broke out the fleet for the neighbors to paddle this morning; Drew his wife Diane their kids Adam and Brooke went for a spin before they went out and purchased some boats.
They got a chance to try a variety of paddles too.
Finally Summer has arrived; the water was really pretty nice; I'd say up 10 degrees from last weekend. (my toes didn't go numb standing in the water)

Missouri River Off-Limits To Boaters, Sioux City To St. Louis

Coast Guard says waterway closed 'til further notice
The U.S. Coast Guard Friday night closed the rising Missouri River to recreational boating from St. Louis to Sioux City.
High water and rising.
Potential for postponement; Spoke with Boo, she wants to do the MR340 even if that means missing making the Shorewood Girls Volleyball team. (Practice starts in August for the fall season)... We could be looking at a mid August event with all the high water... more to follow as race directors look for answers.
Now that's what I call high quality H2O -Bobby Boucher (The Water boy)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Missouri River - kicking up its heels

Some serious amounts of water fore casted on the Missouri River; The MR340 discussion board is all a buzz with talk of high water fast currents. Here is an article - click here
6-2-11 - event management
I'm out of town and Internet/phone is spotty. I get home Friday night and need to make some phone calls to the Hilton, etc to check on our meeting rooms and whatnot. As long as Aug 9 works with them and st Charles we'll move forward. Even Aug 9th looks dicey and we need dry weather all the way to Montana.
Saturday night is the soonest you'll see an official announcement. Possibly Monday so I can talk to my corps contacts.
Thanks guys. It's a mess but there are folks with their homes and livelihoods in peril. We've got it easy compared to them. - Scott (race director)