Sunday, July 31, 2011

Family Reunion


Highlight Reel

  1. Checkerboard sweet corn - lots of corn; brat burgers and wieners; coleslaw and barley pops.
  2. Outstanding time with family and friends - lots of corn.
  3. Adrift on Lac La Belle - cousin Dave broke the boat and we wont let him forget it.
  4. Dogs, lots of dogs - Skipper, Elle, Biscuit, Teddy, Ralph, Koa - lots of corn.
  5. Sailboats, watching the Saturday C scow series race.
  6. A stroll down the cobbled walkway of memory lane.
  7. Kids, kids and more kids; friends showed up from the lake we have not seen in years.
  8. Perfect weather, I mean down right picturesque.
  9. Corn, did I mention sweet corn dripping in real butter.
  10. And the top reunion highlight - You could feel the love; I mean the real deal, the stuff that holds families together through thick and thin.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The weekend

The girls dawn dresses and hang with their pop for Robin's wedding; how did I get so lucky!!
Followed by a Sunday out on the water in the Sea Wind; Lake Mendota watching the E scows tearing it up in lite to moderate winds.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Wisconsin rivers

Click to enlarge


The section on National River Law discusses river ownership, use, and conservation law throughout the United States. Following is a review of what individual states can and cannot lawfully do with the rivers within their borders.

  1. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that rivers that are navigable, for title purposes, are owned by the states, "held in trust" for the public. This applies in all fifty states, under the "Equal Footing Doctrine."
  2. Rivers that do meet the federal test are automatically navigable, and therefore owned by the state. No court or government agency has to designate them as such.
  3. The federal test of navigability is not a technical test. There are no measurements of river width, depth, flow, or steepness involved. The test is simply whether the river is usable as a route by the public, even in small craft such as canoes, kayaks, and rafts. Such a river is legally navigable even if it contains big rapids, waterfalls, and other obstructions at which boaters get out, walk around, then re-enter the water.
  4. The states own these rivers up to the "ordinary high water mark." This is the mark that people can actually see on the ground, where the high water has left debris, sand, and gravel during its ordinary annual cycle. (Not during unusual flooding.) It is not a theoretical line requiring engineering calculations. Where the river banks are fairly flat, this mark can be quite a distance from the edge of the water during medium water flows. There is often plenty of room for standing, fishing, camping, and other visits.
  5. States cannot sell or give away these rivers and lands up to the ordinary high water mark. Under the "Public Trust Doctrine," they must hold them in perpetuity for public use.
  6. The three public uses that the courts have traditionally mentioned are navigation, fishing, and commerce. But the courts have ruled that any and all non-destructive activities on these land are legally protected, including picnics, camping, walking, and other activities. The public can fish, from the river or from the shore below the "ordinary high water mark." (Note that the fish and wildlife are owned by the state in any case.) The public can walk, roll a baby carriage, and other activities, according to court decisions.
  7. States do have authority and latitude in the way they manage rivers, but their management must protect the public uses mentioned above. They can (and must) prohibit or restrict activities that conflict with the Public Trust Doctrine. "Responsible recreation" must be allowed, but activities that could be harmful, such as building fires, leaving trash, and making noise, can legally be limited, or prohibited, in various areas. Motorized trips and commercial trips can legally be limited or prohibited by state governments.
  8. State and local restrictions on use of navigable rivers have to be legitimately related to enhancing public trust value, not reducing it. Rivers cannot be closed or partially closed to appease adjacent landowners, or to appease people who want to dedicate the river to fishing only, or to make life easier for local law enforcement agencies.
  9. State governments (through state courts and legislatures) cannot reduce public rights to navigate and visit navigable rivers within their borders, but they can expand those rights, and some states have done so. They can create a floatage easement, a public right to navigate even on rivers that might not qualify for state ownership for some reason, even if it is assumed that the bed and banks of the river are private land. Note that this floatage easement is a matter of state law that varies from state to state, but the question of whether a river is navigable, for title purposes, and therefore owned by the state, is a matter of federal law, and does not vary from state to state. Note that a state floatage easement is something that comes and goes with the water: When the water is there, people have a right to be there on it, and when it dries up, people have no right to be there. But rivers that are navigable for title purposes are public land up to the ordinary high water mark, so that even when the river runs dry, people still have the right to walk along the bed of the river.
  10. Only federal courts can modify the test of standards that make a river navigable for title purposes. States cannot create their own standards, either narrower or wider in scope. They can’t make definitive rulings about which rivers are navigable for title purposes, only a federal court can.
  11. The situation gets confusing when a state agency or commission holds hearings about navigability and public use of rivers. Landowners, sheriffs, and other people tend to think that such an agency or commission can create state standards that determine which rivers are public and which are private. But these are matters of federal law which state agencies cannot change.
  12. State agencies should make provisional determinations that various rivers meet the federal test of navigability for title purposes. These provisional determinations should be based simply on the rivers' usability by canoes, kayaks, and rafts. They should then proceed to the question of how to manage navigation and other public uses of the river. In these days of government cut-backs, the agency should look for solutions that use existing enforcement agencies rather than setting up new ones. Littering, illegal fires, offensive behavior, trespassing on private land, and numerous other offenses are all covered by existing laws, and offenders can be cited by the local police, sheriff's office or state police.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Suumer has arrived

As temps. soared, I hit the water with a vengeance this week. I was out on the water everyday which does much for the soul.
Paddling before work really does wonders for me, but what really excites me is my knee feels really good and I have been able to get out on my bike the last three days as well; Summer has arrived, now to get back to fighting weight.
I have a good friends Scott and Jackie Erwin who have given me the keys (so to speak) to their 17 foot Vanguard Nomad Sailboat. (Nice cause it is kept on Rock Lake, no trailers or launch fees to deal with or hassle)
With Emily working at the Bakery and Marissa not feeling well (headache) after having a light fixture fall on her head (don't ask) I put the word out to see if anyone was interested in dodging jet-skis and ski boats and up for a Sunday sail.
Called friends Bonnie and Rick Kappus; Rick had plans, but Bonnie was up for a sail so I swung by the beach park and picked her up.
Outstanding day on the water as the wind built through the afternoon; much needed relief with mid 90 temperatures.

Friday, July 15, 2011

The early morning paddle

Ah I long for the early morning paddle; early morning riser Olga works her way to the landing in the morning mist; I can't believe that an Autumn feel is in the air right now.

Late Hatch for sure; these little guys need to put on some weight and build up some strength if they are going to be able to make it; though they were pretty friendly, city ducks that may not fly south.

Wind in the reeds as the sun crests the shore; water clear as day as fish dart to and fro. These are the days my friend these are the days...
The Capt'n

Wisconsin River

Wisconsin River Trip October 15th - 23rd 2011
· Canoe / kayak trip; expedition style; roughly 100 miles; remote camping; pack for cool inclement weather; pack food and other necessities.
· Sauk City to Wyalusing – 92 miles of protected waterway with islands and beaches to camp from; it’s the bomb.
· Participants are responsible for all costs and their own safety – NO FEE EVENT!!
· Rendezvous on the 15th to camp shop /
Stage vehicles on the 16th
· On the water paddling 10:00am on the 17th / Off the water on afternoon of the 21st – figure 20 miles a day with plenty of time to explore, enjoy!.
· Autumn colors should be amazing!!
October 15th, travel day – meet Casa Weber’s if so inclined.
October 16th, Shop / Sort/ Stage vehicles
Start Paddle October 17th, Monday 10:00am: Blackhawk Canoe Launch Hwy Y, Sauk City, WI
Sauk City, Wisconsin north of Madison by 30 miles. HWY 12 takes you into Sauk City. Take HWY 12 to the West side of the river. Take HWY 78 south about 1 mile to the south and then take HWY Y to the right (west/South for about 1-2 miles to the Blackhawk Canoe Launch. Parking lot is to the left, launch is on the right.
Finish Paddle October 21st, Friday Afternoon: Wyalusing Campground make reservation: Phone (608) 996-2261 – 1 night.
Saturday October 22nd – Sunday October 23rd Return Travel Days – Far West side of Wisconsin – extra day for no rush no hassle fun filled return!!
Contact: Brian (CaptainOdark30) for questions / answers

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Wisconsin River

If you want the written word on the Wisconsin River click here, but the Wisconsin River needs to be paddled to be understood, put it on your destination bucket list, you wont regret it.
A busy weekend on the river, tubers paddlers fisherman abound; but there was certainly enough river for everyone, especially when you get your own beach or island to play on.
Paddled the Sawyer Summersong, canvas bags and wooden paddles, taking a step back and slowing it down, that defines the Wisconsin River for me. Great that Patrick and Sandy could make it, a shout out to the usual suspects left us with three, perfect.
I may have found my calling "Paddle Tramp" seeker of truth; give me a hot steamy cup of coffee and some blue water and we're good to go...
Happy Monday! ~ The Capt'n

Friday, July 8, 2011

See ya on the pond...

Photo: Toby Nipper

Thanks Toby for sending this photo my way, It's a shot of Marissa and me on the Platte River before we pulled "Gabby" out for the evening to make camp - It was also my Birthday, which made it the fondest of memories.
Looks like I am headed to the Wisconsin river this weekend; hook up with a few paddle tramps and tell stories, I'm sure we'll even paddle a bit.
The Capt'n

Monday, July 4, 2011

The winds of time

The wind dropped off stowed the pram and the canoe hit the water; I went out on the Goose pond south end of Rock Lake, the stillness.
Hugging close to Goose Island gave ample opportunity to reflect and check out the aquatics above the weed bed; turtles and fish darting to and fro.
More yaks on the water then I have ever seen on Rock lake at any one time nice to see. Nara a Sea-do in sight.
Oh this is dangerous leaving this cat unattended especially in my delicate condition; a new boat to the lake, looking good.

Ah the summer breeze...

Up before the crack of dawn, before all the crazies hit the water and start bombing around on jet-skis and wave runners; peaceful sail in the pram coffee mug in hand. The random fisherman gets it, offers a friendly wave as we share the morning.
I have had this rule about not owning any boats that I can't car-top or pick up myself; thank goodness I could wrestle the pram up on the jeep, close though, I think I need to start working out again.
I do have to admit I been looking at sailboats, from live a boards to camp-cruisers; Well it's fun to look anyway. The Wayferer and the Norseboat that were in the Tip O Mitt had me reaching for the tiller wanting and yearning.
There is a Wayferer on our lake, maybe I'll go over and sit in it and play real sailor; I do have access to a Vanguard Nomad Sailboat that's just sitting on the lift right now at a friends house; hope the weather keeps building today, headed back to the water either way, to bash waves or sail.
The Capt'n

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Fireworks.... wOo hOo!!

A paddle out on Fowler lake via the Oconomowoc River for weekend fireworks gave us this great natural firework - sunset.

Calm picturesque moment as we float patiently for the festivities to begin; music all around us as we watch this juvenile otter check us out.

Emily, Marisaa and Koa make the trip,we load up in the Cruiser; it's nice when the police boat gives you a nod of appreciation. I had full navigation lights. green, red and white light for the stern.

And in the end it's the time you spend with your kids, sharing your passions, listening to their excitement, delving into their dreams and aspirations; They wont remember or care what color the new couch was, but they'll remember nights like this. - The Capt'n