Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Few Days in Door County

Alan and I just did a few days of camping and paddling in Door county, the "thumb" of Wisconsin. He cooked (very well) and we both paddled and even found an afternoon to just roll.

 A woman is just a woman, but a good cigar is a smoke....Anon.
 clear water & great food
Paddle safe...

Sunday, June 26, 2011

By the water
(It's not for sale)
Come to Milwaukee and you might think one of our friendly natives wants to sell you their house. After meeting you, they will often invite you to "come by my house." By, not buy.

 Same, same when it gets hot out and there is little to do, someone is likely to suggest that
we all go down by the water. Is there a better place?

Paddle safe...

Thursday, June 23, 2011

More lessons from the symposium:

Major Kudos to Gail of Living Adventures for putting it all together and herding all the cats (staff) throughout the busy days. Gail seemed to appear at every venue to lend support and to check up on folks like myself.

The leadership was superb, and I watched the IT's model good work. (I was fortunate enough to work with Mark on a trip as well as part of the instructor update). I like the ACA's new practical approach to teaching. When I took my instructor's training, there was a heavy emphasis on form (that paddle can be more vertical). Now, it is recognized that some folks cannot rotate or do other maneuvers as well as others. In most circumstances, it just isn't going to happen. Still, these same folks can exhibit skill and judgment enough to make them fine paddlers. With that in mind, the ACA now stresses that what we teach be Effective, Efficient and Safe. I have to say that that works for me and will result in more students leaving their intro lessons with a sense of real accomplishment.
The only other thing needed is a student in search of a teacher. The beginning of a wonderful experience.
Paddle Safe...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Peek at the ISKS:
I always carry home images in my mind and some in pixels. I didn't take a "decent" (read: SLR) camera. Instead, I shot everything with the Canon D10. Foremost in my mind is the weather we had during the symposium.
 As with all such events, the waters were crowded with classes, demos and folks just out paddling. 
 And, of course, there was my travel companion, bunkie, teacher and mentor: JB, always showing good teaching techniques.
Still sorting out gear and hoping someone finds the GS paddle I left up there. More pics as I find the time.

Paddle safe...

Monday, June 20, 2011

Inland Sea Kayak symposium
Instructors' Update

The folks at Living Adventures put on the finest update I have ever attended. I cannot wait to do pics to share the event. This update used the most basic teaching tool along with modern technology.

To begin, we (instructors) were divided into groups of 5. All gathered at the shore of Lake Superior while an IT (instructor trainer...who were all excellent) demonstrated a skill set. For instance, one set consisted of a forward stroke, stop, pivoting the boat with alternate side forward/reverse sweeps, backing out and doing a hanging draw stroke in reverse. Onto the water went the pods of instructors where each had their own videographer (the modern stuff). As soon as we had all done our demo we immediately went ashore, watched the video on a TV screen and got immediate feedback (the most basic and useful tool in teaching). Then it was back onto the water to repeat the entire process and to see where we had improved and what still needed to be worked on.

I picked  up some fine pearls and more. I saw good teaching and leadership modeled by the IT's and will certainly (and without shame) copy a lot of what I saw.

Now, how could I have come home without my Greenland stick?

Paddle safe...

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Inland Sea Kayak Symposium

Last day, and I should be home tonight. During the week I will work on getting some pictures up along with comments about this event. I will be sure to tell you about the best instructor update ever.

The Cetus MV is performing perfectly as is the Freedom 500 pump.

I shall also have s bit on my (not so much) roll in a Nigel Dennis demo.

Paddle safe...

Monday, June 13, 2011

Sometimes, slower is better

I rolled the Cetus MV a lot last summer, but I haven't rolled the new boat much. With the Inland Sea Sea Kayak Symposium starting this week, I thought it time to find out what wasn't working. To do so, I took the roll of the instructor and "watched" me roll in the roll of student. I saw it instantly. "You're sweeping too fast," I told the old guy. I slowed things down and rolled just fine, thank you. Now, on to the symposium.

Paddle safe...

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Fog, pump and Bonnie Perry

My short time on Lake Michigan  yesterday gave me an opportunity to test my bilge pump, paddle some slop on the outside and, as an added surprise, to meet Bonnie Perry. A pastor, BCU and ACA coach/instructor, Bonnie is a friendly individual with a warm smile. She graciously tolerated me walking over to introduce myself. I, in turn, grabbed a few photos of the day but was a gentleman and did not poke a lens in her face.

Paddle safe...

Friday, June 10, 2011

Freedom 500 Bilge pump

I bought this pump, it was not given to me to review...just saying. In any event, I have installed it in the boat and have some initial impressions which I enumerate:
1. Support: The company got back to me quickly when I sent questions by e mail
2. Claims
   A. They said they would ship a complete kit: They did. Every damn thing I needed was in there in more than sufficient quantities along with optional pieces.
   B. Their descriptions of parts (pump, batteries, etc). were spot on
3. Instructions: Well done and illustrated. Besides, there is a with videos showing the pump in action and other helpful info.
3. Kayak Snot: What an excellent adhesive (comes with kit)

The magnet can be seen on the bungie (look just to left of water spout origin)

4. Ease of installation: They say it takes an hour. A bit harder on some British boats like my Cetus MV. The motor is activated by sliding a magnet on a deck bungie over a switch under the deck. My boat is not flat in the middle and required the switich to be over to the side. In addition, boats like mine have reduced space behind the seat where the battery pack lives.

Time will tell, but so far it appears this pump is as advertised and worth a look for those considering an electric bilge pump.

Paddle safe...

I drilled a hole in my new kayak and gave away $12,000.
All in all, a good week.

I have installed my Blue water Freedom 500 bilge pump. I must admit that it was harder to drill a hole for the outlet than it was to cut into a patient. In any event, I am off to Chicago for a wedding and will do some sea trials next week.

Yesterday I represented my high school Alumni foundation by attending graduation  and handing out $12,000 in scholarships. That was easier than drilling holes and actually gave me a great deal of satisfaction.

Finally, our brief summer here in Wisconsin appears to be over. It is cloudy, raining off and on and 60F. Around here we say, "If you don't like the weather, wait a minute."

Paddle safe...

Friday, June 03, 2011

Got out yesterday...

The big lake felt warmer, so I rolled the MV a few times. I happen to have a bit of cargo aboard, and she rolled just fine. If there was any problem is was the stiffness I felt from a long winter, what I believe is arthritis and gaining too much weight over winter. What to do, what to do.

Paddle safe...