Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Now you see it...now you don't...
Good sailors (and kayakers) always avail themselves of local knowledge, that information that is not on the charts but is known to those who frequent the area. Just asking about local hazards can prevent mishaps and make for a safer day on the water. What looks like a safe place to be can change in an instant, even in a seemingly calm sea.

Paddle safe...

Monday, January 30, 2012

Good news and not such good news...

Great evening at the pool yesterday with the Cetus MV. Rolled, re entry rolls and even cowboy stuff went very well. There is a little mystery going on.

I had had a small rim leak in the front hatch which I repaired with 5200. It still leaked, so the folks at Rutabaga helped me put on a pressure cover. We cranked in the pressure until we blew a hole in the 5200 seal. Okay, I thought, when it warms up a bit I can reseal it. Haven't done that yet, yet the hatch has been bone dry after two sessions of rolling like mad. There is now, however, water getting into the day hatch and the small 4th hatch on the deck in spite of the covers being on tight. I have poured water on the rims and cannot find the "leak".

Maybe I need a bigger boat.

Paddle safe...

Saturday, January 28, 2012


Yesterday was not a good one for me...and I really needed/wanted to  paddle. I had lost my cell phone under mysterious (to me) circumstances and needed some on water time. So I loaded the old Romany on the car and drove to the University to check the lecture podium where I last remember having the phone. No luck.

I realized that the usual launch site would be frozen over and that I had left my dry suit at home (Are you seeing a pattern here?). I went back home, put on the suit and continued north to a launch site on the river. It was frozen as were the next two places I checked. Now, I have to hold out until the next pool session.

Winter in Wisconsin.

Paddle safe...

Thursday, January 26, 2012

We are about to lose our house...

Oh, our name will stay on the deed. Actually, it has happened before, and we face it again and with no fear. In fact, Lady Linda and I look forward to this new challenge in our lives. Still, one feels the energy building around here as we realize today is the day that our home of many years will slip from our control. It's no surprise. The signs have been present for several days now:
1. All sorts of miniature furniture has appeared in the family room
2. A car seat has been brought up from the basement.
3. There is a booster seat on one of the chairs at the table where we regularly eat.
4. A temporary bed rail has appeared on one of the beds.

It is inevitable...and only hours away. I must go and prepare. There is much to do: Charge camera batteries, etc. But have no fear. We have done this before and evolved better, stronger and happier for the challenge and the experience. After all, we survived her mother.

Paddle safe...

Saturday, January 21, 2012

One of those nights...in the pool.
Took the Cetus MV to the pool and did some rolls and some sculling and some re entry and rolls. I sat on the back deck and got in and out of the cockpit to practice balance. That's the good news.
For the life of me, I couldn't get onto the deck from the water. I couldn't cowboy and couldn't even pull off a simple paddle float rescue (which I have done 1,000 times). Finally stopped and called it an evening. Makes me wonder if I have too much boat, too little upper body strength. I may just have to get by on my good looks (I know, I know).

Paddle safe...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Note on Sunscreen:

It's a must to wear on all exposed areas, even in the winter. True, some of these compounds actually increase the risk of some skin cancers, but all reduce the risk of the dreaded melanoma. The question is, which sunscreen?

I only use children's sunscreen which relies on the old Zinc formulas. They work just fine. The newer ones contain chemicals that when absorbed can have some hormonal effects which are not desirable. So, cover up.

Paddle safe...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

What a Difference...

...a few days can make. One day I am launching from sand only to return from the cruise to launch from snow.

 One day I am with the sting rays in warm water, the next I have this snowy owl wondering what I am doing out there.
It's a good life.

Paddle safe...

Sunday, January 15, 2012

 Back from the cruise which was...well, okay. Nice warm weather and got into some nice warm water (beautiful, clear, warm water) to swim with the rays (Cayman Islands).
Saw old ships and new ships and

small boats and large ships.

and stuff I didn't understand...

Read a lot. got home yesterday and managed an hour in SOF at the local pool session. Now, back to dry suits and lots of layers until the warm comes back up here.

Paddle safe...

Thursday, January 05, 2012


 ...It was lovely paddling on Lake Michigan. The temp was 44F,
and the ice was melting of the breakwater.

Paddle safe...

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

I Want To Be A Cowboy...
   As I kid, I remember going to the movies and seeing the cowboys run across a rock, leap onto the rear end of their horses and slide into the saddle. This was always done smoothly, quickly and, I suspect, by a stunt man. However that happened, it has given rise to the "cowboy re entry" technique used in kayaking.
   All one has to do is simply get onto the back deck just behind the cockpit, turn to sit up and straddle the boat before elegantly moving forward and dropping one's rump onto the cockpit seat. Legs come in last. That's how it works for many paddlers...at least in the pool.
    P&H's Cetus boats and some of Valley's new boats have a Swede form hull. That is, the widest part of the boat is just behind the cockpit. There are many advantages to this design and at least one huge downside. To wit, to straddle the boat for a cowboy re entry one needs to do a  split (so it feels to me) worthy of a ballerina. Trying to do this on my Cetus MV is just plain uncomfortable and, for rescue situations, impractical. I guess, I am no cowboy. At least not one that can do a split like a ballerina.
   For me, a re entry and roll works better although I hope to work in the pool using a technique in which I pull onto the boat across the cockpit itself. I will let you know how it goes.

Paddle safe...

Monday, January 02, 2012

Here we go...again
A new year, bowl games, resolutions...blah, blah, blah. Although I have a terrific life and wonderful friends and family, I feel as if I am in a rut. I have carried 10+ extra pounds for the past year and have only slightly improved my paddling skills. I need to get it in gear and challenge myself...and grow.

I will continue lecturing pathophysiology at UWM but will be teaching only basic anatomy & physiology at WCTC. The new schedule will not require waking early in the am, although I do that anyway. I need, therefore to make better use of my time.
 Winter makes it hard for me to get the exercise I desperately need. With only one good leg, I cannot run, ski, cross country ski or even snow shoe. I have a treadmill, rowing machine and Aerodyne bike in the basement which I have done an exceptional job of ignoring. Change is over due.

So, here come the silly resolutions of Silbs (srS): 1. I will get into the exercise equipment described above and stored below (notice how nicely vague that is). 2. I will paddle Lake Michigan when ever weather and my schedule permits. 3. I will attend the pool sessions whenever my schedule permits. 4. I will challenge myself in a new way to become a better paddler. I have already placed this in motion but choose not to go into detail at this time.
Finally, I will locate the disc for PhotoShoop so I can load it onto the new computer. This will allow me to stop recycling old pics. Happy new year.

Paddle safe...