Monday, October 11, 2010

Day on Lake Pacifica

I know it has been some time since I posted to my kayk blog. But that does not mean I have not been out. Recently I went Align Leftcamping and kayaking with a fun group of people out to Lake Moreno. And just yesterday my friend Cindy and I went kayaking at La Jolla in Lake Pacifica.

Here are some pics from the day.
The Caves Area

The Slot

A nice paddle out to the kelp bed off Children's Pool

Kelp Fried Egg Jelly Fish.

Probably about 10 feet below the surfac

e. Seal In the Kelp.

Thanks to Cindy McVey for all the photos,

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Concerts on the Bay

August 6th 2010

This is something else I like to do on my kayak. Humphrey's has Concerts by the Bay. Many boaters and kayakers motor over in whatever small craft they can find. Some come in small ski crafts or fishing boats. Some motor over in dingies or zodiacs. And some come in kayaks, canoes and even small inflatables. What ever they come in it is sure to be a fun party.

This evening Ringo Starr and his All Star Band were playing. Featured in this band besides Ringo are Edgar Winter (Frankenstein), Gary Wright (Dreamweaver), Rick Derringer (Hang on Sloopy) and others.

I packed up all my kayak gear, picked up some KFC and some Samuel Adams, and headed down to Bessemer and Scott Street to launch my kayak. I got down there about 6:15 PM and set up to go. The concert started at 8 pm. I paddled over and found a great place. I was right up front and could see the stage fairly well.

I think I was about 100 feet from the stage.

In just a short time I would be surrounded by many boaters and kayakers. Boaters coming to the concert are the friendliest group of strangers you will ever meet. I was right next to a family having a reunion in their small zodiac. Three of their teenage boys were up front a bit. One of them is a huge Edgar Winter fan.

Notice the girl to the right of the pic with long black hair.

(more later)

Ringo Starr and everyone came out on stage and after a brief intro and a shout out to all us freeloaders (which got a big cheer) the music got started. Ringo played quite a few of his more popular song including Yellow Submarine, With a Little Help From My Friends, and More. That's Ringo center stage. Forgive the poor quality. It is hard to get a decent pic in the dark on a rockin' & rollin' kayak.

Then Edgar Winter did Frankenstein.

The white blur in front of the drum kit is Edgar Winter.

Rick Derringer did Hang on Sloopy, and Gary Wright did Dreamweaver. Ringo did some other songs including a new original from his latest album. I can't recall the title.

There was some entertainment in the crowd also. One very big Ringo fan was sitting next to the girl with very long black hair in front of my group. (Yes, by the beginning of the concert they had become "my group". The family having their reunion said I was now part of their family.)

He kept yelling out "Ringo, Ringo" and flicking his Bic lighter. Soon he turned to a flashlight and was using that to express his enthusiasm for the show. During one point I noticed a little commotion coming from that group. I asked my neighbor what happened. He told me that the guy dropped his flashlight in the water. It was still visible on the bottom.

My comment at this was; "that is not the only thing that will likely end up overboard." And sure enough it was not long until there was a big splash and some sputtering followed by a ripple of laughter as well as waves as the Ringo Starr fan rolled his kayak. Everyone was encouraging him to retrieve his light. I think he must not be a free diver. He never got it.

Anyway, It was a good concert. and I look forward to going to a few more this summer before I return to my regular work schedule at the beginning of school.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Seattle Paddle

I drove up to Vallejo for my nephews High School graduation. Then I took my Subaru on a long shake-down cruise to Portland and Seattle. Visited my dive buddy, Scott, in Portland. Then up to Seattle too revisit all my old Coast Guard haunts.

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

Went to Alki beach and took a tour of Eliot Bay and the Coast Guard Lighthouse on a Necky sit-in kayak. While waiting for my tour I met with three divers getting ready to dive the in Eliot Bay. They were all in dry suits. But after a brief discussion with them I determined it would not be too uncomfortable to dive in a wetsuit. The temperature of the water was about 50. I have dived in waters of that temp in San Diego and in the New Zealand winter on the South Island. I was told that you can encounter the Giant Octopus right in Eliot Bay.

This is my guide, Scott, from Alki Kayak Tours at Alki Beach. My yellow Necky kayak. In the background is Queen Anne Hill just to the North of Downtown Seattle. Only my second time in a kayak with a rudder. I picked it up quickly.

Check out Alki Kayak Tours page

Me with the Space Needle rising above the city. From the launch we went west past Alki (originally maned New York by the Settlers) then changed to its Indian name. There is actually a small replica of the Statue of Liberty near the shore.

The bow of my kayak points toward the Seattle skyline and some ominous clouds. As the day went on it would lighten some and the sun break through. I actually had to take off my jacket a little later.

Our goal and turn-around point the Coast Guard Lighthouse at Alki Point.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Scubaru Baja's Initiation

May 9th, 2010, Sunday

Later this afternoon I was meeting a friend to go see the movie "Oceans". But I had a few hours until we would get together. Since I have prepared my apartment for storage of my dive and kayak gear (I can no longer store it in my car like I have done with my Ford Escort Wagon). I decided that I would load my kayak atop my Subaru Baja and head down to the beach. I have been diving with her and now it was time she learn her part in my kayaking activities.

I loaded up all my peripherals such as seat, paddle, shorty wetsuit, extra clothing and water. Then I transferred my kayak from my Ford to my Subaru and headed on down to the beach. One thing I realized with my Subaru is that I will have to get an earlier start than when I load my gear the night before and get up in the morning, hop in my car and go.

The only real difference with carrying my kayak is the Subaru is a little higher then my Ford. So lifting it up there is a little harder. And it may turn out that I have to watch my overhead clearance when going into low parking structures. Of course, with my gear in the truck bed, I must be conscientious of leaving it unattended. But that little drawback is worth it. If I follow my "No Gear In The Passenger Area" rule the interior of my car will not get stinky, like my Ford tended to get. And that is the main reason I got a Baja over an Outback.

I went to the boat launch and drove out onto the sand. This is another benefit of the Subaru Baja. It is all wheel drive. I am less likely to have trouble in the sand then with my Ford. There were a couple of times when I nearly got stuck. If it had not been for my manual transmission I would have been.
Took a picture of my Baja on the sand with the kayak atop.
Funny, my kayak looks much smaller on my Scubaru than on my Ford.

Today on the water was challenging, a larger swell and a very short interval. It made it exciting going out. But the return to the beach might be a problem. Typically, this is when I get overturned in the surf. Did a paddle out to the far kelp fishing area then turned back to the shore. It was a gray and blustery day. Plus, I had not been out in a while so I did not do a long trip. Yes, I was overturned. Even after trying to time my exit with break in the sets, and a couple of aborted tries, the waves caught up to me a gave me a nice, refreshing spill.

Back onshore I loaded up my gear to head home. Once home I unloaded all my gear, took a shower then I hung up all my gear to drip in the shower. After it had dripped a bit I put it in my closet which is prepped for my gear, plastic sheeting and duct tape on the floor and a drip basin. Nothing else but dive and kayak gear is in this closet. That is another aspect of my new car, which is a change from my past routine. I must unload my car immediately upon returning home. I realized that all these years, storing my gear in my car has spoiled me. After hanging my gear to dry I just put it back in my car. Now I must store it elsewhere. This is something that everyone else has probably always had to do.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Southwest Kayak Symposium

Note: Though it has been awhile since my last entry I have been out on the water.

Friday & Saturday, March 26 & 27, 2010

This weekend is the Southwest Kayak Symposium. It is a weekend of talks, practical classes, and equipment tryouts all centering on the pass-time or sport of Kayaking. I have enrolled in the Kayak Foundation Skills class. And I planned to go to one of the Tent Talks, free talks covering subjects related to kayaking. The site of the Symposium is at Campland By The Bay on Mission Bay.

Friday night was opening night dinner and presentation. I drove my "new" Subaru Baja Dive/Kayak mobile. I am still using my old Ford to store my ocean going stuff. I am keeping this one clean for a few months.

Valley Wide Kayak Club and San Diego Kayak Club provided a light meal and Aqua Adventures provided the beer. A guy did a slide show on a kayak trip he did in Newfoundland. And then Jake, the guest of Honor, presented his slide show of his Portage to Portage kayak trip. He left off in Florida to come to the Symposium. Both had great stories of their adventures.

Saturday morning promised to be a beautiful day. I arrived at Campland about 9:00 am and paid my "Day Use" fee. Then I drove to the beach and unloaded my kayak . I marked it with the "private – do not use" tag that was provided in my registration packet. This lets people know that this kayak is not a rental for use in classes. I parked my car and went back to the beach to find where my Foundation Skills class would meet. I found it at listened in for a bit on the Foundation Skills class prior to mine.

Not my Instructor.

At 10:00 I went over for a Tent Talk about what to wear while Kayaking, It is always important to look good whenever you are undertaking a new activity. Actually the talk was about what to wear in different kinds of weather conditions.

For San Diego, it is quite appropriate to wear light clothing in the summer as long as you are protected from the sun, hat, long sleeve shirt, or if sufficient Sunscreen. Weather can change quickly, and the wind usually picks up in the afternoon. So a wind-breaker might be useful. In colder weather a wetsuit may be needed.

I typically wear a shorty Farmer John for just kayaking. This leaves my arms free to paddle. And when I am going on a kayak dive I have a full Farmer John wetsuit with a separate top that I can get in once out at the dive site. Dry Suits for very cold water were discussed. Turns out, there are differences between kayak dry suits and diving dry suits. Kayaking dry suits may be made of a material that allows perspiration to evaporate.

Layering is another important consideration for kayaking. Different warm clothing and wind protective garments were discussed. Something that dries quickly and provides UV protection is good for sunny days but when you are going to get wet. If you have a material that stays wet you may suffer hypothermia.

Just before noon I set up my kayak and moved it to the beach in front of the class area. I met with the instructor. This class was a little smaller than the first class. That was good because it meant more personalized instruction.

Damon was my instructor. That is him in the second position in this Modular Kayak. Pieces can be added or subtracted depending on how many people you wish to seat.

People were set up in their kayaks and we headed out on the Bay.
Damon also had an assistant , Lisa marie, along to help. Here she is teaching us the Sweep Stroke.

I have been kayaking for over two years now. This is the first formal training I have undertaken. We were taught the Forward Stroke, the Sweep stroke for turning, and two strokes for moving your kayak sideways. The forward stroke I knew. But I was made aware of some bad habits I have picked up.

Before learning the next stroke Damon had us paddle at an angle to the wind. He asked how our kayaks handled. They would turn into the wind. He pointed out the the kayak wants to take the path of least resistance and so heads into the wind. I probably was aware of this on a subconscious level but had never considered it. I would just react and turn my kayak back to the desired heading. I probably would do a couple of extra strokes on the windward side of my kayak to compensate. And this would interrupt my rhythm.

The Sweep stroke and its uses were new to me. Now I can work on combining it with the Forward stroke to maneuver my kayak without having to interrupt my paddling rhythm. So, all in all, a productive class with some cool instructors. Damon is a diver and does occasionally kayak dive. Maybe I will get out on the Ocean with him sometime.

After stowing my kayak and all my gear I went for a bitet to eat. My favorite place, The Bare Back Bar & Grill ( a New Zealander Pub), was packed and I could not find a parking spot. So I went to my old stand-by, The Australian Pub on Cass and Grand.

Came back to Campland for the Raffle. A couple of tickets were included in your entry fee. I had some money left over from dinner and bought four more. I took home a couple of good prizes.

I enjoyed myself and learned a lot. Now to get out on the water and practice the skills and lose all those inefficient paddling habits.