One man's rush to jump on the kayaking bandwagon

Rotary Cooling

Rolling. It seems like it is what separates the real paddlers from the plastic bathtub jockey's. I believe that today might be the day I finally earned the right to call myself a real paddler, at least according to those that value rolling above all else.
I was looking forward to a long paddle up to the north end of Wrightsville Beach, but the humidity and impending thunderstorms made me reconsider. The wind was calm and the humidity high. I decided to work on rolling.
I struggled with rolling for a long time before finally figuring it out last summer. I never developed it to the point where it was reliable, I fell out of practice, and I eventually lost it. The last time I was at the beach, I spent some time upside down and eventually developed a fairly consistent sweep roll. Whatever muscle memory I developed then seemed to have evaporated as the sweep roll was again elusive.
Between my morning and afternoon paddles, I spent some time watching Nigel Foster's Rolling and Bracing and decided that I was making it too hard on myself. As soon as I hit the water, I nailed a C to C roll on both my on and off sides. It felt very natural and effortless -- just like I thought it should.
tags: coastal

July 26, 2009

Paddling on the 4th

The weather was in the low 80's. The wind was blowing just enough to keep everything cool. A perfect day for a trip out in the ocean to the Johnny Mercer Pier and back.
tags: coastal

July 04, 2009

Very happy 4th

The plan was to paddle around to the front of Masonboro Island and do some surfing. Let me put it this way, I chickened out.
tags: coastal

July 03, 2009

Very usable tide tables

Tide tables via a shared calendar. Brilliantly simple!
tags: internet

June 26, 2009

Paddling around Ft. Monroe

I grew up in Hampton, VA. Even though it is surrounded by water on three sides, I can count the number of times I was on a boat on one hand. I've looked forward to paddling in my home town for a long time, but was reluctant to give it a shot until I had more experience. The water around Hampton has a reputation for being a little wild.
This was one of those infrequent one-way paddles. My father dropped my off at the Sunset Creek boat ramp. The plan was to meet me at the north end of Grandview Beach a few hours later. I left around 11:00am hoping that once I rounded Ft. Monroe, the tide would be headed out.
The paddle out the Hampton River and around Hampton University was a lot of fun. It was the first time in at least 20 years that I saw Hampton from the water. As I rounded the point at Ft. Monroe, it became quite rough and apparent that I had not timed the tide correctly. The wind and the current were both heading straight towards the sea wall that runs the length of Ft. Monroe. The resulting confused seas forced me about a quarter mile off shore.
About halfway from the point to Buckroe Beach, I nearly paddled into a large loggerhead turtle. It seemed to be about 4 feet across. Other than the usual dolphins and menhaden, I haven't seen much in the way of wildlife. This was quite a treat.
As I reached the Buckroe Beach pier, I decided to end my punishing struggle against the current. I timed the waves perfectly and rode a small wave onto the beach. As I was getting out, my foot became caught in my still attached paddle leash. In the few seconds it took me to get untangled, a wave came in and grabbed my kayak. It knocked me over as the dumping surf pulled it back away from the beach. I decided to settle for being drug across the rocky bottom than to try and swim after my kayak in the surf.
Luckily, my father had decided to visit the new restaurant at the pier and saw the whole thing. That saved me a call. Overall, it was not a very enjoyable paddle, but I can't wait to try it again.
tags: coastal

May 30, 2009

Eastern Horizons

Just picked up a copy of Eastern Horizons. This video would have been much better if the actual kayaking had not been edited out.

May 27, 2009

Masonborro Island

I paddled up the ICW the length of Masonborro Island.
tags: coastal

May 24, 2009

Dam surfing?

Every once and a while, the Falls Lake Dam is opened and the local WW kayakers rejoice. I wonder if I could get my boat out there...
tags: lake

May 17, 2009