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Showing posts from July, 2012

For love of boat!

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Isn't it nice to stop everything and take a moment, or lots of moments for love of boat?

I mean your beautiful sea kayak. The one you love! It's awesome to love a sea kayak. If you don't . . . yet, I hope you find one you love! Keep searching. It's worth your time.

A kayak is a great way to distract yourself from all the other stuff you could be wasting your time with!

Happy paddles and lots of sand in my shoes from a great paddle on the Riviere Rouge (the Red River) in Mont Tremblant, Quebec, Canada.

The BaffinPaddler

Dawn at Upper Brewers Lock on the Rideau Canal

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I think this is when I like the camping neighborhood best . . . at dawn!

Everyone is tucked into their beds. The eerie morning mist is rising. It's the best time to sleep or the best time to get up. Take your pick. It's a hard choice sometimes.

The party ended at midnight . . . I think.
But, the motor boats gurgled all night. Could someone please just burp them and get it over with . . . ?!

You always remember to bring your ear plugs on camping trips, right? No? Me too. Why do I keep forgetting to bring the most important gear item of all.

Even the scout camp is quiet at this early morning hour.
The kayaks are still there. What a beautiful sight to wake up to.
Dew alert! Everything is wet. Upper Brewers lock is our first night's camp on a 3-day kayak camping trip from Kingston Mills to Narrows lock.

Upper Brewers lock station is a pretty nice, kayak friendly camping spot on the Rideau Canal route in Ontario, Canada. There are picnic tables, restrooms, drinkable water, …

What it's like going through a lock in a sea kayak on the Rideau Canal

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Pretty glamorous, eh? Well, here goes. I'll be going through a lock on the Rideau Canal for my very first time, gulp! We're kayak camping for 3 days, launching from Kingston Mills and heading for the Narrows.

It's a bit intimidating looking at a big lock from a kayak. My stomach is nervous, my heart is speeding up. I don't know if I'm going to like this. But once I'm in the lock, I'm stuck and there's no going back.

The water boils a bit and gets a little turbulent before the lock door opens. Gee, that sure makes me feel better! You feel like you're going into the belly of a beast.
Paddle buddies go in first. They've done this many times before and lucky for me, explain what to do and what to expect beforehand. Having them in front of me and watching what they do is a big help. It's obvious that I'm nervous as a cat, but they chuckle when they see me pull my camera out of my life jacket pocket with my one free gloved-hand and take a f…

Approaching Lower Brewers Lock: Rideau Canal kayak camping trip - Day 1

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Here we are, approaching Lower Brewers Lock 45 on day one of a 3-day kayak camping trip on the Rideau Canal, in Ontario Canada in July with heat wave temperatures in the 30's Celsius (80's Fahrenheit).

We launched from Kingston Mills lock in the morning.

Our destination for our first night's sleep is Upper Brewers locks (we'll go through 44 and 43).

But Lower Brewers Lock 45 is the first lock I have to go through on this trip. I've never been in a lock before. And we're going to lock through all the locks on this trip from Kingston Mills to Narrows Lock.

It's a little daunting. I have to get through three locks on the first day.

"How about you go first and I'll see how it's done."
Tomorrow, inside the lock.

What's this all about?
See: Kayak Camping the Rideau Canal and Testing the Wilderness Systems Tsunami 165 sea kayak

Map:
Rideau Canal Paddling Map 3 - River Styx to Lower and Upper Brewers Locks, Cranberry Lake to Brass Point Bridg…

Green Island Cormorant colony - Rideau Canal kayak camping trip - Day 1

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On Day 1 of our Rideau Canal kayak camping trip in Ontario, Canada, we launched from Kingston Mills lock in the morning, paddled across Colonel By Lake with a lunch stop at Green Island on River Styx.

Green Island is a bird sanctuary and Cormorants rule. A bird sanctuary is not necessarily a pretty place with welcome scents for lunch. And they have no house-keeping skills. But we are kayakers. We enjoyed the break.

Cormorants don't make pretty sounds. They aren't song birds. But I enjoyed their company. I was very surprised how social they are with each other. I didn't know they nested so close to each other in the same tree. They live in colonies. There are 4 nests in this tree.
There aren't many places to stop on River Styx. Paddle this part of the Rideau Canal as fast as you can to get to the good stuff further along the route!

I'm testing a big, plastic, mango-coloured Wilderness Systems Tsunami 165 sea kayak on this trip and started the day paddling with my tru…

How to Cowboy Scramble up a kayak with a rudder

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Here it is. A short and sweet video that shows how I Cowboy Scramble up a kayak with a rudder without hurting myself on the blade or rudder mechanism in the back.

A small family of Canadian geese swam into the scene while we were shooting the video to see what was up and seemed to wonder if I needed help. How awesome is that!

Just remember to always secure the front tab of your spray skirt before you scramble up the back of the kayak or it will get caught between your legs and make it more difficult to get your spray skirt back on quickly once you make it into the cockpit.

You will see in the video below that I hold on to my spray skirt tab with my teeth as I scramble up so it doesn't get stuck between my legs, or you can secure it with a quick release clip on the shoulder of your PFD.



Come on. You can do it! It's not that difficult.

I Cowboy Scrambled 10 times up the Wilderness Systems Tsunami 165 sea kayak because the camera guy kept saying, "Could you do that again. W…

Testing the Wilderness Systems Tsunami 165 Sea Kayak

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I'll be off this week kayak camping parts of the Rideau Canal in Ontario, Canada and testing a big plastic sea kayak, a mango Wilderness Systems Tsunami 165. It can hold a lot of gear! It's 16'6" long, 23.75 inches wide, and weighs 62 lbs!

It's a good fit for a mid to large size paddler.

I'm a smaller paddler at 125 lbs., and 5'6" tall, but I was easily able to adjust the seat and thigh braces inside the cockpit to suit my preferences.

We'll see how I do touring it 20-24 kilometers a day for a few days, loaded to the gills!

For multi-day kayak camping trips, I want more space for gear than my Boreal Baffin or Maelstrom Vital 166 can provide.

I'm just starting to test larger volume kayaks for camping trips.

I'll also be doing a Cowboy Scramble up the back deck of this ruddered boat and follow up with more news and stories at a later date.


Happy paddles!
The BaffinPaddler

Credits:

Thanks to Ottawa Paddle Shack for letting me test this kayak…

Cycling the St. Lawrence River's Waterfront Trail in Cornwall, Ontario

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Now's a good time to cycle waterfront trails. It's summer. It's hot. You'll pick up a breeze on your bike. The water is warm enough to swim in and the beaches are inviting.

The best part of cycling is where the bike takes you and where you take it. It's a partnership. 

Notice the spots that make you want to stop, get off the bike, climb a tree, strike a yoga pose in a gazebo, go for a swim, have a picnic, take a nap, play Frisbee, enjoy some wide open spaces away from all that urban sprawl, camp, or take a pic! When you get back on the bike, you can travel from city-to-city, participate in a cycling event, or go as many miles as you wish. It's pretty sweet when you can do it all and more on one great Waterfront Trail!
I like to mix up kayaking with cycling along waterways in spring, summer, and fall. This seems to be a great way to keep every part of you in shape and enjoy the water in more ways than one. Canada has lots of great waterways and places to cycle!