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03 March 2016

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mbrenner

Here's a tip for those who have no fondness for alligators, Burmese pythons or world-class mosquitoes. Head up the north coast of California - above San Francisco. Too rugged for most, a tough drive, no golf courses (one exception), and lots of summer fog. Just the sea, the redwoods, the wind and the wild meadows. A few places to launch a boat, or canoe up the Medocino River. Even a few dead spots where cell phone reception fades. Best (sunniest, warmest) time of year: Sept, Oct or May. Numerous rentals for varying periods in a variety of secluded, scattered private houses of all shapes and sizes that are part of Sea Ranch - a 10 mile long stretch along the coast.

Public access assured - it's the law - unlike Florida. Billionaires require visas.

Brunswick

Stitch and glue go together fast.

At one time a cornerstone competition at WoodenBoat festivals was the "dirty boat" race, where teams of 2 had 8 hours to build the boat from scratch,
then race it down a course the next day.

A few years ago, suffering from severe back injuries, I survived cable tv by building a lapstrake sided drift boat in the basement, in a month of puttering.

The hardest part of the whole project was getting it out of the basement.

William RAISER

Thanks for the link to the video. Neat. I hope you give it a go.

Jag Pop

Have raced my canoe but owning a Grumman fiberglass means you are not in it for the win.

Must be getting old -- no, I have to face it, I *am* getting old. My first reflex to "300 nautical miles" was, "where is the pleasure in that?" (I am barely older than TTG)

Top on my list is seeking out blueberry bushes that hang over the water. Observing wildlife is music for the soul and...and...just being there refreshes (I'll excuse my poetic limpness because it is 5:30 am in the morning)

...darn it!...why does the brain store stuff like that? ...darn it!...

I just at this moment recalled the time that I spotted a gorgeous, youthful mink while on a narrow river. It seemed as curious about me as I was of him. It moved about a fall of rocks back and forth as if to find a better observation point to see me. Loved it!

...then I got a life lesson...

Another canoe was approaching from the other direction, and when we passed I shared. I gave the pair in the other canoe the opportunity to get a view of the awesome creature too. I pointed the mink out.

One in the other canoe was vocal and excited too...!

He said he was going to come back with a gun and have it stuffed for his mantel.

Lesson learned...keep your mouth shut around "people"

Bill Herschel

The kuleana site is really interesting. They don't tell you how much it weighs which might be an issue, and they do tell you how much it costs which is an issue. But for the Everglades Challenge it looks about right. I was thinking that a two man crew might be a good thing, but it kind of diminishes the "Challenge" part.

I don't have a boat, but I'm thinking of either a Sunfish or a Starboard, a really wide one. It's just for Peconic Bay at the end of Long Island, but there is a ton of wind which is all you need. We just moved there. The only thing I have ever done that was dangerous (aside from driving too fast when I was younger) is go swimming in the surf. I don't surf and I am a torpedo body surfer, i.e. I go perpendicular to the wave not parallel. I've done it for a long, long time and am now becoming far more cautious (a friend of mine told me that they take one or two people out of the surf every year with cervical fractures, quadriplegic). There's stuff I would have gone out in in a second earlier, but now I give it a pass. But I love it. Waves are a blessing.

Bill Herschel

The only problem is the water temperature. I once went down to the beach in Carmel (as a tourist, I was pretty impressed that the cheapest car around was a monster Mercedes) and took my shoes and socks off to check out the water. I had to chip the ice off my feet to get them back on.

And you forgot to mention that the wetsuit you have to wear makes you look like the natural prey of the great white sharks.

But that's only for people who are crazy about the ocean. Yes, the rest of it is a paradise from what I understand.

Bill Herschel

Have you read The Dance of the Dwarves by Geoffrey Household? It will give you new appreciation of the mink family. A terrific adventure yarn.

The Twisted Genius

That area by Carmel and Monterrey is beautiful. I wasn't aware of the cold water. Another beautiful area is the Maine coast but I remember how cold that water was around Bar Harbor. Closer to home I have the Crows Nest Nature Preserve and the new Lake Mooney. The former is an area on the Potomac preserved from the developers by the Herculean efforts of State and local officials and conservationists. The latter is a new 500 acre reservoir that will be open to public use this spring. No gasoline engines allowed. Both areas are about ten miles from my house. My younger son and I will be kayaking both.

https://www.facebook.com/CrowsNestNAP

http://www.fredericksburg.com/news/local/stafford/stafford-plans-spring-opening-of-lake-mooney/article_41b241c1-e8d8-5f2d-b572-97c82353cc51.html?mode=story

The Twisted Genius

Bill,

I'm going to build a small sail rig for my kayak this year. Something cheap and not too complicated that I can strap on the front of my Pungo 120. You may want to think about something like that for Peconic Bay. Something like this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3ygJ-O_mTU

I understand the caution after hearing about those nerve damage injuries. I've been scared to death of nerve damage since my helo repelling accident in 1980. I still continued to stick my finger in the devil's asshole several times since them, but I'm becoming more reluctant to do so as time goes by.

Bruce D

Wonderful post there, TTG. May you sail the Everglades of your dreams.

Jag Pop

No, but intrigued. I read reviews here:

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/102052.Dance_of_the_Dwarfs

and opinions are all over the map. That could be a good thing.

But, did you drop a spoiler? That wouldn't be a good thing.

Fred

mbrenner,

"those who have no fondness for alligators..."

The bigger the gator the fewer the tourists.

Bill Herschel

The YouTube is priceless. And the rig looks really simple and well-engineered.

I really like speed. I like to be heeled over as far as possible, and inevitably turning over sometimes. Obviously, a catamaran is the ideal thing to be fast in, but they don't really point that well, and getting them back upright is work. A sunfish or a sailfish is terrific because they're easy to right and you can thrill seek as much as you want. Windsurfers are a little more work to right, but that's the challenge, to not have to right them. But I'm clearly not talking about 20 knot stuff, just moving quickly and feeling like you're moving quickly. The tremendous advantage of a windsurfer is that you can stand up. You have to get up to about 70 feet before you can stand in a sailboat again, and then it's not really a sailboat.

There are a ton of inlets with birds and deer and concealed snapping turtles (actually snapping turtles are nocturnal) where we are and plenty of kayaks. But I like to sail. SWMBO likes sailing too, which probably means that it won't be a sunfish. A small class boat. I don't want to hassle with a jib. We'll see.

Thanks again for the link to the Japanese fellow. Excellent.

You mention your son. The member of the family who poses the most danger to the Devil is my youngest daughter who is demure and studious on land and is going to give me a heart attack in the water. They've swum since they were 8 months so I can't swim after them and just have to shout and pray.

dilbert dogbert

For those of you not up to 300 ocean miles, I recommend the US San Juan Islands and the Canadian Gulf Islands. There are many marine parks on both sides of the border. Boating up there is like sailing on a lake with tides. I have lots of memories of boating up there in my San Francisco Pelican. Last year the wife and I and another couple did a biking exploration of the US San Juans. We kayaked off San Juan Island to view the J Pod Orcas and had an exciting close encounter with a female and her offspring. At 80 years old my sailing days are numbered. That said, I and the wife as crew won our class two years running at the Folsom Lake Regatta - The Camellia Cup.
Full disclosure: Owner of a 17 ft Boston Whaler, S.F. Pelican, a 17ft Herishoff pulling boat, a lapstrake planked pramm from Chapelle and a John Gardner plywood pramm. Also have a Sunfish, 7 kayaks and 3 standup paddleboards.
Thanks for the link to the Water Tribes adventure.

Fred

TTG,

That's a good idea that gentleman has. The Kuleana's look good too. I saw a few varieties of those fishing kayaks last trip to Florida. I may invest in one. (Couldn't do that canoe building project as I sold the house recently. Downsizing feels pretty good and is saving me a good chunk of cash too.) Have you done any fishing off one of these rigs?

The Twisted Genius

Fred,

I know kayak fishing is big everywhere. I haven't done it yet, but I can't think of a better way of getting into the weeds and tangles. I've seen pictures of kayak fishing for halibut, marlin and tarpon. What a way to even out the odds between fisherman and fish. Now that you mention it, a kayak would be a great platform for going after the invasive snakeheads that are in my area.

James Dutreaux

Thanks for this post. I didn't even know that the US San Juan islands and the Canadian Gulf Islands even existed. I must add this to my list of must-kayak spots. Thanks for sharing.

James D

Thanks for the post. I didn't even know the Everglades Challenge even existed. I'll definitely be checking it out! Get out on the water as often as possible!!

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