Shannon and I spent almost two weeks holed up with Tom Humphries (of Neptune’s Rangers fame <–link is to their youtube channel), and explored some of the amazing California coast. Here is a qucik highlights reel of some of it. Lots more never got recorded, as is always the case, and a longer piece will likely be edited eventually.

The trip included several days camping in Mendocino, and day trips out to San Francisco, Monterey, Dillon, Big Trees park (hiking), American River (standing waves). Rock gardening, ocean swell, flatwater practicing, downwind surfing, caves, and great company all along the way….it really had it all. Moslty rain, hail, and wind, but….hey that’s sunny California for ya!

The trip absolutley pushed me well beyond my comfort zone time and again, whether in rocks, surf, or terrifyingly out at Point Bonita where we sat in 18 foot waves watching them explode a quater mile north on the cliffs. Tom was a phenomenal steward, keeping watch on us and ensuring both our satefy and enjoyment. 

Enjoy!

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Below is a link to Paddling Magazine’s recent article raising the question of if there is negative impact in the kayaking community due to the pressure and focus on certification. Take a read. What are your thoughts?

NACK was born (as I’ve been told by our elders!) out of a desire for more training and skill building, and a natural path for that has been to leverage ACA guidelines and certifications. To that end, NACK offers yearly FREE  training and assessments. We just had one June 1

 

Certification killed paddling adventures

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Apr
08

Spring 2019 Newsletter

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Spring is here and so is our latest Newsletter

Read about Winter Paddling in Florida, Jim Dreeben The Peconic Paddler, Apps for paddlers,and the Dangers of Cold Water.  

Be careful, the water is still very cold, dress for possible immersion

 

 

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Rarely are these trips NACK official trips, but there’s an ever growing number of NACK paddlers (and others) joining in the fun.  Hope you enjoy watching whether you partake or not 🙂

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Jan
01

NACK Winter 2019 Newsletter

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Happy New Year and the Winter 2019 Newsletter is here! Read about the Winter Pool Program, our Awards Dinner (at special reduced pricing) upcoming events and training programs, and our recent Center Island Circumnavigation and Cold Water Orientation.

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Sep
19

West Isles Sea Kayak Symposium – The symposium you never knew you wanted to go to, but do!

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The beginning of September this year found me driving up to New Brunswick Canada, and the magnificent Bay of Fundy for a week+ of exceptional kayaking. We met and stayed with some friends on Deer Island, NB, and then headed to Campobello Island which was the home of the 208 West Isles Sea Kayak Symposium. We spend Friday Saturday and Sunday there although it was only a 2-day event. Those of you who travel or paddle the coast of Maine, will see similar, yet even more dramatic coastlines, and add in the up to 50 foot tidal range of the Bay of Fundy, which can be calm and relaxing or fast and furious for current. Landscape changes as the sea literally falls away or rises up beneath you. We saw no end to harbor and gray seals, pilot whales, minke whales, humpback whales, and porpoises.  They were never far from our paths, and at least one seal even bumped into Shannon’s kayak!

The courses that are offered span from gorgeous journeys, surfing, rock gardening, working in strong currents, rolling, etc. It need not be a weekend of adrenalin, but it can be if you so want it. 

The event is organized by Outdoors New Brunswick and Jeremy Cline, who did a fantastic job on this–the second year of the event–and will no doubt continue to expand on it. Solid Coaches, guides, presenters, and participants. Who knew Canadians were friendly!? 🙂

The day the event ended we drove to Nova Scotia to test our skills on the Shubenacadie Tidal Bore. While not part of the symposium, the weekend had sharpened our skills and allowed us to really feel much more comfortable in the high speed, big wave craziness of The Shubie.

Below is a clip from our friend Ben Fontenot from his GoPro of The Shubie from our trip.

We’ll be back for both for sure. I highly recommend considering it as a destination trip! Next time (2020–it alternates every other year with the Bay of Fundy Kayak Symposium) it will be held on Grand Manan Island

Feel free to ask me or Shannon about the experience or logistics!

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Apr
27

This Is How We Do It…

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Just checking in to let you know that although this nack.club website hasn’t seen much activity lately, the same is hardly true for NACK the CLUB itself. We just finished up another solid & successful six session winter pool season & are all ready now for the ’18 paddling season. 

Last Saturday Paul V. & eight others officially kicked off the new season with a nice trip out on the Carmans River in Brookhaven. The pics looked really great. I’m sorry i had to miss this traditional Bald Eagle season-opening event. 

But our weekly peer practice sessions are starting up next week already, so count me in!

The season truly is upon us even though Mother Nature has been seriously slacking in providing us with some appropriate Spring weather!

Although for many NACK members the previous season never came to an end & as the Trips Coordinator for the club I was very pleased at the great turnouts we were getting for our late Fall & dead of Winter outings, both official & ‘unofficial’ non-ACA-sanctioned trips.

Getting 14 paddlers to actually turn up & head out into the Atlantic Ocean the week after Thanksgiving was very exciting, though as it turned out we were about a week late for any Humpback whale sightings.  But talking to my fishing buddies @ work this week who tell me the bunker & stripers are heavily back into Raritan Bay it won’t be very long before we can arrange for a Springtime welcome back whales paddle. 🙂

Four March ‘noreasters & this seemingly unending string of 38° mornings have left our waters behind their usual warming schedule but it also gave us some later than usual opportunity for some harbor seal watching. Not sure how the gang out at Moriches a while back did but the four of us who launched @Field 10 while a dozen other NACKers were carving their Greenland paddles at John’s shop saw plenty of seals both in the water & hauled out in all their flabby glory in Haunts Creek.

I also saw a bunch of City seals  when Troy accompanied me out to Staten Island in late January for a paddle off of the Verrazano & into Lower NY Bay past Hoffman & Swinburne Islands out to West Bank Lighthouse

As for the more adventurous among us there were icy coldwater blue moon nite paddles in January & March. And our resident “Small Craft Advisory” ended their surf & tiderace season  late & started up earlier than ever in February at Democrat Point christening their 2018 off road beach passes for a 50° day in the 40° waters off of Fire Island.

All in all, I’d say this season is shaping up to be one our best yet. New faces, new skills to test & improve & plenty of unpaddled waters to explore. Debbie has a pair of kayak camping trips (one in CT, one in Maine) already planned out so keep an eye out for them upcoming on our NACK Meetup page. 

If you are currently a NACK member I urge you to sign up right away to our Meetup to get all the info about where & when we are going this season. If you are just visiting & are interested in finding out more, you can find us next Sat & Sun (May 5-6) at the Dinghy Shop in Amityville as we help them out with their ‘demo weekend’ there . if you are new to the sport or are looking to get into a new boat then its a great opportunity to try on the water before you buy.

My apologies to all who worked hard & didn’t make it into the ‘final cut’ pool video above,  but I drew most of the material from the ‘Troy cam” in the diving pool. Though there were plenty of improvers populating the adjacent shallow pool & that low pool is where most all of our personal breakthroughs occur. (will have to talk to troy about switching it up next year!)

OK thats all I have for now but keep an eye on this space as we will have a lot to share this year…   !

“Life’s Short. Start Paddling”  -Alan M.

Democrat Point 2.24.18    photo credit: Jorge Guillot

 

 

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Apr
01

Spring 2018 Newsletter

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Here is the Link to the 2018 Spring Newsletter

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