Author Archive

Bill Vonnegut offers us a crisp comparison of the difference that the same wave height (3 feet) has with two VERY different swell periods of 8 seconds and 18 seconds respectively. This is often a hard concept for paddlers to understand, and very helpful when planning open crossings and of course surf or rock gardening. 

I usually describe the difference as how much water and energy the wave has (longer period having exponentially more of both), and I feel that many folks find that hard to digest. As always, the “best” height/period combination will be group and site specific, but for surfing on our Long Island play spots, we generally prefer as long a period as we can get (18 seconds is unheard of here) and smaller waves to go with it. On days with very short periods, we need somewhat taller waves to compensate, but that quickly becomes dumpy and no fun.

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Nov
05

A day at the beach (Democrat Point)

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November came in all warm and sunny, and Shannon, Alan and myself took advantage of it by off-roading it onto Democrat Point (Robert Moses) for some play in the splashy stuff.

The air was 36F when we woke up, but sunny and in the 50s when we were out and we were toasty warm and having a blast. Here are some highlights to enjoy.

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Sep
18

Inspiration for a local paddling challenge perhaps?

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Click the photo or this link to read a great writeup of an impressive day touring challenge in the San Fancisco bay. If it gets you energized, think about what we might come up with locally in the NYC/LongIsland area! It need not be quite as gruelling as this 61 mile monster, but surely we can find some interesting route that incorporates some planning, timing, and navigation skills to accomplish (Hi Troy! Look at me talking about navigation!)

To include areas that could be affected by tides and currents (forcing planning and ferrying, and boat handling skills, and chatwork, and….!!) my mind quickly turns to the far west and far east end of the Island. Time to think this through.  

Either way, enjoy the read, and see you on the water!

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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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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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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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Dec
11

My 2017 Year in Review

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I’m off to Michigan to visit the in-laws and won’t be back on the water until January. Over the past few months I’ve been assembling a fairly massive collection of videos and still images from the people I’ve paddled with, and I have finally completed the 2017 Year in Review. It has many folks, in and out of NACK, and a variety of venues. I feel it tells a wonderful (if incomplete) story, and a fun one to watch and tap your feet to. I had a heavy focus on surfing this year, but there are all kinds of trips in here. The NACK Drone certainly added to the mix nicely.

I hope that in 2018, we can get some great NACK trips out there to include! I know there are a few special ones already in the works, and look forward to them.

Meanwhile, if you have 15 or so minutes, crack open a beer, pour some wine, or brew some coffee, stream the video to your largest screen with the volume up, and enjoy!

Thanks for being a big part of my year.

 

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