Monday, May 25, 2009

It was a dark and stormy morning.... didn't seem like a great day for the low volume SOF. Not that it isn't stable in waves, but it doesn't have enough volume to surf well and it's a bit discouraging to just be paddling downwind when the others are zooming into the distance.

Arriving at Kingsland Bay the sun is breaking out and temp up into the 70's. The plan is to head south, cross over to New York, keep going south to Barn Rock for lunch. THen go north along the New York shore to Split Rock and surf home on the wind predicted to shift to NW by afternoon.

Lunch was at the lean to across from Basin Harbor.

No sign of the Ol' Philosophizer who was supposed to be around this weekend. He might have done this stretch on Saturday.

On the short trail from the landing up to the lean to was this knee high orchid overlooking the lake. Anyone know the variety? (edit: lady slipper)


Heading north, the Palisades are as impressive as usual.

We ended up taking a beach break on the far side of Split Rock. I tried a few minutes of swimming to see how well the drysuit with just shorts and tee shirt inside protects from mid-40's water. The drysuit kept me dry, and the personal flotation device kept me flotated.. pretty comfortable overall, but if I was swimming from the middle of the lake to shore some gloves would be nice.

On the "surf" back from Split Rock we went by a couple of sailboats with their sails hanging limp, and as you can see, not much waves.

We got back to shore around 5:30 and could see the sailboats had started to move out on the broad lake. The Diamond Island weather station showed the wind kicked up from zero (when we were out there) to 15 knots by 6. Next time...

Sunday, May 17, 2009

I got out 3 times in the last week, barely time for the gear to dry out.
Wednesday evening was Shelburne bay. Only one other paddler showed up, someone new, who at least knew she was remiss in not having some sort of cold immersion protection. I opted for heading up the LaPlatte river through the nature preserve, since at least you're never far from shore, and there won't be waves. I have to note that she made up for no wetsuit by not complaining when she did dump out of the boat.

Once past the nature preserve, the river winds through the village of Shelburne, but you'd never know it was a populated area other than the pair of bridges we passed under.

Friday was another trip with just me and a new guy who came to the area for a paddling course in the afternoon but was still up for 3 hours of paddling in the evening. At least he's enthusiastic!

Sunday was back with some of the usual crowd, and Bruce was back with his outrigger.

He had a capsize too. He's pretty adept at righting it, and there's no having to empty the cockpit. From what I hear it's pretty common to capsize a couple of times in these outrigger races, and the thing is to not lose much time getting back on.

This in front of the Inn at Shelburne Farm. The patio that used to be there fell in the lake so they are giving it another try. This time it will be a Formal Garden according to Dave, who got hired to do the garden part.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Not Dead Yet

I had a plum tree with a fungal disease knows as Black Knot. It was totally leafless last year with branches that would snap like well seasoned kindling. I figured that was it and cut it down.

This spring out of the stump pops a sucker in blossom, trying to act like it might bear fruit.

Most fruit trees one buys are clones grafted onto some other root stock, and in the case of plums the root stock is often cherry. Just have to wait and see.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Wednesdays are back on

Midweek paddles are back in the lineup. Bruce came with his outrigger. I guess he's decided it's time to start training for the Moloka'i Hoe (inter island race in Hawaii this fall).

Tom's been waiting since last fall to check out his rapier against the outrigger. They were pretty much walking away from us.

The change this trip is the water is up over 40F.. warm enough to skip the mucklucks, which means I can use the skin-on-frame kayak. This is definitely not as steady a photo platform as my Gulfstream!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Two days of paddling this weekend!

Saturday ran from Kingsland bay

to the leanto south of the Palisades in New York:
(Note to Ol' Philosopher: landing around the corner just to the north)

This was the first day I tried skipping the mitts, and it was fine (sign of spring?)

On the way we stopped to check out the heron rookery at the Otter Creek delta. It is in "land" that is posted, but the rules are that you are free to go up to the high water mark, which is about 30 inches higher than in this picture:

Given the water level, I was able to get right under this tree that had maybe 5 nests. The herons never seem to mind as they know we can't approach any closer.

There was also a big bird house. While I was there a duck came out and flew away.

When we got back, some guy was just pulling in. Watched us stripping off tuiliqs and drysuits, then headed out in his cotton T and shorts. He was actually a bit underdressed for the air temperature, never mind the water. (Also a sign of spring)

I was thinking of taking the skin boat Sunday, but the forecast was waves up to 3 feet, which my SOF will just spear through rather than ride over, so I left the Gulfstream on the car. As you can see, the big waves didn't happen. Here's Tom in his carbon Rapier with Stu in his 70's era Greenland inspired sea kayak.