Monday, July 30, 2012

Kayak Splash!!!

Kayak Jame River/Springfield Lake 7-29-2012

Kayak Jame River/Springfield Lake 7-29-2012

Brian and I finally got to splash both kayaks together. I've had mine out on a couple of small test outings, but I've been waiting to hit the water with him and his boat before posting anything about it.

Kayak Jame River/Springfield Lake 7-29-2012

We put in at the North Shore Access of the James River/Springfield Lake at Springfield Lake Park and paddled from about 6:45 till sunset.

Kayak Jame River/Springfield Lake 7-29-2012

Kayak Jame River/Springfield Lake 7-29-2012

Kayak Jame River/Springfield Lake 7-29-2012

Kayak Jame River/Springfield Lake 7-29-2012

Following a draw up into the Springfield Conservation Nature Center, we came across a handful of deer grazing by the shore and we saw a standoff between two good size blue herons, resulting in a squawking match and one flying about a hundred yards down stream.

Kayak Jame River/Springfield Lake 7-29-2012

Kayak Jame River/Springfield Lake 7-29-2012

Kayak Jame River/Springfield Lake 7-29-2012

Kayak Jame River/Springfield Lake 7-29-2012

Getting dark, we called it and headed back. One of the great things about these kayaks is their ease of use. They're really light for a 12 foot boat (I think Brian said his was 34 pounds), so very easy to throw on the roof racks or into the back of a pickup for a quick evening trip to the river or lake. I hope to do this all summer and fall and if I make the spray guard idea I have in my head, probably into winter as well.

Kayak Jame River/Springfield Lake 7-29-2012

Kayak Jame River/Springfield Lake 7-29-2012

Much thanks to Brian D. for the leap of faith in building a boat with me. I'm not used to having someone else in the garage to BS with. It was cool and I'm happy to have gotten the chance to share the fun of having a water craft come together by your own two hands. Also, thanks to Dave Gentry for the plans. A week later he was charging for these and we were lucky to squeak in on the free side. I'm sure I'll be buying a plan set or two from him in the future. Also, thanks to Jeff of Kudzu Craft for all of the speedy deliveries (two spools of artificial sinew and 26 feet of 8oz polyester cloth).

www.gentrycustomboats.com www.kudzucraft.com

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Macrame for Dudes

Net needle

When I got home Saturday from Michigan, I had a letter from the state saying that I needed to fill out another form and send them six more dollars in the mail to register my outrigger sailing canoe. The first forms and fees were even filled out by the local DMV and I sent them sometime around the 6th of June, so I'm not real happy about a further wait killing my summer sailing season. But, rather than bitch about state government bureaucracy that gets you nowhere even worse than the actual bureaucracy, I'm whiling away the time by working on a net hammock trampoline for my outrigger canoe.

It seemed like a good idea when I started, but is taking quite a bit of time to see results. The final net should measure about seven feet by 20 inches. The good news is that I'm getting pretty handy with a sheet bend and I made the netting needle myself. It's like macrame for those afraid to say, "Yeah, um, I do macrame."

net outrigger trampoline in progress

net outrigger trampoline in progress

net outrigger trampoline in progress

Great Lakes Boat Museum and Other Things of a Nautical Nature in Michigan

I spent last week in Michigan. We packed our little family into the trusty Subaru and drove 1,000 miles up to Gaylord (and another 1,000 back), where my mom and her husband have a summer home. We did plenty of side trips while we were there, visiting Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Traverse City, Lake Charlevoix, the Upper Peninsula and Mackinac Island. Rather than show all 300 some odd photos from the trip, I'll just post some of the ones pertaining to nautical things.

Great Lakes Boat Museum

great lakes boat museum, glen haven, michigan

great lakes boat museum, glen haven, michigan

great lakes boat museum, glen haven, michigan

great lakes boat museum, glen haven, michigan

great lakes boat museum, glen haven, michigan

great lakes boat museum, glen haven, michigan

great lakes boat museum, glen haven, michigan

great lakes boat museum, glen haven, michigan

great lakes boat museum, glen haven, michigan

Photo Jul 08, 4 51 58 PM_s

Sleeping Bear Point Coast Guard Station Maritime Museum

great lakes boat museum, glen haven, michigan

great lakes boat museum, glen haven, michigan

great lakes boat museum, glen haven, michigan

great lakes boat museum, glen haven, michigan

great lakes boat museum, glen haven, michigan

great lakes boat museum, glen haven, michigan

great lakes boat museum, glen haven, michigan

great lakes boat museum, glen haven, michigan

great lakes boat museum, glen haven, michigan

steadfast sea captain gwen, great lakes boat museum, glen haven, michigan

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

sleeping bear dunes national lakeshore

sleeping bear dunes national lakeshore

sleeping bear dunes national lakeshore

sleeping bear dunes national lakeshore

sleeping bear dunes national lakeshore

sleeping bear dunes national lakeshore

Mackinac Island, Bridge, Ferry and Area Lighthouses

ferry, mackinac island, michigan

ferry, mackinac island, michigan

ferry, mackinac island, michigan

ferry, mackinac island, michigan

mackinac island, michigan

mackinac island, michigan

mackinac island, michigan

mackinac island

lake huron, mackinac island

lake huron, mackinac island

mackinac island

Round Island Lighthouse round island lighthouse Mackinac Point Lighthouse mackinac point lighthouse

And lastly, a coffee shop logo in Traverse City and a book I picked up on Mackinac Island

traverse city, even the coffee shops have a nautical theme

a book i picked up on mackinac island

I hadn't meant to make this trip about my fixation on all things nautical and maritime, but it worked out well to my interest completely by accident. I wish I had had more time to go over the museums in more detail, but we were governed by the attention span of a three-year-old. Next time, maybe.