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About billvoss

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    You could have had a skin-on-frame!
  • Birthday June 12

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  • Gender Male
  • Location Hollis, NH

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  • First Name Bill
  • Last Name Voss
  • Phone Number 603-465-3916

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  1. Walden resumes this Wednesday! I sure hope to have some company. For further details see the NSPN Walden Calendar entry.

    Congratulations to both of you!
  3. Walden Pond Skills and Stupid Kayak Tricks

    Greenland rolling, euro-paddle rolling, goose-decoy rolling, norsaq rolling, hand rolling, rescue practice, standing up in a kayak and juggling, sitting in kayaks talking without every getting wet, strokes practice, stupid kayak tricks, Walden Pond on Wednesday evenings has something for nearly every kayaker. Come join us. It is on the calendar for 2016 from June 1st through August 31st, though some people may keep going even longer. For those new to Walden, I played around with Google Maps and created this custom map showing the following places. Main Parking Entrance: You purchase your parking pass at the main parking lot entrance. Most regulars purchase a season pass, which is much more convenient than waiting in line during the peak season. We rarely park in the main parking lot unless we arrive late, or need the bathroom facilities in the main parking area. Boat Ramp Entrance: There is a gravel driveway on the other side of the road just a bit south of the main parking lot which leads to the boat ramp. Boat Ramp: Only cars with boats or handicapped tags are supposed to use the limited boat ramp parking. Be nice to the rangers, most of whom will react by being quite nice. Though a few are very "by the book" grumpy types. The rangers announce the boat ramp will be closing usually 20 to 30 minutes before it closes. The rangers close the boat ramp parking lot, and the in-gate for main parking, half an hour before the main parking lot closes. Beach Bathhouse: There are also larger bathroom/changing facilities at the main beach, a short walk from the boat ramp, though with more limited days and hours. We usually practice here: An initial pod of kayaks usually launches around 5:30pm. If you get there late, no problem, just paddle to the other end of the pond from the boat ramp where you will usually find us practicing out of sight from the boat ramp. There is no leader, but I hope to be a Walden Pond regular again this year. I also hope to see lots of new and old faces this year! -Bill Voss
  4. Manhatten Circumnavigation

    Somehow April 1st seems appropriate. Have fun!
  5. To be an ocean kayaker (the thread title), you need an ocean, a kayak, and a paddle. If your kayak is not a sit-on-top, you need a spray skirt [neoprene recommended] or equivalent. (Renting or buying used is recommended for people new to the sport.) If you are a beginner and go out with just that minimum, you may be written about in the paper, and discussed as an idiot in this forum. If you also aspire to be a prudent modern ocean kayaker, first you need education and companions. Both of which are available for free (via places like NSPN), or with paid lessons and guided trips (for example Charles River Canoe and Kayak). Reading Deep Trouble 1&2 (via the library or Amazon) is great winter preparation. Following the "three to sea" minimum rule is a good idea at least until you are near expert. For safety, first you need a PFD (ideally a high flotation model with 20+ pounds buoyancy, not a legal minimum 15 pound model) and a whistle. Next ideally you (or at least your group) needs ways of calling for outside help such as VHF radios (ideally DSC with GPS), possibly supplemented with PLBs, and cell phones. Your next investment is thermal protection appropriate for the sea temperature where/when you intend to paddle. If you are comfortable getting into the water at each put-in before each segment of your paddle, you are wearing appropriate thermal protection. Around here, if you want to be on the ocean more than about one month a year, you will want a drysuit. Adding a bilge pump and compass are cheap potentially very useful additions. (I bring a bailing sponge instead of a bilge pump when white-water kayaking, but I only bring a bilge pump when ocean kayaking.) I always wear a helmet that I can also use to pour water over my head (no vent/drains). It is a hat that stays on in the wind. A few times each year it takes a hit for me. I am in the minority, but definitely recommend them. Paddle floats have their own thread. I carried a foam float my first two years because my first instructor strongly recommended foam over inflatable because they don't require any time to deploy. He assumed the float would be used to assist a reentry by a paddler wearing marginal thermal protection. Later I switched to inflatable because I knew I would be wearing a drysuit, and I was unlikely to be using the float to assist me during a reentry (they have other uses). Dry bags are extremely useful. Charts and GPS systems so you know where you are. Tow systems to assist others in your group. If a new kayaker was going rent their kayak, paddle, spray skirt and PFD, and always travel with a group. My first purchases would be dry bags (for lunch and gear), a drysuit, a personal high-float PFD to which I would attach a whistle and cheap compass, a VHF radio, and a helmet. Probably in that order.
  6. Free stuff...

    For a rolling video, I'll crank the old VCR. Which continent is Gloucester on again? Is it reachable from Hollis, NH, USA?
  7. Forum Upgrade

    Succeeded in paying for a pool session. Went to get the waiver, which says is at However, that link gives a page does not exist error.
  8. Forum Upgrade

    Hi Rob, The uncompleted transaction shows up under Orders. NSPN Message Board | Store | Orders Shows Order #1319 as Pending On the far right are PayNow and Cancel Invoice buttons. When I click PayNow it takes me to Checkout Step 2 (Confirm & Pay) When I then click the "Place Order And Pay" button I stay on the Checkout Step 2 page, but the content changes to. ! There was an error processing the payment. Please try a different payment method or contact us for assistance. with a red background. There is also a Confirm & Pay button with a gray button, when I click "Confirm & Pay" the screen simply refreshes. We still have time, I'm trying to purchase 1/23/16. One of the rare afternoon pool sessions. -Bill Voss P.S. When I tried to PM you I got: Maintenance in progress We're sorry, but this website is currently unavailable. You can try again by clicking the button below, or try again later. Try again I'm not certain if that was a software issue, or just bad timing. Though the "Try again" button did not seem to do anything.
  9. Forum Upgrade

    Tried to buy a pool session, it failed with an error about processing my payment. Probably because it neglected to ask me how I wanted to pay.
  10. Winter reading

    My first winter as a beginner, I greatly enjoyed reading and was greatly influenced by: Sea Kayaker's Deep Trouble: True Stories and Their Lessons from Sea Kayaker Magazine Paperback – May 22, 1997 For the video crowd, I was surprised to greatly enjoy Justine Curgenven's “This is the Sea” series. Nobody who knows me will be surprised to learn I'm requesting even more rolling videos on my X-mas list again this year!
  11. Punter vs. Paddler

    Hi Leon, I think we may both remain unconvinced on precisely how to define the Power required for fast current, though we both seem to reach the same conclusion in everything but magnitude. Last night as I tried to fall asleep, I thought about the results for slow current. Would the paddler always win if the current was a fraction of a knot? One subtle advantage the paddler has over the poler is the paddler can select from a wide range of paddles. The largest wing paddle money can buy is certainly not always the best choice for all possible race distances and paddlers. Just like the most aggressive gear on a bicycle is not always the most efficient choice. The poler is normally in the situation of riding a fixed speed bike, with no option to change the gearing, even in the shop. If that fixed gear works well for that poler in that race, great. Otherwise, too bad. However, if the poler could pick the current for the race, the poler would be in the same situation as a fixed speed cyclist who could pick the grade for a race, or chance his cycle's gearing in the shop. The poler and paddler always tied in a zero current race. I assume the paddler is already always selecting the best paddle for each race. If zero current was a harder than optimal gear for the poler, then by selecting the right current, the poler might be able to improve their bio-mechanics enough to win! Unfortunately, I don't have enough experience poling to know if zero current poling is ever a harder than optimal gear for a poler. Enjoy another day in the sun Leon. -Bill
  12. Punter vs. Paddler

    My turn Leon, I still maintain you need to credit the punter with the benefit of the current. Expressed another way, the current provides some of the power to both vessels. Expressed another way, you can not use one frame of reference (the ground) for one vessel, and another frame of reference (the water) for the other vessel when comparing the power required to win a race relative to the ground. I assert power can be defined as how much force it takes to move something over a distance, divided by the time it takes to move that distance. You can use any frame of reference you want for distance, so long as you use the same frame of reference for both vessels. As I originally posted, the punter must push at Still Speed + Current Speed (S + C) against the ground, which becomes impossible for a human for large values of C. However, it is impossible because the punter must push the POLE so fast. The punter must only accelerate the punt to S relative to the current for all values of C to tie the paddler. Yet the same poler who supposedly can not generate 5*100,004 pound-knots would easily generate 5*200,000 pound-knots in your example if the speed of the current was doubled! In your Piscataqua River example, put the two ropes into tension so they act like beams. The supertanker's rope is now tied to a second large ship pulling on the rope so it overtakes the supertanker extremely slowly. The bridge is now tied to a stationary anchor. Your ferry attaches an electric motor to the stationary rope and the motor starts spinning and generating electricity. You have in essence a short duration hydro-electric plant! That electricity is because of the power contributed by the current. Disconnect from the stationary rope and connect to the supertanker's rope, the motor does not spin. Now apply a current so that the motor pulls the ferry down the supertanker's rope at 1 knot relative to the rope (4 knots relative to the ground) towards the supertanker. Note how many watts are required to achieve that speed, and the motor's RPMs. Disconnect from the supertanker rope, adjust the motor's gearing so the same motor RPM would pull four times as fast as before. Apply the same wattage as before with the motor connected to the stationary rope. I believe you will find that the motor achieves the same RPM and the ferry achieves the same 4 knot speed relative to the ground as before. The power (watts) required is the same in both cases to accelerate the ferry to 1 knot relative to the current. As a thought experiment, suppose my young nephew throws a toy, and applies enough force to throw the toy 10 feet in 6 seconds across a waiting area. Later, while riding in a jet plane going 600 miles an hour, the nephew applies the same force causing the same toy to travel approximately 1 mile and 10 feet down the aisle in 6 seconds. I can tell you that my nephew contributed the same amount of power in both cases, but the jet definitely contributed way more, allowing the second throw to easily win a "Distance in 6 seconds race!" I hope this will convince you. Respectfully, -Bill P.S. I'm very jealous of your play between posts. Between health issues and contractor hell, I haven't made it out on the water since September 7th, though I'm looking forward to a pool session this Saturday on December 5th.
  13. Punter vs. Paddler

    Perhaps you should have stopped with "Andy and Bill are quite right" Leong. I don't think your formula applies. By the way, my first read of your description was that 5 pounds of drag existed when traveling at 4 knots. Not that 5 pounds * 4 knots was the appropriate formula, since we all know that drag increases exponentially, not linearly as speed increases. However, back to my main objection. The punt's drag is predominantly a function of the punt against the water, not a function of the punter's pole. Just because the punter is pushing on the ground does not negate the benefit of the current. So you still need to credit the punter with 5 pounds times 2 knots in your (power = force * speed) formula example. If the punter requires exactly the same amount of power to match the kayaker on still water a 4 knots, the punter does not require 50% more power to match the kayaker's speed when both have a 2 knot current assist. Consider this mind experiment. Old manually powered ferries hauled on a stationary cable to move the water craft. Assume the ferry and the kayak achieve the same speed in races over still water. Now repeat the race going down current. If the ferryman is manually pulling directly on the cable, the situation is almost equivalent to the punt. However, equip the ferry with gears like a bicycle, and assume the friction losses from the gearing are the same in current as in still water. Then I believe the ferryman and the kayak will still be essentially tied going downstream. The difference is that now the gearing can be adjusted so that the ferryman uses the exact same aerobic output at the exact same cadence in any reasonable current. So the ferryman does not suffer from current moving faster than the punter can pole. Regarding going upstream. The NH AMC White Water group includes some canoe poling enthusiasts. Though I have not poled a canoe, my understanding is that the huge advantage of poling is that it is practical to pole upstream in current too fast to paddle upstream. I believe a combination of poling upstream and paddling downstream was used by fur traders in America before motorized transport was invented. So you are on the right track there Leong. I also agree with your analysis that if the speed of the current exceeds the vessel's still water race speed, the poler will certainly beat the paddler, since the paddler is washed downstream.
  14. Punter vs. Paddler

    Of course, I looked at your answer, then jazzed it up to make it look like you had copied off my answer.