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  1. My $.02. I believe the best way to avoid the seizure problem is to liberally use grease on the threads. I was once told that oil is for moving parts and grease is for parts that do not move. Likely an urban legend. Anyway, I have used grease and never an issue, but I use Malone racks which I believe, for totally irrational reasons, are made to deal with high corrosion environments being from Maine. Ed Lawson
  2. "Using my old Standard Horizon HX850S for which I can no longer get a replacement Lithium Ion pack" Bummer! Batteries for some radios are available for years and years while batteries for others disappear quickly. No way to know I assume when you buy. Nothing like having an otherwise perfectly good bit of gear that is unusable due to lack of replacement parts. For some reason batteries for my my antique HX-270S are readily available and a good price. Seems to be true for the more mundane radios which may reflect installed base. Batteries for Ham radio HTs tend to be available for many years and long after manufacturers stop supplying which I suspect due to size of market which invites third party suppliers to step in..
  3. Apparently Swain's is a more popular kayaking destination than I thought. Ed Lawson
  4. Oops, it is a white orange nun so I guess they would go into wharf with it on starboard which makes some sense as farther from rocks. Ed Lawson
  5. Joe: Impressive work. Believe Peter's suggestion giving ferry routes a wide berth/wider marking a good one. With regard to the Swan's ferry, I wonder if the white/orange can suggests they normally turn in prior to green buoy. FWIW, Google maps seems to show this. Ed Lawson
  6. My suggestion is contact Pinniped Kayak http://www.pinnipedkayak.com/ to see if you could arrange a day trip or two to get a feel of the area and some local knowledge if you have not paddled this part of coast before. You are in a wonderful area for paddling and hope you enjoy your time there. As you doubtless know, on a good day anybody can go anywhere. On a bad day best to stay ashore. Unfortunately, it can be a good day and a bad day on the same day on the same stretch of water; especially in this area. So giving specific trip suggestions has to assume a great deal. For various reasons there are often good conditions for paddling someplace around MDI and there is a nice guide specific to MDI. https://www.amazon.com/Kayakers-Guide-Mount-Desert-Island/dp/0892723807 Stonington archipelago usually provides good paddling as the water is rather protected. Above MDI the need for good seamanship becomes more important. I once heard a fisherman on Beal Island give sage advice. "If you don't know when to go home, you won't." Near Dryer Bay, the area Northeast of Bois Bubert has some nice islands to visit and going out to the Petit Manan light to see the puffins can be a real treat. Area from Jonesport to Lubec provides absolutely stunning paddling, but it is also absolutely no place to casually go paddling the further North you go. I believe it is fair to say many have found paddling in this area transformational and you should sample it if at all possible. You may find these guides helpful for specific trips and planning: https://amcstore.outdoors.org/collections/books-maps/products/amc-best-sea-kayaking-ne https://www.amazon.com/Kayaking-Maine-Coast-Paddlers-Cobscook-dp-0881507059/dp/0881507059/ref=dp_ob_title_bk Ed Lawson
  7. You can buy compass roses printed on transparent plastic film with a sticky side to "tape" on a chart which might be a solution meeting your needs. Usually they can be found at marine supply shops. I have used them in the past to add a rose to a chart segment I had copied. Ed Lawson
  8. Harley is a good guy (and a reformed/recovering lawyer like Tom Bergh). I have been happy with purchases. He carries good stuff. Have no idea about instruction, but he has a great deal of practical knowledge having paddled along the coast for years. Ed Lawson
  9. Bill wrote: "With a verbal SOS, Pan-Pan, or Sécurité some human has to hear and recognize what you are saying. Then they have to ask you where you are, and understand your answer, assuming you accurately know where you are. Alternatively, the Coast Guard has pretty good direction finding systems, but nothing close to GPS accuracy. The Coast Guard also doesn't have 100% coverage close to land where kayakers tend to play. " Very good points. Verbal communication can be more difficult than expected and lack of accurate location info can be a huge issue. I suspect we have all heard the CG ask for help in locating a vessel which has indicated they have a problem, but could not provide accurate and precise location information. I believe CG signal triangulation is at best @1 degree accurate which is no small error looking for a needle in a haystack. The signal strength needed for good verbal communication is much greater than needed for digital protocols like DSC which is another important consideration. Here is coverage map for CG VHF coverage in NE. Coverage maps are calculated and not the result of empirical tests. They assume a 1 watt transmitter 2M above ocean surface. They do not indicate antenna performance, but assume they are thinking fixed mount antennas. Our handhelds have miserable antennas in comparison and the difference in height matters as well. Note the gaps in coverage in Maine which might be relevant to kayakers as Bill said. Those gaps apply to voice and DSC as DSC uses one of the VHF marine channels. As Joseph said redundancy is good and it is always possible to be in a location where your radio is essentially useless because nobody will hear you. Something to consider when assessing risk and gear to have. Ed Lawson
  10. DSC= digital selective calling. In practical terms it is a feature of a radio with GPS and vessel ID set (important components) that enables the operator in distress to punch a button and a digital distress call will be sent using the vessels GPS coordinates and an identification number. Part of the DSC system is also that any nearby vessels will automatically retransmit the distress call if they receive it which increases the odds the distress call will be heard by an appropriate agency like the CG to respond. AIS= automatic identification system. In practical terms it is a radio system which functions as a transponder broadcasting at regular intervals and provides information about the vessel as well as speed and course. Websites that display ship data are using data from AIS systems. https://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/home/centerx:-37.2/centery:40.0/zoom:4 For fun, pick a vessel close to shore and click on it. You can drill down and get a good deal of info. A ham radio friend of mine likes to contact hams onboard ships and uses AIS to find out about the ship he has contacted. There is a lot to be said for having a properly setup DSC equipped radio as it provides enhanced ability to have a distress signal heard and acted upon. Not the least of which the rescue service will have very good location information. Ed
  11. I am likely missing something, but I do not see the advantage of a floating radio and instead see potential disadvantages. Like Gary, I believe the radio should be tethered to the PFD if you are going to have it "at the ready". In that case why is floating necessary? Maybe easier to retrieve? On the other hand, to make a floating radio, it must have a specific gravity of less than one and to accomplish that the manufacturers in the past have used lighter materials, smaller batteries, and increased, less dense volume. They are getting better, but those traits are not positive ones to me. As for selecting a radio, here are some general random thoughts. If you paddle solo and/or in consequential environments, consider a DSC model. It provides an enhanced level of help for keeping a bad day one in which you dodge the farm again to one in which you don't. Play with any radio you are considering. Does it have a solid and tough heft? See how it fits in you hand with and without gloves you might wear. How easy is it to use with cold water gloves? How are buttons placed and how easy to select? How easily and well does the radio scan selected channels, perform dual watch, and respond to weather alerts? These are often used modes of operation so ease of use important. How clear and loud is the audio? How easy to read is the display in bright sunlight? Is the display cluttered or simple? How stiff is the antenna (seriously, a flexible antenna is much better)? How secure is the battery pack attachment and is there a gasket? When you remove the battery pack, what are the contacts like, is there any indication water could easily intrude on the electronics? Any exposed metal on the radio? Are exposed charging contacts gold plated and/or replaceable? Its a bummer to have a fully functional radio with iffy, irreplaceable corroded charging contacts. What jacks are on the radio and how are they "sealed"? Personally I do not like any jacks because even if they are watertight, they will corrode and become iffy unless sealed well as in a couple of layers of electrical tape. The listed RF specifications for most radios are quite close, but not a bad idea to check receive sensitivity by comparing how many NOAA WX stations you can receive when checking radios. Overall, the two good manufacturers readily available are Icom and Standard Horizon, but don't assume that means any radio from them will be good. Nerdy stuff. Some radios are rated for 6 watts and some are rated 5 watts. This is an insignificant difference and should be ignored when selecting a radio. You may notice that some models are available as "intrinsically safe" versions. Those models are commercial grade radios. Commercial grade as opposed to consumer grade models are made to "take a beating and keep on ticking" and to do so for a long time. Given the abuse a kayaker's radio is often subjected to, a radio more in the commercial grade line might be a better choice. My opinion is manufacturers do not design/make marine HT radios for the use kayakers subject them to in terms of water exposure. Saying a radio is IPX7 or 8 rated is simply saying the radio can be submerged once in quiet water for a brief period of time, taken out, and the water intrusion will be minor and not keep the radio from working. It does not mean the same can be said if the radio is repeatedly subjected to being submerged over years, if it is subjected to dynamic water forces, or if the controls are used when wet. Let alone the cumulative impact of being consistently subjected to a very corrosive environment. Also, having an IPX 7 or 8 ratings does not mean a radio will meet lower IPX ratings. For example the IPX5 and 6 rating tests the ability of a device to survive being subjected to jets of water ( think being hammered by a wave), but I am unaware of a marine HT radio having an IPX5 or 6 rating. Interestingly, fixed mount marine radios with IPX 6 and 7/8 ratings are readily available. Ed Lawson
  12. Thanks for the tip. My Bahiya has always turned slowly so during the Spring tune-up I will check weight of compass oil. Ed Lawson
  13. While there are south and north hemisphere compasses, compass oil is different for north and south hemisphere use? I have read the fluid used varies based on age and manufacturer of the compass. Ed Lawson
  14. Bill wrote: "I then removed the pack and checked the voltage and found a voltage of 3 something volts. " Seems odd given the other person reporting they used them OK in series to a higher voltage, but using many of them them in series seems a little sketchy to me. In any event 3V definitely too low for the radio to function. If limited to .8A draw, that would enable only about a watt out at best. If voltage OK, then does have capacity for radio to function on receive. Of course that is not why you have the radio. Interesting the battery rated at 750mAh, but will not allow more than .8A draw. Ed Lawson
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