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    Topsfield MA
  • Interests
    Playing in wild and exotic landscapes (vertical rock, frozen waterfalls, desert canyons, alpine meadows, coral reefs, bumpy glades, rock gardens, surf zones, galactic clusters), cycling, and antique houses

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  1. Nice photos! Obviously, some natural talent there. He has a good eye for composition. Blaine
  2. Many thanks for posting this article. During my two years on a remote W. Samoan island in the late '60s, not too far from the Marshall Islands, I was surprised and baffled by the fact that I almost never saw a local out in the open sea beyond the coral reef. They spent much of their time fishing from outrigger canoes, but only within the calm lagoon -- despite the fish stock there being seriously depleted. Their ancestors had traveled vast distances to settle these islands, but by all appearances the skills that brought them were sadly long lost. In fact, when another volunteer and I talked with locals about our plan to paddle our canoes 50 miles, with an 8-mi. open ocean crossing and a difficult rocky landing, to attend the independence celebration in Apia, every Samoan we talked to thought we were insane and tried to dissuade us. Returning to our villages two weeks later, we were surprised that news of our success/survival had preceded us despite a complete lack of modern communication. Ever since, I've been fascinated and delighted by the resurgence among native Hawaiians and other Pacific peoples of interest in their ancient cultures and heritage, and especially their mysterious ancient navigation ability. And having attended several of John Huth's wonderfully informative and entertaining NSPN presentations over the years, this article resonated doubly for me. Blaine
  3. Way to go Cathy!! And you did it without even trying. Blaine
  4. Pintail, You lucky guy!! I've paddled that stretch for many years keeping my eyes peeled (antiquated expression??) and never saw even one animal. So can't help you with the identification. Blaine
  5. That explains it. Ever since having my latex gaskets replaced with CG, my forearms have been getting wet up to the elbow. I'm going back to latex. More comfortable too. Blaine
  6. I'm bringing a rainbow farfalline (pasta) salad.
  7. Kurt, thanks for sharing your beautiful trip. Having cycled around much of Novia Scotia, including Cape Breton, I have fond memories and want to go back and explore it by kayak. This is a little more inspiration to make that happen. Blaine
  8. Bill -- thanks for the tip. My sprayskirt is 7 years old, patched, glued, and badly needing replacement and I'm seriously considering this one. Could be a great solution for those of us who've learned how easy it is to get into trouble in this critical area. Blaine
  9. Very important advice, Jason, and something I keep in mind whenever I attach something to my pfd or boat. The ball I added to the grab loop is 2 in. in diameter and I tested it all around the cockpit. I could not find any way for it to get hung up. Of course, that's no guarantee so I have a sharp knife on my pfd as a backup.
  10. I can find Odiorne, but can anyone tell me how to find the boat launch from there? Thx.
  11. A bunch of years ago while in over my head surfing some six-footers I got seriously maytagged, blew my roll, and went to pop my skirt but couldn't find the grab loop. It was November, I was wearing thick neoprene gloves, and suddenly realized that I had no tactile sensation to feel the loop. Lucky for me, I had practiced releasing the skirt from the side. But limited dexterity with thick gloves was making it very tough to pinch-grip the edge. So I tried pulling off a glove but they were wet on the inside and that was impossible. I was pretty much out of options and beginning to panic. I tried again to release the skirt from the side and after several more increasingly frantic efforts with fingers slipping off, finally got it. Since that "near miss" I've been a crusader for having every new paddler practice releasing the skirt WITHOUT the grab loop, in as many ways as possble. That incident also drilled into me that anytime I add anything new to my pfd, deck, or dress I need to include it when practicing self-rescues. Winter gloves made something I'd practiced much harder and could have made for a bad outcome. Down at my local pond recently testing a new pfd, I discovered the different pocket configuration was causing my cowboy to fail . Turns out that anything bulky, like a radio, in the right front pocket of my pfd makes a cowboy nearly impossible. After that surfing incident I attached a small hard rubber ball to my grab loop. Looks dorky as hell but it serves two purposes. It makes it more obvious when the loop is tucked under the skirt. And it makes it much easier to find the grab loop, especially when wearing winter gloves. I'm also considering adding a small pull tap to each side of the skirt, something I can grip with gloves but small enough to minimize the entaglement hazard.
  12. Paul, I'm interested. In seven years of paddling I still have not gone around Gerrish. But if others want to skip the circumnav and play instead, I'd be ok with that too. Blaine
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