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About rpg51

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    Rob Gerety

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    Paddling, Birding, Arctic

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    802 296 1243

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  1. Pintail - this is pretty much where I have ended up. My truck bed is open so I use Spring Creek aluminum racks that clamp on to the rails. I am very happy with them. No corrosion. They come with slide out extenders that actually work and they can be a big help when I am loading up by myself with my old man shoulders that have been cut open and fixed more than once. Highly recommended. https://www.springcreek.com/product/paddle-sports/one-tuff-truck-rack/
  2. I was just joking Prudence. I think you knew that. I think of my tripping canoes like old beater pickup trucks. They do get beaten on and I long ago gave up any concern about their appearance. These boats are tools used to help me get into beautiful places that I otherwise would never be able to experience. Now, these gleaming new composite kayaks are a little different I suppose. But, not to worry, it will be in the salt and it will have plenty of battle scars in due course if I can somehow find a free moment from my ridiculous work schedule that is turning out to be almost 7 days a week. But, you know about that as well. Also, I have to get myself on the winning side of my life long weight control battle! All of this will come to pass.
  3. Hmmm. You mean I actually have to put this thing in the water? Wouldn't that run the risk of scratching it? I thought they were supposed to just hang on the wall and look pretty, no? I don't use a cap on my pickup, just an open bed with two racks, about a 5 foot spread. I used to use a yakima clamp-on cross bar for the front. But, no matter how careful I am, the darn yakima clamp on system always seems to chew up the paint where it clamps on the door frame, and you do get some twisting between the bed and the cab. So, last year I switched to two racks attached to the pick up bed rails. Looks like you all do something pretty similar to what I do. I guess I'll stick with the flatish foam pad and upside down method. I've been through every rack, bar, and cradle system known to man.
  4. I have an Aries. I travel with a pick up truck. I have two racks in the bed spaced about 6 feet apart. the cross bar is high enough to carry the boat either way and the bow will clear the cab roof. I tend to use simple foam blocks that fit on each cross bar and provide a fairly flat - slightly v shape - foam surface for the boat. What do you think? Right side up? Or, upside down? My habit is upside down on the theory that it gives a more aerodynamic presentation and keeps any water out of the boat even without a cockpit cover. But, am I risking cosmetic or other damage to the deck from contact with the foam? I'm a rope guy, not a strap guy. I use a trucker's hitch with a locking finish knot. The hull gets snugged up pretty tight. Doesn't move much at all. Very stable and secure.
  5. rpg51

    Fourth Annual NSPN Bar Harbor Retreat

    Hey, wait a minute, isn't that my Aries? (Pic#13). Looks like a nice bunch and a great time. I know for sure it is one of the special places on this good earth.
  6. rpg51


    I have used handheld Garmin GPS units for years and years mostly on canoe trips in the Canadian Arctic and in northern Maine as well. But, last year I sold my Garmin in favor of the apple iPhone in a waterproof case teathered to my pfd and in a pfd pocket. I was surprised to learn that the newer iPhones and non-cell enabled iPads have a very good gps chip which, with power management practices, will provide excellent gps accuracy and very long battery life. On a long multi week trip you can carry a small recharge battery and easily make the iphone last the entire trip. There are apps galore available to do pretty much anything you like. I use the popular navigation app Gaia for common gps style map navigation. I see no need for a Garmin gps now, watch or otherwise. In fact, in my opinion, the iPhone is superior. Certainly, it is far more versatile in that it provides a host of other functions as well. Just get a really good waterproof case and test it. The other device that is worth considering is the "inReach" device, now owned and marketed by Garmin. I own an inReach and I like it a lot. It is not very expensive. Is is small and easy to carry. The service plans allow you to suspend during the off season. The gps function is as accurate as any. The gps is rudimentary and clunky to operate, not unlike a gps watch, but it works well I it may well do all that you want to do PLUS give you the ability to send messages, emergency and otherwise, when you are outside cell range. It works like a sat phone only no voice function, just text and e mail. I noticed last year that bush pilots in the Yukon are using it. I suppose along the coast you generally have cell service and maybe VHF is sufficient, so perhaps the satellite messaging is not that important. But, if you are going to an area with no cell service, where a VHF call might not find a response, the inReach is a nice fairly inexpensive way to communicate. I favor it over the Spot because it works in the high arctic, and unless things have changed in the last couple of years, I don't believe the Spot service is reliable up there. Also worth noting, the inReach device will pair with your iPhone via blue tooth to increase its utility in the messaging department. I do not use this feature because it uses battery power. But, others may like it.
  7. rpg51


    The more I read your comments and watch video reviews etc. the more I am warming up to the Icon rear entry. Still worried about whether my old defective shoulders will allow me to get in and out by myself. I guess I should find a local dealer and try one. I do like the idea of eliminating that thick zipper across my chest and getting it up and out of the way. Tell me though, is there a way to leave the bottom of suit on when you are enjoying a shore lunch or in camp but remove the neck and wrists and let it drape somehow? Can you get, or do you need, suspenders like on the expedition. Also, does the back zipper interfere with your pfd fit?
  8. rpg51


    Jonathan - how do you find that back zip as far as ease of entry and zipping? I've got worn out shoulders. Raising arms up and twisting arms up high is tough. Its tough getting old! Edit - I just watched a youtube of a guy putting the Icon on. If my shoulders were 30 years old instead of 65 years old I would definitely go with the back zip. As it is, that back zip is going to be hard for me. Your talking PAIN. What troubles did you have with the Radius? Given my old body - that waist zip looks very appealing.
  9. rpg51


    I once owned a Kokatat Expedition. It is a good suit for sure. The new two piece suits are intriguing. But, sounds like there are issues.
  10. rpg51


    I am going to purchase a new dry suit for next season. What is your favorite dry suit for kayaking?
  11. rpg51

    Aries 150

    This is a very generous offer and ordinarily I would jump on it. Especially the paddling part. I will shoot you a PM or e mail to explain why a paddle isn't possible this season. But, yes, if we can work out a time I would love to have 10 minutes on the lawn to check the fit. I'll be in touch. Thanks!
  12. rpg51

    Aries 150

    I wonder if anyone here has an Aries 150 who might allow me to sit in it on a lawn or something for about 5 minutes to check fit? I'm in Vermont but I could travel a good long ways for the opportunity. Maybe a bottle of wine for the chance to sit in your kayak?
  13. Glorious trip. Good lord I love the north. I have never used a guide on a trip - but I have also never been in an environment like that. I would definitely want some one along who has been there before for sure. You won't soon forget that trip!
  14. rpg51

    Sea kayaker numbers

    I think there has always been a large population of paddlers who are not interested in paddling in large groups and joining clubs.
  15. rpg51

    Sea kayaker numbers

    It is interesting reading this thread. I'm 65 yo. I've watched the changes over the years. When I was a young guy it was all about paddling tripping canoes on trips and in local whitewater, also whitewater kayaking and C-1s. As the years went along there were fewer and fewer people doing any real canoe tripping. Rec kayaks took over the world. Sea kayaks came on strong. Driving on i95 in northern new england and you saw very few canoes on cars and trucks. Tons of kayaks. Right now my impression is that kids are not spending time in the outdoors in the same numbers that they once did and that is slowly eating away at the numbers of paddlers of any sort. I could be wrong, but that is my impression of where we are now. As far as joining groups and group paddles - I think many paddlers are not joiners. Many are in the sport for the solitude and peace it provides. I know that is how I feel. We tend to find people in our communities that are like minded. This June I went on a short 5 day canoe jaunt with a friend in northern Maine to a spot we often frequent. We had the area to ourselves. Not another paddler to be seen. Truth is, we enjoyed it a great deal. It was odd though, in the past there would be many paddlers in that area at that time of year.