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About rfolster

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    Tewksbury, MA
  • Interests
    Camping, Long Exploration Trips, Mentoring & Coaching

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  1. NSPN Membership Benefits!!

    I have reset your email address, and you should receive an invoice via email. Please email [email protected] if you need further assistance.
  2. NSPN Membership Benefits!!

    I will get you taken care of shortly. FYI, the email address is [email protected]
  3. Saturday 2/17 Portsmouth

    Latest ZONE forecast: NW winds 5 to 15 kt, becoming S in the afternoon. Gusts up to 25 kt. Seas 2 to 4 ft, subsiding to 1 to 2 ft in the afternoon. Point forecasts all read about 5-10 with no gusts, so will be windier offshore and better along and inside the coastline. I also don't believe we will see any of the 2-4 ft seas, as that will be offshore as well. It will be chilly, starting the trip around 25 degrees and maybe braking the freezing mark by the time we get off the water, but it should also be mostly sunny. It has been a while since I have done the Gerrish Island Circumnavigation, so I am proposing that as our trip route. We should be ready to launch by 9:30am from Kittery Point Wharf at Pepperell Cove (2 Bellamy Lane, across the street from the Post Office) and will have a beach briefing at that time, so make sure to have warm stuff to wear for that. Please PM or email robertfolster at verizon dot net with float plan info if you plan to go. I would like to have all the info by 5:00pm so I can send out copies of the float plan when I get home from work. Float Plan Info: Name and cell phone number Vehicle make, model, color, and plate number Boat make, model, and deck/hull colors Emergency contact name, relationship, and phone number
  4. Mid-Winter Party

    Details pending.....
  5. Saturday 2/17 Portsmouth

    Saturday's forecast has modified, and may continue to do so over the next day or so as the weather pattern is accelerating. Winds are now from the NW instead of the SW, which means benefits of running up the coast with the wind are gone, but also means we will get some protection from land. Here is what I am thinking about: - Piscataqua runs NW at Kittery - to - New Castle crossing, which puts flood directly opposing wind and could get a bit bumpy. Not unmanageable, but another risk to factor. - Wind against current is not strong and consistent enough to ensure any kind of a play-field. - Point forecasts indicate wind protection along the coast (zone = 10-20 knots /25 knot gusts) but points show less than 10 knots and diminishing during the day. - Off-shore wind is suppressing already small swell forecasts that was barely enough to provide any energy to play in the rocks. - One-way trip options either end pushing against the wind or start pushing against the tide. Both are still manageable, though. I am going to watch the forecast over the next couple of days and see if there are more changes. Please chime in with any of your thoughts.
  6. Saturday 2/17 Portsmouth

    Kittery Point Wharf at Pepperell Cove. Just east of Fort McClary.
  7. Saturday 2/17 Portsmouth

    Jim, there are two areas that I think might be what you speak of. One is a town park that might be gated for the winter (it is "officially closed" during the winter). The other is closer to the light house and is part of a UNH research facility - signs indicate resident stickers required and otherwise looks to be an officious area. I would suggest caution and potentially reaching out to someone in an official capacity to find out if the area is usable. Karen, maximum flood current for the crossing from Kittery to New Castle is about 1.5 knots at 10:45am on Saturday. There are no hard eddies to cross into the current, and dropping out along New Castle is uneventful just yards north or Fort Point. It can be a little swirly along the shore, but it is definitely manageable. I personally would aim to go around the south end of New Castle and enjoy the ride up through Little Harbor up to the inner islands or Four Tree Island (at the top of Peirce Island) for lunch, then use the changing tide to make for an easy trip back down and across the Piscataqua without having to fight the current again. But again, this overall trip option is not optimal as it pits us against both wind and current right at the beginning, but the worst is over in an hour.
  8. Saturday 2/17 Portsmouth

    I can't paddle on Sunday, so would still like to consider paddling on Saturday. Long-range forecast is for a Canadian cold front to bring temps just below freezing, with 8 knot winds / 15 knot gusts out of the southwest. Portsmouth options: Gerrish Island Circumnavigation: High tide is around 12:00-12:30pm, and the channel is navigable for only about 1 hour either side of HT. The current through the culvert flows N on the flood and S for the ebb, so a late-morning Kittery launch would ride us through the culvert and should give us plenty of water through the marsh. Only issue with this plan is that the ocean-side return might be into the wind at points, but will depend on how west or how south it actually comes from. Either way, it is forecast to be less than 10 knots steady, and gusts to 15 knots will be annoying but manageable. Going counterclockwise, we would need to be entering the marsh by noon-ish at the latest. It is about 5 miles to Brave Boat Harbor, plus a stop for lunch, puts us at about a 9:30am launch time. Downside to this trip is the wind might funnel through the marsh and Chauncey Creek, and may feel (or actually be) stronger than forecast. Newcastle Island Circumnavigation: Max flood at Fort Point is 10:42am with slack at 2:00pm, so a launch from Peirce Island will most likely see us fighting current at the beginning for an early launch, at the end for a late launch, and both for a mid-morning launch. Peirce Island boat ramp also has a $10 per vehicle parking / launching fee for kayakers. Odiorne has the same issue, but current at the launch location is slightly more manageable than Peirce. I don't recall any currents at the Kittery Launch, but getting to and from New Castle will require crossing the Piscataqua - doable but a challenge. One benefit of this trip is that it puts most of the challenge at the beginning of the trip (into the wind and crossing Piscataqua near max), while making for an easier return (wind to our back and Piscataqua at slack or beginning of ebb). Wallis Sands: Swell forecast is for a measly 6", but with an 11 second period. Not an epic rock-hoping day, but definitely good for working on timing for anyone with a plastic boat or those who don't care about a few scratches on fiberglass. Definitely not a boat-breaking day at all!! Fight the wind on the way down and get a ride back, but the beach is exposed to a SW wind, so finding a warm spot for lunch might be a challenge. Here is a very unique idea: Set up a shuttle and paddle from Wallis Sands to Odiorne or Peirce. We would have the wind pushing us up the coastline as we play in whatever swell we can find, we lunch at either Odiorne Point or on New Castle, and ride the last of the flood up to Peirce (slack at 2:25pm) or into Odiorne boat ramp. We could leave the majority of the cars at Wallis Sands, and leave two cars at the end. I have a 4-boat trailer, so can carry a total of six boats (two on the car) and a couple of passengers, plus one other vehicle that can carry a couple of boats should be enough to get everyone and their boats back to Wallis Sands. Shuttle will take less than 15 minutes each way. If we pay to park at Peirce, it would be good to split the cost among the entire group.
  9. Saturday 2/17 Portsmouth

    I'm a little confused about "Saturday's event in Gloucester" since the trip was to be out of Portsmouth.
  10. Easter Plunge Saturday 3/31/18

    Janet, you are welcome to join us, and we should have plenty of extra hoods on hand. We will start looking at the weather about one week before the trip and discuss our options on this posting, so please check back around that time.
  11. If the engine has shut off (seemed like it did), fuel fumes can build up in the engine compartment. If the fire gets to those fumes and there is enough build-up, then the potential is there.
  12. To continue this annual tradition now in it's 6th year, this will be a combination discussion/paddle/cold water practice event tailored to the wants and needs of the group. You’ll have the opportunity to review tips and techniques for dealing with cold weather and water, test out your gear while we do some cold water rescues, or just have a paddle! LOTS of hypo kits and chocolate will be on hand and careful attention will be paid to all paddlers’ condition and well-being. Come join us for this CAM (Chocolate Adventure Model) event. You must bring the following: - Food and a hot beverage - Drysuit with proper footwear and appropriate under layers (if you don't have a drysuit, inquire about borrowing or renting) - Neoprene cap or hood - Neoprene gloves or poggies - Wool or fleece hat - Wool or fleece gloves or mittens - Down or synthetic jacket that fits over your PFD If you have the following, you should also bring them: - Storm cag - Warm outer pant layer (worn at launch to unload and pack boat) - Spare under-layers (in case your primary set gets wet) - Padding to sit on (camp chair, carpet square, piece of foam, etc) - Hypo kit (various items to help deal with hypothermia for yourself and/or others) - Group shelter We recommend that everyone put together some form of hypothermia kit – see this post if you want more information on what to include: http://www.nspn.org/forum/topic/9825-hypo-kit/. Don’t feel overwhelmed by all the gear. The start of a good hypo kit is a thermos of hot tea/chocolate/soup/water and a warm jacket/blanket/tarp. Do you have any hand or feet warmers from skiing? An old yoga mat is a great ground pad. A tent fly would work as a wind shelter. Don’t worry about packability if it’s just a day paddle – you have plenty of room in your boat. Put together what you can and we will compare different ideas. If you would like to attend but don’t have a particular piece of kit, just let us know. We should have plenty of extra stuff on hand to care for everyone. So bring your bunny ears (really!) and join us for some cold water fun! We will even have extra ears on hand for those who don't have them. Location and details to be determined and will be very weather-dependent, but will most likely be in MA north of Boston. Post interest here or send me a Private Message.
  13. 2018 Pool Sessions (updated 2/6/18)

    Here is the latest update on pool sessions: Sunday, February 11 - 1 spot remaining Sunday, February 18 - Sold Out Saturday, February 24 - 1 spot remaining Saturday, March 17 - Sold Out Sunday, March 25 - 6 spots remaining Saturday, April 7 - 10 spots remaining Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow which is supposed to mean a long winter! Get your pool sessions while they last!
  14. Building on the Basic Trip Planning Workshop, or for those that already have some trip planning experience, this workshop will explore what goes into designing more challenging trips such as multi-day adventures, offshore journeys, stronger tidal environments, etc. Topics to be explored will include: Understanding aids to navigation Identifying tidal movements using chart topography Using tidal data to manage trip parameters Long-range weather forecasts and getting weather reports on the go Addling contingency plans Finding and identifying proper participants This workshop will be held on Sunday March 11th at the Reading REI Community Room from 11:30am to 4:30pm . It will be both instructional and interactive, and will include actual trip planning exercises. If you would like to attend, you must RSVP on the calendar event by clicking on the GOING button. If you have any questions or would like to request a particular topic not shown here, please feel free to post here or email [email protected] and I will reply as soon as possible.
  15. When running a trip, it is easy to just announce a launch time and location and hope for the best, but to actually plan and execute a safe and successful trip for all involved can be challenging. However, with a good foundation of trip-planning knowledge and some practice, trip planning can become an easy but worthy skill to have. This Basic Trip Planning Workshop is designed for paddlers who want to plan basic day trips in mild coastal or sheltered waters, and can be used as a precursor to the Advanced Trip Planning Workshop the following weekend. It can also be used for seasoned trip planners who wish to get back to basics to see if there is anything that they are missing. Some of the basic trip planning topics that we will cover include: Basic chart reading Finding information for weather, tides, and currents Deciding where to go How to post and manage the trip Other various considerations This workshop will be both instructional and interactive, and will include actual trip planning exercises of one or more popular NSPN destinations. We will be at the Reading REI Community Room on Sunday March 4th from 11:30am to 4:30pm. If you would like to attend, you must RSVP on the calendar event by clicking on the GOING button so we can keep track of the group size. If you have any questions, feel free to post them here or email [email protected] and I will try to answer as quickly as possible.