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Dan Foster

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  1. Very cool to see your group's experience on some of the same islands we visited just a few days prior. The low tide pools at The Pond sound amazing! We had no idea what was below us when we entered around high tide for lunch and to escape the seas outside. I'll second your report that the NW "group" site on Stevens holds far fewer than the 12-person capacity listed in the guidebook. The two group camping trips I did last month ran into space issues on nearly every MITA/MCHT island we visited, despite being under the recommended camper numbers. NW Stevens takes the cake, though. I'm not sure what the solution is, but I'd love to see more accurate descriptions or photos of the spaces available for camping before planning a group camping trip. I'm inspired by your week-long adventure. I hope I can join you all on some of these longer camping trips in 2022!
  2. It truly was a magnificent week of paddling, navigating, and camping. Thanks to Gary for proposing and organizing the trip, Cath for securing our launch and parking at Jonesport Shipyard, Chuck Sutherland (small craft nav aide) and the Earth's molten iron core for giving us the tools to navigate in pea soup fog. Perhaps it was because I've been reading A Secret Life of Lobsters (recommended by several NSPNers) recently, but this trip really opened my eyes to the changing state of Maine's lobstering and related industries. Right off the bat we encountered young men in blue skiffs pulled up at a wharf where a crane with a claw was offloading tons of kelp (it turned out to be rockweed). More on that: Rockweed harvest case is win for landowners - Mount Desert Islander On two of our paddling days, we got a chance to get up close and witness the workings of Maine's salmon aquaculture pens. Photo in Jonesport/Great Wass, 8.21 - Google Photos On our final day of paddling, the fog lifted just long enough to lull us into a sense of security on our paddle home down Moosabec Reach, and then promptly closed in, leaving us uncertain of our exact location. The sound of rushing water nearby turned out to be an important navigational clue, as we were right near the outlet of a quarry-sized historic lobster pound that was draining with the outgoing tide. After three days of nearly-non-stop practice and immersion, paddling in the fog went from "today's going to be a total washout" to "yes! another day of paddling through a moonscape!" We had some incredible otherworldly moments, gliding in silence through jagged intertidal rocks on a glassy, mercurial [in the liquid metal sense] ocean that melted seamlessly into the atmosphere that enveloped us.
  3. Ed - you're right! I looked in section K first, and then went through the entire document searching for "rock", and never saw the symbol. It turns out I need to magnify the PDF to a ridiculous font size before the symbol assumes its true form. Anything smaller and the image gets sub-sampled down and it just looks like an asterisk to me. I promise to put my reading glasses on before asking any more chart questions.
  4. Thanks for all the replies. Strangely, this symbol doesn't appear in the current (online) Chart #1 as far as I can tell. But it's an older chart, so perhaps NOAA went in and physically removed all of those pesky rocks from our coastlines so they could simplify the chart symbology. My personal theory is that this symbol is being repurposed by the FAA for "Quadcopter/Delivery Drone Landing Area", and within 10 years, 95% of the surface of all charts and maps will be covered with this symbol.
  5. Despite having read 100+ pages of Chart #1, I still don't know what the "plus in a box/Space Invaders" symbol on this chart represents. Any definitive answers? (Stevens Island, Jonesport, ME)
  6. I leak-tested my boat this morning (it got a perfect score - all bulkheads leak to some degree!) and since we've finally got some dry weather and I've got a trip coming up next week, I decided to fast-track the resealing project. Some tips for others, and especially for me for next time: Lexel gets tacky in 30 minutes, and cures completely in 1-2 weeks, according to the label. I put the boat and the tube of Lexel out in the morning sun to dry and warm up. I always end up wishing I cut a wider opening on the squeeze tube - I'd go about halfway up the tapered nozzle next time. Start with the easy-access bulkheads - behind the seat and in the rear hatch, and once you've got the technique down, move to the more confined spaces. I don't bother trying to crawl up behind the foot pegs to do the inside of the forward bulkhead. Train a small child for that. I like to put the boat on its side and lay a bead of sealant down from the top/side edge of the bulkhead down to the keel line, then swap sides, flip the boat on the other side, and squeeze another bead down the opposite side. Before smoothing with a gloved finger, go squeeze a second seam on a different bulkhead. Then come back and smooth all of the Lexel in using a nitrile-gloved finger. For the nicest lines, swap to a clean finger on each pass. Discard the gloves and put on new ones and go squeeze and smooth two more seams. If the foam bulkhead is so separated from the hull that it freely moves, I would probably engage a helper to push it forward or aft so you can lay down a thick puddle of sealant, and then push it the opposite direction and work sealant well under the foam itself. I used an entire 5oz squeeze tube of Lexel to seal five seams on my three foam bulkheads with a fairly generous bead of sealant. It took about 15 minutes to do. I let the boat sit and dry in-place without moving it at all for at least 24 dry hours, and try not to cartop or paddle it for at least a week.
  7. You can find gaps by shining a flashlight through at night. Or, dry the inside completely, set a hose in the day hatch, and look for water leaking into the cockpit and rear hatch. By repositioning and edging the boat on your lawn and wiping away the leaks you can usually figure out how far up the foam the problem goes. Repeat for the front hatch.
  8. Every few years I buy a 5 oz squeeze tube of Lexel Clear waterproof sealant and reseal the bulkheads in my Tempest 170. It's pretty easy to do. Basically, spray out the kayak with a hose and get all of the sand and grit away from the bulkheads. Peel off any dangling, loose sealant strips. Let the boat dry in the sun. Squeeze the Lexel tube to run a nice bead of goo along the edge where the foam meets the plastic hull. There's usually a gap right at the keel line, and I start by squirting a bunch under there. You've got a fair number of minutes to work with the sealant before it sets up. I usually put on a nitrile glove and run a wet finger down the bead to smooth things out and get a good seal. Repeat on both sides of each bulkhead. Sashco 13013-2 13013 5oz Sealants Clear Lexel Adhesive Caulk, 5-Ounce: Adhesive Caulk: Amazon.com: Industrial & Scientific
  9. On the search page, click More Options, and then set starting and ending dates for Date Created. Searched for 'rescue' in Topics (nspn.org) It looks like there are no forum topics prior to Sept 2001, so anything before that isn't online, at least not on this server. It would be useful to bundle some of these "near miss" trip reports together as a learning and discussion aid for future paddlers. NSPN's own "Deep Trouble" series. Nov 2001: https://www.nspn.org/forum/topic/2790-post-t-day-rescue/ June 2006: https://www.nspn.org/forum/topic/1484-kayakers-flip-off-plum-island/
  10. A new type of boat to fall out of? I'm definitely interested! Weekdays would probably work best, preferably with travel outside of rush hour. I don't have anything useful to contribute (surfski-wise, or otherwise, I'm told). I'm in the market for an endurance-focused (not stiff/sprint) small-mid or mid wing paddle, if anyone's selling.
  11. Looks like a great trip on a classic New England waterway! I just picked up a Mad River Explorer and am itching to get out and do some canoe tripping. What's the purpose of the long pole that shows up in many of your canoe photos? Tarp support? Canoe poling? Handy unit of measure for portages? Moose limbo?
  12. I'd be interested in Sullivan Falls on Thursday before or Monday after.
  13. One thing I want to clarify is that although this proposal came up in a conversation about NTSKW and what we are/aren't doing this year to attract new people to the sport, it is only tangentially related to that separate discussion. The primary goal here isn't to attract new people to the sport. The primary goal here is to create an annual weekend event that is compelling enough that everyone in our coastal and ocean-paddling "tribe" has no choice but to attend year after year after year. Ambitious? Yes. It's a Big Hairy Audacious Goal for the club, but it's something that we could all rally around, and the strategic thinking it requires might lead to all sorts of spillover benefits for the club and our paddling communities. What would entice [experienced NSPN club members] to attend a two-day weekend event on the North Shore every year? What would entice [protected-water meetup paddlers] to attend a two-day weekend event on the North Shore every year? What would entice [sea kayak owners who don't have paddling buddies] to attend a two-day weekend event on the North Shore every year? What would entice [famous BCU instructors] to attend a two-day weekend event on the North Shore every year? Continue brainstorming with other sub-groups from our tribe and see what commonalities or opportunities emerge: [greenland paddlers, paddling leaders who need WFA certification, surf ski racers, non-paddling spouses, people who don't yet own a boat] As BigBird points out, we don't have to do it all in year 1 (or year zero, if we start this year). Our regularly-scheduled, NSPN-members-only Solstice paddle, plus a trip in the same area the next day, plus an evening presentation in someone's house or in a private room in a restaurant might be all that's needed to build the foundation of what can grow into a larger, annual weekend gathering of our paddling community.
  14. I started a new post for the discussion of the NSPN symposium idea since this post was for fleshing out the details of the imminent 2021 New to Sea Kayaking Workshop, and my proposal probably couldn't see implementation before June 2022 or beyond.
  15. A Modest Proposal: NSPN should host an annual two-day event toward the beginning of the paddling season that aims to be THE must-attend sea kayaking event in Massachusetts. Call it a symposium, an open house, or just a paddling party. It should be enticing enough that most of the club membership makes it part of their annual planning. It should be open to the public, with enough incentives and benefits that the event spreads by word of mouth after the first year. It should feature club-led L1/L2 trips around a protected area for those just getting started, as well as rock gardening and exposed paddling trips for the seasoned paddlers. There should be options for on-water navigation practice, rescue practice, and stroke improvement. There should be a large social component to the weekend, with a potluck-style dinner on Saturday, preferably at a location that allows alcohol consumption. There could be a kayak camping option, and a WFA certification offered that weekend. In some years, there could be a "mini-Blackburn" and paddling clinic for the surf-ski and racing community, or a rolling demonstration and clinic for those interested in joining the cult of the Greenland stick. There should be the option for overnight lodging (a preferred hotel or room block for out-of-towners) and evening presentations on navigation, trip reports from faraway paddles, or maybe just a private room at a local tavern. There should be a dedicated forum or space for the selling, swapping, and buying of used gear. There should be an online forum for the matching of people who want to test paddle certain boats with people willing to let their boats be test-paddled. There should be raffle prizes and other incentives to encourage people to attend. Other groups (AMC Boston Sea Kayakers, meetup groups) and local BCU/ACA instructors should be invited to participate, give seminars, lead trips, promote their offerings, bring their faithful followers, and donate to the raffle. There should be a modest fee for the weekend to help cover the costs, with all profits raised donated to Salem Sound Coastwatch or another organization we support. Non-NSPN members could receive discounted or trial memberships at the end of the weekend to encourage them to return and paddle with us again. As inspiration, NSPN could look to the successes of other clubs and organizations in our area that put on THE premiere event in their respective sports each year, and have built up vibrant communities around the events: NEMBAfest for the entire New England mountain bike community. The Wicked Ride of the East for the North Shore mountain bike community (the North Shore chapter of NEMBA is much closer to NSPN's size). Riverfest for the New England whitewater kayaking community, an annual event started by AMC Boston Paddlers. D2R2 for the New England gravel bike riding community, a huge fundraiser for a local land trust. Other sources of inspiration might come from the New England Paddlesports Show, the now-defunct EMS Demo Days (for trying out new boats), and that meetup group that used to rent out a NH/ME hotel and get dozens of paddlers together for a weekend (sorry, I can't find any details on that one). My vision was always to take the Solstice Paddle, throw in a second day of the instructional/skills paddling that we already do throughout the season, open it to the public and invite other groups and instructors to join in, add a gear sale and boat demo option, and have a big social party whenever we're not actually on the water. Make it something that the existing NSPN membership looks forward to year-after-year, and you can't help but draw in new members at the same time. Respectfully submitted, your faithful "ideas are cheap" dreamer, Roxbury Puddingstone
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