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Dan Foster

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  1. You're probably thinking of a "bothy". I carry this one for winter hiking and the occasional cold weather paddle. Bothy Bag 4 Person – Bothy Bags made in UK (summitgear.co.uk)
  2. We didn't get to have our traditional Solstice Paddle this summer, so let's at least get together online for a Winter Solstice happy hour of happiness. This year's winter solstice is at 5:02AM, which seems a little early, even for this crowd, so let's start things off at 7:32PM, a mere 14.5 hours into this winter of our discontent. Please join me from the comfort of your own comfy chair or survival bunker for an hour of virtual socializing and storytelling with your fellow NSPN paddlers-in-exile, from 7:32PM-8:32PM on Monday, December 21st. At the anointed hour, click the following link to join: [removed now that event has passed] You'll be asked for a passcode to join. You have to enter a number. I've tried to make it easy enough for the NSPN crowd to figure out, while thwarting the Zoom-crashing bots. It's the number of cockpits in your kayak. It's the leading digit on Tom Brady's old jersey. It's how old you'd be on your first birthday. Enjoy these last few days of autumn (that reminds me, I should probably start raking leaves), and I hope to see you all in winter, on Monday, on the Zoomies. - Dan You'll need a laptop computer, phone, or tablet with a front-facing video camera and a microphone, and you'll be prompted to run some free video conferencing software from Zoom when you join the meeting. If you haven't used Zoom or other video chat/conferencing software before, you might want to click the link below a few minutes ahead of time, to give yourself time to test your video and audio settings. Sharing photos: Zoom has several ways to share photos. If you'd like to do a slideshow or give a presentation to the group, the easiest way to do that is to share your screen from a laptop or desktop computer. In reality, this usually ends up causing a two-minute interruption while people try to figure out why it's not working. For simple sharing of a single photo, try the following: Option 1: Make it a virtual background: click the options arrow next to the Video icon in Zoom, and click Choose Virtual Background. Select the photo you want to share with the group, which will then appear behind your disembodied head using a "green screen" effect. You can duck your head completely out of frame if needed, or point to stuff behind you like you're a TV weather caster. Option 2: Make it your Zoom profile photo, and it will show up when you click Stop Video. To do this, click the options arrow next to the Video icon in Zoom, click Video Settings, and then click the Profile tab. Click the picture icon above your name to change your profile picture. If you turn off your video camera during the call, we'll see your profile picture instead. Virtual meeting etiquette for large groups: Mute your microphone if you're doing something else in the background or need to move around. Laptop users can stay muted and then hold Spacebar to unmute whenever they want to jump in with a comment. Speaking of jumping in, it takes us a second or two to realize who has started speaking, so it can get confusing if people throw in a quick one word reply or question. Keep talking, or use hand signals (thumbs up, wave, etc) instead of "yes", "hi", "bye". For the best video quality, try to pick a spot in your house with plenty of light and make sure the brightest light is in front of you, and not behind you! (sit facing a window or lamp, with a wall with no windows behind you). Virtual backgrounds (when not sharing a photo with the group) and snap filters (puppy dog ears, and the like) can be extremely distracting. Sit close enough to the camera that we can see your face. It's more fun when we we can see you and your facial expressions! These are meant to be light and airy social occasions and to offer an escape from the news cycle, politics, and negativity. If you get booted or muted, that's why.
  3. Cabela's in Hudson MA usually has a bunch, sometimes tied up along the outside wall or on display inside. I've shopped for fishing kayaks for myself, for a family member on a lake, and for a friend who fishes for stripers off Marblehead. Reflecting on the following might help steer you to a good purchase: - What conditions? Choppy ocean? Placid lake? [how much freeboard, how stable...] - Do they want to stand to sight-cast or fly fish? [wide, extra wide, or so wide it doubles as a dock...] - Are they minimalists or kitchen sink fisher-persons? - Transportation to/from the water? Drag down the lawn from the lakehouse? Car topping? Trailer? [heavy, extra heavy, or ...] - How do they feel about getting in and out of a tippy kayak? I ended up with a plastic fishing SUP which is perfect for my minimalist fishing use - a big flat area to stand/move around on, with a single rod and small tackle box clipped onto a deck line. My friend ended up with a pair of Wilderness Systems Tarpon 100 kayaks which are light enough to shoulder onto J-racks on a subaru, and we use milk crates with two rod holders behind us for tackle. My father's main criteria was something he could easily get in and out of, which wasn't obvious until we tried a few options. A sturdy strap tied to the bow toggle helps a lot. A few boat types just to get you started: Wilderness Systems Tarpon Tarpon 120 - 2020 | Wilderness Systems Kayaks | USA & Canada Ocean Kayak Malibu Ocean Kayak Malibu 11.5 Sit-on-Top Kayak | Cabela's Hobie Mirage pedal kayaks Kayak & Fishing Kayak | Hobie If you have a chance to see a bunch in person, open one of the access hatches and get a sense for how thick/flimsy the plastic feels, and how the rigging is attached. On the low end, I found several promising options that we immediately rejected for durability issues.
  4. This was a great trip and learning experience. I look foward to all the future NSPN incident reports that start with "I was contemplating a diabase sill when the sleeper wave lifted me into the argillite..." Thanks Joe and Bob for all the planning and preparation that went into this trip. Viva Avalonia!
  5. Romaine's sunset paddle: A preview of 2021's "A road less paddled by" trip, for those of you who want to make a true multi-sport weekend of it:
  6. This year's Squam Lake camping trip featured some of the most pleasant weather and paddling conditions that we've ever seen there. Daytime temps were in the high 70s, overnight lows in the high 50s, and the wind was most notably absent. Fall foliage was still a bit muted along the Squam Ridge that forms the northern backdrop for our paddles, but the maples and cranberries in the wetland coves we visited were ablaze. This was the year for paddling in shorts and t-shirts, for lunchtime swims and sunbathing on sun-warmed rocky ledges, for sunsets tinged with a hint of wildfire smoke, for sunset paddles and pre-dawn paddles, for close encounters with loons, and socially-distanced encounters with other looney types.
  7. Last call for Squam camping - please get in touch if you'd like to join us.
  8. Bumping this trip posting to gauge if there's additional interest. This trip and the RSVP deadline was announced in the "before times". Given the slightly different world we now find ourselves in, I'm thinking that if this trip goes forward, it will be limited to 6 campers (two tents on opposite ends of each camping platform ought to allow for social/snorer distancing). I'm asking now for anyone who would consider going to Squam this year *if COVID rates and regulations in New England stay approximately what they are today* to get in touch - either by RSVPing on the calendar, posting below, or sending me a private message.
  9. I was going to suggest that maybe this tongue of cobbles is all that remains of some prehistoric breach in the causeway and the outflow of material flowing from north to south. But given the protected harbor to the north, I'd suspect any breach would result in waves flushing TO the north. I also wondered if the causeway was man-made and there used to be a breach there. But this suggests no: https://patch.com/massachusetts/marblehead/when-was-the-causeway-built Looking at the bigger picture, it's also in-line with the transition from deep to shallow blue water that extends out on the nautical chart. Looking at the aerial, I'd swear there's a culvert or some sort of outflow creating your "parallel depression to the east". But there isn't, right? I wonder if the lifeguards see rip currents setting up there.
  10. AMC and other larger outdoor groups have started putting out COVID-19 best practices and resources for outdoor trip leaders. You might find these useful in developing your own personal philosophy toward managing and minimizing risk, and finding your personal comfort level in group activities. Feel free to add links to policies and best practices guidelines from other outdoor groups similar to ours. AMC: Required COVID-19 video training for all AMC outdoor leaders (1 hr): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8p38G8Htukg Checklist for resuming AMC group outdoor activities (Phase 2 is applicable to us): https://cdn.outdoors.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/21093342/OLDCVolActRubric_FINAL.pdf NEMBA (New England Mountain Bike Association) : June 11, 2020 Guidance: https://www.nemba.org/news/nemba-covid-guidance-individual-and-group-rides
  11. Today's Globe has a pretty good summary of the latest changes to state travel restrictions. As always, check the state's website for the actual regulations. https://www.bostonglobe.com/2020/06/25/nation/list-current-travel-advisories-due-covid-19-northeast/ A list of current travel advisories due to COVID-19 in the Northeast By Amanda Kaufman Globe Staff,Updated June 25, 2020 With parts of the United States seeing their coronavirus numbers rise, threatening to wipe out two months of progress, some states in the Northeast are implementing new travel restrictions to ensure the number of cases continue to trend downward. On Wednesday, the US saw its highest one-day total of new confirmed COVID-19 cases with 34,700, the highest level since late April, according to a Johns Hopkins University count. Here are the current travel restrictions in Northeastern states. New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut The governors of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut announced Wednesday they are issuing new travel advisories, beginning Thursday, that urge people arriving from states with high coronavirus infection rates to self-quarantine for 14 days. Advertisement The new guidance applies to anyone traveling to the tri-state area from states with new daily positive test rates higher than 10 per 100,000 residents or from states with a 10 percent or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average. As of Thursday, the states that meet the criteria are Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah. Massachusetts People arriving to Massachusetts are encouraged to self-quarantine for 14 days regardless of where they are arriving from, according to a state advisory that has been in place since March 27. Massachusetts currently has a “safer-at-home” advisory in place, which asks residents to “leave home only for healthcare, worship and permitted work, shopping, and outdoor activities.” Rhode Island Rhode Island’s travel restrictions have largely been lifted. A 14-day quarantine is in place for people who are returning to Rhode Island from an area that is under a stay-at-home order or similar type of restriction. Governor Gina Raimondo said Wednesday she was considering requiring visitors from areas with high coronavirus infection rates to quarantine, similar to the advisories enacted in New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut. Advertisement “I am likely to do something very similar, if not the same,” she said. Vermont Visitors can avoid quarantine requirements when arriving in Vermont if their home county has less than 400 active cases of COVID-19 per 1 million residents. The state has also advised that residents who are returning by car from counties in New England or New York that have similar active caseloads to Vermont don’t need to quarantine. Maine The state mandates that all out-of-state travelers who are visiting Maine, and Maine residents who are returning home, quarantine for 14 days when arriving. However, people who test negative for the coronavirus within 72 hours of arriving in Maine don’t have to quarantine. Residents of New Hampshire and Vermont are exempt from the testing and quarantine requirements because the number of active coronavirus cases in those states is similar to Maine’s. Those who are visiting Maine but are not a Maine, New Hampshire, or Vermont resident will be asked to sign a form saying they have tested negative for COVID-19, are planning to complete the 14-day quarantine, or have already completed their quarantine. On Friday, June 26, when Maine lodging establishments are allowed to serve people who are not residents of Vermont, New Hampshire, or Maine, the form must be provided to check-in at campgrounds, seasonal rentals, overnight camps, and other commercial lodging, like Airbnb. New Hampshire The state is encouraging people to remain in their home state until additional restrictions are lifted. Advertisement Those who are planning to visit, regardless of where they are coming from, are asked to self-quarantine for 14 days and are encouraged to follow the latest travel guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  12. Glad you dodged the weather. The front rolled through here a little after noon, and while there wasn't much (any?) lightning, the amount of water coming down within the first minute of the storm's arrival far exceeded the usual cats/dogs/buckets metaphors. What's the status of the landing ramp in the crook of Straitsmouth?
  13. I also found it really helpful, and it was great to be able to ask questions directly to the guys who create our local weather. I'll try to post the YouTube versions once they get the recordings online. Here's a screenshot I took so I could go back and learn more about how winds spiral into and out of low and high pressure areas.
  14. Full details here: https://www.weather.gov/box/webinars Upcoming Webinars: Date Event Registration Tuesday, June 23 (7 PM) Weather 101 Register Here Learn basic concepts of meteorology. Geared toward "beginners" Thursday, July 2 (7 PM) Marine Forecasting (for boaters & others) Register Here Basic forecasting for boaters (wind and waves, storms, "rules of thumb" Tuesday, July 7 (7 PM) Severe Weather 101 Register Here Learn basic concepts of meteorology. Geared toward "beginners" (All webinars will be recorded and posted on our YouTube page) Topics for Future Webinars (Dates To Be Determined): - Weather 202 (More in-depth meteorology concepts but not too technical) - Severe Weather 101 (Learn basic concepts of severe weather) - Severe Weather 202 (Forecasting severe weather. More in-depth but not too technical) - Radar Interpretation 101 (Learn basic concepts of interpreting radar data) - Southern New England Tornadoes - Tropical Weather 101 (Learn basic concepts about hurricanes) - Climate 101 (Learn basic concepts about the climatology of southern New England) - Winter Weather 101 (Learn basic concepts about winter storms and different precipitation types) - Memorable Southern New England Storms - Navigating Our Website (How to find what you need) - NWS Hazard Simplification
  15. I think your weather forecast got copied over from week #2. If not, please send some of that 55-degree air inland, where it's going to be pushing 90 on Wednesday! I'm seeing this for June 10th off Marblehead: Wednesday high 68 F. SE wind 7 to 10 kt increasing to 10 to 13 kt in the afternoon. Partly sunny. Seas 1 to 2 ft.
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