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Dan Foster

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  1. Squam 2017: Jewell 2021: Squam 2019: MDI 2019:
  2. You had me very confused for a while with the photos of paddlers in front of a collapsed, submerged building: https://photos.app.goo.gl/LSTqUWJMwjwMJ17M6 It's not a hazard to navigation, it's art! 'Your Condo Is Going To Flood': A Sculptural Installation Predicts What Climate Change Could Bring | WBUR News
  3. Bumping this in case anyone is near the coast this weekend: King tides (12.1+ ft in Boston Harbor) at 12:41PM (noonish) on Sat, Oct 6, 2021, and at 12:32PM on Sunday.
  4. Tell the story! It's important that we're working with the proper set of assumptions about what these adorable little varmints can and can't do. (And I hope we get bear bag and "food in the tent" stories as well, in their proper threads, so we can weigh those options as well). Would also be interested in hearing from the Alaska/Canada/Greenland paddlers about food storage and safety in polar/panda/grizzly country. Edit: this (link below) might be the raccoon gnawing incident in question. Perhaps they can also gnaw through car tires. NO GOOD DEED GOES UNPUNISHED - NSPN Annual MITA Cleanup at Bangs and Crow October 11-13, 2013 - Trip Reports - NSPN Message Board
  5. Ben, be careful with that wooden boat around beavers, woodchucks, carpenter ants, and termites. I haven't seen any reports of animals gnawing through hard or rubber hatch covers (excepting actual bears), just prying off covers. If raccoons and their friends start becoming willing to gnaw through hulls, deck lines, or hatch covers, we'll have to adapt as well. (And it's worth noting that if the "store your food in your boat" method fails in this way, you've now got a hole in your boat in addition to an empty stomach.) I agree that turning boats upside-down to rest on their hatch covers should work, but only if the weight of the boat is firmly on the hatches. If there's any sort of gap, raccoons will just assume their pancake form and tunnel in from below. Joe, on behalf of scavenging rodents everywhere, thank you for your kindness. I'll spread the word to steal your food last.
  6. Having recently shared my kayak camping breakfast with a group of hungry raccoons, I've found myself rummaging through trash cans and thinking of ways to steal kayakers' food. Before I go fully feral, I'd like to share some recent ideas about safer ways to store food in kayak hatches. Add this to your arsenal of camp hygiene tricks, along with this recent discussion of hanging food in raccoon territory, which we'll leave dedicated to hanging, rather than squirreling food away in boats. In addition to bear hangs, bear canisters are fast becoming a required method of food storage in bear country, especially in coastal environments where good hanging trees aren't always available. On about half of the Maine islands I visited this summer, it would be difficult or impossible to hang all of the food for a paddling group. So, we could consider bringing bear canisters along to foil the raccoons (hereby referred to as trash bears or trash pandas). We've got the luxury of being able to pack heavier, bulkier items than most backpackers. But we've also got our kayaks with us, and those make pretty good trash-bear-proof canisters, except for the rubber hatch covers, which the trash pandas have learned to pry open. If we can solve the hatch cover problem, we have nearly-unlimited food storage in our kayak hatches. Here are some attempts at keeping the raccoons from prying open my hatch covers, in pictoral form. In the few minutes these armored devices were in use, no raccoons were able to open the covers, and these methods were pretty successful at keeping me out, as well. I focused on protecting my bow hatch, as it has deck line tie downs fore and aft that prevent the straps from sliding forward and loosening the hatch protection. Two versions using dutch oven and pot lids. A 10" pie plate would probably provide even better gnaw-proofing. This version using a small grill wasn't as secure - I was able to partially lift the bottom part of the hatch, and that only made me want to start gnawing my way in... And then it dawned on me that the indented channel around my Wilderness Systems hatch covers is probably there for a reason... (like keeping raccoons out) Aircraft cable with clamp, use 7/16" nut driver or pliers to loosen/tighten in the field. Leave yourself 6" of wire on either end so you can pull it tight before tightening the clamp. This will probably be my preferred solution, once I buy the right sized nut driver. Locking version with paracord and a carabiner. When the carabiner is parallel (first picture, it's loose enough to slip on and off. Turning the carabiner perpendicular locks the cord in place. Took a fair amount of fiddling to get exactly the right length of cord. Need to make sure the cord doesn't stretch when wet! I will also start paying attention to the position of the rubber tab that I use to lift the hatch cover off. In the first few photos, it's in the 6 o-clock position that I use by default because it's easy to lift. The photo with the pliers (above) shows a position that's only slightly harder for me, but likely harder for the raccoons to get a grip on, if that's how they pull hatch covers. I would probably add a second layer of deterrence over all of these closures by slipping a pair of paddle halves through the deck bungees. One final raccoonish thought, not related to hatches. The beach where we recently got raided by raccoons (the sand bar connecting East and West Gosling in Casco Bay) was teeming with shellfish and crabs at low tide, and the rocky shoreline was littered with raccoon poop. Clearly, that beach was a successful foraging location, even when there weren't boats loaded with food perched right above the wrack line. When landing on an island to camp, it's worth considering who the potential food raiders might be, and where they might be hanging out. On the Goslings, the threat was clearly from raccoons, and it might have made sense to take the boats up away from the waterline, or hang food in trees. In this particular location, we also faced the possibility that any non-food items the raccoons took off of the boats might get washed away by the overnight high tide, just a few feet away. I hope this inspires some ideas for protecting your own kayak hatches. If you're interested in the aircraft cable locking technique and have a suitable recessed groove on your hatch covers, I can help build to order at some future paddling event.
  7. I'm not convinced that storing food in the tent vestibule is the right solution, either. On our final night, the dry bag containing my car keys was dragged out of my open vestibule and into the nearby woods while we were eating dinner down on the beach. Given that raccoons pried hatch covers off two different boats, I'm not convinced they couldn't/wouldn't have an issue crawling under (or tearing through) the vestibule fabric. The mantra for backpacking has always been to hang food high enough and far enough from nearby tree trunks that a bear can't get to it, or to utilize bear-proof canisters. Food is cooked and stored well away from camp. What works for bears also works for mice and "little bears" (raccoons). Food in the tent is less-risky in dispersed camping scenarios where animals aren't accustomed to a constant stream of new dinner arrivals, like at a designated campsite. I've always hung my food or stored it in the kayak while kayak camping, and never had a problem, until I did. I'm planning on a layered approach to food security on future trips, which will likely include some of the following: I'll bring sufficient extra cordage to string up a proper bear bag if a suitable location presents itself. I'll have a thick (PVC?), waterproof dry bag specifically for odor control and allowing food to hang outside in the pouring rain without getting wet. If food is in my kayak hatch at night, there will be split paddles under bungees over the top of that hatch, perhaps tied in with a bit of paracord. I'll keep my cooking gear and other small, draggable items in Ikea bags at night, and try to hang and tie them up off the ground to make it harder to get into. My really stinky stuff (fresh food, 3-day old trash) will go into Gary's vestibule at night.
  8. Beautiful scenery, sporty conditions, a solid group of new and old friends, and a chance to apply those skills we practice but seldom [knock on wood] get to use. I consider myself very fortunate to paddle amongst all of you, and Saturday's paddle was yet another reminder of how NSPN's culture makes every paddle a great paddle, no matter what the day brings. Thanks, Jim, for organizing, and for sharing this stretch of coastline with us.
  9. I'd plan the safety for these events around the assumption that some/all of the following will eventually happen: - someone will get a disabling leg cramp at the worst possible place in the swim. - a swimmer will fall behind or the pod won't quickly notice a swimmer in distress. - someone on shore but outside of voice distance will see people in the water and wonder whether to call 911. - someone will get knocked down by a wave or dashed against the rocks and get cut up by the barnacles. So the safety plan might involve: - a chase/escort kayak alongside the swim pod with a VHF on channel 16, perhaps with a Diver Down or swim flag to make it obvious that the swimmers are OK. - a heads-up to the local harbormaster. - a very strict buddy system in the water. (SwimRun teammates are permanently connected by a short tether for the entire run/swim event) - a few swim buoys or inflated dry bags towed behind the swimmers for immediate floatation if someone needs a break. - head-to-toe neoprene for abrasion protection, buoyancy, and warmth. Mandatory helmets? PFDs on or off? - extra first aid supplies, especially for treating abrasions, hypothermia, and drysuit punctures. - lots of cameras, because the photos will be priceless! Can't wait to do this!
  10. I've done it, one hour into a 24 hour adventure race in the Catskills. Spent the next 23 hours trying to navigate with soggy paper maps. (This is a great way to find out just how waterproof your waterproof gear is!) It's a blast, and probably even more fun on a rocky ocean headland. Count me in for sure! Also look at SwimRun for ideas (Casco Bay, Boston Harbor, Swedish archepelagos).
  11. Version 1.0.0


    Two letter-sized charts for Ogunquit Maine to Cape Neddick (inset).
  12. Having looked at this further, I now believe, for multi-day kayaking/camping use at least, that standby current draw is the limiting factor for battery life. The typical duty cycle used for determining the manufacturer's stated battery life is 5% transmitting, 5% receiving, and 90% standby. There are 300 minutes in a typical 5 hour day of paddling. That duty cycle would assume that we're transmitting for 15 minutes, listening to replies or indecipherable lobstermen for 15 minutes, and not using the radio at all for the remaining 4.5 hours. I'd be surprised if I've ever spent more than 5 total minutes talking into my radio over the course of a typical day (that would be thirty 10-second transmissions!). There's a current draw whenever a transmission is received. Bumping up the squelch to cut out far-off/garbled/background noise apparently will help reduce this current draw. I found a reference in a Standard Horizon manual that says properly adjusting squelch "significantly reduces battery current consumption". It's probably wise to switch channels if we find ourselves on a busy channel with lots of local chatter. If I were to buy a new radio tomorrow (and I just might!), primarily for multi-day journeying, I think I'd put a low standby current draw toward the top of my priority list. I found the standby current draw for all of Standard Horizon's 2021 offerings: Marine_Catalog_2021_USA.pdf (standardhorizon.com) HX890: 130mA (GPS on), 110mA (GPS off), 1800mAh battery = 16 hr standby with GPS off HX40: 100mA, 1850mAh battery = 18.5 hr standby HX210: 60mA, 1850mAh battery = 30.8 hr standby HX300: 20mA, 1560mAh battery = 78 hr standby HX400: 50mA, 2550mAh battery = 51 hr standby HX407: 70mA, 2300mAh battery = 32.8 hr standby HX380: 50mA, 1600mAh battery = 32 hr standby and a couple older models from the 2014 and 2017 catalog (standardhorizon.com) HX870: 100mA (GPS on), 60mA (GPS off), 1800mAh battery = 30 hr standby with GPS off HX150: 15mA, 1030mAh battery = 68.6 hr standby HX851: 100mA (GPS on), 60mA (GPS off), 1380mAh battery = 23 hr standby with GPS off HX290: 50mA, 1140mAh battery = 22.8 hr standby HX370: 40mA, 1400mAh battery = 35 hr standby Adding some hard-to-find info about "battery save" mode on Standard Horizon radios... From [email protected] | Info on saving battery during reception and GPS use Power Save options: Enable Battery Save Off, 50, 70, 80, 90% Enable GPS Power Save Off, Auto, 50, 75, 90% Saving the Battery during Reception One of the important features of the HX870 is its battery saver, which “puts the radio to sleep” for a time interval, periodically “waking it up” to check for activity. If somebody is talking on the channel, the HX870 will remain in the “awake” mode, then resume its “sleep” cycles. This feature significantly reduces quiescent battery drain. To activate the battery saver, select one of the following interval time ratios on the item “BATTERY SAVE” of the CONFIGURATION menu in the SETUP mode. 50% ... Sleeps for 100 ms after 100 ms awake 70% ... Sleeps for 250 ms after 100 ms awake 80% ... Sleeps for 450 ms after 100 ms awake 90% ... Sleeps for 900 ms after 100 ms awake
  13. Ed is right, the Icom M88 has a 1850mAh min/1950mAh typical battery. The SH 870HX has an 1800mAh battery. Not sure why Icom gives two numbers, but it's up to 8% larger capacity than the 870HX. The SH 870HX has a 1800mAh battery, and lists a standby current draw (with GPS off) of 60mA. 1800/60 = 30, so it should be capable of 30 hours in standby mode (no GPS, no signals received, no transmissions). With the GPS on, the standby current draw is 100mA, so 18 hours standby time. That would suggest that I'm only getting 1/3rd of the expected run time in 100% standby mode, no GPS (<10hrs observed, vs 30hrs expected). I've been griping about the battery life of this radio since I first purchased it, so I'm not convinced it had 3x the run time when the battery was new. Icom M88 lists a 20mA "power save" current draw - perhaps this is the lowest possible standby current. Assuming a 1900mAh battery at 20mA, the radio should last 95 hours in "power save" standby mode.
  14. Bumping this thread in hopes that other VHF radio users will test and share some real-life results on how long their radio can operate on a single charge. Just back from a 4-night camping trip in Casco Bay, where my DSC-equipped (Digital Selective Calling - GPS, SOS features, etc) Standard Horizon HX870 was pretty much out of charge after three days of "let's keep our radios on in case we need to talk" paddling. Other radios, including Gary's ancient ICOM M88, still had significant charge left. ICOM lists a standby time of 11 hours for this radio, and Gary reports 54+ hours above. I don't understand that at all. I've done two nights of testing with my radio back home, and despite having a larger-capacity battery, the squelch up, the GPS off, the volume and backlight timer on the most conservative settings, and all of the power saving settings enabled, my radio is dead after 8-10 hours of sitting on a desk, receiving nothing, transmitting nothing. This is actually in-line with most of the reports on a Standard Horizon user's group. Anyways, it would be helpfup to hear other standby-time test results, especially from owners of other DSC-enabled radios. All you need to do is charge your radio, turn it on before you go to sleep, note the time, adjust the squelch so it's not outputting random noise from far-off signals, and make note of the approximate time when the radio shuts off with an empty battery. Post your radio's model name, the approximate run-time you observed, and anything else that's pertinent (DSC or not, age of radio/battery, whether you did a few transmits/weather report received or just left it alone) Real Example: Standard Horizon HX870, lasts 8-10 hrs in standby with no transmissions or calls received. Approx 5+ yrs old with light use, original battery. GPS off.
  15. Wow, that went fast! I'll wait in the list.
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