Jump to content

Dan Foster

Paid Member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited


Profile Information

  • Location
    West of Boston

Previous Fields

  • PA signed

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

  1. I've been working a lot recently with Weldwood (you need the flammable version in the red can) to glue foam to Royalex canoe hulls, to itself, and to my fingers. The advice I've been following is to apply more than one thin coat to the foam, letting it dry completely between coats. Then one thin coat on the hull and one thin coat on the foam, let dry until tacky, and then press together. I've been using mineral spirits for surface prep on Royalex, but perhaps your hull can withstand something stronger.
  2. Ten of us rented AMC's Knubble Bay Cabin, which is perched above the Sasanoa River in Georgetown, ME. The drive up on Friday afforded us all the opportunity to rinse our boats, gear, and selves with copious amounts of freshwater, courtesy of the sky. All but one of us moved indoors for the weekend. Dana had prepared a green chili that hit the spot on Friday night as we greeted each new arrival and watched the rain wash across Knubble Bay. By morning, the rain had cleared, but 5' swell along the coast between the mouth of the Kennebec River and Reid State Park dampened our enthusiasm for a Georgetown/Arrowsic Island circumnavigation. We instead opted to paddle down the length of Southport Island. We enjoyed just the right amount of fog - enough to make each new island seem as though it was emerging from a great void, but not enough to hinder navigation. [photos by various trip participants] Cath had seen a young humpback whale in the area a few days prior, and we all had "whale fever". As we left Goose Rock Passage and began our crossing of the Sheepscot, someone caught (and heard) a brief glimpse (and sound) of something, and the hunt was on! "Whar'd she blow?" We drifted down Whittum Island, all eyes and ears on alert. No whale. We crossed over to Powderhorn Island, checked out a very nice MITA camping site in the area, and then proceeded south along that chain of islands. Still no whales, but we got up close and personal with several grey seals and an intertidal mink. There's a statue of a dogfish at Dogfish Head. Go see it for yourself! We enjoyed an early lunch at Hendrick's Head Beach, and then continued south along the pretty coastline to Lower Mark Island. At this point, the group split, with some of us paddling back to camp, and others continuing on to the Cuckolds. The short-timers explored Cozy Harbor, before making a spicy crossing back across the Sheepscot to Five Islands. Big 4-5' swell was rolling up the river at this point, alternately lifting and dropping us out of sight as we took each rolling wave broadside. As we headed back through Goose Rock Passage, we found some wonderful tide rips and stopped to play before continuing back to the cabin. The Cuckolds group achieved their goal and then returned along a similar path. As they came through the Goose Rock Passage, one of the many small boats hanging out near Robinhood explained that they were following the whale around. The hunt resumed, and the group spent the next 45 minutes watching the humpback whale surface. Back at camp, the group lounged on the deck, watching the whale pop up in different parts of the river, and the flotilla of followers as they motored to each new surfacing. We prepared a pasta dinner, enjoyed Steph's homemade cake, and put our theoretical discussions about hull repair techniques and improvised floatation devices to their ultimate tests. After Sunday breakfast, we cleaned up the cabin, said some goodbyes, and then the rest of us headed up the Sasanoa. Nearby Beal Island has plenty of room and would make an ideal spot for an Intro to Kayak Camping weekend. It was buggy when we visited, as were most of the other islands where we landed on this windless day. We heroically fought our way up Lower Hells Gate (a bit after slack) and checked out the MITA site on Castle. Buggy. At Hockomock Point, a sheer cliff towers above the water, a unique site amongst otherwise low islands and shorelines. We continued up to Upper Hells Gate, where the heroism had to be taken up several notches, as there was a strong ebb current at this point, and a very obvious "waterfall" effect where you could definitely see and feel yourself paddling uphill. We played here for a while, with frequent stops as motorboats flew downstream on the current. At one point a boat came through with two of our paddlers eddied out against the rock wall on the right (river left), throwing a huge boat wake into their tiny eddies, and whitening a few knuckles. Many fun S-turns, peel-outs, and ferries were had at Upper Hells before it was time to head home. We stopped at Peggy's for lunch, and then zoomed down through Lower Hells and back to Knubble Bay to end the trip. In addition to the whale, the seals, and the mink, we also had multiple bald eagle sightings, including one perched in a low tree right beside the water, and saw a seemingly-infinite number of nesting osprey. All in all, this was a very enjoyable paddling destination, and 10 people seemed about right for the cabin. I hope this becomes a regular destination for the club. Thanks to everyone who attended for making it a wonderful weekend!
  3. This trip is now full. Contact me directly if you'd like to join the waitlist.
  4. I think you're thinking of Fort Folster. Fort Foster was where NSPN miscreants were exiled to work on bettering their forward strokes and their attitudes.
  5. The Walden Pond twitter feed makes it easier to predict when there might be parking or capacity issues. There hasn't been a weekday closure yet this year. (There, I jinxed it) There are other local ponds that we could consider as well - Cochichuate in Framingham, Whitehall in Hopkinton (note that the Fruit St bridge is closed!), White's in Concord, Hart in Chelmsford... Plus the rivers.
  6. There's been some talk about reviving a summer series of inland paddles and practice sessions in the Greater Walden Pond Metropolitan Area. In the past, we had weekly pond sessions at Walden on Wednesday nights. Given that a number of locals attend the Wednesday Lunch Paddles, it's been suggested that the Walden group meet any day OTHER than Wednesday. So much for alliteration... One option would be to schedule the paddles on Thursday night, the same night as the Chebacco practice sessions, since there's unlikely to be a lot of overlap between paddlers who would attend both. In the past, I've also tried to mix in some river paddles in addition to Walden, especially on hot days when Walden parking is likely to be full before we get there. If you're in the Walden area and would be interested in a semi-regular get-together, chime in with your preferred times and days of the week, and what you might want to get out of such a gathering. For myself, I would be an occasional attendee, probably 2x/month, and I would probably spend a bit of time refreshing my roll and working with others on rescue practice. I'd also be likely to show up with a canoe or SUP, practice strokes, turns, and figure-eights, and I'd very much like to mix in some river paddling. Monday evenings probably work best for me, but I'm flexible. I'd also be OK with some morning sessions. Who else is interested?
  7. I've never tried this, but I may have to do a similar procedure on a canoe soon. I'd probably lay down a strip of paper or cardstock to act as a removable template. Fold the overlap, unfold and trim until it's nearly perfect, and then lay that down on your KeelEasy strip to use as a cutting template. Then start applying from there and work your way toward both ends, stern first.
  8. until
    Contact me by Private Message for more info and to register. Some preliminary info here:
  9. We checked out a new public trail system that Karen discovered on Lower Goose. Given that the wind and waves were blowing in the direction we were hiking toward a pretty cove, I decided it would be faster to float than to walk. It was, but only because the rest of the group kept stopping to throw tennis balls at me and to take selfies with the local raccoons. We now have a strong tradition of amphibious adventures around the Goslings, so perhaps next year we'll leave the boats at home and just [dog] paddle over.
  10. As many of you have heard by now, this year's annual May Jewell Island trip was cancelled due to poor weather conditions (high winds, heavy rain, heavy rain with high winds...) due to a front passing over the region on Friday and Saturday. For the second year in a row, I had planned to extend my Casco Bay stay by organizing a smaller group trip to the Goslings after the main Jewell event. When it became clear that Jewell wouldn't be happening, but that there was a period of clear weather following on the heels of the storm, a group of nine of us were able to rearrange our plans to spend a few nights out on the water after all. The group launched from Mere Point on Sunday morning, just minutes after the fog burned off. I think that was the last we saw of moisture for the remainder of the trip! I like to start all of my trips with a detailed beach briefing, setting an expectation of professionalism and safe paddling for our time together on the water. This year's went something like this: "I seem to have forgotten my spray skirt. Have a great trip. I'm going home." Luckily Yong had a spare skirt, and we launched without further ado and proceeded up and around the backside of Birch Island, where we lunched at the Helen and Walter Norton Preserve before setting up camp on East Gosling. After camp was settled, we headed over to Little French, where at least two active osprey nests kept us well offshore. We circled around French, and then had to fight a headwind back to camp. For many, the highlight of our first night in camp was the local lamb merguez sausage the Legers brought to share, which we grilled on a driftwood fire on the beach as the sun set behind us. The next morning, we set out for Bangs and Crow, where we were treated to a spectacular display of aerial acrobatics by a flock of terns, dropping like lightning bolts out of the sky to catch minnows in the shallow cove where we were also enjoying lunch. (There's a great video of this in the main slideshow). I don't think any of us had ever seen a display like this before - it was really something special. After lunch, we headed to Eagle Island, where a surprised park ranger ran down and warned us off. Off the trails, that is. Eagle is in the midst of a heavy Browntail Moth caterpillar infestation and we were cautioned not to venture off of the beach or grass. We saw caterpillars everywhere we went on this trip, including in our campsite, but as far as I know, nobody came down with a rash. The siren song of the restaurant at Dolphin Cove Marina lured half of the group ashore on the paddle back, while the rest of us enjoyed a few minutes of downtime back on the Goslings before the serious business of watching another sunset began. The next day would see half of the group head for home, while the remainder of us hiked at Wolfe's Neck Woods state park, swam/floated/hiked a nearby trail system, and explored more of upper Casco Bay. But for now, there was only the fire, the loons, the sunset, and the stars. We each have our own ideals for what would constitute a perfect sea kayaking experience, but for me, this trip, this group of friends, dry, crisp weather, relaxed nights around the campfire, full-but-not-too long days in the kayak, island hopping and exploring, just enough headwind or bouncy crossings to keep us on our toes, an occasional raccoon sighting to keep the myths alive - this was my perfect trip. Thanks to everyone who made it a success, and to NSPN for cultivating a group paddling culture that makes it so enjoyable to venture out together. More photos and videos here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/NMwBv58DKMK6bsbbA
  11. Definitely interested in a Boston Harbor Island trip later this summer. Let's make it happen! We have a couple of spots open on this now-standalone trip to Goslings, launching from Cousins Island or Mere Point on Sunday morning, return options on Tuesday or Wednesday. PM me if interested.
  12. Eight of us gathered around the fire on Saturday for a full day of campcraft and cooking. We built a pair of cooking fires and sipped freshly-brewed coffee, and then whipped up brunch using a combination of camp stoves, fire grates, pots, and frying pans. We reviewed knots and set up a ridgeline using the bowline and trucker's hitch, and then pitched a group tarp beneath it using taut-line hitches, and prussik loops and wooden toggles so we could slide it back and forth and take it down quickly. We hiked and bushwhacked through a stand of dead white pines, a hemlock grove, an open field, and some boggy areas, foraging for fire starting materials. Back in camp, EVERYONE started a fire using just a spark from a ferro rod and the materials they had gathered. It was a highlight of everyone's day, especially mine, to hear an exclamation of joy and see a puff of smoke quickly turn into flame as fires flared up. Fallen trees were quickly processed into stacks of kindling and firewood, and two group cooking fires were soon turning logs into cooking coals. Peppers were fire roasted and peeled, chicken was grilled, garlic heads were dug out of the morning ashes, smeared across buttered bread and wrapped in foil, veggies were seasoned and skewered. Oysters were shucked and slurped. Garlic was sauteed, broth was heated. A cooking support was placed over the fire and carefully checked and leveled with a shallow pan of water, checked and leveled again, until it was perfect. The paella pan was lowered, onions were sauteed, rice was oiled and toasted. The paella construction began. Seasoned broth was added. A rapid boil ensued. Coals were moved, removed, added-back to maintain the simmer. Chicken, clams, chorizo joined the dish. Artichokes, fire-roasted peppers, peas. More liquid. More fire. On the other fire, garlic bread toasted, and veggie kebabs roasted. A simulated raccoon lazed nearby, hopeful. More chilled beverages and oysters were slurped. The paella rice absorbed the last of the cooking liquid and began developing soccarat, the prized flavorful crust of rice on the bottom of the pan. We all gathered around the table and enjoyed a magnificent banquet. It truly was a celebration, and everyone played a crucial role in the day's success. I can't wait to do it again!
  13. There are a few openings to join us on a baby-goose-themed MCHT island in Casco Bay for the Sunday and Monday nights following the club's Jewell Island trip. Ideally, you'd be part of the Jewell trip and would paddle with us directly to camp on Sunday, but if you're an experienced solo paddler (or you team up with others) and can make the crossing from Cousins, you're welcome to paddle out to meet us. The entire group will return together to Cousins Island boat launch around mid-day on Tuesday. Send me a Private Message if you're interested in learning more.
  14. There are a few spots available in our rescheduled Camp Cooking Celebration, now planned for Saturday, April 8th. (Yes, I know it's Easter weekend, and yes, I know that this is potentially in conflict with the club's traditional Easter Bunny Plunge). There's a pond out back if anyone feels the need to Plunge. Details of the event are in the original posting here: If you are interested in attending on Saturday, April 8th, read the original trip posting, and then send me a private message, and include the following: - any food ALLERGIES - your food or dietary PREFERENCES - any concerns with the following potential menu items: bacon on its own, foods cooked in residual bacon grease, raw oysters on their own, shellfish, chicken, or pork chorizo (as paella ingredients), cheese, marshmallow Peeps - how interested you are in open-fire cooking vs. Jetboil/canister stove cooking - how interested you are in communally-prepared meals on a future group trip, vs. cooking your own food individually. - what, if any, gear, gadgets, or expertise you might want to share with the group during this event
  15. While we're on the topic of salt, anyone like me who likes to leave their kayak cradles attached to their vehicle all season should occasionally completely remove, inspect, and lubricate ALL of the metal mounting hardware. Perhaps knowing about Salt-Away would have saved a couple of my mounting bolts from that other universal dissolution solution - a hacksaw blade.
  • Create New...