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  1. Yup. IMHO It's crackers to go out on the ocean without at least one VHF radio in the group, especially a small group (or solo). If something happens that leaves a paddler immobile, it is the best way to summon rapid help, and for solo or pair paddling, maybe the only viable way. What happens need not be related directly to kayaking -- a heart attack or some other debilitating physical event. As for tow belts -- I will never forget the tale of one very experienced paddler who decided to leave his home one day, only to be confronted by a sudden storm that made a tow belt essential, and he was helpless. Luckily, someone else had theirs along, and all was well in the end.
  2. Seems to have worked -- thanks, Rob! Unfortunately, my window for posting stuff is gone for now. But stay tuned for a lot of good gear, cheap.
  3. So what's the story? Do I need too be a member to post a classified? Is that the issue with this glitch and will signing up for membership solve it? Is that official NSPN policy, or just somehow got embedded in the message board setup? Or something else? Thanks. --David
  4. Also -- create->topic->select forum dropdown has classified option greyed out!
  5. I cannot see a button to post a personal classified. Do you need to be a member to do that? I searched everywhere and found some discussion of that idea, but no actual statement of policy. I am happy to sign up for membership, even though I am no longer an active sea paddler, especially since I will be posting a number of items in the near future, as a result of that very transition. But I may not want to spend the $15 if that's not what's stopping me from posting something for sale. Re the end of serious kayaking for me -- nothing specific -- age has just caught up with me.
  6. From the article -- addressing the crucial questions about how Tompkins was dressed (in 38 degreee water)... “(Boyles) was holding him by his clothes, and I could see his skin. It was clear he had no neoprene diving suit,” said Reuter. River and sea kayakers often wear neoprene or dry suits, which help preserve body temperature in the event they capsize in cold water. Canoe and Kayak Magazine reported that in a photo taken at the beginning of the trip, Tompkins is pictured wearing a Patagonia dry top. Since Boyles was reportedly holding Tompkins by his clothes, it’s possible that the garment was pulled up around his neck, exposing his skin to the cold water. It is unclear what type of clothing the other men were wearing or what Tompkins was wearing on his legs. What is known is that Tompkins was a very experienced kayaker, as were all the members of the group.
  7. Wow -- just logged in to see my old float plan resurrected -- thanks for the memory Liz! If you are wondering why it was so detailed, all I can say is that back in ancient times we took float plans quite seriously -- maybe too seriously Was that one reason the old intensive trip leader training and execution system died? Anyway, it's too bad Liz's trip did not run -- it's a lovely level 2 paddle that I ran annually for many years. But I did usually announce it well in advance, and had a number of regulars that always signed up. There are generally two (sometimes three) opportunities a season when the tide is right on a Saturday or Sunday, one before and one after greenhead season (you do not want to be there in greenie season!) Plus, there are a couple of things worth mentioning that did not make it into that early version of the plan. One is that on the return, the strong following/quartering current pushes you toward shore as you emerge into the main Sound near the yacht club. One year, despite posting myself to guide folks, it swept the assistant leader into a dock (yes, assistant -- like, I said, we took things seriously). In case anybody wants to try, here is the route from Pavillion/Ipswich to Rowley and back, including the neat leg up Lord's creek to an outlet to the Rowley River that looks ambiguous on the chart but is actually very navigable near high. Another variant is, instead of retracing your route back, wend your way east through the marsh to the Sound and head south from there, or even cross to the eastern bank first, thus avoiding the quartering hazard. http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=6719055 Also, a graphical marine GPS is especially handy on this trip to help navigate the confusing maze of channels at a couple of points, and also help where the scene looks nothing like the chart because a lot of those "islands" and marshy areas are submerged at high. But that's part of the fun!
  8. Hey, Leon -- do you have a formula for the price of a mega-yacht in terms of its length -- is it linear? quadratic? something else -- maybe k*L^1.5? Have you run a regression? --David
  9. I suspect most of the current NSPN membership did not have the pleasure of knowing or working with Armand. So I want to post something, both in his honor and to illustrate what kind of a guy he was. Mark Jacobson reminded me that I wrote this on the NSPN board in September 2012... As my roll was deteriorating in the last couple of years -- my good-side roll was ragged and I couldn't even get up on my not-so-good side with any certainty -- I decided to get a tune-up. I chose Armand Mikune-Santos because I had admired his coaching skill on a number of occasions. So I plunked down the money at CRCK where he was working and we paddled out of the dock and down the Charles. Well, for the first 15 minutes all we did was paddle slowly and chat -- about life, interests, activities, then a bit about kayaking, and then we got around to rolling, that is, chatting about rolling. By the time we got to a spot where he pulled over and said "how about here" I was so relaxed that I ran off three perfect rolls on both sides. Armand looked at me with a quizzical smile and asked what I needed him for! I said -- whoa, I do have a problem. So I kept going with the both the offside and onside rolls, and sure enough they started to deteriorate, and he gave me several good observations and pointers. Then we paddled back, and despite having paid for an hour of instruction and only gotten maybe 20 minutes of actual work, I was quite satisfied.
  10. For compressing soft stuff -- sleeping bags, fleece clothes -- the only bag that actually works (or did, as of a few years back) is the OR (Outdoor Research) Hydroseal-Drycomp. Here's my Amazon comment from -- gee whiz -- over 6 years ago. http://www.amazon.com/Outdoor-Research-Hydroseal-DryComp-Sack/product-reviews/B0007PR966 For soft, compressible things -- like fleece clothing and sleeping bags -- this is the ONLY combination dry bag and compression sack that actually works to compress and keep the contents dry. So, it's the one that kayakers, for whom space is a premium, should use for their clothing and sleeping bags. Why? In a nutshell, it has two separate chambers. The inner one is like a standard stuff sack with a drawstring. Then there's an outer extension with a dry bag roll top. Outside of the inner chamber are four good compression straps (five straps would haven been better, but that's a minor point). You compress and seal against water in separate steps. First fill the inner chamber with your sleeping bag and/or clothes and cinch it with the drawstring, leaving the outer/upper extension chamber flapping open. Next compress the inner chamber with the straps until it's rock hard. Finally, roll down the outer chamber and seal it against water in standard dry bag fashion. With all other, single chamber bags (including OR's) you are simultaneously compressing and sealing, and it just doesn't work -- you will get good compression OR a good seal, but not both. Trust me -- I have a box full of them.
  11. http://www.saundersdwyer.com/Obituaries.htm-- click on Mattapoiset From his daughters on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sierra.santos/posts/10152983134704712 https://www.facebook.com/keanna.santos.9/posts/10152975975270040 Many of us knew him as a gifted coach and genuinely nice guy. Condolences to his family and friends. --David
  12. Excellent observation! I had a similar experience at my first 3* (old style) assessment many years ago. At the after-assessment interview Steve Maynard delivered a rather long list of my specific shortcomings. Interestingly, I didn't take notes, which I usually need to do. Instead, they were burned into my memory (strong emotions will do that!). I went home and wrote them all down, and for the next few months that list was my systematic training guide. Result -- passed with flying colors the next try. For 4* you have a more difficult problem, since you need others to be led for your leadership training -- you cannot do it alone. But you are going about it very nicely -- organize cooperative "incident management" trainings. My only suggestion is to try to bring along at one or more who have already passed the 4*, even if they are not official coaches -- they will be able to spot and correct flaws and make suggestions, and your improvement (and that of the others working with you) will go a lot faster. And, of course, do some training with good coaches.
  13. Dynamite! -- now duly bookmarked, right under the NOAA graphical forecast. --David PS -- I notice that the water temp maps at wunderground.com have stopped updating as of early June, for example... http://www.wunderground.com/MAR/AN/251.html So I wonder if the table and map Rob points to are intended as a replacement for the prior data and maps. If so, it may be a significant net loss. Can anyone find other copies of the wundergound map and/or data that may be more up to date, in case it's their problem and not NOAA's.
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