Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Kayak Meme Machine 5

Once again, this is to collect some of the memes I've created and shared in other places. You can see more in post 1post 2, post 3, and post 4. Here are the latest:

Now one of my local surf spots, but taken years before I moved to the Mendocino Coast. Anyone recognize the bridge?

Everyone should recognize where this was taken. Always a challenge trying to work a specific landmark feature into a good action shot, but this one worked out pretty well.

Though you can't tell, this was taken just around the corner from the previous pic. And truth  be told, it was a spilling wave wrapping around a point, not a surf break, so the perceived difficulty/danger in the shot is far greater than the actual. That's what we go for: make it look exciting but be in complete control the whole time :)

Saturday, December 3, 2016

2016 Holiday Sale on A Paddler's Journey

It's holiday season again and I'm making it easier to purchase my kayaking memoir, A Paddler's Journey. If you haven't heard me talk about it before, the book tells my story as a kayaker, from a complete novice floundering in the surf and on the river, to a highly respected instructor and expedition paddler. It's about paddling, but really about the journey we all take in life to find what we love, to improve ourselves, and to come to peace with our place in the world. Even if you've never touched a blade to the water you'll understand the action and recognize the lessons learned.

There are a couple different ways to purchase the book in print or electronic form, but the sale prices won't last forever. If you purchase a print copy through the CreateSpace site (a division of Amazon) and use the code XUW6M6ZV you'll get $3.00 off the cover price. That makes it only $9.99!

And if you want a signed copy you can order that through my website. You can even tell me what you want on the inscription and have me mail it directly to someone special as a gift. I have limited stock on hand so first come first serve for Christmas gifts. You'll need to order by 12/15/15 in order to make sure it gets there in time. And if you order in December I'll even through in a free copy of my Paddle California DVD, highlighting some of the best kayaking our wonderful state has to offer.

(with free Paddle California DVD)

The digital version is only available at Amazon and at $2.99  - but for one weekend it's FREE! (only through 12/5/16)

And if you've already read the book, let me know what you thought - I love to get feedback. You can always leave a comment, or if you want to share your thoughts with the rest of the world, consider writing a quick review. (Reviews also help drive Amazon search engines, so just by leaving one you'll help other people find the book)

And for those who missed it the first time, here's the trailer if you want more info on the book itself:

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Kayak Meme Machine 4

Once again, this is to collect some of the memes I've created and shared in other places. You can see more in post 1, post 2, and post 3. Here are the latest:

This is the inimitable Sean Morely in one of the first production versions of the Jackson Kayak Karma RG. He came up to the Mendocino area with a few of the Jackson folks to shoot a promo video. I tagged along to get a few shots of my own - and to try out the boat. Very fun design, but a bit bouncy on big waves.

This photo goes back to before this blog started: 2004, Ecuador. A really fun trip with a lot of cool guys. They didn't really like us riding on top of the bus, but it was crowded and they let us get away with it until we got back into town. Kind of cool that you can use public transportation for shuttle.

And here is my lovely wife demonstrating how to have fun while kayaking: smile and kayak. That's all there is to it.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Kayak Meme Machine 3

Here's a few more of my memes. You can check out the earlier ones at the first post and post two.

This picture was taken on a trip to the Okisollo Wave off Quadra Island in British Columbia. You could sit on the wave all day if you wanted. When we got tired of waiting our turn, we'd drop in and join our friends. Three was a tight fit that never lasted long, but two people could hang out for a while. It looks so mellow, and felt mellow, but the current was eight knots and down in the pocket you were below sea level so it had an eery quality of speed to it. Read more about it in this post.

This one's from Featherfest - the biggest whitewater festival in California on the North Fork of the Feather River. The class V Tobin section is only a mile long and roadside the whole way. Makes for quick laps, easy pictures, and lots of boofs :)

I love this shot I got of a little kid checking out the strange kayakers before we launched off Dillon Beach at the mouth of Tomales Bay (a write-up from the day here). He seemed so happy to check out our kayaks and not at all afraid of a fully geared up kayakers. Hopefully the memory will sit in his subconscious and we'll have a future kayaker a decade from now.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Legend in My Own Mind

We all have egos. Kayakers may be a welcoming bunch, always ready to welcome a new member to the club or show a stranger the line on a rapid. We rib each other over our gaffes, celebrate our swims with a bootie beer, and gather together in some of the most unflattering clothing the world can design. But underneath it all we have a little pride. We want to do well and be known for doing it. I am no different.

My last post was about the love I felt at the Paddle Golden Gate symposium, but one of the best feel-good moments came a bit later. It came from one of my students, an older gentleman who used to paddle whitewater but found himself in a long boat as he slowed down. He brought great enthusiasm to the class and was happy to talk to another river guy. After the event he searched out my book and sent me a quick email relating to one of the stories inside.

Several years ago he found himself in Pasadena, standing next to the Arroyo Seco. He wondered if it might be kayak-able and asked a local friend. He was told it rarely ran, but it had been done in the past. Some locals had done it a few years earlier and apparently had to hike out in the dark, only to find their shuttle vehicle locked inside the parking lot at JPL. But they had kayaked it.

That's chapter 12 in A Paddler's Journey. My first introduction to creeking in California and still one of my fondest memories. Yes, we hiked out in the dark the first day. And our car was locked in. but we built a ramp out of stones to drive out. My buddies were covered with poison oak and we all had blisters the size of softballs on our feet. We came back the following week to hike in and finish the paddle out. Total success.

It's nice to be remembered for what you did, especially if you had fun doing it. I'm glad some of my stories exist in the world even if I'm not there to speak them. Here's what I said about that trip in the book:

When I think of the fun moments that paddling has brought me, the incredible views and exotic locations, one of the first images to spring forth is Andreas and Paul standing arm in arm posing atop a ridge overlooking the lights of a city of ten million people. The closeness and camaraderie we found on the Arroyo Seco is something you don’t get from the picnic grounds or a short hike to the falls. It sets us apart from those who never leave their concrete environment; it makes the hardship and struggle more than worth the effort. I overcame my fear and doubt and re-found myself through kayaking, and nothing would take that away again. 

Thanks, Bix, for making me feel important if only in a little way.