Sunday, July 23, 2017

City of Water Day - a few more pix, and a great album (with stats) from a friend!

Wow, don't know what happened to last week, I'd meant to put these up much sooner. I didn't end up taking that many pictures during City of Water Day because after a slightly slow start, things picked up and I was helping out all day, either on the water or getting people onto and off of the water. However, here were a few pictures I did take - and then clubmate Chris B. was on land all day and he got a ton of great photos, which he shared in a Google album which he prefaced with the thank-you email sent out by Barbara T., who was our amazing organizer for the day. That email included the final statistics for the day, which were pretty impressive! Click here to view.  

Sunday, July 16, 2017

City of Water Day - A Photographic Progression

When we're throwing a shindig at Sebago Canoe Club, there's always that early-on "what if we have this party and nobody comes?" moment. Especially when the day starts out kind of gray and drippy.

Once again, folks showed up! Ended up being a really good day.  

:D />

(frogma kayak smiley, patent pending)

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Morning at Sebago

Quiet Paerdegat, a little before 8 am

click for detail.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

7/9/2017, Family Day at Sebago - plus, here comes City of Water Day

Sunday was Family Day at Sebago! Children of all ages were welcome; smaller kids and their parents went in the restored war canoe, with smaller canoes and kayaks for older kids and their folks. We did a short paddle, just out into the bay, with a stop on the beach just outside the basin for running around on the beach, water gun fights (note for next year: MORE WATER GUNS) and a couple of sweeps with the seine net to see what's living in the bay. Mostly little fish this time; we checked them out then let them go. 

After that, we headed back to the club for a barbecue/potluck lunch. 

 There was also a double-hander workshop going on for the dinghy sailors, and there was a longer member paddle in the morning, and one of the sailors tried a rowing shell of the non-entry-level variety, so there was swimming, too! :D Something for everyone! 

 I hadn't planned on this but came to help out with the war canoe, thinking a little practice immediately after Saturday's lesson would be good. I ended up helping out with the kayakers instead, but I was still glad I went, it was lots of fun. That was part 3 of my Sebago trifecta weekend, and I really had a good time.

More pictures on Flickr.

Hey NYC-area folks - don't forget City of Water Day, this Saturday, July 15th! 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

War Canoe Steering Workshop At Sebago, 7/8/2017

Going a little out of order, here's Part 1 of my big trifecta Sebago weekend. Part 2 was, of course, that spectacular full moon paddle, but before that, I participated in a War Canoe Steering Workshop, run by canoe committee chair Dan Olson. 

Sebago has two of these classic Old Town 25' wood and canvas war canoes. We don't use them very often these days, but they do get brought out on days when we're likely to have families with children who are too young for kayaks coming out for a paddle, events like Sunday's Family Day (more on that later) and this coming Saturday's City of Water Day (come out and play, things are going on all over the waterfront!). For this purpose, they're perfect - with a knowledgeable paddler in the bow and stern, you can take out at least 8 novice paddlers - more if there are some extra-little ones. It's a big, stable boat, they can go over but it's unusual for that to happen as long as everybody in the boat is more or less behaving themself. They were also traditionally used for racing at the club; as they got older, that lost popularity, but one's now been beautifully refurbished and if we end up doing the other one, too, that could be a fun tradition to reinstate.

I'd been the bow person in one of these boats once, back in 2015. I had no idea how to do it properly, but we had a family show up to City of Water Day late; we were already putting boats away, but the war canoe was still in the water, and commodore emeritus John W., who is a very experienced canoeist, was willing to take the stern if anybody was up for taking the bow. I volunteered, I didn't know the proper way to do it but I know the basic strokes, and the person in the stern calls the shots, so with John giving me good directions, we were able to take the latecomers out for a nice spin on the basin.

When Dan announced the workshop, I thought it would be fun to learn how to do it right - and besides, this was the first official outing of the war canoe that the club had had restored this year! That was pretty exciting - we've had these canoes for a long time, and they've been cared for, but not with much skill. They were terribly heavy, somebody had told me that at some point somebody had fiberglassed them, which turned out not to be true, but apparently there were many coats of polyurethane to be stripped. Click here for an excellent writeup of the history and restoration of Sebago War Canoe #1, by boatbuilding chair Jim Luton.

The workshop was good fun! I always enjoy learning a new boating skill, and Dan was a good instructor. It was a little bit breezy, which actually wasn't a bad thing, it was nice to actually have something to work against while practicing, and this was a good time to do it (better than learning on a calm day and then having things kick up on City of Water Day with less experienced paddlers). We all got to take turns at both bow and stern if we wanted to; I did both, it was nice to get some pointers on how to do the bow steering with proper technique, as opposed to just muddling through as I did that one time with John. It was also really interesting being in the stern and suddenly having so many paddles to co-ordinate - that was very definitely something new and different! I put my clubmates through their paces trying all kinds of different stuff, and then Dan also had me just let them paddle forward and see how much control I had over the boat by myself from back there. It was a fun day out in a handsome old boat, and I do hope I get to practice some during City of Water Day!

Here are a few pictures from the day. Click on any photo for a slideshow view, or click here to see more in Flickr.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Full Moon Paddle at Sebago Canoe Club

I thought that today's post would be about a great learning experience at the club yesterday involving a newly shiny old boat (if you're FB friends with me you've seen it), but I ended up going to the club to help out with Family Day. That was tons of fun and then when I got home I had some stuff to do (including taking a nap!) so I'm going to go a little out of sequence and share pix from the wonderful Full Moon Paddle on Saturday night. I'll come back to learning to steer the war canoe (plus the rest of Colorado, I still haven't posted some of the best stuff from that trip) later.

It was so nice that the full moon fell on a weekend this month!  We launched just as the moon was rising and paddled about six miles, pausing to watch a helicopter land at the Floyd Bennett Field police air station, and enjoying a couple of late 4th of July fireworks displays on our way to the club for the customary Sebago snacks and libations.

A beautiful night, thanks to official club mermaid Vicky M. for leading us and arranging such great entertainment! And t
hat's all the writeup I'm going to do, here a some photos, click on any of the pictures for a slideshow view. Enjoy! 

Saturday, July 08, 2017

How Does My Garden Grow? Early July Edition - plus, coming attraction!

Well, it's not shaping up to be my best garden ever. I planted in May, just before I went on vacation. When I left there were lots of chard and beet sprouts coming up in the big empty space, and I had a couple of friends lined up to water in case it was dry. Unfortunately late May and early June rollercoaster weather with big temperature swings and heavy, heavy rains. The pole beans didn't seem to care, the tomato plants just didn't grow much, ditto for the basil, which also got to looking seriously sad and wan, but survived, but it was apparently all a little too much for the beets and chard that usually take up that middle swath there. There are a few coming up but nothing like usual. I might start another round of seeds at home, now that the big office move is over I'm hoping I might be able to start getting out to the club on weekdays a little more.

I did get out to the club a little early on Tuesday so I could do a little gardening before the evening paddle. The weather's settled out into some more normal east coast summer weather, the basil has definitely cheered up, and I got to eat my first Sungold cherry tomatoes of the season!

We did have some huge downpours today, shows one one-hour span today that had 1.34 inches 
 (yikes, the general rule of thumb I've heard for water quality is that if it's rained more than an inch in 24 hours, a paddler would be wise to avoid immersion for the next couple of days, ugly things happen when the city's drain gets hit with too much water at once - I'm paddling tomorrow but my plan will be to stay right-side up, no refreshing rolling or bracing), and then tonight I was in the kitchen cooking haupia to share at the club tomorrow, rattling pots and pans and playing music, when I heard this strange hissing noise. First I thought it was something boiling over on the stove but it turned out to be the sound of the rain that I was hearing all the way from out the living room, where I keep a window open. Wasn't coming in or anything, just falling so heavily!

The other garden pictures are of clubmate Tracy's plot, she grows flowers and strawberries and the flowers were just looking so lovely in the late afternoon sun. The bees really appreciate her flowers!

And the last picture? Well, that's something I'm very excited about, tomorrow is going to be a great day at the club. Also a late one so I'll probably post about the day on Sunday. It's going to be great, though!