Wednesday, November 30, 2005

addendum re Joe...

OK, I know I wrote too much on that post yesterday, but I did want to add something.

Joe and I ended up being friends. Not going-out-for-coffee-every-week friends but we stay in touch & he occasionally (once in a blue moon really, he's married & in law school now, still a busy busy guy & not too far from getting moreso - in the unlikely event you're reading this J & J, congrats again!) reads this blog.

I'd say that even if he didn't, though. He was a good guy. I was very attached to him - I'm pretty independent & don't really date (dating scene in NY requires a much thicker hide than I possess) but when I do fall for somebody it's very wholeheartedly. The breakup wasn't an easy one - in the end, though, I told him something along the lines of "Look, I'm hurt and angry and I'm not going to pretend things are fine - but if you'll accept that & let me be hurt and angry for a while, then I think we can end up as friends". We'd been friends before we started dating, and we were also still both doing things at the Irish Arts Center, so ending up as friends was definitely a desirable outcome for both of us (as well as for the people in our Irish music social circle).

He's a pretty guy-ish guy, not too comfortable with the heavy-deep-n-real stuff - but he listened to what I had to say and he accepted my request/challenge - and the fact that he respected me enough to hear me out & say "OK" made it a lot easier to get through the hurt & angry bit. So much better than this tendency a lot of people seem to have these days to foist off all responsibility for hurt on the one who's gotten hurt - "oh, you are only in pain because you choose to be in pain; you could choose to be happy and carefree like me; since you choose to be in pain, you must be a sad sick person; gee, you should really talk to somebody about that - oh, my, look at the time, late for yoga class, gotta run, see you in our next incarnation!".

Yeah. Whatevahs.

Anyways, just had to add that. Don't think I made Joe sound really terrible but I did want to add this in. Just because.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Meme of 5 Things (with unrequired set of photos at end)

Every now and then I check Technorati to see if anybody's saying anything about me - turns out that while I was off in the Caribbean, Loup (who's ) tagged me with a meme I'd been thinking was kind of fun anyway. So, I'm glad I checked, I've done the housecleaning I promised myself I'd come home & do tonight (the lilypad was a bit of a mess and Saturday was originally slated for tidying-up until I got the invitation to go sailing!), and now I can have a little fun before I turn in. There's a bonus at the end btw since once again I've managed to make a short meme long.

10 years ago – hm...condensed version of my resume makes this tricky - I was either working at the place I will refer to only as "the publishing shed", or I may have already had fight w/boss over his bullying of a co-worker (he thought it was pretty funny to accuse her of bringing a waterbug to work with her in her purse) & moved on to the Asia Society. Living in Brooklyn with my friend who got me to to move to New York and the guy he was involved with at the time.
8 years ago - Working for a now-defunct financial company, central compliance division. Dating Joe, who was working for another bank & also being an independent filmmaker - we had some good fun doing Irish music & dance together (he was Irish-American and had moved to NY in part with the intent of learning more about his Irish heritage, we met in set dancing class & boy did I ever love dancing with him) but a lot of it was an exercise in patience - didn't want him to NOT make his movie, that would've been bad, but at the same time...well, he was a busy busy and very tired guy & I ended up feeling like an afterthought a lot. Figured we could make it up when he was done with the film. Living in Windsor Terrace with a roommate who thought the upstairs neighbours were having her stalked.
4-7 years ago -
1998: Joe broke up w/me after realizing he'd never quite gotten over unrequited college flame who said she might be moving to NY & might date him if she did, roommate went seriously over the edge (fortunately moving out in the end) & I got laid off from the bank all at about the same time. Fun fun fun. Got new job, took up paddling (didn't want to dance anymore so it was time to get back in touch with my own roots - not the genetic ones but the raised-in-Hawaii ones).
1999: became a partner in Manhattan Kayak Company. Left bank #2 (still not sure if I quit or was fired, wasn't working out too well). Mentor Richard talked me into going for ACA Instructor Development Workshop at Eskape Kayaks in CA; had most wonderful time then came back to start new job at private bank - my office was on the 95th floor of WTC 2.
2000 – Promoted at work; was making lots of money but never quite trusting it to last; bad chemistry between me & founder of MKC starting to kick in very badly but w/encouragement of 2 new partners (who also went & got certified at the same time, the Instructor Certification Exam was a blast, we all went to Ray Killen at Katabasis) I got my ACA Open-Water Coastal Kayaking Instructor certification.
2001 - Relationship w/founder continued to founder (bad) but I was gaining more confidence about my own teaching abilities (good); same partners and I went for 3-star training & certification from Bill Lozano at Atlantic Kayak Tours (awesome). Got laid off from day job in June 2001 (I was right, it WAS too good to last). With a highly generous severance package, I chose to be a kayak bum for the summer (beyond awesome). Severance package included outplacement workshop. Signed up for one as the season was nearing an end - date of workshop - 9/11 - location of workshop - WTC 2 - time of workshop 9 A.M. Survived; river closed; unemployed. Original temp job at Really Big Children's Publishing Company fell into my lap without my really trying - unemployment was telling me that the WTC had nothing to do with my claim & demanded proof that I was looking; I started calling agencies just for the sake of being able to say I'd faxed resumes here, here and there - Agency #2 was one I'd had some good experiences with (Ribolow) & said "When can you start?". Um, how about tomorrow? OK, good.
Now – Still at Really Big only as finance analyst in Trade division; dropped out of MKC in early '02, got schooner job almost as serendipitously as day job, still working on that schooner in the summertime; just back from the Caribbean; paddling with a really nice group out of Pier 63. So as of now, everything worked out pretty well, yeah?

So much for simple. My life just doesn't condense too well.

Five yummy things (not necessarily in order and leaving out all kinds of good things, like CHOCOLATE, Maine lobster, sushi, etc. etc. etc.):

1) Really fresh sweet corn in the summertime.
2) Ummm, Auntie K & Canoe-Buildin' Uncle's farm-raised lamb. Preferably accompanied by really fresh sweet corn in the summertime.
3) My homemade roast butternut squash soup. Someone on the Bear Mountain Bridge trip called it "Thanksgiving in a cup" which is just about the nicest thing anybody's ever said about anything I ever cooked. It's pretty much idiot-proof and doesn't need a recipe, you can improvise ("hmmm, no chestnuts, well I'll toast these almonds & chuck them in instead"). I think my Pennsylvania Dutch maternal grandmother would approve.
4) The dulce du leche flan at Hispaniola Restaurant - the miso butterfish is also fantastic.
5) Hawaiian comfort food - manapua, Leonard's malasadas, saimin, plate lunch...mmm. homesick now.

Five songs I know by heart:

OK I actually used to sing with a really good church choir when I lived on the Upper East Side & also did Irish song so I have a LOT of songs by heart - this is another random selection!
1) Am Maidean Mheara (Gaelic song, The Seal-Wife legend)
2) Paddy's Green Shamrock Shore (very good song to be sung on a boat)
3) Luck In My Eyes, (K.D. Lang)
4) Ubi Caritas (from Durufle's Quatre Motets pour Lent - I only know the alto line! - this is one of the things I miss singing, the choir was just too far away when I moved out to Brooklyn)
5) Moon River (this gets in here 'cause it was from a night I totally crashed and burned at karaoke - I sing LOTS better with other people anyways but I was game - well I figured Moon River would be safe but then it was in the most totally horrible key of all time!)

Five things I would do with a lot of money:

1) Probably give moving back to Hawaii a try
2) BOAT SKILLS ACQUISITION MADNESS! Things I could realistically shoot for if money didn't matter & I wasn't bound by vacation days - 5-star training & maybe someday assesment! Renew my ACA instructor certification! BCU Coaching Cert! Captain's License! More Surfing! More Whitewater! More Surfski Racing! More Greenland-style Whatever else sounds cool & doable! More teaching, more learning, more fun!
3) A lot more horseback riding (I want to go back to my little grass shack but I also want to go back to Cae-Iago!)
4) Figure out what I want to be when I grow, seriously. this would probably involve maybe going and taking courses & volunteering & just trying different things until something seems to "click" as something that I really enjoy doing that would also give me something useful to do with my life.
5) Share it with family, schools, charities.

Five places I would like to escape to (I'm going to take that as "visit"):

1) Hawaii
2) Virgin Islands (I just did, too, lucky me!)
3) Manistee River in Michigan
4) New Zealand
5) Australia (I'll go visit Chosha!
5.1) or, um...Hawaii.

Five things I would never wear:

1) Extremely tight pants (uncomfortable & not very pretty on me).
2) Anything that involves publicly baring anything that is not ordinarily bared in public or that could easily be mistaken for an undergarment.
3) Anything that requires having holes punched in body parts to wear.
4) Heavy makeup
5) This.

Five favorite TV shows:

1) M*A*S*H
2) The Muppet Show
3) Murphy Brown
4) Star Trek (TNG or Voyager, it's a toss-up)
5) Law & Order
Can you tell that I have not had a television in my home for several years!

Five things I enjoy doing:

1) Boating
2) Horseback riding
3) Reading
4) Hanging out with friends
5) Artsy stuff.

Five Favorite toys:

2) optio pentax waterproof camera (thanks again parents!)
3) schooner (although that is pushing the definition of "toy" and it's not mine)
4) tin whistle
5) paper (you can draw on it, you can write on it, you can fold it into origami!)

Five people who get this meme:

1) ?
2) ?
3) ?
4) ?
5) ?

no, seriously, I got this so late I have no idea who's already done it - if you haven't & you want to, just say so!

And in closing I give you a 5 things bonus (not part of the original meme) -

Five Shots of the New York Fire Department putting out a burning cab right by Pier 63!

(don't worry no one was injured, although the driver looked very unhappy, poor guy)
Burning cab.

Here's the fire truck!

OK, let's take care of this mess...

2nd truck arrived right after the first one - that's them over there, the first truck has things totally in hand so they're just watching

Well that pretty much takes care of that.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Out for a ride on the Rosemary Ruth!

Way back in June, I did my first "Frogma Virtual Tour", more or less on a whim inspired by having a single-use waterproof camera lying around from some trip or another...

That was a while back so I don't quite expect anybody to remember this from it (and this is a better picture I took from the Adirondack II on our last public sail of the season - everybody on board was admiring the Rosemary Ruth!)

I got a chance to take a few closer shots today!

Very nice group, sweet boat (Richard, the owner, said "sweet" was an OK adjective - he was even ok with "cute", he's a very nice guy, makes a very good gluhwein and has a lot of awfully good sea stories) - I always enjoy meeting new Hudson River people, and I hope I get to sail with all of them again at some time or another!

Me (pretending to steer), Brian (who's actually steering, just gave me the wheel for the picture), and Maggie. Brian crews on the schooner Pioneer, and Maggie is the educator for the Pioneer (that's just got to be one of the coolest jobs ever). Robert is taking the picture (Thank you, Robert!)

This is Richard, the rescuer/owner of the Rosemary Ruth -

That's Maggie up by the bow, Richard peeking out from behind the mast, Brian in the red jacket & Robert is by the shroud. Why is everyone smiling? Well, first of all we're sailing but the additional reason at this moment is that that Thermos Richard is brandishing is full of gluhwein, and Brian's brought out some of his mom's homemade biscotti (in the ziploc bag) - life, as they say, is good!

Yes, life is indeed good.

I feel like I should write some more but I am pretty sleepy & I'm doing my might-almost-be-annual-now Paddle Off the Turkey Paddle - no big deal, just 3 hours or so of moving kayaks with energy in whichever direction the current dictates - this year it's a southbound, might be going to the Statue of Liberty again. Yep, twice in one weekend, s'alright.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Greetings from a ways up the river...

Nope, not a boat adventure this time. The train was the mode of transport for this trip north, I'm visiting friends for Thanksgiving. Nothing much to say today, just that I hope everyone - at least everyone who celebrates the US Thanksgiving - had a very happy & peaceful one.

And actually I hope those of you who don't happen to be people who celebrated Thanksgiving yesterday had one heckuva nice Thursday too!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

A sailing lesson from Cap'n Kat

This is a shot of a bit of a tidal race near Cruz Bay, on St. John, USVI. There are some pretty considerable currents around here & on this day, those currents & a quite strong east wind conspired to change our plans. We'd started out the day with the intention of sailing around St. John; Capt. Sarah had wintered there a couple of years ago & she wanted to show us around. I'd ended up at the wheel - everything was fine until we came around to the windward side of the island & things started to kick up. There was a 2 - 3 foot swell, with some bigger ones around 4 feet, and the wind was coming from exactly the direction we wanted to go. The windspeeds weren't terribly fierce, 15-20 knots, but frequently gusting to higher levels. At first I was a little spooked - those conditions may not sound too awful but frankly most of my driving experience is in lighter air. I love it when I get to drive the schooner Adirondack & never turn down a chance to do so, but that's almost always in calmer conditions (not to mention that she's twice the length & a whole lot heavier - the Carina was suddenly feeling awfully small!) - when the sailing really starts to get fun is generally also the time when the crew needs to be the crew, the captain needs to drive - making sure that all our passengers are comfortable & enjoying themselves becomes our main focus. If they are all happy, we'll let her rip & put the rail in the water. However nobody more experienced was jumping up to take over, and then Kat actually started giving me some pointers on how to kinda swoop the boat over the bigger swells - and in pretty short order, what started as a bit spooky had turned into a total blast - in the quieter conditions in which I've steered the Adirondack, it's all about responding to the wind - adding the waves as a new component to respond to was really exciting. Whee!

Only problem was that with the tacking we had to do, and a pretty solid current running against us - we kinda weren't getting anywhere (there was this point that we were passing for an AWFULLY long time) so after a while we decided to scratch the circumnavigation & head back over to the leeward side. We decided to stop for a lunch & swim break in placid, sea-turtle filled Hawksnest Bay - the adrenaline on the windward side had been great but somehow once we got back around the bend we all found that we were ready for a little rest! I started to say, this is a nice little bit of a race between St. John & these little rocky islets - looked like it could've been fun in a kayak with the one drawback of being TOTALLY in the middle of where ALL the sailboats and ferries and stuff were going.

Looking back, I think is says something about the mindset we got into on this trip that we never even considered dropping the sails & motoring (in fact that just hit me as I was writing this!). That just wasn't what we were there for. I think that's part of why this trip was so sucessful - none of us got caught up in destinations, it was just about being there!

(lifted wholesale from my Sailing the Virgin Islands gallery - added a few more last night, having a lovely time revisiting & writing 'em up - thought this would make an OK standalone blog post)

btw - I was having way too much fun to hand over the helm & go get my camera when we were over on the south side of the island - but here's a photo taken back in the more sheltered side later in the day. This was fun but it was even more exciting on the south side!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

More Caribbean photos

I went home last night & put up a few more pictures on my Sailing the Virgin Islands gallery. I am still working back to front - I am getting into some of the underwater stuff now, I stopped before I got to the bay with the fantastic snorkeling with the fish and the sea fans and the brain coral...but there was definitely some interesting subject matter in Hawksnest Bay on St. John, too!

Hope you enjoy them!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Readjusting plus GE PCB cleanup article.

Warming up to the kind of chilly Hudson -


OK, that felt kinda good!

Here's the gang from Sunday. Beautiful beautiful day, and as you can see, I'm not kidding about that business of fall and winter paddling & having the river all to ourselves!

So there's how the Sunday readjustment paddle went. Worked like a charm - I knew it would. I'm SO glad F. called that paddle, it really was just what I needed to shake off the blue-water blues. WAY better than sitting home & moping over summer being over! We had a lovely day, it was a nice group to paddle with, I definitely felt a bit stiff & as though I was fighting all the clothes and fighting to drag my boat through the water heading north but this quick horsing-around session seemed to shake everything loose rather beautifully & everything seemed to snap together again heading south. Water's good - cold and green or warm and blue, it's all good. Boats are good. Drysuits suck but they let you keep playing in the boats and the water so they're OK too.

Speaking of playing in the Hudson - and on a more serious note - looks like GE is trying to sidle out of their obligation to clean up their leftover PCB's. Very interesting & rather depressing article on the matter in today's NY Times.

I know it's expensive and all but dang, the river's become such an amazing place - it would really be nice to see GE recognize that & quit trying to figure out ways to cut corners on the cleanup...

oh, and on a happier note, everybody say hi (or "yo" or "howzit" or whatever your standard local greeting is) to Napoleon Kayaker! Actually it seems like there are quite a few new (or at least recently stumbled upon by the other kayak bloggers already listed on my Kayak Blogs blogroll) kayak blogs. I have been very bad at updating my blogrolls over the summer but now that schooner season's over & all my vacations for the year are behind me, I really do hope to do a little housekeeping!

Fact is, I can't quite believe I kept this thing going for the entire season in the first place!

P.S. - OK. Derrick is already rolling in ice cubes. My little post-Caribbean self-pity-party is now officially over. Thank you all for your patience (or at least not posting comments to the tune of "Oh, boo hoo hoo!").
. . O
:D />

p.p.s. - One quick final word here - I seriously considered putting up some kind of "trained quasi-professional kayaker, kids don't try this at home" notice on this. Fact is, I've worked my butt off to be able to continue to frolic with relative impunity in November - there are about a zillion hours of intensive practice in warm water that went into being able to do the stuff I'm doing in those pictures. I'm adding this now because Mr. SeaLevel has done a really nice post today on the very subject of the sort of considerations that go into cold-water paddling and ways to learn more about the hazards entailed. Derrick had his cold-water post not long ago too, and I did say something right before I left on vacation - everybody gets worked up about it because it is absolutely serious stuff. Done right, with respect & proper preparations for the conditions you'll be out in & an understanding of your own abilities & limitations, off-season paddling can be great fun - done carelessly, it can turn pretty bad pretty fast.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

A Fish For Derrick

Here's a fish for you, Derrick!

These are 2 shots of the same guy.

now the question is - can anybody spot him?

I am quite serious, there actually is a fish in both of these pictures!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Virgin Islands gallery now open.

So rather than inflict any more photos of my wonderful trip here, I've started posting trip photos over a new Buzznet gallery. I tend to post these back to front; right now the last 3 days of the trip are up. I took a LOT of pictures, I'm really trying to discipline myself & just put the best ones up. I got a chance to try out the Optio for snorkeling, and since I hadn't had a chance to try it underwater yet, there was quite a learning curve - but every fish I took a picture of, I took the picture because I thought it was a cool fish so I like all of 'em - but there are definitely some that are not good photos. Then there were the rainbows - I took to saying "Ho hum, another rainbow" - but I'd still try to take a picture of every single one that we saw. In the end, exactly one of those, taken at Caneel Bay, St. John, is actually a good bright picture of a rainbow (sadly that is NOT the one with the Spitfire, a lovely yacht owned by some friends from my first schooner season, in it - that was a bummer).

Seems to be a lot more stuff in the Caribbean that's beautiful in a tough-to-photograph way - or maybe it's just that I know the Hudson so much better, it's easier to know what would make a good picture and what's better to just admire for the moment.

Trying to get myself back into this business of winter now. I hardly expect to get any sympathy for this, but I am having a rough time with it. I've taken to visiting my folks (hi folks!) in Hawaii later in the winter because it's such a shock to the system to go someplace where they pull out sweaters & go "Brrr!" when the temperature hits 70, then come back to where a 70-degree day constitutes the most freakishly wonderful Indian-summer gift that fall can bestow - it's easier to come back when spring is at least just around the corner. As it, winter is looking very long & dark. My inclination right now is just to stay in my nice warm apartment; I think that I have to join Goofy & F (new hold person) on a short paddle they are doing tomorrow just to get myself back into the winter paddling mindset that a week in board shorts & bikini tops has made rather difficult to capture.

Problem is, having grown up in Hawaii, in some way the mindset where you put on a sweater at 70 seems to be what some very inflexible & cranky little corner of my brain insists is what's normal. That's the corner of the brain that's going "Drysuit? UGH, DISGUSTING, NO NO NO!". Thing is I think that's also the corner of the brain where really loving getting out on or in the water resides, so if I just grit my teeth, pack up ugh the big bag ugh ugh of winter gear ugh ugh ugh and make myself get out there, that'll help get the winter-paddling-is-good mindset back. I'm actually trying to underdress a bit, not bundling up as much as I feel like doing on the way to work & stuff - I think that the body is pretty good at acclimatizing to conditions, but having trotted off and thawed out for a week, I've got some catching up to do now!

There is a lot of fun to be had in the off-season, after all. The recreational motorboaters & jet-skiers tend to pack it in, leaving the river to the commercial traffic and the winter paddling set; it's peaceful; crossing the river feels a little less like playing Frogger (yes, that WAS my favorite video game when I was a kid!)- it's nice. The completely non-optional winter gear just kind of sucks, that's all.

I just need to suck it up, go for a short paddle tomorrow, then instigate a sushi trip before too long!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Winter sucks.

Like I didn't hate drysuits enough already.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Anagada, BVI

Would you believe that I took this picture as we were taking out the trash one morning?

"Yacht Shots BVI"

Anywhere in the world that there are people doing photogenic-kine adventure sports on a predictable basis, I think there's almost bound to be somebody who's carved themselves out a nice little niche taking and selling pictures of those people who are so engaged - turns out the BVI's are no exception! Here are some very nice pictures of the six of us sailing the Carina back to Road Harbor on our final day - I took a lot of nice pictures myself, which will start turning up over on my Buzznet account although there's a DSL setup package floating around out there in UPS attempted-delivery-land that I'd like to have in my soggy little paws & hooked up before I do so - but for sort of obvious reasons, the one shot I was unable to get was a picture of us under full sail! The photographers of Yacht Shots BVI were happy to rectify that matter for us. Actually it was an entertaining moment during that otherwise quiet & wistful last sail before we handed the Carina back over to Footloose Charter - we suddenly noticed this dinghy that seemed absolutely determined to get in the way, until we realized that the guy in the dinghy had perfect balance and a big ol' telephoto lens (and a really cute dog who seemed quite happy with the whole thing). The guy really had this thing down to a science - he was out in front of Road Harbor where all the charter yachts start & finish; he'd park himself outside of your course, take shots as you went past, then zip out in front of you and do the other side. His dinghy, of course, was clearly marked - sparing him the bother of trying to deliver a business card to a fast-moving sailboat. Worked great, I found us! He got a whole bunch of nice shots - I'll probably end up getting a print or two - I don't have to get my DSL for you to see them!

I'm back.


Saturday, November 12, 2005

Aloha from Cruz Bay!

Hi! I'm posting from the town of Cruz Bay, St. John's, USVI!

It's faaaaabulous!

Our boat is named the Carina, she's beeeyootiful, the water's beeeeeyooootifu, the sea turtle was cute, my boatmates are awesome, this is fantastic, I may just stay down here & work for Greg & Barbara & maybe Arawak (kayak tours)...

just fantastic.

anyways, outside is calling, there's snorkelling and hiking to be done, must run!!!

. .O
;D />

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Sunrise to Sunset - A Day on the Hudson

Tappan Zee Bridge, Sunrise, 10/31/05

I made an effort this morning to finish off my gallery from the delivery trip - and I did it - and here it is - Pier 62, NYC to the Hudson-Athens Light!

Technically that's actually pre-dawn to sunset. What a good weekend that was.

Now the reason I wanted to polish off that gallery was because la la la, I am less than 48 hours from Vacation, all I ever wanted, vacation had to get away...

ok maybe I should leave the song quotes to Derrick...

anyways, I'm off Tuesday morning for a week of sailing in the British Virgin Islands. WOOO HOOO! Gonna be a blast - I'm very excited, I haven't been to a really different part of the world since this wonderful trip that I was invited to take in Georgian Bay a few years back, and I'm looking forward to some warm breezes and clear blue water (not that I don't love the Hudson in all her olive-green splendor - I hope my galleries prove that!), and it's a good crew I'm going with (all women, a promising combination of crewmates from the schooner and bartenders who work with the schooner crewmate who's organized this shinding, so watch out!). Oh yes, there will be pictures! Anyways, I am basically shutting down shop here while I'm gone - don't you forget about me, hey, hey, hey, hey, don't yoooou, forget about me!

ok I should definitely leave the song quotes to Derrick...

btw just to keep up my reputation as a total Nervous Nellie and general pain in the kiester, while I'm down there playing in the warm water, may I mention that the water up here is now officially cold. I think most of the people who actually read this thing and are paddlers are pretty experienced paddlers - but if you happen to be a relatively new paddler in latitudes where the water temp is getting down to "brrr!", and nobody's read you the riot act on cold-water paddling yet, I highly recommend going & reading that "cold-water paddling" site I have on my links.

There, now that I've preserved my reputation as a safety prig, I will close by humiliating my poor mom was curious about how my seat repair was working, and I was explaining that it was working fine, but it was really ugly...well, they do say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here you have it, one ugly, yet effective, seat repair using spray-in foam such as can be purchased at any hardware store:

Fortunately, as far as I know, my kayak does not read my blog. Now if it inexpicably dumps me when I get back, I'll be a little suspicious.

So off to finish up the stuff I need to finish before the schoonergals wing our way south! Back in a week and a coupla days!

Friday, November 04, 2005

When Bonnie met Cheri at Norrie...

Today's post is from the Sunrise to Sunset gallery I'm working on now - I posted a picture of Norrie Point last night & just wrote & when I finished I looked at it & said "Hey, there's my Frogma post for tomorros...

Here's Norrie Point. This is one of the campsites on the Hudson River Watertrail; it's also the site of the annual Hudson River Greenland Festival, a celebration of traditional kayaks and kayaking skills. My Greenland mentor Jack gave me a ride up to this year before last; I had the most wonderful time; I won the sprint race & got second place in the women's rolling - that was partly because Cheri Perry - who's one of the top Greenland paddlers & rollers in the country - let me use her Greenland-style stitch-and-glue boat. OK, I absolutely adore my Romany, but in the "Stealth" boat - it's a sleek, slim & angular stich & glue & is finished in a glossy black - I was doing some very bizarre & wonderful things - the balance of
this thing was just exquisite & with Cheri talking me through "the list" - the Greenland kayaking championships in Greenland include a list of 30 manuevers - I was able to pull off things like a brick roll (hand roll - rolling the kayak without a paddle holding a good-sized rock in one hand) and an elbow roll (hand roll with your outboard hand on the back of your head - only got that on my on-side but still, wow wow wow...). I didn't manage the brick roll in competition but man, I was so amazed at what I was able to was like doing a very slow & wonderful dance with the boat and the river.

boy, it was phenomenal. Since then it has been a constant source of frustration to know that I am able to do this kind of stuff given the right boat & instruction - the boat, I'd have to build, and hope that it came out well (that's the thing about the homemade boats - people put so much time & care into building them, and sometimes they are sheer works of art, and sometimes they just aren't, and that's got to be the biggest dissapointment) then find storage for (and our barge is a little on the gritty side for a beautiful handmade craft); and Cheri does most of her teaching in Connecticutt which is a case of so near and yet so far. Got an email from her just a couple weeks ago - she & her similarly talented boyfriend are
offering semi-private lessons at a pool in a town in Connecticutt that's just a bit too far away and start a bit too early to make it work out well. Sigh.

So anyways...yeah...that's Norrie Point.

BTW the gallery isn't done yet but if you're intererested you can go ahead & take a look. Glorious day.

I am just going to add one more thing...

If there are any other latent Greenlandwannabes out there (and I think you know who you are...) who wants to twist my arm, holla back, ok? We can talk. Never hurts to talk. Trust me, the logistics are vile. It's the quality of the instruction & gear that even makes me even think about it...

Jack took me once last winter & it was great - although she made me squish into the Stealth in true Greenland style - idea being that NOTHING is going to knock a Greenland paddler loose from their boat, with a flat piece of closed cell foam holding my legs flat, which totally changes the mechanics of even the most basic rolling from the knees flexed & slightly splayed position of a "qajariaq". "Qajariaq" being what the Greenlanders call our modern takes on their traditional boats. The word means "kayak-like". A true "qajaq" is of course a hand-built skin on frame made to fit the wearer like a glove - "wearer" was an error but a good one so I'm leaving it in - really, being in a Greenland boat feels more like wearing something than sitting in something. Anyways, at Norrie Point she let me dispense with that (I was wearing a drysuit which was just bulky enough that the foam was just not going to to fit) which gave me just enough latitude to use the same technique as in my Romany, which is why it all went so spiffily. I was able to re-tune my technique some, but going to one session is just a terribly inneffective way to learn anything about rolling, it requires repetition repetition repetition until the muscles really start to understand what they need to do.

Listening to Cheri (that's me btw)(photo by Jack G.)

Stealthy Cheri Perry demonstrates a "straightjacket roll" - arms crossed, hands clasping shoulders - this one's the hardest of all & as such is actually used as a tiebreaker at the Greenland world championships. Yes, naturally I tried. Didn't even come close.

Thursday, November 03, 2005


Well shiver me poopdeck and splice the mizzen, 'tis the Battlin' Belgian, Cap'n Roosterbeam the Relentless, the Terror of the Hudson! North Bound at sunrise at the Tappan Zee Bridge, for the sacking of Albany - formerly known as the capital of the state of New York, henceforth to be known as SCARANOBOATVILLE!!! ARRRR!

(although when it comes right down to it, he might relent if somebody just has the sense to give him a cold Corona...)

(oh yeah..."Scaranoboatville" idea was swiped, in modified form, from Captain Sarah!)

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Statue of Liberty, Sunset, 10 30 05

Taken on the schooner Adirondack II during our last public sail of the year. It was a thoroughly beautiful end to a good season.

In which Bonnie explains herself to a left-winger

OK, so I am not trying to turn into a political blogger - mostly I'd rather just go paddling & let the world take care of itself - but if you happened to find my retort to a right-winger at all interesting, I actually did what pretty much amounts to a Part II to the original Bring It On. I left a rather extensive comment in which I explained to a couple of people who are quite a bit farther left than me why, although I trust this administration less and less (how can I when I keep hearing stuff like this on the morning news on what seems like a depressingly regular basis?) I just can't buy into some of the more extreme theories out there.

Think I used up my allotted blogging time for the week on that comment. I think this blog may become a photo blog until Tuesday, when I will be putting up a "Gone Sailing" sign on the door here at Frogma and heading down for a week with friends in the British Virgin Islands - Monday was absolutely beautiful and I came back with a camera full of pretty pictures from the schooner delivery trip, which was great. Got a ton of work to do if I want to leave the office for a week (during which I will be utterly incommunicado) with a clear desk and a clear conscience...might just be lazy and post a few of my favorite shots from that trip & the day before (when I took some friends out for the last public sail of the season - that's when I took that Statue of Liberty shot). Boy, do I love doing that delivery trip. Always makes me think of passages from Mark Twain's "Life on the Mississippi", the ones where he describes how a steamboat pilot has to know the entire river, both ways, to where he could bring a boat through with as easily as he could negotiate a hallway in his house in the dark (amazing stuff especially in those pre-Aid-To-Navigation days...). Talk about some great river writing. 'Course negotiating the Hudson in 2005 isn't much like that - the route is well marked with lighted buoys, just for starters - but I do like the fact that every time I do the run, I get a little more familiar with the route. Nowhere close to by heart though - that would take a little more than once or twice a year (now the tugboat pilots, they must know it in their sleep). Actually I'm thinking that the gallery I plan to post - the ultimate Frogma virtual tour, from leaving Chelsea Piers in the 4:15 a.m. darkness right up to sunset at the Saugerties-Hudson lighthouse (my batteries ran out right then) - may actually be a fun way to fix the order of the various sections of the route in my head, I'll be using my handy-dandy Hudson River Watertrail Guide to confirm my recollections as to locations where I took the various pictures. Should be fun, keep me out of trouble for a while if nothing else.

At any rate, it was wonderful & I'll at least share pix with short desciptions over the next week. For now, back to work, tons to do.