Monday, November 29, 2010

Kayaks for Women - Really?

I was looking for more "essential" paddling gear recently... and came across kayaks designed specifically for women! Check it out here. Huh? Really? I understand kayaks designed for different body weights and frames... but kayaks designed for different sexes... and marketed exclusively to women? Granted... being the "red-blooded" male that I am... you are NOT going to find me paddling a kayak model named "Venus" ;-) ... but if you change the model name to "Zeus" or "Atlas" - maybe?

What do Durhamblogger readers think?

Does marketing kayaks exclusively to women make sense?

What about kayaks marketed exclusively to men?

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Friday, November 26, 2010

Haw River - Favorite Paddling Photo!

With "old man winter" breathing down our necks... it's nice when "Favorite Friday" rolls around... to share warmer memories and photos! Here is a photo taken on the Haw River in early April.

A small Haw River tributary flows under a canopy of trees and foliage in spring. Enjoy!

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Day - Let Us Give Thanks

"Thanksgiving is the holiday of peace, the celebration of work and the simple life... a true folk-festival that speaks the poetry of the turn of the seasons, the beauty of seedtime and harvest, the ripe product of the year - and the deep, deep connection of all these things with God."

- Ray Stannard Baker

Durhamblogger wishes you and yours a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving Day!

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Monday, November 22, 2010

Before Kerr Lake - An Interesting History Lesson!

PenobscotPaddles post titled "The more things change..." inspired me to look into the history of Kerr Lake! And since I have a minor in history... it was a "natural" for me to do a little research into my region's history! ;-) BTW... Kerr Lake is located only a hour's drive from my house in Durham!

Twenty-nine years before the first shovel turned over dirt for the construction of the Kerr Dam and lake region in 1947...

John H. Kerr Dam and Lake in Mecklenburg County, Virginia.

... there was a train trestle that crossed Nutbush Creek in Vance County. A forest fire had scorched the bridge, but it appeared safe.

Train trestle over Nutbush Creek (circa 1918)

However, on March 27, 1918, Engine Number 2 train (Seaboard and Roanoke Railroad?) fell through the bridge. Two brothers on board were killed.

Engine Number 2 (circa 1918) So, an entire train lies submerged at Kerr Lake! It was also claimed that for years following the wreck, local picnickers would dive down and ring the submerged locomotive's bell!

I also located this posting from a Kerr Lake bulletin board...

"Our family owned a farm that had some land taken by the Corp to build the lake on Nutbush. My grandfather told me a story about that train 30 years ago. He saw it first hand. If I remember it right, what he said actually happened was the two brothers would stop the train at the bridge and one would walk across to other side then the second brother would set the train on automatic and get off and they let the train go over the bridge without anyone in it. When the train crossed the first man jumped up in and stopped it and waited for the second man to come over. He said they did this for years then a new bridge was built ( or repairs were made to the old one) and the very first time they tried going over it with both aboard it gave way. I think he also said for some years when the lake first flooded the last boxcar was very visible as it floated up some and could be seen in clear, low water conditions. I also thought it was on Little Nutbush, not Big Nutbush , but may have that part wrong."

Interesting history lesson. You never know what you may be paddling "over" in your kayak!

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Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Splash of Autumn Color While Paddling Lake Holt

11/20/2010 - Lake Holt, Butner, NC

This post is Durhamblogger's salute to Autumn! A week and a half ago, Rachel and I did some sea kayaking at Myrtle Beach ... so we missed the peak Autumn colors at Lake Holt. But undaunted, I decided to return to Lake Holt this weekend to see for myself what colors remained. It was a beautiful fall afternoon with temperatures in the mid-60's, sunny, and a light, variable breeze. When I arrived at the lake, I saw many browns and bare trees... indications that the peak fall color time had passed... but I also spotted many "splashes" of color! I was looking forward to this paddle! :-)

Put in was at the Lake Holt boat ramp.

Red, green and orange splashes!

A dash of yellow!

A quiet cove on Lake Holt.
A majestic yellow splash!

A portrait of many colors framed within a blue sky and water.

A brilliant splash of red!

A lone fishing hat waiting for its owner to return.

A splash of green!

Sunlight filtering through a forest clothed in Autumn colors.

A magnificent yellow splash!

Fallen leaves riding upon the waters.

A final view of Lake Holt as I prepare to return home.

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Friday, November 19, 2010

Falls Lake - Favorite Paddling Photo!

You guessed it! It is Friday... and more favorite paddling photos to share! Here is a photo taken on Falls Lake in mid-September.

A storm front moving over Falls Lake... threatening and beautiful at the same time. Enjoy!

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Know Your Navigational Aids Contest!

You are paddling in U.S. waters and come across one of these navigational aid buoys.

You should?

(1.) Use the markers to determine your location on a nautical map.

(2.) Stay away! These indicate a danger.

(3.) Follow the markers. They indicate unobstructed water on all sides.

The correct answer is (3.)!

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Friday, November 12, 2010

Lake Holt - Favorite Paddling Photo!

Oh boy... it's Friday again... and that means more favorite paddling photos to share with Durhamblogger readers! Here is a favorite photo taken on Lake Holt in late May.

It was a remarkably calm day with no wind. The lake surface was like polished glass... and at that moment... my world was at absolute peace! Enjoy!

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Sea Kayaking at Myrtle Beach!

11/11/2010 - Murrells Inlet, SC

Regular Durhamblogger readers may remember... in an earlier post this month... that the week of November 7th - 14th was going to be a "working" vacation for us at Myrtle Beach, SC. Well, halfway through the week... the "work" part was over... and I was itching to go paddling! It had been a long, dry spell since my last paddling trip nearly a month ago... but our paddling adventure in the salt marsh nature preserve at Murrells Inlet... made up for it! Yes indeed! The weather Veteran's Day was fantastic for early November on the coast... upper 60's... sunny... and a moderate sea breeze. Nice! :-)

We rented a couple of single seat kayaks from Express Watersports in Murrells Inlet, a small fishing village located approximately 30 miles south of Myrtle Beach. Our put in area was on a dock near the salt water marsh. Boo! A curious egret checking us out! All the aquatic wildlife we encountered allowed us to paddle very close to them. We routinely "scared up" birds roosting in the tall marsh grass as we paddled through the twisty water paths.
Large and expensive fishing boats moored at the Murrells Inlet marina.

Spotted this Brown Pelican bobbing on the water... either looking for fish or a handout from the folks strolling on the dock.

Minutes later, the pelican went airborne and flew off down the marsh.

A White Egret and several White Ebis on the shoreline.

The Durhamblogger (Me!) exploring one of the many twisting water paths that meandered through the salt marsh. It was a lot of fun to follow these "water routes" and paddle deeper into the tidal marsh. Usually, we were rewarded with a close encounter with either an aquatic bird or a discovery of a quiet tidal pool surrounded by tall reeds.

Rachel scouting ahead. We had spotted a Blue Heron and saw the bird land in the reeds a short distance from Rachel. I got my camera out of the dry bag... powered it on... and prepared for a photo opportunity...

... And there it was! Caught the Blue Heron as the bird leaped into the sky and flew off over the reeds!

Rachel taking a break from paddling... and enjoying every minute of our adventure!

Murrells Inlet beauty shots! Enjoy!

Yakers are always responsible for our wakes... since the ONLY way to go is slow! but what about those big motor boats? ;-)

And speaking of BIG boats... how about one with three 225mph motors? You have got to be kidding!

Not only did we encounter play toys for the rich... but some of their houses too! Check out this quaint "cottage" by the sea! :-O

It was a beautiful day just made for paddling!

Some other folks had the same idea as we did. I spotted this single and tandem kayak pod heading out into the marsh during our return trip.

Back at the marina and our take out area.

Rachel and I had a wonderful time paddling the salt marsh at Murrells Inlet! It was really good to get back into the kayak cockpit once again.

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Friday, November 5, 2010

Lake Michie - Favorite Paddling Photo!

Again it is Friday... and that means more sharing of my favorite paddling photos! Here is a photo taken on Lake Michie back in July.

The dark green foliage contrasts nicely with the blue sky reflected in the still waters. A quiet and shadowy cove on a summer morning. Enjoy!

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