Thursday, January 27, 2011

Durhamblogger is a YouTube Celebrity!

Yee Haw River Paddle 2010 video (at 2:54 / 5:05)

Back in April 2010, Rachel and I attended the 3rd Annual Yee Haw! River Paddle and had a wonderful time paddling and socializing with a great bunch of yakers on the Haw River. During our paddle, we encountered one family in a canoe who were really getting into the spirit of the paddle. I wrote the following:

"We encountered several flotillas of yakers as we paddled down the Haw River. We exchanged pleasantries, laughed, and joked around. What a great time on the water! I even saw one fellow in a canoe wearing a raccoon skin hat complete with tail! I greeted him with a "There is Daniel Boone" He laughed. He was certainly getting into the spirit of this river paddle!"

I later learned, from a comment left on Durhamblogger, that the "guy wearing the raccoon skin hat" was a fellow named Ken along with his wife Tracy and their eight year old son Griffin. I also "just" learned that Ken was video taping his family's paddling adventures on the Haw River that day... and he caught the Durhamblogger in his lens! At the 2:54 minute mark of Ken's 5:05 minute YouTube video, there is a maybe 2-4 second glimpse of Rachel and me paddling past his canoe! You can checkout Ken's complete Yee Haw River Paddle 2010 YouTube video here.

Thanks for the 2 seconds of fame Ken.... and hopefully we will meet again at the 2011 Yee Haw! River Paddle event coming up in a few months!

Copyright Durhamblogger. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Shame on Visit Florida.com - No PFDs!

I just received my March 2011 issue of Canoe & Kayak Magazine... and turning to page 61... I saw this advertisement for Visit Florida.com. Something is definitely "unleashed" in this photo and it is that (at least 3) persons are NOT wearing PFDs! :-( What a poor oversight on the part of the Florida tourism industry to market in a paddling magazine and forget all about kayak safety!

Always wear your PFD when paddling! Lots of unforseen things can happen while you are on the water. Weather and water conditions can change rapidly. You can accidently hit your head during a "going duck" incident. Your kayak can strike underwater obstacles or you can slip into very cold water where hypothermia becomes a real danger. The United States Coast Guard (USCG) reports that in 9 out of every 10 recreational boat drownings, the victims were NOT wearing PFDs. The USCG recommends that anyone operating a human-powered watercraft wear a PFD and all children under 13 wear one at all times while in a vessel.

I promptly fired off an email to Visit Florida.com... pointing out their PFD omissions... and asked that they do a better job in the future to highlight safe paddling practices. Hopefully the message gets through to them.

Mike, a fellow yaker who maintains River Bottle Blues - a blog devoted to helping clean up North Carolina's waterways, made the following excellent comment on the importance of wearing PFDs:

"You can be the best swimmer in the world but nothing will save you if you hit your head on a rock or your kayak while tipping over. So do yourself, your family and the Search and Rescue Team a favor, wear your PFD. " - Mike, - River Bottle Blues

Thanks Mike!

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Monday, January 24, 2011

Paddling Eastern North Carolina - Book Review

Paddling Eastern North Carolina by Paul Ferguson

Pros: Each paddling area entry includes ratings for difficulty, distance, scenery, width, gradient, and map reference. Also contains detailed road maps to the put in / take out areas.

Cons: Needs a more extensive list of essential paddling gear. Check out my recommended gear list here.

Bottom Line: Detailed and carefully researched paddling guide of the creeks, ponds, rivers, and swamps of eastern North Carolina.

Details: Entries are listed by river basin and then alphabetically by body of water. Each river section begins with a table format that not only lists the usual information (e.g. difficulty and distance), but has unique features. One example is that Ferguson divides each river into two mile sections and assigns a letter grade for the scenery type. e.g. A (50%), B (25%), C (25%). This gives a more accurate listing of the kinds of scenery found there. Another example are the detailed notes given on noteworthy features and the mile marker that the paddler will encounter them. Ferguson also maintains a Website where he collects and updates information for the guidebook. Paul Ferguson's guide is a "must" buy for any person who paddles in eastern North Carolina!


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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Fishin Magician - And the Rest of the Story!

Hi Everyone!

Back in July 2010, Rachel and I were Sea Kayaking at Wrightsville Beach! During our paddle, we came across a cabin cruiser anchored in a remote channel. I speculated on the circumstances surrounding the boat. An excerpt from that blog post:

"Here, we encountered the "Fishin Magician" out of Wrightsville Beach, anchored in the channel we were following. We noted several birds perched in its sagging blue canvas that covered the flying bridge. The birds had devicated all over the boat... and appeared to be tearing the canvas into shreds... maybe to use as nesting material? The "Fishin Magician" looked like it had been neglected for some time... and I wondered what was the story behind why its owner decided to leave a 30 foot plus cabin cruiser anchored in this remote channel?"

Well, the owner of the "Fishin Magician" recently discovered my July 2010 blog post... and left the following comment! :-O

"The Fishin Magician belongs to me and is my beer drinking platform. It is unfortunate that the birds have defiled my boat. I regret to inform you that the boat is actually being removed this Saturday." [January 22nd] - Fishin Magician owner

"She is gone." - Fishin Magician owner (January 23rd)

And now we know! ;-)

It is these kinds of "neat" encounters and "fill in the blanks" stories that make blogging so enjoyable and rewarding to me! Thanks again to the "Fishin Magician" owner for commenting and contributing to this blog post!

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