Archive for October, 2010

Oct 26 2010

Fall Whitewater Run on the Trinity River

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After a 5 month hiatus from whitewater river kayaking, we closed Liquid Fusion Kayaking for a couple of days of “professional development.”
We were heading north to attend the Traditional Arctic Kayak Symposium (TAKS) in Trinidad and managed to sneak away from the coast for a couple of days to go to the Trinity River. The flow was holding consistently at 575 cfs so we did ” The Slot” run which is a Class III run from just below Pigeon Point to Big Flat.

This was our first run on the Trinity and we were stoked to have a local paddler share the run with us.

Our whitewater kayaks felt comfortable and seemed happy to be getting onto the water. The water temperature was very cold but the fall air was warm, and we rolled frequently (some of us not necessarily on purpose) to cool off.

One of the highlights of the run was seeing a steelhead launch itself up the Hell Hole Rapid. He didn’t make it but it was a spectacular display of this mighty fish and his efforts to reach his spawning ground. Too bad we didn’t get a photo of it but this is a photo of the rapid that he was trying to go up.

We also enjoyed seeing a bald eagle as that is not a regular sighting for us on the Mendocino Coast.

The run was just beautiful. Fall colors, the whitewater rapids, and surrounding scenery made for some beautiful photos and ahhhhhh moments.

Many ahhhh moments occurred on the river as well as we worked the rust out of our whitewater kayaking skills. I am working on the timing and coordination of my boof stroke.

Jeff took most of the photos and videos of the run as we only had one camera with us and he is much more competent at paddling and shooting on the river. Does anyone know the name of this plant?

Our time on the river went by much too fast, and we are longing for more whitewater river kayaking. We were delighted to return to home to the Mendocino Coast with rain in the long range forecast.

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Oct 19 2010

Tradional Arctic Kayak Symposium

Last weekend, we journeyed off the Mendocino Coast with our sea kayaks and greenland paddles and headed to Trinidad, California for the Traditional Arctic Kayak Symposium (TAKS). Beautiful weather, calm wind and ocean conditions, and an eclectic gathering of sea kayakers interested in traditional kayaking made for a fun weekend.

The ocean was very calm and allowed for mellow paddling around and between the rocks of Trinidad Bay.

We fit 9 kayaks in this particular slot. Bob in his beautiful stitch and glue wooden kayak was very happy to have my plastic Avocet as a buffer between his boat and the rocks.

A pair of harlequin ducks added to the color of the weekend.

John Peterson of Shaman Kayaks organized the event. His kayaks are truely works of art. It was fun to see several of them on the water this weekend.

Greenland skill demonstrations included rolling and bracing. Jeff and I thought that the resting brace position looked great for an on water nap.

Wolfgang Brinck paddles over in an Aleutian Kayak sporting an Aleutian hat. Wolfgang is the author of The Aleutian Kayak and teaches skin on frame kayak building in the San Franscisco Bay area.

Despite the roll or drown motto of paddlers dedicated to greenland paddling techniques, Dan and Andrew demonstrate a rescue and recovery of a swamped boat.

Our friend John Henry observes the lunch break from the deck of Jeff’s kayak before going back into his drybag.

We paddled around Trinidad Head – home of the Smack Wall. We paused for a couple of rides on the refractive waves that come off of the Smack Wall. Here’s a link to Ralph Johnson’s video of Tony’s wild ride on the Smack Wall.

Cheri Perry and Turner of Kayak Ways and Jeff of Liquid Fusion Kayaking held a surf zone training and practice session at college beach. Here is Marcella of the local kayak club Explore North Coast catching a wave.

Admiring the handmade kayaks and listening to presentations on the history of kayaking and kayak designs provided much food for thought over the weekend. Here is a photo of Andrew paddling a baidarka into the surf zone. Much debate ensued over the weekend of the unique bow design of the Aleutian kayaks. Any ideas?

I left my skin on frame kayak at home. It would have been fun to have in the surf zone and rock garden and definitely would have been an object of curiosity and critique as it is not a long pointy greenland kayak.

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