Archive for the 'dolphin isle' Category

Jul 19 2011

Kayak Golf

Fort Bragg, California has a Disc Golf Course so why not a Kayak Golf Course?

We were looking for some new kayak games and stumbled upon the WaterRipper. The WaterRipper is a ball designed for water play. On the WaterRipper website, there are lots of game ideas including kayak golf. Of course, we had to give it a try.

Using Chuckits, WaterRippers and all sorts of kayaks, we started messing around. So far, we have 4 holes on the Noyo River. Most of our holes are actually buoys, but we are working on some holes.

We are still working on developing our course and technique. Stop by and play a round.

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Jun 24 2011

Tour de Mendo June 2011

We love running Tour de Mendo trips. Each trip is different with different venues and different paddlers. The primary goal of the Tour de Mendo is to explore and play in kayaks along the Mendocino Coast – FUN, FUN, FUN!!!

Our most recent group of paddlers came from San Diego, Orange County, and LA. Of the 6 paddlers, only one had paddled the Mendocino Coast before with us so Day 1 was an instructional tour day. We launched from Liquid Fusion Kayaking headquarters on the Noyo River and headed out to the coast. Once in the ocean, we started with teaching (reviewing for some) the basics of kayaking in ocean rock gardens including safety and play.

And of course enjoyed lunch on a beach.

And lots of rock garden play.

Day 2 was a paddle out of Russian Gulch. This is probably one of the most spectacular stretches of the Mendocino Coast to explore by sea kayak. We explored many of the sea caves, tunnels, arches, and hidden coves as we paddled north to the Point Cabrillo Lighthouse.

It was an outstanding day with lots of wonder and awe as well as lots of play. Everyone’s highlight of the day was negotiating some technical routes that through rock gardens with chaotic waters. It is super fun to lead a group of skilled paddlers through these tight, technical passages.

This year it was fun to have the group staying in the vacation rental at Dolphin Isle. It is a great space for a group of paddlers. A large private deck is perfect for drying gear and the location is within 50 yards of LFK headquarters.

It was also a great staging point for food preparation for an evening potluck and campfire at LFK.

We had a very special trip in mind for Day 3. It is definitely off the beaten paddle, and we were looking forward to having a group with the skills to share it with. However, the Fog Bug that has been plaguing our cameras decided to envelope us for the day. We shifted gears and decided to go paddle and play on the Noyo River.

It was a nice relaxing rest day for the group followed by our Eel River Paddle to the Sea presentation at Silver’s at the Wharf.

We had been having unseasonably calm conditions. Wind and rough seas are typical for June so we were fortunate to have had a couple of calm days with small swells. Day 4 was more typical of spring paddling on the Mendocino Coast. The wind and the seas had kicked up. We enjoyed some really fun technical meandering along the Fort Bragg Coastline with a little bit of rock gardening and surfing play.

We returned to the Noyo Beach for some play in short boats (whitewater kayaks). This was an introduction to some members of the group and conditions had picked up so we kept things on the mellow side.

The Tour de Mendo is one of our favorite trips to guide. It is fun to share our backyard with a group of competent sea kayakers. This trip was special because it was the first one that Jeff and I got to guide together. We are looking forward to guiding more Tour de Mendo’s together (If you want to join us, we have a couple of spaces left on our September Tour de Mendo’s and offer custom/private trips).

Here is a link to our photo gallery from the trip.

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Feb 09 2011

Back into the BCU

When Jeff taught for Aqua Adventures in San Diego, he had the good fortune of being introduced to the British Canoe Union (BCU). The BCU has developed a structured progression to guide and measure paddlers in their paddling skill progression. Paddlers can earn star awards in sea, whitewater, surf, and canoe. Star awards range from 1-5 star with 1 being introductory and 4 and 5 being advanced skills including leadership.

Jeff has been working toward keeping his coaching and star award certifications current. Jeff has BCU star awards in Sea, Canoe, and Surf and is a level 3 Sea Coach (one of only 2 in California). This weekend we held our first BCU events on the Mendocino Coast.

On Saturday was a fun 2 Star Assessment that involved basic paddling skills in a variety of craft. We used sea kayaks, whitewater river kayaks, and canoes as well as a variety of paddles.

The canoe portion of the day was the most challenging as most participants did not have much canoe or single paddle experience. It was also probably the most fun. We had an audience at times when we were purposefully flipping the canoes over.

On Sunday, we had a 3 Star Sea Training. From theory of navigation and first aid to strokes and rescue and recoveries, it was a full day of sea kayak training.

Flat water perfection drills had the paddlers fine tuning their edges and torso rotation through a variety of maneuvering skills.

Towing practice gave students the opportunity to try out different tow methods and work the kinks out of their gear.

It was great to have 2 days of focused skill work. All of the paddlers showed significant improvements in their skills and Jeff got to do what he loves – coaching. We are looking forward to offering more BCU training and assessments. Even those who are not interested in BCU star awards, it is a great way to practice and hone your skills.

Our next scheduled BCU event is a 3 Star Assessment on Saturday May 7. Please contact us if you are interested in our future BCU training and assessments.

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Sep 28 2010

California Coastal Cleanup Day 2010

The sun was shining on us as we joined forces with the Lost Coast Chapter of the Traditional Small Craft Association to clean up Fort Bragg’s Noyo River. We could not have asked for a more beautiful day.

Of course being water folks, we kayaked and rowed to locations to retrieve trash and retrieved quite a bit (over 800 pounds).

It is amazing how many little plastic wrappers accumulate in our our waters – ziplocs, chip bags, and wrapper from candy. Thanks to Jim and Jim for their efforts in collecting those annoying little bits of trash.

Lin donned some gloves and waded in to retrieve a toilet that someone had dumped into the river.

Jeff turned one our our recreational tandem kayaks into a garbage barge, and Stan and Selby towed an old rowboat garbage boat as well.

Speaking of towing . . . we have another story to share from the day. Stay tuned for the Towing of the Vrrroooom, Vrrroooom.

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Aug 01 2009

Ducks in a Row

August is an exciting and busy month for us on the Mendocino Coast and beyond. We have lots of adventures planned to share our passion for kayaking and the natural world. In Fort Bragg, we are continuing to make improvements to our Dolphin Isle Location. Check out my wildlife fact photo cards on the deck.

And Eric’s gate.

We have some exciting custom adventures planned this month. Saturday, we had an all day coastal exploration of the Fort Bragg Coastline. The group explored sea caves in tandem sea kayaks and meandered among the rocky channels leading up to Glass Beach. Of course a lunch break at Glass Beach was in store with beachcombing for shells and sea glass.

We are also excited about guiding a special wet and wild kayaking birthday celebration for some friends in Caspar.

Beyond the Mendocino Coast, we are preparing to present at the Bay Area Sea Kayakers’ August general meeting, and Jeff is preparing for a week of kayaking instruction and fun at the Lower Columbia Kayak Round-up.

As we get our ducks in a row for a busy month, our mother ducks on the Noyo River continue to line up their little ones. The number of ducklings on the Noyo River has been amazing this year with many late hatchlings. Today we saw another brand new set of mallard ducklings. They are sooo fuzzy and cute. It is neat to see them in all stages of their development. This is the proud new mamma getting all of her little ducks in a row.

In my last blog, I mentioned the shyness of our river otters. Ha! – they beg to differ with that comment and have been quite present lately. The kits have been playing around quite a bit – but definitely not in a row. I actually got a few photos of them.

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