Saturday, June 26, 2010

Bay Bulls

Great workout today - protected paddle, but nice wind heading back home.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Rescue Practice

Photo taken mid way through an assisted cowboy scramble or ladder. GH is holding bow of kayak at right angles for stability, stern is down. I could swim over rear deck, then scramble cowboy style into cockpit. Keeping the bow up creates this ladder idea.
The video shows how to scramble in from the stern independently.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

AGO exhibit

Anyone who creates albums of their photos or uses webshots or blogs will find this photo collage exhibition interesting and in some cases bizarre. I had not been aware of the phenomenon described as Victorian photocollage. The exhibit was organized by the Art Institute of Chicago and curated by Elizabeth Siegel, it features a number of the albums and loose pages from collections across Europe and the US. The unusual collages add an odd twist to the more serious photographers at that time. No doubt in a hundred years folks will be looking back at what is being created now and wonder - what were they thinking?.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Standup Paddleboarding

Paddleboarding seems to be making considerable headway in the paddling community. It definitely takes fitness,coordination and balance. The video above shows a fun oriented - fin turn.

In Ontario, instructors are combining surfing and standup paddle boarding. It takes what we do for practice, balance training and fun: standing up in our kayaks - to a whole new level.

Check out this website:

I know there are more surfers on the east coast of Newfoundland but the conditions are highly dependent on the sea state and can be optimal for local areas such as Spaniard's Bay, but often for only a short time.

We may see some of these folks at the retreat next year. Ask your local outfitters about these boards - you never know what is developing.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Stones into Schools

I am in the midst of reading this book - Greg Mortenson's follow-up to Three Cups of Tea. I highly recommend it.
With all the discussion on Afghanistan - this book should be required reading for Prime Minister Harper's office staff, and political decision makers, not only in Canada but in the US.
Greg Mortenson, his board and foundation have accomplished a significant amount by just being present and building schools. We are fortunate to have individuals like Greg working tirelessly in the region, who seem to deal head on with foreign policy dilemmas and get the job done, without creating extraordinary complications.
An alternative approach to fighting terrorism involves building positive relationships with village leaders and the people. Greg through his non-profit Central Asia Institute(CAI)have provided a positive example and in the areas they have worked have reduced the fears that some Afghan residents had about the US and the west.
The subtitle of the book seems to summarize things quite well - promoting peace with books not bombs. I think the Central Asia Institute may be my choice this year for donations and fundraising.

Monday, June 14, 2010

MEC paddlefest

MEC paddlefest was held in Toronto June 12-13th at great location at Sunnyside Beach. Dreary weather didn't dampen the spirit of the event - lots of paddlers showed up from all over and the instructors provided extraordinary amount of expertise in packed sessions. Set just west of the downtown core Sunnyside Beach is easily within reach of the rowing club, yacht club and with some contrasting views of the highrise scenery as well as surrounding parkland.

Toronto Luminato 2010

Timing was perfect for a trip to Toronto - not yet too hot, green grass, pools just being opened, Luminato, AGO and paddlefest. Plus no security hassles to deal with the G20 - coming to Toronto, in the next two weeks. The G20 was the subject of considerable debate while I was in Toronto. Not just because of the enormous cost to taxpayers, but the phenomenal inconvenience for commuters, airport traffic and just getting around. Plus a few absurdities like building an artificial lake in the media centre.