Author Archives: Jay Murdock

TRR Fundraiser for 2016 a Success

The Team River Runner 2016 “Pints & Paddles For a Cause” fundraiser on Mission Bay featured the “Chaotic Kayak Races”. Eight teams with three in each team – two paddlers and one using a water blaster aiming at the other boats – took part, and the event lived up to the name. What fun that was.

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The San Diego Kayak Club had eight safety paddlers show up to help in the Recreation Paddle, and eleven other club members took part in that event. My thanks to Heidi for taking pictures during the races. And thanks to all the club members who came out and showed support for this worthy cause.

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Next year TRR will repeat the “Chaotic Kayak Races”, so consider having your business or employer sponsor you and two other people, and form your own team. The team names were really fun, so use your imagination on that. Come on out and support TRR and how they help our wounded veterans.

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June Lake Fall Colors Trip Report

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Although we experienced some wind on this trip, everyone had a great time. We hiked through the Tufas on Mono Lake, kayaked on Silver Lake and up the stream feeding it, and did a nice morning hike above the valley to see a beautiful waterfall. Click on photos to enlarge.

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On the afternoon paddle over Silver Lake to the stream, we “hugged the shore” because of the wind, which at times had some good gusts. By doing that, we stayed within an acceptable “margin of safety” under those conditions (see article “Tragic Kayaking Death in Chile…” by scrolling down this page, then click on “older posts”).

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This trip we had two kids joining us, and those girls really added to, and made it a fun time. Next year, come join us, and bring your kids. The hikes are easy, and we will do a safe paddle on the small Gull Lake, which has kayak rentals for adults and kids (conditions permitting).

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20161014_141223The wind we had this time is relatively rare, and the only time out of the last four trips we’ve had wind. It presented a challenge for fly fishing the upper Owens, and this is our excuse for not catching fish! The fall colors are wonderful, the camp fire warm, and we experienced a new great place to eat our last-night dinner there. So set the middle of October dates aside next year for a great experience.

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Tall Ships 2016 Paddle & Picnic

Several kayakers showed up for the September 3rd paddle at Liberty Station. Jane Hardy led this paddle, and one on the previous day going out to see the Tall Ships under sail, assisted by our intrepid Robin Kedward and Chris Griffith. Steve Wilson sang some songs at the picnic, and all went home with good memories. The following photos were provided by Kirk Rozelle and Diane Boss. Click on photos to enlarge.

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La Jolla Cove Swim Lane & Ecological Reserve Area

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The Lat/Lon of the NE end of the swim lane is approximately N 32 51’20” / W 117 15’57”. This waypoint was taken from Google Earth, which uses the WGS-84 Datum. If your GPS is set to NAD-83 Datum, you will need to change it to WGS-84. If you paddle out from the LJ Shores launch point at the end of Avenida De La Playa at a 275 degree magnetic bearing, you should see the marker buoy on your left that is the NE end of the swim lane.

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This map shows the lower east-west boundary line of the Reserve 5 mph speed zone that is also the northern line of the swim lane. Kayaks are allowed in all areas of the Reserve, except the swim lane, the swimming-only areas of the beach, and the area between the caves and the cove, which is marked by a neon buoy.

My thanks to John Sandmeyer, Marine Safety Lieutenant, City of San Diego Fire Rescue Department for supplying these maps.

This post will be later moved to the Safety Articles Group.

Tall Ships Club Paddle and Picnic

Kayaking affords a special view

Kayaking affords a special view

The “Second Annual SDKC Tall Ships Paddle and Picnic” will coincide with the “Tall Ships” event on the “Big Bay” this year. The Liberty Station launch ramp is the ideal place for us to gather, launch our boats, and have a  picnic afterwards. There is plenty of parking, and restrooms are close by, just to the south in the park. The “Tall Ships” will be tied up at the embarcadero area of downtown, and there may be “Gun Fights” on the bay in the morning for us to view as we paddle.

Date: Saturday, September 3rd

Launch Time: 9:00 am

Launch Location: Liberty Station launch ramp (see map below)

Who is Invited: SDKC members, CKF members, Night Herons, Valley-Wide Kayak Club, TRR people, Thursday Night and Meet-Up Paddle Groups, and any guests you want to invite. SOT’s & SUP’s are encouraged to join in on the fun (life jackets must be worn by all paddlers). Youth 15 and older are welcome if they are experienced paddlers and able to paddle 7 miles on flat water. They must paddle with, and close to their parents at all times.

Rentals of Boats & Stand-Up Paddle Boards Available:  Aqua Adventures has special “overnight rental rates” for boats, paddle boards, and foam car top carriers. You must pick yours up at AA on Sept 4th. Give them a call to reserve yours at (619) 523-9577. 

Picnic Following the Paddle: Around 1 pm…or when we return from the paddle.  If you can’t make the paddle, come join us at the picnic!

Duration of the Paddle:  We will be on the water for about 3 hours, checking out the Tall Ships and gun battles out on the bay.

SAFETY NOTICE: This is a intermediate-level paddle of at least 7 miles, not intended for beginners (those with little experience). Please read the “Disclaimer” at the end of this announcement.

There will be a lot of power boats, personal watercraft, and sail boats on the bay during this event, so we need to stay close to shore at all times. When we cross the open water between Harbor Island and the B Street Pier, we need to stay in large groups, in order to be more visible to other boaters.

CAUTION: The ramp at our Liberty Station launch site can be very slippery, so be careful when you walk down that concrete ramp.

Our Plotted Course is in Yellow

Our Plotted Course is in Yellow

What to Bring: All safety gear (life jackets must be worn by all paddlers), VHF radio, camera, zinc sunscreen for skin and lips, sun glasses, water and snacks for the paddle, hat (a few of our new club hats will be available to purchase for $15), food and drinks for the picnic (everyone brings their own, and no glass bottles please), and a blanket to sit on. There is a grassy area next to the ramp for cleaning off your boat, so bring water for that.

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Click on these photos from last year to enlarge

Directions to Liberty Station Launch Ramp: From I-5 south and I-8 west, take the Rosecrans exit (which is Hwy 209 on the map). Take Rosecrans to Lytton Street (at the Sail Ho golf course) and turn left. Take the first right, into Liberty Station. Follow the one way street to Sims Road and turn left. Turn left on Historic Decatur, a one-way street which takes you back toward the entrance. You will immediately see another street named Perry on your left. Turn into the parking lot on your right at that juncture. The ramp is at the east end of that lot (LS Launch on the map). There are restrooms just south in the park (follow the sidewalk along the canal/park).

Liberty Station Launch Site

Liberty Station Launch Site

PLEASE NOTE: The announcer of this event is not the leader of such, merely a “coordinator”.

Disclaimer: We will have experienced paddlers on this trip, but they will not be responsible for telling you what is or is not safe for you to do. We watch out for one another and assist one another, but all individuals are responsible for, and manage their own safety. This responsibility includes assessing your gear, skill level, and physical conditioning relative to conditions and location, as well as making decisions about what you will or will not do. Participants acknowledge that kayaking on the open sea or bay is inherently dangerous and can lead to physical injury including death as well as property damage. Participants, on their behalf and on behalf of their heirs and assignees, agree to hold the announcers and other participants blameless in the event of such injury, damage or death. Please join us if you want to mildly stretch your capabilities, but please stay home if you would be wildly stretching them. Participants should have bracing skills, be able to self-rescue and assist in the rescue of others. They should be able to launch and/or land along the rocky bay front.

2nd Beginner’s Class Report – June 2016

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Good weather and sunshine welcomed the last Club-AA subsidized class for this summer. 24 people took part in these classes this summer, a great start to this partnership between our club and Aqua Adventures in teaching skills to our members. AA has sold a lot of our gear. The hats are so popular they have sold out again! More are on order and should be there in a few weeks.

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Jen, with the help of Billy Kroll, led the paddlers through drills in the “Draw Stroke”, “Sculling”, the “Low Brace”, assisted and self-re-entry techniques, and boat handling. Jen demonstrated the stand-up paddle board technique in a kayak (amazing), and everyone said they really enjoyed the class. Many thanks to Jen, and thank you Billy for assisting in this class.

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June 2016 Leadership Class Report

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Click to enlarge photos

Six people took part in the first Leadership Class offered by the joint effort of the club and Aqua Adventures (AA). Jen Kleck conducted an excellent classroom session covering the topics of Leadership Characteristics, the Role of the Leader, Risk Assessment, Preparation for a paddle, and what to go over with the group prior to a paddle.

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The group looked at a map of Mission Bay and the anticipated paddle route while Jen discussed the various factors to consider on each leg of the trip. The group then formulated a “Trip Plan”, taking into consideration the different risks involved.

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The water session consisted of each member taking a turn at leading the group, and also involved a rescue practice in the open bay. Jen did an amazing job in both the classroom session and the water practicum. She teaches with authority, focus and energy. If you ever have an opportunity to take a class from her, you will not regret it. Be sure to check out all the courses AA has to offer to advance your paddling skills. The club thanks her greatly for her involvement with us.

These joint-effort classes are partially subsidized by the ongoing sales of our club gear at AA, so go in and buy some gear and help contribute to future skills classes for our members. The more gear sold, the more classes we will offer.

Note: The content of this course will be presented in detail soon, and found under the not-yet-created “Skills” tab at the top of this web page.

June 2016 Navigation Class Report

Robin Kedward conducted an interesting morning session at AA on the basics of navigation, covering the topics of magnetic vs true north, latitude and longitude, charts, measuring distance on a map, compass rose, taking and following a bearing, course correction, the parts of a compass, tides and how to deal with them, and the “Rule of 12”. The notes from this class will become a posted article found in our skills group soon.

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After the classroom session we went over to the dirt lot and everyone practiced “walking a bearing”. Jane Hardy came by to visit for a while, as she is briefly in town between trips to Wales and Scotland. We also took a minute to present Robin with a club hat and T-shirt as a “thank you” for his many years of service to the club and fellow paddlers.

Thank you Robin for all you do

Thank you Robin for all you do

SDKC Sponsored Beginner’s Class Report

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The first class subsidized by the club hat and T-shirt sales at Aqua Adventures was conducted on Saturday, May 21, and was a big success. Six people took advantage of a good deal and excellent instruction by Jen Kleck, who went through the basic strokes, boat handling, and assisted re-entry. More details on these procedures can be found by scrolling down to our skills practice session reports.

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Lois, Theresa, Johnny, Mary Sue, Carol and Mike were all fast learners, and no one tipped over. After some practice of basic strokes at the AA dock, the group proceeded over to the Life Guard Station. The sales of our club hats and T-shirts are the reason these classes will be offered at such a low cost to our members, so stop by AA and get yourself some club gear!

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After practicing the sculling draw stroke, turning and boat handling, the group went back to the AA dock for instruction in how to get back in their boats after a capsize. Steve Wilson assisted Jen during this class, and not only showed off his very cool club hat, but did a few graceful rolls. Many thanks to Steve, and especially to Jen for a very good class in the basics. This is the first of hopefully many classes that our club gear sales will subsidize, so stay tuned for the next one to be announced soon!

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Featured Kayaker of 2016: Bob Jones

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Click to enlarge

I first started focusing on Bob back in 2007 at La Jolla Shores on a SDKC surf practice day. Several of us were learning and practicing skills of launching and landing through the surf, and like some others, I was having a difficult time just staying upright in my Sea Kayak. At one point I even found myself upside down with my head bouncing off the sand while wondering what it would be like to live as a quadriplegic. As I was struggling to get back out through the surf I saw Bob performing graceful rolls in the foam with a big smile on his face. He reminded me of an otter playing in the waves, completely at ease with the water. What made this all the more amazing is that Bob was not a young man. Speaking later to Jen Kleck about what I saw that day, she simply said “Bob is incredible”, and so he is.

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Over the years for those of us who have been fortunate to spend time on the water and in the back country with him, we consider Bob our mentor and a truly remarkable person. At age 86 (or is he 87 now?) Bob is still climbing 11,000+ foot high peaks around the world, and kayaking in remote areas like Antarctica, Greenland and Norway to name a few. Below is a map with all the areas he has kayaked and hiked in.

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Bob grew up on a ranch in eastern Colorado and then took up the vocation as a Veterinarian. He is now retired and has more unusual animal stories than Robin has jokes (which is saying a lot). In addition to his world travels, he and his wife Betty can be found ballroom dancing when they are not involved with fund raising for the children’s hospital in Tijuana that Betty, a Nutritionist, helped start over 30 years ago. It is an amazing health care facility that does not charge for services to the needy, and has cared for countless young people on both sides of the border. If you would like to become involved in this effort (like SDKC member Mary Collier has), or make a donation, here are three links to learn more (copy/paste the first link, which is in english):

http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs166/1103600581571/archive/1114015047341.html

http://www.hospitalinfantil.org/

http://www.usfcc.org/

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A great aspect of kayaking is that it can also be a wonderful social activity. As we paddle alongside others, we have the opportunity to talk in length with them and get to know them. Those of us who have gotten to know Bob feel blessed. When I talk to others about him, one thing that is often said is “I want to be like him as I age”. Bob has “raised the bar” for us on many levels, and has set a standard of how to live life fully, regardless of our age. So, if you have the chance to come on one of our kayak or pack trips and get to know him, you will not regret that decision.

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10,000 feet in the Sierras and going strong

10,000 feet in the Sierras and going strong