Author Archives: Jay Murdock

Featured Kayaker of 2017: Stan Rohrer

imgp0062

I have known Stan for several years, but never had the chance to spend much time with him on the water. In January of 2014 I lead a paddle out of Coronado Cays where Stan showed up on crutches and missing one leg. I was impressed at how he dealt with the challenge of getting his boat off his vehicle with determination and the help of his wife Barbara (in the first photo with him below). Later that year he lost his other leg, also to a blood clot. I thought that would slow Stan down, but that is not the case. On our Wednesday night paddle last December 7th, Stan showed up in his truck with his trailer and two kayaks. He turned off the ignition, reached to his left and grabbed a rope fastened to a pulley, lowed his wheel chair to the ground, then slid down out of the cab and proceeded to get his boat ready. I stood there amazed at this 86 year old man, fully in charge of his life. He is now 87, and not looking back.

imgp00901 imgp0078 practice-web-page-a_html_1aad57d

Click on photos to enlarge

Stan graduated from Purdue and went into the Air Force as a communications officer, working in Korea. He then taught high school physics for several years, took up hiking and kayaking, studied pictographs in the desert, worked with Cal State Long Beach Rec program on the Kern, and built 4 kayaks and 1 canoe.

dsc_0004 imgp2055 p1040494

One of Stan’s passions over the years is amateur radio. He maintained a repeater site tower on Mt Palomar for 17 years while installing more than 20 antennas. He has also canoed the Colorado River from Mexico to Separation Point in the Grand Canyon, and has hiked and backpacked in several areas in the Sierras and our deserts. You can still find Stan on the tennis court, in a kayak, exploring the desert in his wheel chair, and just enjoying life. He is an inspiration to all of us. The next time you think you can’t do something, just think of Stan.

p1040091 kayaks-truck imgp2044

 

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.

Click on photos to enlarge

imgp1897 imgp1898  imgp1916 imgp1910

imgp1924 imgp1925 imgp1933 imgp1934

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.

imgp1935 imgp1941 imgp1942 imgp1948

imgp1953 imgp1954 imgp1959 imgp1976

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.

imgp1978 imgp1984 imgp1986 imgp1987

June Lake Fall Colors Trip Report

group-at-june-lake-2016

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.

imgp1827 20161013_104750 p1000324

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”).

imgp1854 20161015_115719 p1000303

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).

imgp1813 p1000327 imgp1822

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.

20161014_104314 imgp1824 20161014_141223

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.

p1000293 p1000300 p1000286tall-ship-9-16

p1000279 p1000288 p1000280

p1000284 p1000287 steve-ts-2016

La Jolla Cove Swim Lane & Ecological Reserve Area

la-jolla-cove-swim-area

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.

lj-eco-reserve

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.

IMGP0711 IMGP0735

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

2nd Beginner's Class 6-16

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.

IMGP1478 IMGP1482 IMGP1495

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.

IMGP1511 IMGP1522 IMGP1561 IMGP1563 IMGP1580 IMGP1589

June 2016 Leadership Class Report

Click to enlarge photos

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.

IMGP1417 IMGP1438 IMGP1446

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.

IMGP1450 IMGP1453 IMGP1456

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.

IMGP1371 IMGP1357 IMGP1362

IMGP1361 IMGP1388 IMGP1397

Click on photos to enlarge

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

IMGP1238

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.

Click on photos to enlarge

IMGP1177 IMGP1161 IMGP1162

IMGP1169 IMGP1213 IMGP1232

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!

IMGP1283 IMGP1292 IMGP1258

IMGP1275 IMGP1335 IMGP1301

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!

IMGP1303 IMGP1316 IMGP1324

IMGP1295 IMGP1297 IMGP1236