Category Archives: Uncategorized

June Lake Fall Colors – 2017 Trip Report

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The annual October kayak and hike trip this year was wonderful, with great weather and perfect for enjoying the aspens in full color. We kayaked Silver Lake and went up the feeder stream for about half a mile. The hike around Gull Lake was very relaxing, with beautiful scenery (the photo above was taken on that hike). New friends, Gary and his wife B. J. joined us, and we had great conversations at our dinners in the village.

This year we ventured further north for a day trip, going up to Bridgeport and seeing the hotel where Mark Twain stayed, then driving over to the ghost town of Bodie, a fascinating place to see. Set in a very unforgiving and remote area north of Mono Lake, we were impressed at how many homes had nice wall paper, pump organs, stores that had display windows, and so on, in an attempt to soften the harsh environment of that desolate setting. I was struck by one photo on display of a young girl with flowers that captured the essence of that effort, that no matter how difficult life might be, there are ways to lift our spirits with beauty and elegance.

We had a wonderful trip to the Sierras, and hope you join us next year. 

Team River Runner Fundraiser on Mission Bay

The annual “Pints and Paddles” event took place this year at Bonita Cove. Eight teams of three paddlers raced in the “Khaotic Kayak Races”, and it was wild. Even though it was a bit on the cool side, no one minded getting soaked by the water blasters. There were even two occasions where one team sent a swimmer to capsize another team’s boat. Great fun and a good day on the water for a worthy cause.

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Tall Ship 2017 Paddle and Picnic

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-by Jay Murdock, SDKC Safety Editor

18 people from the SDKC, Valley-Wide, and Wednesday Night Meet-Up Group turned out on a warm day to see the tall ships, three of which embarked from the docks to take part in gun battles while we were there. Four club hats were sold, and the buyers looked very cool in their new attire.  

On the return leg a mild breeze from the west cooled us off a bit, and new friends were made on this fun day on the water. We had people from Mexico and as far as Redlands join in on this paddle. 

My thanks to Jeremiah Brower for some of these photos.

 

“Turtle Paddle” Report

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-by Jay Murdock, SDKC Safety Editor

Eighteen people showed up for the paddle on April 22 at Coronado Cays, and Bob Jones cheered us off the beach. In addition to single kayaks, we had three paddle boarders, the twins in an inflatable kayak, two in a tandem kayak, and a canoe. While we did not see any of the large Green Turtles, new friends were made and everyone said it was a good day on the water.

“Jake’s Paddle” at Newport Beach

-by Jay Murdock, SDKC Safety Editor

Twenty six people from the CKF and SDKC showed up to paddle with Jake (first photo below) on a beautiful April 1st day. We launched at the Coast Guard Station beach and paddle south, with some doing a little “Rock Gardening” while the rest of us took pictures. The paddle was followed up with a potluck lunch while Steve and Mark sang some songs and Patrick played the drum.

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It was a great time of seeing old friends and meeting new ones. The two clubs decided to have more of these joint-paddles, with the next one in San Diego during the Tall Ships event. We all wish Jake the best for his future, which may involve some exciting and new education and work experiences.

Rough Water Skills Class March 18 – Report with Photos

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-by Jay Murdock, SDKC Safety Editor

Thirteen people took part in the session led by Jen Kleck, designed to learn and practice skills in handling rough water and rescue techniques to quickly aid someone in a dangerous situation (close to rocks or in a surf zone). While the water conditions were too mild to experience and practice certain skills, we did practice bracing, but mostly rescue procedures. The following photos will show the sequence of what we practiced.

 

Below- Jen demonstrated the assisted re-entry using the leg hook (or heel hook) method. Emphasis was placed on keeping the swimmer in sight and having her hold on to her paddle. Jen’s paddle was kept across her lap, then placing the swimmer’s paddle there also just before re-entry. On still water, the swimmer’s body position while getting in the boat may be ok, but it is better to stay low on the aft deck for better stability.

    

Below- Jen went through the methods of getting someone who has exited their boat away from rocks or out of the surf zone. The quickest way to get a swimmer from danger is to have them swim to you. Have the person then hang on to your bow or stern handle while you paddle out of danger, then retrieve the boat later. A good way to get both the swimmer and boat to safety is to have them hold on to the bow and stern handles of your boat and theirs, and leg kick while you back paddle. The rescuer’s boat position should always be furthest from the rocks while performing this.

Below- Towing a person sitting in a boat can be divided into two categories, a quick, or short tow for rescue, and an in-line tow, which is not as urgent, and is for distance. We did not practice the in-line tow, which is done with a 30-50 foot line that is used for longer tows. We did practice a few methods of the quick tow for rescue purposes.

Quick Tow Methods:

Contact Tow– There are two methods of doing this. The easiest method is to simply have the person being rescued lean across your kayak foredeck and hang on to your deck lines while you do a forward or back paddle. The second method is to use a short line or leash and hook it to the other boat, performing a close tow. You can see Jen doing that in one of the photos below. More photos of these two procedures will be added at a later time to give more details, and this article will be then found in the skills group of articles.

Close Tow– This method involves a short line of 5-10 feet, and can be performed using your longer waist tow line, tied off for a short line, or a dedicated short line ready to employ and stored on your foredeck. If you use a line for towing, always have a knife ready for quick use in case you get tangled in the line. After studying this, I personally like the idea of having a dedicated line kept on your deck in front of you to use immediately for a quick tow rescue. By using a 5 foot line or webbing strap, with a carabiner at each end, the close-tow line is a contact tow line (because the two boats are making contact with each other). You can buy a manufactured non-stretch contact line, or make something yourself. If you make this yourself, be sure to file off the carabiner gate tooth so it will not snag the line, or better, buy a stainless steel carabiner that is “toothless”. Always hook the carabiner to the deck line from beneath that line, with the gate facing up. Store the line across your foredeck by hooking a carabiner to each side deck line, so you can employ it to the other boat on either side. Keep the excess line under a bungee line, or crisscross the line over the deck (the bungee storage deploys faster though).

    

Below- Jen demonstrated the cowboy re-entry method, and everyone practiced the assisted re-entry of clearing the boat of water and getting the swimmer back in. The morning was followed up with a fun time at the patio, and showing off the old and new club T-shirts. We will be having more of these skills practice sessions in the coming months, led by Jane Hardy. And next winter, if enough people are interested and Jen can instruct it, we will have another special session in rough sea conditions out in the channel. That will be done with a short notice, when we know the conditions are favorable and Jen is available.

    

The Canoe

Since, the weather this weekend has most of us off the water, thought I would share this movie. 

This film captures the human connection and bond created by Canada’s well-known craft & symbol, the canoe. Through the stories of five paddlers across the province of Ontario, Canada – a majestic background both in it’s landscape & history – the film underscores the strength of the human spirit and how the canoe can be a vessel for creating deep and meaningful connections.

Featured Kayaker of 2017: Stan Rohrer

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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