And back.

Jun. 27th, 2014 08:12 pm
camwyn: Me in a bomber jacket and jeans standing next to a green two-man North Andover Flight Academy helicopter. (Default)
Got down to the water with only minimal problems, most of which centered around the yellow jackets who have established a nest under the side awning of this building. Landlord's been alerted. As for the kayak, it was in fine condition and it only took me a little bit to remember the order of things to inflate. I paddled out to the far end of Snake Island and then realized that I was paddling a little before sunset and had to turn around and go back due west to get home. Did not blind myself but I will be more careful about timing my paddling in future.

Species seen today: oystercatchers, at least one other species of brown wading bird, a white wading bird that I think was an egret, a cormorant, one or two species of gull. Also several kinds of small snail, a greenish crab with a body between the size of a nickel and a quarter, and a moon jelly the size of the palm of my hand.
camwyn: Me in a bomber jacket and jeans standing next to a green two-man North Andover Flight Academy helicopter. (Default)
Okay, the weather's nice and my soapmaking supplies and my other UPS delivery arrived, so I'm going to head down to the basement and get out the kayak. If it's still in suitable condition for paddling I"m gonna dink around in the harbor for a bit. If I'm not back by 8:30 to 9 PM Eastern time, I would appreciate someone alerting the Coast Guard.
camwyn: (facepalm)
Grph. Brain? Brain, there are other things we have to do this-

Are you even listening to me?

This is not going to happen this winter, brain.
camwyn: Me in a bomber jacket and jeans standing next to a green two-man North Andover Flight Academy helicopter. (Default)
When I go out kayaking, I make a point of leaving my phone and my wallet home on the grounds that I don't want to lose either one should the boat overturn. True, there are zippered pockets in my life jacket, but I get a little paranoid about losing things in rough conditions. I did make a point of photographing my driver's license with the cheapo camera I got to go paddling, so that if something happened to me and I couldn't talk, a rescuer might stand a chance of finding identification information on the SD card.

Took a somewhat less water-vulnerable step today just to be on the safe side. I ordered one of these- a standard wrist-strap RoadID. It's got my name, year of birth, town of residence, blood group/allergy info, health insurance member ID, and emergency contact phone numbers on it. That should be enough for the ambulance crew or the Coasties in the event of an incapacitating incident, either on the bike or on the water.
camwyn: Me in a bomber jacket and jeans standing next to a green two-man North Andover Flight Academy helicopter. (Default)
And back. It's nice out there, but the clouds keep rolling in and through. Opted not to keep fighting it.
camwyn: Me in a bomber jacket and jeans standing next to a green two-man North Andover Flight Academy helicopter. (Default)
Heading out on the kayak. If I'm not back in four hours, call the Coast Guard. I will not be Aron Ralston.
camwyn: Me in a bomber jacket and jeans standing next to a green two-man North Andover Flight Academy helicopter. (Default)
And back. Safe and sound, although I found out the hard way that Snake Island is a LOT longer at low tide- as in, 'oh screw this, I'm going to get out of the kayak and portage across this part of the island instead of trying to paddle all the way to the end' kind of longer. Eh, I needed the exercise.

I got out most of the way towards Deer Island this time and then decided to turn around, because as lovely as Deer Island is, I still have to come back from wherever I go. If I mapped my route accurately on the satellite view version of this calculator I seem to have paddled a total of about 2.3 miles. Well, and drifted somewhat, too, but you get the idea.

Shower time now.
camwyn: Me in a bomber jacket and jeans standing next to a green two-man North Andover Flight Academy helicopter. (Default)
Got water and a cheap camera and some snack food. Going out with the kayak again. The day is gorgeous- hot, but gorgeous- and I don't see why I should waste any of it.

I may be going to a friend's place afterwards but I'll make a point of posting again when I come back. Yeah, I realize this may be overblowing things considering how close I stay to shore but I'd rather establish a good habit now so it's in place on the day when I go out farther into bigger waters.
camwyn: Me in a bomber jacket and jeans standing next to a green two-man North Andover Flight Academy helicopter. (Default)
Took the kayak out again after work today. Managed to circumnavigate Snake Island, admittedly at high tide. There was one brief moment of SKROONK as I grazed a rock on the bottom- I wasn't paying attention to how shallow the water was- but no damage got done. I also saw these birds, which took me ages to identify online. Apparently they live on the island. (I didn't disturb any nests- I never came ashore. They were flying near me and went back to land when I passed.) I'll have to be more careful in the area and keep my eyes open for more species, and not disturb anything if I can avoid it. That's their land, not mine.

Been debating whether I should name the kayak or not. Regular boats get names, I know, but do little inflatable paddle boats get named?
camwyn: Me in a bomber jacket and jeans standing next to a green two-man North Andover Flight Academy helicopter. (Default)
Hm. Been a while since I launched into a form of exercise that left me sore in quite as many places as yesterday's kayaking did. 'course, I don't know how much of it is actually from the kayaking and how much is from carrying the folded-up boat and paraphernalia to the launching place. (I'm not sure I can call it a beach. It's a little space between somebody's private property and the local yacht club, and at high tide the water comes all the way up to the concrete drop-off from street level to shoreline, and at low tide the whole thing is covered in rocks and shells and crabs and snails. Beach kind of implies that there's a place to sit that's above the waterline even at high tide.)

Think I'm gonna look over on Craigslist and see if anyone has a Radio Flyer wagon available or something. The duffel the kayak comes in doesn't have shoulder straps or a place to attach them, so I have to carry the thing in one hand- but if I put it in a wagon it won't be as bad, and if I get a used kid's wagon it's something I could probably leave on shore without worrying about it being stolen.

And back.

Jun. 30th, 2013 02:24 pm
camwyn: Me in a bomber jacket and jeans standing next to a green two-man North Andover Flight Academy helicopter. (Default)
Not sure how far I actually went on the kayak. I made it to the end of the street- this is a longer distance than one would think when one is carrying a large, heavy, awkward bag and a paddle and a lifejacket and a pump- and down to the water, and switched into my water shoes. Probably just as well given the sheer amount of shells and mud. Got the kayak pumped up and the seat installed, and set out for Snake Island. It's supposed to be 1/4 mile offshore. Couldn't tell you whether I did that distance or something larger or smaller, as it was low tide and I did a slanted course... anyway, I made it to the island and pulled ashore near several other kayaks, and found a place overlooking the central lagoon to eat lunch. Lots of sandpipers and other small birds. No pictures to share, alas, as the cheapo camera I got didn't come with an SD card. Next time, I promise. I then got back into the kayak- took my junk with me, of course- and paddled out to the end of the island. Kinda wanted to circumnavigate, but I realized that however far I went, I was going to have to come back, and circumnavigating completely would take an unusual amount of time due to extra island being exposed at low tide. So, I turned and paddled back and brought the whole thing home. It's in the backyard drying off now after a good rinse.

One day I will get to the point of being able to paddle out to Spectacle Island. One day.
camwyn: Me in a bomber jacket and jeans standing next to a green two-man North Andover Flight Academy helicopter. (Default)
So, I got the kayak properly inflated and all yesterday and figured today would be a good day to take it out. Forty percent chance of precipitation, tops. I'd like to make an attempt at getting to Snake Island, assuming I can launch it safely and paddle without flipping myself over.

(For the record, Snake Island is named for its shape, not its wildlife population.)

It's gonna be low tide at 11:24 today. I'm not sure if launching when the tide changes is a good idea or not. Snake Island is surrounded by shallow waters and mud flats, too. It may be that launching before-

- don't mind me, I just looked out my window and saw a tiger swallowtail and considering how few flying insects I've seen lately I think you can understand how that would get my attention....

Anyway. It may be that launching before noon may simply result in 'well, I should just paddle near the shoreline and save Snake Island for another day'. We'll see. The point is that I intend to put up a message here before I go out, whenever I do go out, because I don't want to end up the boat equivalent of Aron Ralston. I plan on staying in shallow waters because the only kayaking I've done before this has been in an embayment on the Hudson with dozens of fellow kayakers and more experienced people watching, in a sit-on-top kayak no less. The one I'll be using today is a different design and I've never had to deal with self-rescue, so better to stay in an area where I can put my feet on the ground and have my head in the air, at least until I get the hang of things. And, yes, I have a life jacket- bright yellow- and a Damn Loud Whistle in the event that I need to attract attention.

Going to CVS first, though. I want to get something for lunch, and then I want to pick up a disposable/recyclable camera. I want to take pictures when I get out there and I'm not about to risk bringing my phone with me, even if it is sealed in a plastic bag.
camwyn: Me in a bomber jacket and jeans standing next to a green two-man North Andover Flight Academy helicopter. (Default)
So, question. If you have an inflatable kayak, and you don't have a car, and you use a pump to inflate and deflate the kayak, and it's the kind of pump you brace with your feet and push down on like Wile E. Coyote pushing down on the TNT detonator handle, where do you put the pump when you've inflated the boat? Bring it with you when you go out into the water, or leave it in a concealed spot on shore, or what?

... I may have tested the kayak out in the living room today and realized that just possibly there might be a problem when I actually put the boat in the water. The pump and the duffel for the folded-up kayak either have to come with me or be left on shore.

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camwyn: Me in a bomber jacket and jeans standing next to a green two-man North Andover Flight Academy helicopter. (Default)
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