JMan on the water

JMan and I went for a little paddle this morning. We put into the Nashoba at 119 and headed north. Along the way we saw all manner of birds but not one fish. The river was quite as it was looking like rain.

JMan checking out nature.

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The boys in dry land. I decided to go cross country rather than back tracking!

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Camping – Day 3

Today started by convincing GMan that taking a shower is not only be a good idea, but as necessity as folks have started to stare at him!

He finally gave in and yet again I got great value out of some quarters. This time I treated myself and went for a 75 cent shower. In any event the GMan actually said he felt better after. Hmmm, why am I not surprised, three days of hanging in the woods and sitting in front of camp fires my guess is he lost weight while showering because of all the dirt he washed off!

We broke tradition and headed to civilization for breakfast. I figured since we were clean why not have breakfast out. Now Pountney VT is small but wouldn’t you know it they got a swanky shiny new Dunkin Donuts/gas station/convenient store. I can’t remember the last time I had coffee from one, but desperate times call for desperate measures. How bad can it be I though to myself as I ordered a tall….I mean small….cream and sugar she asked….hmmm, cream I said….well as usual it’s did not disappoint me….it’s was bad. A friend once said that Dunkin Donut coffee is sustainable….why you might ask? Well, it’s because they only ues one coffee bean per pot. The rest is dish water and food coloring! For the purpose of washing down my egg cheese bagel it worked.

The rest of the morning was spend hanging out at the beach. B and AMan left around one as AMan has homework due in Wednesday.

Morning Day 3. My mountain man look is coming in just fine.

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Coffee…..I mean dirt anyone!

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GMan and the swamp thing.

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Fish anyone. No we didn’t catch it, more like found it on the beach.

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GMan sizes up the fish.

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Pardon me, do you know where a lad can get a decent cup of Joe around here?

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Lost shoes.

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The only gig in town serving anything on Memorial Day. The Stationon Depot Street (I think). The building was the original train station in the town. At this point it not clear where the track were. I wonder when it stopped running?

In any event it’s now a bakery and sandwich place. The bread was wonderfully and so was everything else.

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After lunch we went exploring up a stream that lets out into Lake St. Catherine. We followed it for forty five minutes or so then turned back. I played with the AutoStitch app and below are some of the results. It was fun wading through the water and out LL Bean kayak boots really paid off. The water was very cold but our feet were nice and warn.

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GMan wanted to go kayaking when we returned to camp. After yesterdays impromptu swim I was happy he wanted to go back out. He led the way and set the pace. It was very quite on the lake so no big waves other annoying wave runner noise. We paddles around for a bit and then I suggested try to stand up in our kayaks near the beach. It didn’t take long before we both fell out! We practiced self rescue while I failed at miserably. GMan on the other hand had no issue climbing back in his boat and padding away. After a few more shots we packed up and headed back to camp.

GMan on the lake.

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Low light GMan.

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The boys.

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Low light Subu.

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Low light us.

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Camping Day – 2

Say happy birthday to me! I’m not going to say exactly how old but let’s just say I’m fast approaching a 1/2 century!

Birthday cards from L and L. Thank you for the gift inside! It wasn’t the pop tart and apple, but that would be a neat trick.

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Early morning view out our lean-to.

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AMan gets the morning fire going.

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Morning day 2.

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B watching over the cooking activities.

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AMan whipping up the batter.

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GMan on coffee water patrol.

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How to cure a fix in the woods. Simply empty content and add boiling water.

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Where would we be without our iPhones. Its a sad state of affairs. However, I have not and will not check my email on this trip.

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Yum, birthday pan cakes. Thanks to AMan for cooking.

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The boys manning the grill. GMan did a fine job on the bacon.

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Today activities were kayaking, kayaking and more kayaking. We packed up and headed to the beach. The intention was to make it all the way to the end of the Little Lake. Going was easy as the lake was smooth as glass. After a bit GMan and myself moved ahead of B and AMan. By the time we got to the public boar landing B was towing AMan. We took a short break and headed out again looking for a sandy beach to put in and have lunch. Unfortunately all the sandy beaches were private property or Di it would seem. I paddled ahead of GMan and could not find anything. At this point I even wanted to get out and stretch my legs! We spotted a possible landing and paddled over. As we got closer we could see a man cutting grass. I paddle along side and ask if he owned the land and if we could put in. He replied with, absolutely it’s public land, help yourself! Great we said and out we got. We were so happy we even helped the guy move the picnic tables back into the shade.

After lunch we messed around with th AutoStitch app on my phone. See the results below.

GMan under way.

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Me and the GMan in the background.

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GMan and me!

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GMan picking the perfect worm.

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AMan watching on.

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B hanging out.

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Our boat.

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B catches a rear yellowboyfish.

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Pano of Little Lake – 1

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Pano of Little Lake – 2

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We played around with AutoStitch were we each step in and back out then moved the camera and took another photo with another person and so. Nice effect and I’m impressed how the application dealt with the scene.

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Another AutoStitch where we steps in and out of the scene and stood in the same spot.

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In this shot we step in, took a shot, step out and another person stepped in but moved to the left.

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B under way.

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Subu on main street Pountney VT

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Blogging in front of the camp fire. I’m sure there is a law against this somewhere but I don’t care! The trick with blogging here in way out there VT is to upload the photos with down town while sucking up the free wifi that the town provides. Pretty cool for a small town in VT but I’m can’t help but think if someone is watching everything that everyone is uploading, downloading and browsing?

Then when you get outside the wifi zone you add the text.

So the big news of the day is GMan’s wet exit. For those of you not familiar with kayaking that when you get out of your boat while in the middle of a body of water. In other words he fell out. The boat traffic builds as the day goes on and by the end of the afternoon the wave can be quite big. Not fast, but big rollers. At one second he was looking back at me giggling as he was having fun playing with the waves, but the next second he was upside down. Thanks to his PFD he popped right to the surface and started swimming to me. Now as a father I was concerned on many levels, but I knew if he got hold of my boat we’d both be swimming, and I didn’t wand his boat floating away. I asked him to swim to his boat and I’ll come to him. Mind you he only needed to go a few feet so I knew he’d be okay. I remember reading in a kayak book how to do a wet rescue so now I was putting it into practice.

I had him swim to the end of his boat and I grabbed the front and pulled it up and out of the water and flipped it right side up. I then pull the bow of his boat up on my combing and had him shimmy up on the of his boat.

At that point some nice locals showed up and offered to help and since he was 1/2 way up I figured I’d let him continue. He was so close but lost his balance and between the wash from the locals boat and another big wave I could now stop his boat from rotating and he fell in again.

Next attempt I encouraged him to stay closer to the boat as he shimmied up. This time it work and we all gave him a big cheer. He was a little upset but none the worse and we paddled on.

I told him he was the bravest boy on the lake and I’m very proud of him. I didn’t tell him we signed him up for a week of kayak camp where I’m sure he get in some not so dry time. BTW GMan said he wanted to go kayaking again tomorrow, but not so far! Cool stuff, get right back up on that horse.

The boys made me hobo cake for my b-day. More on that later.

Hobo pie.

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Evening fire.

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Going camping

We are going camping later today. Have to work first 😦

We are going to Lake St. Catherine State Park in Poultney VT.

Click here for more info.

Paddlefest wrap up

We came we saw we left. This is a great place if you’re in the market for a new boat. The area is broken up in to two sections. 1. For $20 you can paddle anything on display and you get the twenty off any boat, SUP or canoe you buy, plus the discount that varies. 2. For $5 you get into an area wher you can view and sit in boats and they have a gear area.

This is where we went and there was lots to look at. I found a several boats that will allow me or my better 1/2 and the JMan to go paddling. The gear section was like the gift shop at the exit door of a museum. Only way out was through it! They had hundreds of shoes and a other items, including paddles, PFD’s water proof gear and clothing. We didn’t buy anything these as we were told the main store was in the road out if town.

Signage gone wrong!

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Beautiful wooded canoe

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The boys

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Cool paddles

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This one needs a little work

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JMan searching for treasure

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Paddlefest 2012 – Update

My day got off to an early start. 4am or so I rolled over at that was that. I resisted the urge to grad my phone and start blogging but I finally gave in.

It didn’t help that the folks in the room below us were running the AC all night, or perhaps it was the heat. In any event I felt like I was trying to sleep in the motor compartment of an express locomotive at full throttle. Thanks for nothing! My guess is they come for even more upstate or perhaps southern Canada and never experienced electricity before. So the AC unit was a real novelty or they couldn’t figure out how to turn it off. Yo, pull its tail out of the wall that will kill the beast. Kinda like my favorite saying ” the issue is somewhere between the keyboard and chair, remove that and all will be right in the world”. BTW they turned it off at about the same time I decided to give up trying to fall back to sleep. It’s an occasions where you want to run into there room with a fog horn or better yet one of those cow bell people rattle at bicycle races, yelling and rattling. Ya, the cow bell would be odd enough so they think I was also a deranged local and this was common practice. All the while I would have a expression that said “this is our normal wake up call”……followed up with “my bad, wrong room”, go back to sleep now!

I hope the breakfast is better than the soundproofing. More later.

It’s later. This is the view from our in the early morning. It sure is nice.

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Breakfast of champions. No really, I had some fruit and a bagel prior to the belly bomb. You gota love an in that has the 2012 can-am catalog on display. We are not in Kansas any more…well actually we could be! Here’s the proof.

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Here’s the stack!

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Paddlefest 2012

GMan and I are going to Paddlefest 2012 in Old Forge NY. Where’s that you might ask….well head west on 90 for….ever, then take a right for Utica and head up 28 for a bit. You’ll get there eventually. The drive was fairly uneventful but fun. We stopped a few times for food, gas and bio breaks….and coffee.

Rest area somewhere on 90.

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We saw Amish folks hard at work ploughing a field the old fashioned way. GMan was amazed. I reminded him that they don’t have cable, phones or iPods. He seems to lose interest at that point! I bought a 6 pack of the local brew, Saranac Adirondack Larger. It’s not bad, but not that good either, but I just wanted to wet my whistle, so I guess it worked.

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View from our deck.

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Okay, I’m jacked. More on Paddlefest tomorrow.

Kayak trip # 4

Today’s kayak trip was to a local pond called Forge Pond. It was a quick ride as its just around the corner. We put in and set out to find our neighbors who where already paddling around.

We found them and all had a great time. KGirl (neighbors daughter) did great considering this was her first time alone in a kayak.

I was pleasantly surprised that all my hard work buffing out the hull paid off. My boat seemed to cut thought the water with little or no effort on my part.

Group shot (GMcG, KGirl, CMcG and GMan)

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The crew milling around

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Water beads & reflections

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Kayak buffing update

Well I said I was not going to buff the too of the kayak, but when I turned it right side up after finishing the bottom I changed my mind.

Typical marks and scratches photos.

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I removed most of the side ropes and elastic cords. I buffed twice just like the underside and it came out great.

After shots.

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Buffing my kayak

Ever since I ran a recon shop (cleaning cars not repossessing things) I wanted to get at my own buffer. It wasn’t high on my priority list, but I thought about it once in a while.

So a few weeks ago I did a little research and came across a site selling refurbished DeWalt equipment. I ordered a buffer and a pad. 7 days later both show up. On first inspection all looked well.

Unit in box.

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It has a new style handle that’s adjustable (forward and backward) and easy to change your hand hold. All was well until I tried to get the pad onto the backer. Hmmm, I’m no rocket scientist but 1 and 1 made 3 or possibly 4 in this case. The backer part that attaches to the buffer was covered in Velcro (the nylon part). However, the pad itself had no Velcro and no other way of joining to the backer.

I called the seller and had a very unsatisfying customer service experience. Considering I bought the pad on the same page as the buffer and it was labeled related product I assumed that they would work together. Alas, we all know what assume really stands for! After a few minutes of going back and forth it was apparent that we were not making progress and the rep asked if I’d like to talk to the manufacturer (DeWalt). Since nothing beats talking to the source I said absolutely put me through.

The DeWalt rep listened to my story and the first thing he said was the backer I bought was discontinued! Hmmm I thought again, good job your web site and the sellers are up to date as both still list it. So I asked “what are you going to do for me?” The rep suggested a combo backer and pad and said that this should work. “Should work I replied”, and asked what this solution would cost. Mean while I did my own search and found it on sale for $29.95. The rep ask if he could put me on hold and I said yes, a few seconds later he came back and said that it will work and he was going to give it to me for free! I thank him and said I really appreciated the gesture and got off the phone.

Since I had to wait another week for the solution to show I decided to try and gerry-rig what I had. A quick trip to the store and I had a tool of sticky back Velcro. I cut the Velcro into 3″ strips and stuck them to the pad which in turn I stuck to the backer. I plugged in the buffer and pulled the trigger and everything stayed in place. I reckoned the pressure of actually buffing would also keep the pad on, and I was correct.

So finally we get to the actual buffing!

Since my boat is an ex-rental it was you know what hard and put away wet on more than one occasion. The bottom was well hacked up but the sides were okay, only the odd gouge, scrape or mark. I picked up a few different types of buffing compound which proved to be useless and then I bought a bottle of Maguire’s # 9. This seems to work really well and I was able to buff out many of the minor scratches and marks. I went after a few of the really deep ones with 600 grid sand paper and then buffed. I worked at it over a few nights and a couple of hours yesterday. When I was finished with the Maguire’s I went over the whole boat again with blah blah.

Here’s a typical before shot.

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After shot.

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Not sure if the top needs a buffing yet, but in any event I think it can wait until the off season. Here’s hoping all the hard work will make the boat slice through the water better.

Some additional photos.

Buffer and gerry-rigged pad.

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Variable speed.

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Close up of buffer model tab.

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