Professor Paddle: Saltwater Sabbatical
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jP
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  Quote jP Replybullet Topic: Saltwater Sabbatical
    Posted: 06 Apr 2015 at 11:33am
Well it is official.
Due to a deplorable snow pack year, and the approaching 10 year drought, I have decided to take a Sabbatical this summer.

So, as of April 17th, I most likely will not have any opportunity to paddle any whitewater ( at least rivers and creeks- but the ocean has plenty of whitewater if you know how to seek it out) until October when the rains will likely return.

This thread is gonna get updated real soon. I plan on throwing a little ( or big) gathering, probably on Seattle's north end somewhere. If this sounds like something of interest to you, stay tuned. I will announce the date(s) and other details as soon as I have another spare five minutes.

Meanwhile, keep strokin'.
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megspk
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  Quote megspk Replybullet Posted: 06 Apr 2015 at 12:01pm
I'm totally interested to see what you have planned.  Made some contacts about sea yakking too.  I'm super excited about this :)  I am a weekend warrior now JP, but can finagle my schedule to get a Friday/Mon off too. 
A strong person and a waterfall always channel their own path. -Unknown

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  Quote imageAK Replybullet Posted: 06 Apr 2015 at 12:28pm
I'd be interested in your get together! &&& also in what paddling you might have planned for the week leading up to the 17th?
aint nobody got time for that!
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commander fun
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  Quote commander fun Replybullet Posted: 06 Apr 2015 at 3:49pm
start mountain biking.
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  Quote Arrow6 Replybullet Posted: 06 Apr 2015 at 4:53pm
I just bought a surf kayak a few weeks ago, I'll be in for some OP coastline. Should be entertaining for those watching.
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  Quote PanchosPigTaxi Replybullet Posted: 07 Apr 2015 at 1:41pm
Speaking of ocean kayaking, do any of you guys or gals have experience with some ballistic nylon skin on frame kayaks? I've been looking to make one in order to get a cheap and high quality touring boat that I could use on lakes, some rivers, and the ocean.

I've been really impressed with the weight, strength, beauty, ability to be repaired while out-and-about or on an expedition, and of course the satisfaction and experience of making your own boat.

I've paddled some janky DIY boats and I'm curious if anyone has paddled a DIY touring kayak that was a really nice boat to paddle, and if so what made it a "good" boat. I'm leaning towards a Greenland style kayak.

And JP, did you end up going to the traditional kayak even a year or two ago?
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  Quote jP Replybullet Posted: 08 Apr 2015 at 8:07am
Greg, buy me a mountain bike and all the gear that goes with it and I will ( haha just being a smart ass)- actually, Orcas has some good mountain biking, apparently.
That's where I'll be from May to October.

Yo Pancho- I just have a plastic Wilderness Systems Tempest 170. Its old and startin to feel a little floppy, but its still a great boat. I wouldnt hesitate to do an Inside Passage trip with it. I believe it's design was actually inspired by Pacific Northwest waters.
   But yeah- skin on frames can be the sh*t. Wish I had one, but honestly I like the durability of plastic too ( although less repairable as you point out). You definitely got to get outside of whitewater circles to ferret that out.

ImageAk- Im pretty much locked into HWY2. I got about 10 days till I fly out of state for family stuff. So pretty much right now the Tan Van is ranging between Leavenworth and Everret.I'm going to try to pull together a huge Sky Mob ( yes, that's an official term- anytime you have a bunch of kayaks out on the sky in a big group and it appears to be approx 20 or more boats, you got a Sky Mob. Its a beautiful thing).

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jP
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  Quote jP Replybullet Posted: 08 Apr 2015 at 8:08am
And Megan- Im down to ply some nautical miles with you for sure.
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  Quote bigboof Replybullet Posted: 08 Apr 2015 at 8:24am
i started my sabbatical back in Jan and the surf has been pretty good so far this year. i'm down to rally for day / weekend trips. i imagine hobuck rallies with the fam with happen on a regular basis this summer. This sunday is predicted to be some of the better surf so far this year
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  Quote jP Replybullet Posted: 08 Apr 2015 at 8:26am
So, I'm planning at least three events so PPeeps can choose which one(s) they can make...

April 16th or 17th I want to run the Sky, but these river plans are flexible, subject to change, or I may flake out depending on whats going on.

But I'm thinking of having a get together the evening of 4/16 on the North End of Seattle somewhere expansive enough to accomadate a decent sized group. Not sure where yet.

Then, on my way back thru on the evening of 4/28 I plan to do a similar gathering send off sort of thing. Probably some bar somewhere near the north end since its close to the sky and where several members of the HWY 2 Crew live.

I will continue to announce my paddling plans so ppeeps can join as they can between now and may 1.

Currently I am in Der Town, pretty busy today n tomorrow but things should smooth out and free me up to paddle more. I never drive past a river with water in it without paddling... If I get called to Run Payload down the Sky, then Ill be there this weekend so who knows...

I will be using this thread and river specific threads to keep yall in the loop.
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  Quote jP Replybullet Posted: 19 Apr 2015 at 9:33pm
Yeah, totally got swept along by all the stuff I had to do like Gumby sitting on top of a piece of Driftwood floating into a rapid with a horrible approach. But I successfulky navigated "Seatac Rapids" and am Currently on an Island in the Atlantic, scraping teak.

Got a borrowed 17' saltyak for some paddling while I'm here. Its an old Prijon. Probably the "Yukon". I used it a few years back when I was here. Maybe I'll paddle over to Cumberland Island and camp if I have time, or circum nav Jekyll. But I don't feel as compelled to paddle here beyond just sticking to a routine of getting them strokes in. Just not connected to this place like I am connected to Washington's coastal waters...

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jP
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  Quote jP Replybullet Posted: 19 Apr 2015 at 10:25pm
Might be trying to do something on the 28th still when I am back in The Pugetopolis. Probably just hit a bar on the north end.

Lots of peeps have expressed interest in coming out to the islands to do a little saltyakkin w/ me this summer, so I am confident at least one person will probably follow through. There is an open invitation for anyone who wants to come out there.

I know the San Juans pretty well, having circumnavigated them twice. I got the charts, tide tables, current charts etc. and decent experience with all the basic mariner skillsets as they pertain to kayaking. For anyone interested, here are a few basic guidlines if you wanna come on out and paddle:

1) please bring a Sea Kayak at least 15' long so our Haul Speeds are compatible. Don't bring your whitewater boat, that won't work. I won't even boat with someone in a whitewater boat out on the salt. That's like trying to cut a steak with a butter knife, or like trying to rip an 8' sheet of plywood with a japaneze pull saw. Bring the right tool for the job.

2) Anyone who is confident on class III and who HAS A RELIABLE ROLL is encouraged to come on out.Other than that, we can be as ambitious or conservative as you want to be. PM me if you're serious or when you think you are able to make it out, and we can take it from there.

3)Ideally PPeeps who come out will be willing to crank out some paddle strokes for a few hours at a time. I like sea kayaking as a mode of travel. If PPeeps are willing to paddle a bit, we can go somewhere cool like any of the outter islands (Clark, Matia, Sucia, and my favorite, Patos) and camp overnight. Pretty rad. Sometimes the currents are wierd out there though, and I got a long way to go before I figure them out. Not so much a challenge for whitewater boaters, but it could be a slog sometimes if the current and wind conspire against you. So there can be an endurance element requiring one to be a good sport.

Another nearby attraction close to where I'll be on Orcas is a Standing Wave in Peavine Pass. I hope to encounter similar conditions again, but once I surfed this wave for a surprisingly long time. It had "Eddy Service" too, but we are talking some larger scale distances. A fairly long eddy climb (easy, just vast distance) followed by a proportionately large scale ferry to get back out on the wave. Not as fun to surf as Rodeo Hole at 12k, but then again ain't no one gonna get a piece of that action this year. Its still a cool novelty to surf a standing wave in the ocean.

Colleville Island has a legit Class III rapid that would be right at home on the Sky at 5,000-8,000 Cfs... It was a grunt but when I was there I was able to attain up the other side of the island and run this rapid again. It got weird though when a boat wake amplified the standing waves in this rapid. I have never seen such Razor Sharp waves on a river. It was strange and kinda scary. I was in the middle of this rapid at the time and was fearful of the unknown. Worked out of course, but it schooled me. I dig it.

Anyway, yall are all welcome just hit me up. I will say that I know from prior experience that there are Gains to be added to the Whitewater game such as these:

-Forward Stroke Meditation. Makes you a better whitewater paddler, period.
-Better boat/stroke control in bigwater, surgy stuff (in other words, some aggressive sea kayaking will enhance your sensitivity in surgy rapids like Bdrop @ 8,000-16,000 cfs or more.
-Conditioning. I expect to be paddling Uber Strong this fall, ready to rip into those post Halloween rains...
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jP
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  Quote jP Replybullet Posted: 23 Apr 2015 at 8:15pm
'lil update:
So I got my summer gig lined up on Orcas. My Saltwater Sabbatical is on track. And a big component of what it's all about for me is an entire summer away from an internal combustion engine as transpo. Yo. In other words I am planning on using a kayak as my primary means of transportation. Its gonna be about 20-22 nautical miles roundtrip from where I'll be to the grocery store in Eastsound. So that works out to be about 3.5 hrs each way if I estimate conservatively. Not that travelling by kayak to get groceries is going to be 100% necessary- its just something I wanna try and if I like it I will keep doing it.

But my rough plan right now is to launch from Everett, and kayak up to Orcas to report to duty. Its about 60 nautical miles, or about 69 statute miles. Got my camp spots figured out. Its an excuse to see the Saratoga Passage because when I paddled up to Orcas in 2011 from Seattle,I chose to take the spicier, more interesting Outside coast of Whidbey I. From Everett I plan to do it in 3 moderate days. Maybe 2 if I really feel like cranking it out, but I haven't had a chance to fine tune my schedule as currents relate to it, and until the 3 day forecast is stacked up on my departure date, I won't know what to expect weather wise.

Once I'm up there, I will have a great permanent base camp from which to do tons of cool little 2-3 day trips. I been chartin out the distances involved and most of my 'lil missions can be reached pretty easily in a day or less. Definitely planning some short forays up into B.C.'s gulf islands etc.

Anyway, sorry to hijack a whitewater forum with this sh*t, but Im stoked for something different. Whitewater is fun but I'm kinda gettin bored with it. It feels good but isn't as stimulating as it used to be. But come October I'm gonna be creekin on some storm water for sure...

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dave
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  Quote dave Replybullet Posted: 24 Apr 2015 at 1:00pm
Can you provide a cliffnotes version of this post?  lol...
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jP
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  Quote jP Replybullet Posted: 25 Apr 2015 at 8:49pm
No.

But YOU can come paddle with me, this summer dave- you gotz a Saltyak. And, tell ya what- you can paddle far enough away from me that you won't have to hear me talk. LOTS of wide open space out there, as you know.

Seriously, Dave- come on out to Orcas this summer and kayak, man! I always wanted to do some sea kayakin w/ ya. I'll PM ya...
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  Quote dave Replybullet Posted: 26 Apr 2015 at 7:44am
Thanks JP, i always enjoy your dissertations!
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