Why do Rivers Curve?
Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Looking at curvy rivers on topographic maps or Google Earth has always been really interesting to me and for the longest time I’ve wondered how that snake like shape came to be. You would think that since a straight line is technically the shortest and easiest route to the ocean that nature would like straight lines. Nope. After stumbling upon the video below about why rivers curve, I discovered that all it takes is a little bit of disturbance and a lot of time. Take for example a tree falls over and into the water. The current is diverted slightly allowing the riverbank to slowly erode on the opposite side. The slight change in current direction then bounces off that bank and gets diverted back over to the other side causing more erosion and eventually a curve in the river. Of course this doesn’t happen overnight and that is where time is the key factor. Check out this time lapse of a river Peru to how much the river chances even over that short number of years. Here is a final fun-fact for your next boring office party. It doesn’t matter how wide or big the river is, if it is flowing over soft ground, the length of an s-bend curve will be roughly six times the width of a river. So that means while a narrow river will look wigglier when comparing to a large wide river the ratio of length/width of the wiggles will always be the same no matter which river it is. Hydrodynamics are amazing.
HBO released a new trailer for the fifth season of their amazing comedy show, Veep. I'm a big fan of that show and I've always thought that Julia Louis Dreyfus is one of the funniest women in Hollywood. She plays the role of a dumb President very well. Watch the trailer below but keep an eye out for when she holds a press conference to congratulate the US kayaking team for bringing honour to America with their gold medal win only to be corrected by her aid (played by the amazing Tony Hale) that it was just a bronze. What's that paddle she is holding? It's a Shuna sea kayak paddle manufactured by Werner Paddles.
Kelly Blades and I are super excited to let you know that the latest episode of the Kayak Mainline podcast is live and waiting for your beautiful ears to listen along. For those who follow along on the Mainline Facebook page will remember about 2 weeks ago we recorded as well. Sadly when I went to go edit I discovered that a technical gremlin for into the works causing the recording to come out sounding terrible. The sound quality was amazingly bad. So we scrapped the whole thing. Luckily the latest episode turned out pretty good. This was a podcast of discovery including: a new piece of technology gear for communicating in the outdoors, why whales blow bubbles (it’s not why you think), a fantastic new Mosquito Repellent that smells as good as it looks. Finally, we get excited to discover that swearing in front of children no longer a crime in Michigan. That’s FREEDOM baby! I hope you enjoy this one as much as we did putting it together. There are several different ways to get our sweet voices directly into your ears: You can stream it live in your browser here:  You can directly download the mp3 (Right click and select, "Save target as..." or "Save link as...". Subscribe via iTunes Subscribe via Stitcher iTunes user? Subscribe and get each new episode downloaded directly to your iPhone/iPod as soon as it’s uploaded.   Not an iTunes user? We distribute Kayak Mainline also via Stitcher. They offer a free fantastic podcast app for both iPhones and Android making it easy listen while on the go (or sitting traffic).  
My buddy Erik and I were out for a short paddle in Toronto this morning and had a funny experience.   The plan was to go out the Toronto Harbour via the Western Gap then out and around Ontario Place (8.6km).   Paddling just south of Ontario Place one of the marine police boats went by us on a regular patrol. After it went by we did a bit of surfing from catching the waves from the boats wake. Just then the boat did a 180 and came back our way. The cop sticks his head out of the boats cab, "hey, you guys want us to make some waves?"   So we spent the next 15 minutes playing around while the police boat drove around us. Pretty sure they loved it as much as we did.
Arcata, California - For Spring 2016 Kokatat is expanding its offering of gear with the award winning SwitchZip technology, which features a fully separating watertight zipper allowing paddlers to wear a garment as a full dry suit or as an individual top. Kokatat introduced the innovative zipper system that fully separates at the waist last year with the GORE-TEX® Idol dry suit.  For Spring 2016 SwitchZip will be integrated in the new touring specific GORE-TEX® Radius Dry Suit, the GORE-TEX® Surge Paddling Suit, and the GORE-TEX® Passage Anorak.  The Passage Anorak, as well as the tops of all suits with SwitchZip, can be warn alone or mated with any other SwitchZip compatible pant, including the Idol.   “Last season paddlers saw how fantastic SwitchZip is in one suit.  With the expansion of the technology, they get additional versatility as they can now mix and match tops and bottoms,” said Jeff Turner, Kokatat Sales Manager. Kokatat Radius   The GORE-TEX® Radius is a fully featured dry suit designed for touring paddlers.  The Radius has a fully adjustable hood with reflective accents that can be removed and stowed in the jacket’s fleece lined outer collar.  There are easy to access, self-draining, zippered pockets on each sleeve and another pocket on the right thigh, and reflective highlights throughout the suit provides better visibility.  The Radius also features GORE-TEX® socks and latex neck and wrist gaskets to help ensure that no matter the conditions a paddler finds themselves in they will be dry.  MSRP – $1,295.00 Kokatat Surge   The GORE-TEX® Surge Paddling Suit is designed for paddlers who want a high performance lightweight suit that provides waterproof protection and high breathability for fitness, SUP, or touring.  It’s built with a light weight 3-layer GORE-TEX® fabric with 330 Cordura GORE-TEX® reinforcements in the high wear areas of the seat and knees.  The suit features a single hand adjustable NeoCinch neoprene collar and latex wrist gaskets, along with GORE-TEX® socks to keep water out.  For the sea kayaker looking for a lightweight expedition option, the bottoms of the suit can be paired with the GORE-TEX® Passage Anorak with SwitchZip.  MSRP – $850   Kokatat Passage   Available with and without SwitchZip, the GORE-TEX® Passage Anorak…
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