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Monday, 15 October 2007

Blog Action Day – Environment

Michipicoten Island, Lake Superior We are also taking part in the Blog Action Day for the environment. Canoeing and Kayaking is filled with dichotomies. On one hand, we have people who love to get out and enjoy nature and would do anything to keep it from getting wrecked. On the other hand, they are burning a pile of gas, wearing synthetic clothing made from spun plastic and paddling boats that will be around for 1000 years before they start to fade in the sun. I have had this recreation debate with fellow paddlers. We preach about being gentle to the earth but contribute to its destruction by actually going out and participating in the sport we love. So what do we do? Sitting at home instead of sitting on a river will keep that area clean and wild for another day but it will also cause us to be disconnected and start taking that clean river for granted. When you take it for granted, you won't care when it gets dammed. The argument that seems to sit well with me is that there is effect to our actions but the more people we can get out on the river, the more people that will fall in love with it and fight for its long term survival. In this world, if you don't use it you will loose it. It's almost a fact of life sadly. That's the end of my late night ramble.
Saturday, 13 October 2007

New Boat Stickers

I recently threw some stickers on my boat that my daughters picked out. It is to remind me of them when I am teaching. I'm on the hunt for a good set of Scoobie Doo stickers. I saw a few stuck to the wall of the living room. I just need to find where the full sticker set is... Oh, for those of you with no kids. They are from the Disney's Lilo and Stitch movies. Also, special thanks to Current Designs for sending me a new set of stickers for my Slipstream. I took the old ones off with a razor blade a season ago as they were all scratched and faded. The new ones look pretty fancy (for a season or two!).
Sean checking the weather. Out for a quick paddle this morning. We jumped on the water first thing in the morning as there was a small craft wind warning that was supposed to die down around noon. That morning when we checked the weather again, the system had changed. Winds were 15 knotts from the west increasing to 30 knotts by noon. Seas 1m increasing to 2-3m by noon. Yummy. Here in Toronto, winds from the west mean that you are forced to surf near the nude beach. Thank goodness that the cold winds have arrived blowing the sun worshipers back indoors with their artificial sun lamps. Trust me, there are never super models there. Like normal, it wasn't as big as what they were calling for but it was pushy enough. We surfed for a couple of hours getting trashed several times. Later, we practiced deploying and setting up our tow systems in big water. It is always a little bit more of a challenge than in flat conditions so it is good to practice it. On the way home, we played around in the large waves which were around 3-4 feet at this time. We tucked our paddles under one arm, closed our eyes, laid back on the back deck and waited to see what happened. Yes, we got knocked over quite a few times. It was a bunch of fun. Oh yes, we also paddled for a while with our eyes closed. That was weird. We are kind of geeks about that sort of stuff.
It's about time. 15 year old Anna Axelsson recently invented a water bottle with a second filler cap on the side. The second cap allows you to fill up your bottle in a shallow sink. Apparently it can already be found in Swedish sporting good stores for around $5. The "Binibottle" was created as part of a inventor's contest. She won the gold medal. More info: boing boing gadgets
A 17-mile stretch that encompasses one of the largest inland dune systems in the eastern Great Lakes would become New York's latest Natural Heritage Area under a proposal announced today by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Pete Grannis.

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