Websites

Deepzoom.com is a very interesting tide and current visualization program that you should check out. It’s built by the guys from Nomad Electronics who made Pocket Stars astronomy software. Deep Zoom is a very cool mash-up using Bing Maps and the NOAA nautical charts. By tapping into the NOAA database of tide and current tables, you can see right away what’s going on in your area. The author of the program has made it very clear that it’s strictly a reference tool and not for navigation so don’t use it when pulling into the harbour with your ocean liner. If you are wondering what the giant arrow is in the middle of the capture, it’s for Deception Pass in Washington State which was maxing out at 7 knots (14km/h). (Turn the sound down and jump ahead to the 5 min mark. It gets a lot more interesting there.) The site does require Silverlight to be installed on your computer so it might not work on all work computers (especially if you have a very conservative IT department like my work...).
I just read the sad news this morning over at Simon Willis’s blog, “Apple is dropping the system which allowed me to simply make and upload podcasts. So after six years, that seems like a cue to bring [SeaKayakPodcasts.com] to a close.” I have been a big fan of his work pretty much since he started posting them and over the years Simon has amassed a huge collection of interviews with paddlers covering topics like destinations, kayak tips and techniques and the business of the outdoors. If you haven’t listened before here is my list of top 5 podcasts to help get you started: 5) Turner Wilson -Greenlandstyle paddler, he teaches and runs kayak building workshops around the world. 4) Paddle to Seattle - Josh Thomas & JJ Kelley - inside story of their film ofCanada’sInside Passage. 3) Sponsorship - Bob Campbell - former PR man at P&H Sea Kayaks explains what he wants when sponsoring an expedition. 2) Coastguard on Kayakers - Bill Speirs - all the answers to the questions you wanted to ask the coastguard. 1) 5 Star Award - Doug Cooper - what it takes to achieve the BCU 5-star award. I just heard back from Simon and it looks like the archives are going to stay online for the time being which is fantastic.
Sunday, 27 November 2011

Build Your Own Papercraft Kayak

If you are like me you probably don’t have a lot of space in your living room to start building a 17 foot kayak. To help solve that problem, Jöns Aschan from paddlingsfabriken.fi developed a papercraft kayak available for download. All you need to do is carefully cut out all the pieces with a pair of sharp scissors and tape it all together (just like the real thing). The price is €2.00 ($2.65US) and it works best if you can print it out on thick stock paper. Looks like a great rainy afternoon project for sure.
If you enjoy watching big ships on the water you might also be interested in watching and following their route while sitting in your gloomy, broom storage size, windowless office at work. Marinetraffic.com integrates Google maps with the live transponder data aboard large commercial vessels. With a couple clicks of the mouse you can zoom in and see what ship you are staring at and learn all about it including name, country of origin and what it carries. Many of the ships also have photos listed that have been uploaded by visitors of the site. A great feature is that you can also track the last 24-48h of where the ship has been. Today on CBC I learned that there is a ship blocking the St. Lawrence Seaway in Montreal. I guess it got sideways and is blocking the entire canal from side to side. Just checked and yep, it’s still blocking everything. Below is capture. You can view the live view here. Looks like the tugboats are on their way.
GeoGarage has figured out a way to overlay the complete set of nautical charts for United States, New Zealand Brazil and the United Kingdom over Google Maps which allow you to pan and zoom with ease. They also have a feature where you can drop waypoints and create custom routes which are saved to your free account.
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