Tuesday, 10 December 2013 16:21

What is Sea Level?

I will be honest with you, up until today I had never really put much thought about how they determined that Mount Everest was 8,848 meters above sea level.

Wait; let me back up first lest you think I'm a simpleton. I always understood the concept of elevation but I had never thought about exactly how they figure it out considering that most times the sea is hundreds of miles of away. Also, with all that ocean sloshing around and going up and down, how do they know where to start measuring from?

Leave it up to gang at MinutePhysics to figure it out and explain it to us like the simpletons that we are.

Spoiler alert: Gravity has a big role to play in the whole thing.

Flickr photo credit: cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo shared by Jimmy Emerson

The Bay of Fundy Sea Kayak Symposium is looking for coaches for the weekend so if that tweaks your interest read the email and apply pronto:

The Bay of Fundy Sea Kayak Symposium is currently building their coaching team for the 2014 event to be held September 12-15, 2014 in Argyle, Nova Scotia, Canada. The process is open to Paddle Canada, BCU and ACA sea kayak coaches. There is an application to be filled out and submitted by prospective coaches. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Application deadline is January 15, 2014.

Application can be downloaded here.

If you have never paddled the Bay of Fundy in Atlantic Canada before you need to consider attending this year for sure. It's a beautiful place and last year's event was very well received. Justine Curgenven attended last year and recently posted this teaser trailer for her new short film, Fundy Fun.

Anybody who has spent time in the outdoors can relate when I say that mosquitoes are the scourge of the earth.

But just because we hate them and we know they suck, doesn't mean they are not good for something.

In the video below Rose Eveleth shares a bunch of cool things about the worlds most hated bug next to the Blackfly along with why it probably isn't a good thing to have them completely wiped off the face of the earth.

A collective group of water safety experts from Australia, Canada, France, New Zealand and the United Kingdom are calling on the outdoor industry to drop the term "PFD" in favour "lifejackets" when it comes to water safety education.

It's part of a list of guiding principles related to lifejacket promotion that were recently developed by several water safety organizations including Australian Recreational Boating Safety Committee, Royal National Lifeboat Institution (UK) and the Canadian Safe Boating Council. Here is the full list of the principles.

I think it's a really interesting idea and something I support for sure. Ask anybody on the street what that dapper guy above is wearing and after staring at his moustache, they will tell you it's a lifejacket.

Why would we want to confuse people by using the technical term PFD? Here is the thing; a PFD is just the name of a lifejacket that happens to be classified a specific way due to its design. Nobody cares and neither should we.

So here my challenge to you fellow canoe/sup/kayak instructor. Drop the term PFD from your lexicon and just call them lifejackets. You students will be happy and they won’t laugh at you when you accidently refer to them as a PDF.

Photo credit: cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo shared by Andreas Nilsson

More info: lifejacketwear.com

Justine Curgenven, producer of the highly successful and influential, "This is the Sea" series has just released the trailer for her latest production called Fundy Fun.

Oh my. It looks like another group of kayaks got in trouble with Johnny law over the weekend when they were caught trying to smuggle in 297 pounds of marijuana worth around $178,000 from Mexico into the United States.

Watch this video that was just recently posted on the Youtube.

 

I've always enjoyed the videos that the gang from Body Boat Blade. Shawna Franklin and Leon Sommé are super down to earth instructors and their passion to make kayaking fun is clearly there.

Just got an email letting me know that the Canadian canoe and kayak manufacturing company, Mid-Canada Fiberglass has gone into receivership and will be closing their doors after 53 years of making canoes and kayaks. Though you might not have heard of the company name Mid-Canada, you have probably heard of their extensive product line including Scott Canoe, Bluewater Canoes and Impex Kayaks (also once known as Formula Kayak).

Scott Canoe

It's a sad day for Canadian manufacturing for sure.

Update: I received the following statement from Scott Canoe:

The end is here. Wilderness Dreams Adventure Store and Scott Canoe in New Liskeard is having one final massive liquidation sale, for 2 days only. Everything must be sold. This Saturday Nov 30 and Sunday, Dec 1, 2013 from 9AM to 5PM. Come in and check out the best prices you have ever seen on, canoes, kayaks, paddling gear, clothing, footwear, camping gear, and so much more. Drop in to the location by the hospital in New Liskeard at 156457 Clover Valley Rd., New Liskeard, Ontario. This sale is being conducted by msi Spergel Inc. Court-Appointed Receiver for Mid-Canada Fiberglass Limited.

Canoe photo credit: Scott Canoe

This past weekend I was out paddling with by buddies Erik and Wilber here in Toronto on Lake Ontario. The three of us have been working with a group of intermediate paddlers introducing them to the wonders of late season paddling and the joys of rough water. It has been a lot of fun.

So, after several weekends of fairly calm conditions we decided to push the envelope a bit and take the group out in rougher water since the SW winds on the lake was finally bringing us really a nice 2.5-3 foot swell.

Out paddling in the rough water we had two people tip out into the water (not at the same time) and quickly got them back up and running again so there was lots of learning for everybody throughout the day. I know I walked away with some interesting insights and things that we should emphasise more so students are more prepared about rescues. Here they are in no particular order:

 

1) As instructors, we need to teach students that not to be a passive victim if you find yourself swimming.

For some reason we always teach swimmers take direction from the paddler in the kayak and not to take any action until she tells you to. That makes good sense from the perspective that it teaches the paddler how to take control and give directions in an emergency situation but the reality is that in real life conditions, if the swimmer is perfectly fine I believe they should take a more assertive role in helping the paddler help them. As rough water partners, both should know their roles and the steps to rectify the problem. It just speeds the whole thing up considerably.

 

2) We need to really, really, really drill home the idea of holding onto your gear and boat.

My students understand the concept but when they are floating in the waves everybody forgets about their paddle. The concept grabbing and keeping your stuff from floating away really needs to be drilled home, over and over again as you can’t swim faster than a boat blowing away. Never let go of your paddle or boat. Never.

 

3) Teach your students how to use their own paddle to swim faster.

If you need to move around in the water it’s way easier to use your paddle to help pull you through the water. This really rings true if you need to go any type of distance greater than 2-3 boat lengths. It’s also a lot easier then swimming with one hand and the paddle beside you so teach it to your students and they will thank you for it.

If you are not sure what I’m talking about here is a quick video I found demonstrating it.

What do you think instructors? Share your own tips or insights below.

 

Instagram goodness

Instagram

Get the newsletter

 

Strategic partner

Paddle Canada Logo