Big Agnes LogoBig Agnes® Inc., maker of innovative sleeping bags, pads and tents, is proud to announce that its Emerald Mountain SL2 tent was awarded a gold medal in the China Outdoor Equipment Contest at the recent Asia Outdoor Trade Fair, in Nanjing, China.
Thursday, 27 September 2007 06:31

Dog PFD's

NRS Dog PFD
NRS Dog PFD
Do you have a dog? Do you like to take your dog out in the boat? Have you considered getting a pfd for your dog?

When I ask people that question, I always get a weird look. I'm now prepared for it.

Dog owners always have an idea that their dog is a great swimmer, that's true most dogs love the water and are very good swimmers but just like ourselves, they can get tired very easily and just like humans they can keep swimming chasing after something interesting and not realize how tired they are until it is to late.

I have personally witnessed a golden lab come within a hair's breath of drowning. The pooch was retrieving a stick from the water that the owner threw out when it saw some ducks, which were way more interesting (of course). The dog decided to swim after them but couldn't quite catch the ducks. Around and around they went with the owner frantically calling after the dog to come back to shore.

When a passing kayaker got between the dog and the ducks, the dog realised how tired he was and started to panic. Thankfully he wasn't far form shore (200 feet or so) but by the time he swam back to shore the only thing are the surface was the very top of his head and little nose breathing like mad. The dog completely collapsed on shore.

If you have a dog that likes the water, get a pfd. We used to have a dog and she loved it purely because she was lazy. It enabled her to just float on the surface of the water without having to do anything. It was very funny to watch how excited she was when she discovered she could do it.

Where do I find one? They are a little tricky to find as most shops don't see them. A couple of the larger pet food supply stores will carry them or can order one in for you. Like human PFD's, most aren't very well designed. Look for wide straps that don't cut into the dog's belly. Most have a handle along the back allowing you to easily drag your dog back into the boat. NRS sells a great one.

How did this whole thing get started? The Chicago Tribune has an article about the crazy, over-the-top rescue of Miss Pickles.

This little fun fact at the end of the article was a little sad:
At least two people lost their lives in the Chicago area over the last year and a half attempting to rescue dogs from local bodies of water.

Wednesday, 26 September 2007 13:03

New White Light LEDs Developed

LED Bulbs It looks like scientists in India have been able to make considerable steps towards developing a pure white LED. Up until now, our headlamps have only been able to pump out blue and yellowish colours.

The new LEDs are based on a new phosphor from semiconductor nanocrystals of cadmium sulfide mixed with manganese. It produces a stable shade of white light that remains constant over time and appears superior in overall performance in comparison to previous generations of white LEDs.

The practical uses to achieving a white light would be for household and office lighting systems. And yes, your headlamp so you can blind your friends while standing around talking at night...

LED Primer: merg.org.uk
More info: physorg.com
Devon BarSpend the evening with not only a renowned kayaker, but also a renowned female kayaker. Devon is the World Surf Kayak Champion, a 2-time National Freestyle Kayak Champion, a National Certified Board Educator, and the creator of Dare to Kayak.
Tuesday, 25 September 2007 16:53

Google Street View

Google's Street View Car
Google's Street View Car
Today Sean and I were walking back to work from Tim Hortans here in downtown Toronto when we saw one of the Google Street View cars drove by. It was shooting photos of Bay Street. So, when they finally release Street View for the Toronto region, you might just see us there.

We actually were walking along one of the side dead end streets when it passed us. About a block down the road, it turned around and passed us going the other way. Knowing it was going to come back, we ran over and sat on a rock in a park and tried to look like supermodels. We sat apart on purpose so it wouldn't look like we were holding hands...

What is Street View you ask? Where have you been? It is an add-on to Google Maps. Zoom into a major US city like New York or San Fran. Once you zoom into the downtown core, you will see a little Street View button appear. Click over and bring on the good times.

Looking for one of the REI's in San Fran? Here is a link. As you can see, there is plenty of parking on the other side of the street.

I found a photo of the Chevy Cobalt car that Google uses. The car we saw today had California plates so it looks like they shipped up the fleet to Toronto. Strapped to the top of the car was a funny looking 360 degree camera that is used to take the photos. You can find lots of good technical information on Gizmodo.

As you can see, we I get excited about the little things...
I couldn't be there but I have been activity reading other blog updates on the highlights of the 2007 West Coast Sea Kayak Symposium.

It seems that everybody is gaga over Dubside's new black Sterling's Kayak. It looks like a real work of art indeed!

The dates have been set for next year's symposium. Book your plane tickets now for September 19, 20 & 21, 2008!

Below is a list of links to thoughts and highlights of the weekend:

Dubside's Ice Kap - Kayak Wendy
State of the Art - The Dash Point Pirate
Fire Dance With Me - The Dash Point Pirate
Sweetwater wins the 2nd Annual IR Vacation to Hell - Kayak Journal Podcast
West Coast Sea Kayak Symposium Highlights - The Dash Point Pirate

Tuesday, 25 September 2007 06:29

Do you know this guy?

Authorities hope to identify this kayaker as part of their investigation into the disappearance of Marianne DeMartin of Evesham.
Authorities hope to identify this kayaker as part of their investigation into the disappearance of Marianne DeMartin of Evesham.
The Burlington County, NJ Prosecutor's Office released an unidentified man's photograph Monday as part of a continuing investigation into the disappearance of an Evesham woman two years ago this week.

Investigators don't feel that he is a suspect in the case but a photograph of the bearded man was downloaded into DeMartin's laptop computer a couple of weeks before she disappeared on September 23, 2005.

"Quite frankly we don't have any fresh leads in the case right now . . . but this (photograph) in no way, shape or form should be interpreted to mean this is a suspect or a person of interest," Bernardi said.

Her family recently lunched a website (www.mariannedemartin.com) to collect information on her disappearance.

More info: courierpostonline.com
2007 Paddle for Clean WaterMembers from the Surfrider Foundation - Sebastian Inlet Chapter want to remind all watermen and women, as well beachgoers of all ages, that the annual Paddle for Clean Water is scheduled to take place this Sunday, September 23, 2007, at Jetty Park in Cape Canaveral.
Rapid Media, publishers of Kayak Angler magazine, announces the creation of two new film categories in its 2008 Reel Paddling Film Festival and World Tour. The two new categories are Best Kayak Fishing Film and Best Instructional Paddling Film.
Thursday, 13 September 2007 18:00

Busy weekend for paddlers

This weekend is shaping up to be a busy weekend for paddlers here in North America. There are two large events taking place.

West Coast Sea Kayak Symposium
The West Coast Sea Kayak Symposium takes place September 14-16, 2007. Located at Fort Worden State Park Conference Center in Port Townsend, Washington, it is a weekend-long festival with activities and events for paddlers of all ages and paddling abilities.

Speakers at the West Coast Sea Kayak Symposium include Bryan Smith, Wendy Killoran, Derek Hutchinson, Dubside, Shawna Franklin & Leon Somme.

MEC Paddlefest
Also taking place in Toronto is MEC Paddlefest. Paddlefest is an urban celebration of canoeing, kayaking, and dragon boating. The day will feature learning opportunities on water and on land. Paddlers of all skill levels are welcome.

Speakers include: Paul Mason, Becky Mason, Kelly Blades, Erik Ogaard and Yours truly.

I'm totally looking forward to it.

Last year was the ORCKA AGM the same day so I couldn't go as I was sitting on the board at the time. This year they moved it to next weekend. That made sense.

MEC Paddlefest


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