Monday, March 31, 2008

Backpacking group

I have a opportunity to take over a large group that is geared towards backpackers. I am a little hesitant to do it even though I feel I have enough experience simply because this was going to be the year that I was going to really work on my kayaking skills. As it stands, if I take over this group, I will be spending a large portion of my free time running events and trying to get the group up off the ground and running consistently. I will also have to incur a charge of 12$ per month but I can likely make that back by charging a small fee per event as other groups do. But I feel like this will take away from the kayaking I really wanted to do this year. Actually, both things sound great and I want to do both but there is really only so much time during the weekend to do stuff and I only have so much energy. I have been doing a Wednesday night paddle with my paddling partner so that is a plus. Paddling and exercise. I can't wait for it to move back to Thursday night though. I need to sit down and think about the logistics of all this and whether I have the time and know how to do it and how much help I might need and will be able to get.

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Saturday, March 29, 2008

More pool sessions

I managed to get in two more pool sessions. I was able to go in someone else's spot as they would not be able to make it. Sunday morning was a slightly better time then Saturday night but I am not complaining. I went with my paddling partner the first session but alone the next session. I managed to get in a little more rolling practice and started working on a few other skills like edging and turning the kayak. The last session I worked on sculling. I was using my Greenland paddle to do this and I am not sure if that was what made it seem easy. I will have to try to do it some time with my regular paddle to see if I can still do it. I did end up capsizing my kayak several times and each time I was able to come back up. It made me feel really good. I am sure I don't have a bomb-proof roll, but I feel that I have something and it is getting there. I even managed to roll back up with the Greenland paddle. That was a really good feeling. I really wanted to talk to my paddling partner but he wasn't there.

I am going to be going to a kayaking festival in April in South Carolina. I have heard it is a lot of fun and I am really looking forward to going. I wish my paddling partner could make it but alas he can't. At least he will be able to make it to the next longer event which is in North Carolina so that will be nice.

I've been going down to the Boat House to help them fix the place up. They are going to be opening soon and have asked if any of the Pirate's who launch there would be willing to help get the place ready for the spring season, so I am helping out with that. I have made a few A frames to store canoes and kayaks on. Mostly it is carpentry work but I have been having fun doing it. I am also generally sore the next day but no complaints. It feels like real work. I can visually see what I have accomplished after a few hours of work. The person helping run and fix up the place has expressed an interest in keeping me on over the summer. That could be fun too but will eat up lots of time. I will have to see how things go, kayaking-wise and backpacking-wise.


Saturday, March 22, 2008

Greenland paddle workshop

I attended a Greenland paddle making workshop to help get me motivated to finish the Greenland paddle I was working on. I didn't really have that much work left to do but I haven't been able to finish is as I really didn't want to sand inside the apartment. I did that once and it took a while to clean up the mess. The workshop started around 9:00 and was outside. The weather was a little cooler then I expected but the sanding kept me warm. I also forgot to bring a lunch, good thing I remembered to grab a few snacks. Some kind soul had also brought homemade brownies which were great.

For the paddle, I found that I needed to thin the blades some and shape the loom more. Other then that it was a matter of sanding down the edges to make everything round and smooth. After about 4 hours of work, I had a beautiful polished paddle. I wish I had a picture of the paddle. I took it to the pool session tonight and tried it out and it was so much better then before. The person who organized the event was also at pool session and he tried out the paddle and thought it was great. I didn't manage to roll my kayak with it, yet. I tried once when I capsized and didn't some back up so I just did a wet exit. I am not sure I like the paddle enough to switch over to it. But I do like the feel of the wood in my hands. I also really enjoyed working on the wood and seeing a paddle develop out of it. I want to make another but really don't have a need for one. Also the cedar is a bit expensive.

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Friday, March 21, 2008

Full moon hike

As part of the backpacking meetup, I organized a full moon hike. I was a little upset that someone else stole my idea and posted one on their site too, but I guess I should take it as flattery that they liked my idea enough to run one themselves. I had a small group show up but that was perfect as this was the first time running this and I wasn't 100% sure of the location. I also wasn't sure the time of moonrise was going to work with the start time. Turns out we should have started a little later. The location, while perfect for star gazing, was in a depression making it a little hard to see the moon at first. I brought in my stove and pot to make hot chocolate for everyone. We also had someone show up with a telescope. This would have been really great except they forgot the eyepiece on their bed. So alas, no telescope. I did bring my star book so that made for some conversation and star gazing for a while. We did have someone show up with Tarot cards and do some reading for some people. All in all, it was a great event. I think I will organize more of them and I might go out and get a Walmart special telescope just in case. I also think I will be running a New Moon hike a few time s as well to do some star gazing. Why just stop at the moon, there is a sky full of great things to look at. And the depression I ended up choosing will be perfect for star gazing as it cuts out a lot of stray light.

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Saturday, March 15, 2008

Shamrock Fest

Since I have been moping around, I let myself get talked into going to the Shamrock St. Patrick's day festival. What a crazy event. First, as we were arriving I found out bags were not allowed. So we scrambled around to find a place to put my bag. Good thing someone else was driving there so we just met her in the parking area and I placed my bag in her car. Next up I wasn't wearing any green whatsoever. How I could I forget to wear green to an event where everyone wears green. Oops. Then the port-o-potties were disgusting as drunk people can't aim to save their lives. There were no water fountains and everything was very expensive. I also didn't want to eat a lot of junk and that was about all they had to eat was junk. I did have some fun though. I got to hear some bands I hadn't heard before and I got to hear Great Big Sea live again. I still don't like them live but it is nice to root for a Canadian band. I think the one big thing was that I missed my boyfriend.

The break up is still raw and no amount of getting out is helping. I keep waking up at strange hours then can't get back to sleep. I am really tired because of this and have no idea how to break the cycle. We are talking again which is good. We will be going paddling on Wednesday night since I won't be able to make it to the Pirate's Thursday night paddling. So this way I get exercise and we get to talk.


Monday, March 03, 2008

Rolling is fun, single isn't

So I thought I had my roll mostly down last time I went, which was about 2 weeks ago. This time when I showed up I was expecting to just keep practicing. Instead someone else came over with a theory that they wished to test out on someone else. So I humoured him and gave it a try. I was a little leary of learning yet another way to roll but curiosity got the better of me. So there I was sitting on the ground doing ground rolling exercises. After that it was back in the boat where I did the same exercises again with him holding the boat stable. After that I was on my own. And with only a few minutes of working at those exercises I was able to roll. No hesitation, and no failing the first try either. I popped back up each time I tried. And I tried several times then I showed it off too. I wish I had more time to practice it as the pool lessons are now over but I am hoping that in the spring I will remember what I was working on. I can also keep working on the floor exercises so I can remember the basic motion. I am so happy and proud of myself. I knew I could do it, I just wish he had come along sooner. Then I could have practiced more and played around more in the pool learning other things.

There is a kayaking festival coming up in South Carolina. I have never been to any kayaking festivals nor have I been to South Carolina. Actually I haven't bee further south than Virginia in the States. I have been trying to decide if I want to go to this event. I won't really know anyone there but I have heard it is fun. I am hesitant as there is an even bigger event happening in June that I will be going to as I understand I will benefit a lot from that event. So I don't know if I really need to go to this event. I just don't know if it will be worth the time or the money. I can carpool down with someone and maybe even share a tent site as the sites are big enough for several tents. I can bring my own food, but will I get enough out of the workshops and classes to make it worth it. Or should I just relax, go and enjoy myself.

On a sad note, I am once again single. The break up wasn't so bad as it really wasn't working out between us. I saw it coming but didn't really want to admit it. The hard part is that I miss the company. I will also miss helping out with the international club event. I found it a lot of fun and get the feeling I will be unwelcome to participate again in future. I had also hoped to help set up a backpacking component for the international club and get the feeling that that is down the tubes too. I am trying to take on a more active role in the backpacking meetup and will try to start offering classes through that. I also have so much extra equipment that I can take people out and completely outfit them.