Welcome to the very first post in our new weekly series, TBD Thursdays. Usually, “TBD” stands for “to be determined” but that’s so wishy-washy. Our “TBD” means “To Be Done!” (this weekend, this year, at some future date TBD. Oops.). We’ll post new skills we’re determined to try, gear we plan to buy, a new place we’re dying to paddle. Stuff like that. Then we’ll count on you to hold us to it. OMG. 🙂
Today’s to-do is a triple whammy! 1) We aim to paddle in the Pacific NW in July; and 2) we hope to do so with Shawna and Leon, i.e., Body Boat Blade International, of Orcas Island, Washington, and 3) this: (click for video)
Last Sunday marked the maiden voyage of Jim’s new kit-built wherry. “It floats!” we cheered. And indeed it did—fast, too.
However, ¾ of the way to Davids Island (2.5 NM from HHYC), one of the oarlock things suddenly snapped off—a design flaw—leaving Jim paddling in a big circle… Geeks to the rescue! We set up an in-line tow and ferried the wherry back to HHYC, where Jim swapped it for his proven kit-built kayak.
Undeterred, we relaunched and paddled around Davids and Huckleberry Islands, our next area snowstorm looming overhead. Air in the mid-30s, water similar.
A gull took flight near New Rochelle…
…as a big “bird” took off from LaGuardia Airport.
Jean’s tuilik also made its first on-Sound voyage.
We did a little mollusk-hopping (?), as the extra-low Spring tide exposed mussels…
…and got back to the boathouse just as the meager daylight gave way to a pale moon.
As much as we enjoy indoor pool sessions, there’s nothing like the great outdoors—even if it is frozen. Video below: David and Luke hack their way out of Grass Island, CT:
After last Sunday’s pool session, Jean, Luke and David dried off and car-topped for the pleasure (?) of “paddling uphill” against a gusty SW headwind, to Calf Island, near Greenwich, CT. Upon arrival, David found his comfort zone in the frozen salt marsh.
Dave’s secret? Muck boots. He swears by them. Here, he chills out while staying toasty-warm, making it ice-crystal clear why we should all get a pair for ourselves.
Outtakes from our afternoon, now frozen in time…
Hudson River Valley at dawn on a warm autumn morning. Vlad paddles through the mist.
Enjoy more moments of serenity here.
Jean tries her tuilik on for the first time. She is thrilled. Floyd (left) is oblivious.
Sorry, Ralph Lauren. But this is the new “it” thing for winter. Jean’s made-to-measure tuilik has finally arrived! Just in time for seal-hunting season (Greenland) and indoor-pool rolling practice at the YWCA (Greenwich).
A tuilik is an Inuit invention. Traditionally, it’s a sealskin garment that seals the paddler into their kayak via strings that are pulled tightly around the wrists and face and cockpit to create watertight seals. (A record number of “seals” in one sentence!)
Jean’s new Reed Chillcheater tuilik, by contrast, is polyurethane/polyester Aquatherm versus seal epidermis. But, like the original article, it keeps cold water out of your ears (important) and is so insulating that you quickly become Your Own Personal Steam Sauna. As the manufacturer’s website says, “it’s like having a paddle jacket, spray skirt and hood all rolled into one!”
Speaking of rolling, a tuilik also adds an element of buoyancy. Click arrow for video (1/10/15 at Greenwich pool; film credits to Jorge for swimming all over the deep end with camera!):
You know you want one! Order your own made-to-measure tuilik through the Kayakways online store.
Just in time for the holidays! This week’s photo challenge features twinkles. These pics are from November, long before anybody thought about Hanukkah candles or Xmas trees. On that kayak-camping trip, the water around Shea Island made its own festival of lights.
You probably can’t see it from here, but our eyes are crinkling up with glee. From left to right: Luke, Felix, Jean, Alex, and Jorge (who took all of these twinkling photos). Happy holidays! J&A 🙂