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Kayak sail or wait out the wind

Kayak sailing with golf umbrella.

This is best done with umbrellas with fiberglass arms and not metal ones. Fiberglass will flex and not immediately break if the wind is too strong. 

Mother Nature doesn't always have her children provide us with the weather conditions that we had expected. So we must decide whether to stay and play or get to safety. 

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Put your name & phone number in your boat!

From news report courtesy of the Maine Sunday Telegram, Sunday, July 10, 2011 page B6:

"After more than three hours, the Coast Guard called off its search in Saco Bay for a potential missing person, pending new evidence. 

The search began around 11:30am Saturday after a report about an empty kayak-type craft and life jacket floating near Wood Island. 

The Coast Guard said it appeared the life jacket hadn't been worn and wasn't related to the watercraft, and there were no signs of distress to indicate a missing person, said Chief Petty Officer Rob Childress of Coast Guard Sector Northern New England.

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Who carries a mouse trap with their spare gear?

True story, but no pictures. Sorry.

Yesterday, I was working as the sweep boat for a canoe and kayak race in coastal Maine. It was a fun six mile race. One of the competitors had quite a surprise in store for them. 

During registration, someone said that they thought they saw a mouse (or two) in a boat in the race. We were sure that the competitor would know about the mice before they launched. We were completely wrong on that account. I was paddling beside the last boat after the start (a recreational canoe being solo paddled by a man that had borrowed the boat from his son) and noticed that one of the racing boats was heading towards shore. I paddled toward their boat (a open cockpitted recreational double with a father/very young son paddling team). I saw that there was only one paddler in the boat and that the son was suddenly sitting in his father's lap. Why????

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I know that Mere Point Bay is out there somewhere. 

Paddling and walking in the fog is magical. I love playing with it. When walking along Maine's shorelines remember that the rocks are wet and slippery!  The grass is wet and your wet shoes will not grip as well as they do on a dry day. Staying in a small group is more fun and your voices will carry because of the denseness of the air. Whisper if you don't want to scare the wildlife. The picture is looking toward the bay. The trees in the fog are only 200' from my house and the bay is right beyond them. 

If you are on the water, be sure to use your compass and trust it. Using a map or chart is critical. A smart boater especially a human powered boater will blow a loud whistle or horn every minute to let others on the water know that you are there. You don't have the benefit of the noise of a motor. Stay in a tight group.

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Dress for the water not the air!

Paddleboarding in Maine in any season is fun. What we need to remember is that the water we paddleboard upon is not warm in Maine. I believe that the US Coast Guard defines warm water as any water warmer than 65 degrees. Coastal Maine might get that warm in August, but certainly not in April!

My friends and I went paddleboarding with a filed float plan to circumnavigate Harbor Island which is just off Sebasco Harbor Resort. Most of us wore 2-3 mm wetsuits under a drysuit. One of the paddlers wore a 4-5 mm wetsuit and was hot.

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