Tuesday, September 15, 2015

New Liquid Fusion Kayaking Videos!

Unfortunately part of being successful in the kayak industry these days is self promotion.  Some are of course better at it than others - that subtle dance of showing off knowledge and skills while being modest.  In our electronic world, videos have become a means of showing off one's stuff as well as sharing one's adventures.  I am a little bit camera shy, but enjoy taking photos and shooting video.  The problem is that I need a deadline to get my butt out of my surf boat or off my mountain bike and onto the computer to create and publish a video.

Last week, Jeff and I were invited to teach and present at The Headwaters Kayak Shop and Headwaters Adventure Company's Albion Bash.  We decided to do a presentation on our adventures in the Lost Coast.  Instead of talking about it, we chose to show who we are and what our adventures have entailed.

Here's a little promotional video for Liquid Fusion Kayaking (which is Jeff and I).

Presenting on the Lost Coast was challenging because it is an area that is quite remote, exposed, and subject to extreme conditions.  Our goal with the video was to share the beauty and wonder of the area, our adventures there both by land and by sea, the challenges of paddling the area, and give an idea of the skills necessary.  Also sharing the fact that there are many days when the Lost Coast is not paddleable.  Take a look at our video and let me know what you think.

Liquid Fusion Kayaking Presents:  The Lost Coast - Adventures by Land and By Sea.

A huge thanks to our friends who have shared these adventures with us.  May there be many more!!!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Summer of Sunshine and Smiles

As summer starts to wrap-up, I am starting to think about getting caught up on my blogging and bookkeeping.

This has been Liquid Fusion Kayaking's busiest summer so far.  It has been a summer of sunshine and smiles.  As Jeff and I review photos from our trips, we love seeing all the happy faces.  From first timers to seasoned paddlers, we have been sharing the magic of the Mendocino Coast with folks from all walks of life.

I did a rough calculation and figure that I have guided over 500 people on the water over the past 3 months.

On our dry and mild tours on the Noyo River, I know that I have done my job when 1/2 way through the tour folks start talking about when and where they can go kayaking next.  Last month I ran into a family launching kayaks onto the Noyo River.  The father pointed at the kayaks and said to me that this was all my fault.  His family fell in love with kayaking on a trip with me last summer and now they own 4 kayaks and are paddling as a family almost every weekend.

Our early September is looking busy with teaching our Art of Sea Kayaking Mendocino Series and teaching rock gardening at the Headwaters Albion Bash.

I am looking forward to writing some reviews this fall on some kayaks and equipment that I have gotten to use this summer.  But most importantly - what is on my mind for when I get to go kayaking next?  Kayak surfing and whitewater!  This week, I knocked the dust off my surf kayak.  It definitely put a smile on my face.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Creatures in the Sea

This week the fishing was a bit slow.  My goal was a Mendocino Kayak Fishing Trifecta - abalone, dungeness crabs, and rock cod.  The bite was really slow and I didn't catch any fish this week.  I was successful in getting 3 abalone (on Tuesday before the season closed for the month of July) and getting dungeness crabs.  But this week's catch wasn't so much about the food as it was the beauty and wonder of the sea.

On Friday, my friend and I were fishing in our kayaks along the coast on the outside of a large rocky reef.  The mulitlayered sky was breathtakingly beautiful and the early morning water was like glass.  We jigged in awe and wonder as the glassy swells rolled beneath our boats and the sunshine streamed through the layers of clouds.  Several large flocks of brown pelicans skimmed by us.  The bite was slow, but we contently fished and immersed ourselves in the beauty around us.

The fog began to roll in and then there was a large but gentle whooooosh . . . about 40 feet from us a cloud of water vapor spouted up from the water followed by a dark arching back.  As gracefully as it appeared, it slipped beneath the water again.  Moments later, whooosh it it spouted and appeared again right in front of us and then again as it made its way along the rocks heading north.  It made our morning seem even more divine.

Then our morning got more interesting.  The bite continued to be slow and my friend landed a nice lingcod but my stringer was empty.  We decided to call it a day and pull the crab pots and head in.  One the crab pots held a surprise.

We had some dungeness crabs but also the gnarliest looking crab we had ever seen.
Pudget Sound King Crab?
So far my research indicates that it is a type of box crab known as a Puget Sound King Crab.  They are not common and extremely uncommon to get in a crab pot.  What a treat to get to see.  We took some photos and returned it to the sea.
Gail poses with our interesting catch.
What a cool day to be out on the sea - Maybe not the best for feeding the body but definitely lots of food for the soul.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015


My least favorite activity of being a kayak instructor and guide is schlepping kayaks.  This time of the year, I am schlepping boats most days.  When I have time to play, the last thing that I want to do is shlepp around a heavy kayak.  Sometimes it is fun to simplify and step away from the boat and just go have fun in the ocean - Coasteering!

Wetsuit, boots, gloves and off we go to play in the ocean.  We hike to a spot on the headlands and jump in.  We swim to off shore rocks or to the next headland, seal land ourselves, and repeat.  It is sh!ts n giggles fun!

Sometimes our route has us swimming through arches and into caves.  

Our last 2 adventures have actually been missions.  One mission was planting a Geochache for the Bay Area Sea Kayaker's 30th Anniversary Challenge.  Yes, Jeff and I coasteered into the location and would challenge other BASK'ers to do it too. 

Our other mission was a trash collection mission.  We are so thankful to be able to fish and gather food from the ocean.  We strive to tread lightly and have minimum impact on the environment but unfortunately have those moments where we snag and lose our line and tackle.  We have added lightweight packs to our coasteering missions for packing out trash - specifically fishing line that is snagged on the rocks that we are traversing.  Bringing a small pack allows me to pack my abalone gear and bring home dinner too.  

Swimming and playing in the ocean's rock gardens feels quite natural to me.I have to admit that jumping is a bit challenging for me.  I am working on my courage and technique.  Yes, I still hold my nose when I jump.