Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Lumpy Waters 2019

Once again, Jeff and I returned to Pacific City, Oregon for the Lumpy Waters Symposium.  This was our 8th year coaching at Lumpy.  If you haven't been to Lumpy Waters, mark your calendar for October 9-11, 2020 and get there.  Pacific City is a beautiful location.  Many of the event's classes are within a 10 minute walk or 5 minute drive (and a couple are 30 minutes away). The team at Alder Creek run an excellent event.  The event is very student centered - meaning - it is all about students learning and having a great time.

As a coach, I enjoy the attitude and energy of the Lumpy students.  Students come to Lumpy to learn and have fun.  One can be goofy as a coach (it is encouraged).  This gets everyone laughing and makes for a relaxed, fun, and supportive learning environment in an environment that can be challenging.  Many of the classes at Lumpy are lumpy.  Students come to Lumpy to be challenged by dynamic waters and learn how to kayak in them.  My job is to keep them safe and teach them the skills that they need to paddle and play safely in the surf and rock gardens.

As a coach, I am constantly challenged to create a safe learning environment for students in the surfzones and rock gardens of the Oregon Coast.  Like the students Lumpy challenges and stretches me.  On the last day of Lumpy, Jeff and I were co teaching an Intro to Rock Gardening Class.  During the morning, conditions built. At lunch time, we landed our students through 5 foot surf.  We modified our afternoon plans to do a bit of coasteering. It was super fun.  We had students traversing on foot and swimming through the rock gardens just off the beach.  As we traversed through the rocks, the students got to practice CLAP (communication, line of sight, awareness, and positioning) and feel and work with the pulse of the sea. 

We pegged the fun meter with jumping off a rock onto an incoming wave.

Another highlight from Lumpy this year was getting to teach a full day surfzone class.  The full day format took all the hustle and bustle out of trying to cram in the essentials into a couple of hours.  My students had the luxury of a full day to develop confidence and control in the surf zone.  At the end of the day, they were all landing with finesse and control in the surf. 

Another highlight from Lumpy is getting to reconvene with friends and fellow coaches and adventurers.  We swap stories of adventures and share the triumphs and tribulations of life in the kayak industry.

Lumpy students - if you are reading my blog - THANK YOU for your positive energy.  Your smiles and success on the water inspires me as an instructor.  It is why I teach.  And if you get a chance, please come take a class or tour through Liquid Fusion Kayaking with Jeff and I in our home waters on the Mendocino Coast or Eel River.  You will love it!!!

Monday, September 23, 2019

Coastal Cleanup Day 2019

We did it again!!!

Check out this video of Liquid Fusion Kayaking's 2019 On-Water Cleanup of Noyo River and Harbor.  We had fun and cleaned up the river.

A huge thank you to everyone who participated in Coastal Cleanup Day!  And to everyone who works to clean and protect our waters.

Join us next year - the third Saturday of September.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Pressing the Reset Button

How does one reset after a busy work season? 
Sea kayak camping trip on the Mendocino Coast of California.
Jeff and I have found that disconnecting and going camping does the trick for us.  The weather this summer at home on the Mendocino Coast has been phenomenal so we decided on a bit of a staycation for our get away.
Jeff suiting up for our paddle into camp.
Last week we carved out a few days and loaded up our sea kayaks for a coastal camping trip.  Our plan was paddling into a beach and sett up a base camp for 4 nights.  We paddled our Dagger Stratos 14.5s because they carry a lot of gear are fun for coastal play - rock gardening and surfing.
Dagger Stratos 14.5 is a versatile sea kayak for coastal play.
Of course we overloaded our boats with luxury items like fresh vegetables, beer, margaritas, and a  ukulele and books.  Fortunately we had the wind at our backs for our paddle into camp.
Wind at our backs for the paddle into camp.
Our camp was just dreamy - warm, sunny weather and just the two of us camping on a remote beach.  At camp, we read, relaxed, and enjoyed some quiet time alone and together.
Jeff reading the Sea Forager's Guide to the Northern California Coast.
The paddling playground surrounding our camp was amazing.  The seas were quite sporty and lured us out for some exploration and rock garden play.
Launching a bit higher than Jeff anticipated on this one.
Evenings were spent cooking over the campfire and playing the ukulele.
Strumming the ukulele while cooking dinner over the campfire.

I am working on a video to share the trip.  I might write more about it but don't want to share too much and hope that you will check out my upcoming video (possibly videos).
View from our tent of the full moon over the sea.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Fall 2019

Whew - it was a busy and interesting summer for Liquid Fusion Kayaking.  I love guiding kayak tours and teaching kayaking but have to admit that the day after Labor Day is always a bit of a relief.  The day after labor day marks the end of our busy summer tour season.  After Labor Day,  we will continue to teach and guide but will not be on the water with students 6 days a week.  Many of our trips in the fall are Mendo Your Way - custom sea kayak tours on the Mendocino Coast.  It is fun working with people to create dream trips.
sea kayak mendocino sea caves
Sea kayaking into Mendocino Sea Caves
Now, it is time to get all the "invisible" work of running a kayaking business done as well as work on home improvement projects.  One of my fall projects is getting back to regular blogging.  I am working on a post about choosing the right kayak for rock gardening and coastal play.  I have a couple of instructional posts in mind as well.  If you have ideas or suggestions for my blog, please share them in the comments or contact me through Liquid Fusion Kayaking.

Also on the Fall list is a sea kayak coastal camping trip and coaching at the Lumpy Waters Sea Kayak Symposium.  If you haven't been, it is the funnest sea kayak event. There are still some spaces available.  Check it out and sign up! 
Pegging the Fun Meter at Lumpy Waters in Pacific City Oregon.