Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Pivoting

Pivoting has become a common term in the business community. 

Due to the Corona Virus Pandemic, it is no longer business as usual.  Businesses are having to make changes or face going out of business.  Jeff and I have been making changes to Liquid Fusion Kayaking and are committed to staying in business.

Jeff and I feel very fortunate that Liquid Fusion Kayaking is an outdoor business.  For months of shut down, we were consulting with others in the outdoor and kayak industry about the challenges of the global health pandemic and how to minimize risk when we were allowed to reopen.    In addition to the health and safety of our participants, we feel the responsibility to consider the health and safety of our community and our county/state/country.  On the Mendocino Coast, we have a very small rural hospital with limited beds and only 2 ventilators.  Many residents of our community are over the age of 65 and many have health issues and compromised immune systems.

We feel very fortunate that we were able to reopen, but it is definitely not business as usual.  Kayaking in the great outdoors is very low risk in the whole scheme of what we know about how the Corona Virus is transmitted.  However, we are erring on the upmost of caution.

For the summer of 2020, we have pivoted Liquid Fusion Kayaking's operation to include kayak rentals for the Noyo River.  We have an ideal location for all age and abilities to get out on the water.  Rentals enable people to kayak with people from their own household, go at the pace they want, and go when they want to go rather than being restricted to our tour schedule.  We have implemented a contactless system for reservations, payment, and waivers.

We expanded our kayak fleet to include sit on top kayaks that are easy to use and fun for folks who want to swim and play in the water in addition to kayaking.  A huge thank you to Dan and Josh at The Headwaters for their recommendations and helping us purchase a small fleet of Feel Free sit on top kayaks.  I personally am loving the wheel in the back because it makes people smile and makes moving the kayaks much easier.  It is a bit ironic that the model of our Feel Free tandems is Corona.

We also bought 40 new life jackets and paddles so that we could rotate them into service while used ones were being washed and drying.  We are running our Noyo Meander and Noyo Sea Kayak Tours primarily as private tours or small groups.  These tours are a great way for us to share the magic of our backyard waters with first time kayakers in a low risk way. 

We shifted our kayak instruction focus from sea kayaking classes to private lessons.  We designed a series of learn to kayak lessons for locals and visitors and have also implemented a fun and efficient 15 minute kayak skills tune up into our rental program.  We are a little disappointed to tone down our ocean rock gardening adventures.  We are running Whitewater of the Sea Adventures and rock gardening lessons as private lessons for individuals who can reliably self-rescue.  Social distancing is not possible during face to face rescue situations.  We feel the responsibility to avoid this unnecessary risk at this time.

We are having fun with our new programs and having fun in our own kayaking endeavors in our backyard.  We both miss paddling whitewater rivers but have been having fun playing in the surf and rock gardens with our new Pyranha Rippers.
Having fun rock gardening and surfing the Pyranha Ripper aka the RipSnake.
Our vegetable garden is producing well and we have been getting out in our kayaks to catch fish for dinner.  We are happy and healthy and feel very fortunate. 
Fish Tacos! Jeff showing off a black cod that he caught while kayak fishing on the Mendocino Coast.

We are determined to keep Liquid Fusion Kayaking a float and are developing some new ideas and programs for the future.  Subscribe to Liquid Fusion Kayaking's monthly newsletter to get the scoop.

Be well, be kind, and stay healthy!!!
Cate


Sunday, May 3, 2020

Online Kayak Coaching Sessions

Wednesday May 6, 2020 - Whitewater of the Sea Webinar 


Join me for a fun overview and question and answer session about whitewater kayaking in the ocean aka rock gardening. 
Whitewater ocean kayaking is also called rock gardening and is a form of extreme sea kayaking done in whitewater kayaks.  The Mendocino Coast of California has some of the best rock gardens and ocean kayaking in the world.
Cate Hawthorne riding a Stout during a whitewater of the sea session on the Mendocino Coast of California.

The California Women's Watersports Collective is hosting this webinar as part of their online coaching series.  Definitely check out the other sessions being offered as well.  This is a great opportunity to learn from top women kayak instructors.  Sessions are open to all genders and are available for all skill levels.  The topics whitewater techniques, sea kayaking, yoga, expedition planning, managing fear, and more. I am honored to be included in this line-up and sharing my passion and knowledge of whitewater kayaking on the sea on May 6.  

On June 6, you can join me for The Surfzone - a kayak surf skill building session.   This session will have skills applicable to a variety of kayaks - sea kayaks, whitewater kayaks, surf kayaks, and fishing kayaks.

HP surf kayaking on the Mendocino Coast of California with kayak instructor Cate Hawthorne
In my happy place - on a wave!



Monday, April 20, 2020

Shelter in Place Videos

These are crazy, uncertain times.  I feel very fortunate to have a comfortable home, agreeable partner for sheltering in place, lots of projects, and lots of good books to read.  What has been difficult for me is the economic uncertainty and not being able to play outside (hike, bike, kayak, camp).

If I wear a mask can I go surfing? Please, pretty please!!!
Sea Kayak Surfing Mendocino
Who is that masked woman?
Cate surfing the Dagger Stratos 14.5 sea kayak on the Mendocino Coast of California

All beaches, trails, and parks are closed in Mendocino County, and Mendocino County's SIP orders state that you cannot drive to exercise.  As an avid mountain biker, trail runner, hiker, surfer, and kayaker this is extremely challenging especially in stressful times.  One positive is that I have gotten back into doing weight and flexibility training.  

With extra time at home, I have been working on some new videos.  My current video goal is to tell a story.  I have a couple of instructional and how to videos planned as well.  My story telling videos will have 2 versions.  The Hot Lap version will be 1 minute videos designed for those without a lot of time or attention span.  The second version will be the full edit and is likely to be between 2.5 and 5 minutes.  My videos will all be posted on Liquid Fusion Kayaking's YouTube Channel.  

Please subscribe to Liquid Fusion Kayaking's YouTube Channel.  This way you can be notified of new videos.  It also helps me stay motivated to produce more content.  To subscribe, here is a link.  Click on the subscribe button.

My latest videos are from a little shelter in place adventure that Jeff and I had last week.  It is called the Shelter in Place Triathlon.  We walk/hiked from our house, swam across the Noyo River, and sea kayaked out into the ocean.  There are 2 versions of the video - a fast and fun 1 minute and a fun commentary filled 5 minute video.  




Please watch and comment on the videos.  I'd also love to hear any feedback or suggestions that you have for my videos.  In particular, do you like the one minute edits or longer edits or both?

Be well and be kind,
Cate

PS If you haven't heard - The California Watersport Collective is offering a series of online coaching webinars with an all star cast of kayak instructors and a huge range of topics.  I will be presenting Whitewater of the Sea on May 6.   Check out the line up of webinars - CWWC Online Coaching

Monday, March 30, 2020

Vitamin Sea Video

Crazy - uncertain times.  Need a break from the news and a dose of Vitamin Sea?
Sea kayak rock gardening on the Mendocino Coast of California
Here is a one minute Vitamin Sea Video that features some of our Mendocino sea kayaking and rock gardening highlights from 2019.  The video below might not show up well in your browser - if so, use this link to watch on YouTube.


I am working on some more videos.  
Be sure to subscribe to Liquid Fusion Kayaking's YouTube Channel to be the first to see them.