Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Greeting readers of my Woman on Water Blog,

I have launched my Woman on Water Facebook page. This is the page where I will post blog posts, photos, thoughts, ideas, and resources regarding women on water.

I am still developing the page and what I will be posting will evolve so please share your thoughts and ideas. I'm planning my page to be a sounding board for me as a woman on water but also a helpful resource for men and women who support women on water.

Thanks again for reading my blog and sharing my adventures.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Fresh Water

I didn't go to Santa Cruz this weekend to cheer for Jeff and other friends in the Santa Cruz Paddlefest. I stayed home, monitored the river flows, and conspired with my "foul-weather" friends to go whitewater boating.

I did miss getting to watch Jeff and the other competitors compete at Steamer's Lane. Word is that the waves were large and burly. I am still waiting to see more photos and videos.

The Eel River ended up being my kayaking venue for the weekend. The flow on the Eel was strong and fast. The water was powerful with surging and boiling eddy lines and strong hydraulics.

Powerful strokes were necessary to execute moves. Boat speed, loose hips, and good braces kept one from dunking in the cold water. Even more important were good lines - here's a video from the Eel of what happens when one takes a not so good line.

The V Hole from Explore Six Rivers on Vimeo.

Colorful kayaks weren't the only color on our trips on the Eel this weekend. It was fun to boat with a variety of craft that ranged from a Topo-Duo (tandem whitewater kayak)

to a whitewater canoe

and a couple of rafts.

I was stoked to share some on water time with other women on water
Nancy was styling it in the Topo Duo with Steve. This duo was amazing as they carved in and out of eddies and slalomed down the river in tandem.

This was my first river trip with my good friend June who was taking photos and cruising in the raft with her sweetie Jerry.

I was also stoked to get on the water with my new friend Kendra before she moves to Idaho.

There is a magic that occurs on the river. It is where boaters of all walks of life converge to share a passion for water, the outdoors and adventure. We often joke that when men wear skirts the issues and problems that plague us in everyday life slip away. Actually, I think it has to do with the respect that we all have for the river and the wilderness and an appreciation that we have for the opportunity to be on the river and sharing its magic with others.

This weekend, an invitation was presented for a new opportunity. I am over the top with excitement.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

We are just back from a fantastic weekend in Humboldt County - teaching rock gardening in Trinidad in whitewater and sea kayaks, presenting our 169 mile Eel River Trip, and spending time with our North Coast friends.

We were planning to return home from the north to swap out our whitewater and sea kayaks for our surf kayaks and then to journey south to Santa Cruz for the 26th annual Kayak Surf Festival. I am contemplating a boycott of the trip south.

Yes, some of it is my home body tendencies. When you live on the Mendocino Coast going anywhere is an effort, but going south is always a stretch for me. This Pennsylvania farm girl gets stressed by big cities, freeways, congestion, and lots and lots of people. I always pine for the comforts of home - fresh veggies from the garden, Tom Cat, the rumble of the surf, the sounds of Noyo's whistle and bell buoys, and room to escape the world on the water or in the redwoods - not to mention good food and great beer.
Sea Lion on the Noyo Bell Buoy
The main reason for boycotting our southern trip is the cancellation of my division in the Santa Cruz Paddlefest. Kayak surfing is my favorite kayaking discipline. I have been working on my skills and decided to challenge myself by entering the intermediate high performance division.

Last week, I was sorely disappointed when the organizers called to say that all the novice and intermediate classes had been canceled. Today, I am rejoicing in their decision. Conditions look to be stormier than last year which caused the lifeguards to call off the last day of the competition. YouTube Video of Santa Cruz Paddlefest 2011.

Also, we have lots of rain in the forecast. My "foul-weather friends" have started monitoring the predictions and making plans for some Mendocino County whitewater river kayaking.

For a moment a little angel sitting on my shoulder says that I should go to Santa Cruz - be a good girlfriend and cheer for Jeff as he competes. Another little angel says that I should be a good small business owner - be available for rentals and tours. The woman on water says, "Go with the flow - its time to go down river!"