Lake Powell


The above map shows my approximate route during my nine days on Lake Powell. I totaledaround 150 miles of paddling and my biggest day was over 28 miles. I will eventually post details about some of the canyons I explored, and I will include some of the many videos I…

Colorado River


On the advice of a local kayak shop in page, I got a haul back up the Colorado River from Lee's Ferry to just below the dam, about 16 river miles. It wasn't cheap at about $65 for me and my kayak, but it was worth it for the spectacular…

Silver Springs


Different kayakers I had met in other parts of Florida had told me about Silver Springs, usually describing it as the premier springs in Florida. Needless to say, I decided to go. I was pleasantly surprised to arrive at the put-in on a Sunday morning to see a dozen or…

Cayo Costa and Cabage Key


After my Everglades fiasco, I still wanted to do some camping from my kayak while in Florida. I did some research and found an island off coast from Port Charlotte called Cayo Costa that was home to a state park of the same name. En route to this island was…

Everglades


I was a little disappointed at the minimal opportunities for expedition style kayaking available from the Florida Keys and after some inquiries discovered that most of the "backcountry" kayaking was done from Everglades National Park. I went to the Everglades with ambitions of doing a four or five-day kayak camping…

Bahia Honda Key


A time-lapse video of me kayaking in the channel to the west of Bahia Honda under the old and new US-1 bridges: A video of some tarpons swimming under my kayak in deep water: They get over 5 feet long and over 120 lbs. I first saw them in deep…

Key Largo


A time-lapse video of me kayaking at the mangroves at John Pennekamp State Park: The sped up video makes it seem like I am practicing some sort of martial arts ;) Another video of me doing a paddle float re-entry - I am getting better at them:

Rainbow Springs Florida


Based on the advice of some kayakers I met in Crystal River (the same ones whose fervent praise of my kayak almost made me blush) I decided to visit Rainbow Springs which is about 45 minutes north and east of Crystal River. I camped the night at the state park…

Crystal River Florida


I stopped for a night's rest and a day of paddling at Crystal River, Florida, about an hour and a half north of Tampa. It is the year-round home of manatees although they are more prevalent in winter. Nonetheless, I was lucky enough to encounter perhaps a dozen of these…

Little Talbot Island


I stayed the night at Little Talbot Island near Jacksonville, Florida. It is a beautiful place, but the camping was a little pricey at $26 per night for tent camping. I did a little kayaking in the morning in the estuary right behind my campsite. The following is a time-lapse…

Kayak expenses


I've been keeping track of all the expenses I've incurred with the building of the kayak. There may be a few things left out, but the following should be pretty close: This includes all the materials needed to build the 18.5' kayak completely outfitted with a neoprene covered seat, hatches,…

Kayak cover


During my long trip across country and down the length of the Baja peninsula and back (over 9000 miles) I began to worry about the abuse my kayak was getting while strapped to the top of my car. At highway speeds, even a small pebble kicked up could do some…

Pocomoke River


I am visiting my brother Chuck in Maryland for a few weeks. We decided to do some kayaking while I am here, first exploring a stream that feeds off of the pond that Chuck's house sits on. We paddled across the pond and then portaged over the road to enter…

Colorado


I stopped by Karen and Beau's cabin in Colorado on my way back across the country. The drive took me from California, diagonally across Arizona and through four corners into Colorado and then through the Rockies and north to Fairplay where their cabin is situated in the foothills. I arrived…

Cabo San Lucas


This is a panorama from a point near the marina in Cabo San Lucas - use the scroll bar to see the whole photo. $("div.scroll4").scrollLeft(600); Some photos and a video from Cabo San Lucas, Baja California. My internet connection is pretty slow, so I'll let them speak for themselves for…

Islas Coronados Kayak Trip


This is a panorama of a nice white sandy beach on the island - use the scroll bar to see the whole photo. $("div.scroll3").scrollLeft(1100); Below are some photos and a video from my kayak trip to Islas Coronados, Baja California Sur. I launched from a beach about 7 miles north…

Bahía Concepción Kayak Trip


This is a panorama of my last campsite at sunrise - use the scroll bar to see the whole photo. $("div.scroll1").scrollLeft(950); Below are some photos and videos from my four-day kayak/camping trip in Bahía Concepción, Baja California Sur. I started from the town of Mulegé, from the river of the…

Mulegé


Some photos from Guerrero Negro and Mulegé, Baja California. My internet connection is pretty slow, so I'll let them speak for themselves for now... Below is a panorama of Mulegé - use the scroll bar to see the whole photo. If you look closely, you'll see Maya on my car…

On the river…


We've had two glorious days of "Indian Summer" here in Pittsburgh and I decided to make the most of them by taking the kayak out on the river. Yesterday, I put in near my house and decided to paddle for five bridges on the Monongahela which turned out to be…

Wrapping up


Ok, it's been a long time since my last post.  I haven't been idle, on the contrary I have been very productive, just remiss in keeping up to date with my website.  I have been preparing for my imminent trip to Lake Powell which will be the first real test…

Spray deck


Over the past few days, I have fallen into the routine of wet sanding the deck in the morning and applying a coat of varnish to it and then doing the same in the evening to the hull. During the day, I've been finishing up some of the various side-projects…

Deck varnish


This morning, I flipped the kayak over and used a tack cloth on the deck surface and then proceeded to varnish the deck. I avoided having any "non-wet" edges by working both sides of the cockpit alternately. It worked, but I had to rush it a bit and I ended…

Varnish time at last!


It's been a few days since my last post and no, I have not been idle, just too lazy to post an update. I finished the installation of the footbraces. I epoxied the rails into the kayak (I had to remove the front bulkhead to allow access) with thickened epoxy.…

Recovery and beyond


I learned a lot of things at the WoodenBoat School and came away from there with a number of projects/repairs. This last week has been occupied with gathering materials, planning and prep work, but recently, I have been back in the workshop actually doing some things and it feels good.…

Maiden Voyage Video


A video my room-mate Chris took for me of my maiden voyage on the Monongahela river in Pittsburgh. I don't know how fast the barges go downstream in this river, but I can out-pace them at least for a short time. I am guessing about 6 knots.

Maine II


I made it home safely from Maine, driving all 15 hours yesterday since I didn't feel like camping in the rain. The class was great and I learned many things, the most important one being that I have much more to learn. Our instructor, Bill Thomas is an amazing guy.…

Maine


Just a quick update from the WoodenBoat School in Brooklin, Maine. The class is going well, Maya has been repaired and I have been paddling her in the gorgeous waters off the coast of Maine. I will provide a full synopsis when I return to Pittsburgh.

No cure


Well, everything was going perfectly to plan until that last batch of epoxy. I'd run out of my standard stuff and had purchased some cheaper brand from a local boat repair place and I suspect that it might have been sitting on the shelf for a bit longer than it…

Tip off


Yesterday, I brought Maya back inside after briefly checking her fit atop my car. I then began the laborious task of sanding her smooth and feathering all the edges of the fiber-glass overlays. This, of course, generates lots of fiber-glass dust which gets everywhere. Even after showering, there is still…

Maya got wet


This afternoon, I flipped Maya end for end and did the other end pour. Shortly after that, it started to rain, so she got wet for the first time without me. I guess she is even more anxious than I am. Other than that, I worked on a heap of…

End pour anyone?


Today, I trimmed the first outside deck/hull tape joint. I'd let the epoxy cure too long, so it wasn't the easiest going, but I managed. After that, I flipped the kayak over and prepped for the second joint. After that one dried a couple of hours, but was still soft,…

Glass shaft


Today, I finished sanding the paddle shaft and sealed it with a coat of resin. While that was drying, I prepped the first of two outside deck/hull joints. I sanded the joint area smooth and then filled any gaps with a mixture of epoxy and wood flour with a little…

Over the hump


Today, I finished the interior taping. With that awful job done, the rest should be down hill. This side went easier than yesterday's. I read up before starting and discovered that I should have wet the area to be 'glassed with epoxy prior to rolling out the 'glass. This definitely…

And a bag of chips


Busy day today. To summarize, I removed the foot braces and cleaned up the epoxy mounting points, I carved the minicell foam seat, I cut the paddle shaft skarf joint and glued the two halves together, I prepped the deck and hull interiors for epoxying, I taped the exterior of…

Flushrooms


Today, I mounted my footbraces. I followed Vaclav Stejskal's instructions for mounting the Yakima footbraces. This method allows for future conversion for rudder control with the same footbraces. The modifications were simple and it should be easily maintainable. Time will tell. I also trimmed the excess on all of the…

Cheeky Mushrooms


Last night, I sealed the mushrooms with epoxy. This morning they were dry and ready to be installed. I had borrowed my brother-in-law's 1 1/4" forstner bit to drill the holes in the deck, but that choice didn't prove to be a good one. With the curvature of the deck,…

Mushrooms


Two days ago, I went to my sister's house in Salem, Ohio. My brother-in-law Russ, whose workshop I've used many times already, was gracious enough to allow me to use his tools once again. My main project was to create tie-down points for the deck. I found some designs on…

Hatches part trois


Today, I trimmed each hatch opening and then tried to make a rim around each one, only to discover that fiber-glass does not like to wrap 180 degrees around a thin section. Try as I might (using all sorts of tape and clothes pins) I could not get the 'glass…

Hatches part deux


Yesterday, once the epoxy on the hatch rims was tack-free, I proceeded to sand the rim areas as smooth as possible. I then applied three coats of release wax to each entire hatch interior. The next step was to tape the hatches back into position on the outside of the…

Cutting the hatches


I began making the hatches today. I made a template for half of each hatch with paper and transferred the shape to the deck on masking tape. I masked both inside and out to prevent scratches and de-lamination of the fiber-glass. I used a Japanese Bonsai saw which is very…

Hull interior ‘glassed at last


Today was a very busy day for me. I began by sanding the epoxy filler on the deck interior. I then proceeded to create a large fillet all along the keel with epoxy thickened with wood flour. While this was still wet, I laid out the fiber-glass. I am using…