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Saturday, May 19, 2018

The "Craftsman" of Kayaks


Sometime in 2018, I will hit the waters again in my red Perception Jocassee tandem kayak.

Since purchasing it in 1997, I have paddled thousands of miles in this boat in all 12 months of the year, and have introduced hundreds of folks to the recreational pastime of paddling. My longest one day (solo) trip was 62 miles on the Susquehanna River in 2004, and I've paddled in Otsego Lake (Cooperstown NY) before dawn and Mauch Chuck Lake after sunset. No one has ever paddled in my kayak without wearing a PFD. And so far...I've never had to go for an unintended swim. 

A professional outfitter once called this specific boat the "Craftsman of Kayaks", and deservedly so. It is big, heavy...and built to last. It's over 16' long and has a stated capacity of ~750 lbs. 

The first four pics below are from 1998 through 2000. The others span the remaining ~17 years. 

Looking forward to the 2018 paddling season...


Above: Day #1 of a 3-day, 70 mile adventure near Sayre NY. 



The pic below is on the East Branch of the Perkiomen Creek in February 1999.
Icicles were forming on the paddles. 



Above: My sister and I on the Susquehanna near Shickshinny PA.


Above: One of the youngest paddlers ever allowed @ RiverFest. 


Above: Two Drexel Co-ops paddle the Schuylkill in Philadelphia. 


Above/below: Someone's excited about kayaking. 





Above: My son's first solo paddling trip in ~2001.  


Above: The "Boys of October" near Laceyville PA. 










Above: Celebrating the day the proposed inflatable dam died. 



Above: Remnants of a coal car used in the 1959 Knox Mine Disaster. 



Above: Been there many times...


Above: The first leg of a ~200 mile paddle from Vestal NY to Sunbury PA. 
Below: Congrats from EMO's David Buck upon completing leg #4 @ Sunbury in October 2004. 






Above: A 19" smallie...boated & released. 





Above: Leisurely paddle on Mauch Chunk Lake. 


Above: Ramming speed with my sister on the Susquehanna. 


Above: Checking out the AMD outflow near Pittston PA. 


Above: My daughters catching some rays. 




Below: A ~12 term Congressman wanted to build an inflatable dam on the Susquehanna River near Wilkes-Barre, PA. The dream nightmare started in 1988, and we were finally able to kill the project in February 2008. My kayak was part of my 2007 Earth Day protest on the Market Street bridge.

The Congressman has long since retired. My kayak lives on.  



Above: Paddling on the Perkiomen near Lederach PA. 



Thursday, May 10, 2018

Another Preventable Tragedy



As of now, a woman and her dog are dead, and a 3 year-old is missing. 

Read more about it here.

Over the years, I have posted several warnings about the danger of lowhead dams. They are not called the "perfect drowning machines" for nothing. Even if wearing a PFD, the odds of surviving being caught in the dam's backwash are slim to none.

Here's another primer about their danger. As the article states:

"It is nearly impossible to escape the strength of the hydraulic when trapped."


I have paddled after sunset many times...but never on a river.

I took a PFBC boating safety course many years ago. 

In my humble opinion...it should be mandatory. 

My condolences to all affected by this tragedy.

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UPDATE: The body of Madelyn Binkley has been found. 

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