You Can Now Tour a Full-on Ocean Research Vessel via Google Streetview Friday, 06 September 2013
I remember when we were kids on a family vacation in Nova Scotia once we found ourselves wandering the harbour docks at night (to this day I don't know why since it seems like a really sketchy activity). Well, we were walking by a large freighter that were loading provisions on board and I have no idea how, but we were invited by one of the crew members onboard for a tour of the ship. I wouldn't be surprised if my father started yelling from the deck asking for one as he was that kind of guy. So next thing you know we are getting the full tour. We visited the galley, bridge and even got to meet the captain who was really excited to meet us and show us around. For us it was easily the best part of our vacation meanwhile my mother was terrified the whole time and was convinced that we were going to get kidnapped. Anyways, ever since that day I have loved big ships. I love everything about them and fascinated by their mysterious inner workings. I mean, who really knows where all the pipes that you see actually go? Nobody knows, that's who. So you can imagine my excitement when Google announced that they have rolled out a Google Streetview tour of the Schmidt Ocean Institute's new 272-foot research vessel, Falkor. The tour is awesome. You can wander through all nine levels starting with the engine room and all the way up to the crow's nest (do they call it that on a research vessel?). You view the street view feature here and by dragging the street view icon over the ship or click here for the direct link to the engine room. You might be wondering why this boat in particular has received the full Google tour treatment. Well, the Schmidt Ocean Institute was founded by Dr. Erik Schmidt who is both the Chief Executive at Google and quite the philanthropist. gcaptain.com has the full backstory. SOI bought the vessel from the German government in 2009 and recently completed an extensive three…
Dramatic Video Footage of Feeding Humpback Whales and Terrified Sea Kayakers Friday, 06 September 2013
Check out this crazy footage from the Discovery television show, North America which features footage of two sea kayakers who got the the thrill of their life when several Humpback whales broke the surface about 20 feet away to feed (not on the paddlers luckily). All this footage is shot somewhere in Alaska. I can confidently say that I would freak out in this situation. How do I know you ask? I get scared startled seeing a floating stick on the water and think it's a giant snake going for my throat. Click through for the video below:
Saltwater Croc Traps Kayaker for Two Weeks in Australia Monday, 02 September 2013
This is easily the craziest story I've read so far this September. A young New Zealander who the press is only identifying as Ryan got trapped on Governor Island in the north end of Western Australia for two (yes two) full weeks because a six-meter (20 feet) salt water crocodile would stalk him every time he tried to make a break from the island. Yes, two weeks… Luckily when he was originally dropped off he had lots of water and food since his original plans were to explore the island for a short while then paddle back to the mainland. Once he discovered the giant monster stalking him the situation changed. He was finally rescued by Don McLeod who was passing the island on a fishing trip and found Ryan with no food and only 1 liter of water left. Mr. McLeod told ABC Radio yesterday: "I saw a flash in the scrub. I went across and Ryan came out looking a bit distraught. He came down the beach. He said he'd been there a fortnight and he came to the conclusion very quickly that he couldn't get off there without attracting this crocodile. "He was relieved and shocked, and thankful someone had come along." Mr. McLeod went on: "He said every time he got in his little kayak, this crocodile – who has lived there for many years and is a monster – has chased him. "That croc is a very, very big crocodile. One of the biggest I know of around here and it followed him around for a while. So Ryan headed back to get under cover and left his kayak up on the rocks about two kilometres from where his camp was. "I've seen that crocodile come past me quite fast a few times," Mr. McLeod said. "My boat's 20-foot long, so I know he's well up towards the 20ft mark." More info: scotsman.com Flickr Creative Commons photo credit: BMaco
Super Amazing Course Alert: Paddle Canada Level-3 Course Saturday, 31 August 2013
I'm really excited to let you know about an upcoming Paddle Canada Level-3 kayaking course being offered at the end of September here in Ontario. Running September 25-29, the course is being organized by myself and Ray Boucher in partnership with White Squall Paddling Centre and will take place in Georgian Bay (just north of Toronto). Paddle Canada Level-3 further develops your skills for undertaking multi-day trips in open water conditions. Some of the topics we will be covering include trip planning, rescues, towing, inaccessible shoreline launching, advanced navigation, weather mysteries revealed, risk management, decision making, leadership among peers and other nerdy stuff. This course is going to be unique in that we are planning to work our way out to a very small set of islands in southern Georgian Bay collectively called The Westerns. They lie about 12 kilometers offshore. To accomplish our goal (and if the weather cooperates), we will work through the planning and the decision making process of undertaking a major crossing like that. Speaking of the Westerns, they are easily the most remote group of islands on Georgian Bay and very few boaters and even less kayakers ever make it out to. The price of the 5-day course is $595+taxes. We need at least 4 people to make it run so our cut-off go/no go date for the course is September 15th. If you are looking for a challenge, contact the White Squall office and they can get you signed up. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. We hope to see you there!
Kids Paddling an SUP is almost as Cute as a Box of Puppies Friday, 30 August 2013
You might think you are cute when out paddling your SUP but I can pretty much guarantee that you don't look as cute as Kiara Goold does while learning to paddle an SUP in the video below. She is two.