Sunday, November 30, 2008

Kayaking In The Fog

Early morning today as I got up to meet my parents before they caught the ferry.  It was really nice to have them here.

I came home and packed some gear then a friend and I headed to the West Side of San Juan Island to San Juan County Park to get on the water.  Kayaking in the fog is so much fun.  The views of the island are beautiful blanketed in heavy sheets of fog.  Heading out off shore it hard to tell where water starts and the air begins.  Everything is so gray.  There were lots of seals out playing around and a variety of sea birds.  One of my spotlights today was the sight of Ancient Murrelets.  There was a group of four and they kept popping up right next to the kayaks.  I was lucky and they came up several times before I moved on.  I wish I would have tried to take a photo as I do not see them very much.  All in all it was a great day to be on the water.  The conditions were perfect, no wind and small tides.  Here a the few images I took. Click on images to view larger.

This was taken as we headed out of Small Pox Bay at San Juan Co Park.  I am pointed towards Vancouver Island.

Looking back at Small Pox Bay.

Breaking away from the shoreline and heading out to catch the ebb.

Flat water and dense fog. Beautiful.  Need I say more.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Oh The Fog

Today has been very humid with mist falling most of the day.  The temperature got to about 50F and I thought it was pretty pleasant outside.  We had a small tour go to the West Side today. Everyone checked in at the Discovery Sea Kayak shop at 11am.  I spent the day with my parents as they are set to leave early tomorrow.  It has been great having them on the island.  It is nice to spend time with them and go out to dinner.  I hope that they have enjoyed it as much as I have enjoyed having them here.  Today was the last day of the Holiday Market.  The Market is for island artist and those who make all sort of things.  I stopped in and picked up some great products from Sweet Earth Farm.  We are going to meet my parents for dinner then head out to Sweet Earth Farm where they are hosting a Barn Dance.  YEEHAA!!  I do not plan on being there long as I feel pretty tired after my run today.

Well I do not have any new images to share as it has been fogged in so bad that there has been nothing to see.  I hope tomorrow that I will be able to get out and get some wonderful pictures to share.

Have a great night everyone! 

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Great Thanksgiving Dinner

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving Day.  Mine was pretty good.  Starting with a nice run with lots of really nice people.  Then taking it nice and easy until dinner time.

It was nice to sit at the table with so many nice folks and share a feast of food.  It is so much fun when people come together to enjoy great food and each others company.

Here are some photos.

Ahh the kitchen.  Always the center of attention.

The table waiting for us all to join.

Just another view from my seat.

There was a funny moment when a chair broke.

Just a nice look at two important beverages.  Beer and water.

Oh he looks like a natural.

Three happy guys after a great dinner.

Good night everyone.

Turkey Trot Friday Harbor

Today was an early start to get ready for the Turkey Trot.  Eduardo and I were the first ones to get there.  Which was nice since there was no line to sign up.  There was a total of 161 people signed up.  All the donation go to the Food Bank, so it was nice to have so many people show up.  Being a small community it was fun because you knew most people around you.  

I am going to meet up with the folks here in a bit and get some food ready for our Thanksgiving Dinner.

I have a few photos from the Trot.  Hope everyone has a great day.

We were amped and ready to run!!

This is my buddies kid.  He did not seem to happy to be there.  But by the end of the run he was happy to play in a mud puddle near by.

Here are some of the runners that have just got back and our checking in.

I did not do so well as it was a late night for me.  So I took it easy and I think I ended up around 28th out of 161.  Not sure of my time as they will post it later on the net.

Happy TG

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Amazing Weather.

To catch things up for whats been going on so far since my parents have been in town.  Well not much.  Things are pretty much the same ole routine for me.  Yesterday (Tuesday)  I took my parents around the island and we hung out on the West Side of San Juan Island along the Land Bank property.  It was nice and warm and the sun was out.  We spied a view of an Eagle sitting in the top of a tree at the waters edge.  There was a Stellar Sea lion that passed along the shore and we watched as it made its way south.  Here is a picture of Mom and Dad checking out the scene.

Not sure what they were looking at but they both seemed to be captivated by something at the moment.

After that I dropped them off at their cabin at Juniper Lane Guest House.  I think that just wanted to relax and not be moving around.  It is a bit hard to get to all my favorite locations with views as my mother has an injured foot and has to go in for surgery when she returns home.

So being Tuesday, it was the ever famous Tasty Tuesday Potluck.  So I picked my folks up and we headed out to meet everyone.  I think they had a pretty good time.  Everyone that comes out is really nice and welcoming.  After some food and drinks it was getting late so I took them home.

Today not much really went on.  Went to the south end of the island to check out the views.  Yes it was a wonderful sunny day again.  We say another Stellar Sea lion and it had a fish and was doing its best to make sure the fish was no longer alive.  Then we were off to grab some lunch. I took off for a run and I wish I had my camera.  Mt Rainer looked so close and not to mention the Olympics with fresh snow.  It was on of the best evenings to run.  Tonight we are meeting a group of friends at Steps Wine Bar and Cafe.  One of my favorite places to eat.  They rotate the menu every few weeks or so and I have not been in to eat on the new menu.  Check out the menu.

Tomorrow I am heading down to run in the local Turkey Trot.  It is a donation base run where food and money go to the Food Bank.  It will be fun to see everyone there.  Then we will be having dinner at my buddy Ivan's house.  Looks like there will be a pretty good crowd there.

I have a funny from the cocktail party the other night.  I thought I would get more, but I was stuck behind the bar playing bartender.  It was lots of fun and we all had great drinks.

There were two floors to the party.  Downstairs a foosball table showed and from somewhere.  It was a really fun get together.

I hope everyone has a wonderful night and a great day tomorrow.  I will post some pictures from the Turkey Trot tomorrow.  There are some I will not be seeing this year for Thanksgiving and I just wanted to say you are missed.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Discovery Sea Kayaks Is Having A Sale

On Friday Nov 28th I will be opening the doors at 10am at Discovery Sea Kayaks downtown store.

Discovery is located next to the Friday Harbor Ferry Landing in the Red Building above The Place Restaurant.

We have a good amount of summer clothing on clearance so you can expect to find great deals on North Face and Marmot clothing. 

Currently have some nice fall and winter jackets, beanies and gloves in stock from Marmot and Outdoor Research.

Dry bags and all other kayak gear, including paddles will be on sale as well.

Clearance racks will be up to 50% off and all other inventory will be 25% off.

If you do not have a chance to come by the shop we have an online shop
 and I am currently working on implementing a sale there as well.

So come by and say hi.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Another Great San Juan Day

It was another beautiful day today on San Juan Island.  Sorry I do not have any pictures to post. My parents are getting off the ferry here in just a bit.  So I spent some time catching up on some house duties.  

I got my Pentax Optio W60 shipped off today.  I cannot wait to see how they decide to take care of the water intrusion problem.

I will posting images soon.  I am sure I will be dragging my parents around to all my favorite island locations.  

Hope everyone is having a good day.  For those who wonder, Yes I think about Tofino all the time ;)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Postcard Day

If you ever wanted to feel like you live in one of the images you see on postcards, you should have been on San Juan Island today.  It has been a beautiful day. 

I started my day by driving out to Sweet Earth Farms where a friend of mine is living and she gave me a quick hair cut.  It was great.  The morning was cold and clear.  The sun was bright and slowly starting to warm the air.  We grabbed a chair and sat out in the sun next to a tree and she cut my hair.  It is way better than sitting inside and getting your hair cut.  It was a great scene sitting on the farm looking over the property and taking in the morning.  After that I gave her a ride to town and met some other for breakfast.

After that I came home and got Guinness and headed to the south end of the island for a small hike. It was amazing outside.  It was clear enough to see Mt. Rainer in the distance.  Mt Baker was out as well and full of snow.  I am sure it will be a great sunset but I have plans to be at a get together so I will not be able to enjoy it tonight.  But the gathering of friends should be a good one.

I have some pictures to share and some are from my Kayak Clinic that were just emailed to me. Oh yea remember you can click on the images to see larger.

This is from the Kayak Clinic a week ago.  I am the one in the yellow suit.

This is from Lyle's kayak as we headed out of Griffin Bay on the day of the Kayak Clinic.

The rest of the images are from today.

Mt Baker

A view along the shore towards South Beach.

Sort of the same image as above with a slight perspective change.

I was on the shoreline looking back up the trail where I came from.

This shot is over Griffin Bay and that is Mt Constitution on Orcas Island you see in the middle of the image.

This is my magic transportation pod.  Some call them cars or mini vans.  But check out the sweet kayak on top.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

As The Days Pass

Today day was one of those days where you felt that nothing really was going to happen.  Guess what?  Nothing really did.  But it was not a bad day. 

I was motivated and started my morning with a nice run and watched the sunrise.  It was amazing and the air was crisp.  Dark clouds loomed in the western skies and the sun was clear and bright to the east.  As I ran I had a bit of rain while the sun was still nice and bright.  I took a new route today and the views were nice.  I had Guinness with me and today was the first day where, for the first time ever, he gave out on me.  He simply could not keep up.  It was pretty sad.  I finally had to slow down and then stop.  Then I decided it was time to go home.  On the way home he was so tired and the rest of the day he has done pretty much nothing.  Guess it is time to admit he is getting older.  I think tomorrow we will take a break from running and I will take him for a nice long walk.

Other than that not much to report on.  I went out to see the sunset and have a few images to share.

After my run I went for breakfast and when I got home I was tired.  Maybe I got up to early.

The sun slipping behind the clouds.

It was a really nice sunset.  It was nice to see the sun this evening.  Lately the clouds have been to thick to enjoy the sunset.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Big Winds Move In

Today was a day where the wind was brisk and the forecast was for strong winds to move in during the night.  Well the wind is here!

The wind reading on Smith Island is pretty high.  I am sure the seas are raging along the coast tonight.  Walking home from dinner tonight the trees swayed and bowed in the wind.  Sitting in the house the sounds outside are that of a train moving at speed down the tracks.  I love the wind.  It is one of my favorite things about this time of year.

I always mention Smith Island as it has a weather station to provide information.  Typically when there are SE winds the south end of San Juan Island gets hammered by the wind.  So I have a map of the area and I have labeled Smith Island to give everyone an idea where it is located.

The above site is where I get some of my wind data for the region.  

Earlier today I got my new running shoes.  Asics Gel Fortitude 3.  At the end of the day I had to get them out on the road.  I got them because I needed to get a shoe that would give me more cushion while running on the road.  My current shoes were killing my knees and feet.  So I hope these work out.  I only went on a run for a couple miles.  I just wanted to get a feel for them.  It will take more miles before I can really say how I like them.  But I am excited to have them.  I stopped running on the road and started running trails only as it is a bit easier on my knees.  But it is nice to be able to walk out of the house and take off.

As for my Pentax Optio W60, it will be going back to Pentax on Monday.  I contacted support and they told me to ship it back.   The moisture being behind the LCD and lens cover is a big problem for a waterproof camera.  So I cannot wait to see how smooth the process goes for getting my camera back.

Thanks to all those that come by and check out whats going on in my little world.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

San Juan Island Weather

Today was a good mix of weather.  When I woke up this morning it was not really to chilly outside. A few hours later the wind moved in and the air temp felt much colder.  A really strong wind developed and gradually backed off to a strong breeze.  At one time I check the weather marker for Smith Island and it was blowing 45 knots and gust to 54 knots in a SE direction.  I would have loved to see the water out there.  

After running errands in town I decided I needed to go for a nice run.  It turned out to be a great run as far as how I felt on the run.  I took a couple of pictures.  But I have some sad news to report. I carry my new Pentax Optio W60 with me on my runs.  Well I stopped to take a few photos and there was moisture behind the LCD screen on the back.  The camera does not have a viewfinder so the LCD helps to compose and image.  I clicked a few off anyway and continued on my run.  By the time I exited the woods to the to of the hill where it is an open view to the Straits, the lens cover had moisture behind it.  This is suppose to be a waterproof camera and yes I have had it in the water.  So later I am going to contact the warranty department and see what they want me to do.  I still have my old camera so I will be taking it on my outings until I can get this worked out.

But on my run I headed out to get a view towards Cattle Pass off the south end of San Juan Island.  It was really cool.  The wind was blowing but there really was not that bad of water conditions in the Straits or further into San Juan Channel.  But right at the entrance to Cattle Pass there was a line of standing waves.  They were amazing.  I could see them with no problem from where I was, which is a great distance away.  I decided not to drive down to see them after I ran back to my car because I would be bummed not to be able to get a picture.  

Well that has pretty much been my day so far.  I guess I could add all the non fun stuff like cleaning all the kayak gear from my lessons yesterday.  But I do not care to chat about that.

So here are the few images I was able to get.  

This is part of the trail the meanders through the woods.

It was so green I had to stop and take a picture.

This was taken from the the top of Mt Finlayson.  You can see the wave in the distances.  They are pretty nice.  Click on the image for a better view.

Hope everyone is having a great day and have a wonderful evening.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Sun All Day

Today was a great day to be on the water.  I did not get photos as I was teaching class and there was not an appropriate moment to capture images.  But I can say that the sun gave us a great showing today.  It was so warm it could have been summer.  The bad news it the rain is going to move into tonight and tomorrow.  YUCK.  If the wind picks up I will have to get out and do some kayaking and try to get some fun pictures.

My lessons today went really well.  We were able to get a lot done.  We got a bit bogged down with some of the edging concepts, but finally got it down.  Was one of the days you were happy to be teaching since the sun was out it was easy to convince my student to get in the water.  By the end we were both cold.  The dry suits are great, but enough time in the water around here and you get cold.  

Last night we had another great turn out for our traditional Tuesday Potluck.  It is amazing the amount of good food that show up.  It was a good time to hang out with friends and just relax. The views of distant lights from Vancouver Island across the Haro Strait are great.

Tonight I am meeting a bunch a friends to watch the new Bond movie and have some dinner.  It is so nice to live in town where I can just walk down to town in a matter of minutes.  There is something to say for living in small towns. 

Tomorrow I will get some new picture up.  I am going to go for a run and will take my camera with me.  Till then everyone have a good night and check back for pictures.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Another Day

The days pass fast this time of year with the sun rising late and then setting early.  So I started the day with some warm coffee and was hoping to see the fog lift.  But it was reluctant to move on.  I got all the kayak gear cleaned up from the clinic.  After that there was really not much time until the sun was gone.  I came home and got sucked in to playing my guitar for a bit.  But pulled myself away to go to the west side and take in some quite time.  I went to a certain place that is special to me and took in in the grand scene of gray.  The water was flat and the clouds consumed almost everything in the distance.  Birds were grouped foraging on the surface of the water.  All was quite and still.  A few porpoise were traveling about the strait and I took a moment to watch them as they passed.  Finally I had to get back to town for a friends birthday. Now I am back home and with the fog thickening for the night and the air cool.  The fall winter vibe of nesting is setting in.  Hibernation if you are not careful.  This is a great time to be with someone close and nest in and enjoy the seasons beauty.

I did take a few photos.  Enjoy.

Yea I am laid back on a warm thermarest pad taking in this amazing view.  This one spot is a place that I like to go and think.

Just a view to show how gray things are.

Well that is all I have for the day.  Feeling a bit of the gray coming on so think it is time to slip off to bed.

Hope everyone is doing well.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Kayak Clinic

The Kayak Clinic was lots of fun.  We got an early start by meeting in the AM on Saturday.  Got everyones gear together and loaded the trailer and headed to the beach.  The day was great. The sun was bright and winds were calm.  The route took us from Griffin Bay up San Juan Channel to Jones Island.  Along the way we stopped to practice a few rescues.  Then off the water for lunch at Turn Island.  We arrived on Jones just before dark and set camp as the last bit of light disappeared.

It was nice to hang out and not only have a chance to get put names to faces of some of the local paddlers.  But to learn a bit more about them.  It is nice to hear about where everyone comes from. As night came the moon made its way over the water.  It was beautiful and illuminted the whole area.  Over night the wind picked up and fog moved in.  When I got out of my tent it was cold, foggy and a strong breeze.  But by the time we finished breakfast the fog was lifting and the sun was peeking through.  

We spent a lot of the day learning rescues and paddle strokes.  Staying close to Jones Islands as our base.  At lucnh we packed out gear and hauled things to the beach.  Before loading the kayaks we got on the water to do a bit more practice before heading home.  Time passed quickly and before we knew it the day had passed.  So we packed kayaks and headed for Friday Harbor. Arriving back in the cover of darkness.  

Tomorrow I have plenty of dirty gear clean and put away.  I am not looking forward that.  But in the end the trip was fun and the those that came along were really fun to camp with.

Here are a few photos.

A few picture from the first day of paddling.

Picture of San Juan Island at night.

Another San Juan Island night picture.

The moon with a few clouds in the sky.

A little practice goes a long way.

Yea I know I am not quite the most photogenic person.  But I was test my new kayak camera mount out.  I was watching some of the guys practice.

Well that is all I have.  Hope everyone is well.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Kayak Clinic Prep Day

Started the day early with coffee with Jesse.  He was coming into town to do some work on one of the trailers and I was going over some other stuff that needs to be done.  I had to prep for my Kayak Skills Clinic I am teaching this weekend.  Some of that  was replacing a few gaskets in dry suits.  Not my favorite thing to do, but it needs to be done.  After packing up most the camp gear and getting food ready.  Well I really have not done much else.  I still do not have my personal gear ready and I am about to take care of that.  But thought I would toss up a few images.  I set my camera up on interval shoot.  So it took images every 4 minutes.  I have a few and it is proof that on the off season I still work every once in awhile.

Well this is the start of my work day after having about 7 cups of coffee and I still look tired.

Prepping a neck gasket to be replaced.

Moving on to the wrist gasket.  I really hate replacing wrist gaskets.

Got the clamps on finally.

Sweet I am DONE!!

Here is Jesse letting me know the power cord was completely fried.

So I leave tomorrow to teach the clinic and I will be back on Sunday.  I hope to have some really fun images from the 2 day on the water.  So check back and see how things went.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Sunset Run

After putting up my last post on the Closure Zone idea, I needed to go burn some energy.  So I did some stuff around the house and then headed out with Guinness (my dog) for a sunset run. It was so nice out.  The sun was bright and winds calm.  As I got to the end of the trail before heading back towards the car I laid down on a high hillside and watched the sunset.  As it dropped behind the Olympic Mountains the temperature went with it.  I got up and started running back to the car. Along the way I encountered many deer standing as still as they could, blended into the tall grass.  As I moved by they watch with great suspicion and attention. Slowly articulating their ears to keep and auditory watch on me and Guinness.

On the drive home the moon was amazing.  I did not stop and get any pictures of it.  I had no way to replicate the beauty of the image so I just took it in for myself and burned it to memory. Mt Baker was standing clear in the distance and with the moon just above the horizon, it seemed huge. This amazing orb and orange color suspended over the land .  It was really amazing.  I hope everyone had a chance to notice it.  If not go outside and take a look at it tonight.  

Here are a few pictures I did take.

Oh how nice the sunset can be.

Here I am laying down and taking in the glory of the sun.  Ahhh, have to enjoy it while it is here.

Guinness knows how to enjoy a beautiful view as well.

He is really taking it in.

This was his way of letting me know it was time to go home.