Saturday, June 13, 2009

Liquid Fusion Kayaking's New Fort Bragg Home

Dolphin Isle Site #46A - AKA Camp LFK. Here's our first photo of the site before we got to work. There is a lot of potential and a lot of work to be done.

Day 1 We were fortunate to have some help getting started. Craig who works on my family's farm in Pennsylvania was around to give us a hand. He and Jeff started with trimming some trees to improve the view of the river from the deck.
And then proceeded with leveling the site. I was the go-fer picking-up supplies. The guys were happy that I picked up some PBR for them in one of my supply runs.

Smiling worker - I guess Jeff was smiling that I brought him some PBR "Professional Boater's Refreshment", but he is very excited to have a physical location for our business. We worked hard this winter developing a business plan, creating new adventures, training on the water, and developing our marketing materials. Moving the business from our house to a physical location is an exciting step for us.

Day 2 Storage. We cleaned out the shed and hung shelves, and Jeff and Craig built the boat rack. Yeah!!! This means more space in our backyard at home for my garden. I will post a better photo of the kayak rack in my next post.

Today we also enjoyed a few moments on the deck watching the birds and wildlife. We watched a mamma merganser parading her 10 ducklings up river, barn and violet green swallows swooping and feeding over the river, the osprey and great blue heron fishing, and the black crowned night herons emerging for the evening. Of course, my favorite odd duck - the Harlequin continues to meander around on the Noyo.

View of the Noyo River from the deck of Camp LFK.

Kayakers Welcome!!!

Last summer while kayaking on Fort Bragg's Noyo River, a banner appeared stating "Breakfast, Lunch, Beer, Wine - Kayakers Welcome." Of course we had to investigate and discovered the friendly, yummy, and affordable Deli at Dolphin Isle Marina.

Over the winter, we used the beach area at Dolphin Isle for launching and landing our kayaking classes and tours and discovered that Dolphin Isle has much more to offer kayakers than good, affordable food. Jeff and I of course love that it is one of those "off the beaten path" places. We have also discovered it to be one of the best areas for getting beginners started in kayaks and for those of us who like to hide from the wind and enjoy great birding and wildlife watching. The winding, meandering of the Noyo protects it from the wind and makes currents easily negotiable.

In addition to its tasty deli, diverse wildlife, and friendly paddling condition; Dolphin Isle also has a small marina and RV park. As our business picked up this spring, we were running more and more of our events at Dolphin Isle and started discussing possibilities of Dolphin Isle being Liquid Fusion Kayaking's new home in Fort Bragg.

On May 1, we started running our tours from one of the marina boat slips.

But remember, I said that there was an RV park as well. Stay tuned for our June developments.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

From mild to wild . . . Kayaking on the Mendocino Coast

Over the weekend we paddled on Mendocino's Big River for the Cancer Resource Center of Mendocino in their first Cancer Paddle. This was a new addition to their popular Big River Walk. Jeff and Bear paddled the MANGO TANGO (actually Jeff paddled and Bear enjoyed the ride). Craig and Jeff took turns paddling our canoe, and Sean and Maryanne paddled the RED TAMALE. As usual I was in my sea kayak and taking photos. It was fun to see KOZT's Teeth Richards on the river. I think he should have been helping the KOZT team out more on the return journey, but I guess that is one of the perks of being a mascot. The windy return journey up Big River made us happy that Fort Bragg's protected Noyo River is our paddling home.

Sunset Bird Paddling and Noyo Meandering continue to be a popular afternoon and evening adventure. The river otters have been teasing us with brief encounters and the harbor seals have been delighting us with their curiosity. Last night, we saw 3 different species of herons within 100 yards of each other, a new brood of ducklings, and an osprey with a large fish.

And on the wildside . . .

We have been having calm coastal conditions with just enough swell to make for some rock gardening fun in whitewater kayaks. We have discovered a really fun "S" turn channel that can be used to link up some of our favorite features including "Nick's Nighmare" and the "Sound Cave." We ride "Nick's Nighmare", take the "S" Turn Channel, and then cruise into the "Sound Cave" which has a passage into the "Keyhole Cave".

And yes, you may have noticed Jeff paddling with bare arms. It has been quite warm here. Fortunately there is plenty of cold water to cool-off with.