Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Bird Count 2013

The Audubon Christmas Bird Count is the longest running citizen in science project in the world.  This was our 4th year participating as on the water kayak birders.

Due to low water, we did a short hike up the Noyo River to see if we could find the American Dippers.  Fortunately the railroad tracks run alongside the river making for an easy hike.
We did not find the American Dippers but enjoyed the hike and checking out the Skunk Train's newly repaired tunnel.

A Common Goldeneye was a nice siting for the day.

We may have missed the dippers but found 2 of our target birds - Green-winged Teals and Black Crowned Night Herons.

If you are interested in birds and participating in the Christmas Bird Count, you still can.  There are counts through out the country including the Mendocino Coast Audubon Society's south coast count on Saturday January 4.  Many participants count the birds at their backyard feeders or go on walks in their neighborhoods spotting and counting birds.  Counting by kayak is not the most common way to do it but sure is a lot of fun.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Holiday Kayaking Gift Certificate Specials

In Northern California many of us have been enjoying beautiful weather and not staying on top of our holiday preparations.

Jeff and I are totally guilty of this.  At home on the Mendocino Coast, we have been enjoying sunshine, surfing, crabbing, mountain biking, and mushroom hunting.

Christmas is 10 days away.  If you are still looking for stocking stuffers or a special gift, consider a Liquid Fusion Kayaking Gift Certificate.  We are offering holiday specials to help you save money and to share the fun and adventure of kayaking.

Our specials range from dry and mild birding and wildlife watching kayak tours

to wet and wild Whitewater of the Sea Adventures.

My favorite special is our Learn to Kayak Special.  This is a half price gift certificate for our full day Essential Kayak Skills Class.  I love teaching this class and seeing students learn the essential skills for safely and efficiency paddling a kayak.  It is the first step in taking them from being beginners to being competent paddlers.

Each gift certificate is custom made by Jeff.  He will email it to you to print out or print and mail it to you or the recipient.  If you are looking for something extra special or unique, give us a call and let's see what we can do.

On my Christmas list is a private surf lesson with Jeff.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Rock Gardening in the Zen

We admit that California's drought has us a little bit stir crazy for whitewater river kayaking.  Our new Jackson Zen whitewater kayaks came in last month and have been gathering dust.  Of course we couldn't allow this to happen so we took them out in our backyard for a little Whitewater of the Sea.

Fortunately, there is never a shortage of whitewater for kayaking in the ocean rock gardens on the Mendocino Coast.
kayak rock gardening mendocino

We were impressed with the Zen as a whitewater kayak for ocean rock gardening.  It sports a fast planing hull for catching waves.

The volume is well distributed throughout the boat, and we really enjoyed its predictable resurfacing at the bottom of drops.

The Zen didn't seem to have too much volume and seems to be a boat that responds to performance paddling.

Without any outfitting modifications, the Zen's were comfortable and easy to adjust.  We especially appreciated the lack of ratchets which always seem to corode and break at in opportune times.  We also appreciate the size range.

Jeff opted for the Zen 75 for its volume and speed as a boat for teaching and guiding.

Elliot has been paddling his Zen 65 for a year now and has it dialed in for surfing ocean waves.
Elliot dropping in on a wave in the Jackson Zen 65.
I was quite comfortable in the Zen 55 and look forward to paddling it more (after a few more paddles, I will write a full review on my Woman on Water Blog).

As long as this drought continues, we will be finding our whitewater kayaking adventures in the ocean and will share more of our thoughts on the Jackson Zen for ocean rock gardening.

Here's a link to some of our photos from the day.