Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Long Haul

Twelve kayaks sit on the launch ramp at Dolphin Isle Marina on Fort Bragg's Noyo River.  They are a colorful collection including sea kayaks, recreational kayaks, tandems, and singles.  If it wouldn't be for the 2 handmade wooden kayaks, one might say they looked like a handful of skittles.

Instead of lining them up side by side for a group launch, this eclectic collection is lined up bow to stern for the long haul.  They need to make it 2.5 miles up the river to meet the Skunk Train.  Today's trip is a double as Jeff will be meeting and guiding a Tracks to Kayaks trip and Cate will be teaching and leading a group of Boy Scouts who caught the train from Camp Noyo for a kayak lesson.

But for now, the challenge is how to get 12 kayaks - over 175 feet of kayaks up the Noyo River.  In previous years, we would load the boats up and trailered them to the train depot.  At the train depot, we would load them on the speeder car which would drop them off at our tracks to kayaks landing.  

Last year, the speeder car was out of commission so we had to improvise.  We decided to start towing the kayaks up the river to meet the train.

It is a soulful journey up the river.  Towing up the river is slow and methodical giving one time to relish the beauty of the Noyo River and time to hone one's forward stroke and towing technique.

Efficiency of forward stroke is not the only name of the game.  We are the engine but unlike the train, there are no tracks for our kayaks to follow.  One has to learn how to make a chain of kayaks mind through narrow corridors of willows and obstacle strewn stretches of the river.  One has to plan for negotiating the line up around a bend in the river and has to plan for gusts of wind which will make the best laid plans go awry.

But then there comes the concept of flexibility and problem solving.  What do you do when the third boat in your line up is hung up?  Do you jettison them all and risk them getting blown astray?  Or do you tow them all back with you as you detangle and get the unruly one back in in.  It reminds me of my days teaching special education.

This week, as Jeff and I paddled up the river with our fleet of kayaks behind us.  I did the math.  Jeff was towing 6 kayaks with a combined length of 80 feet and I was towing 4 kayaks with a combined length of 63 feet.

We will admit that it is a bit of a slog but one that gives us time to enjoy the peacefulness and beauty of the Noyo and to share its magic with others.

Friday, July 11, 2014

At Work

Its July so Jeff and I are hard at work . . . or play . . . however one defines what we do at Liquid Fusion Kayaking.  We are fortunate that owning and operating a kayaking business allows us to share our love of the outdoors with others.  It looks like we aren't the only ones having fun on our trips - check out what folks have been saying about our Mendocino Coast Kayak Adventures on Trip Advisor.

And here's a bit of what we have been up to . . .
Guided kayak tours on the Noyo River on a gorgeous sunny day
Jeff guiding a natural history trip on Fort Bragg's Noyo River.
Birding by kayak
Checking out the Chicks!!! (Western Gull chicks)
Marveling over the camouflaging of a Green Heron.
Sharing the magic of kayaking with kids and families
Cate - a teacher on the water.
Getting a little salt water in the face
Jeff embraces one of the occupational hazards of ocean kayaking - a little saltwater in the face!
Rallying folks to come play
Cate on the phone answering customer's questions.
Solo paddles up the Noyo River (albeit towing boats for our Tracks to Kayaks Trips with the Skunk Train)
Jeff gets a work-out towing 4 rec boats up the river to meet the train.
Picking up trash - not something that we love but feeling good about doing our part.
Just pick it up!
Working on our own personal skills
Cate dialing in her long boat surfing skills in the Jackson Kayak Karma RG.
Teaching and coaching beginning through advanced skills
Jeff shows a student where to hold their kayak when swimming to shore.
Cate teaching a student how to run a pour-over.
Getting in the action for an action shot
Jeff gets the shot (Cate gets the shot of Jeff getting the shot)
Of course - showing our students how its done.
Cate shows off - rock gardening on the Mendocino Coast
Next week, we are excited to be teaching a Surfzone FUNdamentals class.  The surfzone is one of our favorite places to play and we can't wait to share the fun there.

Hope you are having as much fun as we are . . . if not, you need to come play with us.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Mendocino Waves n Sea Caves Kayak Weekend

Time to rally your playful paddling pals for 

Liquid Fusion Kayaking's 

Labor Day Mendocino Waves n Caves Kayaking Weekend.  

This is a super fun weekend of kayaking on the Mendocino Coast.  We will be kayaking into sea caves, exploring rock gardens and coves, and playing in the waves and whitewater features of the ocean.  Unlike the rest of California, there is never a shortage of WHITEWATER on the Mendocino Coast!!!
Whitewater of the Sea!
This trip is for adventuresome folks who want to play hard and aren't afraid to get wet.  We will teach you what you need to know and guide in our backyard playground for 3 days. 

Kayaking in Mendocino Sea Caves
Heck - we even provide kayaks and equipment, camping, campfires, and meals.  
Rock Gardening with Whitewater Kayaks.
Those that have paddled with us in the past know that our meals include local Mendocino Coast specialties from land and from sea (our fishing/diving and gardening talents) and locally roasted Thanksgiving Coffee.
Fresh Salmon and Veggies from our garden.
Give us a call if you want to kayak and play in the Waves and Caves of the Mendocino Coast.  (Can't make it for the weekend but still want to play, call us to schedule a Whitewater of the Sea Adventure).