Category Archives: Kayaking

Midday at the Morris Canal

By Johna Till Johnson
Photos by Vladimir Brezina

Midday at the Morris Canal 13

As paddling trips go, this one wasn’t much: We left shortly before noon, and returned just after 2 PM—nothing like our typical day-long expeditions.

The weather was perfect: clear, sunny and dry with a light breeze. No wind, waves, or other “conditions” that make for an exciting kayak adventure.

But since it was our first trip together in quite a while, we were happy just to be on the water.

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Wind

By Vladimir Brezina

Why did so many other kayaks overtake us in the 2014 Everglades Challenge? Wind power!

Wind 1Wind 2

Next time, we’ll have sails on our kayaks too!

A contribution to Ailsa’s travel-themed photo challenge, Wind.

Cardboard Kayak Race 2015: The Thrill of Victory… And the Delight of Defeat

By Johna Till Johnson
Photos by Vladimir Brezina

Cardboard Kayak Race 50

“We’re going to the cardboard kayak races this weekend, right?” Vlad said, looking at me expectantly. I glanced back dubiously.

We’d missed the 2013 race, the first year that the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance had organized the race as part of its City of Water Day, but we’d thoroughly enjoyed the video. Last year, I’d provided kayak safety support for the race, while Vlad took photos. And we wrote it up on Wind Against Current.

As much fun as the race had been, did we really need to experience it again?

Yes, we did! So last Saturday we headed out to Governors Island, on a sultry summer day that started out reasonably comfortable, but promised heat and stickiness by the afternoon.

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Land Meets Water

By Vladimir Brezina

Land Meets Water 1 Land Meets Water 2Land Meets Water 3Fire Island, NY. From our 2012 kayak circumnavigation of Long Island.

A contribution to Ailsa’s travel-themed photo challenge, Land meets Water.

Fundamentals of Kayak Navigation, by David Burch

By Vladimir Brezina

Fundamentals of Kayak Navigation, 4th Edition, by David Burch. Falcon Guides, Globe Pequot Press, 2008

The availability of handheld charting GPS units has made small-boat navigation so easy that many kayakers are neglecting the basic principles that must be used to make navigation, including GPS navigation, safe and efficient. And what to do if that magic box fails, as in a kayak it sooner or later will, due to water intrusion or just dead batteries? David Burch is passionate about all aspects of small-boat navigation, and it shows. His Fundamentals of Kayak Navigation, now in its 4th edition (2008), is a classic.

In this book Burch covers

  • nautical charts and chart reading
  • compass use
  • dead reckoning
  • piloting
  • tides and currents
  • GPS use
  • marine radios
  • navigation in traffic
  • Rules of the Road
  • navigation at night
  • navigation in fog
  • chart preparation and navigation planning

and many other topics.

The book is a pleasure to read. Each topic is covered in considerable but never excessive detail, and accompanied by plentiful, beautifully clear illustrations that effectively focus on the point being made in each case.

Burch well understands the difficulties of navigating a kayak that may be awash in waves, where the usual navigational tools are lacking, where it may even be impossible to refold the chart in the wind! This is a book specifically about kayak navigation.

The section on GPS and other electronic resources is inevitably somewhat dated (technology has progressed so rapidly since 2008!) and not so useful. This is not a book for those who want to understand how to use their GPS.

Otherwise, Fundamentals of Kayak Navigation is the one-stop resource for everything kayak-navigation-related. As I said, a classic!

On the Way

By Vladimir Brezina

Underway off Cape Cod, Massachusetts—

On the Way(story and more photos are here)

A contribution to this week’s Photo Challenge, On the Way.

Broken

By Vladimir Brezina

BrokenPart of the Graveyard of Ships in the Arthur Kill, New York Harbor. More recent photos of the Graveyard are here.

A contribution to this week’s Photo Challenge, Broken.