Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Update on Anna's Ski

A dark or black truck was seen parked in Anna's drive way on the day of the theft.
Jim at Underground Boardworks relayed a similar story about the theft of one of his customers surf boards. The stolen 'custom' item turned up in Florida. A man tried to trade it in at a shop for another board. After some checking by the shop owner, 'the dude' was arrested and $8000 of stolen beach toys were found at his home.
Thanks to everybody for keeping a look out.
Anna really appreciates it.
We need to trap and catch this rotter.

Not Going to Charleston Kayak Fest ?

Take a ride with the Savannah Wheelies..

In it's first 2 years, this ride has drawn hundreds Savannahians from all walks of life. For the third year running we bring back the mobile party through Savannah’s downtown streets to celebrate the joy and possibilities of bicycling. Bring yourself, bring your friends, bring your kids — the Wheelie welcomes all!

The Wheelie will set off from the south end of Forsyth Park immediately after the closing of the Earth Day Festival at 4 p.m. We will be joined again by the elected officials for the ride that will include a police escort. Helmets are strongly encouraged.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

All in a Week at SC&K

After long winter months of hardship and suffering, we welcomed in the arrival of March and the beginning of the new season..our 8th.
Everybody is eager to get back out into the beautiful natural environs of the Ga coast and this month has been no exception.
This last week of March has been great, with a whole slough of paddlers coming and going.

I was on the beach last weekend with a student talking about tides and currents when a salt encrusted paddler approached from t'other side.
It was Glenn and he's paddling to Quebec City from Miami. The self confessed Kayak vagabond sold all his shit and now just 'paddles around'. Follow this Dharmma bum on his website here http://www.oneoceanproject.com/ as he seeks the essence of himself on the planet through his paddling adventures.
He needs a new skeg, but you can go on his website and buy him a cup of coffee!
Kayak vagabonding sounds alright.

Back to the swamp for another great paddle on Ebenezer creek.
Already a 2 ft drop in water level since the last week, but no less enchanting.
On this trip we ran into Peter G from Massachusetts, in a very sleek Greenland inspired home built kayak.

Peter is a hard core Greenland style paddling enthusiast who teaches every year at Delmarva Paddlers Retreat something I have always wanted to go to.
I tried out his beautiful carbon and wood kayak on the Savannah River, but it was a little too hard core on my butt. He was most taken with Ebenezer.

Tuesday we hooked up with Marius and his Great Lakes paddle posse down for a week of sun, fun and surf. Plenty of sun, but little surf did not seem to dampen their enthusiasms. We paddled out in the Tiderace collection under clear sky's and calm waters which gave them a great chance to compare the flat water Tiderace characteristics to their P&H boats. They also had some very positive comments about the Saltwood prototypes they paddled with.

Tiderace kayaks will now only come in 6 color choices.
Most of the Tiderace kayaks we currently have in stock, or have previously sold are now custom designs never to be repeated.

Tuesday afternoon was a trip to Charleston Customs House and then to the airport to pick up our much awaited shipment of Mega boats. My new Boost was on the order. Strangely enough, last November I sold my Reflex to Nathan from N.Z. His boat arrived 'down under' on this very Tuesday also.
So there you go..proof...you cannot recieve until you have let go.

Wednesday/ Thursday was off to New Smyrna Beach, where there was bound to be surf, to deliver a couple of Mega boats.

US East Surf Kayak Team member Tom May took delivery of an X-tec Bullitt S and Sharon woke up to a 'surprise gift' Kawasaki green Bullitt X. With happy people everywhere
Tom said the surf was 'marginal', but it looked pretty nice to me.
I got to splash my Boost. It's sweet. It was a short visit.

On Friday, the Savannah Beach Surf Paddlers(us)drove up to a US team qualifying event in Surf City, North Carolina. We knew there was going to be surf here also because the weather forecast was for NE winds at 20.

It was no Santa Cruz, but poor quality waves did not dampen the event, which had a pretty decent turn out and was a lot of fun. SC&K guide Zac S had a great initiation into competitive surfing as did SCAD paddler Cooper.
We used the conditions as a good training exercise in paddle out, holding a position and waves selection.
The event included SUP surfers as well, which we thought was a dumb idea, but there you go.
Lot's more good stuff coming this way so get the heck out there and let's meet.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Stolen From Tybee Yard

Someone has stolen Anna's waveski from under her house.
This is a very specialized and quite rare paddle board.
It is very lightweight and made from a rubber coated foam material.
Somebody grabbed it and threw it in the back of their truck, probably yesterday.
Chances are it will appear on a regional Craigs list and advertised as a 'kayak'.

It is not a kayak, it is a Waveski and is the same as the one pictured.

Please be on the look out for it.
Contact us if you see or hear of anything like it.
We would really appreciate it.

Anna enjoying her ski during happier times.

Watch out ! There's a thief about.
Let's catch this sucker !

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Birding at the Weekend

From Dot.
Please join me and Ogeechee Audubon this Saturday for a birding trip to Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge.

The Great Egrets are nesting and GORGEOUS with long, billowy white plumes and emerald green "eye shadow" to advertise their peak breeding condition to potential mates. They've already laid their bright turquoise-blue eggs and are busy incubating same.

The Wood Storks and Anhingas have been a little late in getting started this year, but there are already about 200 storks gathered for what will eventually become the largest Wood Stork rookery in Georgia. Not as elegant perhaps as an egret, but Wood Storks have their own special charm...

Beyond the wading bird rookery, we hope to find some early spring migrants like Yellow-throated Warbler, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, and White-eyed Vireo.

We'll meet at 7:15 a.m. at the Ride Share lot on the northwest corner of Hwy 204 and I-95 and carpool from there. Or you can meet us at the refuge entrance at 8:00 a.m. We'll drive from place to place within the refuge, with short walks at each stop. The plan is to end the trip by 11:00 or 11:30 a.m. The trip will go in light rain showers but cancel in a downpour (which isn't expected).

Bring binoculars, sun and insect protection (sand gnats are likely), water and lunch/snacks. Closed-toe shoes and long sleeves/pants are recommended.

The trip is free and open to the public.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Surfrider Meeting at Tubby's Tonight

A Message from the Surfrider Foundation..
Today is World Water Day. The Surfrider Foundation joins the United Nations to raise awareness about the world's increasing water quality challenges. Water is the foundation for all life on the planet. How we use and manage water directly affects not only our oceans, but our whole world as well.

Today, we are introducing "Know Your H2O", a new program that focuses on the issues behind use and management of our world's water resources. It is our goal is to educate everyone about water quality, and most importantly, how we all can take steps to improve it.

We are officially launching the program with our new animated film, " The Cycle of Insanity: The Real Story of Water" which was created by Surfrider Foundation volunteer activists and focuses on the various challenges and solutions relating to water management upstream.

Our local Surfrider Chapter meeting will be tonite, Monday evening, at 7PM in the "Party Shack" in Tubby's parking lot....

Hope to see you there.

Surf Report


It's been a disappointing winter for surf this year.
Maybe it's the beach re nourishment that took place last winter and no doubt the constant westerly winds have not helped.
Surf and weather report for this last weekend looked favourable for 2-3 ft, but on the day 1ft was all we got.
Smaller than we would of liked, but still rideable, the first time surfers were able to work on directional control and get a feel for their edges.
Regardless of the wave size it was still a positive learning experience for all.
There is a U.S Team qualifying kayak surf comp this coming weekend in Wrightsville, N.C.
Let's hope they get the goods.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Tybee Island Kayak Race Sponsored by...


SC&K are pleased to announce we will be one of the official sponsors for the Tybee Kayak Race this year. We have added a page on our website with details about the race day and an entry form.
More information, volunteer sign up and maps of the race course for the Tybee Challenge will be added soon.
This is a fun based fund raising event in aid of the Tybee Marine Science Center.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Tiderace Owners Page

We are in the process of adding a Tiderace owners page to our website.

We encourage all Tiderace owners to send us pictures of your boats in action and let us know any tips, stories and what you like about them.
There is an interesting article this month in Ocean Paddler Magazine by Aled Wiliams, about understanding the handling characteristics of your sea kayak.

"Focus on what the stern is doing by listening to the noise it makes and feeling it's movement. The feel for the stern of the boat is often overlooked as most of the action takes place at the bow, but it's function is just as important."

For Sale... We have an almost brand new Tiderace Xplore for $3200. An unwanted birthday gift, this boat has been paddled maybe twice.
All white. Give us a ring.

Photo : Ed's Xcite S sitting in the Triangle, Tybee.
Thanks Ed.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Everglades Challenge - Update

It sounds like another great EC race came to an end on Sunday with our own Dan L and partner finishing in fourth place in their class. Breezey conditions gave racers a great start with hull speeds in excess of 10 mles an hour. Dan and his crew clocked several 70 mile days during the 7 day trip.
We hope to get a full report on the race as soon as he returns to Tybee.
Dan is in the following clip at 1.22...triple kayak with a double Pacific Action sail rig.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Songbirds in Town

Please join Ogeechee Audubon for a field trip this Saturday, March 13, to Glennville Water Treatment facility. This man-made wetland hosts a variety of water and shore birds. In addition, early migrants from the songbird population should be in evidence. The terrain is flat and easily walked.

Gene Wilkinson, a resident of Glennville and one of the first promoters of the site as a birding venue, will be our guide. The trip is free and open to the public.

We will meet to carpool at 7:00 a.m. at the Ride-Share at I-95 and Hwy 204 . From there, we will make the one-hour drive to Glennville, with a restroom stop at the Glennville McDonalds restaurant -- there are no facilities at the plant.

Please let Field Trip Chairman Ken Ferm know if you plan to come; his cell phone is (912)-660-4115. Bring binoculars, water, snacks/lunch, insect and sun protection. A spotting scope can be put to good use if you have one.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Move it, Move it.

The Everglades Challenge started on Saturday at Tampa.
Local Tybee paddler Dan L is once again racing to the finish line in Key Largo, paddling a Pygmy triple kayak with a sail.
Racers must cross the finish line by next sunday the 14th March.
The Everglades Challenge is an unsupported, expedition style adventure race for kayaks, canoes, and small boats. The distance is roughly 300 nautical miles depending on your course selection. There is a time limit of 8 days or less. Your safety and well being are completely up to you.

The opposite race to the Everglades Challenge would be this...

One way or another, it's time to get moving !

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Surf Weekends for Spring

March 20&21 @ 18th St, Tybee Island.
$95 per day or $160 for both days

The first of our spring surf kayak weekends kicks off in two weeks time.
There will be the chance to paddle a composite surf kayak as well a Ski,SOT and WW boat. The focus of the workshop is increase surf zone skill level, wave riding ability and introduce newer paddlers to the line up.
All boats and gear supplied.

The new Mega Bullitt X and Mega Boost will also be available to try out.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Twitchers on Ebenezer.


We had a great time birding down Ebenezer Creek yesterday.
With the Red Maples in bloom and the water levels running high right now, we were able to spend a large part of the trip paddling amongst the forest. We used the new Venture Flex (The Swamp Rat) which performed admirably in the meandering and slow moving waters of Ebenezer.
Zig-zagging through the Tupelo stand, we saw Yellow Bellied Woodpeckers and a Black Capped Chickadee, as well as a few LBJ's. A little further down stream, near the deforested area, we came across the disemboweled lunch of a juvenile Northern Harrier...looked like a duck of some sort....all tore up. We had a great view of a 'Little Blue' sitting in a Gum Tree and caught a glimpse of an Anhinga taking flight.
With the cold blustery conditions at the beach, inland river trips are the way to go right now.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Out Scoutin': Tundra Swan

In search of the once rare tundra swan, an early morning birder makes a trip into the heart of the Low Country's ACE Basin. - by Pete Laurie

Truly a prize worth traveling for, tundra swams themselves have traveled a long way to their Palmetto State wintering grounds, following a diagonal path across North America from northern Canada and Alaska.

I stumble down the back steps in the pre-dawn darkness, well bundled against the cold. I point my pick up south on US Hwy 17, on a mission to find one of South Carolina's once-rare wintering waterfowl, the tundra swan. Turning onto Bennett's Point Rd, I see cardinals, always active at dawn, flush from the shoulders of the road as I pass large tracts of planted pine and scattered hardwoods. As I cross Fee Farm Creek I detect the rotten-egg odor of puff mud, a signature Lowcountry smell.

Suddenly, a rather muddy-looking bobcat bounds across the headlights and dives into the marsh grass. Minutes later I cross Brickyard Landing Bridge, and with the sky brightening in the East I can see Bear Island Wildlife Management Area spread out before me on both sides of the road.

A mile or so later I turn into the entrance of Bear Island and stop at the house pond, in front of the gate. At this time of year, tundra swans roost for the night on this shallow, 42 acre pond. I have timed it just right: At once I spot the blocky, long-necked swimmers, dozens of them, representing South Carolina's most spectacular species of waterfowl.

They float like apparitions in the midst of the gathering light, just silhouettes against winter's weak, yellow sun struggling slowly to clear the distant line of loblollies, a sight well worth the long drive.

With the rising sun in my binoculars and a shifting maze of mist from water warmer than the chilled air, I can see no color. The size of their erect necks, with beaks held horizontally, easily identifies the swans. On this morning they all face into the breeze from the Northwest. Nowhere in South Carolina can you get a better look at this symbol of wilderness. The swans, sometimes as many as 100, will remain well after daylight on the perimeter of the preserve. With binoculars or a spotting scope, you can view them almost any morning (this time of year). They appear to eat little this early in the morning, floating silent and serene. But within an hour or so, the great birds become restless. Eventually, they take to the air, calling to each other with their characteristic woo-ho, woo-woo, who-ho as they leave to feed on another property during the day.

The haunting call inspired their discoverers - Lewis and Clark on their famous trek to the Pacific Northwest in 1803 - to first name them "whistling swans". The name stuck for almost 200 years. Now this bird - the smallest of the three swan species living in North America - carries the less interesting name tundra swan, based on its nesting habitat near the Arctic Circle. Tundra swans also get credit for the term "swan song". Several observers over the years have described the beautiful song of a dying swan as it expels air through its vocal cords. Subsequently, swan song has come to mean a final, often spectacular act.

Despite their 6 to 7 foot wingspans, tundra swans have to work to become airborne, but once they do they fly almost effortlessly with slow, shallow wing beats. Moving from place to place on their winter grounds, they have no reason to reach high altitudes. On migrations, however, they climb to as high as 8,000 feet. The pure-white birds, their long necks out straight, leave the pond each morning in several flocks, an impressive reminder of the vanishing North American wilderness.

So on a cold, clear winter morning, ideally in February or March, get up early, make the drive to Bear Island WMA and watch the sun rise over a magnificent visitor from the Far North. I just might join you.

Read more about visiting Bear Island Wildlife Management Area at www.dnr.sc.gov/managed/index.html

Pete Laurie is a free-lance write living on Johns Island.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Once Around the Block

Report from
Naples News
by Elizabeth Keller

In December, Jake Stachovak put his paddle into the waters of the Wisconsin River and began what he is calling the Portage-to-Portage Paddling Project. The journey’s route so far has taken Stachovak down the Mississippi River and into the Gulf of Mexico, and will ultimately loop over to and up the East Coast, into the New York Canal System and the Great Lakes, and finally returning him to the town of Portage, Wis., where he began.

Stachovak said the trip is expected to conclude in October. There’s no special cause or mission attached to the effort, but the 34-year-old Stachovak is a lifelong outdoorsman and paddlesports enthusiast. Last year, he challenged himself to paddle 100 different boats in 100 days, recording the results on a blog.

He’s also keeping an online record of his Portage project, www.portagetoportage.com.

He paddles an average of 25 miles daily, allowing for the occasional day that must be excluded for inclement weather. Still, the biggest nuisances have come not from nature, but humans: On New Year’s Day in Vicksburg, Miss., he was hospitalized after two prank-playing teenagers pepper-sprayed him. Earlier in the trip, he had his gear stolen, too.

“Other than that, things have been going very smoothly,” he said.

The trip has had some highly memorable paddling moments. The Mississippi River was demanding throughout, Stachovak said, akin to paddling on a highway. When he exited it at a canal just below New Orleans and entered the peaceful Gulf of Mexico, it was a revelation.

Stachovak said he knew then that he was able “to actually own this thing.”

By his own admission, Stachovak is not trying to make this trip more arduous than it needs to be; he is happy to accept a warm meal and a soft guest bed, not only for the creature comfort they provide, but also because it helps him meet people who live along his route.

“It’s been really cool,” he said. “I’ve met some fantastic people.”

As he notes on his blog, his trip may be long, but it’s not exploring areas that are previously unexplored, or especially remote. Instead, he’s interested in experiencing the American wilderness and communities, and showing how “we are linked by water.”

“It’s really just to see what’s out there, what’s along the way,” Stachovak said.

Jake's current location is near Fort Lauderdale. He should be paddling through the Georgia Coast in about three weeks time.