Expedition Update

I am starting to turn my attention more seriously to the upcoming expedition.  My Masters swimming season is winding down (Illinois State Meet is this Saturday and Sunday).  My team, the Evanston Masters Swim Team  ( http://www.evmasters.org/ ) always does well at State since we are the largest and I believe one of the oldest masters swim teams in the state.  I believe we have won the state meet 24 out of the last 26 seasons.  However there is a pesky Naperville Team that beat us two seasons ago and we now take them very seriously.  I am swimming 9 events over Saturday and Sunday including the rather challenging 200 butterfly…   that would be (don’t laugh) 8 lengths of the pool…  not a fun event, but not too many people enter…  I will get a medal just for finishing since there are only three entrants in this event for my 55 – 59 yr age group…  such a deal… J   If you think paddling around the lake is a crazy idea, swimming a 200 yd butterfly is probably more crazy.  I guess the biggest difference is the 200 butterfly only lasts three minutes while the 800 mile circumnavigation may take 40 days. 

After this masters state meet, I will start training for the circumnavigation more seriously.  I have figured that the aerobic conditioning that I get from swimming 3 or 4 times a week (since early November) for 1½ hours (~ 4000 yards) will be a good training base to work from for the kayak expedition.   Now I need to get on the water in a kayak and put some serious miles in. 

I have begun a “several times a week” yoga routine.  My son has kicked me in the butt and convinced me that yoga is something my body needs.  I purchased a DVD called “Yoga Conditioning for Athletes” by Rodney Yee.   It was recommended by a friend of my son (Ryan Maher) who studied yoga at an institute and met Rodney.  Ryan figured that Rodney’s DVD would be good.  It is.  I have done yoga in the past in classes so this is not completely new to me… the advantage of using a DVD is that I can do it in my own living room and do it frequently enough so that I make some significant progress.  I am hoping to devote a certain part of each day during the expedition to stretching and yoga to help me stay limber and avoid injury.  Hopefully after following this DVD on a regular basis I will have a “routine” down that I can adapt for the trip.

I discovered that the spray skirt I have been using is getting a little old and doesn’t fit the new Nordkapp very well.   Ryan Rushton from Geneva Kayak has offered me a great deal on a spray skirt and has also offered to donate a compass to my expedition.  It is an “illuminated” Brunton 100P deck compass (that will fit the Nordkapp).  Thank you Ryan and Geneva Kayak!  I welcome any and all contributions to the cause!  Pretty soon I will be so indebted to so many folks that I will have no choice but to complete this expedition! 

A friend of mine (a former Chicagoan, Jane Blameuser) who lives in Green Bay has used her network to help find contacts in that northern Wisconsin area of the trip.  She has hooked me up with some of her friends from Chicago who own a place on the water near Fairport, Michigan.  I now have a place to stay after my crossing from Rock Island to the U.P.    Mary Rasmussen and her husband, Dan Sandin, both work at UIC and live in Chicago and have indicated that they will make sure they are at their U.P home when I am passing by…  I am hoping Dan can help me plan the 100 mile stretch between Fairport and Mackinac.  I was a little concerned about this stretch due to it’s remoteness –  I feel much better now that I have some folks who know the area. 

Speaking of people who “know the area,” I talked to Sigrid Pilgrim today about Fort Sheridan.  She assured me that she has inspected the Fort Sheridan area and most likely I *will* indeed be blown up by the unexploded ordnance in the water.   This unexploded ordnance (left over from target practice 50 years ago or so)  is what the Forest Preserve District has used as it’s excuse for not allowing a water trail site there.  Mary Jo, I know you have offered me a place to stay in your lovely Ft. Sheridan meticulously restored house, but when you hear that explosion, assume that I won’t need a place to stay on.   Perhaps my spiffy illuminated compass will survive and you can see if it fits your Betsy Bay kayak.

Stay tuned.

Tom Heineman

One Response to “Expedition Update”

  1. Amy Hubbell Says:

    Hi Tom:
    My name is Amy Hubbell and I work for a newspaper in Leelanau County, Michigan (The Little Finger of Michigan) and would love to hook up with you when you pass through the area. Could this be arranged during a stop-over?

    Amy Hubbell
    Leelanau Enteprise
    news editor
    Lake Leelanau, Michigan