May 25th Update

Krys Schneider is in the process of trying to update some of the earlier blog entries…  the web site upgrade wreaked havcoc on the blog…  oh well…  thanks for your efforts Krys.

Well, I haven’t been able to add anything to the blog for a while, so I guess I will just do a little bit of a brain dump to give you an idea of where things are at.

I have mailed out an itinerary for the entire trip to the distribution list that consists of “interested” paddlers and friends who want to stay abreast of the latest news and plans..  If you would like to be on that list, drop me an e-mail.  I will plan to post information to the blog as well, but if you get on my list, you will automatically get news without having to check here. 

Trip planning news:  things are coming together —  in the past couple weeks I have met with Denny Thorley who, along with his brother, are planning to do the Mackinac Straits crossing with me.   I have traded e-mails with Steve Bannow who is paddling with me from Port Washington to Manitowoc.  I will be staying at Steve’s place in Sheboygan.   

I have had conversations with Phil Rohr in Two Rivers and Horst Abel in Manitowoc regarding my paddling in that area.  A group of paddlers is going to paddle south form Manitowoc to greet me and then take me out for pizza if I am still standing after the 26 mile paddle from Sheboygan.  I will be staying at Horst’s place in Manitowoc. 

 I discussed plans for the Indiana stretch with Erik Sprenne who is working to get me permission to camp at the Whiting Robertsdale Boat Club in Whiting, Indiana.  Erik is going to try and paddle the entire Indiana stretch with me if he can work it out.  We are going to do a paddle out of Whiting on Saturday to check the area out. 

I have finalized plans with Erik Matrejek to stay at his father in law’s place near Jacksonport in Door County.  Erik and his wife Lisa may be paddling with me from Jacksonport to Fairport in the U.P. if we can work out the scheduling.  Mary Rasmussen and Dan Sandin inform me that they will be up at their suummer home in Fairport to greet us after the crossing from Rock Island.  I will be staying on their property that evening.  Krys Shcnieder and John  Schubert and Leslie may miraculously appear in Fairport about the same time if all the stars are in proper alignment and I acutally make my ambitious planned miles.

Lower Michigan plans aren’t quite as nailed down, but they are getting there.  I am meeting with Bentley from Harbor Springs tomorrow to look at maps and plan a visit to Harbor Springs if our schedules jive.  Steve Mullins, a friend with a summer place near New Buffalo has invited me to stay there and my friend Mike Glasser has done the same near Glenn, Michigan.   

Some of the paddlers around the lake have asked if they can contact the local press about the trip…  fine with me.  The smaller bergs may actually consider this newsworthy…  in Chicago, I suspect the Tribune will respond with a big yawn when I tell them my plans.  But I may do some sort of press release if I find some time before my departure on June 11th.

Right now I am focusing on equipment and packing.  I have practiced packing the Nordkapp with dry bags stuffed with towels just to see how many would fit in the vatrious hatches.   My conclusion is that I can fit the following:

In the front tip of the boat I can stuff my super lite, super small thermarest (made for backpackers), and my super lite, super small 55 degree sleeping bag.  Behind that I can fit a full 10L Sealine dry bag.  I can then stuff in two more 10L bags half to 2/3rds full perpendicular to the sides of the kayak and finally, behind that I can fit a 1/2 full 20L dry bag. 

I plan to stuff my tent, fly and ground cloth in a 10L dry bag and stick it between the footpegs and front bulkhead.  I may try paddling with this positioned there this Saturday to see how that feels.   I will put the tent poles and stakes in the back of the boat by the skeg.  I am using a two person Kelty Vortex tent, which is a bit of a luxury, but I figure that the abiltiy to stretch out and move around in the tent will be a nice thing when I am sore from my long days of paddling… 

I have decided that I will take a wet suit instead of a drysuit.  It weighs about half as much (I think those waterproof zippers add lots of weight) and the wet suit takes up less volume.  I discovered that I can stuff my wet suit behind the backband in my cockpit when I am not wearing it.  In an emergency, the wet suit will be accessible if I am anticipating a long submersion.

In my day hatch I can fit my “solar roll” which will have batteries and charger inside.  I will also put my emergency dry bag in that hatch.  This will also be the place I will put my water filteration system as well as a couple Nalgene bottles. 

In my back hatch I can fit two 1/2 full 20L dry bags perpendicular to the sides of the kayak.  Behind them I can stuff a 3/4 full 10L in the skeg area.  And behind that will stuff miscelenaeous small items like my tent poles.

Now that I know what volume of dry bags fits in the boat, I will start going thru my gear list and figuring how much clothing, food, and other items will fit in the boat.  I will be trying to bring items that have multiple purposes…  For example, polypro tops and bottoms will not only provide warmth on cold paddling days, they will also help make up for the super light sleeping bag by doubling as PJs.  I won’t bringing a robe and slippers. 

I have been testing my solar roll which is now hanging in a window of my apartment.  My marine radio was fully dischared and the solar roll was able to fully recharge it.  I have also discovered that the battery charger that came with the solar roll has enough output by itself to charge my cell phone…  so even if there is no sun, I can charge my cell phone form the sun-charged AA batteries…  (there is a cigarette lighter type receptacle in the battery charger so you can conceivably be charging the batterries and something else at the same time).  Bottom line, I am bringing my solar roll and planning on using it.  

I installed my deck compass today.  Also drilled a hole in the skeg and added a loop of string so that when it gets stuck, if I am paddling with someone, they can ”unstuck” it.  I ahve found that the Nordkapp skeg gets stuck *really* easily…  If you seal launch from sand, it will be stuck.  Guaranteed.

Well that’s all for now.  More later.   









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