Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Winter that just won't quit

According to the calendar it is Spring. 

March 20th.
1st Day of Spring? 

Not so much looking out the window

Still, by picking and choosing the right days and wearing the right gear, I have been managing to get some days on the water.
Windy Day on Back Creek

They Ospreys have started to return. Perhaps a sign that Spring weather is finally just around the corner.

Ospreys off of Greenbury Point

Cold sessions have been the norm. Can't wait 'til I can just throw a pair of trunks on and go. Soon perhaps.
March Dawn Patrol

See you on the water.  Aloha- MB


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Winter of 2015

The Winter of 2015 has been a tough one for Stand Up Paddling on the Chesapeake Bay.


Sarah out on January 4th.
A good start to 2015
Paddling into the fog.
January 18th
January 20th
Ice out in the Bay


A mild early February Sunday

....and then Winter set in! 


February 17th!



Frozen Severn River
...and it stayed for a while


March Madness
A thin film of ice still covers the Harbor

.....maybe Spring is around the corner



March 16th, and finally no signs of ice!


Saturday, September 20, 2014

New Horizons

This week has been one of discovering new horizons.  I'm guilty of being a creature of habit. I'm incredibly lucky to have access to the Chesapeake Bay just minutes from my door step. It is really easy to grab the board, walk around the corner and then go for a paddle. I love it!

The Chesapeake Awakens
 I got an invite from a friend on Saturday to meet in  Baltimore the next day for a paddle around the Inner Harbor of Baltimore and check out the Tall ships and boats that were in town for the 200th anniversary celebration of the Star Spangled Banner.
We met the group Sunday morning at the Under Armour facility and launched off a nearby dock. As I said above, I love paddling in Annapolis, but it was exciting  to be padding someplace new and to be surrounded by the Baltimore skyline. The view of the Coast Guard Tall  Ship Eagle and all  of the other vessels from the water was outstanding.
USCG Eagle

Once in the Inner Harbor, the group sort of split up and everyone, or at least Sarah and I went off in different directions taking in all the ships and sights of Baltimore. It was fun exploring a new place to paddle. It was different. It was invigorating.

Urban Horizon
While we were putting our gear away in Baltimore, we were approached by a 30-something guy that had questions about Stand Up. He said he wanted to learn to do it, and his goal was to paddle across the river from where we were, to Canton and then probably take a water taxi back.  We had just paddled from there, and for us it was just a short paddle across the river to get back from where we started. For him it was a distant new horizon and a new goal. It was so cool. I hope he gets to do it.


Paddling in the shadow of Michael Phelps
Sometime you can discover something new in your own backyard.
Tuesday night was my night to lead the East of Maui Group Paddle. I met a  friend  at the Maritime Museum and we paddled around to Horn Point Park to see if anyone else was joining us. We picked up another, and the three of us paddled upwind towards Annapolis Harbor.
I  need to back up just a bit, my friend is Captain Jen. She probably spends more time on the water than anyone I know aboard one of her beautiful Schooners Woodwind and Woodwind II taking tourist and locals sailing on the Chesapeake.  Jen is just getting into stand up. We had a bit of breeze and we had to work to paddle upwind. I about fell off my board laughing when Jen said " well... this gives me a whole new perspective on the wind". Keep in mind this is coming from someone very capable and confident sailing her 74 foot schooner in just about any wind just shy of a hurricane.
 We  paddled around Annapolis Harbor, under the draw bridge and headed up Spa Creek.  Once again, Jen surprised me when she said " I had no idea there were this many boats on moorings up here". We were literally just around the corner from where she docks Woodwind, yet a  short paddle on a stand up board had just opened up a whole new horizon for her to explore.  Paddle on Capt. Jen!

Captain Jen and Sarah paddling across the harbor, with Jen's Schooner Woodwind in the background. 

One of the greatest things about selling, teaching, and introducing people to SUP for almost 10 years is seeing the expressions on their faces the first time they feel the board glide across the water, or they see the Bay Bridge or City Dock from the deck of a board. For me, it is just another great day on the water, for them it is possibly a whole new way of life.

Spa Creek


 Whether you are paddling someplace for the first time, or paddling in your own backyard, every paddle stoke, every sunrise, every sunset has the potential to open new horizons. Get out there, go paddle, explore, open your eyes, expand your world.
  



  

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Labor Day Sale



SELECTED DEMO BOARDS
Boga Tsunami $1275
Bark 12'6" Competitor $1799
Bark 14'    Dominator $1799
Bark 14'  Eleminator  $1799
Jimmy Lewis Cruise Control 11' $1399

Call for new board pricing and availability




ALL SUMMER CLOTHING ON SALE

 


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Time Flies!

Holy Smokes, the summer is flying by with nary a blog post since Memorial Day. It is already August and Labor Day is just around the corner. I don't know what any of this has to do with Stand Up paddling except that time flies when you are having fun, and I've have had a whole bunch of  fun on the paddle boards this summer.  From solo morning sunrise sessions, to afternoon group paddles, teaching lessons, a full race calendar, and even a few night paddles I have been paddling my butt off this summer. 

You might think with all the time I spend on the water that I would get tired of this but, I don't.  It just keeps getting better and better.



It is hard to pick out the highlights of the last two months. There have been so many, but I have to think at least for the shop, pulling off the 3rd Annual East of Maui/ Eastport YC Chesapeake Stand Up Challenge has to be one of them.

2014

 

We had over 100 racers in 8 classes on two courses. The weather was about as perfect  as could be, and with the exception of a computer registration and timing problem  everything ran smoothly, and I think, and hope everyone had a great time.  (Sarah and her friend Leslie did a great job of doing the scoring by hand and then loading the results on the computer, so everyone could see the results by Sunday morning).  There are so many people to thank for helping East of Maui  pull this off, but special thanks to Joe Donahue and Ramzi Bannura  at EYC for providing us with such a great venue.  Also to the sponsors, Naish, Da Kine, Raw Elements,Supreme, Landshark, Refllekt, Starboard, and Wise & Donahue, thanks for helping us make it happen.

Before the race I had decided I wanted to do something special for whoever was the last person to actually finish the long 6.5 mile course. Not to take anything away from the people who win, but sometimes I think  it is harder to finish some of these races than it is to win.  While the leaders are  fighting it out for glory at the front of the race, it can be an awfully long day and lonely day at the back end of the race. It takes a lot of motivation to keep on keeping on when you know everyone else is a ashore and the party has started without you.  Just before the start, Mark Colino  gave me a carbon Starboard paddle and told me to use it for a prize. I immediately knew what I was going to use it for, I just didn't know who.   That who, turned out to be a guy by the name of Allan Navo.  I began the awards presentation by announcing that I had a special award to the last place finisher for completing the tough course and rising to the Challenge.  I think Allan was in shock when I presented him with the paddle. At the time I didn't realize just how a big a challenge Allan had conquered. Allan stopped by the shop the following week to have us size up and cut his new paddle. Turns out he had on recently completed  rather aggressive chemo for cancer in April and was just retuning to Stand UP after a long absence. He may not have had the fastest official time, but Allan is the new Champion of the 2014 Chesapeake Challenge.

Which somehow brings me around to the beginning of this mess. I have been paddling and selling Stand Up boards for 10 years now. I can't believe how fast the past 10 years have flown by. It seems like just yesterday Trip Foreman loaned me his board, showed me how to hold the paddle (correctly I might add) told me to "have fun and don't  f' up his board". Every minute, every hour, every day I have spent on water on a stand Up board the has has flown by and be insanely fun (well actually not some of the long upwind paddles but that's another story), and like I said before, when you are having fun time flies.  


Mark Saunders and I having fun several years ago. Note the state of the art aluminum paddles!