Category Archives: Folbot

Weekend Outing: Long Point State Park, NY 8/8 to 8/10/08

So this fine year 2008 hasn’t worked out quite the way I planned it, but things are still going pretty well. That said I present my next weekend outing up at Long Point State Park here in the 1000 Islands region of NY State:

longptny1.png

This route takes place within the sheltered waters of Chaumont Bay and it is about 9 miles in length. The first, upwind leg takes me west near the shore. The returning downwind leg brings me back east to my campsite.

The protected nature of Chaumont Bay should mean that I don’t have to worry about dealing with Lakers or their wakes! I’m also hoping it gives me some respite from the westerly winds that are typical of the Great Lakes region.

Hopefully the weather holds out for me!

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Trip Report: Little Traverse Bay, MI, 7/1/08

Sorry about the long period between posts. I’ve been busy starting my new position at work and on the road. Fortunately, I was able to get on the water a couple times while I was in Michigan.

My first outing on the water was between the beach at Petoskey State Park and the waterfront of Harbor Springs, MI. This route is seen in the plot below:

LittleTraverse.png

Note that this route does not show the return leg. This is because I lingered in front of Harbor Springs too long to make some adjustments to my cockpit coaming. This lack of movement caused my GPS to shut down, and I failed to notice. The roundtrip was about 8.2 miles in length and took about 3.5 hours.

Some of the notable points during this journey:

    Petoskey State Park to Harbor Springs, MI:

  • The initial northward leg wasn’t too tough
  • However, I did forget to don my paddle leash from the outset, d’oh!
  • Turning west I faced a breeze of about 5-10 kts. This would eventually strengthen to 15-20 kts as I reached Harbor Springs.
  • The Cooper did very well paddling into swells and waves I made at about 3 feet. The skin-on-frame design slithers over the waves easily.
  • Two waves in rapid succession were a challenge, but this would be true regardless of kayak type. The Cooper did fine when the second wave broke over the bow deck.
  • Thank goodness I was able to hop out near the public boat launch in Harbor Springs and resecure my cockpit coaming.
  • The return leg would prove much more interesting.
  • On the return leg the wind and waves originated from the SW
  • Again the Cooper did well in 15-20 kt winds and 3-4 foot swells.
  • The key to not capsizing in such conditions is rolling your hips into the oncoming swell. The lower center of gravity provided by the original seat is also of great help providing stability in these conditions.
  • Another simple, yet key modification, of the original Cooper seat is the addition of a Seal Line Discovery Kayak Seat Cushion. Let about 1/2 the air out and you have a massive improvement in seating comfort!
  • The leecocking of the Cooper did get a bit annoying. I really need to install my rudder one of these days.
  • If I had a track of the return leg it would show I cut across the “corner” present in the outgoing leg. I did this to shorten the period of time I was getting pounded by waves
  • Upon arriving at Petoskey I had to turn the Cooper so the bow was pointing W/SW, into the waves. Trying to ride the waves into the beach is a recipe for disaster.
  • I timed my exit from the boat almost perfectly, but the bottom was a foot deeper than I thought! Fortunately, I was able to get my other leg out of the boat and get away with a little hopping around using my paddle and the kayak for support.
  • After that I got washed up on the beach and I stowed my kayak near a Hobie Cat. The next morning I would find the cockpit full of wind-blown sand. ALWAYS turn your boat over if you’re going to leave it assembled overnight!
  • I celebrated my expedition with a delicious 1/2 lb. perch dinner straight from the Great Lakes and prepared by my friends at Scalawags. I washed this awesome grub down with a couple bottles of Bell’s Pale Ale.
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Paddlefest Day 3: Another Post Why the Folbot Cooper is Insanely Great!

I didn’t stay out too late on Friday, May 16th because I knew that I had a huge day of paddling ahead of me on Saturday, May 17th. I’ve already posted my planned route for the Fulton Chain Lakes, but in this recap I will post the route I actually paddled. Here it is:

fulton_chain.png

This route took me from the beginning of First Lake in Old Forge all the way up to Third Lake, about two-thirds of the way to Inlet, NY. The total distance for this paddle was just under 10 miles, and the total time on water was 3.5 hours.

Some high and lowlights of this outing:

  • Once again, I can’t stress how awesome the FoxWorx Vixen feels in the hand! No blisters and only modest chapping!
  • The Folbot Cooper is an incredible boat! I was easily able to cruise at 3.5 to 4 mph for the bulk of my 3.5 hour journey
  • The river to First Lake is pretty calm and sheltered, but there are some random rocks sitting in the channel.
  • Crossing the open waters of First Lake to the northern channel by DeCamps Island was pretty uneventful except for the jet skier that fired up when I was halfway there.
  • Second Lake is nice, much less built up than First Lake. I was able to get some very nice shots of Bald and Sugarloaf Mountains immediately to the north.
  • I made it into and around the southern end of Third Lake. There is some pretty troubling treefall in this area. Folding kayakers need to be really careful in this spot.
  • I thought about going farther up Third Lake, but some weather was rolling in so I thought I’d head back
  • I had to deal with some pretty nasty winds during my paddle from DeCamps Island and past Dog Island. Made pretty good headway in the Cooper though.
  • Dog Island is more like a sandpile rising from the depths.
  • More wind picked up as I paddled north and turned west to head back to Old Forge.
  • Made it back to Old Forge just before the rain!

Overall the Cooper handled superbly during this outing. Almost 10 miles in 3.5 hours and the boat tracked true the whole time. I have to say that the improved fit of my new PFD and better hand feel of the Fox Worx paddle also contributed to the pleasurability of this outing.

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Paddlefest: Day 1

I took May 15th and 16th off from work in anticipation of getting into Old Forge, NY early for the 2008 Adirondack Paddlefest.

I got a somewhat late start out of Rochester. I didn’t get on the road till about 5 PM, mainly because I wanted to workout and I am fairly lazy about packing. Haha. Thankfully rush hour to the east was manageable, and I was able to make good time blitzing down the NYS Thruway from Rochester to Utica. I rolled into Old Forge and arrived at The Waters Edge Inn around 8 PM.

So far my extremely nice room has been well worth it! Here is the view from my balcony:

old_forge_view.jpg

I managed to score an excellent burger for a late dinner down the street at Slicker’s Tavern. Nice place, excellent service. I will probably manage to make my way back there at least once more before Paddlefest is over.

Slicker’s was full of factory reps and the owner of Mountainman Outdoors who pulls this whole show together. I managed to make contact with the gents from Boreal Design and a few others. Should be a good start to the weekend!!!

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Paddlefest: Fulton Chain Lake Route I

Hello all! I know it’s been too long since my last posting, but I have returned with yet another planned outing for this fine year of 2008.

A few prior posts have described my plans to attend the annual Adirondack Paddlefest from May 15th to the 18th in Old Forge, NY. Tonight I pulled out my topo maps and decided to begin planning my routes for the portions of Paddlefest when I would be pursuing my own explorations.

My first planned route is an exploration of the first Fulton Chain Lake, shown in the plot below:

fulton_rte1.png

This route is a little over 5 miles long all said and done. It should be a nice, calm exploration on entirely flatwater.

That’s all for now, I know I’ve been away far too long, but grad school is finally over so I should be able to post more frequently in the future!

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Projected 2008 Outing: Bear River, Michigan

For the next entry in my series of proposed outings, I present the Bear River!

BearRiver.png

The total length of this planned route is about 12 miles from Walloon Lake to the bend just before the river enters Petoskey proper. There are a few things to keep in mind about this proposed route, and I need to try and research them before I get there in July!

    Bear River, Michigan Pointers:

  • Overall Journey Length should be about 12 miles.
  • This distance should be manageable since it will be with the current.
  • From the internet it is unclear if the Bear River is navigable by kayak over its entire length. 24k topo maps don’t do much to clarify this either.
  • It’s also unclear what type of boat traffic I might have to share the river with in the summer.
  • Regardless of the level of boat traffic an early start is warranted.
  • I plan to get fished out before entering Petoskey because it is more likely there will be an open area to knock down the Cooper.
  • The other reason for not paddling to the mouth of the Bear River is that area has some Class II/Class III rapids. The Folbot Cooper is a very capable sea kayak, but at 16’6″ it is unsuited for that type of use!
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The BEST Folding Kayak Resource!

Many people out there might be wondering where they can get more information on the sport of folding kayaking?

Well, look no further folks, because by far the best folding kayak resource on the Web is found at:

Foldingkayaks.org

All the information, reviews, tips, and discussion that you could hope for when it comes to folding boats!

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Projected 2008 Kayaking Outings, Part I

The first outing I’ve planned for 2008 is something that I’ve wanted to try for a while. The plan is to camp out in the Dunes at Petoskey State Park in Petoskey, Michigan.

This should serve as a great jumping off point for paddles along the coast of Little Traverse Bay to the marinas at Harbor Springs and Petoskey, Michigan.

The projected routes are shown in the image below. Both of them are about 7 miles long, roundtrip:

2008_petoskey.png

The only concerns about these two tracks are the appearance of whitecaps or excessive boat traffic. Docks or some kind of landings should be available at the midpoints of both routes.

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Summer 2007 Kayaking Recap: Lake Champlain, VT: Part III

My final venture into Lake Champlain this summer was a circumnavigation of Savage Island. The journey was undertaken on August 29th, 2007 and the entire trip was about 7.92 miles in length. The GPS track of this journey is shown in the graphic immediately below:

vt_track3.png
    Lake Champlain, VT, Around Savage Island, 8/29/07:

  • The first part of the journey was an easterly sprint across Lake Champlain to the southern end of Savage Island.
  • Once the southern tip of the island was reached it was time for a water break and half an energy bar.
  • Several interesting details were visible on the eastern side of the island, which is private like Fish Bladder Island.
  • There appears to be a working sheep farm on Savage Island.
  • A manor, possibly a summer home, was also visible.
  • As I reached the northeastern corner of the island I was able to watch a plane land and takeoff from the landing strip.
  • I also encountered a sailboat at anchor off the northern tip of the island.
  • At this point I stopped for more water and the remainder of my energy bar.
  • The kink in my track off the northwestern point of the island was due to a line of barely submerged rocks. I thought there was going to be an opening with enough draft to let me through. This wasn’t quite the case!
  • This line of rocks was the resting point for a massive flock of gulls
  • The southern passage in front of the island’s western shore was unremarkable. The items visible on the eastern side were masked by trees.
  • The return westerly sprint to the boat launch was uneventful…unless you count the seaplane that was practicing takeoffs and landings in front of the state park! Uh, WTF dude?!
  • I wanted to make it around yet another island while in VT, but I was too fatigued during the day following this paddle. The next day it looked as though it was going to rain torrents all day, so I broke camp and headed back to Rochester!

    That concludes the recap of my summer kayaking journeys for the year 2007. I hope that you’ve enjoyed reading about them, and I hope to have more to present later in the year 2008!

    Feel free to drop any comments or ask any questions!

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Summer 2007 Kayaking Recap: Lake Champlain, VT Part II

The next thing I should mention about my Folbot Cooper are all the great compliments I receive from other paddlers and people I meet at the boat launch.

People are endlessly fascinated by the assembly process, and their curiosity leads to all manner of conversation. Some onlookers are even eager to join in and lend a hand with the assembly process!

I also want to mention that the Cooper is a fantastic looking boat! The quality of the hull fabrics is so HIGH that the Cooper looks as good as or BETTER than most plastic boats in its price range! This was immediately evident when I loaded it on the storage rack next to other boats at Grand Isle State Park.

Getting back to actually paddling, my second outing from Grand Isle State Park took me on a circumnavigation of Fish Bladder Island. Great name, eh? I made this journey on August 27th, 2007. The GPS track of this journey was about 5.34 miles, and it is shown in the image below:

vt_track2.png

This paddle wasn’t too tough, and I think that getting into the water early, around 9:30 AM, made a heck of a difference. There are not many powerboaters out during that time other than fishermen. OTOH, one does have to watch out for the guys blasting all over the lake in their bass boats. Man they can move!

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