NDK Romanys on a trailer

The Impact of Color on Boat Performance

Do you know how much of an impact boat color can make on boat speed, performance and stability?

The color of the boat has, in the past, been a personal choice, and largely an aesthetic decision to most boat buyers. Your boat color can make you happy, appreciating your craft whilst it glides across the water; it may make you more noticeable before getting run over by larger water users, or could speed up the chances of needed rescue attention.Continue reading

Sea kayaker going into rough surf by rocks

BCU 5 Star Training

Maine Island Kayak Co, Peaks Island, Maine

BCU Coaches: Steve Maynard & Tom Bergh

Participants: Jeff B, Thomas H, Jed L, Ned O, Chris P, Charles P, and Bill Z

I had wondered about BCU 5 Star training since the days of my first sea kayak lessons. You know, we’ve all heard stories about people who have actually passed the 5 Star test and lived to talk about it: mythical paddlers who don’t need food, water or sleep and can live for days in their boats with hardly a concern for the weather. You hear about how they do battle with huge surf and high winds, sea monsters and horrifying races that mere mortals couldn’t possibly handle… you know the stories can’t be true, but somehow…the image stays with you.Continue reading

kayakers expeditioning in Antarctica

Paddling Antarctica

Back to the Basics: Man in Extreme Conditions

In the year 2000, Nigel Dennis, Stan Chladek, and Tom Bergh successfully circumnavigated Nelson Island in the South Shetland Islands. It was the first unsupported expedition of its kind.

Out on the open Pacific, enormous drifting icebergs freed from the Antarctic ice shelf flowed toward the Drake Passage, dwarfing our sea kayaks. Other worldly shapes and iridescent blues, coupled with the ice’s unusual lumbering movement, lent an eerie quality to the low ceiling clouds. The only sounds were nature at its most rugged. The weather was Antarctic: windy, foggy, damp, and cold. Out here there are no people, no boats, no options. It is just the three of us, making hopefully wise decisions on the sea. Continue reading

contact tow on foredeck

Contact Tows

Safety gear that we bring every time we launch our sea kayaks includes a contact tow.

A contact tow is a short tow line set up to perform a wide variety of functions. It is attached to the deck kayak safety gearlines in front of your cockpit, where it can be easily reached. It should connect quickly and simply with wide gate stainless steel carabiners. Being able to vary the length of the contact tow line allows you to tow different length boats. As with all towing systems, some method of quick release is essential. A contact tow can be used to tow short distances; it can also be used to bring a boat to a swimmer, which is easier than towing a swimmer to their boat.

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Aquarius satellite

Aquarius Ocean Circulation

Until now, researchers did not have a full set of data on ocean salinity and how it impacts climate change. This video from NASA explains how Aquarius salinity data, combined with data from other sensors that measure sea level, ocean color, temperature, winds, and rainfall, will give us a much clearer picture of how the ocean works.Continue reading