Yakdaddy’s River Ramblings

My journal of river runs and repository for the various water related thoughts of my oft distracted mind…whitewater from my perspective.

Archive for the 'Ramblings' Category

Get your Christmas lists ready!!! The Dynamic Duo is coming…

Posted by yakdaddy on 1st September 2008

Just saw this on the Jackson Website – this may be my next boat!

The new Dynamic Duo

Read all about it at:  http://www.jacksonkayak.com/kayaks/product.cfm?product=dynamicduo


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Good times at the pool…

Posted by yakdaddy on 17th April 2008

Took Josh and Abby to the pool session in Johnson City Tuesday and a good time was had by all.  Josh had been many times in the past, but this was Abby’s first time.  Since my 7-year old daughter seems to be my best bet at raising a boater, I was really hoping the evening would go well.

 As she wedged into her brother’s green Fun1, I was a bit concerned that she might have some difficulty wet-exiting but my fears were unfounded.  I launched her into the pool and before I even got in the water, she’d paddled across the shallow end, chased her brother (who was swimming), flipped over and wet exited without even getting the top of her head wet.  Best of all – she was grinning and trying to get back in before we’d even gotten the boat to the side.

Josh tried out Wesley’s demo Sidekick and really liked it.  He was moving much faster, sitting more comfortably, and appeared to be less ‘tippy’ than in the Fun1.  I guess he and Abby have both outgrown the good ole Fun1.  Josh asked if we could get the Sidekick and I told him we’d have to see about selling the Fun1 first.  Luckily, he didn’t bring up the fact that I’ve got more than one boat!

Later, Abby tried the Fun 1 1/2 and really liked it.  Of course, it didn’t hurt that the boat was pink!  The boat was a bit big on her, but it wouldn’t take her long to grow into it.  She scooted all around the pool and I never once saw her look like she might flip (can’t say the same of her time in the Fun1).

 Looks like our good ole fun1 may soon be replaced with a sidekick!

Posted in 2008 Trip Reports, Gear, Ramblings | No Comments »

January 2008 – the month of the SKUNK!

Posted by yakdaddy on 24th January 2008

It’s a hard fact to face, but it looks like my training plan for the rapidly approaching fun of TVF 2008 is to paddle ZERO days during the month leading up to it!  I guess I’ll just keep posting old TR’s from last year to pass these last few dry days…

It can be tough be responsible but sometimes even a Sexy Kayaking Beast (I didn’t name the team, but I’ve come to enjoy being one – even if in name only) has to make those choices.

 If you haven’t signed up for TVF yet, it’s not too late – get together one to five of your regular paddling pals and sign up at www.steepcreeks.com/tvf.

If you’d rather watch the action from the safety of your computer screen, the keep an eye out for the TVF forum on Boatertalk as the trash talk and trip reports should be cranking up in about two to three more weeks.

Go Team SKB!


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New Gear – will it ever see the water?

Posted by yakdaddy on 16th January 2008

After losing my paddle during a river rescue on the Little, I began a search for a replacement.  Let me encourage you NOT to head back to the river until you’ve checked to see if your name has worn off or your phone number has changed from what’s on the paddle and corrected any potentially costly conditions.  Losing my trusty old paddle was painful for me because (1) I am cheap, (2) my paddle was fine, and (3) it had been a great deal when I acquired it – which to me, added a certain sense of satisfaction every time I used it.  Additionally, (4) I paid nearly as much for the pogies that floated away with it as I had for the paddle itself – bummer!  On the up-side though, I am thankful for the rescue situation turning out well and for the Lendal breakdown I had stashed in the stern.

So my search began and eventually turned up a great deal on Boatertalk’s GearSwap.  Somebody was liquidating (no pun intended) their gear IF the buyer was willing to purchase said gear, sight unseen, that day.  I had planned on spending my Christmas money on a new rescue pfd and maybe some drypants but the loss of the paddle had blown that plan right out of the water.  This opporunity, however, allowed me to get a rescue vest and paddle for less than I had been willing to fork over for the pfd alone!

Once the gear arrived, I was a bit surprised at the obvious ‘experience’ of the paddle but very pleased with the state of the pfd.  All in all, it looks like a win-win where the seller got the cash he needed when he needed it and I got the stick and vest I needed before needing either for a day on the water.  I pulled them out during a sunny moment this weekend to shoot this shot of the gear that I hope will actually see water again some day soon.

new gear 

On the left is my faded 3.5 year old B-22 hi-floatation vest that is beginning to unravel at the seams.  On the right is the new kid – my Astral 300R.  Hoping the paddle will last till I can afford a new one!

If you’ve got any suggestions on how to ‘mount’ a Gerber river shorty on an Astral rescue vest, please post in the comments.



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False alarm – Boatertalk isn’t gone, just upgraded!

Posted by yakdaddy on 16th January 2008

Per Eric Princen:

OK, Boatertalk is now running on completely new software. It doesn’t look much different, but it is. :-) There are a few bugs I’ll fix when it’s not 4:30 in the morning. If you have items for sale in GearSwap, you may want to go in and edit them and pick an actual product. That change was made to help cross reference data in the future. Reviews and GearSwap are now tied to the same product list. If you find any bugs, please report them in the bugs forum and I’ll get to them as soon as I can. Good night.

 Good deal – new site looks great.

 See you on the river, wkb’s, or boatertalk,


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A world without Boatertalk?!?

Posted by yakdaddy on 16th January 2008

I guess that most folks couldn’t care less about an on-line forum for whitewater enthusiasts, but I must admit that the dismal error message…

“www.boatertalk.com not found: /home/eprincen/boatertalk/production/sites/www.boatertalk.com is not a directory”

… I keep getting every time I type in www.boatertalk.com is really screwing up my day.  I wouldn’t have thought it would matter much, but I’ve come to realize that I depend on BT (and, to a lesser extent, Worldkayak) to supply connectedness to the boating community throughout the breaks in my day as I endure the dryness of the workweek!

Here’s hoping that BT is back online soon… if not, I sure hope Worldkayak can put up some similar kind of message board.

Yakdaddy out.

Posted in Ramblings | 2 Comments »

The Hero hits the water…

Posted by yakdaddy on 14th January 2008

Hope everybody has saved some Christmas cash…



Posted in Gear, Ramblings | 2 Comments »

To boat or not to boat update…

Posted by yakdaddy on 13th January 2008

Well, after much deliberation and a great weekend of off-the-river activities, it looks like the verdict for this weekend has come down to NOT.  While this is indeed a sad situation in that the whitewater was in plentiful supply this weekend, it’s not all that bad.  The kids had friends over Friday night, the cheerleading went well Saturday morning, and the geocaching yesterday afternoon was truly enjoyable!

While all those positives would normally add up to a guilt-free day on the water, there were just too many things left undone around the house so I passed on a consolation Nolichucky trip with a crew of friends that are probably loading up the shuttle car(s) right now and heading to the put in.

 Oh well – it’s not like the river will be gone next week…

Cheerleading debut  Cheerleading debut


A beautiful day at Bays Mountain!


The geocaching crew


Rockhoppers extrodinaire


Yet another stream crossing


The crazy deer would eat out of our hands (this shot was not taken at a petting zoo)

Peace on earth and whitewater to all,


Posted in Ramblings | 3 Comments »

Oh what a glorious morning!

Posted by yakdaddy on 11th January 2008

What a great 24 hours for boaters in the southeast!

In case you weren’t lulled to sleep by the sound of rain on the roof last night, Here are two screenshots to that illustrate why:

Yesterday’s observed precipitation from water.weather.gov 1-10-2008 observed precipitation from water.weather.gov

Notice all of the yellow, orange, and red around the Tri-Cities, the Smokies, and the Wilson
Creek/Watauga watershed!

A screenshot of the USGS current streamflows versus historical from the usgs waterwatch (water.usgs.gov/waterwatch)

Current (1-11-08) Streamflows from USGS 

Notice that the dots are mostly green and blue now.  They’ve been red to orange for a long time…

Too all the boaters headed out to ride the white lightning today and all through the weekend – here’s to dry hair and good lines!  (Hopefully I’ll see you on a river Sunday)

Yakdaddy out.

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There’s a new Hero in town…

Posted by yakdaddy on 10th January 2008

Looks like EJ has posted a few pics of the first Hero out of the mold!  Check it out at:


Did I beat Wesley to the post?

Posted in Gear, Ramblings | 1 Comment »