Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Well Hello Again... Sea Kayaking Revealed!

Hello friends, family, members of society from the countryside...

I have had several days of" support staff" work around base after returning from my sea kayaking course. One of my students, Zakiya, just posted a lot of pictures from her camera that she took on our sea kayaking course. This inspired me to write a new blog entry, share some of her photos and some of mine too. We paddled for six days out in the field, one day at base in the beginning, and a closing morning on base for day 8. Although these pictures do not begin to encompass what we experienced, it will at least depict memories from our journey through the adventures of renewal. This course was called an "Adult Life Renewal" course. People from ages 30 to ages 63 or so... Challenging

themselves in the present, to reflect on their past and commit to some action plans to investigate and create their future.

I love sea kayaking. The northern everglades are a beautiful place to do it. Check out the following photos... if there is a "Z" near the photo Zakiya took it. If there is a "K" by it, I took it. Word. I hope you enjoy this peek into my life as an NCOBS instructor down in Florida.... it's a wild place- really...

Z - First of all, I worked with two amazing women: Kelly and Merle. Here we are relaing, NCOBS style.

Z- A curious pelican wonders if these are her multi-colored cousins... At our put-in site.

Z- But, before we left on our journey we had to explain all of the group gear... the night before we set off for the put-in.

Z- Before we could really do some adventuring, we taught students naviagtion. Here Kelly (right), teaches a lesson on chart reading. From there students were expected to navigate self-reliantly with little guidance from instructors.

Z- Here I am teaching about Tides. Did you know that in South Florida, we have semi-diurnal tides? That means we have not one high and low tide, but TWO high tides and Two low tides per day! Who knew?!
After learning anbout tides, the crew could make more effective float plans for the day. This would influence the "final" phase of their expedition, where they crafted their own path home...

Z- Here I am with some wild hair, and Jamie, sitting next to me has his bug net on. The no-see-ums were pretty intense that day. The crew had just come off from Solo- a time of intentional reflection. A few hours later and they were on "final"

Z- A little late night "Ambiance" at the Outward Bound Cafe

Z- a few of our students: Jeff (above)

Z- Barrett

Z- Zakiya & Kelly (one of my co-instructors)

Z- and Joel serving breakfast at the "Outward Bound Cafe"

So, needless to say - a lot of fun was had, challenges met, and renewal was realized. I hope that my new friends whom I had the pleasure of instructing, hanging out with, and getting to know are back in their homes... making a difference in their communities... and in their lives.

A few other shots from my camera...

K- my kayak, the Necky Elaho HV. a great boat to paddle on the swells and whitecaps of the Gulf of Mexico.

Kelly taking a picture of Jeff consturcting a lesson about the development and poor resource mamagement of South Florida

K- ME!

K- The whole crewjust before departing the island at course end:
Front Row (L-R): Zakiya, Joel, and Merle
Middle Row (L-R): Susan, Me, Kelly, Sarah, Ted, and Dana
Back Row: Jeff, Jamie, and Barrett

Wednesday, February 13, 2008



me and two buddies from NCOBS (Lee & Bernie) drove to Marathon Key to see my friends Jessica and Thomas and Dan. We did. It was awesome. Then, we went to Key West for the night. It took me a second to remember the layout of the place, but after all of that? I remembered. It was fun. We stayed the night at a hotel on Duval St. fun times... We drove back through a monsoon. It flooded our base camp and made ouyr power go out. Scary. ...



Friday, February 1, 2008

Back again...

Wonderful folks,

Hello, from Sunset Island, Florida!
I am back once again, yet going back to the field tomorrow. I completed the second session of Ransom Everglades... chilled for a day after post-course shenanigans.... then only to plan for a four day personal sea kayaking trip.

It was great to be in a sea kayak again with some of my good NCOBS friends. Well- I mean, I was in the kayak by myself- but there were five of us (each in our own kayak). We saw so many of the amazing south florida things to see: Dolphins fishing, a shark, sea turtles, sunsets, waves, sun, field food leftovers mixed with amazing freshly-bought veggies... But this wonder wouldn't be reality without mentioning the "bug hour" full of no-see-ums, mosquitos, and racoons that plague the human condition every evening as the sun goes down.

My buddy, Josh Harris, and I worked a lot on our bracing and sculling and other paddle work. It reminded how beautiful the kinesthetic art of paddle work can be. We paddled from our base camp toward an area called Goodland- over twenty miles travel total. We started off in some back bays and paddled towards the gulf. We hung out in the gulf of Mexico until the last four mile sof our trip and it was amazing. Simply amazing!

Many of the dolphins we saw were fishing for prey about 4 feet off of our bows...
At any rate. I have no photos of this trip -- but my buddy bernie took some I think... so if he gets them developed I'll post them here. Life is good at Sunset island and I miss many of you lots. Pleae drop me a line when you can... I'll try to do the same. More later!


p.s. Courses are going great too!!!!!