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Topics - deepmud

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You may have noticed a flurry of posts - partly - I've figured out a way to deal with the resize required by the Zone, and the lack of off-site hosting I used to do.

For this fishing trip - I brought out a project/projects I've worked on for a few years. One - variations on a theme - rear-mounted pivoting fin adapter - which evolved into a mount for a kayak rudder - it even steers. Two - this was version 2 of an outrigger. Version one was HEAVY :D - it used conduit and 2x2's and a ton of duct tape :D . Version 2.0 is light aluminum that breaks down to a short/fits in the sup-bag length - still needs work but it's close......anyway - I can fish off it - and the 26" wide Red Elite is seriously unstable :D at least with me on it - so this really broadens versatility for a narrow focus board. Some other thread (soon) will lay out the outrigger and another for the fin so ... this is about the Knik and - and attempting to catch a King. Kings are notorious for requiring a lot of hours on the river to catch - spoiler alert - I didnt get one.

Andrew Cunningham is the experienced sup-fish-getter here - he usually gets lots of silvers and reds - not in this river so much - and he usually takes his Tower 10x34 - stable and manuverable - but on this big river turning isn't a big deal. His 14x30 Starboard DC is pretty stable - he had zero issues this trip. He's running a shorter flex-fin but it wasn't really required I think.

I should mention - Rabbit Slough - is the name of the defunct/blocked/stagnant side channel that feeds into Palmer Slough - and the name is really for the mudflats/tidal end of the waterway - but everyone calls it Rabbit Slough. We seem to do that a lot - search "Metal Creek eats Jeep" and you see a tributary of the Knik eating a Jeep - Metal Creek is nearby and is a way better name for a Jeep-eating creek I guess..

Anyway - I had such a great time heading downstream before - I came back and went as far as I had time for - again about 3 hours - which, for a 15k day is moving along pretty good since I had to overcome the mild current returning as much as it helped on the way out. I'd love to make this an overnight - but you have to choose good weather - and sometimes it's mosquitos, sometimes it's flies that bug you. This day was HOT - like, high 70's. 80 just kills me :D .  I saw several groups fishing in a few of the deep pools  - and was amazed by an older couple coming upstream  (ok 80 is the new 60 but they were maybe 70's) and NO SHIT they were on a pair of those Costco Jimmy Styx isups ( I have wondered if they were stable enough for beginners )  the two were dressed in classic tourist gear - those zip-off-leg pants/shorts and "adventure" shirts of synthetic materials. They were dry (so the boards must be not too terrible) and smiling and seemed to be doing just fine getting back upstream - hurray for Costco and getting people out on the water :D

Zara came along again - she's good company - never argues where to go and hardly ever talks back - I mean, she'll give me side-eye :D but that's it, usually :D

First time I have found this very cool stream/swamp/path - I've lived here over 20 years and Alaska most of my life and somehow missed this.

This first visit I went upstream into the swampier/weedier end before turning and exploring partway downstream.

Zara my paddling buddy came along - she was supposed to be my wife's dog - but she adopted me instead lol.

Flatwater and Touring / Winter Paddle at Eklutna Lake, Alaska 10F/-12C
« on: November 08, 2020, 01:13:02 PM »
I got in what will likely be my last paddle for the year on October 31st. The lake is deep and slow to cool off so it's among the last liquid water - even the fast saltwater tidal zones and rivers are mess of big ice chunks while this lake and deep glacier lakes resist the ice for a bit longer ( my Portage Glacier trip last year is another example of those late-freezing waters - it's open still as well ). Local "extreme daily-paddler" Chuck Von Yamashita and his wonder-pup Paris were going and I invited myself along :D Chuck is above 150 days on water this year, in various hardshell and skin kayaks - not a SUP guy. Paris usually runs around on top of his kayak but with a brisk wind and low temps he made her ride down in the cockpit of his Klepper most of the time.

Random / Photo test ignore me :D
« on: October 27, 2020, 09:26:41 PM »

Random / image test - I'll delete if it works
« on: July 13, 2020, 11:32:27 AM »
testing, one, two...testing....
Oh - I can modify but not delete.. Well - it works. Don't know what happened to my post last night. Need to remember to save when type a bunch lol.

Gear Talk / 2020 Starboard Airline 14' x 28" inflatable
« on: June 13, 2020, 07:22:59 PM »
Man - I got a great board for me. This is what I hoped my Red Elite would be like  - but that was TOOOO tippy/race-oriented, at least for me. I wishy-washed around the 14x30 Touring Dual Chamber - my friend has one, and I LIKE it - but I'm 98% lakes, the Airline flex resistance advertising got me :D and I like to try to go fast(er). The extra stability vs the Red - made all the difference. There is not a lot of primary but if you let it go over the secondary stability kicks in. I have only had it on the glass so far - but for an old (53) 275 pound (yay Keto! Was 285 a couple of weeks ago) dude to rip off a 6:07 and a 6:09 half-mile back-to-back is awesome! (for me! lol). I find I can "fast cruise" just under 5mph, and burst to 6 mph - maybe better ( I didn't do sprints ). You can get a clear indication of speed from the wave peeling off the bow - if you get it to curl, you are over 5mph. Lots of 5.2/5.3 mph time (Speed coach/3 stroke averaging). As soon as it stops curling, it's 4.8mph or less. I will be comparing the Touring DC side by side soon, and the owner Andrew is a more normal weight of like 170 ( my guesstimate), so he can report on the Airline too. I'll add I went fishing by sup yesterday -  5 hours on the water and my legs were still shakey this morning.

Relive confirms the speed.  Top Speed :D

Flatwater and Touring / Eklutna, Alaska the Tailrace again
« on: March 09, 2020, 12:36:28 PM »
This is the outlet for the smallish power plant. A 6 foot diameter tunnel goes through the mountain to the bottom a Eklutna Lake. This "warm" water stays ice free and often keeps this thread of the Knik River open to salt water a few miles downstream.

It's been getting popular. I actually met two people finishing up their sup paddle as I arrived. The parking lot is not plowed so it's a bit of a walk to the water.
Supthecreek's boot recommendation is spot on. I ended up with size 12s fur my size 9 feet. 11 wasn't enough. BOTH did fit my humongous cakves, even with layers of socks and polar fleece and dry suit. They stretched almost to the limit of the straps but they fit!

Random / PonoBill would like this I think.
« on: November 18, 2019, 07:55:48 AM »
A former co-worker was into electric cars - sort of still is. He had a 4wd Mitsubishi pickup full of a pallet of lead acid batteries to commute. A dragster pinto - still on lead acid (he had access to a LOT of batteries pulled from work -we run 48 volt plants and change out is on a schedule  - plenty were still "good enough")

Funny - the electric truck was fairly practical but he mostly ended up driving his F350 Crewcab.

I sorta' wish I had time to blow on this project (no I don't assume Pono is buying this either :D He is retired so is WAY more busy than I am  ) - this little cafe bike would be fun to finish and zip around on.

Flatwater and Touring / Portage Lake - swans, ice burgs, glacier
« on: November 17, 2019, 10:34:25 AM »
Andrew and I finally went with me to Portage Lake last week (11/9/19) . It's a about 2 hours to get there from my place, so I had to get going pretty early to be there before 10-ish. We had back up plans - too much wind (Portage gets pretty wicked winds sometimes) we'd float Portage Creek out of the valley instead - but it was dead calm. Super foggy and about 35-40f. I brought my Blue Planet Touring isup, Andrew has the 14' Starboard (which is REALLY quiet and smooth in the flat water, hardly makes a ripple below 4 mph) . We parked near the Whittier Tunnel at the end of the lake, and loaded up our boards  with gear. I should mention - winter is late this year - yesterday we finally got snow on the ground. This year was a very late fall, but most the local lakes were already frozen over. Portage Lake isn't terribly big - about 3 miles by 1, but it is 600 feet deep - it takes a bit longer to freeze. It also doesn't warm much in summer - the ice bergs last for weeks.

Videos are not edited at all - just a series of shorts added in among the photos.

Gear Talk / Echo Composites 18' touring - good deal?
« on: October 08, 2019, 07:34:58 PM »
I'm looking at an $800

oops hit send

18' ft x 28 touring board - looks stable - to me - it would be a trick for me to get it in Seattle but I have friends who could store it until I could come down - or figure out a way to ship it north.

I got a 12'6" hard board last winter - it's nice - but I find my 14' Elite a good .5mph faster or more for the same effort - I'd love to try an unlimited (might go with my unlimited weight 280 lol)

Terrible idea? Ok? My impulse is to just do it :D

Flatwater and Touring / Portage Lake, Alaska - Ice Breaking iSup
« on: April 05, 2019, 11:28:34 PM »
Local guy Andrew invited me last Monday - I shoulda' took a mental health day. He's got plenty of joy in paddling his new 14 Starboard Isup. He went solo. Last week it had been open water but a cold snap and 32f water got a solid layer back on it. Friday it was all liquid again when I drove by.

Gear Talk / Flatwater Winter and Warm Feet
« on: December 25, 2018, 09:44:12 PM »
Supthecreek has the definitive thesis on what boots to get:,22864.0.html

and JimK offers a good price on the Neosport Boots - but I can't find confirmation I'll be able to get them over my 18" calves.

Thinking about these - Kokotak Launch Socks

Customers say yes they'll fit my calves - one guy says he can wear them like a hat so "big".

2 or three pairs of wool socks and some sandals maybe?

Creek? any other frozen-chosen with input?

Random / Exciting day in Alaska
« on: December 01, 2018, 12:02:48 AM »
I will be buying a lot of dishes. The aftershocks are big enough that I post up on Facebook if they weren't one of 40 or 50 today. Lots of them at 4 or 5 but after a minute of 7.0 they ain't nuthin'.

Pic is from work. Scary. I am so glad they moved me from the tall building.

Shit that was another big one I bet it was 6.0

Edit only a 5.3.   Going to be a long night.

Technique / Paddling slower, Going faster
« on: September 13, 2018, 03:40:22 PM »
I think I found a thread on that already on here, but my search comes up with a bunch of non-helpful threads -

Anyway - I'm  pretty slow :D I am an overweight clydesdale - maybe the small end of "big men" - you know, I'm stronger/bigger than most people but there are plenty who are bigger. Like an average Samoan maybe. Not a skinny paddler :D .  At 278 this morning I'm happily down from the 295 I was hitting this spring - and it's due to flatwater sup. I'm working on eating better but the sup is my reward and my stick both - this preamble is about pointing that for ME at 51, 5mph is hauling ass - pretty much top speed. I have some sprints close to 6mph but I haven't been able to maintain much more than a 4.3 average - even when I was trying for speed. Lots of "trips" 2 to 6 miles with an average of 4.2 or maybe 4.4 mph when I am done.

I was trying to be more efficient on Tuesday - working on a stroke, not speed. I sort of imagine a gondolier in my head singing and paddling..."oh solo..." reach, plant, pull..."mio...."....pull to my feet, rotate my torso, work my core...go just past my feet maybe...."oh, solo mio" again and I'm whipping the blade up and forward, thinking "NO splash" and planting for the next stroke..... but I ended up with a 1/2 mile at 6:02 (Garmin Vivoactive buzzes me every 1/2 mile) - and when I went back to my GPS on my phone, it was really a mile at around 5mph . What gets me is I wasn't trying for speed  - and my heart rate stayed pretty low (mid 90's)up until I got into some speed boat chop :D which also killed my speed.

I wish my season wasn't about to end, I feel like I'm starting to "get it" - but I go in for a new inner half of my left knee on Sept. 18 - but it's getting colder here already, and the lakes are full of  dead Red salmon, I needed to pull the trigger or I'd be trying to rehab on icy streets.


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