The DJI Spark

 The DJI Spark Flymore Package. A Christmas present to myself.
I've taken it out of the box, updated the Firmware, read the instructions, removed the propellors and played with it. I am still too intimidated to actually try flying it...




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The 2011 Eastern Canada SUP Championships

Last Sunday I attended the 2011 Eastern Canada SUP Championships, a WPA sanctioned SUP Race, organized by Derek Schrotter of Paddle Sport Performance. I was on the Escort Boat and managed to get some pictures and video of the event, which can be viewed here. The SUP race was won by Larry Cain of Toronto, with Derek coming in second. Click on the image to see some pretty incredible paddling. For the complete list of results go to SUP in Toronto. There were around 80 paddlers in the event, some who travelled from as far afield as Puerto Rico in order to attend. There will be a lot more participants next year, due to the excellent way in which the event was organized, planned and coordinated. If you SUP or paddle, get involved, it was a really fun day to be out there on the water!
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The Mast Mounted GoPro...

Gary and I headed out to Frenchman's Bay yesterday afternoon just as the wind started to pick up from the NW. I packed the GoPro and FlyMount, figuring that it was about time to either attach the GoPro to the top of the mast, or lose it forever. Being overly cautious, I attached a float to the GoPro, just in case. While sailing, I kept looking up to make sure it was still attached. I'm happy to say that the FlyMount worked flawlessly. Next time out I will try mounting the camera to the boom and to a helmet to see what video from those angles will look like. I think I got some decent video, and still have the GoPro. All in all a pretty good afternoon...
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At Long last...

I eventually got around to mounting the GoPro to my Surfboard. We had a sunny day last Wednesday with smallish waves so I decided to try it out and see if it would remain attached to the board or disappear into the murky depths of Lake Ontario. Having witnessed Josh losing his GoPro at Bond Head during the winter, I was more than a little concerned. Luckily all went well, which was a huge relief. Click on the image to check out the video. The FlyMount and GoPro Adapter I ordered a while ago arrived in the mail this week. This will allow me to mount the camera on the boom and on the tip of the mast on my Windsurfer. Should get some interesting video from those positions. Now we just need a nice sunny, windy day, instead of all this rain...
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A Room with a View...

Yesterday was the first really nice "Spring Day" that we have had this year in Ontario. The temperature reached 14˚C. Looks like this could be the start of some decent summer weather. At last! I SUP'ed from Port Union Road to "The Cove" at Bluffer's Park, a distance of 12 kms. The trip took around 1 1/2 hours in all and was a pretty relaxing paddle. See the route here. Seemed a lot easier than the trip to Frenchman's Bay and back. I stopped and took this shot of a house, perched on top of the Scarborough Bluffs that is about to slide into the Lake. I wonder if it will still be there on my next trip? As for my next SUP, I think it will be down near the Toronto Islands, where I should be able to get some nice photos of the Toronto skyline...

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A Nice Day for a Paddle

Yesterday seemed a good day for a paddle, the Lake was pretty calm and the temperature was around 6˚C. A welcome break from the cold weather we experienced last week. I installed the GoPro HD on to the nose of the Coreban with a suction mount and off I went. SUP'ed from the foot of Port Union Road to Frenchman's Bay and back, 12.5 kms in 2 1/2 hrs, not too bad, considering that I paddled into a light NE wind for the first half of the trip. Still a long way off from the 65 kms I plan to paddle in the SUP for MS 2011 in August, but a good start. Found that my feet and wrists were a little tender after the paddle. And also, a big thanks to Surf Ontario for loaning me the equipment. Check out the route I took here, and click on the image to see the video.

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Walking on Water...

We spent last weekend at our friend's cottage on Lake Erie near Peacock Point. It was bitterly cold and he wind blew at around 20 knots from the SW on both Saturday and Sunday, so we sat in front of the fire drinking rum and had a great time. The bag of pine and red cedar shavings from the Alaia made for great kindling. The lake is iced up all the way out to the horizon, first time I have seen it like that. Lots of fun, taking the dogs for a walk, about 1/2 a mile out from the shoreline. As you can see, the swing is still hanging in the tree, but the scenery is a lot different, compared to this picture of us sailing in the summer.
The good news is that it's going to be warm and windy this week, so maybe I will be able to get some surfing in and continue working on the Alaia...
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The GoPro LCD BacPac

The LCD BacPac I ordered for my GoPro HD camera was finally delivered today by Fedex. After unpacking it and quickly installing a firmware upgrade to the camera I tried it out by taking a couple of pics of the Alaia that I am building. It is now so much easier to take pictures and video, as instead of guessing what will be in the frame, I can now see exactly what I'm shooting. I really like the LCD BacPac and have no hesitation in recommending it to all GoPro HD owners.

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A GoPro HD...

Last weekend, about an hour into the Canadian MotorSports Show at the International Centre, I happened to walk past a huge display of GoPro Cameras. As I have an affiliate link to GoPro on this site, I stopped to chat to the guy in the booth about the cameras, and noticed that they had one "Surf Hero" camera amongst all the MotorSport cameras in the display. We discussed the merits of the cameras, the various mounting accessories available and the U.S. vs the Canadian pricing.
Really, I had absolutely no intention of purchasing one of these cameras, as they are pretty expensive, until he told me about "The Show Special". Anyway, to make a long story short, I am now the proud owner of a HD GoPro Surf Hero camera, and I paid $120 less than the suggested retail price in Canada. Really, how could I walk away from a deal like that?
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Wednesday...

I headed down to Ashbridge's Bay in the morning, not really expecting any waves. Figured a little SUP'ing would be in order, but was pleasantly surprised to see Mike and Grant in the water. Jeff and Rob showed up shortly afterwards, the rain and wind stopped, the sun came out and the waves were really glassy. Parking was at a premium as a local elementary school was having some kind of cross country meet at the beach. Lots of fun...
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