It's been that long...

Paddle
Really, it's been that long? Apparently my last Blog Entry was in August 2011. My how time flies, seemed just like yesterday that I was sitting here writing it. Well, a lot has happened since then so I had better start updating all that in future entries. Let's see, a quick recap. I got Married, spent a week in California and survived yet another winter in Canada. Not much of a winter actually, pretty mild even by Toronto's standards. I don't think a week went by that I wasn't able to either Surf or SUP in Lake Ontario, and that is pretty unusual. In fact, last week it was so warm that I SUP'ed out to the Anemometer in a T-Shirt and a pair of Baggies. No gloves or boots required! Anyway, more of all that in future entries. As you may have noticed, there have been some changes to the Web Site, and more Upgrades are on the horizon. Stay tuned…
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The Big Day...

Well, the "Big Day" finally arrived. I climbed out of bed at 3:30am and met up with seven other paddlers at the Burlington Skyway at 5:30am. Entered the water at 6:00am and started paddling towards Toronto, 65kms and 14 hours away. We paddled through heavy mist, rain and fog for the first few hours and had to hug the shoreline, basically so that we could see where we were going. Tough paddling just past Oakville, where first we had to find shelter during a thunderstorm and then had to battle a headwind just before the 35km point which was at Jack Darling Park. There I reassured Lynn that I felt "Just Fine", drank a litre of Gatorade and said that I would meet her at the finish line at Ashbridge's Bay. A couple of hours later the sky cleared just enough so that we could see the Toronto Skyline. This was shortly before we ran into a NE headwind, bad chop and a really spectacular thunderstorm. Once again we headed for shore and took shelter on one of the Toronto Islands. After the storm passed, we paddled to Cherry beach and met up with a group of paddlers who joined us for the last 10kms. We arrived at Ashbridge's Bay at 8:00pm where we were welcomed by a large crowd on the beach.
So far we have raised a total of $10,756.00 for the MS Society of Canada. and it's still not too late to donate. A big thanks to Mike and Grant of Surf Ontario for organizing the event, Derek Schrotter of Paddle Sport Performance for the encouragement he gave me, and to Ryan White, who not only drove up from NJ for the event, but also paddled the whole distance prone, and took this video. Also thanks to Dave and Adrian for the land support and these pictures, A huge "Thank You" to all who were kind enough to sponsor me, and to Lynn who put up with me and took even more pics. I think I did OK, I surprised myself, and I think I surprised a lot of other people as well.
It's time to start planning for the 2012 event, you have a whole year to get into shape...
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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 SUP for MS (Please Donate)...

The SUP for MS is only a month away and I need your support. On 5 August, accompanied by 7 other paddlers, I will be Stand Up Paddle Boarding 65kms (40 miles) across Lake Ontario to raise money for the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada. Depending on the weather, the crossing from Hamilton to Ashbridge's Bay should take around 14 hours to complete. The SUP for MS was organized in 2010 by two friends, Mike Sandusky and Grant Kennedy of Surf Ontario after Mike's sister Angela was diagnosed with MS. Last year, the two of them raised over $7000 for MS Research. I began training in March for this event, and to date have lost 30lbs, usually paddling for at least two hours a day. Please click here to support my effort and to see how much I have raised so far. Any amount you donate will really be appreciated...
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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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Weather Underground Upgrades...

Weather Underground
Weather Underground has now unveiled a new and improved format that displays Wind and Weather conditions for any location in the world. It has "Full Screen Weather", which allows you to zoom in on the Google Maps interface and view Weather Information from over 16,000 personal weather stations. The settings available in the drop down menus also include the ability to view Weather Alerts, Web Cams, Windspeed, Wind Direction and allow you to move the info boxes around on your screen. A welcome addition to our Forecasting Tools...


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Mission Accomplished...

Not Bad! Dropped 30lbs in 3 months with Lose-It. Had a little encouragement from my friends, which made it a lot easier.
The Pros: Feel great. I have lots of energy. The board now floats. Can use a smaller size sail when windsurfing. Might even complete the 65km SUP for MS Paddle. Probably live longer.
The Cons: My wetsuit is too large., but summer is coming. My clothes are too big, but I can always buy smaller sizes. People I haven't seen for a while think I've been sick, but are too afraid to ask in case it's bad news.
All in all, well worth the effort. Now my goal is to maintain my current weight...
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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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