Thursday, December 17, 2009
Jon Turk paddles along the Vanuatu Islands in the South Pacific in a sit on top kayak, making long crossings on the open sea. Jon finds friendship and adventure as he passes from island to island. ...
We will be paddling Ocean Kayak Prowlers, generously provided by my major sponsor, Johnson Outdoors. I believe that sit-on-tops are not only fun for warm-water recreation but also they are the best kayaks on the market for serious open ocean adventures in tropical waters. We plan to spend many days at sea and I know that I would get cramped in a cockpit boat. We will relish the stability, speed, agility and the ability to wiggle around, all offered by the Ocean Kayak Prowler.
It's amazing, we think of sit on tops as rec boats but Jon has done many serious crossing in exposed conditions. You can check out more at his site http://www.jonturk.net/
Friday, December 11, 2009
Here are some things she gets asked frequently as she prepares to leave.
1. What special equipment will you need to take to do an expedition such as this?
I have recently posted a gear list on the GEAR ROOM blog connected to this site so check that out. I basically need to be equipped with gear that can withstand the bitter cold temperatures of the Antarctic as well as hold up in severely strong winds. Basically I need to be warm and all my gear needs to be waterproof and rugged!
2. How will we be able to follow your journey's progress daily?
On my website there will be a google earth map of South Georgia and via a satelite connection through my sat phone, my route will be plotted daily. As well I will be writing a daily progress journal on my notebook computer and posting it on my blog along with the occasional audio broadcast. I will attempt to post a few images as well.
3. Will your support vessel be able to shadow you as you paddle around South Georgia?
South Georgia has very few safe, protected bays and anchorges particularly on the SW side (the crux of the expedition). It is completely exposed to open ocean swell, wind and frequent storms. There will be times where the vessel may be a days sail away from me, therefore I have to be completely self sufficient. I will be in contact with them on a daily basis receiving weather information and passing on my daily plans and intentions of travel.
4. What does your family think about you doing this expedition. Are they nervous and concerned for your safety?
My parents have always been very supportive with the previous expeditions I have done, aswell as the guiding, traveling working life I lead. They admire me for living my dreams and doing exactly what I am passionate about. However they are also concerned for my safety and occasionally express this. They know it is something I need to do in order to live my life fully and truthfully.
5. Are you not taking a huge risk in safety, attempting one of the most challenging kayaking journeys alone? What about all the people who care about you, isn't it a rather selfish act trying to fulfill this goal, putting your life at risk, even though it is for the Albatross?
This is a very interesting topic of conversation one that dates back to the very first explorers who paved the way in this fascinating world of discovery and adventure. For many it does seem like a selfish act: The very act of leaving behind loved ones on a risk taking endeavor simply to discover new lands, attempt World first ambitions, adventure into the unforgiving wilderness. There is a type of peoples who are drawn to this kind of life, just like there are those that want to invent things, those that want to draw, paint and create things. We all have different interests and are passionate about certain things or activities. I strongly believe that it is important to follow those desires, dreams and ambitions because that in it self is living your life to its full potential and simply being your true self. To not do that is risking far more.
Quote: To love is to risk not being loved in return. To hope is to risk pain. To try is to risk failure, but risk must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.”
However I also strongly believe that if you are choosing to take on a risky endeavor then make sure you have all your ducks in a row, be certain that you are completely and utterly prepared for it. Be certain that you have the skills, experience, knowledge, equipment and the intelligence to take on such a feat where you are managing the risks.
6. How will your kayak expedition around South Georgia Island help safe the Albatross?
My attempt to solo sea kayak around South Georgia is to help raise awareness for the Albatross (and other seabirds) whom are being accidentally drowned then killed by out-dated techniques used in the longline fishing industry. South Georgia Islands fishing industry has eliminated seabird by-catch by implementing new techniques that discourage birds from going after the baited hooks. My kayak journey, which is attracting alot of interest world wide, is a catalyst to inform the general public about the devastating situation of the Albatross and to encourage them to help put pressure on the International Longline fishing industry to also implement new techniques.
Through presenting a series of slide shows, writing and publishing a book and magazine articles and finally broadcasting a documentary film, this story of a solo woman kayaking alone around a treacherous island to help save the albatross will reach an international audience. There is an urgency to tell this story, as the future of the Albatross lies literally waiting in our hands.
Monday, December 7, 2009
Thanks to Nick Castro for his video footage of Alex in the Elite. Check out Active Seakayaking.
Also thanks to Bob for taking footage of us surfing and check out his site at BCkayaker http://www.bckayaker.com/
Friday, December 4, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Hello Spike fans! - This is Alex Matthews checking in from Vancouver Island as guest blogger.
I’ve been lucky enough to be paddling one of the new Looksha Elites over the last month or so (1 of only 2 of this new design on the entire west coast so far, I believe), and I’m really enjoying the boat. I typically get the chance to paddle a great many different kayaks, and this one is a real stand-out for me.
Firstly: the Elite is quite fast – it’s a Swede form so the bow entry is long and smooth which makes catching even small waves easy.
Despite its speed, the Elite is pretty stable and easy to paddle, so it’s definitely not an “experts only” sort of boat (whatever that is?). But the rocker profile is pronounced, so while the Elite’s tracking is very light, it benefits an active paddler who will gladly trade tracking for great maneuverability. Translation = you need to be happy with dropping the rudder when conditions dictate. Pull the rudder up and you can carve super tight turns.
All of that rocker, speed, and very nice cross-sectional shape, translate to terrific edging response and maneuverability.
Build quality on my demo boat is really excellent (in stark contrast to some of the very poor composite kayaks that I have seen come out of Necky’s East Coast US facility). If all the boats coming from Cobra (the Thai company now building Necky’s composites) are this good, then Necky should be really stoked.
I tip the scales at a rippling 150lbs, and the Elite is a touch on the big side for me – which is fair enough and probably right on target for paddlers in the more average 180-200lbs range. Having said that, the huge cargo capacity is pretty seductive and the fit is good, generating solid contact with the thighs. As a matter of course, I’m already gently campaigning for a Low Volume version but would likely still want the current size for long trips.
The Elite is a real hoot to paddle, and a little different from so many of the other boats out there. Its speed, efficiency, and its ability to carry a huge payload, have made it my new “go to” boat for multi-day trips. But heck, I’ve been paddling it everywhere (including and especially play sessions) and having a blast. It’s a winner – Spike’s going to have a very hard time getting this particular boat back from me!
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
You can always count on your freinds to keep you honest.
Thanks Alex! If you click on the picture you should be able to read it. I would argue that I definitely do belong in something black as long as it is carbon.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
View Hornby Island in a larger map
Saturday, October 17, 2009
The Elite is in full production as you can see the boats in progress on the racks. It's always great to see a boat going into production after you have been working on it for a year or so.
After everything was looking good with the boats I managed to get out for a paddle on the Gulf of Thailand. Just did a paddle for a few hours down the coast but it was good to get out. The water as you might expect was incredibly warm. Possibly the warmest water I have paddled on. Warmer than Costa Rica, Malaysia, Hawaii or the Cook Islands.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
These are sketches working out the details like deck lines, bungees and the tankwell area. Doing visuals really helps everyone understand where the design is going.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
The video below is of me surfing at Steamers lane, Santa Cruz, Ca. I'm paddling a Groovy. A boat that I shaped with a surf board shaper in California about 10 years ago. I learned a lot working with him. Board shapers that I've meet over the years have been some of the most interesting people I've ever meet. The boat here has no fins you can see how loose it is. Easy for spins but loses a lot of speed in the turns. I can't imagine not using fins now you get so much more drive. The picture above is of a Spyder with fins in. You can see how much more speed is generated.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
This is some early footage from the Rip and Jive era. I love this footage as you can really see the edges of the hulls carving and pushing a lot of water around. This is something modern play boats don't do as well. The white boat in the movie is a Groovy surf boat which was super fun out there. Skookumchuck and surfing on the ocean were my inspiration to do the flat hulls. We just got to use the waters energy to get speed. Next we gotta start doing that for touring, ocean swells have a lot of energy. The other guys in the movie are my good friends Mike Druce who made the movie and is now Head Slalom Coach in Australia and Keith Klapstein who can paddle anything any time whether it is class five , surf, national slalom team, canoe trips oh yes he also paddled 900 miles around the Queen Charlotte Islands.