Tag Archives: Ocean Kayak Trident 13

Yeah, man: Keep on keeping on …

Those in my age range might have to sift through cannibis influenced memories to recall an old 1960s poster that showed some hippie striding along with the cheery admonition to Keep on keeping on.

Yeah, brother, that’s the best we can do. Keep on keeping on. Ellen and Reid counsel me to do that same thing but they use today’s lingo.


September 21, 2015

Ellen/Reid: The face is back to it’s old self – emphasis on old – and the swelling is down to nothing. With luck I can jettison bandages for good sometime in the next couple of days. The scar isn’t going to be very pronounced. Got a good post surgery report on Friday at the surgeon’s office so I’m off and running (and covered in sunscreen).

Finally have two offers on the Harley – sort of. One guy wanted to do an even swap out for his front end loader. Now what in the hell would I do with a front end loader? The other guy put down a $500 deposit and will try to scrape up the rest in short order. Not holding my breath, but at least he didn’t offer a piece of construction equipment. If Craigs List doesn’t work I’ll opt for Plan B, which might be eBay. I might plug something into the Charlotte Observer, too.

Ellen, there is a lot of upheaval at Caldwell. John has been unmercifully pummeled by folks who don’t have the full set of facts on the dismissal of an associate pastor. For some reason a gigantic accusatory email went out by one of the dissatisfied folks. It was filled with utterly groundless assertions so I, in completely uncharacteristic mode, opened up with both barrels in response to the full nearly 100 name email list. I was so hot. John has worked his ass off to build the right sort of church, welcomed blacks and gays, built a seven-day-a-week homeless shelter for 50 black women, started a Latino preschool and most recently, stood silently and by himself, in front of loud and mean-spirited anti-gay protesters on our sidewalk as his way of shielding his Sunday flock. And that’s the best he gets: vitriol which is totally baseless. He called Friday to say he was going to step away as part of a six week sabbatical. I wouldn’t blame him if he didn’t come back. He’s such a good man. I’m shelving the church newsletter until this all gets sorted out. I’m rapidly loosing what enthusiasm I have left for it.

In somewhat good news, the bank is insistent that I take all my vacation days this year. You literally have to be off the clock for every one of those days “per standard procedure.” There are roughly two full weeks left to be taken so therefore will have a mishmash of mid week days off plus a couple of three day weekends.

It's been months since the Miss Emma has seen the water. That's about to change.

It’s been months since the Miss Emma has seen the water. That’s about to change.

Looks like I’ll use a few of those days to lug the kayak down to Charleston for the day. I asked to cede some of my days to those with young families or who are all out of days but was told bluntly that such largesse was not allowable. Not even a ‘thank you’ for the offer. I didn’t know a business could spend so much time and mental juice on something as benign as vacation.

My Central Piedmont Community College class on writing got scrubbed since it fell a few students shy of the required number. That’s okay and frees up my Monday nights for the next six weeks. There is a letter writing class coming up in October and hopefully there will be a few more students signing up since that is the course I really look forward to teaching.

Alright, old scarface will sign out for today. Be good, kiss the girls, say hi to Liz, and keep on keeping on.

Love, Dad


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A living room full of gear … or not …

The emphasis has been on getting ready for Wyoming; Reid is confirmed as on board and he’s prepping for the trek, and from the workout perspective, things looked to be progressing in good order.

But fate has a cruel way of fooling aging bodies. Now the trip is in question. More on that next week.


June 1, 2015

Ellen/Reid: Still trying to get over the great weekend in Minnesota. Georgia is just a peach, and Emma is Emma. What a pair of darling little girls. Ellen, you and Tim are very lucky.

I’m watching the bluebird male standing (perching?) guard outside the nesting box, and like a lot of things, I just can’t figure out what these little birds are up to. They’ll go AWOL for a couple of weeks and then they magically reappear. My assumption was they nested only in the early spring but on this I am apparently wrong. Nice to have them back.

My workouts for the Bridger are in full swing. They felt like they got the best of me a couple of weeks ago, and Ellen, the few days in St. Paul were the respite my frame needed. Things have been much better since then. Walked 36 holes on Saturday with no ill effects other than hitting the sack shortly after 9 on Saturday night. Felt pretty chipper Sunday morning and that is interpreted as a good sign that things are in good stead for the mountain haul.

Gear for Wyoming is amassed in the empty living room. Let's hope it gets to be used. (The Tyvek is a good lightweight ground cloth for the tent.)

Gear for Wyoming is amassed in the empty living room. Let’s hope it gets to be used. (The lightweight Tyvek will be trimmed to the footprint of the tent as a ground cloth.)

I’ve started to spread out in the vacant living room most of the gear for the trek. Literally, it is all strewn about the floor. If I had to shove off tomorrow it wouldn’t take much to get ready. I’ll wear just one pair of clothes plus probably a spare shirt for use while the primary shirt dries after a wash in some stream. Tom and Katy and I will have breakfast this Saturday and I want to refine my menu so as not to carry too much. It is a good thing to leave the MSR stove and its weighty fuel behind. Reid, let me know of your flight itinerary. I’m uber excited that you’re making the trip. We need to chat about fly rods; if your Orvis isn’t the one you want, I will bring the Scott A4 for your use. It’s the rod/reel combo that Tim recommended. It’s a great rod. Hard to believe it Continue reading

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A triumvirate of good things …

I don’t know if the kids are bored yet (a rhetorical question that does not demand an answer) with yet another story about ‘fishing.’ But at least this tale was about ‘catching,’ a wholesale change from prior fish-less excursions.


December 1, 2014

Ellen/Reid: As weeks go, this past one was pretty good; it was holiday shortened, the Thanksgiving meal was passable (grade B), and red fish were caught aplenty. That’s a fair triumvirate of good things in the stretch of a few days.

The meal for seven was fine. Amazing what following directions can do for

It's amazing what some sugar will do for the taste of pumpkin pies - as Ellen and Reid have discovered the hard way with their dad's baking.

It’s amazing what some sugar will do for the taste of pumpkin pies – as Ellen and Reid have discovered the hard way with their dad’s baking.

pumpkin pies (yes, I did add sugar this time). Most of the prep work (pies and stuffing) was wrapped up on Wednesday. That removed some of, but not all, the angst on Thursday morning. The only near-snag was I was hell bent to post my early morning walk on my trash blog and lost complete track of time about how long it would take to make bread. It was to be a three rise affair and I cut a couple of corners in order to get the loaves finished and the bird in the oven about noon. Things worked out okay but I nearly screwed the pooch right there. Reid, I recalled a photo of you slathering the turkey with butter a few years ago at Hilton Head and I repeated that performance. My friends got here about 3:45 – 4 p.m. and wine was liberally served so they might overlook any food faux pas. Everything turned out just fine and on time. The gravy was a bit thick and lumpy but that might be because the cook tipped back his share of wine. It still tasted good. We sat around retelling the old stories, eating pie and creme brulee and it was a lot of fun.

On Friday I hatched a plan to head back to Folly Beach for some fishing since only three of us were to play Saturday golf. I pulled the plug on that, which freed up the day. The beach forecast was favorable (60s) and the drive doable (a shade over 3 hours door to dock). The loading of the kayak atop the car and stowage of gear is becoming somewhat simpler.

The Ocean Kayak Trident 13 may have looked rigged and ready, but self-induced fouled lines cost me an hour of fishing. I was pissed.

The Ocean Kayak Trident 13 may have looked rigged and ready, but self-induced fouled lines cost me an hour of fishing. I was pissed.

I took bagful of frozen shrimp from the freezer and let it thaw on the counter. I woke up about 3 a.m., made sufficient coffee for a carafe and headed down the highway a shade after 4:00. It’s a pleasant enough ride down I-77 through Columbia to I-26 and on down to Charleston, which you skirt to the West and then finagle your way along Rte. 171 to an off the beaten path little road. I arrived in the parking lot (the bed of which is oyster shells), paid $2 to use put-in spot, and shoved off. But your dad makes so many, many stupid mistakes. I mis-handled the line on a reel and spent the next hour trying to undo the thing, cursing the whole time. It just cost so much precious time that could be better spent fishing. With no bites at the first stop (the pilings of a pier) I paddled a half mile away to another pier only to ram my kayak into the posts because I was unable to navigate through the strong tide. The mishap bent the eye guides on one rod and nearly broke the other rod. Two other fishermen watching me and must’ve thought ‘That guy is an idiot’ and they wouldn’t be far from right. The only catch there was a very, very small sea bass of some kind, so it was on to a sunken barge about 400 yards away. There was a pleasure boat anchored in the prime spot and they were catching all kinds of fish when I pulled up. But the bite for them stopped as soon as I anchored about 50 yards away and they left after an hour of catching nothing. I hopped over to their spot and all hell broke loose on my Harris Teeter shrimp.

This beauty was 23 inches - well inside the slot. But it was a day to catch and release.

This beauty was 23 inches – well inside the slot. But it was a day to catch and release.

I caught 17 -18 red fish in the space of 90 minutes and lost a few more. The smallest was 14 inches and the biggest 23 inches. If I hadn’t made some other poor mistakes (bad knots, fouled line, etc.) no doubt the total would’ve been more. It was so exciting. I was yelling and laughing at the same time. All those other frustrating trips were old news. Ellen, tell Tim his advice on the guide was the best money I’ve spent on this. Tim’s comments that it’s ‘bad karma’ to keep a fish came to mind, so I let all the beautiful beasts swim away and free. Reid, you’ve got to get your sorry carcass down here because we can rent a kayak and rods. It’s time you and I headed to The Barge. Let’s do this – soon.

Love, Dad

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A Guinness at my expense – gladly …

Now that I finally ended months of frustration and caught real fish, maybe it’s time Ellen and Reid saw their dad move on to some other sort of adventure.



November 17, 2014

Ellen/Reid: Well, all it took was one day to atone for my lack of fish from a kayak. We killed them yesterday morning in Folly Beach, South Carolina. All it took was a guide and some live and cut bait. Tim was right; I’d learn more in a half-day with a guide than I learned in all those disappointing fishless trips by myself. I reeled in five red fish and a dozen or so speckled trout. My friend Jody and his girlfriend Sondra from my golf group came along with me (she wisely stayed indoors) and Jody won both the first fish and largest fish bets (a Guinness at my expense). He caught a black drum about 6 pounds.

All it took for my friend Jody and me to finally catch fish on a raw day was some good guidance from Cap'n Tripp.

All it took for my friend Jody and me to finally catch fish on a raw day was some good guidance from Cap’n Tripp.

We persevered through a tough day of temps in the 40s and cold wind and steady rain the first three hours before sunshine broke out. We only kayaked about 1/2 mile and fished the ‘structure’ that Cap’n Tripp (of a fun group called Charleston Outdoor Adventures) pointed out; dock pilings and a sunken barge. He also espoused letting the bait sit. It was pretty much the opposite of what I’d been doing which was to slowly reel in the plastic bait along the grassy shorelines. We also let the reds set themselves on the hook since they ingest the bait and crush it in their throats. The speckled trout nibble and then you can set the hook. My biggest red was a couple pounds and the biggest trout was in that range, too. Jody and I kept several for a hoped-for feast later. The toughest part was filleting the catch once I got home. I muddled through it, wasting I don’t know how much precious meat and slicing a finger, but at last the fish are in the freezer until we can sauté it. I can’t wait to go again. Reid, we need to do this since I’ve got a somewhat better feel about what to do. We really need to get on the water. It’s so much fun.

The cold, wintry weather persists this morning. It’s raining now and feels just completely raw. The week looks bleary but in view of the white stuff you’ve had in the last few days, perhaps your old man shouldn’t bitch and moan so much. It’s all relative.

My diet went to hell in the space of a week. Why that is is beyond me. A bit of ice cream, a bag of chips, a steak, overeating and other food felonies played havoc with me this morning at the Y. The workout was just a slog, there’s no way to sugarcoat it. I don’t like falling off the wagon. They say the mind is strong but the flesh is weak. That certainly applies here.

The will is set to be notarized and signed tomorrow. It really is a relief to have it finished since it has been on the front burner for a while. Your uncle has reminded me of it from time to time. He didn’t want me to use an online service like legalzoom.com. He thought those didn’t offer all the options a neophyte like me would never know about. It turns out he was right. You’ll get copies soon.

Elle, I haven’t told many people about your and Tim’s good fortune. I’ll keep it under my hat for a while longer until it can be broadcast a little wider. Hope you’re feeling better. Hard for men to identify with what you’re going through.

Reid, I wouldn’t mind getting up to Chicago soon. Just toss out a few Friday – Sunday dates that fit for you and Liz. I promise to be good guest.

Consider this another plea to send ole’ Santa your Christmas lists. Emma and Tim’s, too. I can’t be trusted to buy stuff you’ll want without your guidance.

My guest list for Thanksgiving has grown to 9. I’m excited about it. The 13 lb. bird is in the freezer and most of the other trimmings have been bought. I arranged a couple of morning tee times so they could all play golf before coming over, weather permitting of course. But if it’s a day like the one we have right now, there won’t be much golf involved.

Love, Dad

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The Carolinas don’t need another ‘neck…

I’ve got more than my share of weaknesses and among them is daydreaming about what might be. How a truck entered that realm is beyond me. Thankfully, the urge has passed.


August 18, 2014

Ellen/Reid: The gardening experts suggested in the Saturday paper to trim the seed heads off the top of basil to keep the plant lively and growing. I dutifully stepped outside with a pair of scissors to do that but when I opened the front door a couple of bright yellow goldfinches sprang away from the seeds. I didn’t know that basil seeds were part of their diet so the idea of trimming was tabled indefinitely so they can finish off this food supply. I’m fine with that.

It’s really nice to finally get a bumper crop of tomatoes. It’s only taken eight years to reach this juncture in front porch gardening.

A nice crop of tomatoes is no big deal to friends in the Midwest, but to a front porch gardener, this is a bonanza beyond belief.

A nice crop of tomatoes is no big deal to friends in the Midwest, but to a front porch gardener, this is a bonanza beyond belief.

It probably has to do with choosing a container plant rather than another varietal intended for a ground-based garden. I mean, there are a lot of the red things. What it really means is that your old man is slow on the uptake. Why was this not done years sooner?

I’ve been getting junk mail addressed to ‘Davin Bradley.’ How in the world they bastardized my name, beyond a keystroke error, is not known. What is known is that the users swap or sell their lists because now the mistake comes from a variety of sources. Kind of funny in a way.

I took the ALS ice bucket challenge this weekend. The dousing came in the parking lot of a golf course on Saturday. A friend of mine did the videoing. It was sort of apt because every so often when ALS is in the news I think of a friend named Chuck Jipp in Des Moines who died of the disease when you both were very young. He was a great guy and was a rock during the whole ordeal. It’s no way to go. It seems very little progress has been made in a cure or treatment. Lots of people have been doing the thing. I probably should’ve issued the challenge to the two of you. Walked 36 holes on Saturday and came through in good order. Stayed hydrated and that is the real key although it wasn’t as hot as it can get in August in North Carolina. The afternoon outing for my golf group was very big (30 golfers) and we had a riot. The course, the Club at Irish Creek, is in Kannapolis and is as good as it gets for my bunch. It really was an exercise in herding cats because with that amount of people there’s always jockeying for the right pairing along with the usual bitching and moaning about it. Played half decent for a change.

My morning round was with a friend at the bank who, for the first time ever, broke 100. He played the best front nine of his life and almost totally collapsed on the back nine but managed to scrape out a 98. He doesn’t keep track in his mind and won’t add up things on his card as he goes along. He thought he’d missed it but his 44-54 held up. He was ecstatic. We’ll try it again Saturday morning. His next goal is to break 95.

This is how you know you’re developing redneck tendencies. It crossed my mind to trade out the Camry for a pick up truck. For some reason I perceived it would be easier to load the kayak into a truck that the sedan. But that idea went by the wayside pretty quickly upon the realization that some lifting of the boat would still need to occur. The Carolinas didn’t need another ‘neck.

I ran into a walker friend who said he’s going to host a party in September for all the walkers he comes across on his weekend morning sojourns. He’s a good guy named Fritz, a retired district court judge, and it will be a fairly eclectic group of folks. I see people and say hello but that’s about it. No one wants much to do with a guy who picks up trash. Except for Fritz.

Ellen, we may need to make a side trip to Mall of America over the Labor Day weekend. I can’t seem to find a replacement watch band for my Victorianox watch and I need to find something. Hauling out my iPhone to check the time isn’t as convenient as it could be. Going without a watch for 30 days now is the longest I’ve gone without something on my wrist for years and years.

The official retirement date for me is Friday, February 20. Hope they’ll keep me around that long. It’s time to get on with things.

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Fish 1, Dave 0…

If your diet of fish depended in large part on my abilities as an angler, you’d be better served by making a bee line to the frozen fish section for Mrs. Paul’s. My first foray into salt water was a bust. But I’m rarin’ to try again. I can’t wait.


June 30, 2014

Ellen/Reid: Reid, you’d better not be too scant on the details of the trip to Israel. You went for a wedding but that’s about the extent of the knowledge on this end. You’ll read this days after you return but I can’t wait for pictures and details of your latest adventure.What a traveler.

Cute photo of you and Emma with Nonnie, Ellen. That was very sweet. The Art Festival looked fun, too. Hopefully the weather was cooperative, which it hasn’t been all the time. I’ve still got a couple of artist catalogs laying around here from when I last attended. The plan was to buy a few objects for the house but never got around to it. Instead, my decor is almost entirely golf.

But after this weekend there may be a few fishing items strewn about. The kayak trip to Oak Island was just a fabulous time. It really was. There were a series of tactical blunders that led to no fish – as in zero – being boated, but that was almost beside the point. It was honestly a shake down cruise to get my feet wet in a kayak for the very first time. I put in at the public kayak ramp on 31st Street S.E. which made the getting in and out a whole lot easier. It was along a finger of the Intercoastal waterway which was probably 20 – 30 yards wide at the max. The Intercoastal itself was about five miles away according to one of the staff at the dock. She said most fisher-people put in closer to if not on the Intercoastal, and in hindsight (always the best teacher) I might have been better served and hooked more fish had I put in where she suggested. But I was bound and determined to do it my way and it worked out okay.

As NASA might say, we had ideal launch conditions for the Miss Emma at Oak Island. The kayak worked perfectly; the operator, not so much.

As NASA might say, we had ideal launch conditions for the Miss Emma at Oak Island. The kayak worked perfectly; the operator, not so much.

Unfortunately, no fish were harmed during the foray. There were lots of strikes but I must’ve been asleep at the switch when it came to hooking them. I did manage to hook a 14 – 15” flounder which must’ve been starving. But it wiggled off at the side of the kayak just as I was yelling “I caught a fish!” No matter. At least something was caught. It’s just a learning process. Of course, I was about one-third of the way on my drift with the tide when I struck up a conversation with a guy fishing just below his house. I asked what was biting (“a lot” he said) and what bait he was using, and once he saw my offering he opined that it was too large (almost all my bait was of the same size). So he told me to sit tight/tread water while he raced to his house and returned with a bag of Gulp baits and some lead head jigs. The jigs and the white plastic lures were much smaller shad imitations than I had, and after thanking him profusely, I re-started my drift and almost instantly started to get some serious bites. The problem was the fish bit off the tail portion of each of the baits he’d given me, and in no time I was reduced to using what I brought. Nibbles tailed off considerably after that so next time I’ll come armed with the right lures in size and quantity. That guy, Eric, taught me a lot.

That wasn’t the only thing I learned. Notably, I found out it’s easy to go with the tide but there’s straight hell to pay to paddle back against it. The first three hours were fun just moseying along and by the time I thought to head back, a little over three miles, the tide was against me in full force. I mean, I grossly underestimated it. It was exhausting to paddle against it. I counted progress in yards and the return trip was utter drudgery. But it was overcast and rainy, and I thoroughly enjoyed watching what lived on the banks. Once I dragged my carcass to the take out spot, it took me 90 minutes to stow everything and wrestle the Ocean Kayak Trident 13 atop the car. But I can tell you this: I can’t wait to put the boat in the water again, and very soon. It was everything I thought it would be and then some. I hesitate to say ‘Fish, watch out’ but I’ll bring a bag to keep one or two.

Love, Dad

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No turning back…

There are a couple of types of exhaustion; one from simply being tired, the other because you’ve burned the candle at both ends the over-activity spectrum. The latter variety has more appeal to me.


May 19, 2014

Ellen/Reid: There’s no turning back on the kayak now; I dropped $550 at REI for a roof rack and other gear. Now it’s on to the kayak itself (Ocean Kayak Trident 13 Angler Package). The plan is to order it today from Austin Kayaks. I’ve got to rig some sort of pulley system in the garage to suspend it from the ceiling. But I’m excited about the prospect of going after fish although there’s a ton to learn about rigging rods, what to take on board, water safety, etc. Reid, that photo of the giant redfish was from the pier adjacent to where we stayed in Oak Island, so we know the fish are there. Now it’s just going after them. I don’t think I’ll be in open water very much; mostly the inter-coastal waterway and other reedy areas until I find my sea legs, so to speak.

Kayak ordered. Check. Roof rack installed. Check. Next stop: Oak Island, North Carolina.

Kayak ordered. Check. Roof rack installed. Check. Next stop: Oak Island, North Carolina.

Ellen, tell Tim I’m sorry to renege on the Gregory pack. I was all set to ship it with your iPhone stuff but at the last second wondered if John would go to the Bridger next summer. If so, that pack would be helpful for him since I’ve got the new Osprey sitting on the first floor. All this year’s Bridger gear is laid out on the carpet. I ordered a new stove from Anti-Gravity Gear that is fueled by denatured alcohol. It means for the first time in nearly 45 years, I won’t take an MSR stove along on a trip. That is a huge deal for me. That saves about 6 pounds of fuel since only 10 oz. of denatured alcohol is needed. Tom and I had breakfast on Saturday, and he’s just a whiz at this stuff. He has us going against the typical flow of hikers once we get to the Cirque of the Towers. That means we’ll see fewer people and we’ll have a better choice of campsites. We’ll be above timberline a lot of the time.

The notion of other non-Ellen/Reid/Emma travel is wearing on me. I’ve come to the conclusion Continue reading

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