Saturday, December 28, 2013

Going on an Adventure

I leave tomorrow on a few month long adventure. Not sure how accessible internet will be so I decided to publish all the post I have been working on, despite most of them not having the photos or videos added in yet. Sorry for the lower quality of post.


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Queen City Mayor's Cup, Buffalo Yacht Club

While I grew up sailing on Lake Erie, it has been a long time since I did any racing. This did not keep me from jumping on the opportunity to join the crew a boat racing in the Queen City Mayor's Cup. This is one of the Buffalo Yacht Clubs international races. Starting in Buffalo, NY and ending at Point Abino, ON.

The race is a two day regatta. Saturday boats race from Buffalo to Point Abino, and Sunday they race back. Saturday's race was plagued by light winds and only one of the fleets had boats finish within the 4 hour time limit. Sunday had slightly better winds. and our boat was able to take first in our fleet.


Castle Dome 2, Second attempt second failure to summit.

A year later, and Castle Dome still undefeated. I set off on my second attempt at a summit of Castle Dome sure I could make it. Unfortunately once again it was not to be. I set of after breakfast, and had an easy drive to the wash. Once I arrived I was surprised to find that I was the only one there, the weather was perfect for hiking, clear and 60s.

I set off up the wash as we did last year. We followed the big stone arrow up the second wash to the right and directly at the mountains peak. The was was hard to walk in so we shifted slightly to the right following scattered rock pillars. There is really no trail after you leave the big wash, you just have to pick what you find to be the easiest way.

Once we reached the rock face near the peak is where things went wrong. After exploring the immediate  area it seemed like the trail looped counter clockwise around the peak, which appears to be sloped on your right as opposed to vertical rock faces on your left. This is wrong. The "trail" traces the face to the left, clockwise, through the saddle of the pillar and then up to the summit.

We made our way difficultly to the right. What appeared to be the slope turned out to be much steeper than expected and did not make for easy climbing. We continued counterclockwise as until we reached a cliff and a ridge line. At this point we realized there was no easy way up on this side of the peak, but it was 3pm and to late to hike all the way around to the other side. From there we made our way back a bit to a spot that looked climbable. The loose nature of the desert rock made for some pretty scary climbing but we were encouraged that we were going the right way because we were still seeing rock piles. As it turns out we were just not the only ones to go the wrong way. After climbing to what I believe was about 200 vertical feet short of the summit we decided we had to turn back.

On the way back we searched for a better route down, but since we were so off "trail", nothing looked good. Most of the seemingly promising ways down quickly ended in cliffs we were unwilling to down climb. Defeated we worked our way back down into the wash that we struggled up, making our slow way. We hit the main wash right at the arrow we turned at and headed back for the car. By the time we sat in the car the sun was set. We had made it just in time.

I am not sure whether or not I will attempt the summit a 3rd time. Now it seems there are no more wrong turns to make, but I am not sure if it is worth is.


Mountain Bike Noble Canyon, CA

An internet search, almost two years ago, of Mountain Biking near San Diego identified Noble Canyon as the best trail in the area. Since then it had ranked high on my to do list. Unfortunately for almost two years I was unable to find anyone to join me, and I was unwilling to attempt it alone.

I spent some time this summer properly introducing Jeff to mountain biking and by August he was ready to attempt Noble Canyon with me, or so we thought. Noble Canyon is a fun tough trail, and neither of us would have a clean run of the 10+ miles down. I manage a nice flip that left a knot on my elbow seen in the below video.

We each found ourselves catapulted off our bikes more than once, and my chain broke twice. The first time it broke I was able to recover both halves of the master link, but the second time I wasn't so lucky. This resulted in me riding and walking almost 5 miles with no chain.

Noble Canyon truly deserves it's title as the best trail. It offers a little bit of everything. For me the best parts are the flowy parts through the trees along the creek. They are fast smooth and have just enough switchbacks to keep you on your toes. The rock gardens are tough without a full suspension DH bike, but most of them can be rode if you take your time.

I managed to make it back to Noble Canyon. This time we had a bigger group and due to a late start were racing the sunset. The trail is much more fun when you have a chain the whole way. The mile or so of slight uphill moves a whole lot faster.


October, HMCS Yukon SCUBA

I finally made it underwater in San Diego! I joined Power SCUBA on the Marissa dive boat for three tanks of diving goodness starting with the HMCS Yukon followed by Lazy Daze and Seven Fathoms.

The conditions were near perfect for diving, aside form the cold. 50 feet of visibility and almost no current. The cold was the main thing keeping me out of the water for so long, since most of my dives have been tropical. I don't yet own any 7mm cold water gear. Other than my gloves being too small, the wetsuit i rented did a pretty good job of keeping the cold at bay, but I definitely felt it.

At Lazy Daze, I found a dive knife as a explored the bottom. Then during our safety stop, a huge Mola Mola swam past and my partner was lucky enough to capture the video below.

My luck continued at 7 Fathoms and while my dive partners searched for lobster, I spotted a GoPro on the sea floor.

Captured this video with a head mounted GoPro, moving from stern to bow and back again.

Video of me chasing a huge Mola Mola, captured by my dive partner.