Welcome to Northern New England Touring Kayaker!
Whether you enjoy day trips on our lakes or week long adventures along the coast, we all share one thing in common; our love for paddling the waters of Northern New England.
Safety on the water; PLB's and Handheld Marine Radios
Safety on the water should always be your number one priority and paddling off the coast can present different challenges than paddling on your local pond or lake. Many paddlers count on whistles or their cell phones for rescue in the event of an unforeseen emergency. When paddling along the coast, those may not work. Cell phone coverage is limited along many areas of the Maine Coast and a whistle is only good if you are in within range of another boat or paddler. But what happens if you are not and you do encounter an unforeseen emergency? I am a strong advocate for learning the methods of self rescue, but there are two rather inexpensive devices that may save your life if self rescue fails. They are handheld VHF marine radios and Personal Locator Beacons (aka PLB's). If you spend time paddling the coastline, you should consider purchasing one or both of these devices.
First and foremost, neither one of these devices will be of any help if they are floating away in the event of a capsize. Make sure they are securely attached, and accessible, to either your kayak or your PFD. Attaching them to your PFD is the preferred place in the event that you are separated from your kayak.
Handheld VHF marine radios will vary in cost, features and wattage. It is best to select one that not only has all the international emergency channels, but also one that has all the NOAA weather channels pre-programmed in to it. A good handheld VHF marine radio will cost around $100, but it is a devices that should be carried by anyone that paddles off the coast..
PLB's or personal location beacons should only be used when all other methods of self rescue have failed. When activated, these devices will send an emergency signal identifying the registered user and their location via GPS positioning to a satellite. The satellite in turn, will relay the distress call and the location to all Coast Guard and emergency response teams in the area. ACR, a leader in PLB technology, has several models which range in price from $400 to $600. While these devices will aid in rescue; common sense and knowledge are your best asset for safe paddling. Know the waters you going to paddle, be prepared for the unexpected and always have a float plan.
Congratulations Snapple! Snapple was chosen as March "Pet of the Month" by Planet Gizmo and has also been voted as one of the two "April Dogs of the Month" for The Dog Bonery! For additional photo's, click on the picture above or here to view her page at The Dog Bonery's web site!
Earth Day April 22, 2009
Over 1 billion people world wide are expected to participate in Earth Day activities this year. 2009 will mark the 39th anniversary of Earth Day, which was founded by Senator Gaylord Nelson on April 22, 1970 to raise awareness for our responsibility to this planet.
Help celebrate Earth Day 2009 by volunteering in clean up projects, planting trees and other environmentally focused projects in your local community. Continue the celebration throughout the year by making every day Earth Day; recycle, reduce your energy use and use environmentally friendly products and services.
For more information about how you can help locally, visit the Earth Day Network's website by clicking here.
Maine Island Trail Association
Do you love paddling and camping along the Maine coast? Would you like to help protect the land along the coast for future generations to enjoy? Now is the time to either renew your membership or join in the fight to save the Maine coastline by supporting MITA.
This year there are 15 new sites along the 350+ mile trail, which now stretches from the Maine/NH border all the way to Machias Bay.. By joining Mita, you will not only be helping to protect Maine's coastline, you will also be able to enjoy access to private sites, have opportunities to volunteer and receive discounts at local retailers, outfitters and guides. For more information about the Maine Island Trail Association, visit their website at http://mita.org or call them at 207-761-8225.
Help prevent the spread of invasive water plant species
In 2007, Didymosphenia Geminata, or Rock Snot, was discovered in the upper portion of the Connecticut River of NH, along with several rivers in the North East Kingdom of Vermont.. This was the first time that this invasive species has been found in the North East. It was most likely transported here, from the south, by either a boat or some fishing gear. Didymosphenia Geminata, Purple Loosestrife and Variable Milfoil are the top three threats to Northern New England waters right now, but there are many more out there. The best way to prevent the spread of invasive plants, is to learn to identify them and to clean your boat and gear thoroughly after spending the day out on the water. Here are a few simple steps that you can do to prevent the spread of invasive aquatic plants; especially if you have been in waters known to harbor Didymosphenia Geminata.
1. Remove all visible clumps of algae and plant material from your boat and from anything else that has been exposed to the water. 2. Clean all of your equipment using hot tap water and lots of soap; this includes your paddle. 3. Soak your clothing, boots, gloves and any other "soft" items in hot tap water and lots of soap for at least 30 minutes.
For more information about invasive plant species in NH, click here to visit UNH Cooperative Extension's web page.