Monday, September 28, 2009

Inaugural NCC2009

Just returned from the inaugural WaterTribe North Carolina Challenge--more to come on that.

I didn't padde, though took all the gear, just in case. Still getting over a rather bad cold and didn't want to make it worse. Hard move.

But the photo above, taken by Doug-from-just-up-the-road sums up the true WaterTribe spirit. It took JarHead 90 minutes to get off the beach at the race start, but Marines *never* give up.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Nearly on the road again...

Nearly a year ago, we bought a 1970 Shasta Compact--FliesWithKiwiBird decided that she'd be happy to go on kayaking trips and the like, if she didn't have to wait from a small stuffy tent.

We bought the wee Shasta, complete with original wings (there's an entire new language in this community), from a chap in Greensboro, who very kindly delivered it for us. Yesterday, after Doug up the road had replaced the wheel bearings, I took it for its first spin, with the WeeOne fast asleep in the back seat. Doug followed from behind, taking the photo and checking out for alignment, tracking and the like. Happily to report, it was a dream to tow and everything looked just fine from the rear.

I've managed to get a bit of work done on the trailer, or caravan as we would say in NZ, but there's still quite a bit to do to get it "just right." The inside walls and ceiling had been painted with cream non-skid deck paint (we don't throw those kind of parties), which skinned one alive as one reclined. So I lined everything with a 2-3mm foam-type tan liner you'd see in plush cars--what a difference that makes, plus a huge scrub down everywhere else.

We threw out the old pretty rank squabs and bought new 4" foam--can't believe how much that stuff costs! We've covered those with sewn sheets to start with, until FliesWithKiwiBird finds the time to sew the real covers with the fabulous fabric we have hiding in a wardrobe. But the new curtains do need to be ready by Wednesday, as we're off to Cedar Island, out on North Carolina's Pamlico Sound, for the inaugural WaterTribe North Carolina Challenge 2009 (NCC2009).

Monday, September 14, 2009

Search on for Amundsen

Veteran Kiwi expedition leader Rob McCallum is leading a team to find the submerged plane of famed Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen (above). Amundsen was aboard a Latham 47 flying boat (below) when the aircraft disappeared over the sea on its way to the Arctic island of Spitsbergen in 1928.

On 18 June 1928, Amundsen joined a rescue operation to save another competitor, the Italian aviator Umberto Nobile. Nobile had crashed his airship Italia on a return voyage from the North Pole, and he and his surviving crew members found themselves drifting helplessly on pack ice. Amundsen boarded a Latham 47 flying boat along with a team of French Air Force pilots to try to reach them.

McCallum and his team reckon the Latham 47 should have been about 19 nautical miles south of Bear Island when the plane's last radio message was picked up at 1845 on 18 June. Using an underwater robot, the equipment can get down to 20cm resolution on the sea bed. And it'll have to be precise as all that's probably left of the plywood-built plane is its engines.

More here.