kayak train

what is a kayak train? That is when you tie a number of kayaks together bow to stern with ropes and have someone ie: my husband, affectionately known around Lucas Boatworks as Crazy Steve, pull the kayaks down the river and back! Here we are yesterday . . .


Dave Lucas says, "We have the record well in hand for the International Briggs and Stratton powered old timey African Queen type boats towing a string of kayaks and canoes award." He is referring to our boat Chelsea, that pulled the kayaks. Yes, it has a lawn mower Briggs & Stratton engine and was hand built at Lucas Boatworks. You can see me sitting in it below as we are readying to tie the kayaks to the boat and take off down the river.



That is our friend Red Sears relaxing in the front, he was the first kayak behind Chelsea. Steven moved the boat up in front of him when it was time to go. As you see the kayaks stretching around the corner . . . there were 28 boats in all. we think it's a world's record kayak train!

More from Dave Lucas: It was a great day and something we'll talk about for a while. Ernie and Donna were in Beauty Berry the safety boat and had to rescue two fallouts on the way back home, I think the beer may have gotten to them. This doesn't need much comment except how we got this long train hooked up and off the beach. You'll see in some of the early pictures a guy walking out across the lagoon; that's me. I started with the first boat and started walking out into the wind and as they came off the beach the next one was tied on. It worked very well, the line was pretty easy to pull. We figure that this train of boats was about 750 feet long. I made it out to the sand bar where I tied on to Chelsea with Steve and Lenna and the dogs inside. I waited on the bar for my kayak to come by; some of the gang gave me beers for my effort.

Simon Lew took a video! He was closer near the back of the kayak train and had a totally different view than I did in the boat pulling all the kayaks. The direct link to the video in case you do not see it embedded is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nu7-aH_3RLA. He has speeded it up a bit and added music so it's quite fun.



Here is what my husband wrote about it: Prior to this trip Dave and company had a total of 17 boats towed by Chelsea (which Lenna and I own now). This record breaking trip was planned by Dave and we had no idea how many people would show up on Saturday morning. We spent Friday cleaning all the available kayaks and canoes at Lucas Boatworks, which was about 21 boats including three of my canoes. On Saturday morning we got people showing up from hours away and many brought their own boats. The tide was supposed to be high and a half foot over normal by noon but at 10:30am it was still kinda low. This was because we had a 15 to 20 knot north wind and wind can make a big difference on tides around the Tampa Bay area. We decided to launch anyway, though. Logistics was a big problem – how to get 29 people in 28 boats and keep it all under control. In normal non-windy conditions it wouldn't have been a problem but I couldn't keep Chelsea pointed in the right direction while they were tying boats on and that’s when Dave decided to just drag the sting of boats across the bay. He’s a genius – it worked really well. Once we were tied on and moving the plan was to drag all the boats right past Dave and he'd hop into his from the shallow sand bar, but the boats weren't behaving like we've been used to in the past. With only a dozen boats behind Chelsea they follow the leader perfectly and the Chelsea pilot can make incredibly sharp turns and the kayaks follow the same path – not cutting the corner at all. But with 28 kayaks the first 10 boats got dragged whichever direction Chelsea steered. Dave was able to get into his boat OK but I realized (as the Chelsea pilot) that we had a problem. The original plan was to go all the way down the Braden River to the Rt. 64 bridge, then turn and come up the other channel through some really cool mangrove channels. It was obvious to me we wouldn't be able to make the turns without dragging people through mangrove branches. Also, with 28 kayaks towing Chelsea at full throttle could only pull them at about 1 knot. The original trip plan was 3 miles down and 3 miles back so that would take about 7 days. After going about 1 mile down river I did a turn back at the widest part of the river and 2 people tipped over just after the turn. I had to slow down to let them try to get back into their boats and the wind pushed the train into the mangroves. We got it all straightened out but it was slightly hairy for a bit. Also, during the turn you can see that we totally blocked the entire river. One boat was coming down river but thank god the operator was experienced and not drunk and he stopped way far away from us. Dave calls me Crazy Steve but he’s the crazy person that comes up with this stuff. Very fun day though.

Probably more than you ever needed to know about a kayak train, but . . .  it was unusual and fun and a little scary being in the boat pulling everyone! I just had to document it even though I am really tired and have to get to bed! One more thing, if you are interested, I have some still photos up here in a flickr album that give a more close up look. Enjoy! This kayak train was really just for fun, like a boat "messabout" that Lucas Boatworks often organizes.

Nia training is good, but lots of movement and learning and the days are from 8-6:30. I am not used to that! more on that later, take care, lenna

Adventure is worthwhile in itself.
   ~ Amelia Earhart

making a kayak paddle

My husband Steven has found great satisfaction since moving to Florida by taking the woodworking skills he learned from my dad . . . and then applying them to making something he knows well and loves: kayak paddles! Steven recently sent what he described as "the best paddle he ever made" up north to the wife of a very dear friend of ours, Garth. His wife Nora is the kayaker in their family! Garth was the best man at our wedding in 2005 and Steven & I have both known him forever. I was just 14 years old when I met Garth, and Steven and I originally met in 1972 because of Garth! Here’s what Nora had to say after using Steven's handmade paddle for the first time . . . the direct link to the video is here if you don’t see it below: http://youtu.be/h6nSq1rrS_A

 
An enthusiastic testimonial on one of my husband's super lightweight kayak paddles. Steve Deming's paddles are handmade from cypress wood in a modified Greenland style with long, narrow, tapering blades. The paddles are all hand-shaped in Bradenton, Florida at Lucas Boatworks. They are also very lightweight, weighing only between 20 and 28 oz.
 

We so enjoyed received this short video from them!!! When Nora speaks of the paddle being effortless, I believe she is talking about how lightweight the paddle is, making it easy to power her boat even in winds and not get tired. Steve's paddles weigh between 20 and 28 oz, which is very light weight, but he also makes them strong.

Here is Steven in action, making a paddle in his shop . . .

He uses skills my dad taught him . . .

 yes, I gave him my bone folder for this part! He's preparing to airbrush . . .

I have put together a series of videos sharing his airbrushing and finishing process. He’s actually painting the paddle he sent to Nora in these videos. Links are below":

Part one: getting started airbrushing

Part 2: more of the process (many layers)

Part 3: finishing the paddle

I filmed and produced these videos at Steven's request and you can sometimes hear me in the background!  It was fun to do and I learned a lot about filming & editing. Below is the paddle rack Steven built outside his tent shop at Lucas Boatworks. My dad would be proud! In fact, that is my dad's John Deere tractor. Steven uses it all the time.

My dad’s John deere Tractor

My dad’s John deere Tractor

Always do right. This will gratify some of the people, and astonish the rest.
— Mark Twain

a sunday drive

A sunday drive, out in our boat chelsea. It's docked on the davits (so it hangs out of the water) at my mom's house on the bayou . . . A full view of this boat hanging is here.


Chelsea was hand-built by the guys at Lucas Boatworks here in Bradenton, FL. It uses a riding lawn-mower engine for it's power and since we go so slow, Steven says it only "sips" gas.


 Steven is using a baster -yes, like a turkey baster, to flush the engine with water 
and get the cooling system running!

 Asia is ready to go! It looks like she might be volunteering to steer . . . click on 
any photo for details. Yes, that is a hand-built steering wheel.


Miss Chloe, so happy to be along for the ride.
She is the star of my blipfoto journal today . . . with a different, beautiful close-up.


I love this high deck built for looking out over the bayou. The silver palms are one of my favorites too.

 Some kids on shore told us they lost their ball in the water -could we go get it for them? At first we didn't understand over the sound of the motor (put-put-put) but when we saw this orange ball floating downstream in the water, we understood! Steven steered the boat, grabbed the ball . . . .


 Yeah!! Thank you!!

 me & chloe


 headin down another bayou . . .


 love the reflections . . .

 and the sunshine . . .

 Headin back to the dock at mom's . . .

 I really enjoyed this time "away" with steven . . .

The initials on Chelsea's flag above, stand for Florida Gulf Coast Traditional Small Craft Association. The boats hand built at Lucas boatworks are traditional small craft. Steven has been helping with the finishing work for many of these beautiful boats, but his passion at the moment is crafting dripless, lightweight kayak paddles. As for me, I have been creating a few projects for Gauche Alchemy as I will be their guest designer for the month of April! I need to wait to share those with you here, but in due time you can see them on the Gauche Alchemy blog and also here. My paper and fabric bead swap just ended Saturday and soon, I will be exchanging the 340 beads (or so) that came in!!! There is a second part of the swap where I will give everyone a chance to create something with their swapped beads and then share a link to a photo of it on the creative swaps blog. I will let you know when that happens as it should be really fun & inspiring! I am continuing with my abstract art class on Monday afternoons through April . . . with the beach traffic/Spring Break it is had to get there sometimes, but I made it just fine last week. The class is out on a barrier island, past some prime beaches. I just leave early now! It seems like there is a lot going on with me but sometimes I don't get to write about it . . . I do post a photo and short journal entry most everyday to my blipfoto journal, so please visit me there anytime. Hope you all are doing well!


sunday goodness

Sunday morning my husband got a phone call. It was kayak Kathy, wondering where the paddle that Steven made for her granddaughter was? whoops! He had brought it to the Botanical Gardens as part of the handmade boat exhibit on Saturday and it was still in his car! No problem to run down there quick with it as the family was already at Lucas Boatworks ready to go out on the river. Below is a photo of the paddle reunited with the granddaughter. She's in a kayak handmade especially for her by her grandfather. Gorgeous!

The look on her face is probably because her grandparents were trying to get her to give up the paddle Steven made for her and she really, really did not want to!! I think she loved the purple & pink Lumiere paint job ; ) When Steven made this paddle it was estimated how long a kayak paddle for a 4 year old should be . . . and this one was a little too short. It is currently being modified.

Here is Dave Lucas checking out the paddle at the Festival where both he and Steven showed off their handmade boats. 

Top: A kid-size kayak paddle
Bottom: A mangrove canoe paddle
(Both painted with my Lumiere paint!)

Later in the afternoon, I stopped by Lucas Boatworks. Who did I find in the Tiki Hut? Seated L-R: Dave Lucas, Stan Tyrel, and my husband Steve -or crazy steve- according to Dave! He calls him that for building a schooner out of an 11 1/2ft wee lassie canoe! 

Stan built this beautiful little boat, including the sail.This is a puddle duck racer or PDR and it's a sailboat that anyone can build inexpensively in their garage. They are built for races and family fun, but you can just enjoy sailing it, as these guys did on Sunday afternoon. I took a video of Stan sailing it Sunday: http://youtu.be/NHZT_JqKfPo 
Dave Lucas is doing the commentary and there is a cameo appearance at the end by Steven!
Stan gave it a great name. Remember it is a puddle duck and he named it the "Florida Quacker"! 

Steven photographing Dave Lucas trying it out

Dave *likes* to make it tip!!!

That is Dave's wife Helen, Stan, Dave (behind Steve in the red shirt), Steven and me on the dock at Lucas Boatworks. Helen had picked up Karen Eckmeier - a quilt artist from Connecticut (!! our old home state) at the airport to do a couple of workshops at Helen's quilt guild. Karen took this photo, then sent it to me this morning labeled, "Relaxing, Florida style"  : ) 
Check  out Karen's site linked to her name above, I look forward to exploring it more. 

sunny Florida wishes to you & yours! 


my family is visiting!

my son Dallas and my daughter in law Liz . . . 
we went to my Mom's house today to visit and to take our boat out.

Tina and my oldest son Decklin ; ^ )

our boat Chelsea, hand built at Lucas Boatworks.
Larger photos if you click on them!

Chelsea is run on a lawn mower engine!!! (by Captain Steve)

Off we go! 

It was a beautiful day for this . . . 

hand built at Lucas boatworks

me and my hubby : )

Our "kids"


Back at Oma's, the sweet oranges were calling my boys . . . 
Steven & Dallas hang from the branch while Decklin 
uses the orange picker to get some down! 

Dallas was successful as well! YummY! 

Later at home after dinner we had a fire in the 
moon & stars fire pit

It was great to just hang out and talk

we are happy!! 

 -the kids got here late last night and are here until tuesday. so if I am scarce, that's why.
They do all have computers or ipads though, so I am sure I will get here some!!

xo best to you and yours



art, nia, paper beads

It has been busy for me as of late, which is good, especially as I've been busy with creative things. I took some Nia classes over the weekend with 2 wonderful Black Belt Trainers, Winalee Zeeb and Caroline Kohles. On Saturday there was a 2 hour Elegant Elements (earth, air, fire, water) playshop, and on Sunday I took a regular Nia class with both trainers teaching. Winalee and Caroline are awesome and in Sarasota to run a Blue Belt Nia training with classes this whole week hosted by Nia Instructor Kelly Atkins at Sara Dance!

Saturday 01-07-12

Sunday 01-08-12 with Winalee on the far left

It was a great experience and fun to dance with my new friends I have found locally through Nia. This morning I will be back to my Nia classes on the beach with Kathy Oravec. Last week was too windy and cold for me to attend, can you imagine? It was in the 40's!

My husband Steven is making a paddle for stand-up paddle boarding for my friend Cheryl. He's made some lightweight kayak paddles and was inspired to try a stand-up paddle after talking to Cheryl about it. On Saturday after Nia, Cheryl and I stopped at Lucas Boatworks on the way home.

Chreyl LOvEs her lightweight custom made paddle!

We went out in Starfish with the electric motor


Cheryl & Chloe - too cute!

Steven with the electric motor - it's rechargable!

Yesterday was my art class at the Longboat Key center for the Arts. I had been taking photos with my instructors approval . . . and yesterday he asked me if I was filming?? I said, no -just taking pictures so far, but I certainly could!! So, I filmed one of his demos, then shared it with him and he said yes -posting it would be great! I will embed it here, but if you cannot see it below, use this link view it here on You Tube. It is fun and only 3 mins long.



  The new header on my blog came from a creative exercise I did in class with Bill last week, I wrote about it here on this post. Besides taking this class, I am preparing to teach a collage class, Collage for the Soul - locally here on Anna Maria Island! This will be mostly Nia students who found out what I do and requested a class . . . I had forgotten how fun and exciting it can be to prepare for a class like this! It has been a little over 2 years since I've taught class in person (the last time was when we lived in Connecticut!) and I am so looking forward to it on February 1st!

I have been working on creating paper beads and learning more about them . . . I am not ready to announce the swap yet but soon! Some of my beads so far . . . .


This swap will be fun! Stay tuned .  .  . 

Hope you are making time for something creative, yes?? 






Tour of Lucas Boatworks

While my sister and her family are visiting from Connecticut, we wanted them to visit Lucas Boatworks so they could see it first hand. We originally thought we'd put kayaks in the water, but the weather was not that great . .. it was okay, but not really "let's get out in the water" type of weather. But, I took Kathy and her husband Dan and their two boys - ages 17 and 20, out to meet up with Steven there yesterday and they still enjoyed, even without the actual boating!

Kathy, Dan & Ian with Steven down on  the dock- Asia too!
(love the Spanish moss -love that dock!)

Steven with Howard's melonseed sailboat, almost done.
There is always to much to see in the pole barn!

my nephew Ian, Dan and Steven walking by Wally's melonseed

Kathy checking out the weight of one of Steven's handmade kayak paddles -it's very light!

The new paddle he is working on for a Stand-up paddle board

Steven showing us some of the cedar he cut to create the paddle

My friend Cheryl stopped by, yay!! She brought her stand-up paddle and 2 other ones
for Steven to check out. This is his first stand-up paddle design, so sweet of her!
(Dave Lucas watches Steven's antics and says, "crazy steve")

3 different paddles for stand-up boarding - all different
I will share with you the prototype Steven is making for Cheryl when he's finished!

My nephew Dale talking  to dave Lucas about the boat he is building

Then dale, kathy and I went in for a tour of Helen's quilt room!!
Look at the view she has of the Braden River.... mmmmm!

Helen explaining about a collaborative quilt she made, The Fisherman.

She even took it out and showed it to us -beautiful and award winning!!

I could not resist taking this photo - batiks are my favorite fabrics.

This is the most beautiful quilt that Helen made with batiks

Helen says this quilt is Dave's favorite -so cool!

Steve and Dave take Starfish out of the water since we decided not to go out . . . .

Dave helps, driving my dad's old tractor.
Everyone, Kathy, Dan & both nephews were so pleased 
to see dad's tractor still in use. 

Later we came home and I opened the present Cheryl gave us:
a Christmas Cracker!
complete with crown!!
: ) a happy boxing day for us in Florida, 
I hope all is well with you and yours, lenna

If you are new to  this blog or just want to explore - try this!
Click on any picture to read and see more.



where does the time go?

I returned home Monday night from my travels to Connecticut to see my sister and visit with our families -her boys, my boys, extended family and friends. Now it's Saturday already! Geeze. Tuesday morning I was up bright and early to drive to Siesta Key for one of my Nia classes. It was very windy that day and the surf was loud but we still had a great class none-the-less. I dressed in layers and peeled them off.

A windy day on Siesta Key in Florida

I could not resist snapping a photo during class; what wonderful movement.

Below, I love these pen shells, I think they're called. I pick them up 
all the time (to use in my art) and feel like a regular magpie!

I joined Facebook this week, or was that late last week before traveling? Doing that has kept me really busy - learning how to use it. My account is here and I have started a creative lenna page which is somehow connected. I have not really figured it all out yet. I resisted joining Facebook for many years until I started doing Nia and going to Conscious Movement and Gratitude dancing -all here in Florida. If I wanted to receive announcements for upcoming events for these things, Facebook was how the word was spread. So I caved, and so far, it does not seem as bad as I thought it might be, so it's all good! 
On Wednesday, I took the dogs to De Soto Memorial for a walk and we spied a beautiful white egret.

Whoops!! That's our dog Asia, of course! 
Although, Steven often tells people she's part white egret as a joke : )


On Thursday, I captured some beautiful butterflies that love the flowers in my 
front yard . . .  click for a closer look.


Steven and I visited my mom on Thursday and took some photos of mom's pup, Loki.
He's a white standard poodle and really large for his age. He's only 6 months and teething!


wow!

Friday, Nia on Longboat Key beach was on my schedule and it was a beautiful day. There is really something to be said for moving barefoot on the beach, watching the birds as you stretch up towards the clouds, moving all your muscles in the wind, feeling strong and powerful . . . and we even saw two dolphins jumping out of the water as we were dancing yesterday.

The temps are still warm enough to swim if you are brave! 
Yes, there are seasons in Florida. Right now the temps are in the 50's - 80's.

My instructor on the beach, Kathy Oravec.
I can't say enough good things about this program, Nia.


Friday afternoon Steven wanted to bring me over to Lucas Boatworks and show me what they have been working on . . . look at this tiny Kayak being made from a kit!
It is for Kayak Kathy's 4 year old granddaughter, Izzy. 
Steven volunteered to make Izzy a wee kayak paddle.



my stamped coffee table is being refinished; I stamped this in 1998. 
Steven is giving it a fresh coat of epoxy to make it shine again.

I just loved how this wood shaving on his work table looked!

Steven showing me how he is shaping the kayak paddles he's making with my dad's tools.

I have a sketchbook to work in (two actually) and some colorful ATCs and luscious 4x4's are waiting to be made. I will be getting to all of this soon I know. In the meantime, I keep taking photographs and dancing! 
My very best to you, lenna

gratitude


yesterday i celebrated my gratitude for all i have and will recieve . . .


first, by joining my new friends in Sarasota I've met through Nia to dance on the beach.

It seems that many people who live in Florida celebrate their Thanksgiving by going to the beach with family and friends. One woman who stopped by and danced with us told us it was their tradition to get up early and cook, then come to the beach for the day and have dinner later. Some people even cooked their Thanksgiving dinner in the pavilions right there next to the beach! 


football on the beach was big . . . 


but I enjoyed dancing barefoot in the sun best of all.


we received both looks of curiosity and big smiles . . . 

 

what a wonderful way to start my day.

I traveled back home, 45 minutes but a quiet drive and prepared for my second Thanksgiving, a feast at Lucas Boatworks, where my husband is one of the 5 full-time builders. It was amazing!

Steven made mashed potatoes

This is held in the open pole barn where they build boats -all cleaned up!



 happy thanksgiving to Chloe and Asia too! 

 Dave Lucas, Steven and Austin

Austin is working in Steve's shop making a guitar with some of my dad's wood!

Austin has a nickname, "wood" and a tattoo of the same!

Always something fun going on at Lucas boatworks : )


we are grateful.

I am off to fly to Connecticut and visit my sister and family. Both of my sons and their wives/partners will come down to my sister's house from Boston - I can't wait! wishing you the best, lenna 






pirates and boats

I'm dressed as a 'wench' and enjoying the Lucas' dock on the Braden River

A few weeks ago Dave Lucas of Lucas Boatworks in Bradenton, Florida declared in his email newsletter, "Saturday, August 20 is Tiki Hut Wench day. Come on out about noon, wear appropriate garb, bring food and your skanky old pirate man if you want to. Little boats of all kind will be provided." Since Lucas Boatworks is where my old pirate man spends most of his time, we attended yesterdays festivities dressed up appropriately. It was fun and I enjoyed taking photos. You may have already seen one of Steven as Johnny Depp on my blipfoto -here are lots more! Click on any photo for a much larger version.

Steven is wearing a scarf I stamped and painted a while ago.
He chose it himself when looking for pirate garb!

Gail, Dave Lucas (our host) and Red Sears enjoying a mango

Asia and Chloe dressed for the occasion too!

Gail and Bill, appropriately attired

Steven and I made his beard extensions by braiding
wax linen, adding beads and gluing them on his beard!

Dave and Helen Lucas live on a beautiful section of the Braden River

They build boats here! Asia and Steven wheeling the
Puddleduck racer that Stan built down to the water.

Yes, it has removable wheels!

Asia is supervising these pirates ; ^ )

And the wheels are off! 

ready to go!

Dave in front, Stan sailing away . . .

The Peterborough canoe my father made

a beautiful day


enjoying the dock

I always enjoy Helen's flowers . . . 

Asia does not want to be left behind!!

I took off my pirate garb, donned a bathing suit and off we went!

Dave went swimming in his clothes!! 

Shiver me timbers and yo ho-ho! Or should I say, "Me 'n' these here scurvy scallywags drug our sorry keesters out t'th'ship'n'had us a grand great adventuaaarrr! We almost had t'keelhaul Mad Connie f'r gettin inter th' grog behind our backs!"


Thanks, dave!