Thursday, August 30, 2012

Follow the boys down the AuSable

We start the 116 mile run on Friday at 3pm, Spot links on the right.

Those that will have a SPOT on board: Ben - Jack - Bob - Mark

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Ponder this paddler poopers

 Dogs, black powder and Armadillo welcome on the Muskegon .

Ok since I opened my mouth and have been making a lot of phone calls here is what should work for most for a laid back trip. (yea you still gonna have to paddle some.)

 Leave Sunday from Cadillac Rd. Finish Friday, Saturday at somewhere around Rodgers Dam. You should have at least a Gazetteer or be able to Map Quest this. (96 or so miles.)

We could go on another 35 miles to Newago but this would require three portages one that is described in the book as a mile long. (I am carrying a lawn chair and wine.) This trip on the river should allow most all of us to finish the run with no portages.

Those that are more inclined to a full on adventure have at it and tie in with tough ones. (better know what ya getting into.) Yes there will be some tough section but just work thru it. Mileage per day will be higher than a float trip and harder on this river but lower than a full event.

I really want to do this with people I know and want to meet others and just have an easy trip with a lot of laughs. Jack and Mark will be with us for part of this and anyone wishing to go hard with them should do so.

As of now if enough interest I will try and set this part of the trip up as far as shuttles and so on. Any one with a more pervasive voice than mine let me know and I will give you the phone numbers to call. (I do not have a mid western accent.)

Hard to tell ain’t it. All I have on this river is what is in the Michigan river book. Really need a head count. Are you going Yes? (Master) Maybe? (Newbie) Whiner (beginner) and show up at the last minute.

If I am really out of bounds here holler and I will be quite. toby (Poppy Nipper)

Muskegon River Pan on a crisp October morning

Muskegon River Big Shoals Tubers Northern Michigan's News Leader

Friday, August 10, 2012

A word from Poppy Nipper

All of this from a guy sleeping under a tarp

OK, this should work better for some. (yea I cleared it with Monster paddler Jack.)
Us mere mortals will start Sunday with a starting time of around noon. Daily mileage will be reduced to less then 20 or even less. (final ending point not yet established.) looking for help here?  We should start looking for a camp site around 1630 or so and departure should be before 0900. All of this depends on whom shows up, absolutely no one will be left behind. Those that wish to go fast and not look-see and visit are free to do so, just have a good supply of fire wood on site. (a bow saw makes short work) one cuts a whole bunch gather.
This should make this a more relaxed fun trip and not an expedition.
What Master Jack wants is a fun trip that anyone can do and a lot of interaction between the group. Hey it’s the journey not where we end up on this one.
I would say throw in your 2 cents but any, any thoughts on a stopping point or getting boats back with there vehicles is worth a quarter at least.  I did have a local offer to volunteer on this for a limited amount of boats. Hey the Kruger way, we will work it out.
Oh yea any hard core can always do  Mushroom and then catch up and still play at a subdued pace. 
Any thoughts or changes have at it and share.
Come on now and commit for a fun easy adventure. Lets make this a fun trip!
toby  aka (Poppy Nipper)          

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Fall Paddle Cometh - Muskegon River

Hi Everyone,

Our good friend and Kruger paddling Champion, Jack (aka. the Hammer) Mugittroyd, has invited everyone along on a "super float" down the beautiful Muskegon River. What is a "super float" you ask, well it is a down river paddling trip that is intended to be a little more laid back than what some of us are used to. Toby would call it "a fun trip " we will not be racing, and the biggest Challenge we hope to encounter is how to fit all the steaks on the grill at the same time. Yup, Jack is a bit tired out from all of his hard core racing this year and wants to just take it easy on a nice river with a bunch of great friends. Please feel free to pass this invitation on to whoever you might think interested.

Here are the details we have so far:

Start at Cadillac Road at 10am Tuesday, October 2nd. According to the map in the "Canoeing Michigan Rivers" book there is a primitive campground there that might be a good place to camp the night before the start.

Paddle about 170 miles downriver in 6 days and finish up Sunday, October 7th in the town of Muskegon. This averages out to about 28 miles a day.

Here are the details we do not have so far:

Shuttle, just like all paddle trips we will have to start getting this figured out. There might be a few different shuttle services we can contact?

Camping, this will totally depend on how many of us show up. There is plenty of wilderness along this river shore for us to search out large spots for many tents. There are also a few public campgrounds that we might take advantage of along the way, some even have showers!

Why start on a Tuesday you ask? Well, it's funny you would ask, even though Jack is pooped out he had already committed to the Iron Mushroom (find complete info here ) and would not want to miss out on this hard core VKM Challenge. It runs from September 28th to Monday October 1st, if anyone wants to join us for this tough 90 mile run please feel free, misery loves company!!!

That's it for now,

Mark P. 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

our boy scouts...

Great news!!  Jack and Tim take 3rd over all in the male tandem division and Mike and Sandy take 5th in the mixed tandem division.  Big Shout out to Jack and Sandy who shared their stories at Carp's Bar and Grille and picking up the tab on dinner!!  Complete standings - Click here

Saturday, August 4, 2012

MR340 2012 Finish

Under welcomed cloudy skies the participants worked their way down the last stretch of the Missouri into St. Charles, MO for the finish of the MR340. Oh the memories and the stories to be told around dinner tables and campfires.

Hats off to every one that participated to the paddlers, to the shore runners, to all the event organizers and support staff; and to the TEAM KRUGER family that participated or watched from afar, a dip of a paddle to ya; see you out on the pond!!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

MR340 update

Just talked with Mike and Sandy and they sounded great. They are closing in on Herman CP and are looking forward to topping off the ice chest. Mike said yesterday was a very tough, very hard day like he has not experienced in a long time. He said they are holding tight to the pace they need to run and feel good that they are taking care of themselves under the unrelenting sun. He said today will be the ultimate test for them and they were going to keep it movin, he was also glad to see some clouds moving in.

Jack and Tim are just about in at Klondike, if they can pick up their pace for the final 20 mile sprint into St Charles they could beat the 50 hour mark. Go Guys, Paddle Paddle Paddle-   

As of this posting about 80 boats have dropped out, this event is "very tough, very hard"!!!!

Mark P.

Morining on the Missouri (MR340)

Up and at it, doing a little laundry along the way; wool socks when it is in triple digits you say; yep, you actually can get quite chilled at night after being in the sun all day.

This is what it's all about, not the racing, a morning like this with the sun peaking through the trees; makes ya wanna go canoeing doesn't it?

I'm just saying... keep'n it lively on the MR340

Bull Shark

The bull shark, Carcharhinus leucas, also known as the bull whaler, Zambezi shark or unofficially known as Zambi in Africa and Nicaragua shark in Nicaragua, is a shark common worldwide in warm, shallow waters along coasts and in rivers.
The bull shark is well known for its unpredictable, often aggressive behavior. Many scientists agree that since bull sharks often dwell in shallow waters, they may be more dangerous to humans than any other species of sharks, and that they join tiger sharks and great white sharks as the three most likely sharks to attack humans.

Unlike most other marine sharks, bull sharks tolerate fresh water. They can travel far up rivers. As a result, they are probably responsible for the majority of shark attacks on humans that take place near the shore, including many attacks attributed to other species. However, bull sharks are not true freshwater sharks (unlike the river sharks of the genus Glyphis).

The name, “bull shark”, comes from the shark’s stocky shape, broad, flat snout and aggressive unpredictable behavior. In India, the bull shark is often called the Sundarbans or Ganges shark. In Africa it is also commonly called the Zambezi River shark or just Zambi. Its wide range and diverse habitats result in many other local names, for example Lake Nicaragua shark, Fitzroy Creek whaler, Van Rooyen’s shark, cub shark, shovelnose shark, freshwater whaler.

Distribution and habitat
The bull shark is found all over the world in many different areas and has been known to travel long distances. The bull shark is common in the coastal areas of warm oceans, in rivers and lakes, and occasionally streams if they are deep enough in both salt and fresh water. It is found to a depth of 150 m, but does not usually swim deeper than 30 m. In the Atlantic it is found from Massachusetts to southern Brazil, and from Morocco to Angola. In the Indian Ocean it is found from South Africa to Kenya, India, and Vietnam to Australia. It is estimated that there are more than 500 bull sharks in the Brisbane River and greater numbers still in the canals of the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia. In the Pacific Ocean, it can be found from Baja California to Ecuador.

The shark has been reported 4,000 km (2,220 mi) up the Amazon River at Iquitos in Peru, and has been found as far up the Mississippi River as Illinois and Missouri. It is also found in the fresh water Lake Nicaragua, and in the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers of West Bengal and Assam in eastern India and adjoining Bangladesh. It can live in almost any water including water with a high salt content as in St. Lucia Estuary in South Africa. After Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, a large number of bull sharks were sighted in Lake Ponchartrain. Bull sharks have occasionally been seen in Mississippi River as far North as St. Louis. Even more rare, due to cooler waters, bull sharks have made their way up the Illinois River and into Lake Michigan such as an encounter off the coast of Chicago, Illinois.

Freshwater tolerance
Only 43 species of elasmobranch in ten genera and four families have been reported to enter fresh water, of which the bull shark is the best known. Other species that enter rivers include the stingrays (Dasyatidae, Potamotygonidae and others) and sawfishes (Pristidae). Some skates (Rajidae), smooth dogfishes (Triakidae), and sandbar sharks (Carcharhinus plumbeus) regularly enter estuaries. The ability of elasmobranchs to enter fresh water is limited because their blood is normally at least as salty (in terms of osmotic strength) as seawater, through the accumulation of urea and trimethylamine oxide, but bull sharks living in fresh water reduce the concentration of these solutes by up to 50%. Even so, bull sharks living in fresh water need to produce twenty times more urine than those in salt water.

Until the 1970s, researchers thought the sharks in Lake Nicaragua were a separate species because there was no way for the sharks to move in or out. It was discovered that they were jumping along the rapids just like salmon. Bull sharks tagged inside the lake were later caught in the open ocean.

Anatomy and appearance
Bull sharks are large and stout. Males can reach 2.12 m (7 ft) and weigh 90.91 kg (200 lb). Females can be much larger:up to 3.49 m (11.5 ft) and 318 kg (700 lb). Bull sharks are wider than other sharks of comparable length, and are grey on top and white below. The second dorsal fin is smaller than the first.

Since bull sharks are carnivores, their diet includes fish, other sharks, rays, dolphins, turtles, birds, molluscs, echinoderms, and crustaceans. Bull sharks have been known to use the bump-and-bite technique when attacking their prey. This type of hunting behaviour has been observed when researchers entered the water with relatively calm bull sharks, and the sharks suddenly became violent and began to bump the researchers. This behaviour was seen in the documentary Anatomy of a Sharkbite, which aired on the Discovery Channel in 2003, during Shark Week. Dr. Erich Ritter was severely wounded by a bull shark using this attack technique. This attack was not listed as being a case of mistaken identity, because the waters during the time of the attack were clear, and no noticeable weather patterns were affecting the sharks. This attack may have been a case of territoriality, in which the bull sharks were very fierce toward intruders. Recently, Dr. Ritter concluded that the attack was provoked by a piece of chum that had been thrown away from him, but was taken by a remora and brought back in his direction. The remora caused the bull sharks to get excited and swirl up the sand. In the resulting cloud of sand, one of the sharks bit him.

Bull sharks are solitary hunters. They often cruise through shallow waters. They can suddenly burst into speed and can be highly aggressive, even attacking a racehorse in the Brisbane River in the Australian state of Queensland. They are extremely territorial and will attack other animals – including humans – that enter their territory. Along with the great white, tiger and oceanic whitetip sharks, bull sharks are among the four species considered the most dangerous to humans, and is probably the most dangerous of the four species. One or more bull sharks may have been responsible for the Jersey Shore shark attacks of 1916, and which inspired the movie Jaws.

Many experts think the bull shark is responsible for most of the deaths around the Sydney Harbour inlets in the past. Most of these attacks were previously thought to be great whites. In India the bull shark cruises up the Ganges River where it has killed and attacked a large number of people. It also eats the corpses that the local population floats on the river. Many of these attacks have been wrongly blamed on the Ganges shark, Glyphis gangeticus, a fairly rare species that is probably the only other shark that can live comfortably in both saltwater and freshwater. The grey nurse shark was also blamed in the sixties and seventies.

Bull sharks breed in the summer, often in the brackish water of river mouths. After gestating for about a year, a bull shark may give birth to as many as 13 live young (they are viviparous). The young are about 70 cms (28 in) at birth and take 10 years to reach maturity.

Bull sharks are apex predators, and rarely have to fear being attacked by other animals. Humans are their biggest threat. Larger sharks, such as the tiger shark and great white, may attack them. Crocodiles, such as the saltwater crocodile may also eat them if they enter their territories.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Day 1 - Zinger

Mike and Sandy in a Kruger Cruiser with the Bimini Top up; this is how you do it on the Missouri river with temps in triple digits; its all about staying comfortable.  I see Mike packed a large cooler, smart man.  He could probably sell ice cubes at $5 a cube today as the heat is going to be extreme.

Like bugs drawn to a dim porch light; Mike and Sandy paddle down... "what" up stream?  Oh yea.  It appears Mike left his "Binky" on shore (life jacket) and they had to paddle up the Missouri to retrieve it before continuing on.  Not sure sandy was supposed to tell me that so I will be gentle with the commentary or not! :-)