Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Enter...The Dragon (the warrior spirit)

Having just arrived from Misfit Island - we were a bit perplexed on the complexity of Dragon Boat Racing; new terms entered weary minds - Hold, five & dime, power surge in 3 and let'er run were new to our vocabulary. 

But in the end we spoke dragon boat and were able to pull off a second place finish out of 22 teams - Not bad for a bunch of Kruger heads who forgot what a wood paddle feels like, not to mention the unique bench seating of a Dragon Boat.  1800lbs of boat careening down the river is something to behold.
 It was a time trial bracketed event; 300 yards is not a long way, but when you do it a 1/2 a dozen times working your way through the brackets at 90% - 100% effort you become keenly aware you misjudged the complexity and physical demands of dragon boat racing.

It was a grand event with 22 team (20 peeps on a team); the grounds were festive and spirits were high. For a bunch of first timers it was definitely a learning experience, a whole different realm of paddling.

Team Kruger would like to give a shout out to the organizers of the event and bring awareness to their cause  - to the survivors everywhere from domestic violence to cancer.

I would also like to thank Mike Smith for his persistence, his dedication and leadership for pulling together a team of misfits for the event; till we paddle again, it's back to misfit island!!

The Capt'n

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Au Sable River Fall River Run 2014 2.1 - the finish

Mark and Lauren paddling a Kruger Cruiser take honors with a banner finish crushing the 24 hour mark; the Smile on Lauren's and Mark's faces says it all!!  Matching hats the smiles; I think the Rowe's have gone Hollywood!!

Ben sporting a similar smile rolls in under 24 hours as well; not too shabby my man, not too shabby!! Tricks of the trade - looks to be travelling pretty darn light on this run.

But the real joy is coming in from an event and seeing the enthusiasm of your favorite fans!! Now this is cool, very cool.
Keith rolled in at 9:39 pm while Ben Mark and Lauren were in dreamland; word on the river is James may have pulled out at 5 channels dam (unconfirmed) - and if I were a guessing man I'd say Lori and Wendy are still on the river enjoying a fine trip.
I am not sure about the others that participated as they did not SPOTS or check in during the event; but I will say this - somebody put a paddle in this little Dude's hands cause he wants to tear it up!!
Over and out!!
The Capt'n

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Au Sable River Fall River Run 2014 2

Mark and Lauren working their way to Cooke Dam

I found the list; here are the players for 2014:

Ben Algera - Sea Wind
James B Hart - Sea wind
Wendy Brinson - Canoe
Lori Blaylock - Yak
Keith Wojahn - Sea Wind
Mark Rowe - Cruiser
Lauren Fry - Cruiser

Cooke Dam is a hydro-electric dam on the Au Sable River in Michigan. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1996 as the Cooke Hydroelectric Plant.

The Capt'n

Friday, September 5, 2014

It appears a new shipment of rum and Oreos have arrived; we're good.

Did you know that Americans eat more than 20.5 million Oreos a day? It's got to be true I read it on the web!!

As for Rum aye;  the stereotype of the rum-crazed, profligate Pirate - quoting Robert Louis Stevenson : "When a cruise is done, why, it's hundreds of pounds instead of hundreds of farthings in their pockets. Now the most goes for rum and a good fling, and to sea again in their shirts."

Translation: " we drink we paddle we drink we paddle and go to sea in our shirts cause we can't find our pants"

Stevenson also gave the world the most famous sea chantey that no real pirate ever sang:
"Fifteen men on a dead man's chest, Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!
Drink and the devil be done with the rest, Yo ho ho and a bottle or rum!"

The Capt'n

Au Sable River Fall River Run 2014 1.1

 Staging underway - clears skies and crisp clean green water!! 40 minutes to the start time and there is already anarchy as there is talk of pushing off early!! I got a list of who all is participating but for the life of me can not locate it!  Beuller...Beuller?  anybody?

 Wendy and Lori ponder the possibilities of the perfect start -  "Hey boys free beer at the landing"

While the boys fall for the oldest trick in the book Wendy drops in and puts paddle to water! - "there is no beer at the end of the ramp, silly..".

Lori soon to follow as they depart at 3:37 EST; so the Au Sable Fall river run is underway; some say under protest (not really but makes for good reading)

I on the other hand need to up my game; more Oreos and Rum --- paddle on!!

The Capt'n

Au Sable River Fall River Run 2014

The Players: Team Kruger

The Event:  Au Sable River Fall River Run 2014

A typical Kruger-head unsanctioned event - the word gets out about the run via social media, obscure texts and the occasional face to face talk in the glow of a raging campfire -  everyone is on their own, unsupported expedition style - the objective,  complete within 24 hours.; the goal, living the Kruger Canoe Dream. 

This particular run down the Au Sable will test your resolve, its a brutal test of fortitude when you push through the night into the wee hours of the morning to complete in 24 hours.

A word from Ben:
"Myself and a few others are running the AuSable River from Grayling to Oscoda tomorrow, starting at 4pm and shooting for a sub 24hour finish. Follow along here: "  Follow with SPOT - HERE

From Mark and Lauren:

"Off to a great start! Giant storm with SCARY lightning in front of us as we drove north. Hence we stopped at a hotel just south of grayling and were surprised by this awesome hotel room art! Hopefully campers can get some sleep ahead if the run. The good news is that the stream should be rising!"  Follow with SPOT - HERE

I'm not sure how many others are paddling this weekend, but I will try to follow along, post the insanity, add a little humor and of course take creative liberties, cause that's what I do!! 

The Capt'n

Sunday, August 24, 2014

45 Parallel Crossing day 5.5

Cograts to Mark and Rick who made the daunting journey across Lake Michigan!! WOO HOO!!  Nice Run Boys!!

Mother nature was cooperative (not send them 8' seas); but she did make herself known with wind on the nose and a couple of rouge waves that roll up on you like a freight train.

The distant lights from shore, east and west send a subtle message, putting things into perspective; you're a long way from shore - a humbling experience.

So the wind clocking to the east caused havoc and slowed their progress immensely; Changing it up they bared off to follow the breeze making land fall around 100p this afternoon, their goal achieved.

Outstanding!! -

The Capt'n

45 Parallel Crossing day 5

I put a call in after receiving these photos to see what the plan was; it appears they are not headed to South Manitou Island, and if they are they are going the long way; I must have just missed Mark after he sent these photos as I did not get a chance to speak with him - you'll know when I know.

 The sun cometh and I bet it is a welcome sight; it looks like the shore in the haze; an all nighter with sails furled - bet there is a story to be told.

A look of resolve on tired faces - the boys continue to push for the east coast of Lake Michigan; Keeper moving boys, you got this!

The Capt'n

Saturday, August 23, 2014

45 Parallel Crossing day 4

Bye Bye Wisconsin, as the boys push from shore in near dead calm water; our weather spotters in the east - Mark and Lauren sent a weather report from the eastern shore; the boys liked it so it's a go.

So there you have it, the parting shot - onward to South Manitou Island!!  Sunday comes early when you're paddling a Kruger!!

The Capt'n

45 Parallel Crossing day 3.5

 After being bumped from Shivering Sands Creek Beach Mark and Rick head up hill to what is now known as Kruger Cove; a place to spread out do some laundry and a little work on the sailing rudder.

 Ole school in the field saw horses are constructed as Mark changes out the rudder pin - for the big crossing - no sense having fresh pins in your bag if your not going to use them.

As the boys sit by a raging Wisconsin Fire they contemplate their next move; glued to the weather radio consistency finally emerges and they hear steady reports; wind will start clocking around to the south on Saturday into Sunday morning - opening an early morning window of opportunity.  The plan is to wait it out and follow the breeze across the pond on Sunday.

The Capt'n

Friday, August 22, 2014

45 Parallel Crossing day 3

The boys got bumped off the beach like two tots trying to ride a midget pony; so they packed it in and headed up the coast for another 5 miles or so looking for some real-estate that will support a couple a Krugerheads till the fog thins out.

But before they left, a huge thanks out to Sandy and Greg who trekked on up the coast and found the boys scuttled and hungry- fed like royalty ( I told you Sandy could cook) tucked in cradling the new GPS, things were looking up - but depression set in bring a fog bank thick and heavy.

So the plan is to wait it out and see what tomorrow brings; from this point on they are ready to head east make the jump if weather and water cooperate - So they will camp early get rest and be at the ready.  "Stow the grog and get ready to make way, single up all lines."

The Capt'n

45 Parallel Crossing day 2.5

They boys couldn't have pulled over in a nicer place, it's like they planned it!! They are just off of Glidden Drive; Glidden Drive is biologically the most diverse of Wisconsin's 130 Rustic Roads. It has 13 Lake Michigan beach accesses.

Five streams are off of Glidden Drive: Shivering Sands Creek (the most famous-historic in Door County) which they are just south of, Lily Bay Creek, Fisher Creek, Vernal Creek (intermittent) and Underground Creek with swallets  (an opening through which a stream descends underground). Glidden Drive skirts the largest natural area in Door County, the Shivering Sands Wetland Complex.

I've received word that Sandy is packing heavy as she makes her way up through Door County; Lasagna Margaritas and that pesky GPS are in route.  Could make for a mid to late morning start after a big meal and cocktails.  Paddle on Garth...

The Capt'n

Thursday, August 21, 2014

45 and some change day 2

The boys pull off on the world's smallest beach to batten down the hatches and put on some storm gear; reef down to Coach Hoff Hanky size and keep pushing towards Bailey's Harbor. The morning was not with out it's challenges; the GPS took a dump so Mark and Rick navigated by braille following the shoreline as best they could; a quick stop in Algoma looking a marine store was fruitless, so they went with plan B -- paddle on.

Social media and the Internet can be a wonderful thing; Sandy (peacepaddler) has mobilized and will meet the boys and hand off a GPS tonight; knowing Sandy she probably has a gourmet meal planned as well; if you have not paddled with Sandy, you have yet to experience her cooking skills in the wild.

So the boys are off for what they think will be a 7 hour push; catted boats performing well as they speculate 5mph holding steady; weather is iffy as is gett'n some on prom night; as expected for Wisconsin no weatherman tells the same forecast; I encouraged Mark to look up if he wants accurate current conditions. Paddle on Boys, Paddle on.

The Capt'n

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

45 Parallel Crossing - day 1

Mark sent some pictures of day 1of the  - 45 Parallel Crossing; this is big news as it means he actually put his paddle down to document the adventure!! The above photo is getting off the ferry and staging gear; rumor has it the boys threw down big time with the all you can eat breakfast buffet on the "Badger"; windless crossing with fog in the morning, turned to partly cloudy skies with a light breeze out of the west; a perfect start to a great lake adventure.

Took less than an hour to set things right; catted up and ready to push off from the shores of Manitowoc WI -  destination North up to Bailey's Harbor.

 Rick enjoying the waning hours of sunlight as they cruise north under full sail and paddle; Mark reports beautiful weather, wind turning south southwest overnight.

9:00p cst the boys are still pushing North; night prep complete hoping for a 2am landing in Algoma; plan on sleeping there a few hours and pushing on -  the key is time management across the pond; they are working it to get across by Thursday night fall - fingers crossed for optimal weather, otherwise they sit it out waiting for the weather God's to show favor.

The Capt'n

45 Parallel Crossing

The boys head out on the big pond for a little paddle / sail on what some like to call lake Michigan.- we're calling it the (BIG POND) "45 Parallel Crossing".

The Big pond can be unforgiving, it's waters run cold and deep (reminds me of an old girlfriend but I digress); the plan is for Mark - Manitou Cruiser and Rick - Kevlar Kid (WaterTribe Tribal names) to set themselves up for a 77 mile push to Baileys Harbor and then make the 48 mile jump across to South Manitou Island. ---- They will be taking the Badger Ludington MI Ferry to Manitowoc WI to ease the suffering of persistent westerly winds this time of year.

The configuration for this adventure will be a Sea Wind / DreamCatcher Cat rig with 38' 32' Batwing sails.  Manitou's SPOT goes live at 830am EST.

I look forward to their reports as they make their way North to Bailey's Harbor as it is a section of the new water trail that is being developed.

The Capt'n

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Krugerhead 340 ~ Wrapped & Rolled...

Debris, debris & yet some more debris. Word has it every time Nightspiritsix would stop for a feed, Bob Bradford & Grandson Justin would have to clean out the ramps so the OC-6 could stop. There stops were short lived however, because the floating debris would start to amass around them, effectively blocking them in. No one had ever seen anything like it.
© Lauren Fry

 If your curious about what sleep deprivation will do to you, ask Janet Bradford. As the crew was taking turns hup-ing a twenty count stroke, Janet at one point counted to 63 and said, "I forgot what I was doing!" 

Nightspiritsix - 43 hours 33 minutes (Front-Back) Mike Bradford, Everett Crozier, Dick Ulbrich, Janet Bradford, Mike Smith & Toby Nipper
(R-L) Mark Przedwojewski (Irons, MI) & Jack "The Hammer" Murgittroyd (Ithaca, MI)
40 hours 14 minutes!

Mark Rowe & Lauren Fry "GoFRowe" 44 hours 9 minutes

Joe Tousignant "Joe Wildlife" 47 hours 31 minutes

Marek Uliasz 50 hours and some change

Ben Algera "Macatawa" 53 hours 24 minutes
Brian Weber "Capt'n O Dark Thirty" 59 hours 12 minutes
Capt'n of the "O" Dark 30 Blog Link
Sandy Krueger "Peacepaddler"

...and of course the shore support for Nightspiritsix, (Left Picture) Jerry Davis & (Right Picture, L-R) Justin & Bob Bradford (also pictured Mike, Joe & Mark)

~guest bloggers Pat Harrington, Stacy Smith & Michael Doty

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Krugerhead 340 - The Finish ~ St. Charles

Mark & Jack @ the finish

Mark & Jack being the first team to paddle to the finish arrived at Riverside Park in St. Charles at 12:15 CDT this morning. With a total time of 40 hours 14 minutes and no stopped time. Overall/Moving average of 8.4 mph! They certainly kept it moving!


Nightspiritsix paddled into St. Charles early this morning @ 3:29 CDT. 43 hours 33 minutes total time! With a moving average of 8.6 mph and a stopped time of 4 hours 33 minutes. Mike Smith reports there is nothing in his body that doesn't hurt! Everyone was pushed to there limits...

Mark & Lauren "GoFRowe"

Mark & Lauren "GoFRowe" arrived in St. Charles @ 4:02 CDT. 33 minutes behind Nightspiritsix. With a moving time of 43 hours 22 minutes, stopped time of 47 minutes. 7.7 mph moving average and a 7.5 mph overall average. They took the place of Mark & Jack playing back & forth with Nightspiritsix during the final stretch.

Ben Algera

Ben Algera "Macatawa" arriving @ 13:17 CDT.

Capt'N "O" Dark 30 Brian Weber

Capt'N "O" Dark 30 aka Sir Brian Weber paddling in @ 19:05 CDT. 

A special shout out to Sir Pat Harrington for (as usual) all his behind the scenes work!

PADDLES UP to all in our paddling community!


~Guest bloggers Pat, Stacy & Michael