Stand Up Paddleboarding 2017

Monday, July 31, 2017 0 No tags Permalink

stand up paddleboarding 2017

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I stand up paddleboard. This is the second summer I’ve been doing it. You can read the details on the adventure starting up last year here. So far this year I’ve been out 22 times (last year’s total was 47 times, July 22 – November 7). Mostly I’ve been hitting Goguac, but I’ve also been out on Waubascon and Graham Lake. The photo above was taken by Patrick Gault.  He was shooting photos of the Veterans’ Administration field trip. I was able to track him down through my friend Kat and he sent me a couple photos. While it didn’t really help me figure out what is wrong with my stroke, it did help me realize I should not wear those terrible, terrible board shorts in public. Ever. And maybe I could stand to slap on some lipstick or something before I go out.

New this year is an on-board computer with GPS. It’s a Velocitek Makai and it’s super easy to use. It should be more accurate than using Google Earth, and it tracks average and maximum speeds.

Last year I was starting up for the first time, and every day was an increase in ability. After being off for the winter, getting back this year has been more of a challenge. It’s also been fairly windy at the start of the season. Hopefully August will be a bit more chill.



Summer of SUP

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 0 No tags Permalink

Stand Up Paddleboarding 2016

Summer 2016 was the summer of stand up paddleboarding. July 22 was the first day out and I only managed about 15 minutes, half of which was sitting in the water. Since that day, I have been out on three lakes, sometimes with friends.

Here is Lake Orion, with my cousin Angie, on July 30. Notice the rain? We came off the lake when it started to thunder.


Bob and I went to Jackson Hole Lake in Fort Custer.


Kirsten rented us paddleboards in South Haven and we did a very short stint on Lake Michigan before the storm rolled in. We even managed to get Mom out for a little sitting down.


I’ve been out 25 times total since July 22. Mostly I go to Goguac Lake mid-morning. Some days it’s sunny.


Some days I’m the only one on the whole lake.


Some days, the lake is calm like glass, and I can paddle nearly three miles in an hour.


Being out on the lake is like magic. Even when it’s too windy or there are too many jet skiers, I can drop anchor and just sit and watch the waves for a little.


This summer, I really feel like I reached out and grabbed life. SUP is great fun, and not bad exercise. It’s good alone, and even better with friends. If you think you don’t have balance, you can still SUP. After your first half hour or so, it’s really hard to fall off the board. I hope to continue through October 31 at least, when Willard Beach closes for the season.


It will probably take me until spring to get all of the sand out of my car.


If you’re looking to get into SUP, you should. If you want to get into it on a regular basis and are looking for equipment, here are some of my favorite things:

Ten Toes – The Weekender inflatable SUP
The Weekender fits in my Subaru Outback (it rides shotgun). It comes in a kit that includes everything you need to get started – a paddle, a pump, fins and a repair kit. If you order from the company instead of it’s free shipping and no taxes. I also got their backpack to put everything in and a leash. If you’re a beginner, you should always wear a leash so your board doesn’t get away from you. In the State of Michigan, you’re also required to wear a life vest.

Airhead SUP Anchor
Sometimes you want to take a break. Maybe you want to start out each session with a little meditation or relax a little at the end. Maybe you want to do yoga. To stop yourself from floating away, get this anchor.

O’Neill Superfreak Booties
Lakes can be full of nasty surprises. Often I see beer cans, fishing hooks, rusty pieces of metal, rotten dock posts. You should probably wear shoes, but you still want to feel your board. And in the summer, regular wetsuit booties can get too hot (I am suspecting I will enjoy using them in October, though). These O’Neill booties will let water in and drain it out again, and will help you stand on your board. You can get these on

Rash Guards
You need UV protection. You need a hat, long sleeves and sunblock on your exposed parts. Rash guards, which are rated UV-50+ can be really expensive but totally worth it. You know who has cheap, well made rash guards that seem to fit normally? Land’s End. They often have some of them on sale as well. Also, when yours gets super-funky from the lake water? Soak in hot water and OxyClean for a few hours. Totally de-funks them.

Other Items
I have a cheap waterproof bag that holds my wallet, car keys and sunblock. I also have a waterproof case for my iPhone. Both are easily available for cheap on I always have a couple of towels in the car – one to dry off the board and one to sit on. This summer I generally went out in a swimsuit with a rash guard and board shorts over it, but I’ve also gone out in yoga capris and a t-shirt. If you’re out for a long time, a bottle of water is nice to have, too.

2016 Summer Reads Week 9

2016 Summer Reads Week 9 Update

The past few days have been hot, hot, hot! I finished the second book in the series fo Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, Hollow City. It was just as good as the first. And, on thinking on it, I’ve determined that the writing and the way the tale unfolds sort of reminds me of the My Father’s Dragon books by Ruth Stiles Gannett. I will be getting the third in the series, but probably won’t start it until after summer.


I’ve been working on another project as well.


You may remember that I did an ill-fated land paddling thing summer of 2014. This new project is safer, if you don’t count drowning. I am wearing a life vest and a leash, and sticking to the shallows. I looked back on my notes from the land-attempt and found this “First, the balance thing. Try standing on one foot for more than sixty seconds. You might not enjoy it. Your foot might hurt. And your knee. And your shin. And your calf. At first, I could only do ten minutes and it was agony.” Um, yeah. Same thing on the water, although my first attempt was 15 minutes and involved suddenly sitting down on the lake bottom twice (I was only in up to my knees, so it was no big deal). Last time around I was getting better by the fourth time I did it. Loving it by the 11th. And unfortunately the whole thing finished up on #13.

Anyhow, I am reaching out and grabbing a firm hold on summer. Hope you are, too.

Summer Reads 2016 list:

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah

As Close to Us as Breathing: A Novel by Elizabeth Poliner

Hollow City: The Second Novel of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

The Last Painting of Sara de Vos: A Novel by Dominic Smith

Honeydew: Stories by Edith Pearlman

A Manual for Cleaning Women: Selected Stories by Lucia Berlin

The Light of the World: A Memoir by Elizabeth Alexander

Bettyville: A Memoir by George Hodgman

10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works — A True Story by Dan Harris.

Like Summer Reads? More here:

2016 Week Eight Update

2016 Week Five Update

2016 Week Four Update

2016 Week One Update

2015 Summer Reads Introduction

2014 Summer Reads Introduction