Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Out of my comfort zone...from New Zealand!

Out of my Comfort Zone

By Julie McGeorge, NOLS New Zealand rations & catering manager
Yes, it's true. At 50-something years old and working for NOLS with younger, fitter people, I decided it was a great idea to join a sea kayaking section for 10 days in the Marlborough Sounds.
With children who had all left home and a wonderful organization as my employer, I was enabled, nay empowered, to go out there and join the New Zealand Semester course and their fantastic instructors Oscar Manguy, Yuri Hernandez, and Sally McAdams. Getting all my gear together with Yuri's help made it all so real, and excitement built.
Before I knew it, I was out paddling around Cowshed Bay (in Marlborough Sounds) practicing strokes. I even participated in a capsize drill! Dripping but elated we—the students and I—gradually gained confidence and those skills were reinforced.
What a liberating feeling, and how those young students embraced me as a member of their group.

We set out from Cowshed Bay in a pod formation, which became the norm. I had to keep paddling to stay with the group, which I did find challenging at times. The wind was almost a constant companion. If we had to paddle to a bay, or across a shipping lane, it was just go until we got there! My boat buddy, Nonny, encouraged me often, and I sometimes had to really dig deep to keep those paddles flicking through the water. On occasion we would just glide along the coastline, checking out the flora and fauna, or an old shipwreck. The birdlife was wonderful and sometimes noisy, letting us know we were in their territory.
When we camped each night, I was treated to beautiful mussels caught by the students and great meals cooked by the instructors. They were all generous to a fault, and I was just spoiled. As rations and catering manager, it was just great to see "what was cooking" out there. There were some yummy dishes cooked and lots of imagination with the rations food. 
It wasn’t long before students took over leading our travel days. Every morning we had a series of early weather checks. Sometimes we had to pack up quickly at very short notice and scarper through a "weather window." All too soon, we were blown and surfed our way across a tricky stretch of water. At Waimaru, I disembarked for the last time on this trip, just elated.
Six months later, I still tell people about my amazing NOLS trip. I do feel that I could go out now and sea kayak, in kind weather conditions, with so much more confidence.
My husband and I have moved and we now live beside the Selwyn River with Lake Ellesmere just down the road. I can get into my canoe or kayak and have another adventure of my own!

| Posted by Casey Dean on Nov 27, 2012 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

MTB Sierra los Dolores, Baja, Mexico.

This past month Yuriria and I did a MTB trip starting in San Juan de la Costa crossing Sierra Los Dolores.

Here are some pics:
 Sea of Cortes
 Yuriria Hernandez
 96 degrees
 Rumbo San Pedro de la Presa
 El Mechudo
 Por las Cuevas
 Las Cuevas
 La Herradura
 Las Animas
 San Pedro de la Presa
 La Presa
 Desert Camping
 San Luis Gonzaga
 San Luis Gonzaga Palmar
 La virgencita

Friday, September 7, 2012

WSA a very special trip!

These are photos from my last course of the summer in PWS, Alaska.

In this tip we experience Alaska to the full.

Perry island looking at kenai mountains

Rolling practice - butterfly roll

Nelly Juan series

Jonas from the north

The ladies

Enjoying the icebergs


Double sunset

The WSA crew

Waterfall hike

Snow in the middle of the summer

Andrew and I cooking under the big tent

Our fleet


High tide!!!


Last move.

Thank you NOLS for this great opportunity.

Oscar Manguy

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Alaska sea kayaking seminar at NOLS Alaska

ASKS 2012
I would like to share a couple of photos from the training trip that NOLS AK offers to NOLS instructors, here is the story in pics.

Getting ready - checking kayaks

Whittier Alaska

Snowing in May at sea level

Black stone bay series:

Paddling to black stone glacier

Waterfall in passage canal

Finger lake

In this seminar we paddled from Whittier to black stone bay and from there back.
We experience stormy conditions for the first days and then the wx brought us good sun!
Black stone bay is a great place to kayak.

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