Jan 03 2018

Notice to Mariners: We’re Back In the Same Boat!

New articles are posted below this Notice to Mariners, which is a “sticky.” It will remain at the top of the TNO home page for a while yet.

January 2018.  If you’re looking for Tamia’s and Farwell’s In the Same Boat, you’re almost there. Come on over to our new mooring at Back in the Same Boat.

Jan 20 2018

Getting Around: When It’s Time to Punt by Tamia Nelson

What do you do when the water’s too thin to wet a blade? Or when you need to climb a fast‑flowing river? Well, you could get out of your canoe and walk. Or you could give up and go home. But if you’re game for something new, why not try punting? As Tamia points out in this column, all it takes is a long, strong pole and a little practice. So what do you say? Why not “It’s time to punt”?

Sometimes even the most laid‑back paddlers have to go against the flow. And at other times the water’s so thin that a paddle just won’t bite. That’s when you’ll want to punt. I’m not talking football here. Punting is another way of saying “poling.” (See note below.) A punt is a flat‑bottomed boat, and punting is propelling a punt by pushing it where you want it to go with a pole thrust against the bottom of a river or canal. But your boat doesn’t have to be a punt. You can punt a canoe, too.

Confused? I’m not surprised. Punting is one of the many things that’s easier to do than to talk about. Words just get in the way. But while most canoeists have heard of poling, not many have given it a try. And that’s too bad. Whether you call it punting or poling, it’s a technique well worth adding to your bag of tricks. Read more…

Questions? Comments? Just click here!

Jan 20 2018

Knots to Know: The Figure-Eight Loop by Tamia Nelson

If you’ve been reading SameBoat Shorts these last two weeks, then you know the importance of learning the ropes. But that’s not enough. Every paddler should learn a few good knots, too. Last week, Tamia tied one on with a bowline, but this week she’s in the loop with an alternative, and it 8n’t hard to tie at all.

A trekker’s world can come unstuck in a hurry if he doesn’t have a rope AND if he doesn’t know how to use it. Which is why learning the ropes is as important as learning any basic skill. Knowing which knots to use and when comes with the territory. And sooner or later, every adventurer will need to make a fixed loop in a length of rope. The bowline is a very good way to do this, but good as it is, the bowline isn’t perfect.

Where does it fall down? Well, to begin with, the bowline holds best in laid rope. Braided rope — probably the most common type in use today — is slipperier and (sometimes) springier. Bowlines tied in braided ropes will occasionally work loose, and therefore need to be watched carefully. Back in the late 1960s, when American climbers switched from three-strand laid rope — Goldline was one popular brand — to European kernmantel (a type of braided rope with a linear core), they also began to substitute other knots for the hitherto standard bowline. The figure-eight loop emerged as the preferred alternative. Read more…

Questions? Comments? Just click here!

Jan 12 2018

A Stitch in Time: Mending Tears With a Herringbone by Tamia Nelson

Hand‑stitching is becoming a lost art. And that’s not a good thing. A single tear in a sprayskirt or tent fly can spoil a trip, but sewing machines are few and far between in the backcountry. So it pays to master the rudiments of sewing, and this week Tamia revisits an earlier article describing one of the most useful tricks in the seamster’s (or seamstress’s) ditty bag: the basic herringbone stitch.

RIP! What canoeist or kayaker hasn’t cringed when a favorite tent, pannier, or jacket suffered a seemingly fatal tear? The world is full of sharp ends, after all, from errant nails in fences you may lean your bike against, to beaver‑gnawn alders to hawthorn branches to the spiky tangles of “spruce hells.” Of course, many of the resulting rents would be easy to repair at home — if you have a sewing machine handy and know how to use it, that is, or if you know someone who does. But what happens when you’re away from home? Most of us don’t carry sewing machines in our packs. When a pointy poplar stub pokes through the weathered canvas of a Duluth pack, or the sawtooth edge of a kayak seam‑tape (the bit that the builder neglected to sand down) slices through the sleeve of a paddling jacket, we’re on our own. Even if the tear is small, ignoring it isn’t an option. Small tears don’t stay small for long.

Fortunately, stitching a tear closed needn’t be difficult, even in a world devoid of current bushes and Singer portables. But you’ll need to know how, and you’ll also have to have a few simple tools. Read more…

Questions? Comments? Just click here!

Jan 10 2018

Knots to Know: The Bowline by Tamia Nelson

Imagine a world without zip‑ties and ratchet straps. Well, if you’re like many trekkers, you won’t have to imagine it. You’ve lived it. The upshot? You need to know something about knots. And one of the most useful knots is also one of the oldest and most celebrated: the bowline, sometimes known as the “king of knots.” So this week, in her latest SameBoat Short, Tamia salutes the monarch.

OK. You’ve got a rope. Now what are you going to do with it? Tie your boat down for the trip to the put‑in? Attach a painter? Track your canoe upstream? Rig a sail? Lower your loaded kayak down a seacliff? Whatever you’ll be using your rope for, you’ll need to put a fixed loop in it sooner or later. Read more…

Questions? Comments? Just click here!

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