Creative Dry Suit Gasket Repair

March 25th, 2011

OK, I surrender. Dry suit neck gaskets rip on a regular basis for me. I am freaked out about putting the dry suit on and even more about taking it off. That is because the neck gaskets constantly tear.

I have a giant head and the gasket doesn’t like to stretch over my paws that pull the rubber up and over my “Elephant Man” sized skull. Can you imagine if you needed a giant condom and it broke all the time.

So, I had to come up with a creative dry suit gasket repair scenario. I thought, why not save the broken condoms, I mean gaskets and use them to repair the next ripped neck rubber.

Here is what I did the last time the next decided to freak out after a few times wearing it. Instead of taking the damaged gasket off the suit and replacing with a new one again and again and again, I cut a strip out of an old gasket I saved.

I have used duck tape sort of successfully on many occasions on both the neck and wrist gaskets. But the seals are not all that good.

So, I though, the next time this puppy rips, I am going to try cutting a strip out of an old gasket a couple or so inches wider then the tear. Then prep the two pieces with cleaning, sanding, and applying glue.

When the glue was ready on both pieces I laid and pressed them together. Worked like a charm. The only problem was where the bulge on the lower part of the neck gasket curved. Just needed to slip some more glue in the little space.

So far so good. Took the dry suit out and paddled around for several hours. No problems putting on the suit and no problems taking it off.

Over all this process was easier and quicker and cheaper then replacing the entire gasket every few paddles.

In regards to the wrist gaskets I found that the clear deli containers I get fresh ground peanut butter in from a local co-op work GREAT as a form to attach a new gasket. The containers are stand size and commonly found. The wrist gaskets on my suit are large so they might not work for dwarf paws. Using the deli containers worked out perfectly.

Also, I use a small propane take as a form when putting on a new neck gasket.

Next I am thinking of gluing velcro strips on the neck gasket when it splits. I would like to see if I could put the suit on with the split gasket and then see what kind of seal I could get with the velcro.

I shall see. If and when I ever get around to doing that I will report back. As if anyone ever reads this garbage. :)

Posted in Education | No Comments »

Neap Tides the Weekend of Friday 3.25.11 Through Sunday 3.27.11

March 21st, 2011

Neap Tides the Weekend of Friday 3.25.11 Through Sunday 3.27.11 mean good paddling from La Conner to Goat Island and the surrounding areas like Sullivan Slough and the North Fork of the Skagit River around the FishTown area near Ika Island.

If the weather/wind is not to insane, this is a good weekend to think about putting in at La Conner public water access under the Rainbow Bridge. The cost of the put in and take out is $5.00.

Why a neap tide and paddling here? Check out the tide sample pic below. The screen capture is for La Conner on Saturday 3.26.11. In the morning hours it appears the tide is coming in at La Conner. Not so. If you are heading south, the reality is just the opposite. When it appears to be coming in, it is actually going out. So, what this means is, you get a free ride out and free ride back in the afternoon. It is what does ding dong say, “Duh, WINNING?”

La Conner Neap Tide padddling opportunity.

La Conner Neap Tide padddling opportunity.

Hopefully the wind and lightning will not be happening to any big degree and paddling will be great Friday, Saturday and Sunday this coming weekend.

Posted in Stuff Hound | No Comments »

Skagit Delta Tom Moore Slough 3.20.11 Paddling

March 21st, 2011

Skagit Delta Tom Moore Slough 3.20.11 Paddling the return of Spring and the fossil fuel noise.

Sunday is not the day to paddle in Tom Slough because spring = Harley time again. Spring means the Harley crowd will be out ROARING up and down Pioneer Highway.

This past Sunday the wind was blowing from the north and the tree are still bare without leaves. So, that meant the roar of the bike and I-5 pretty much saturated the slough with fossil fuel noise from hell. And in the planes from the Arlington airport and you have the noise level of the Arboretum in Seattle under and around 520 noise levels.

In many ways the breed, consume, pollute craze of this region has pretty much turned the Puget Sound region between the Cascades and Olympics a giant sewer.

The other noise in the slough was a huge chorus of frogs and birds being drowned out by the pavement lovers. Too bad. Be able to be with and hear nature and not the clowns on the highways would have, could have help make the paddle adventure PaddleHeaven.com.

So, word to the wise. Like the old song “The Teddy Bears Picnic”, if you go down in the water today, beware Sunday is the day of the roar, and not from teddy bears or nature, but from fossil fuel.

Go EARLY to beat the insanity and hopefully the wind will blow from the south and there will leaves on the trees to help cut the inferno from the tires and other goodies down.

There is an island upstream from the put-in at Milltown. The west side of the island offers some refuge from the road rage.

Make sure you carry hearing protection. Laugh if you want. Wait until the jets from the Whidbey War machine roar down on your head. “They” list all sorts of stuff to carry for safety and other reasons when paddling. I say make sure to carry earplugs, cotton balls and headphones to protect not only your ears, mind but sanity.

Posted in North Puget Sound, Skagit County, Washington State | No Comments »

A whale of a day on Port Susan and Tulalip Bay.

March 20th, 2011

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Paddling Port Susan was alive with whales on Saturday March 19, 2011.

The paddling on this particular day and adventure was excellent.

The weather was perfect. Sunny but not too hot and the water was glassy smooth most of the day.

Paddling around Tulalip Bay was great.

Paddling up the coast line of Port Susan heading north from Tulalip Bay was perfectly smooth mirror like conditions which is rare.

With these perfect conditions spouts from whales could be seen along the Camano Island shoreline off to the west over a mile away.

There were several whales on the distant horizon.

From past experience I figured they would head up the west side of Port Susan. So I paddled fast up the shore to get a glimpse.

Yup, at least one whale crossed the expanse from Camano to the Tribal side of the water.

I was able to park along the extremely high tide shoreline and watch and listen to the heavy breathing as the giant came up for air not far from shore.

What a treat to see the massive critter feasting on the way north.

Was a perfect ending to a perfect day on the water while kayaking in Washington State.

You can check out PaddleHeaven.com for a list of put-ins in Washington State and information about budget kayaking and related information about camping and much more.

Posted in British Columbia, Camano Island, Canada, Central Puget Sound, Central Washington State, Channelled Scablands, Coulee Corridor, Eastern Washinnton, Education, Float Plans, Kayak Gear, Kayaking Topics, King County, Links, Lopez Island, North Cascades, North Puget Sound, Olympic Peninsula, Paddling Collaboration, People, Places & Things., Places & Things, Potholes Reservoir, San Juan Island, San Juan Islands, Shaw Island, Skagit County, Snohomish County, Stuff Hound, Washington State, Western Washington State, Whatcom County, Whidbey Island, eBook Publishing | No Comments »

Spada Lake Paddling Map Updates

March 15th, 2011

Spada Lake Paddling Map Updates include some new additions to the web pages for

Kayaking South Shore Spada Lake and for Kayaking Spada Lake South Fork put-in put-in locations on Spada.

The new features on the web pages in include Google Earth links to fly over and check the locations out with and eagle view before venturing out to paddle.

The other kewl stuff includes the creation of a downloadable PDF format map for:

Paddding South Fork Spada Lake Put-iin map.

and also a Paddding South Fork Spada Lake Put-iin map.

Both maps are parked at AdventurePigs.com eBook self publishing services.

So, if you are into paddling on Spada Lake in the Sultan Washington State area outside of the Seattle metro areas, the little maps might help you and the web pages might have some clues for and about when, where and how to enjoy a paddle adventure kayaking and or canoeing on Spada Lake in the Cascade Mountains.

Posted in Snohomish County, Washington State, Western Washington State | No Comments »

British Columbia Canada is off the Paddle Heaven list.

March 15th, 2011

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British Columbia Canada is off the Paddle Heaven recommended list because kayaking, paddling, canoeing camping etc are risky enough activities as is.

Paddling locations in this site and many not listed are isolated.

Isolated locations in Washington State are very risky places to park and then paddle due to thieves and an assortment of scoundrels lurking about.

Canadian paddling should be left to Canadians or them that have the money to do what it takes to be able to thwart off the trouble makers that lurk in the Super Natural BC.

In short if you have license plate from below the 49th parallel you might as well unlock the vehicle and or place everything outside for the vandals to help themselves.

Thieves are as rampant in the parks as the mosquitos.

If you are from below the 49th and really, really want to explore BC think about renting a vehicle on the BC side with BC license plates.

That way when you are in a campground or … you won’t be such a sitting duck for the sticky fingers that hate people from south of the 49th.

BC is a lovely place and would be great to explore and has some wonderful people. But the crazy bells ring loud and clear when off the beaten path paddling or camping especially if you have the wrong license plates.

Best to leave British Columbia to the Canadians.

Posted in British Columbia, Camano Island, Canada, Central Puget Sound, Central Washington State, Channelled Scablands, Columbia River, Coulee Corridor, Eastern Washinnton, Education, Float Plans, Kayak Gear, Kayaking Topics, King County, Links, Lopez Island, North Cascades, North Puget Sound, Olympic Peninsula, Paddling Collaboration, People, Places & Things., Places & Things, Potholes Reservoir, San Juan Island, San Juan Islands, Shaw Island, Skagit County, Snohomish County, Stuff Hound, Washington State, Western Washington State, Whatcom County, Whidbey Island, eBook Publishing | No Comments »

Top 10 keywords that brought visitors to Paddle Heaven

March 3rd, 2011

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The top 10 keywords that brought visitors to Paddle Heaven BLOG in the past 12 months include:

baker lake camping
goat island washington
goat island wa
paddle heaven
cranberry l(…)eption pass
frenchman sage
winchester wasteway
freshwater bay port angeles
Lake Shannon
winchester wasteway canoe

The above results are from a program called WassUp.

Baker Lake camping seems to always be a popular search keyword combo that brings people to this blog.

In the past month other keywords like:
baker lake camping
goat island wa
PADDLE HEAVEN
freshwater bay port angeles
goat island washington
shaw island camping
winchester wasteway canoe
Winchester Wasteway
kayak put i(…)puget sound
potholes reservoir canoeing

Looks like Baker Lake, Goat Island and Winchester Wasteway in the Potholes area very popular places.

What this signals is that paddling in these locations might be better during the off season unless you are into crowd therapy. :)

Posted in British Columbia, Camano Island, Canada, Central Puget Sound, Central Washington State, Channelled Scablands, Columbia River, Coulee Corridor, Eastern Washinnton, Education, Float Plans, Kayak Gear, Kayaking Topics, King County, Links, Lopez Island, North Cascades, North Puget Sound, Olympic Peninsula, Paddling Collaboration, People, Places & Things., Places & Things, Potholes Reservoir, San Juan Island, San Juan Islands, Shaw Island, Skagit County, Snohomish County, Stuff Hound, Washington State, Western Washington State, Whatcom County, Whidbey Island, eBook Publishing | No Comments »