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We added a new section on Astronomy and Heavens . You can find them under the camping skills. Included is a complete section of star charts for the Northern Hemisphere. We are working to find something for the Southern Hemisphere. If you have any leads, please contact us. We also added more information on the dangers of Rip Currents and how to escape them. I never realized but Rip Currents account for 80% of rescues at beaches and over 100 people drown each year from them as apposed to only 18 from hurricanes in the US. See the stats here.

Who was out paddling this weekend?
Sunday, 03 September 2006

Well, we watched the weather bouy for Lake Ontario and this past weekend caught the tail end of Hurricane Ernesto moving into Southern Ontario. Liz Burnside, Eric Oggard and I decided to take advantage of the wind and get out and some surfing. The wave height was a consistent 5 feet with larger waves at 7 feet. No, it wasn’t one of those "the fish was this big" type wave height measurements. We have been practicing Nick Schade’s article here on how to accurately determine wave height . It was big water and we got trashed several times. Quite fun. One time I was going to roll up but thought, "I will just wait until the shaking stops before attempting." We posted a bunch of photos on our photo gallery here.

What The Big Dipper Can Tell You
Saturday, 02 September 2006

by: Kathy A. Miles and Charles F. Peters II Most people can point out the asterism known as the Big Dipper. No, the dipper is not a true constellation, rather it is an asterism, a familiar group of stars located within a constellation. The Big Dip is actually part of the constellation Ursa Major, the Great Bear. It is a group of stars that at our latitude, and anywhere north of here, is visible all night, every night of the year. That makes it handy for things like telling time, and with some practice, you can gauge time to within 30 minutes by observing the Dipper.
The scale of the universe is so immense that it is difficult to imagine the relative distances between celestial objects. The Sun, the Moon, the planets, the stars, and the galaxies - they all seem like distant objects in the sky. It is easy to just think of them all as being very far away, without giving much thought to the great differences in their distances from Earth. In order to grasp the diversity in true distances in the universe it helps to mentally scale things down - to compare with objects and distances we can understand. How far away would these objects be if the Earth, which is actually about 8,000 miles in diameter, were the size of a grape, or about one half inch in diameter.
Every one of us should be adaptive paddlers. Outfit your boat to fit your body. Learn to paddle with good form and technique! Proper posture while kayaking will solve and prevent many physical discomforts. Marna Powell from Kayak Zak's gives some really practical tips for adapting boats and gear for different types of people. A must read for all instructors.
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