boat slide

2016-09-04 SILETZ, OREGON, USA -- Here are pictures of a boat slide, something parks in Japan don't offer to boaters.

Last time Noriko and I visited this park, there was only a gravel parking space for a few cars and a narrow dirt path leading to the water.

Now they have a paved parking lot, complete with a crosswalk. I cannot recall the last time I saw a crosswalk at a park with a boat launch.

The top of the boat slide has a metal frame shaped like a goal post. At the top center there is a hole for passing through a rope.

People with boats load their boats on the slide, and connect their boat to their vehicle (typically a pickup truck) using a rope.

The instructions say to use a 130-foot (39-meter) rope. A bus might be 12 meters long. 40 meters would be the length of 2.5 buses, parked back to back.

The slide slopes gently at first, then steeply.

It is a fairly long drop to the river below.

For Noriko and me, we would need to carry our kayak by hand to and from the water. I am not confident that we could do it.

The river flows slow and shallow this time of year. When the water level is higher, we might like to paddle in our kayak, if we could somehow get our kayak on the water.


2015-09-14 GALESVILLE RESERVOIR, OREGON, USA -- While kayaking on Galesville Reservoir in southern Oregon, we came across thousands of large tadpoles! What a beautiful sight!

Galesville Reservoir, located near the community of Azalea, Oregon

Water levels are low in most Oregon reservoirs due to a dry rainy season and a hot dry season. The shallow warm water is good for tadpoles!

The water bottom was almost completely black with tadpoles. The picture below shows tadpoles after many of them swam away when they saw our shadow.

Some had tails, some had hind legs, some had fore legs too, and some were climbing ashore.
Each tadpole with a full-length tail was about 7 cm long.

Lots of algae in the water keep the tadpoles well-fed. Here's a pair happily together in the water. Soon they'll lose their tails and become adults.

This young adult posed for its picture.


2015-09-06 LINCOLN CITY, OREGON, USA -- We kayaked on Devils lake, Netarts bay, the Siuslaw river, Fern Ridge reservoir, and Dorena reservoir. Our trip on the Siuslaw river broke our records for range (distance) and endurance (time in motion) at 06:36 and 35.7 km. Poor Noriko was exhausted!

Devil's lake, located in Lincoln City
Our tandem kayak travels on land on detachable rear wheels. The wheels are stored upside down near the stern when we are on the water.

The lakeshore is lined with houses. Some are expensive. Our affordable house is behind the hill shown in the picture below. We live within easy walking distance, although the hill is too steep to safely pull by hand a kayak on wheels.

Netarts bay, located at Netarts
The bay was shallow at spots. I got off our boat and pulled it across a sandbar. When I exit the boat the boat rises in the water, so I can often pull the boat after running aground.

Park entrance fees are affordable and on the honor system. You put money in an envelope, drop the envelope in a box, and place your receipt behind your windshield.

Siuslaw river, which flows into the Pacific ocean at Florence
Lots of sun, some tide and wind.


This swing (also called turnstile) railroad bridge must be for tall ships and railcars. The bridge and river were deserted when we passed by.

We traveled from the Florence public ramp to just before Mapleton landing. This was our longest trip to date.

Fern Ridge reservoir, located west of Eugene
Overcast with occasional sunshine and showers. Visible in the background is the Fern Ridge dam, which was built to control flooding.


Abundant tall clouds signal the end of summer.

Dorena reservoir, located east of Cottage Grove

Oregon had a dry rainy season. Water in reservoirs is being drawn ahead of schedule. Exposed dead tree stumps look like strange creatures climbing ashore. Because most reservoirs are shallow, the surface area is significantly larger at full pool (that is, when the reservoir is full).


Kero's private cabin is a transparent dry bag.

Kayak repair

Our kayak has 2 pairs of fins. I bent 1 pair when I hit a submerged log. A quick trip to
Next Adventure (a kayak dealer in downtown Portland) fixed the problem. Instead of merely repairing our equipment, we decided to upgrade the broken part with what the manufacturer claims to be an improvement.

Our old, undamaged drive. Inspected and lubricated.


Our old, damaged drive, with upgraded fins (the red and black blades) and sprockets (the gray component the fins are attached to).


more kayaking

2013-09-16 LINCOLN CITY, OREGON -- Noriko and I kayaked 14 days for a total distance of over 220 km so far this summer. On our latest trip, we put in our kayak at the small town of Waldport, Oregon. From the boat launch near the mouth of the Alsea river, we went up-river for 11 km, where Noriko found a floating restaurant. She had pulled pork and I had a french dip sandwich. A gentleman from Medford, Oregon kindly took our picture.



2013-09-02 LINCOLN CITY, OREGON -- Noriko and I have been kayaking. The rivers along the part of our Oregon coast are mostly tidal, that is, their water flows are affected more by tides than by river current. We are learning how to use tidal tables and tidal current tables. The latter are more important because the velocity and direction of the water flow affects us more than the height of the water.

Here are pictures of (a) the Yaquina River between the Cannon Quarry and Elk City boat launches near Toledo, Oregon, (b) the Willamette River south of the Wallace Marine Park boat launch in Salem, Oregon, and (c) a salamander at Olalla Lake near Toledo, Oregon.



2012-09-20 LINCOLN CITY, OREGON -- Noriko and I kayaked along the Siletz River from the boat launch at Ichwhit Park.

This will probably be the last kayaking trip of the season. The summer ended too soon but it was just as well because the kayak’s reclining pedaling position (similar to recumbent bicycles) is not kind to our backs. We need some stretching and strengthening exercises!

Here are some pictures with captions.

We loaded up the KeroTruck with our tandem kayak. The 14.5-foot (4.2 meter) kayak doesn’t look too large on the ladder rack. We’re getting accustomed to loading and unloading.

Our kayak has pedals that propel our vessel at various speeds: 2 knots (3.6 km per hour) at two-thirds speed (only me pedaling at leisurely speed), 3 knots (5.4 km per hour) at standard speed (only me pedaling at brisk, sustainable speed), and 4 knots (7.2 km per hour) at full speed (only me pedaling aggressively, akin to a good running workout). When Noriko pedals, we go faster. We don’t know yet what our flank speed is.

The water was calm. This is what floatplane pilots call “glassy” water.

Summer is giving way to autumn along the river bank.

Some people live along the river. Those who do all have a boat or two.

One person living in an RV hung a frog wind ornament from his awning.

We saw 3 otters. Next time we’ll take pictures using a telephoto setting and higher resolution.

We loaded up the kayak on the truck and drove 12 miles (20 km) back home.

kayaking with a friend

2012-08-25 LINCOLN CITY, OREGON -- Mark, an old friend, drove up from California to stay with us for a few days. We launched our brand-new kayak in Devil’s Lake. He swam across. Noriko and I paddled and pedaled. Our kayak is propelled by both arms and legs.