Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Port Macquarie Accommodation

Port Macquarie accommodation is of such variety and comfort that you will find it an enchanting holiday that will never fade away from memory.

What do you expect on your holiday in Port Macquarie? At the end of your visits to the beaches, golf links, sports venues or sailing trips, your heart aches for the inviting bed or the soothing spa in your apartment. You would like to put up your feet and savour a drink, relax alone or enjoy the bonhomie of your family or friends.

The perfect haven

It is the homecoming at the end of the day, which you yearn for and would like to earn it through vigorous and robust exertions of the day.

Port Macquarie has a variety of places of stay, hotels, motels, beach resorts, apartments and what have you. You can choose, cut a good deal and reserve on line.

You want to relax and revitalize? Flynns Beach Resort is just a stone’s throw away from the pristine sands of Port Macquarie's famous Flynns Beach. It is the perfect haven for the perfect holiday you have always been planning.

Port Macquarie hotel accommodation can be had just to suit your budget, your taste, your sense of privacy and your yen to make the most of your holiday. You will receive tons of what you wanted to get out of your holiday rest, relaxation and restoration of your ability to recapture the magic of life.

What is in store for you

· Modern, spacious two-bedroom, self-contained apartments with a variety of facilities.

· Hot deals for the weekenders or the grand Christmas holiday for ten days with attractive add-ons.

· Families, couples, singles or just you and your friends are welcome.

· Spa in luxury apartments where you can rejuvenate your tired limbs.

· If you want to take it easy, you will luxuriate in the tropical gardens, the swimming pool or the golden sands of the beaches.

· If you are the outdoor type, you'll enjoy BBQ areas, tennis court, fully equipped gym, playgrounds, nature walks and all the fun of shopping in craft and antique shops.

The right to rest and renewal

During the day you hike, ride a canoe or shop around, trudge on the white sands and let the sun shine and the wind beat on you all day long. But at the end of the day, your weary feet ache and your back pleads for repose. You hasten to your apartment for the rest that you have rightly earned. If you want a break at midday, go ahead and indulge yourself with a siesta, the ultimate luxury of the work weary housewife or the husbandman.

Far from the madding crowd of bustling metropolises, your Port Macquarie accommodation turns out to be your fantasy hideout. You can go into hibernation mode and recharge your batteries for the next foray into that stressful world, refreshed, renewed and confident.

Pasco County Florida Homes for Every Taste and Budget

The West Coast of Florida has definitely been blessed by Mother Nature, with a coastline like none other in the world, plush interior lands, sub-tropical, year-round temperatures, and an abundance of annual sunshine!

Pasco County is an area of the Tampa Bay Area that offers real estate possibilities to suit most every taste and budget that one can envision for living. With more than 740 miles of land and more than 300 miles of water, Pasco County Florida real estate has much to offer to home buyers, and real estate investors.

Pasco County is an exceptional choice for a natural lifestyle that can bring families closer or enhance the quality of living for those who have raised their families already and are now looking to enjoy the golden moments of their lives.

Pasco County Florida residents understand how an active lifestyle leads to longevity, and resistance to diseases. Getting out and doing something isn't difficult here. Not with more than a 100 miles and endless opportunities for recreational activity in the area. Pasco County has 3 State-Endorsed canoe trails, 4 artificial reefs for exploring, over 20 golf courses, walking paths, and much more.

Pasco County also recognizes that it is just as important to regularly exercise the mind. Historical museums, art galleries, literary expos, and operettas are staples here. Plenty of good restaurants, shopping, close proximity to major attractions, less congestion and crowding in comparison to similar cities, quality education, career choices, and premium real estate, rounds out the total package that Pasco County Florida is all about.

Dade city is the county seat of Pasco County and other cities within Pasco County include: Holiday, Hudson, and Land O’ Lakes, as well as Lutz, New Port Richey, Odessa, Port Richey, Wesley Chapel, and Zephyrhills. The area is also dotted with smaller towns such as Trinity, which supplies even more options for your real estate purchase.

The average household income for families living in the Pasco County Area is about $40,000 annually. The trade, transportation, utility, and tourism industries ensure that plenty of work is available in the Pasco County Florida Region.

The construction of new homes begins at around $160,000. This makes the Pasco County area an affordable alternative for those whose budgets cannot afford the higher pricing found in neighboring Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties. Pre-existing homes can be found for as low as $100,000. For those with no budget constraints, outstanding waterfront estates in the $900,000 price range are available for purchase.

Contact your realtor today and enjoy Pasco County life.

Bob Lipply is a top Real Estate Broker Associate in the Pasco County Real Estate area. He and his team have been helping families relocate to Florida and on the selling end get top dollar for their homes with great success. Lipply Real Estate also specializes in Pinellas County Real Estate, visit the website where you can search the MLS for up to date available homes for sale.

Island Discovery through Bora Bora Cruises

For a romantic and leisurely vacation, discover the island of Bora Bora onboard luxurious and ultimately private Bora Bora cruises. The two popular yachts for Bora Bora cruises are the elegant and custom-built Tu Moana and Tia Moana, each 230 feet with 30 large cabins. These gorgeous Bora Bora cruises will bring you to Bora Bora’s tranquil lagoons and neighboring islands to include Taha’a, Raiatea, and Huahine. On these islands you can enjoy numerous activities from a leisurely island tour to thrilling submarine, helicopter, Jet Ski, scuba diving or shark feeding experience.

The Tu Moana and Tia Moana feature spacious and sophisticated cabins with designer amenities that include a flat screen television, DVD, extra-wide windows, original works of art, individually-controlled air conditioning, elegant beds and linens, and locally made special bathing products. These super yachts have several Jacuzzis, sundecks, a spa nd other facilities that will make your travel experience truly restful, relaxing and rejuvenating.

Bora Bora cruises are usually available in travel packages, which often include airport transfers to and from your yacht and hotel accommodation in addition to the cruise itself. Guests of the Tu Moana and Tia Moana super yachts are welcomed at the airport with fresh fruits and champagne. Their package price includes gourmet meals served any time and a selection of hot drinks and wines.

Some of the special events that guests will be treated to include extravagant dinners, outdoor film showings, kayak and canoe expeditions, snorkeling, breakfast at a lagoon, plantation tours, sunset viewing, and island dances, among many activities.

Bora Bora cruises are also known for excellent guest services provided by well-trained crew experienced in hotel and luxury yacht service. They are attentive to the needs of the guests, efficient and friendly.

The Bora Bora cruises onboard Tu Moana and Tia Moana last 6 nights and 7 nights. You can easily book a cruise online through the website of the cruise company or through a representative agent based in California, France, Spain, Australia, Italy, and Japan.

Before booking a trip, make sure you have read all the necessary information provided on the company’s website such as package inclusions, policy about children, payment, refund and cancellation policies, taxes, pickup times, and other important notices. In addition, make sure you have secured all necessary documents for your trip. For example, on the Tu Moana and Tia Moana cruises, you should have with you a voucher provided by your travel agent. Lastly, it is highly recommended that you purchase travel insurance from a reputable company relevant toy your trip.

Milos Pesic is a professional tourist guide who runs a highly popular and comprehensive Bora Bora web site. For more articles and resources on Bora Bora vacations packages, Bora Bora hotels and cruises, Bora Bora pictures and much more visit his site at:


Don't be an Ice Cube

Water is great to play in. Swimming, canoeing, kayaking, rafting. There are lots of ways to get wet and have fun. But there are dangers too.

Of course everyone is aware of the threat of drowning. So we learn to swim and take other proper precautions such as wearing flotation devices. But water presents another more subtle danger that many people, especially novices to outdoor recreation, are not aware of.

Hypothermia! Water actually has the ability to drain the warmth from your body and turn you into an ice cube. Well, not literally (unless you are swimming in the Arctic Ocean) but the effect will be the same. You will die.

It’s all a matter of simple physics. You can handle cold air because your body has the ability to manufacture enough warmth to compensate for heat it loses.

But water transfers heat over 200 times more efficiently than air. Immerse yourself in water and your body simply can’t keep up. Even when the water is relatively warm, say 65 degrees, your body can’t generate enough warmth to compensate for the heat being sucked out into the water.

You can be in danger even if you are not actually in the water. Maybe you are in a boat or even on shore, but you are constantly being splashed by the water spray. Combine that with a good wind blowing and you have the potential for hypothermia.

You may be comfortably dry in your canoe or kayak, enjoying a bright warm sunny day. But an unexpected event could send you into the lake or river.

The time it takes for hypothermia take hold varies depending on the water temperature and other factors. But be aware that even in 65 degree water, a person could succumb to it within a few hours.

One of the early symptoms of hypothermia is reduced ability to speak and think. Observe the members of your party and watch for signs of impaired speech. Other tings to look for are increased irritability, blue lips, uncontrolled shivering and clumsiness.

These early stages are the time to do something before hypothermia really sets in. Getting warm and dry will get you back to normal so you can continue with your activities.

If nothing is done, then hypothermia will set in and professional treatment will be needed.

The threat of hypothermia is something that you need to be aware of anytime you are near the water. The colder the water is, the quicker it will hit you. But even warmer water can kill you if it is given enough time. So be careful around water.

The good news is that even acute hypothermia need not be fatal provided you get out of the water and obtain treatment. If your planned outdoor activities involve water then it is your responsibility to learn how to avoid and how to treat hypothermia. Otherwise you could end up an ice cube.

Peter Shannon is a writer and author of the popular – a Web site born out of his passion. Perhaps you have a passion or hobby that you would like to write about. Discover how to turn it into a profitable Web site like Peter has. Visit to learn more.

Thunder Rock, Tennessee: A Place Where Natural Treasures Abound

The Cherokee National Forest in southern Tennessee is home to a number of fantastic campgrounds for the outdoor enthusiast to enjoy. Thunder Rock, one such campground which runs adjacent to the Ocoee River, is among the most popular destinations for hikers and campers alike. And it's not hard to see why; with a vast array of recreational opportunities and an abundance of natural beauty to offer, what's to keep you away?

At an elevation of 1,040 feet, Thunder Rock offers phenomenal hiking and mountain biking trails with some truly breathtaking views. The campground's two main hiking trails - Thunder Rock Trail and Benton Mackaye Trail - provide access to miles of natural splendour for visitors of all ages. There are seven walk-in sites to the campground, all of which are situated in close proximity to one another, and camping sites include tent pads, tables and cooking grills. The campground is open all year, making it a popular holiday destination for all; a number of people even choose to travel with RVs, enabling them to move easily between surrounding campsites such as Chilhowee, Lost Creek and Quinn Springs.

The nearby Ocoee River provides independent and guided kayaking, canoeing and whitewater rafting opportunities. Visitors may also be interested to know that that Ocoee Whitewater Center, located only one mile from Thunder Rock campground, is the site of the 1996 Olympic kayak and canoe competition. Canoeing, kayaking and rafting rentals are readily available from local outfitters, making it simple for anyone to partake in these terrific outdoor activities.

The campground is equipped with hot showers and toilet facilities for those who plan to stay for a few nights. But rest assured that you do not have to camp out to enjoy the recreational splendours of Thunder Rock. If you're a nature enthusiast but prefer to stay in a hotel rather than to camp out, you'll find a number of fantastic options when it comes to choosing hotel accommodation in nearby cities and towns. Chattanooga, for example, is 58 miles from Thunder Rock and provides all the comforts of a big city, so it's just as convenient to stay in a hotel and simply drive to Thunder Rock for nature excursions during the day.

So whether you're after a day-long nature hike or a week-long camping trip, head to Thunder Rock, Tennessee, where nature is displayed in all its magnificence. Rest assured, you'll come away from the experience feeling relaxed, renewed and rejuvenated.

Butt Inertia - Getting off the Couch and Chasing Your Dreams

"A butt at rest will stay at rest unless acted upon by an outside force. A butt in motion will stay in motion if it just gets off the couch." -John Pugh

I'm a slothful individual. I can heat a house with burnt time. I slid just under the tax deduction wire by being born on December 31st. Odds are I'll to be late to my own funeral. You get the picture.

That said, I think the only way to achieve anything is to just get off your butt and start. Just getting a goal and starting toward it is the big thing. Details work themselves out over time so don't sweat the small stuff to begin with. Any progress is good progress. Just do something.

Tell people what your plans are. Parents, family, friends, strangers off the street, it doesn't matter. Some will be supportive. Some will say you're a fool. Listen to the former but don't ignore the latter. It helps to have people to face up to when you're scared out of your wits and want to quit. Peer pressure isn't always bad.

Taking the chance of falling on your face occasionally is good for the soul. When I'm old and grey(er), I don't want the regret of not trying something just because I was lazy or doing busy work . Life's too short for that. My father passed away when I was four and I doubt if given the option he would have asked for more time in the office. This trip down the Mississippi was one of the hardest things I've done but also the most fulfilling.

I was a wreck for months before we started. Sleepless nights thinking about details, worries about failure, and nagging doubts about doing the right thing were all part of the process. Once the canoe hit the water everything fell into place. Of all the miles, the first one was the sweetest. Just getting out of the rat race and trying something else was its own reward.

I made a deal with myself at the end of my thru-hike to do something cool at least every five years. That could be hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, biking across the country, or building a house from scratch. Anything to get off my butt and do something besides watch the years go by. If nothing else, I'll have some good stories to lie to my unconcieved grandkids about.

The first and hardest thing is to get off the couch and start. Once that butt inertia gets going, it's all downhill from there

John Pugh has over 5,000 miles of backpacking and paddling experience, including a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail and paddling trip down the Mississippi River. His book, Source to Sea, is being released in early 2007. Book excepts can be found at He is available for speaking engagements, and can be reached at

Why Choose Inflatable Kayaks?

Why Choose Inflatable Kayaks?

I don't consider myself an expert paddler, by far. I have enjoyed kayaking and canoeing for over 30 years. My experiences have taken me down the Snake River, Idaho, Broken Bow, Oklahoma, and a few ventures that add up to about 20-30 paddling adventures. I have seasoned over the years and I look for ease, reliability, comfot, and convenience in my adventures.

The ease of spending a few minutes of unloading and inflating, I know I will spend more time doing what I like, enjoying the outdoors! Being experienced, I know the reliability and control you need when hitting those rough areas and being light makes it easy to cruise the flats.

These are not toys! Comparing the patented designs and construction, they are similar to molded or rigid kayaks. I do take my pump and repair kit with me, but I only had to pump it up a little. Like a balloon, the temperature will, hot/cold, affect the pressure of the kayak. Just a couple of pumps, I am back in action.

Well, I am in my 50's and I enjoy a few more comforts in life. When you carry, drag, cart, etc. that hard-shell kayak, it sure becomes a little more uncomfortable and tougher to launch in those hard to reach areas. The typical inflatable kayak weighs 30 lbs or less, and it can be carried on a backpack, with paddle and PFD Vest, with little effort.

To bad I can't go back in time. I know how much more fun it would have been with the family. When you live in apartments, condos, and even a home, it is so inconvenient to move and store the hard-shell kayaks. All the preparation loading up the trailer, dedicating the extra time neccessary to pull out of the storage area, having a truck and trailer, and finding a place to launch. Now, I drive an SUV, and I carry a canoe, 2 kayaks, and camping gear for 4 in the back. My storage in the garage is minimal, but there is plenty of room to handle my weekend or anytime adventures.

Of course, there are disadvantages to the inflatable kayaks:

They are not as robust as rigid plastic ones.
Inflatables are affected by wind a lot more, exercise caution if using on the sea.
A Buoyance Aid should be worn at all times or a lifejacket if a non-swimmer.
Inflatable kayaks and canoes do not give you the same performance as plastic kayaks or canoes, but you can find products that have quality and design as close as you can get!

If you have an interest in finding out more, Paddling is a great word search for researching. This was the first place I started my research.

Steve Fuwider, CEO, River Valley Inflatables, offering quality and service.

Memphis' Mississippi Mud

It’s been done before - but not quite like this.

We’ve all seen scale-models. Cars, trains, airplanes, boats. But this ‘miniature’ is five city blocks long. In conjunction with the adjoining museum, it tells a large part of the story of our nation.

We were there in July. Almost didn’t go. Too hot. Too humid. Oh, well, we should at least be able to say we’ve been there. We’ll give it an hour … then go find a cold drink somewhere. We started with the mono-rail ride across the harbor to Mud Island. We stayed for hours.

The Mississippi River Museum, located on the grounds, details the development of the midwest from the Mississippi River’s point of view. Fascinating! Barges and riverboats, traders and farmers, gamblers and entertainers. Slaves and free men. Frenchmen and Spaniards and English. Native Indians and settlers. Captains and thieves. We easily spent three hours browsing our history in air-conditioned comfort. We particularly liked the dioramas and reproductions of the boats that influenced the river’s development. From the French & Indian War through the Civil War and WWII, the museum is very thorough in telling our story. The story of the growth and development of America.

Aah, but the miniature … Wait till you see that!

Can you imagine calculating how many gallons of water flow down the Mississippi daily? Can you contemplate creating a model that mimics that flow? Pumping thousands of gallons of water daily from the river’s sources: stone walls that represent the Ohio and Missouri basins. A scale model that represents every mile of the lower Mississippi in each 30-inch stride. A 1,000-mile journey from Cairo, IL to New Orleans that flows along the edge of the real Mississippi at Mud Island River Park in Memphis, TN.

Wade the ‘river’. Stroll from town to town, each laid out in scale, precisely placed. The grounds are beautifully landscaped and seating is convenient for quiet moments along the river’s edge. We loved watching little ones splash in the water, the depth of which also mimics the Mississippi River in scale. Meander along the banks of the river to the Gulf of Mexico, a one-acre lake that holds 1.3 million gallons of water – recycled every twelve hours – from the Ohio and Missouri basin walls up river.

Plan a day, so you can explore everything … then swim in the ‘Gulf’ lagoon, rent a paddle boat or canoe.

Whether you like history - botanical gardens - tourist attractions - or just a wonderful place to spend an afternoon, this is it. The Mud Island River Park is a ‘must see’ in Memphis, Tennessee.

For more than three decades, Ruth Seebeck and her husband, Ed, have been encouraging, coaching, mentoring and teaching friends, family, neighbors and strangers to find a more enjoyable and fulfilling lifestyle. As avid travelers, gardeners, history buffs and expert organizers, they share lifestyle tips, topics, and travel expertise at St Augustine said "The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page." Come, turn the page with us and discover new chapters for your own life.

Boating Safety Equipment You Must Have

Whether you're piloting a 40-foot sailboat or a canoe, the United States Coast Guard requires that every boat carry certain safety equipment. The equipment is not expensive or hard to find and may save your life in an emergency. Boaters who carry the standard safety equipment are statistically far more likely to survive a boating emergency than those who don't.

The Coast Guard requires that there be a personal flotation device for each person present on the boat. Although the Coast Guard does not mandate that the personal flotation device actually be worn, some state laws require them to be worn at all times when the boat is underway by children under a certain age. Most reputable marinas will be able to provide you with information on applicable state laws regarding personal flotation devices. Additionally, if a boat is more than 16 feet in length a personal flotation device that can be thrown into the water, like a life ring, is required by the Coast Guard.

Every boat, of all sizes, must have a whistle or horn. This noisemaking device serves to warn other boats of your presence and to use as a distress signal in case of emergency. Boats larger than 39.4 feet must carry both a bell and a whistle. The whistle must be able to be heard at a distance of one half a nautical mile. The bell must be at least 7.87 inches in diameter.

Visual distress signals for night time use, such as emergency flares, are required on all boats traveling coastal waters, the Great Lakes, and any connecting body of water that is more than two miles wide. Larger boats are required to carry a daytime visual signal as well. Besides flares, other visual distress signals include flags, flashlights, water dye markers, and smoke signals.

Boats larger than 26 feet must carry a Coast Guard-approved fire extinguisher. Boats with no motors such as canoes or row boats and boats less than 26 feet that don't have permanent fuel tanks are not required to carry a fire extinguisher.

The Coast Guard recommends, but does not require additional safety items. These include a blanket, oars in case the motor is disabled, a bucket for bailing and a first aid kit. Other useful items include rain ponchos and a tarp or plastic garbage back to keep yourself and your boat dry in a storm.

Finally, the Coast Guard recommends filing a plan with a responsible party before you leave so that there is at least one person on land who knows where you plan to be.

Kadence Buchanan writes articles on many topics including Boating, Baseball, and Sport

An Island A Day

Stand by the shores of Casco Bay on the coast of Maine and you may expect to find ocean as far as the eye can see. Instead seemingly endless islands dot the seascape. Sometimes called the calendar islands, there is rumored to be an island in the bay for every day of the year.

Stretching from Cape Elizabeth to Cape Small these islands with their rocky shores and rustic way of life define the stereotypical New England coastline. Mostly uninhabited, they provide a serene escape from everyday life. Their natural beauty and their sheer numbers create a place one could visit every day and still never have completely explored. With an island for every day of the year there is more than enough shelter from the wind to allow everything from large fishing vessels to solo kayaks to roam the bay. While sandy beaches are few and far between here, the rock strewn shores and miles of nature trails can supply a continual source of enjoyment.

If you know where to look the Casco Bay islands will also provide a glimpse of Maine maritime history. Being located on the eastern most part of the country, these islands served their time during World War II as bases and look outs for German U-Boats. Great towers and forts still remain on Jewel Island, and while mostly converted to homes now, the military buildings on Great Diamond Island are hard to miss. During the war anti-submarine nets and mines were deployed at many harbor entrances and the islands took on a front line role. Even before WWII Casco Bay held military purposes. In 1858 Fort Georges was constructed and armed for the Civil War, Spanish American War, and was used to store submarine mines during WWI.

Many opportunities await those looking to enjoy the islands for their less historical characteristics. Chebeague is the largest of the Casco Bay islands, and one of the few with a year round population. Ferry service takes visitors from Portland or nearby Cousin’s Island to the perfect setting for an adventuresome hike or leisurely bike ride. You can finish the day off with a delicious dinner or nights rest at the breath taking Chebeague Inn. Great Diamond Island also offers an exceptional dining experience at the Diamond’s Edge restaurant in Diamond’s Cove. Peaks and Long islands both present dining opportunities to their guests and their proximity to Portland makes them popular tourist attractions.

If you are looking for a little less populated destination then you have literally hundreds of choices. You can relax on the beaches of Sand Island, watch the seals bask on the rocks of French Island, or setup a picturesque camping site on one of the Gosling islands. Many of these smaller islands will require you to provide your own transportation, but kayak, canoe, sail, and motor boat rentals all provide easy access.

Whether you are looking for fine dining, a historical stroll, or a relaxing day on the beach Casco Bay offers something for every visitor and an island for every day of the year.

About the author:

Nate Soule is a travel enthusiast and helps maintain the travel website

Fishing Fun- Head North To Canada

Picture it: standing knee-deep in a cool, sun-drenched stream, trout or salmon breaking the surface of the water all around you while you cast your line to catch one of those babies, heart racing with excitement. Such an image is not at all far-fetched when it comes to fishing in Canada, and thousands of anglers from around the world converge on Canada's hundreds of thousands of square miles of lakes, streams and rivers throughout the country every year.

Canada offers fishermen of all ages, sexes and experience levels a wealth of fishing opportunities and adventures, no matter what you want to do. Spectacular landscapes, mountain ranges, valleys and canyons delight visitors to the Canadian wilderness every summer, spring and fall, and even more daring fishermen venture to Canada in the winter to participate in some of the world's finest ice fishing during colder months.

Fishing in Canada reaps more than just salmon, and trout, pike, halibut and everything in between are plentiful, as is fresh air, bright skies and endless forests and meadows, making Canada a favorite for everyone. Families, loners and groups are more than welcome to any number of fishing lodges, camps or resorts scattered throughout the various provinces in Canada. Whether you want to hike in, ride in, drive in or canoe in, there's a fishing adventure waiting for you in Canada. Many people head south or west for their fall fishing, but why not head north and skip the crowds and enjoy some cooler temperatures for a change?

Fishing excursions can be custom planned by fishing outfits or you can make arrangements through your local travel agency. Most people these days make their plans on the Internet, directly with fishing providers throughout Canada. Want to reserve a cabin in the wilderness for yourself or your family? Make sure you plan ahead, because these places go fast during the summer months. If you want to try fishing in Canada in the spring, for example, it's a good idea to make reservations, depending on where you want to stay of course, the previous fall. Some places fill up fast, so the more popular or the more amenities offered, the quicker you can figure they'll fill up. When in doubt, give any place you're considering a call and ask them about their booking schedule and rates.

Many fishing camps, lodges and resorts offer guided day or weekend trips, though many anglers decide to hit the streams alone. Always let someone know where you're going, and don't forget to treat the forests and the wildlife they contain with a healthy respect. If you want a guide, make sure you book early for their services.

Canadian waters carry a wide variety of fish, and anglers have their choice to fly fish, reel fish, or you can fish off banks, boats and anything else that suits your fancy, but always plan ahead and let your chosen lodge know exactly what it is you'll be wanting, and they'll do their best to fill your needs.

Ready for some fishing trips Canada adventures of your own? Find out more now at .

Early History Of Surfing

If images of the kahuna (experts) ritualistically chanting to the Gods to bring the waves, protect men and women who rode them, bless the carved wood boards, kings and queens battling for wave rights and integration between man and the magic of the sea brings images of the history of Surfing to your mind’s eye, then you must be filled with Aloha, as the Polynesians intended. The history of surfing dates back centuries before the first written account of observing ‘the sport of kings’ in 1779 by Lt. James King in the ship’s log of Captian James Cook’s Discovery.

He scrutinizes the sport as existing purely for sport and amusement; “The Men sometimes 20 or 30 go without the Swell of the Surf, & lay themselves flat upon an oval piece of plan about their Size and breadth, they keep their legs close on top of it, & their Arms are us'd to guide the plank, thye wait the time of the greatest Swell that sets on Shore, & altogether push forward with their Arms to keep on its top, it sends them in with a most astonishing Velocity, & the great art is to guide the plan so as always to keep it in a proper direction on the top of the Swell…”Surfing was created as a royal pastime, embedded in the codes of the kapu (taboos) as governed by the Hawaiians.

It was a very well-respected and almost mystical experience which kings and queens welcomed into their lives. When the Europeans began to arrive from England in droves in the early 1800’s, bringing with it their puritanical Calvinistic Christian philosophies, the kapu of the Hawaiians was destroyed and they were forced to live a more European way of life. With this change came the degradation of surfing as offensive to God and Jesus Christ. The Hawaiians were manipulated into believing in a resulting eternal damnation for surfing, and consequently, the sport fell out of favor.

The thrill and immortality of surfing was not completely demolished and there were dedicated lone surfers continuing to take on the waves, despite the Calvinists’ demands. Tourists from other countries began to hear about the fascinating sport and wanted to try it for themselves. In 1851, the writer Reverend Henry T. Cheever inscribed his observation of the mysticism, skill and beauty of surfing. Mark Twain has recorded his account of having wiped out on a wave during his initiation to the sport in 1866.

Surfing stayed on an underground level and continued to decline until 1907 when author Jack London, native surfer George Freeth and eccentric wanderer Alexander Hume Ford founded the Waikiki Swimming Club. London was famous and influential, bringing surfing to the world’s attention with his book “A Royal Sport: Surfing in Waikiki”. George Freeth won the title of “First Man to Surf in California”, which wasn’t exactly true but drew public attention nonetheless. Hume Ford petitioned for Waikiki to be a permanent home for surfing and won. On May 1, 1908 the Hawaiian Outrigger Canoe Club was founded and the sport began to flourish again.

Eric Hartwell oversees "The World's Best Homepage" intended to be a user-generated resource where YOUR opinion counts. Anybody can contribute and all are welcomed. Visit us to read, comment upon or share opinions on sport and visit our associated site articles for free.

Surfing History

In the early 1900’s the Hawaiians organized the Hui Nalu (surf club) and competed in neighborly surf competitions with the Outrigger Canoe Club. This drew a great deal of attention to the Waikiki surf shore, bringing a revitalized interest in the sport, which had fallen out of favor in the late 1800s. Duke Kahanamoku, an Olympic star in swimming, popularized the sport further by traveling internationally and showing off his surfing style to thrilled audiences around the world. He was favored by Hollywood elite; having acted in bit parts in films and was always recruiting new surfers wherever he went. He is credited with surfing the longest wave of all time in 1917, in the popular surfing area now called Outside Castles in Waikiki. His 1000 meters plus wave record has yet to be overtaken.

In the 1930s, the sport of surfing was experiencing a Renaissance. Tom Blake, founder of the Pacific Coast Surf Championships that ended with the onset of war in 1941, was the first man to photograph surfing from the water. Another photographer and surfer named Doc Ball published California Surfriders 1946, which depicts the pristine coastal beaches and good-time, relaxed atmosphere of surf living. Surfing, although curtailed in the aftermath of WWII, revived as always by the 1950s. Bud Browne, an accomplished surfer and waterman, created the first ‘surf movie’ with his 1953 “Hawaiian Surfing Movie”. This inspired many photographers, filmmakers and surfers to continue documenting the sport, culminating with is arguably the best surf movie of all time, 1963’s “Endless Summer” by Bruce Brown. The film opened up the genre of the surf movie and the art of surfing to non-surfing people, accumulating fans and inspiring neophytes.

Although surfing was a male-dominated sport, adventurous women surfers can be seen all the way back to the times of the Polynesian Queens. Two notable ‘surfer girls’ were Eve Fletcher and Anona Napolean. Eve Fletcher was a California-born animator for Walt Disney and Anona Napolean was the daughter of a respected Hawaiian surfing family. The two pioneered the sport for modern women, winning surfing competitions up and down the California coast at the end of the 50s and into the 60s. Hollywood was quick to be on the scene and with the 1959 film “Gidget”, surfing was flung far out into the mainstream, never to return to its humble, ritualistic beginnings. “Gidget” inspired a slew of “Beach Blanket Bingo” movies that brought surfing to a new generation of teens and inspiring a new genre of ‘surf music’ that accompanied films and made The Beach Boys more famous than Elvis in the 60s.

Surfing spread throughout all media and Surfing Magazine was born in the early 1960s by famous surf photographer, LeRoy Grannis. After that, other publications cropped up bringing more information on the sport, equipment and stars of the surfing scene. John Severson, an accomplished filmmaker and photographer, created Surfer Magazine, originally called “The Surfer”. These publications brought advertising, professional surfing, surf culture and publicity to the now very popularized sport.

Eric Hartwell oversees "The World's Best Homepage" intended to be a user-generated resource where YOUR opinion counts. Anybody can contribute and all are welcomed. Visit us to read, comment upon or share opinions on sport and visit our associated site articles for free.

Bass Boats Make Fishing Fun

Fishing is a passing fancy for some and an obsession for others. Those who tend to take the sport more seriously also take their equipment purchases to heart. That's perhaps why so many serious fish lovers invest in bass boats.

These sleek vessels are designed to give fishing enthusiasts the ultimate edge in finding their quarry. Designed, in many cases, to offer both speed and stealth, bass boats are good for getting to fishing spot to fishing spot quickly, and they can generally also be put into a slower, quieter mode to enable those fishing to move around the water with minimal interruption to tip off the fish.

Buying bass boats can set potential owners back a pretty penny, however. With this in mind, it's a good idea for anyone on the prowl to find a good buy to do some homework in advance. There are a few things potential boat buyers should consider before picking a particular make or model. They include:

Budget. Bass boats can range from the very affordable to the very expensive. Setting a budget for the boat and motor in advance is just a smart idea. Expect to spend quite a bit more than one might on a canoe, however. These are specialized boats, so they tend to cost a little more. Those who swear by them will say they are worth every penny.

Features. Some bass boats are designed almost strictly for lake fishing. Others are sea worthy to an extent. Decide on how and where the boat purchased will be used - for the most part - to match up needed features with available models. Some boats will offer an array of features for fishing enthusiasts built in, such as pole holders and so on. Other makes might offer these as customizations.

Seating. Some bass boats can be pretty small vessels, designed for only two to three people. Knowing how many will be along for the average fishing adventure is a good idea before choosing a particular model. A family of five, for example, might require a larger boat than a single fisherman.

Speed. Bass boats can range from those that are meant only for fishing to those that can double as ski boats. If both are of interest, shopping for the right makes will be in order.

When looking at bass boats, remember these are generally fairly low profile boats. This means they are generally good for some ocean fishing, but not in very deep waters. Bass boats are, however, ideal for those who love lake fishing in almost any circumstance. With a design that lends them to making a fishing outing a blast, these boats are considered by many buyers to be as essential to a good fishing trip as the rods and reels are.

Those seeking out the best in bass boats should do some homeowner on makes, models and features before buying a particular type. By setting some priorities in advance, it's easier for a buyer to find the boat that's right for them. When a good boat is located, it's hard to find anything better for taking fishing to a new level.

For more information on boats, try visiting - a website that specializes in providing boat related tips, advice and resources to include information on bass boat.

Fishing Unfamiliar & Fly-in Lakes

Fishing Unfamiliar & Fly-in Lakes

There is a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment - the pride of craft - that comes with a successful day's fishing on a new, unfamiliar or fly-in lake, whether it is a limit of bass, a few walleyes for shore lunch, or a trophy pike. Not because putting fish in the boat is the measure of a successful outing, but because that success underlines the fact that the angler has effectively adapted to the existing fishing situations and conditions, making necessary changes in bait / lure selection, presentations and locations. That, in itself, is no small feat, even at fly-in lakes which supposedly teem with naive fish. Let me assure you that we always breathe a sigh of relief (even on fly-ins) after having caught a few fish for that first shore lunch. Once that initial success has been realized, the rest of a fishing trip takes care of itself.

Plan to succeed

  • Pre-trip Research & Planning

  • Upon Arrival

  • A Working Map

  • Productive Tactics

On new lakes, you need a systematic approach that will greatly improve the chances of near-immediate success and good catches, even when fishing an unfamiliar lake - given the fact that time is almost certainly a limiting factor. To maximize your time and enjoyment of a day's fishing or a remote trip, you need a system. Here's the Ontario Fisherman's oft-tested and proven approach.

Pre-trip Research & Planning

In spite of the fact that most fly-in and many road-accessible lakes offer great fishing opportunities, anglers should develop and execute a plan for fishing any unfamiliar lake. Without such a strategy, too much time on a short trip can be spent searching for fish or prime locations. Notice that I did not say "wasted". No systematic survey of a lake should be considered a waste of time - even when fish are not caught.

One key to finding fish consistently is to quickly eliminate "empty" water, and one way to do that is through trial and error. Better, though, to spend as much time as possible actually fishing a promising or proven location. This can be best accomplished with a two-pronged, strategic approach - one prior to the trip; the other on the water.

Before putting the boat in the water, "explore" the destination lake on paper through the examination of available maps and charts. Many times, gaining a thorough knowledge of the lake and the identification of potential hotspots can be accomplished without even getting in the boat.

Check available map & chart sources, including:

  • MNR-produced "fishing maps"

  • lodge / camp fishing & navigation maps

  • MNR stocking lists & maps

  • resource management plans

  • topographic maps

  • hydrographic / lake-bottom contour maps

  • resources maps & plans (e.g. logging)

  • maps prepared by previous groups

  • canoe / hiking route maps

  • maps prepared by local clubs

  • sanctuary maps & notices

  • aerial photographs & satellite images

Speak to others with experience on the lake, including:

  • local anglers

  • MNR district fisheries personnel

  • guides / charter operators

  • suggested references (by phone)

Immediately after booking a trip work through the above lists - a task easily managed if your group shares in the research. Besides, it is actually fun trying to figure out the lake, sight unseen and even better when you discover that some of your assessments were correct. And, having done some of the "leg work" prior to the trip, you will have considerably more time for a thorough "on-the-water" survey once you reach your destination.

Upon Arrival

Arriving at your departure point or fly-in airbase, the work begins again. Now is the time to ask others about the destination to which you are headed, including:

  • outfitter / air service personnel

  • bait & tackle shop proprietors

  • cottagers, campers, canoeists

  • fishing / conservation club members

  • lodge operator / guides

  • camp clientele (especially repeaters)

A Fly Over

If your group is flying into a remote outpost or lodge, ask the pilot to do a "fly over" of the lake(s) you will be fishing. With a rough, photocopied outline map in hand, look for and mark any:

  • congregations of boats

  • adjoining back lakes

  • inflowing / outflowing streams

  • shoals, sunken islands, points

  • large weedbeds / weedlines

  • log jams / shoreline cover

  • rapids, dams

  • lodge / cabin location

Previous Party Info

Upon arriving and unpacking, with map in hand, talk to departing anglers about the lake, the fishing, and the camp, including:

  • fishing hotspots

  • proven baits & tactics

  • reasonable expectations (numbers, size)

  • boating hazards

  • boats & motors

  • camp gear & appliances

  • portages / trails to back lakes

  • shore lunch site(s)

  • bait availability / minnow traps

  • sanctuary areas

A Working Map

By now, that rough outline map could be pretty marked up, hopefully with useful bits of information and locations that will make those first outings on the lake safer and more productive. Take a few moments to re-draw the map more precisely , and give each "boat" in your party their own map to record useful findings. As the map develops, it won't be a pretty sight, but its value will be inestimable later and on subsequent trips. As you fish and explore the lake or river over the course of your stay, mark on the map:

  • fishing hotspots

  • landmarks / hazards

  • current flows & direction

  • good shoreline stretches

  • prime cover areas

  • mid-lake weedbeds

  • structural elements

Never be without a portable depthfinder when fishing an unfamiliar lake or river. Depending on its capabilities, the graph (apart from displaying the bottom contours and water depths) can provide other important data to help you in your survey, including:

  • breakline

  • deep-water basins

  • fish / baitfish

  • bottom "content"

  • structural specifics

  • water temperature

  • trolling speed

Productive Tactics

Hey, we are fishermen, not cartographers - so let's go fishing ! At the risk of oversimplifying the strategies used to explore and fish an unfamiliar lake, break down your approach as follows:

  • prepare the "working map"

  • parcel the lake into manageable sections

  • cover water quickly

  • use a variety of lures / techniques

  • eliminate unproductive water

  • pinpoint fishing "hotspots"

  • update the map continuously
  • >

Parcel Up the Lake / River

It's easy to be overwhelmed on a new lake, especially larger ones. Instead, divide the lake into more manageable sections, and treat each as if it were a separate lake. As each boat explores, fishes, and maps a section, information is shared and. Later, checked out by the others to verify the findings. Even very large lakes can be quickly cut down to size using this approach. However, if there is only one boat and five lake sections, start with the most promising or highly recommended section in order to get on fish quickly and to avoid wasting valuable time checking out "empty water" for half the trip. On rivers, this system is especially easy and effective. Devoting a half-day to each stretch provides diversity, yet still allows for more time to be devoted to the "best" spots later.

Cover Water Quickly

In a relatively short time you will want to explore, fish and map a designated portion of the lake with hopes of locating the most productive spots in that section. To do this, move quickly - trolling fast-breaking shorelines, casting exposed shoals, working along weedlines with spinnerbaits, spinners or spoons. If fish are caught, it may be an area deserving of a slower, more precise attack later. First, however, finish the surveying task you set out to accomplish. Mark it on the map and come back later.

Similarly, if a promising or recommended area comes up empty, switch tactics or return to it late in the day (as you re-visit the hotspots identified over the course of the day). Fishing live baits, drifting approaches, backtrolling, float and still fishing are too slow for this part of the hunt but will serve you well later as you probe key spots more slowly and thoroughly.

Eliminate Unproductive Water

It's said that "you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear", so don't waste precious fishing time on "empty water". On the working map, cross out shallow back bays choked with weeds, areas with "ooze" bottoms or less than six feet of water. Abandon shorelines which slope gradually to deeper, regular bottoms. Forget most of the lake's deepest basins (more than 25 feet). Forget casting to reeds growing atop sand bars under just two or three feet of water. This approach will effectively eliminate more than two-thirds of most lakes and will not only save you time and frustration, but will also assure that most of your precious fishing time is spent in more productive areas.

Of course, there are exceptions to every example stated above - bass in the slop, early season pike in the shallows, lake trout in the depths, but most are seasonal movement patterns, which, in turn, help to eliminate other areas which might be better during a different part of the fishing season.

Pinpoint & Mark Prime Spots / Cover / Structures

With much of the lake already eliminated during the initial scouting process, keying on the lake's prime spots and structural features should be much easier now. Fish promising or recommended spots slowly and thoroughly. When a good spot and good catches come together, accurately mark the spot in your GPS unit, with a floating marker buoy or carefully triangulate the exact location using nearby and obvious landmarks. Immediately mark them on the working copy of the map (in colour).

Update the Map

Either for your own use on subsequent trips, as a favour to groups that follow, or as a courtesy to the outfitter, keep the map up to date as it has considerable value to all parties involved. Mine come in handy when I summarize fishing trips for magazine articles and for the countless inquiries I receive each year via e-mail. Show me yours, and I'll show you mine !

Arranging and planning the annual fishing trip for the "boys" or your family is an important and demanding task at the best of times. When daring to venture to unfamiliar destinations, the uncertainties regarding the details and the fishing opportunities are accentuated still further. This season, when the time comes to head out to that unfamiliar lake or river, have your homework done, a "working map: at the ready, and a strategic approach for surveying and fishing the lake in mind. Anxieties will be lessened, the chances of success heightened. And, as you have, no doubt, heard and read many times, confidence plays a very large part in any successful fishing outing. But now you are ready! Enjoy your trip.

Online since 1998 by long-time OFM field editor, Bill Rivers, the Ontario Fisherman is now taking on a new look, but remains committed to showcasing "the best of Ontario sportfishing".

Ontario Fisherman Resources

Sarasota Florida Hotels

It is not without any reason that Sarasota along with its islands is known as the gem of the Gulf coast of Florida. The beautiful beaches and the mangrove lined waterways make this place one of the most exquisite holiday destinations. Whether it is a canoe ride through the clear waters, shopping in the numerous malls or feasting on exquisite and scrumptious delicacies, Sarasota sounds like a perfect place for all this and more.

Like all other holiday destinations in Florida, even Sarasota offers a variety of options for accommodations for families, couples, and people on business trips and lonely explorers. So if you are considering Sarasota for that long planned for romantic getaway or the holiday with your family that never materialized, then you will not be disappointed.

Resorts and vacation homes will fit your need for privacy perfectly. While resorts will make your stay more comfortable with luxuries such as club facilities and room service, a vacation home on rent is the best idea if you wish to be left undisturbed alone or with your loved one.

A number of people feel obliged to stay at home and take care of their pets while the rest of the world is vacationing but, if your destination is Sarasota then you will no longer have to make the impossible choice between a few days of fun and your most beloved pet. A number of hotels in Sarasota offer your pets a grand accommodation, allowing them to get away and relax at the same time as you do!

Like most holiday destinations and tourist getaways, even Sarasota hotels offer online reservations. Some of the websites also let you take a virtual tour of the room that you have reserved for yourself. A cautious choice of hotels is all that you need to get set for the ultimate vacation experience.

Florida Hotels provides detailed information on Florida Hotels, Orlando Florida Hotels, Jacksonville Florida Hotels, Destin Florida Hotels and more. Florida Hotels is affiliated with South Beach Condo Hotels.

Canoeing the Waikato River

The Waikato River is the longest river in New Zealand, beginning at Lake Taupo and the Huka Falls. Now heavily controlled in its upper reaches with numerous dams sinking many a great rapid.

The last dam ends just before Cambridge and you can start your journey there, if you want to add an extra day to your journey. It is a one day trip from Cambridge to Hamilton. I recommend starting your trip in Hamilton and making a two day trip of it. There are numerous uninhabited Islands in the center of the River and they are big enough to fix a couple of tents. The River moves quicker than walking pace and it is very difficult to paddle upstream so don't go canoeing passed your camp once set up for the night.

As the river's flow is highly regulated there is little worry of flooding except in the most exceptional rain. The river changes depth throughout and in one or two places your canoe may even touch the bottom. The water is fairly clean but I wouldn't drink it as Hamilton and other towns release their treated sewage into it.

Starting at Hamilton to Ngaruawahia is an easy trip. Passing Ngarauwahia you pass the residence of the Maori King. Just passed where the Waipa River joins are some Islands on which to camp.

The next day another easy trip to Huntly. You pass an old army camp and you can stop in Huntly for a serve of fish and chips and resume your journey. Just passed Huntly is a descent size Island where you can camp for the night.

The next day after some decent paddling you can arrange to be picked up a Meri Meri where the River again meets the main state highway.

This article is the property of Alastair HARRIS and his immediate family. It may be freely republished over the internet but must include original links.

Alastair HARRIS is the main promoter for article directory (visit and the getfinancialfreedom4u family of websites, blogs and projects (visit specializing in online business opportunities and education, income being generated by affiliate marketing, google, GDI, eBay, clip flipping and more. Alastair is rated as an expert author on numerous article directories and is very open to assisting others on the internet

Surfing Origins

In the early 1900’s the Hawaiians organized the Hui Nalu (surf club) and competed in neighborly surf competitions with the Outrigger Canoe Club. This drew a great deal of attention to the Waikiki surf shore, bringing a revitalized interest in the sport, which had fallen out of favor in the late 1800s.

Duke Kahanamoku, an Olympic star in swimming, popularized the sport further by traveling internationally and showing off his surfing style to thrilled audiences around the world. He was favored by Hollywood elite; having acted in bit parts in films and was always recruiting new surfers wherever he went. He is credited with surfing the longest wave of all time in 1917, in the popular surfing area now called Outside Castles in Waikiki. His 1000 meters plus wave record has yet to be overtaken.

In the 1930s, the sport of surfing was experiencing a Renaissance. Tom Blake, founder of the Pacific Coast Surf Championships that ended with the onset of war in 1941, was the first man to photograph surfing from the water. Another photographer and surfer named Doc Ball published California Surfriders 1946, which depicts the pristine coastal beaches and good-time, relaxed atmosphere of surf living.

Surfing, although curtailed in the aftermath of WWII, revived as always by the 1950s. Bud Browne, an accomplished surfer and waterman, created the first ‘surf movie’ with his 1953 “Hawaiian Surfing Movie”. This inspired many photographers, filmmakers and surfers to continue documenting the sport, culminating with is arguably the best surf movie of all time, 1963’s “Endless Summer” by Bruce Brown. The film opened up the genre of the surf movie and the art of surfing to non-surfing people, accumulating fans and inspiring neophytes.

Eric Hartwell oversees "The World's Best Homepage" intended to be a user-generated resource where YOUR opinion counts. Anybody can contribute and all are welcomed. Visit us to read, comment upon or share opinions on weight loss and obesity and visit his associated site articles for free.

Guided Grand River Canoe Kayak Trip - Discover With Uniqueness

Guided Grand River canoe and kayak trips have been attracting many families new to the experience of river paddling. Over 30,000 paddlers visit the Grand River in Southern Ontario yearly. Many paddlers brush through the valley totally unaware of what is there.

This river is rich in native history steeped in the wars of the Mohawks, Huron and other Iroquoian nations. It contains the largest selection of plants, wildlife and trees in Canada. There are fresh springs to taste and many historical points of interest. The fishing is excellent with over 80 species of recorded fish. And the return of rare species such as ospreys, eagles and beaver have given the valley bragging rights.

For the novice new to the Grand River… a guided trip is a unique way of opening the door. Guided trips not only insure safety between point A and B, but offer instructional teaching on river paddling techniques. But the highlight of every trip is the rich enhancement of experiencing the plants, wildlife and native history of the valley.

Most of the Grand River outfitting companies are located along the picturesque section of the Grand River between Kitchener and Brantford. There are presently six companies offering guiding services. They are open from April until November, seven days a week with variable hours of operation. All the companies have websites and can be easily located by googling “Grand River guided canoe trips”.

The cost of guiding services between outfitters is basically the same. Small exclusive groups vary from $60 to $100 per person excluding tax. Large groups cost around $25 to $40 per person excluding tax. These prices include all equipment, guide, upstream shuttle service and sometimes lunch.

The guided “trip” works as follows… the customer parks their vehicle at the trip exit point and then shuttled upstream to paddle back to their vehicle with the guide. Most trips are 3 to 5 hours of leisure paddling depending on which section of the watershed is chosen.

The prettiest wilderness section to paddle on the Grand River is a 3 hour trip between Glen Morris and Paris. For a unique 6-7 hour paddle which can be broken into a relaxing weekend trip, there is the Glen Morris to Brant Park… offering the best of the Grand River. If new to the Grand River ask the outfitter to recommend a suitable trip to match paddling skills.

Guiding services can vary and it is always wise to inquire. Some guides basically deliver customers from point A to B on the river with a set time schedule. Other guides are certified instructors which can teach proper strokes and steering techniques. The best guides not only instruct paddling techniques but teach and explore the river valley.

Many customers upon arrival expect their own exclusive guide only to discover that they have been batched with other groups. These “one-guide-batch” trips are often a unpleasant experience. The slowest paddler holds up the entire group and diverts most of the guide’s attention. When booking a guided trip inquire whether it is a batch or exclusive service being provided. Exclusive guided services costs more but the learning experience is worth it.

After a guided trip, many have gained the “river smarts” and confidence to explore on their own… and are encouraged to do so. The Grand River offers lots of opportunity. It is the largest watershed in Southern Ontario with over 300 kilometers of nearby wilderness paddling from the Bruce Highlands to the shores of Lake Erie.

But the best thing about the Grand River is that it is one of the few pristine rivers where a family can drive one hour from Toronto… experience a day’s wilderness paddle… and still be in their own bed at night.

Garth Pottruff's love for guiding makes him one of the most unique teaching experiences in the Grand River Valley in the Paris area. He has deliberately shortened his paddling time to increase the teaching time of the guided Grand River canoe kayak and raft trips. If seeking more then a paddle down the Grand River... a day with Garth is a learning experience that won't be forgotten.

For more information on guided Grand River canoe, kayak and rafting trips for families, friends and corporate groups... visit his website The Grand River Rafting Company

My Personal Account Of The Sea Canoe Kayaking Excursion In Phuket Thailand Which Explores The Caves

As the anchor slid into the Andaman Sea, a hush of anticipation descended on the boat. Here we were, a dozen or so tourists, dwarfed by the limestone karsts that punctuate the seascape between Phuket Island and Krabi on Thailand’s southern shore, looking forward to our adventure.

I for one did not really know what to expect as the crew unloaded the bright yellow kayaks. Will I have to paddle? Will I be able to find my way in the dark caves?

My questions were soon answered as the head guide gave the briefing. Once we had put on our life vests, he explained, we would pair-up and join one of the guides waiting in their kayaks which by now had spread out around the boat like ducklings around their mother.

Stepping gingerly onto my allotted kayak, I grinned nervously at my guide who beamed a typical Thai smile. If you know Thailand you will know what I mean: the type of smile that can be seen from space. Our guide, ‘Nit’ was his name, paddled us effortlessly away from the mother ship and closer to the, by now, imposing cliffs of the island, the first of many we would be getting to know intimately that day.

This excursion was pioneered by an American John ‘Caveman’ Gray. It was in 1989 that John discovered the ‘hongs’ of Phang Nga Bay in Thailand: the Thai word ‘hong’ means room and it refers to the open area inside these limestone islands. If you can imagine that some of these islands in Phang Nga Bay are shaped like donuts, the type with a hole in the middle. John discovered that at low tide it is possible to follow a network of caves through the limestone rock into an inner world.

In that same year John set-up his company, Sea Canoe; and so successful was his concept that he spawned many copycat companies including more than a few Sea Canoes. To avoid confusion John has re-named his company John Gray’s Sea Canoe.

‘Nit’ explained in his very good English that at certain points on our journey through the caves we would have to lie flat on our backs because of the low ceilings. You can imagine at this point I was beginning to question the sanity of my decision to drag myself out of bed early that morning simply to put myself in mortal danger. At the same time I was trying to work out which way the tide was running. If these caves were only accessible at low tide, how much time did we have to get in and out before the tide turned?

“And when you get inside”, Nit’s voice interrupted my thoughts, “to protect the environment, there is no talking and no smoking”. Excellent, now I remembered why I was risking life and limb. It was this idea of visiting a pristine environment that had first attracted me.

The caves were becoming narrower now as Nit manoeuvred our kayak through the dark. “Lie down” he whispered as his torchlight captured a low hanging rock. The ceiling of the cave was getting closer to my face and I had to turn my head to prevent my nose scraping along the sharp limestone. This was actually getting exciting although I wasn’t sure how long I could cope with this claustrophobic feeling that was starting to creep over me.

But within minutes the cave started to open up again and a hint of daylight caressed the cavern wall.

I squinted as we emerged into the bright sunlight, into a land that time forgot. Trees were clinging to the steep scrub-covered walls of the ‘hong’ and reaching out for the brilliant blue sky above. A sea eagle swooped down low to see who these interlopers were. And all was peace and tranquillity.

The family of kayaks paddled slowly through the hong, the occupants in awe of this magical, secret place in southern Thailand. The only sounds were the lapping of water, the call of the cicadas, the clicking of cameras and whispers of excitement.

All too soon it was time to head back. John Gray’s professional guides were well aware of the movement of the tides and making sure we were through those caves in good time.

The excitement only increased with each ‘hong’ we explored and the memories of that day will never leave me.

This Sea Canoe day excursion is available from Phuket, Thailand: it is a relatively expensive one but for me it was worth it.

Tony Champion is a retired travel professional and owner of a web site dedicated to high-end accommodation on Phuket Island, Thailand. For more information visit:

Grand River Rafting Gives Guided Canoe and Kayak Day Trips a Much Needed Facelift

Presently most guided canoe and kayak trips on the Grand River serve the purpose of getting customers safely down the river from start to finish. This is excellent for the beginner focused on navigating the river. But the guided day trips are weak in the hands-on interpretive wilderness experience.

Grand River Rafting has recognized a need to change the guiding services for the returning visitor. Returning customers often express a desire for a bigger wilderness learning experience; the guided “a” to “b” day trip lacks content depth. Unfortunately daytrip guides have specified traveling time frames, and the distance required restricts the time for content and teaching.

Grand River Rafting has chosen to shorten their canoe and kayak guided trips, the paddling time hour glass has been cut in half. The guided paddling day trips travel 8 kilometers or less in three to four hours. In replacement of the distance, the customer receives an enriched wilderness interpretative experience… a true learning adventure. These learning adventures not offer a river trip, but include a well rounded understanding of the Grand River Valley section they are paddling.

Hiring and recruiting of guiding staff is critical. Summer students are often limited in knowledge, there is not enough time to train and going beyond company recited scripts can be uncomfortable for students. Grand River Rafting has chosen to hire and work with knowledgeable local historian/interpretative staff with good communication skills as guides. They have created a true floating classroom with a solid teachers; one in which customers can return numerous times to paddle different section with different lessons.

The learning adventures offered cover native and settlement history in the Grand River Valley. Talks are given on birds, fish and wildlife, as well as visiting points of natural interest. There is the opportunity to learn tree identification as well as experience edible and medicinal plants. The trip is blended with history, science and geography as well as life stories and life values.

This new approach of using floating classrooms in lieu of the usual guided “a” to “b” day trips has branded Grand River Rafting as one of the best learning adventures presently offered in the Grand River Valley.

Garth Pottruff is proud of the uniqueness of their canoe and kayak guiding services.

Garth Pottruff is a forester raised in the valley. He is a certified canoe & kayak instructor with the amazing ability to walk into any wilderness situation and teach. Garth’s passion for the Grand River Valley is contagious. A guided canoe or kayak day trip on the Grand River with Garth is an excellent learning adventure for anyone. To view his site for a learning adventure visit:

Paddle Your Canoe

At some time in your life you have been on a river in a canoe and hopefully you had a paddle. You know about being up the creek without one.

You quickly learned that paddling up stream is much harder than paddling down stream. The lesson of going with the flow can be applied to many aspects of life and especially to the stock market. In the creek it is easy to know which way the current is flowing, but in the market it is much more difficult. At least that is what Wall Street wants you to think.

On the river there are markers and navigations buoys to help you with your passage, but in the money world there are few such true indicators. Actually it is very easy to determine the flow of funds in the market. Standing on the shore are people (brokers) shouting to go to the right and another next to him screaming to go to the left. “Buy, buy, buy”. Very few of them know which way the current is headed. You have to figure this out yourself.

Fundamental analysis is excellent, but it is very poor to let you know when and where to paddle (put you money). There are many technical tools available, but these can be difficult to master for many people and few brokers know or care to learn them. However, there is one very simple method that does work.

That method is too simple for brokers who want you to think that you need their “expertise”. They sure don’t want you to find out as you won’t have to pay them commissions any more. The paddle you need to have to propel in the right direction is called the 200-day Moving Average Paddle and you can get it free if you know where to look. You can make this yourself, but if you have a computer just go to the web site and click on their Interactive chart box and they will do all the work for you. You can do this at the library of you don’t have a computer at home.

Using an index such as the SP500 you easily see that when the price (your canoe) is above the 200 line (the current of the river) you should be a buyer of stocks and mutual funds and when the SP500 price is below the 200 line you should be in a money market (even if it only pays 1%). You don’t want to be under water. This is a simple way to see the direction the market is flowing and will keep you from losing money when the market starts down.

No one knows when the current will change. And don’t try to guess. Let the river (market) tell you the direction of flow.

Get yourself one of those good paddles and learn to steer your own canoe.

Al Thomas' book, "If It Doesn't Go Up, Don't Buy It!" has helped thousands of people make money and keep their profits with his simple 2-step method. Read the first chapter at and discover why he's the man that Wall Street does not want you to know.

Copyright 2005

Canoe Paddle Length - Choosing The Proper Fit

Paddling a canoe can be an extremely relaxing and satisfying experience that enriches your mind, body, and soul. A peaceful summer evening watching the sun fall below the tree line on your favorite lake while paddling a canoe can revitalize you as it melts away the stress of a busy life. However, not having the proper equipment can turn this picturesque setting and wonderful experience into a difficult and painful excursion. One of the best ways to ensure a pleasant paddling experience is to have a canoe paddle that fits your size and paddling style, and overall paddle length is often an overlooked key factor in paddle performance.

Choosing a proper paddle length can be very confusing and frustrating, especially if you are a novice or even a casual paddler. There are many suggestions and “rules of thumb” that you’d need several hands to fit them all. The main thing to remember is nothing trumps comfort when it comes to paddle length. If your comfort level does not fit a “rule of thumb”, forget the rule.

Proper paddle length starts with overall body size and, more specifically, arm length. The taller you are, the longer your arms will be. The longer your arms are, the longer the paddle should be to have the proper fit and length. There are several ways to get a proper fit, and I will discuss a few of the more popular methods that have worked well for me and my customers.

Broomstick Method
This is a simple method that works very well for most people that use it. The first step is to locate a broomstick or something similar to that. You can perform this method alone, or with a partner. If you are doing it alone, a mirror is very helpful. You will want to hold the broomstick with two hands over your head (with a similar grip/stance to holding a paddle). Using the mirror or your partner, ensure that your elbows are bent at roughly 90O angles. Once at the proper angle, make a mark on the broomstick on the outside of each hand. Next, measure the distance between the marks. This will give you your proper handle length. You will next start shopping for the proper canoe paddle with that number in mind. When deciding on paddles to purchase, pay close attention to the blade length. Most are right around 20”, but can vary. When you decide on the style you’d like, add the length of the blade to the length of the handle length you determined using the broomstick. This will give you your overall paddle length that should fit your size almost perfectly. As you become more experienced with paddling, you may notice that a longer or shorter handle will fit you better, so keep that in mind for your next paddle.

Seated Measurement
This is a very common technique to determining paddle length, but I find it to be less exact than the Broomstick Method described above. To use this method, sit on the floor with your back straight and tall. Measure the distance from the floor to the tip of your nose. This measurement gives you the handle or shaft length that should suit your needs. Add the length of the paddle blade to this measurement to get your overall paddle length. As I said, this technique is less exact, but does work well for the traditional, straight shaft paddles. With the newer Bent Shaft Paddles available on the market, this technique often is void since Bent Shaft Paddles are typically quite a bit shorter than Straight Shaft ones.

In Canoe Method
This method combines the Seated Measurement with the actual canoe you will be paddling. With the canoe in the water, sit comfortably on the seat as you would when paddling. Measure the distance from the water to the tip of your nose. This gives you the handle or shaft length. Add the blade length and you have your overall paddle length. This method is fairly accurate and is my second favorite method to use, behind the Broomstick Method.

Now that you have some ideas of how to find your ideal paddle length, you will want to keep a few more hints in mind before you go out and purchase a high quality paddle. These hints will help you to fine tune the measurements you have come up with from the above examples.

• If you decide on a Bent Shaft Paddle, these paddles are typically shorter than their Straight Shaft counterparts. Bent Shaft Paddles typically are available in sizes from 48” to 56” and are about 2”-4” shorter than a comfortably fit Straight Shaft Paddle.

• Canoe size and style can affect paddle performance and length requirements. In general, the wider and/or taller a canoe is, the longer the paddle should be to allow for the proper reach and fully submerse the paddle blade. A short paddle will require extra bending to fully utilize the entire paddle blade properly.

• Canoeing style also can affect overall paddle length. If you typically paddle in shallow, rough water, a shorter paddle is often better to avoid damage of hitting the bottom constantly with a longer paddle. Whitewater paddles typically have shorter, wider blades to avoid these problems.

Now that you are armed with this knowledge, you can accurately and intelligently choose a proper paddle length that will fit your size and paddling style (you can design your own paddle, including length at A properly selected paddle is a joy to use and allows you to be more efficient with your time on the water. You will get more out of each paddle stroke and have less fatigue if the paddle fits properly. Once you have your ideal paddle, hit the water and enjoy your own picturesque summer evening and watch the worries of the day melt away.

Founder of Holz Canoe Paddles, Inc., I, Joe Holz, design and create hand crafted, beautiful Straight and Bent Shaft functional canoe paddles as well as decorative or ornamental paddles for home and cabin decor. Customers can easily create and design their own canoe paddle to fit their size, paddling style, and taste on our website at You select the Grip Style, Shaft Angle, Blade Shape, Blade Design, and Overall Length to create a one of a kind paddle. With all selections, there are well over 120 possible paddle combinations to fit any size and style. Also adorn your home or cabin with our beautiful decorative paddles that include artwork to add a unique and classy touch to any decor.

All Holz Canoe Paddles are hand made from select Cedar stock and particular attention to detail with style, overall weight, balance, strength, and durability being the main focus. Please contact us for more information at:

Holz Canoe Paddles, Inc.

Big Canoe Vacation Rentals

Nestled in north Georgia where the land is thick with trees and dotted with mountains, Big Canoe is a paradise of a vacation spot. Unassuming yet impressive, quiet yet bustling with enough activity to make you feel welcome, this charming place has all the makings of a tourist’s haven. Mix in ample vacation rentals that are like getaways in themselves, and you’ve got yourself the perfect focus for your next holiday.

Big Canoe is where city dwellers go for long weekends, and where a privileged few can go for weeks or even months in order to enjoy life as it was meant to be lived. Spending a short time in this south Appalachian landscape will only make you wish for a longer break from reality, so be sure to allow yourself ample time for fun when making your plans to come here.

From the perch of your vacation rental, which will perhaps take the form of a stone house tucked away behind a grove of trees, you’ll have access to the best features of Big Canoe. Twenty miles of trails fit for hiking and biking will encourage your adventurous spirit and keep you feeling fit and energetic. As you stroll past waterfalls and picnic amongst the wildflowers, you’ll find yourself whisked away to a world that is beyond the reach of stress, strain, and technology.

You’ll also be able to walk to the stables if you’d prefer to see the sights from horseback, or sign up for a rafting session if you want to take it all in from atop the rushing waters. Wildcat Recreation Center is also just down the way, so bring the kids for all the swimming, softball, and basketball they can handle. Big Canoe has its natural wonders, but the recreational facilities added by the human touch make it truly top-notch and accessible to all personalities.

Indoor and outdoor swimming clubs continue the theme of enjoying both nature and human-made amusements, and the sandy beaches, paddle boats, and water slides may end up being one of the highlights of the trip. Within the walls of your home away from home you’ll doubtlessly have lots to entertain you as well, as long as everyone likes foosball, pool, cards, and movies, that is.

Close the door of your master bedroom if you feel like getting some rest, and the laughter and noise made by the night owls in the family will hardly reach your ears. Plenty of extra pillows, blankets, and towels will make the whole experience a little cushier, and the easy-to-navigate kitchen complete with appliances and utensils make healthy snacks and casual meals easy to prepare. You’ll fall right into relaxation mode in your new, hardly humble abode.

Many properties are fairly large and make good places for families and larger groups, but if you want to spend a few romantic days with your special someone there’s a property for you as well. A private chalet will provide the atmosphere of seclusion and romance that you seek without making you feel isolated from the necessities you’ll eventually need, so sample the best of both worlds by shacking up in a sweet cottage. The Jacuzzi and private deck will be nice touches, but it’s the quality time with your beloved that will truly make this trip worthwhile.

Now that you’ve decided on Big Canoe as a can’t miss destination, start making your plans. Vacation rentals are hot commodities, and to ensure that you get the one that would best fit your needs it is important to start looking as soon as you can. There are many great choices, but you never know which one might trip your fancy due to its cathedral ceilings, wraparound porch, or some other small detail that just sits right with you.

Go online to reserve your Big Canoe Vacation Rental, and start counting the days until you make your way towards a guaranteed respite from the hectic world.

Visit for all your vacation rental needs.

The Best Canoe Paddle - Choosing the Correct Features for Your Size and Paddling Style

Not all canoe paddles are created equal and when it comes to your time on the water, having a paddle that fits your size and paddling style is essential to a comfortable and enjoyable time. Canoe paddles come in many shapes, sizes, and styles, but there are a few common features all paddles share . . . Grip, Shaft Angle, Length, Blade Shape, and Blade Design. The best paddle available is the on that is the best fit for you and allows you to paddle longer with less fatigue and pain.

The style of grip on a canoe paddle is one of the most important features to think about before purchasing a paddle. You will be holding onto this grip all day long, so a grip that fits your hand and paddling style is essential to comfort and reducing the risk of painful blisters and muscle cramps. There are many variations of grips available with some of the most common being T Grip, Asymmetrical Grips, Palm Grips, and Guide Style Grips. There are also many variations of these that have different names.

Each grip has its own advantages and disadvantages. However, some advantages for the paddle maker (ex. saving time) can be a disadvantage to your comfort. Choose a grip that fits your hand and style of paddling. If you like to have a tight grip, a T Grip may be your best choice. If you like to have a larger, looser grip one of the other styles may be the best choice. Personally, I have found that the T Grip, Front Facing Asymmetrical, and Back Facing Asymmetrical Grips are the most comfortable and ergonomically correct grips.

Shaft Angle
Straight shaft paddles had been the only game in town for a long time, and as the name indicates, it is a straight paddle. This is a very functional paddle, but as techniques advanced, there are now more options in shaft angles. A Bent Shaft Paddle has a slight bend at the throat of the paddle where the blade starts and the shaft ends. With a bend in the paddle, the blade stays perpendicular to the water for a larger portion of the paddle stroke, which makes it a more efficient paddle stroke.

The angle can vary, but most are between 5 & 20 degrees. Basically, the steeper the angle, the more power is transmitted in the paddle stroke. However, shaft angle is greatly dependent on your size and the style of canoe you will be using, along with your stroke preferences. A good fit for most is somewhere in the neighborhood of 14 degrees. There are also Double Bend Paddles available. These have the bend at the blade as well as a second, smaller bend in the opposite direction just before the grip. This design brings the grip back in line with the paddle blade and can make for a more comfortable paddling experience.

Paddle length is also a very important factor in having an enjoyable experience. There are many ways to determine the proper length (you can read more in my article “Canoe Paddle Length – Choosing the Proper Fit). You want to make sure you have a paddle that has a long enough shaft that you can have a comfortable paddling stance, but not too long that it adds extra weight and creates more work. Typically, bent shaft paddles are a few inches shorter than their straight shaft cousins.

Blade Shape
Blade Shape is also directly related to Blade Area, which is really the major factor. The larger the blade area, the more difficult each stroke will be, but more power is transmitted. Therefore, it comes down to paddling style. Would you rather paddle fewer times with more effort, or paddle at a faster RPM with each stroke being easier? The Blade Shape often depicts the blade area, but shape can also have other consequences. Rounded edges tend to hold up better than square corners on a paddle that is used often. Also, the smaller the tip of the blade, the quieter it will enter the water which can enhance the paddling experience. Blade Shape also depends on your personal tastes. Pick a shape that you don’t mind looking at all day long.

Blade Design
This is the one factor that does not affect performance. It is purely aesthetics. There are many designs on the market today. Many are very plain, but some are much more ornate and decorative in nature. With laminate paddles (read “Laminate Canoe Paddles – Strength and Beauty”), different pieces of wood are used to create a beautiful mosaic of a paddle blade that can greatly enhance the look and style of the paddle. It adds a touch of class and shows off your tastes and style.

The best canoe paddle is the one that fits your needs, size, and paddling style. Therefore, the best paddle is not a single paddle, but different for almost anyone. By researching and keeping these factors in mind, you can find and purchase the best fitting paddle for you. Designing your own paddle can also be an excellent way to add your own style and create a paddle that fits you perfectly. Either way you go, having and using a canoe paddle that fits you will make for a much more enjoyable time on the water.

You can design your own paddle at

Joe Holz
Holz Canoe Paddles, Inc.

As founder of Holz Canoe Paddles, Inc., I, Joe Holz, design and create hand crafted, beautiful Straight and Bent Shaft functional canoe paddles as well as decorative or ornamental paddles for home and cabin decor. Customers can easily create and design their own canoe paddle to fit their size, paddling style, and taste on our website at You select the Grip Style, Shaft Angle, Blade Shape, Blade Design, and Overall Length to create a one of a kind paddle. With all selections, there are well over 120 possible paddle combinations to fit any size and style. Also adorn your home or cabin with our beautiful decorative paddles that include artwork to add a unique and classy touch to any decor.

All Holz Canoe Paddles are hand made from select Cedar stock and particular attention to detail with style, overall weight, balance, strength, and durability being the main focus. Please contact us for more information at:

Holz Canoe Paddles, Inc.