Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Proof of Awesome Competence!

I was going through the files the other day and happened to come across this certificate from when we took a kayak course a few years ago.  I thought we would share it here as evidence of our certified awesomeness. 

(Flatwater Skills is now called Introduction to Sea Kayaking.)

That little course and certificate eventually led to Bryan starting Coldspring Paddling Instruction.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

We Never Even Knew This Was An Option!

Here is another video in the category of "crazy shit people do in boats". Northstar Expeditions thinks this is some pretty cool stuff and that we could get behind this activity. We're pretty sure we can rock those speedos just as well as these New Zealand rowers.

Friday, December 9, 2011

We're No Experts But.....

NSE makes no claims on whitewater expertise, but in our opinion, these guys suck. This might be the best bad kayaking video that I've ever seen.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Monday, December 5, 2011

Caught The Big One!

Here's a technique to know for when we catch our bow-mate instead of the fish.  Check out the video.  I wonder which NSE member will let me practice on them?


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Churchill River Canoe Outfitters

Check out this video from CRCO. NSE has been everywhere shown in this video, with the exception of inside the cabins. In September we were standing on the same rocks below Robertson Falls as the fellow was fishing from.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Motorbike Canoeing

Here's an idea in case NSE decides to go solo:

Monday, September 19, 2011

Epic Rafting

Some kindred spirits from the next province over...

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Soggy Bottom Boys

This is why NSE doesn't sing in the canoe!

What a great finish!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Looks Like Some Great Weather For A Trip!

Tomorrow afternoon NSE heads north for another annual trip. This time we are heading to Mountain Lake, starting at Stanley Mission and spending several days touring the area (Robertson Falls, Twin Falls, First North Falls, Second North Falls, ?).

As can be seen in the chart below, the current is still running pretty high, though it's moderated a bit from earlier in the summer when NSE member Jay reported that the flows were amazing. It looks like Otter Rapids is running at about 580 cubic meters per second and descending slowly.

It looks like the river will be about the same as it was 2 years ago, when we approached the same are from Otter Lake and Missinipe. For some perspective on Churchill River water levels, visit our previous blog posting at

Our weather is also looking pretty good at the moment:

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Radiant Rivers Photo Contest and World Rivers Day

Your friendly NSE blogger is also a kayak instructor and owner of Coldspring Paddling Instruction.  Coldspring Paddling Instruction is helping the Saskatchewan Environmental Society to celebrate World Rivers Day by contributing a gift certificate for an Introduction to Sea Kayaking lesson as a first prize for their Radiant Rivers Photography contest.  I'm probably disqualified, but Chief Photographer Rob should have a good shot at it and in a week and a half we'll be on the water somewhere (yet to be determined!) giving the opportunity to capture some award winning photos.

The following is information from the Saskatchewan Environmental Society about the day and the contest.

World Rivers Day – September 25, 2011
For more information about any of these events, contact, call 306.665.1915 or visit

Radiant River Photography Contest – rivers all over Saskatchewan
In celebration of World Rivers Day September 25th, the Saskatchewan Environmental Society presents the Radiant Rivers Photography Contest to highlight the beauty of Saskatchewan’s rivers.  The photos must fit one of the three categories (action, tranquil, and sustainable). Participants must name the river featured in their photo and describe why water is valuable to them and what they do to protect water.  All winning entries will be displayed as a travelling photo exhibit at locations around the province and will win fabulous prizes, including three outdoor adventure packages as first place prizes. Entries can be emailed to on or before September 26th at midnight and winners will be announced the following week.  For rules and regulations, please visit our website by clicking here. A big thanks to our sponsors: Sturgeon River Ranch, Coldspring Paddling, Phase 2 Foto source, Outter Limits, and Mister Print.

The following are Saskatoon-based events:

Park Clean Up – 9am Rotary Park
SES is joining Trash Dashers Saskatoon and the Great Canadian Shoreline Clean-Up to pick up trash at Rotary Park in Saskatoon in celebration of World Rivers Day. Bags and gloves will be provided, so all you have to do is show up to help us keep our river valley clean and healthy.  We will meet at the peace torch in Rotary Park at 9am, September 25th. See you there!

Nature Walk and Photo Walk – 1pm Peturrson’s Ravine
SES is hosting a nature walk with the Native Plant Society of Saskatchewan along Peturrson's Ravine in Saskatoon. This river-side location was chosen to celebrate World River Day on September 25th.  If you are a photo-enthusiast, we also encourage you to bring your camera along to capture some of our river valley's natural beauty.
We will meet in the parking lot, just north of the Regional Psychiatric Centre on Central Avenue at 1pm, Sept 25th.

Blue Drinks – 6pm Winston’s
Blue Drinks is like Green Drinks, in that it is an opportunity for environmentalists to meet up, make connections, and talk about environmental issues, but on September 25th, the discussion will be all about water in celebration of World Rivers Day.  This pub-based discussion group is an informal, relaxed atmosphere, so come on out and talk about your local water issues!
We will be meeting at Winston’s Pub at 6pm in Saskatoon.

Now That's The Way to Cook!

I recently came across this on the West Cost Paddler forum and I think that it's the cat's ass!

It's a battery powered rotisserie!

Photo used with permission.
Brilliant.  If a kayaker can find room in his hatches for this, I'm sure we can find some room in the canoe to add it to our kit. It can't weigh nearly as much as the hot tub did!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

NSE and the Dunning Kruger Effect

The Dunning-Kruger effect is a phenomenon whereby the unskilled don't know enough to know that they are idiots and bad decisions ensue.

I can't remember where I was going with that but for some reason I thought of NSE when I learned today about the theory (though I had been aware of the actual effect for some years). The following is quoted from Wikipedia:
Kruger and Dunning noted ... that ignorance of standards of performance is behind a great deal of incompetence. This pattern was seen in studies of skills as diverse as reading comprehension, operating a motor vehicle, and playing chess or tennis.
Kruger and Dunning proposed that, for a given skill, incompetent people will:
  1. tend to overestimate their own level of skill;
  2. fail to recognize genuine skill in others;
  3. fail to recognize the extremity of their inadequacy;
  4. recognize and acknowledge their own previous lack of skill, if they can be trained to substantially improve.

As we paddle and trip, we all hopefully move from ignorance to enlightenment. We learn that there is much we don't know, and as the skill level improves, so does the decision making. Unfortunately we have to make a few dumb mistakes before it hits home that we need to learn to do things better. Northstar Expeditions has avoided too many dumb mistakes as a group, and we have twice now taken lessons as a group to improve our skillset. I'm sure there will be dumb mistakes in the future and hopefully we are sufficiently enlightened to recognise and learn from them.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Friday, June 3, 2011

Jay Reaches His Goal

NSE member Jay had a goal to learn to roll a kayak. Actually, this was something that Bryan & Jay were going to work toward together. Then, last summer, Bryan got impatient waiting to coordinate with Jay and went & figured it out for himself. Well Jay had not lost sight of that goal and has been working toward it over several weeks this spring. He joined the Kelsey Kayak Club and used the "member pool nights" to work on rolling a whitewater kayak, sometimes with help, sometimes on his own working with paddle floats and the side of the pool. A couple of weeks ago Bryan was at the pool with Jay and shot this short video featuring two successful rolls, the second being a clean roll where he brings his head up last and makes it look more or less effortless.

Jay is still working on perfecting the roll, trying to get to a place where he can play in the water with confidence. But this is a great start, and means he doesn't have to pay up on that bet he made!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Why NSE Doesn't Do Extreme Skidooing

Check this out:
Watch the 3 videos, showing 3 angles on this stunt. It's worth a few minutes of your time.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Running a "rapid" the chaotic way

Not sure what to say about this; NSE has no comment...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

New NSE Canoe

I saw this over on Murat's paddle making blog. It might give us some inspiration for a new fleet of NSE canoes. Of course we couldn't limit ourselves to Budweiser. We'd have to include Guinness, Great West, Sleemans, Heineken, Boddingtons, Harp, Blue, and pretty much anything else that we can find locally in a can that freezes well.

Friday, February 25, 2011

A NSE Helicopter?

I came across this video this evening:

The River from FPV-Leif on Vimeo.

Aside from being a pretty cool perspective on a nice Norwegian river, it brings to mind an idea for cool new gear that NSE should investigate. No longer need our Chief Photographer Rob be tethered to the ground! Let's get his photography into the air with a camera mounted on an "octocopter"! (I'm not sure, but I think this would kick my brother's kite-mounted camera's ass!)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Trip On Ice?

This might give some (bad) ideas for a future trip....

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Fishing in Missinipe Area

I came across this today while searching for information about Bartlett Lake. It's an article on the Churchill River Canoe Outfitters website about fishing in the Otter Lake region. A number of lakes are mentioned including what fish you might expect to find and where. A good resource for those of us who canoe and fish in the neighbourhood.

Rod shows off a walleye destined to be our breakfast.