paddler's blog

No, really, it's a new photo!

Been quite a few visitors to the Lake Cam page lately which I find encouraging. Enough that the plan to purchase a webcam could be moved up on the list.

But, no, really, I do update the photo every day. It might not appear that way lately as the photos are looking fairly consistent from day to day. The reality is the weather has been very nice for quite a few days now. Unusual for this time of year, our "summer" doesn't usually arrive until mid to late February.

We're not out of the jungle yet

Hard to believe that we've not been paddling for 10 days. Had some rentals go out (unguided) but after our 4-day trip to the beach (the big lake) there's a lot of catching up to do. Amazing how being gone for 4 days can set you back a week.

Now today, the rain has returned after several days of pretty nice weather. Windy, the lake was rough with whitecaps but plenty of sunshine. Would've been fun to be out there playing in the surf.

Sunday paddle

Had a backlog of other work to do but it was such an aswesome day out we had to go for a paddle. Sunny but quite windy and some nice big rollers coming from downlake. We decided to take the 2nd half of Island Tour #2 around the small island and a little further towards Rainbow Bay.

Strange currents

When wind and water currents combine on the lake, kayaking starts to get a bit challenging.

Yesterday the rain actually stopped. Unofficial sources record 6.5" of rain in the first 5 days of 2008. The lake level has risen dramatically once again opening up many places to kayak into the jungle. We're still about 3m short of the lake level of 3 years ago but we're able to kayak back into some areas that have been high and dry for a long time.

The Lake Cam

A new feature here on the Arenal Kayaks site is a photo of the lake. At this time we'll be taking a snapshot of the lake every day or so but pretty soon we'll have a webcam setup here to be constantly updated. This image, along with other info we collect on current conditions here at the lake will provide our visitors with up to the minute information.

Lake Arenal Weather

The weather situation here on Lake Arenal is always changing. Located just to the Caribbean side of the geographical continental divide¹, our weather is affected by both that body of water and the Pacific Ocean. At different times of the year one side or the other dominates. The rest of the time we can see the line of clouds on one side or the other of the divide. But that's not the whole story, Costa Rica has numerous "micro-climates". As little as 1km separation can mean very different weather conditions. Especially in rainfall.

Wet Christmas

Yup, it was a wet one this year.

For us, Christmas day is an opportunity to get outside and get some exercise. Cross country skiing before kids, sledding with kids, mountain biking in the desert for many years and now kayaking on the lake. But this year the weather just didn't cooperate. After missing a Sunday outing because of rain, and waiting almost a week for the rain to stop long enough to load boats, we still didn't make it out on Tuesday, Christmas day.

Lake Conditions

Supposed to be a kayaking day today but it's been raining since about 6pm yesterday. It's now after noon and the rain has stopped momentarily and a little sunshine is actually showing up. Might have to go out and have a look. Radio report from Captain Ron who is on a fishing trip today is rain down towards the volcano and the dam. The sun has been peeking through several times today with periods of light or no rain. So, rain at the other end of the lake doesn't mean we're out of luck for a kayak run.

Great Auk Review

The first kayak chosen by our boat builder here at Arenal Boatworks was of course the Great Auk taken from the book by Nick Schade, The Strip-Built Sea Kayak. With no previous experience with a sea kayak I was very curious to find out how a kayak of this type would handle in the lake. Up to this point, my kayaking experience (okay, that's stretching it a bit) has been 99% on the sit-on-top boats that we have for our rentals.

Is this you?

Now that we've changed the look of our web site, it's time to get caught up on photos. We started out by taking photos of our kayakers and then emailing them to whoever left an address. This went pretty well up to a point where our email guy dropped the ball and got too far behind to attempt to catch up. Okay, so that guy is me and things just got into a bad state with little notes with email addresses on them stuck to the monitor. If the address didn't get stored with the photos, there's no way to correlate the two.

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