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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 10:46 am 
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Moved from another thread:
kayakamper wrote:
Gerry,

I'd love to hook up and paddle in Brazil with you! As for next year (2008?).

I am not sure if it is doable for me at this time. I need to see about my schedule as time goes on this winter. When were you planning to go in '08?

Chris
Big Red Kahuna
Atlanta Ga


According to a contact who lived in Belem for years, the best time to kayak is in the middle of the dry season.

"from what I do know your choice of season is the most important choice you'll make - you want to go in the middle of the dry season, when there will be beaches to camp on and little rain. Too late and the bottoms are muddy near the beaches, big stingray danger (your worst nightmare); too early and the beaches don't exist, they're under 30' of water. "

To me, that would indicate that July would be suitable and for me, incorporating the 4th will save me a day.

If we fly in and out of Manaus, the costs will be managable also.

One suggestion would be that we determine which area holds the most appeal for us and then consider hiring a boat to take up out so that we can do a return paddle. That gives us a preview and will allow us to mark the route.

Another is to determine if there's a circular route that might be attractive. Lots of options to consider.

Timing: 2008 would be nice but 2009 is fine also.

I did the class over in San Diego this weekend and loved it. I got tossed around quite a bit yesterday dealing with surf (getting out was easy - getting back through the surf with 1-2 foot breakers wasn't so easy! Timing is everything I guess) so I need to improve in those areas if I want to do coastal ventures.

Looks like i have my first trip this weekend on the Colorado River - Willow Beach to the Hot Springs/Black Canyon areas.

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Last edited by K7Baixo on Tue May 05, 2009 1:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 3:26 pm 
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Gerry,

2008 may be difficult, but not yet completely out of the question. My wife and I are going to Costa Rica in May ( she is leading a study abroad group there for a month, she and I will go a week early so I can have some R&R before her students arrive, then I will return home)

As I said, since I own my own business, it is not out of the question, but my customers also dictate when I can go.

I will work out the possibilities soon. How long were you planning for this adventure to last?

Chris
Big red Kahuna
Atlanta,Ga.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 4:12 pm 
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kayakamper wrote:

I will work out the possibilities soon. How long were you planning for this adventure to last?

Chris
Big red Kahuna
Atlanta,Ga.


Two weeks for this one at the most... maybe a little less is we need to accomodate your schedule. I have five weeks' of vacation but can't use all of it for this trip!

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 5:32 pm 
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K7Baixo wrote:

Two weeks for this one at the most... maybe a little less is we need to accomodate your schedule. I have five weeks' of vacation but can't use all of it for this trip!


Gerry,
That time frame is certainly doable. My wife will be in Costa Rica for a Month ( I know, working...jeeez ) and I am only going for a week, so another two weeks is not out of the question for me.

As I mentioned before, my work/business will dictate my time allowed, but I am interested in proceeding at this point.

I have been thinking about the possibility of a little pre-planning for this trip, say paddling in Arizona somewhere. That is one part of the country my wife and I have talked about travelling to in recent years, but have not done it yet. She gets spring break in March. Last year it was Baja. Who knows, just a thought at this point.

Chris

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 Post subject: excellent
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 11:36 pm 
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Good deal - let's talk as it gets closer.

I'm doing my *first* overnight trip this weekend from Willow Beach to just below the Hoover Dam on the Colorado. Should be a good starter trip for me - I'll post pictures later.

I put the kayak together two nights ago and last night, finalized some of the packing. Tonight, I took it apart and it's in the car. I'll load the rest of the stuff in the AM and go to work. Tomorrow night, I'll stay in Kingman and then get up early Friday to launch.

Some folks from San Diego are supposed to be there by 8:30. I haven't heard if they're coming or not - hope they're all safe.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2007 8:41 pm 
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Gerry,

Give my best wishes to your friends from San Diego. I hope they and their families are OK.

Have a good paddling weekend. I may do a bit of paddling this weekend myself. It has been a while as work has taken a lot of my time lately. :roll:

Chris

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 1:41 pm 
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Chris - I've decided to simplify my first trip and join Richard aka Georgia_kayaker on his Alabama River trip.

Obviously, there's a variety of reasons but mostly centered around budget considerations (weak dollar, family support in Brazil escalating at an alarming rate), my skills ("walk before running"), combining a visit home (grew up in this area, can visit relatives), etc.

Richard will have more info soon but my best guess at this time is to join them in Montgomery (around 289 mile mark accoring to this page and then depart at the 160.5 point - Bogue Chitto Creek - a location that I've fished many times. This is a guess- I need to see Richard's plans first.

This will push Brazil to 2009 but again, always subject to change.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2007 11:06 pm 
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Yep - just call me wishy-washy. I talked to MrsK7 about the Brazil trip and together, we decided that it's better to keep it on the books for this year. She reminded me that we need to live for today since we don't know what tomorrow will bring. I can do the AL trip just about anytime.

I talked to a couple of guys from p/net and after some discussion, it looks like we'll do a trip together. At least one of them will build one of Tom's kayaks to use. Not sure about the other guy.
One suggestion was to catch a local riverboat up to San Francisco de Assis or Novo Airao and explore that area. Here's that area relative to Manaus:

Image

For scale, the yellow line that I drew in is just a tad over 10-miles.

Catching a riverboat should be easy - wander down to the docks and talk to the boat captains. The riverboats are essentially the bus system of the region and since Manaus is the largest city in the region, finding a ride won't be a problem.

July is the dry season - relatively speaking and the beaches will be uncovered. We should also see more wildlife and the heat will only be in the low 90's during the day.

More to come as plans come together.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 10:21 pm 
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I am still interested, have been busy with work and other things lately to think much more about it.

My wife and I just this evening were looking at a Lake Powell trip in March ( her spring break ) Have you ever heard of Hidden canyon Kayak LLC?
http://www.hiddencanyonkayak.com

Sounds like it could be nice.

Chris

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 11:54 pm 
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I've never heard of them but keep in mind, six months ago I hadn't heard of Long Haul, Klepper or Featherlights either. :wink:

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 Post subject: update
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 11:57 am 
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Things are progressing towards a 2009 date. Finances (ie helping my wife's family as her father's health slowly declines) will prevent this from occuring this year. In addition, I haven't heard from the others who were going this year. My emails haven't been answered so they've either lost interest or something else occured.

Not an issue - it's all working to my advantage. My plan B was to join Georgia Kayaker (p-net) on his AL trip which will allow me to visit family and not kill our budget. I've purchased that airline ticket and set aside time for about 2 weeks including travel time for this trip in June.

I've also worked to develop a friend's interest in kayaking and the Brazil trip. He's in the process of purchasing a used Long Haul and by the time I return from my next trip to Brazil (business), he'll have it and be ready to get on the water.

I'm also continuing my physical training. I'm at the gym almost daily now. The challenge will be working while in Brazil. Our days there tend to run way too long and then we go out to dinner which typcially runs 2-3 hours. Working out will be tough but I need to find a way!

Lastly, I'm still hoping that someone from here will join us. My guess is that we'll depart on July 3rd to Miami or take a redeye the night before and then fly TAM to Manaus on a (typically) overnight flight assuming that's an option. That'll give us a Saturday arrival.

Otherwise, we'd have to fly to Sao Paulo and then come back north to Manaus. That's a *brutal* trip - hopefully, we can find better options such as flying into Caracus or San Jose or somewhere (anywhere) else.

From Manaus, we'll take a local boat to Novo Airao. We can make the decision on the way up to kayak back to Manaus or set up to do day trips out of NA or perhaps continue to San Francisco de Assis and kayak back down.

I'll hope to have the boat schdules in hand by then hopefully using Brazilian friends to help identify dependable contacts in Manaus. They'll charge us a little more but that's OK.....

We'd likely depart Brazil on 17 July (Friday) for a Saturday arrival back in PHX. That'll give all of us a recovery day on Sunday to rest for work on Monday.

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Gerry
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 9:18 pm 
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Gerry,

You can still count me as a possibility for 2009. I have a mother-in-law with terminal cancer that will keep us busy over the next few months, I am sure. As you may recall, I am going to Costa Rica in May this year ( tagging along my wife's study abroad trip she is leading ), but that may be in doubt because of her mother.

I had still hoped to go with you this year, but that was not in the cards for either of us.

I will look at all of the possibilities for next year.

B.T.W., working out is always a challange when work ( my business keeps me busy long hours daily ) gets in the way :? .

Chris

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 2:09 pm 
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Chris - how's your mother-in-law? We're near the end with my father-in-law and we expect the call that's he has passed away at any moment now. It's tough but we're doing well. Our prayers are with you and your family also.

I hope no one minds the periodic updates. As someone relatively new to the sport, it's important that I at least expose myself to your criticism in case I've missed something critical. The only way to do that is post an occasional update.

First of all, I've recruited at least one other person to go with me. One of my friends purchased Alm's Long Haul and we've been out at least once a week since he took delivery. He has a ways to go but I'm confident that he'll make it.

Chris and I are still talking about his participation and we're both hopeful that we can work something out. We need two other people to join us for reasons that will follow in a moment.

I've got two other friends who are also interested. This is a couple and I'm hopeful that one of them will join us. We're going to put them into our Long Hauls on Sunday for a test paddle. The Long Hauls are too much kayak for them - they're both more typically sized whereas Kevin and I are both well over 6' tall - so this is just for a test paddle.

From a physical perspective, I'm in better shape than I've been in years. My goal was to be in the top 95% at my local Y and as of today, YTD, I'm at 96%. I still feel like I have a long ways to go though which means I'll keep it up.

After much thought, we decided to reformat the trip slightly. I found a local contact that told me that picking up a local boat from Manaus to Novo Airao would be "interesting" at best. You've seen all the news reports - "overloaded boats sink in the Amazon", etc.

In fact, there was a collision in the last two weeks and 12 died. Link. This happens two or three times a year.

My contact's concern was more from security - 'you have to watch your stuff 24-hours a day" on the boat. I was already aware of that from my first trip up the Amazon but I took his word to heart and started thinking about alternatives.

Not going isn't an option. After discussion with my local friend here, we started exploring the option of renting a larger boat to act as a mother ship. Most of the sites related to tours are more touristy that we wanted which was a ride, a place to sleep and maybe meals. The normal offering was tours here, tours there, walks in the jungle, visits with the locals, etc. etc. That's all fine and dandy but we didn't want a set schedule.

After many emails and discussions, we settled on a local tour operator in which the primary contact is a gringo married to a local girl. Their references checked out and once we started our discussions, we were able to come to an agreement on price which include two hotel nights, all meals on the boat, transfers in and out, etc.

Note: I know that this is the *gringo* price. To insure our level of safety and comfort, we've agreed that it's a reasonable cost. I won't reveal it yet - but we're in agreement for 2009 and the cost per person for 4 people. I may opt to add in another person for five and I'd hope we could keep the costs to be incremental only - not simply another multiplier.

I mean - how much more can another bag of rice and a few more fish cost??!!! :lol:

I have others who would join us in a heartbeat but if the focus isn't on kayaking, those who don't will be bored quickly. It wouldn't be fair to them or to us if it were opened up to non-kayakers.

Essentially, we'll be at 7-days on the water. We'll go see the meeting of the waters just outside of Manaus and then we'll head towards the Anavilhanas Archipelago for the balance of the trip. We may or may not go into Novo Airao itself.

The boat is a pretty typical Amazon riverboat. I'd say that this is pretty representative:

Image

I hope that this will be only the first trip into the area. We'll be a little cautious this time and see what lessons we learn for the next trip.

AFAIK, I'm still on for the Alabama River trip this June. Chris - if you want to meet me, we can figure out the logistics such that we leave your vehicle in Montgomery and then we can drop you off back there at the end of the trip assuming we're on the same schedule. You can always paddle further if your schedule permits of course. I can send you my schedule if you're interested.

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Gerry
PHX AZ

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 5:10 pm 
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Thanks for the kind words Gerry, My mother-in-law is in a sort of limbo at the moment. She is esponding to Chemo, but is told the cancer is terminal. We are not sure what to expect. I know what you guys are going through. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family as well.

What you are planning in Brazil sounds similar to our paddling trip we did in Southern India in 2004. We had a chase boat and outfitter trail us, but we set the schedule. There are still a couple of pictures of me in my Kahuna on the website in the photo gallery
http://www.kalypsoadventures.com/php/ac ... .php?aid=3 that trip was a blast!

Anyway, sounds like you are getting really organized.

I am interested in the Alabama trip in June. If you want to PM me the info, I will look at my schedule. Besides Costa Rica this summer, we may go to Alaska in August...the kind of busy summer I like!

Chris

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 Post subject: email sent.
PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 9:14 pm 
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Sorry to hear that the news isn't good. My wife is taking it pretty darn well. I may have posted it before but one of her typcial Brazilian sayings is "Don't cry for them when they're gone if you didn't do for them while they were alive."

I sent you an email with my schedule and plans for the trip. While it sounds like you have a busy summer, it would be nice to meet you for this trip.

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Gerry
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