Thursday, June 21, 2007

Island being formed.

I found this while wandering around the internets. Apparently, this couple were cruising the South Pacific, and came across some floating pumice... volcanic rock. Strange... but as they kept moving, they saw smoke coming out of the ocean. When they got closer, the discovered it was an island actually being formed right infront of them. How cool.

So, my question is can you claim it as your own... I mean... just walk up, (or sail, or swim) and stick a flag in it (once it cools off a little)... write the UN, and say...

"Dear United Nations,

I'm Russ, and I just found an island thats not anybody elses... so its mine. I am calling it... Larry the Island. Please send me the papers I need to sign for to be President and Ambassador.

My address is:
King Russ
#1 Main Street
Larry the Island.

Thanks... I look forward to meeting my neightbors, and coming to the UN's yearly ice-cream social for ambassadors. Tell Fiji I said hi when you talk to them... and to send those palm trees we talked about when they get the chance."

Amphitheater... up again.

Just a quick note that the infamous Springboro Amphitheater is re-assembled again. Everyone involved is anxious to see what fails next. Now its my first professionally designed project, first professionally awarded project, second actually built project, first collapsed project, and first re-built again project! Hopefully this is the last time this project gets built... again.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Mystic Venture Maiden Voyage - The Plan

Is this crazy?

Next week I will be captaining my new-2-me sailboat, the Mystic Venture, from Fair Haven (sounds like a postcard) New Jersey, south to Hampton Virginia. The trip is 258 nautical miles. I have never sailed before. This is the first time I will have been on this boat. I don't know the area we are sailing in at all. The boat will have been in the water less than 24 hours when we start this trip. My crew has had little to no sailing experience. Oh... and again, never sailed before.

Never mind... I answered that question.

Somehow, I have found 3 friends who are excited about coming on this trip... I even had to turn down several people who thought that this sort of thing sounded fun. I didn't lie to any of them about my experience... and no, they aren't getting paid! Maybe thats crazier.

Either way... this coming Sunday, 3 friends and I are going to cut the dock lines, and begin our 3 hour tour... or I mean our 5 day cruise down the coast to Virginia. The whole trip has been charted, and planned out to the best of my ability... so either this will be a boring trip, an adventure... or some sort of epic, where this blog entry will serve as a court document. I personally am hoping for somewhere between boring and adventure.

Here is a map showing our intented trip... along with where we plan on anchoring along the way. The fish icons just show other areas we can pull into if we need to escape a storm... or each other. I hope to be able to blog along the way... and upload some photos... so stay tuned via the rss or subscription box on the side.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

First Trad Lead

So... I have been climbing for not really that long. Mostly seconding up a climb someone else lead (for those who don't understand... a lead climber takes the rope up with them, clips it into the wall (either a bolt or some device they put there) as they go... its scary and more difficult). I do lead too... when its a sport route (or pre-bolted). This last weekend I did my first trad lead!

Trad is where you take various devices (nuts, hexes, cams, tri-cams... yada yada) and find a place in the wall to put them as you go, so that if you fall, you theoretically fall to where you last placed a piece of gear. This means that you fall on something you have put there... which if you don't have the right thing, or place it badly, then you can fall allot further. Basically... its one of the scariest climbing styles, but can be one of the most rewarding (for me at least).

I have been collecting trad gear for several months now, but it is expensive, I just bought a #4 Black Diamond Camelot... and it was $80 (its pretty sweet)!!! I have seconded and cleaned gear on alot of routes lead by different people, so I could see how they placed their gear. This is a picture of the route I lead, but that's not me, its stolen from Basically... it was one of the scariest climbs I have done, even though its fairly easy. Its rated at 5.4, but that's an old school rating, so my weak self would put it at 5.7 or so. Maybe its easier, but when your freaking out, everything is harder.

I didn't fall, so I didn't get to see if my gear would have actually held. My buddy BJ went up it after me and told me that I pretty much would have died if I fell on some of the stuff I placed... good thing I didn't fall. Some of the gear was totally bomber, some was way sketchy, and some was just not ideal. Guess I need more practice... this is a huge step for me, and my climbing career though.

Oh, and we camped on top of Bed Time For Bonzo again... not a bad place to pitch a tent. The "we" was Maria, BJ, Kansas, Eric, and myself. Talk about an awesome weekend... I think I climbed 6 or 8 routes... including Party Time again, which is always fun.