Moraine canoe info and weather report

Ben was able to get 8 canoes from the Fish and Boat Commission and will trail them to Moraine on Friday. If you glanced away from your paddle sneaking into the water last night, you could see the canoes as we passed by Washington's Landing. This is a change from the original plan of renting from Crescent Marine. There is no cost associated with the canoes that Ben was able to secure. He plans on dividing us into 2 groups, each having 3 paddling sessions lasting about 2 hours. The sessions will be Saturday AM, Saturday PM, and Sunday AM.

If the weather is nice, Crescent Marine will be staffed this weekend for anyone wanting to rent boats. The rental is $35/day (not a firm price per Larry).

So far, the weather in Portersville (near Moraine) is looking favorable for the P'fish. Friday night @ 33 degrees, Saturday has a sunny high of 65 and low of 37. Sunday's high is 62 and partly cloudy. So, warm evening wear is in order.


Practice Last Night

Ben reviewed the catch-frame of the stroke at last night's practice, focusing on the mental checklist: arms straight? blade buried? angle positive?

Merci beaucoup to everyone in the boat for your patience while I tried to figure out what the river was doing without falling out of the boat myself. I'm experiencing a loooong learning curve with my steering skills, but am learning best from my mistakes.

Ben will be at the Youth Team Open House tomorrow evening -- if you'd like to help with that event, please let him know.


Butt Pads (and other things your mother told you not to talk about in public)

Rich has started a thread (conversation) on the yahoo Dragon Boats forum on the ideal butt pad. Answers have varied, from bath mats to garden kneelers to Vaseline to nada…. Feel free to add your two cents!

Message 13
From: "Rich Smith"
Date: Fri Apr 21, 2006 8:28am(PDT)
Subject: Butt Pads

I have recently seen some butt pads that had mini suction cups
attached to the bottom. These pads looked home made but I could be

My questions are; does anyone know where to obtain those suction cups
(they look like they could be thin shower mats or shelf liners)? Does
anyone have a description of how to construct a good butt pad? Is
there a place one could purchase a good non-slip and comfortable butt


From: "nancy wong"
Date: Fri Apr 21, 2006 1:51pm(PDT)
Subject: Re: Butt Pads

Ciao Rich!

Well, I know that some people have already started making it in
productions... but, most of my friends and I have made them at home. You
can find the pad at any camp stores... they're usually used as kneeling
pad and also for sitting. The suction caps is a normal bathtub mat
that you can easily purchase at a Dollar Store (if you have one near where
you live). We usually take the mat, cut it to the size of the pad...
and then, stick-it with heavy duty tap or if you have a glue that can
stick plastic. And da da... you now have a butt pad for dragon boat!
You're butt will greatly appreciate it!


From: "Bellaire Family"
Date: Sat Apr 22, 2006 3:25pm(PDT)
Subject: Re: Butt Pads

The other thing that I have found works is to wrap non-skid shelf liner
around the kneeling pads. This may not stick to the boat seat quite as
well as the suction cups but it seems to be pretty effective. Think
I'll give the suction cups a try this year when I get a chance.
Waterproof contact cement should work as the adhesive.


From: "Marcia Hum"
Date: Sun Apr 23, 2006 7:03am(PDT)
Subject: Vaseline! (FOR ANTI-BUTT PAD USERS)

Have you ever tried putting a wad of vaseline on your butt?

Apparently it helps your butt glide against the seat a little.
Could be a good preventative measure for sores.

One of the girls from the Wong's DB Team (in Montreal) said she puts a
lot on as soon as she feels a potential raw spot coming on.

I would think that putting it on even BEFORE the potential for raw meat
arises would be even better!

I'm going to try that this season... since I'm not a big buttpad fan.

So always keep a jar of Vaseline in the car =)

Marcia Hum d:)
Manager Rehab Ravens DB Team
Wong's DB Team paddler

From: "Tom Atwood"
Date: Sun Apr 23, 2006 10:01am(PDT)
Subject: Re: Vaseline! (FOR ANTI-BUTT PAD USERS)


I have been following all of this with interest but some confusion.
The best way to prevent butt sores is to wear the proper paddling
shorts. I don't use pads or vaseline or anything else but I do pay
attention to my shorts. There are some shorts that I don't wear
because they do cause problems but I have several different (loose
and tight fitting shorts that never cause problems. BTW...bike shorts
are not necessarily good for paddling depending on where they have
the seams.

So, get good shorts and pads, vaseline, etc are not needed and it is
much more convenient to not have to worry about those extras.


From: "Fallingup”
Date: Sun Apr 23, 2006 10:22am(PDT)
Subject: Re: Vaseline! (FOR ANTI-BUTT PAD USERS)

LOL.it's a pain i the rear is'nt it.butt pads or none,one thing i
learned(painfully)is not to tuck in my shirt.thing was too big to begin
with.tucking it
and the seam ending up or down ,however you look at it,ending up in a
pressure area between your cheek and the seat.same thing with
underwear,with the
seam right on the pressure area.spandex beneath my soccer
and sily(sounds like a victoria secret ad)works for me.
carpe cerevisi,


Hurry- Flights to Tampa on Southwest!

Southwest finally has the schedule available for the end of August. If you're lucky, you can get the $89 one way price. It ends up being about $198 with taxes and fees. These flights don't last long, so get on board! Visit Southwest.com. As a reminder, please send your plans (i.e., the dates you'll be staying at the Marriott and whether you have a roommate or whether you need one) to Carolyn N.

Storing Dragon Boats, Florida-style

It would be a darn shame if we had to store out boats this way, wouldn't it? We'd miss out on all of those chances to build up our biceps and back muscles by lifting the boat in and out of the water, all those chances to feel the burn in our thighs when we run the boat up the ramp, all those chances to squish our toes under the wheels of the dolly.....


Thought for the Day

This one's from Stevie Wonder:

We all have ability. The difference is how we use it.

Mid-Month Miscellany

  • We're in at Philly! Please check your calendars and let Laurie or Rich know soon whether you can go. The races are held on Saturday, October 7th, starting at 7:30 AM, so we need to travel out there on Friday (with most people probably returning to Pittsburgh on Sunday). No details yet on lodging or registration costs.

  • Let Jen or Marie know this week if your plans for the retreat have changed in any way so they can finalize the cabin assignments. Marie's made contact with the canoe-rental guy, and it looks like we'll have somewhere between 10 and 12 canoes. Standard rental is $35/day; he told Marie he'd give us a 'deal' but we haven't seen the details on that yet!

  • Practice last night was dubbed "walk the line." Reach out the arms, keep 'em straight, bury the blade in the quick-drying cement, check for a positive blade angle in the water. Before, after, and in-between: rotate. Rotate rotate rotate.
  • 4.13.2006

    Another Letter from Dragonboat Camp


    We had two good practices yesterday with the afternoon playing leap frog with two other boats. The leapfrog really spent me but I toughed it out during the hard pull sessions to pass the other two boats, but did easy paddles while they were passing us.

    Today we crossed the causeway for a round trip of 17k. We rested on the shore after the first 8k and took the longer route back through the channel. We were supposed to be videoed but the wind was blowing pretty good and the water was rough. We had to bale the boat 3 times from the waves sending in gushes of water. Our coach has Lisa doing continuous bailing as we got closer to shore and the shallows made the water a little rougher. All in all our boat did well and held the boat pretty steady through the waves. Taking the calm channel back added the extra 1k for a return trip of 9k. For our efforts we all received aqua wrist bands signifying our membership on the Causeway Club. We have the afternoon off so we can recover and be ready for tomorrow’s practices.

    Last night Ben and I cooked some pasta and chicken parmesan and we had a gathering of all our Pfish as well as a number of the Steel City team. The female Pfish brought a fruit bowl, ice cream, and Hershey Kisses for dessert. We had a nice social event and good food to prepare us for the long distance paddle we had today.

    I am still having a great time and still learning. The weather has been fantastic.

    See you soon,



    Rich's Letter from Camp

    Rachel After Some Post-Paddling Stretches


    Camp is really terrific. We have a warm-up and practice twice a day, once in the morning and once in the late afternoon. The warm up consists of stretches and jogging in place/hopping. We warm-up for 15 minutes and then hit the boats for 1.5 hours. We are on the river sometimes as well as the channel that runs for miles and miles. The coach is very good and I feel for myself the exercises and input are on target, and am helping me improve every time we go out. After the morning practice there is a stretching session on the tennis court. We also have an optional lecture session for 1 hour starting at 11:30.

    After this afternoon’s practice we went to our coach’s room to view the video that was taken of us in the morning. We will each get a DVD of the video session and some camp pictures, and I am looking forward to receiving it.

    The OC folks do their thing at 5:45 PM. On Wednesday there is an open OC session for our boat at 12:30 PM. I haven’t decided if I want to do that or not and it is optional. They say it helps with the paddle connection to the water.

    I must admit, at least for me, it is tiring and I find myself a little muscle sore. It is a good kind of tired and good muscle soreness; it is coming from hard workouts and improvement of technique.

    I don’t have any pix of us all on land or in a boat but I will endeavor to make that happen over the next few days. This camp is definitely worth my time and money and should help me mature as a paddler a little faster than I would have otherwise.

    The weather has been great, sunny and 76. It is supposed to stay that way the rest of the week :-)

    See you soon,


    Dragon Boat Camp Update

    Rich reports that the Florida campers are getting out on the water at least twice a day. They warm up/stretch for about 15 minutes (jogging/hopping to warm up, followed by stretches) and then get out on the water for an hour and a half (twice a day); some Pfish (like Jim here!) are also signed up for OC work.

    Rich's basic message: "I'm sore, but it's definitely worth it!"

    Report from Pittsburgh

    What a lovely paddle that was last night! You guys looked great -- nice power when we moved it up for Power 10s and in Carolyn's power-pyramid, real attention to rotation, and beautiful timing with your eyes closed.

    Jonathan steered for the first time, and we only hit the bridge once! (Just kidding -- no contact occurred, and we didn't even ever go wobbly. He's a natural! Now if we can just get him to translate his paddling lingo into American English....)

    We've got a Prepare to be Boarded flag now, thanks to Bob, so just need a flexi-stick of some sort so we can keep this aboard and whip it out at the appropriately dramatic moment.

    This morning's Post-Gazette has a nice essay from Erik's parents under the 'Random Acts of Kindness' column (page 2), thanking everyone involved in helping to pull Erik from the river last week and warm him up.


    Report from Florida

    The Paddlefish in Florida are paddling with the dolphins this week! (The coach says there's a good chance they'll see manatees, too.) There are some friends from Steel City in the boat as well as paddlers from other teams, and the weather is a little cloudy but very nice.

    Stef and Laurie are going to write down all the great stretches they're learning and bring those back to us to start using later this month.


    Is It Spring Yet?

    Some Pfish head for Florida this time of year, others head for the beaches of Millvale....


    Paddlefish Make a "Splash"

    TRRA's monthly newsletter, Splash, is now online at http://www.threeriversrowing.org/Splash/2006%20Apr.pdf -- the Paddlefish presence at the Indoor Paddling Championships is the lead story!

    But keep reading -- there's information here about a benefit event being held on June 17th in honor of Mike Lambert's commitment to a strong river community in Pittsburgh.

    And a reminder to register your TRRA membership through the new Club Management System site.

    And an underscored reminder about the importance of safety, of a prudent regard for the power of the river and cold air/water during a season when we're all itchin' to get back out there.

    Not mentioned in Splash, but on a related note: there's a launch-driving clinic being held off the Washington's Landing dock this Monday evening (April 10th). I know a number of Pfish will be sweating it out in Florida then, but please think about attending this clinic if you'll be in town.