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July 26, 2006

Sorry for the no communication period. I have struggled with my IT department here on the Ottawa so far (that would be me). Tonight I am in the city of Ottawa at a hotel with high speed access and I am finally getting and receiving emails, updating the website, etc.

It has been two weeks!

Week 1: I was the Keener guest coach (USA National Champion, Stephen Wright is head coach). We had about 30 Keeners, and what a program. If you have a kid ages 13 to 18 interested in kayaking (either for a fun summer activity, or to win the next junior world championships, SEND THEM HERE!)

We did flatwater drills, rolling drills, strokes and concepts, and lots of playboating. We had a big water Thursday which is where I put the kids in a big pourover with no paddle and they had to get out. (it is more fun than it sounds, you couldn’t get the kids to stop going in). Claudia from Costa Rica was told she couldn’t stay for a second three weeks by her dad. She cried.

Week 2: Ottawa Kayak School course- 11 students. We are having a great course this week. Focus on bombproofing rolls, learning playboating, big water river running, and other fun stuff. I am getting lots of good training on the Garberator and getting ready for the first World Cup event here in a month. Andrew Holcomb and Anthony Yapp are looking really good. Stephen Wright is looking awesome also. I am very happy with my paddling so far and look forward to a great wave competition here! Even when I am teaching, I never sacrifice my paddling. If I did, I wouldn’t be able to teach any more! I get as many rides as my students, and usually more because I don’t tire out as fast.

Other things going on:

Emily and Nick flew home today from NYC. They were instructors along with Jessie Stone, Margie and Hayden for the NYC Inner City Kids Camp. This is my first year missing it. I was scheduled for OKS school and Jessie had to pick these dates so I missed it. I heard from Jessie and Nick and Emily did a great job.

Kristine flies to Rock Island, TN in the morning to check on the house we are building, Jackson Kayak, and her horses. I am taking her to the airport (as soon as she returns with Nick and Emily who just arrived at the airport). We will spend the night in Ottawa, get a good dinner, a hotel (where I will send this from), and then I’ll drive back early in the AM to teach class tomorrow for Big Water (Kodak Courage) Thursday.

Meanwhile- Jason Craig turned 13 years old today! He has a cake on the way from Ottawa and him and Dane will have a fun night of movies and video games, to compliment 8 hours of surfing the mighty Ottawa today!

Other News: The Awesome Mini-Cooper was totaled today by the Insurance Company. It is to be no more. I was my 40th birthday present from Kristine to me, and while it was well decorated with Jackson Kayak, it was my personal car, not a company car. I am not sure what to do about it yet. Have you seen the new Toyota FJ Cruiser? It is a sweet ride, and perfect for kayaking. I may look deeper into that vehicle too. Good on gas, roomy, no put-in or take out is beyond its capability (unless no vehicle can get there). I may have to get another Mini though. Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love that car.

Well, Kristine is back and time to make a U-Turn, kiss Emily hello, and head to Ottawa!