I am trying to be a thoughtful student of kayaking in part because, while my time on the water has been frequent for decades, my kayak experience is limited. Iâ€™m primarily a fisherman with enthusiastic interest in, and a little experience with, kayaking.
For whatever it is worth:
I grew up minutes from the water and began running away to fish at age 7 to my momâ€™s disgust. I began building rafts, canoes, and anything else I could afford from grade school on. All freshwater except a few trips to the ocean and one freebie to Acapulco. Spin, fly, and baitcasting for every freshwater species I thought I could catch.
During high school more of the same I did scuba and free diving in fresh and saltwater for fun, a couple abalone, and in a program to collect specimens for the Smithsonian, primarily nudibranchs. That program also included rotenone sampling tidepools from Morrow Bay to the Oregon border.
In college in New England I helped build and repair a few fiberglass whitewater SINK kayaks, bashed them down spring melt streams, and worked on safety crews during whitewater kayak competitions. I rowed crew for a couple years, and haunted the Connecticut River in various small rowboats, sailboats, and canoes to fish, sail, explore, and just get away from it all.
College dropout for a couple years. Bought a canoe and fished and camped along the rivers and in the lakes of Northern California and the Central Sierras. Some shore fishing in the saltwaters of Northern California, but mostly freshwater.
Back to college. More canoeing, a little SINK kayaking, small boat sailing, and lots of freshwater fishing. Put together and led a week-long canoe trip through the Everglades one Spring Break.
During grad school not much time or money, but did a little canoeing and fishing in Northern California. Much more of the same after joined the work force. Got into club level tournament bass fishing for a decade and a half. Some saltwater crabbing and fishing from small boats. A couple of rental SINK whitewater kayak adventures. Hiking streams and rivers to fish, and lots of fishing freshwater from small boats.
[Addition: Also tie flies; shared a tiny business making spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, jigs, and re-packaging for sale bulk terminal tackle; and recently got stuff to wire bend and make salmon spinners, etc.; wrapped a 3 weight fly rod along the way.]
Back injury and surgery. Sold the canoe. On the beach for a few years. Fishing with friends in small boats, primarily freshwater with a little saltwater in Northern and Southern California.
Back injury healed well and with exercise ready for another canoe â€“ but got intrigued with the Hobie Adventure instead. Stumbled into online kayak forums for the first time. One Newport Harbor area fishing trip with some Hobie pro staffers and I bought an Adventure, a new wetsuit, kayak gear, etc. [Correction: bought the Adventure a few weeks before the Newport trip for a saltwater intro.] Began freshwater kayak fishing in Northern California.
Sold the kayak when the Adventure Island was announced. Finances put new kayak on hold ($3K!) just as I also got intrigued with salmon fishing in the Mokelumne and Sacramento rivers. Put my limited money and time into salmon fishing from friendsâ€™ small powerboats. I post my fishing stuff on powerboat forums, with a very few references in kayak forums, because I am not kayak fishing right now. But I have been and will be again soon, so I want to be as well prepared as I can.
I saw the NorCal Outfitter leak incident threads that seemed excessively negative about Hobie and others about the same incident that seemed excessively negative about the kayakers involved. I am not qualified to say much about it so, basically, I made comments on what others posted and asked questions in the various threads to see if more balance could be brought to the discussion as a whole. You can read the threads and form your own opinion about how it is going and what my role has been.
So this is my modus operandi: try to figure out where I am ignorant, pose questions, study the answers, pose follow-up questions, and offer whatever I can along the way â€“ including finding and sharing links to what seems pertinent and interesting stuff along the way. I think we are all seekers along the path, sometimes a little ahead and sometimes a little behind of others, and all we can do is try to honestly, respectfully, report the view from wherever we find ourselves and ask others to do the same.
So, credibility? Well, my understanding is that credibility is a good question if someone claims subject matter expertise or asks to be believed when reporting on facts not witnessed by others. In the Bean Hollow discussion I donâ€™t think either applies to me.
Motivation? To clearly understand the lessons offered by the facts of the incident.