Monday, February 28, 2011

Skier falls off cliff and captures it on helmet cam

When someone falls off a cliff, the result can be fatal. At the very least, a few broken bones, right?

So consider skier Stefan Ager lucky. He walked away without a scratch after falling backwards off a huge, rocky cliff as he was putting on his skis.

We don't know anything about Stefan other than he suffered "no injuries" and that he's "fine" after falling a reported 400 meters (about 1,300 feet) off a cliff somewhere on a snowy mountain. 

Thanks to his helmet cam, you can experience the cliff fall right along with him, starting when he steps into the second ski binding at about the 1:00 mark:





Next time, Stefan, try to avoid falling off a cliff. Better yet, avoid those steep dropoffs altogether.

Now, if you'd like to feel every bump and tumble in slow motion, take a look here.

Thanks, William at AnglerWise.com!

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Other interesting posts on Outdoors 720:
How did the ice-fishing Inuits get a 1,000-pound shark through the hole?
Shark attack on marlin caught on video
Ski flying: Another extreme sport getting off the ground
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Friday, February 25, 2011

Ice fishing for sharks: Inuits catch a monster fish

If someone told you that the Inuit people of the Arctic went ice fishing for sharks, you'd call him crazy.

Well, call me crazy, because the Inuit people of the Arctic really do go ice fishing for sharks -- big sharks -- and the BBC One has the video to prove it. Right this way...





The video comes from the BBC's program called "Human Planet Explorer" and was aired for the first time on Jan. 27, 2011.

This 13-foot, half-ton Greenland shark, a species native to Arctic waters, was pulled up with 2,600 feet of line. The narrator described it as twice the length of the Empire State Building. Incredible video, except maybe for the sound.

The dialogue between Amos and his son Karl-Frederick is not nearly as strong as their ability to pull in a 1,000-pound shark. Really, it sounds as if they're following the lines from a B Movie script.
"Boy, it's heavy."

"It's big."

"I've never seen a shark this big."

"What a shark!"

"It won't fit out of the hole."

"No, we'll have to cut it wider."
We're guessing -- and isn't it obvious? -- that this was a re-creation. Because the shark initially came up tail first, then, suddenly, they were pulling it up through the enlarged hole head first. How'd that happen? Not that it matters. The entertainment and educational value is well worth it, even though we're deprived about how they hooked the shark and fought it.

Still, the video really does give an interesting look into the lives of the Inuit people of Greenland. Incidentally, they use the shark meat to feed their dogs. This shark, the narrator says, will feed the dogs for two weeks.

After that, we're guessing the Inuits go ice fishing for sharks again, and probably are happy to settle for smaller ones.

Thanks, Moldy Chum!

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Shark attack on marlin caught on video
Sinking sailboat isn't really a sinking sailboat
Fisherman falls overboard and survives 7-hour swim in shark-infested waters
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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Shark attack on marlin caught on underwater video

The assignment was simple: Capture underwater video of a striped marlin being caught, tagged and safely released by New South Wales fisheries officials.

Unfortunately -- or fortunately, depending on your point of view -- an unwanted guest crashed the festivities and attacked the star of the show.

And Australian photographer Al McGlashan captured it all on video.

As reported exclusively on FieldandStream.com, a 10-foot mako shark tore past McGlashan from below and ripped into the tail section of the striped marlin, as officials held the marlin's bill and readied to release the fish. The marlin was a sitting duck and the mako took advantage.

See for yourself as nature unfolds, with a little help from above:




As blood clouded the water, McGlashan decided he'd better remove himself from the dangerous situation. He swam to the boat and was helped onto the deck. But not before collecting some of the most dynamic underwater video you'll ever see.

The incident off Port Stephens, Australia, earlier this month can also be viewed via photographs on FieldandStream.com. Incredible.

This is definitely one you might want to share with friends.

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Other interesting posts on Outdoors 720:
Sinking sailboat isn't really a sinking sailboat
Fisherman falls overboard and survives 7-hour swim in shark-infested waters
Shark alert: 100,000 sharks filmed swimming off Florida coastline
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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Woman attacks men with a fish, dog rescued on iceberg and other Call of the Wild headlines

"Hey, I was here first!"

Woman attacks men with a fish while ice fishing
Two ice fishermen were attacked by an angry woman who used a fish as the weapon. According to The Muskegon (Mich.) Chronicle, two men in their early 20s were ice fishing in a shanty when a 29-year-old woman approached them and told them to turn their backs because she had to urinate on the ice. When they did, she whacked one of them over the head with a fish and then the other in the face with the fish. The woman later told police she was upset “because the other men put their shanty too close to her shanty.” Michigan Live

Dog rescued from an ice floe 18 miles out to sea
The BBC has the incredible story about a dog that was stranded on an ice floe that was swept out to sea. A polish boat happened by and rescued the pooch in the Baltic Sea some 18 miles from land. The BBC reports that the dog was adopted by his rescuers and lives on the rescuing ship, going by the name of Baltic. See the story below. BBC




Teens went to prison to poach a deer
Three teenagers were arrested for shooting a deer in a rye field on state prison property in Union County, Florida. The Ledger reported that one of the teens was just in court on two counts of taking deer out of season and sentenced to one year probation and a three-year suspension from hunting. Now he’s looking at charges of introduction of firearms on prison property, a second-degree felony, along with taking deer out of season, hunting in a closed wildlife management area and violation of probation. He was in jail without bond -- or a brain. The Ledger

Bear hibernates in unusual place
It might have been this bear.
You always thought bears found a nice, natural enclosure under an uprooted tree -- or some such thing -- to hibernate each winter. Well, one bear found an ideal spot: In the crawl space of a Boulder, Colo., cottage. A plumber checking on frozen pipes discovered the comfy creature. The bear wasn't about to budge, apparently, until state wildlife officials blasted country music into the crawlspace. The bear was gone the next day. Apparently it was not a fan of Taylor Swift. UPI

Frivolous lawsuits? How about the one by the Polish hunter 
A hunter in Poland went to Zimbabwe to shoot an elephant, enlisting a German-based travel company to set it up for him. He went but saw no elephants. He was furious. The tour company which organizes hunting expeditions insisted elephants were in that area and stated "From what I know, (the hunter) should have seen elephant excrement there," the Rzczpospolita daily reported. The hunter sued for $130,000, even though the company arranged a second trip for the man, who ended up getting his elephant. Reuters

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Sinking sailboat isn't really a sinking sailboat
Fisherman falls overboard and survives 7-hour swim in shark-infested waters
UFO blamed for 2,000 dead fish in Colombia
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Monday, February 21, 2011

Fishing Presidents: Barack Obama

 Eighth in a series about Fishing Presidents. Today, Barack Obama

Happy Presidents Day.

I doubt President Obama will be spending today on the East Gallatin River near Bozeman, Mont., fly-fishing for trout. But he did spend a day in August 2009 on the East Gallatin River fly-fishing for trout, to make good on a campaign promise.

It was during the presidential campaign while in Montana when he promised to come back and do some fly-fishing. In town for a town hall meeting about health care, he arranged a private fly-fishing outing with the Vermillion brothers, as related on About.com.

Dan and Pat Vermillion run the Sweetwater Travel and Fly Shop in Livingston, Mont. They became the first to take President Obama and his staff fly-fishing.

Dan guided the president one-on-one while Pat guided Obama staffers Jim Messina and Robert Gibbs. Obama managed to hook six fish but was unable to land any of them. His staffers one-upped the president by each landing a fish.

They spent 2 1/2 hours on the water and fished through intermittent thunderstorms.

"It was incredible to see the president, enjoying the sport to which I have devoted so much of my life," Pat Vermillion said. "I think it is a little optimistic to think that he will feel a connection to our sport after only 2 1/2 hours of fishing.

"However, he sincerely seemed to enjoy himself. The fact that he continued to fish in the rain was testament to that. I hope he does come back to fish with us and take up fly-fishing seriously. He seemed genuinely interested in coming back. I feel that fishing has an amazing ability to connect a person to the outdoors and hopefully to appreciate the need to conserve it." 
 
Who knows, maybe when Obama decides to hang up his basketball sneakers he'll swap them out for a pair of waders.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Sinking sailboat isn't really a sinking sailboat

Is this man really sitting in a sinking sailboat waiting for help?

When is a sinking sailboat not a sinking sailboat? When the sinking sailboat is actually a, uh, well, a sailboat that only looks like it's sinking.

So no, in the photo above, French sculptor Julien Berthier isn't sitting on a sinking sailboat in the middle of the ocean looking for someone to rescue him. He's just out for a pleasure cruise aboard his creation called the Love-Love.

And nothing says love more than a sinking sailboat that isn't sinking.

Berthier describes it on his website: "Love-love is a permanent and mobile image of a wrecked ship that has become a functional and safe leisure object."

The other day, Yahoo's Upshot called it the Love Love Boat, a 21-foot sculpture that looks just like a capsizing boat. According to Yahoo's account, the sculpure/sinking sailboat looks so real that many boaters have stopped to assist him. One can envision the looks on the faces of would-be rescuers.

Oh yes, the boat really is seaworthy, with an onboard motor. He's even crossed the English Channel and toured around Europe in it.

Berthier told Yahoo that he isn't trying to trick the authorities, adding, "There was a misunderstanding like if I had made this piece to have coast guards run to help me even though there was no reason to. It is important to say that coast guards and harbor masters have always been warned and that the piece is not at all about crying wolf."

Well that's nice.

Unfortunately, why he built it is a mystery. Could it be that he is just trying to get attention? Naw, this video proves that isn't the case. Judge for yourself:




So, the moral to the story? Love means never having to say your sailboat is sinking.

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Fisherman falls overboard and survives 7-hour swim in shark-infested waters
UFO blamed for 2,000 dead fish in Colombia
Shark alert: 100,000 sharks filmed swimming off Florida coastline
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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Overboard fisherman survives shark-infested waters, 7-hour swim

Article first published as Overboard Fisherman Survives Shark-Infested Waters, 7-Hour Swim on Technorati.

The abandoned boat of fisherman lost overboard. Photo: Gold Coast Bulletin.

When you get knocked overboard without a life jacket five miles from land, you do what Australian fisherman Andy Wilson did Tuesday.

You think of your fiancée, tell yourself “I’m not dying out here,” and you start swimming.

That’s how Wilson survived a six- or seven-hour swim (depending on the source) through shark-infested waters off the Southern Gold Coast of Australia.

It is an amazing story of survival, particularly when authorities feared the 25-year-old had drowned.

The Sydney Morning Herald, The Courier-Mail and the Associated Press were among many media outlets that detailed the fisherman's story.

A rogue wave knocked Wilson overboard. When authorities discovered his fishing boat abandoned at sea, a massive search ensued. Wilson wasn’t about to wait for help. Strong currents were pushing him farther out to sea.

“I thought I’d be able to stop and be able to float and get some energy back, but if I stopped for 30 seconds it would take me straight back out to sea,” Wilson told AP.

“There was only going to be one outcome — I wasn’t going to stop, so I just kept going. Adrenaline and just sheer determination.”

Determination, indeed. Simon Deane, a close friend of Wilson’s, told the Courier Mail that Wilson was driven by his love for his fiancée, Katie.

That love pushed Wilson through an unimaginable hardship. He endured painful jellyfish bites, muscle cramps, rough seas and an encounter with a shark, which bumped him hard on the leg. Wilson had seen a shark 10 or so yards ahead of him. 

"It wasn’t a big shark, but he knew it was a shark because of his experience as a fisherman,” Deane told the Morning Herald.

What had to be difficult, too, was the knowledge that a rescue was oh-so close. Twice, one boat passed near him. Alas, Wilson waved but those on the boat couldn’t see him, so he kept swimming.

When he made it to shore at Fingal, Wilson was pummeled about the barnacle-encrusted rocks until he finally reached the beach and collapsed. He slept for 20 minutes before he knocked on a stranger’s door and called Katie, providing a happy ending to a harrowing story.

“He’s a very lucky and relieved boy,” Deane said.

Indeed.

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Blind man plans to hike Continental Divide Trail
Shark alert: 100,000 sharks filmed swimming off Florida coastline
UFO blamed for 2,000 dead fish in Colombia
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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Whale Wars: Did the Japanese whaling fleet surrender?

The Nisshin Maru, the factory ship of the Japanese whaling fleet in the Southern Ocean, has made a U-turn and is apparently headed home.

Does this mean an end to the Whale Wars?

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, the anti-whaling group that has been harassing the fleet for seven years in an effort to prevent the killing of whales under the guise of research, said this about the interesting development Wednesday in the Whale Wars:
The turnabout could mean one of two things. First, they may be on a great circle route back to Japan, or second, they may be returning to the whaling grounds in the Ross Sea where the three Japanese harpoon vessels may be waiting to continue their illegal slaughter.
Reports from Japan that the Japanese Fisheries Agency has suspended the hunt have not specified how long this suspension will last. It could be permanent, for the season, for two weeks, or only a few days. The three Sea Shepherd ships Steve Irwin, Bob Barker, and Gojira will remain in the Southern Ocean until the whaling vessels depart.
“The Japanese Fisheries Agency had no choice but to suspend whaling operations. Sea Shepherd had already enforced a suspension of operations by blocking all whaling operations since February 9th and blocking 75% of all whaling operations for the month of January,” said Captain Paul Watson “We will not allow the Japanese whalers to kill another whale down here in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.”
For those who follow the exploits of Sea Shepherd by watching "Whale Wars," the popular weekly reality TV series on Animal Planet, this might be the biggest question:

Did Sea Shepherd collect enough video footage to last a full season of "Whale Wars"? The fourth season is scheduled to kick off in June.

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WikiLeaks: 'Whale Wars' and Sea Shepherd face new battle
Whale Wars: Godzilla joins fight against Japanese whalers
UFO blamed for 2,000 dead fish in Colombia
Man gets sentenced to life without ... fishing?
.

Blind man plans to hike Continental Divide Trail

Article first published as Blind Man Plans to Hike Continental Divide Trail to Complete Triple Crown of Hiking on Technorati.

Trevor Thomas is planning to hike the 3,100-mile Continental Divide Trail, from Canada to Mexico. No reason to think he can’t do it. After all, he’s already hiked the 2,181-mile Appalachian Trail and the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail.

If successful, Thomas will complete what is called the Triple Crown of long-distance hiking in the U.S., which is no small feat — even for someone with 20/20 vision.

But for somebody who can’t see the eye chart? Unfathomable. Which is why the story of Thomas and the Triple Crown of hiking is such a big deal, such an incredible story, such a huge story.

Thomas can't read the eye chart. Thomas is blind.

The 41-year-old from Charlotte, N.C., lost his eyesight to a rare disease in 2005, according to a story in Expedition News. Yet the extreme sports enthusiast isn’t allowing the loss of sight slow him down.

In 2008, he thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail solo, reportedly becoming the first blind person to do so unassisted. Last year, Thomas hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, mostly unassisted, except for places of deep snow and sections that were poorly marked.

Thomas told Expedition News that his main goal is to “increase societal awareness of blindness. It’s not a disability to keep you down.”

Thomas will begin his hike in June and be accompanied by three others who will assist him when needed.

“My teammates’ job is not to help me hike the trail,” Thomas told EN. “I intend to hike it, as would any sighted hiker. I do know, however, that there are some sections that I will need my partners’ assistance to get through.

“I am planning to hike solo for much of the trail as I did on the PCT.”

Thomas, who goes by the trail name of Zero/Zero, was inspired by the story of Erik Weihenmayer, who was 13 when he went blind from retinoschisis. According to the (highly recommended) January 2009 story called “Blind Faith” in Charlotte Magazine, Weihenmayer eventually climbed Mount Everest.

“If he could do that, there’s no excuse for me,” Trevor told Charlotte Magazine.

The in-depth feature details Thomas’ life without eyesight and how he navigated the Appalachian Trail. Take the time to read the story. You won’t be disappointed. A few excerpts:
“In the middle of my vision, nothing,” he says. It’s just gray.

His peripheral vision is not completely gone. He describes the few parts of his vision that still work as an overexposed picture. The colors are overblown and everything is stretched...

Zero isn’t so much hiking as he is hitchhiking. He follows. When there is nobody to follow, he sits and waits. In the Great Smoky Mountains, he waits for three days...

At another spot, Zero hears a voice. “Stop! Don’t go any further,” it says. It asks what he’s doing. Hiking, Zero replies. “If you hike and go more than ten feet straight, you’re going to die,” that voice says. It was another hiker, warning Zero that he’s about to walk off a cliff.
The story says it took Thomas six months to walk from Georgia to Maine, he encountered at least 30 bears and he fell close to 1,500 times.

Find out more about Thomas and his incredible adventure at Team Farsight.

Thanks, Sierra Trading Post.

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Other interesting posts on Outdoors 720:
UFO blamed for 2,000 dead fish in Colombia
Shark alert: 100,000 sharks filmed swimming off Florida coastline
Man gets sentenced to life without ... fishing?
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Monday, February 14, 2011

Fishing Presidents: George H.W. Bush


The seventh in a series of Fishing Presidents. Today, George H.W. Bush

Patience and persistence are keys to fishing success, and perhaps no fisherman, famous or otherise, offers a better example of this than George Bush.

While taking a three-week vacation in August 1989, Bush went fishing for bluefish nearly every day off Kennebunkport, Maine. His first day produced no fish. He didn't catch any on the second day, either, or the third, fourth and fifth days.

Soon, his inability to hook, let alone catch a bluefish grew into a national story.

Sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth days -- no fish.

Adding insult to injury, someone on the press boat caught an 18-pound bluefish, prompting Bush to reply, "There's no justice here. That's not fair."

On the 10th day, he took Reverend Billy Graham, no doubt hoping for divine intervention. No luck. No fish.

Photo from Bush Presidential Library
The Portland Press Herald began running a daily box score called "Fish Watch" that had a bluefish in the middle of a red circle with a slash through it.

Expert fishermen were quoted in USA Today and other publications on how to catch bluefish.

"It's gotten out of hand," Bush said while standing next to Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. "When I see it on national television, I know I've got to put an end to this monkey business.

"Between now and when I leave on Monday, I guarantee you -- I positively guarantee you -- that this jinx will be broken."

Bush continued his fishless streak. Fishing outing Nos. 11-17 produced nary a bluefish. He did catch a four-inch pollack but refused to call an end to his streak.

Finally, on the 18th fishing trip, the president hooked and landed a 10-pound bluefish. It was no doubt the most celebrated bluefish in history.

"The jinx is broken," Bush proclaimed. "I saw a bunch of birds and started to reel in, and wham. It's been a long, dry summer, but it all worked out. This is icing on the cake."

Next week: Barack Obama
Herbert Hoover
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Harry S. Truman
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Gerald Ford
Jimmy Carter


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Other interesting posts on Outdoors 720:
UFO blamed for 2,000 dead fish in Colombia
IGFA offers new world-record fishing category: Length
Man gets sentenced to life without ... fishing?
.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Kiteboarder makes crazy crane jump in South Africa

Nick Jacobsen takes an extreme sport to the extreme, climbing a huge crane for a kiteboarding launch like no other.

Take a look:



Kiteboarder Jacobsen performed the "crane jump" stunt in Table View Bay in South Africa. It was captured in photos by Stefan van der Kamp. Kitecentre Zanzibar had the video.

As extreme goes, it's pretty impressive.

Thanks, Waterhound.com!

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UFO blamed for 2,000 dead fish in Colombia
Vietnam: A Windsurfing/Kitesurfing Mecca?
Antarctica BASE jump by Russian a first
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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

UFO blamed for 2,000 dead fish in Colombia, report says

Article first published as UFO Blamed for 2,000 Dead Fish in Colombia, Report Says on Technorati.

Aliens apparently don’t know how to fish, or perhaps they use a technique that we have yet to discover.

How else to explain the mysterious occurrence in the Colombian village of El Llanito recently?

Photo from Panorama Madiario
About 2,000 fish have been found dead in a swamp since villagers reported seeing a UFO flying and flashing lights over the water a week earlier, Panorama Madiario reported last week. (Translated by Google Translate)

Magaly Gutierrez, leader of a community organization, told the news outlet that the phenomenon lasted 20 seconds and was seen by many people.

Now, in most cases where mass quantities of fish are found dead, the culprit is typically lack of oxygen. But this case isn’t so simple because the UFO left its mark on the fish, not to mention the mark left on the memories of all those people.

You see, all the fish were found to have burned scales.

Juan Tercero, the president of the Fish Farmers and Fishermen Association of El Llanito, told a local newspaper, the Vanguardia Liberal of Bucaramanga, that the fish were “scorched” from the “strange lights in the swamp.”

Hmmm. This is definitely one for the UFO Files -- which, incidentally, has yet to pick up on this story.

If this was a hoax, it was a pretty elaborate one. What doesn’t help in the credibility department, though, is the photo (below) of a UFO that accompanies a story about the incident on the Colombia Reports website.

Photo from Colombia Reports

Even if that is the alleged UFO, it looks more like a nice endorsement for PhotoShop.

Then there’s this: More eyewitnesses of the UFO came forward in the nearby village of Bridge Sogamoso, where they reported seeing a round object flying laterally the same day fish started showing up dead, the RCN radio network reported.

If this sounds like a re-creation of the “War of the Worlds,” that 1938 Orson Welles radio show about aliens that really panicked people, it's because it does sound like that.

Maybe these news outlets are making it up. Or maybe this really was a failed fishing venture by aliens.

Meanwhile, authorities have taken samples from the swamp for testing to determine what caused the fish kill, Panorama Diario reported.

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Shark alert: 100,000 sharks filmed swimming off Florida coastline
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Man gets sentenced to life without ... what?
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Monday, February 7, 2011

Chuck Patterson combines skiing and tow-in surfing at 'Jaws'

Chuck Patterson grew up skiing on the snowy slopes around Lake Tahoe. So it's not surprising to see ski poles in his hands and ski boots on his feet, and a pair of skis carrying him down a mountain.

What is surprising, in this case, is that the mountain is not one of snow but rather water.

In January, Patterson combined his loves of freestyle skiing with tow-in surfing at the famous "Jaws" of Maui, and this is what he came up with:



"To me, this is kind of like the Alaska of skiing," Patterson said on the video from Salomon Freeski TV. "It's something with surfing and skiing, we [Mike Douglas and Cody Townsend] all like to do both and to be able to mesh them together, it makes complete sense, just feeling the free skiing and doing both with big lines."

Indeed, it looks as if Patterson is Bode Miller carving up the watery mountain.

Patterson, a former professional freeskier, has been described as a world-class and world-renowned waterman, as well as an extreme athlete. So maybe this stunt shouldn't be such a surprise, though it's still impressive.

Thanks to The Outside Blog for the tip.
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Ski Tibet video offers quick glimpse of culture, adventure
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Fishing Presidents: Jimmy Carter and the killer rabbit

The sixth in a series of Fishing Presidents. Today, Jimmy Carter.

Jimmy Carter fishing and fighting a rabbit from a canoe in April 1979.
Photo courtesy of the U.S. government archives.
Jimmy Carter produced what is no doubt the all-time fishing story in presidential history. It is a story about how the presidency got away. And it's all true.

In April of 1979, Carter was fishing from a skiff on his farm pond in Plains, Ga., when an enraged rabbit started swimming at him. Carter was alone in the skiff, so Secret Service couldn't help. He was on his own to fight off the angry critter.

The above photo, released by the government archives many years later, shows Carter with a fishing rod in his left hand and a paddle in his right. It looks like he's splashing the water with the paddle to ward off the rabbit, which can be seen retreating off to the right.

The Killer Rabbit
Upon returning to the White House, Carter told the story of the rapid rabbit. His staff didn't believe him. A swimming, attacking rabbit? Yeah, right. For proof, he produced the above photo taken by a White House photographer, and even had the rabbit enlarged (at right). 

As it turned out, Carter would have been better off keeping this fish story to himself.

Sometime before the 1980 Democratic Convention, Jody Powell, Carter's press secretary, inexplicably leaked the story to the Associated Press and all the media started asking questions.

"It was a fairly robust-looking rabbit who was swimming, apparently with no difficulty," Carter told reporters, adding that had the animal gotten into the skiff it would have been "an unpleasant situation for me and the rabbit."

Carter told Sam Donaldson of ABC News, "Rabbits swim and that one was swimming without any difficulty at all. I can certify to that."

The story became front-page news. Headlines about Carter fighting a "Banzai Bunny" or "Killer Rabbit" ran rampant. Carter was the butt of many jokes on Capital Hill. Carter's popularity was already waning. Many thought this incident destroyed whatever chance he had left for reelection because of the negative publicity about the killer rabbit.

Truth be told, Carter is quite the fisherman. He is probably a close second to Herbert Hoover for his love of being outdoors and fishing. He's even written about it in a book like Hoover did.

Only Hoover doesn't have a fish story that includes a killer rabbit.

Next week: George Bush Jr. and Sr.
Herbert Hoover
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Harry S. Truman
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Gerald Ford

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Other interesting posts on Outdoors 720:
Man gets sentenced to life ... without fishing
IGFA offers new world-record fishing category: Length
Fishing from a Cliff: Did he have enough line to reach the water?
.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Shark alert! 100,000 sharks filmed swimming off Florida coast

Article first published as Shark Alert:100,000 Sharks Filmed Swimming off Florida Coast on Technorati.



An estimate of 100,000 sharks invaded the inshore waters off the East Coast of Florida, according to reports by WPTV.com and the UK Daily Mail.

Steve Irwin, a helicopter pilot with Island Marine Services, was flying 300 feet up and about 100 yards off the beach Sunday when he saw the incredible sight below. Tens of thousands of sharks spread out over a 20-mile span of water. He took out his iPhone 4 and started filming near Palm Beach. That's what you see in the video, though from so far up they actually look more like tens of thousands of tadpoles.

According to WPTV, a year ago a shark attacked and killed a man who was kiteboarding off Stuart Beach, so these swimming creatures probably aren't tadpoles.

Actually, they are believed to be spinner sharks between 3-7 feet, and they were most likely swimming parallel to the beaches between Fort Lauderdale and Jupiter Island in search of baitfish and warmer water, according to the Daily Mail. Their name comes from the spinning leaps they make as part of their feeding strategy. 

"It was a truly amazing sight," Irwin told the Daily Mail. "I've been a fisherman for 20 years and I also kayak out there and it's common to see them twist and turn and shoot through the air.

"They're prevalent at this time of year, but what amazed me was the sheer numbers of them. There were tens of thousands of them -- I'd say maybe 100,000. I kept on flying for about 20 miles and they just kept on coming.

"It's common to see large predatory sharks come in and feed on schools of baitfish [but] the odd thing was, I didn't see any baitfish at all!"

WikiPedia says that spinner sharks are not usually dangerous to humans but may become belligerent when excited by food -- whether human or baitfish, we assume. Definitely not worth trying to find out, however.

Thanks to UnderwaterTimes.com for the tip!

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Yukon Quest dog-sled race: Musher to race for brother she lost

Article first published as Yukon Quest Dog-Sled Race: Musher to Race for the Brother She Lost on Technorati.
 
Kelley Griffin feeds her dogs at a stop during 2007 Yukon
Quest. Photo courtesy of JohnHagen.net/YukonQuest.com

How does one pack for a 1,000-mile dog-sled race across the Arctic wilderness in the winter? For Kelley Griffin of Wasilla, Alaska, it’s like this:

Dog coats, a veterinarian kit, fruitcake and other food and snacks, headlamps, batteries, extra clothes, a leatherman knife, lots of matches, sunglasses, goggles, an MP3 player and the spirit of her brother.

Since her first Yukon Quest International Dog Sled Race in 2002, Griffin has always had her brother “behind the scenes supporting me,” she told Joy Davis on Iditarodblogs.com.

But when the Yukon Quest begins Saturday Feb. 5 in Whitehorse of Yukon, Canada, Griffin, 51, will be racing for the first time without her brother behind the scenes.

“Shortly after signing up [for the race], my brother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and died within the week,” she told Iditarodblogs.com. “He asked me to run the races for him.”

Races? Yes, she did say races. Not only will she be running the Yukon Quest, but Griffin is also set to run the Iditarod in March.

Kelley Griffin. Photo courtesy 
of YukonQuest.com
According to her bio on the Yukon Quest website, Griffin has finished seven Yukon Quests and one Iditarod, running them both in 2008. That year, she enjoyed her best finish in the Yukon Quest, taking sixth and earning the Sportsman Award. A month later, she finished 45th in the Iditarod.

The Yukon Quest was once described as the Iditarod on steroids. It is considered the tougher of the two races, despite the Iditarod being longer at 1,150 miles, from Anchorage to Nome.

But whereas the Iditarod has 26 checkpoints (including the start-finish), the Yukon Quest -- from Whitehorse to Fairbanks -- has only 10 checkpoints (including the start-finish) with some that are more than 200 miles apart.

From the Yukon Quest website:
The Yukon Quest Trail runs across frozen rivers, climbs four mountain ranges, and passes through isolated, northern villages. With temperatures hitting 40 below, 100 mile-an-hour winds, open water and bad ice all working against the teams, the Yukon Quest is a true test of the capacity of humans and canines, and a tribute to the strength of the ancient bond that unites them.
No doubt, Griffin’s spiritual bond with her brother will also accompany her on the trail. As Griffin told Iditarodblog.com, “I am honored to run for him this year and always.”

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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

IGFA offers new world-record fishing category: Length

Article first published as IGFA Offers New World-Record Fishing Category: Length on Technorati.
IGFA photo
Ever since the International Game Fish Association began keeping the world records of fishing in 1939, weight has been the one and only determining factor on whether a fish became a world record.

Until now.

The IGFA just introduced a new world-record category and it’s for catch-and-release angling: The All-Tackle Length World Record.

That’s right, world-record catches are no longer only for the heaviest but also the longest fish, with eligible species created in freshwater (60 species) and saltwater (67 species). The new category took effect Jan. 1, 2011, and the word is starting to spread.

“At the end of the first week of the year we had already heard from several anglers who were out pursuing All-Tackle Length records, or asking questions to help them get started,” IGFA World Record Coordinator Jack Vitek said in a statement

“This is the first time since Junior Angler records debuted in 1997 that a whole new category of records has been opened, and conservation-minded anglers are really excited about getting their names in the [record] book.”

That record book is already nearly three-quarters of an inch thick. It’s about to grow.


Measuring device
 All-Tackle Length rules, regulations, requirements, how-to measure fish, eligible species, minimum lengths and assorted information can be found on the IGFA website.

Conservation is definitely behind the new category, which has been in the making for several years. Not all the fish that become “weighed” world records are killed, we should point out, but many have been.

Some believe killing the fish is the only way to get it weighed on a certified scale, though that isn’t the case. But now, the new category gives anglers a chance to catch, measure, photograph and release a fish with the potential of qualifying for a world record.

Except for marlin, swordfish and most sharks. Sorry, those are among fish determined to be too big or feisty to be measured. Good thinking, IGFA.

So go after a world-record salmon, seabass, roosterfish, yellowtail or some other measurable and memorable fish, instead.

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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Yosemite in the winter on snowshoes, a unique look

Yosemite is quite a sight at any time, but someone with the moniker RunThePlanet captured a glimpse of its winter beauty in this short video:



RunThePlanet has videotaped other areas of beauty while on the run, hence the nickname. He/she traveled by snowshoe on the steep trails of Yosemite and showed a unique side of the popular national park, though more panoramic views from the valley floot would have been nice.  

Thanks to Yosemite Blog for the tip!

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