Starling Travel

May 30, 2015

Uncle Wayne’s Boat

Filed under: Boating — Laura Moncur @ 11:41 am

Uncle Wayne and Aunt Babe from Starling TravelMy great uncle-in-law Wayne was rich (or at least we thought he was). I’ve talked about him before here:

In those scans of old photos, I found these photos of his boat with my grandma, grandpa and uncle Bruce. I can’t tell what kind of boat it was, but it looks pretty swanky.

Uncle Wayne's Boat from Starling Travel

Here is a picture with Uncle Wayne posing and my grandfather completely oblivious to the camera. The name of the boat was Ann, which was the name of my great aunt Babe. Everyone called her Babe.

Uncle Wayne's Boat from Starling Travel

Seeing these photos and how happy and excited my grandma and uncle look reminds me of WHY we like to go outdoors. We have little adventures and remember them when times aren’t quite so happy. It doesn’t matter whether we own the boat, borrow it from a relative or rent it from a spot at the lake. What matters is the fun we all have together and the memories we create.

September 2, 2014

A 1968 Glaspar Motorboat on Sand Hollow Reservoir

Filed under: Boating — Laura Moncur @ 10:04 am

Kayaking at Sand Hollow UT 06-16-12For over TWO years, I have coveted Stacey and Dan’s kayaks. I wrote about them here:

Back then, I said:

Stacey and Dan did much better with their fancy boats, but our poor little inflatable just couldn’t take the Southern Utah desert heat. It was a wonderful kayaking adventure, but next time, Mike and I might need something a little more substantial.

That was Labor Day weekend in 2012. We have been back to Sand Hollow many times, but each time, I skipped the kayak ride. Our little Sea Eagles just couldn’t take the heat and were difficult to row. I dreamed of someday buying cool kayaks like Stacey and Dan’s, but they were SO EXPENSIVE! The one that could hold Mike, Sean and I was over $1000.

If we each wanted our own, we would have spent over $3000.

Then Mike discovered old fiberglass motorboats. He obsessively watched the local classifieds, looking for one that could take all of us and even a few extra passengers. Before I knew it, he found one in good condition with a motor that WORKED! All for only $999.

We took it out on Sand Hollow yesterday and it worked beautifully!

1968 Glaspar Motorboat from Starling Travel

Of course, we were too terrified to take pictures of it while we were on the water, so these snapshots on land will have to do.

1968 Glaspar Towed by a Subaru Crosstrek XV from Starling Travel

We towed it with our Subaru Crosstrek XV and it pulled like a dream. No problems and went into the water just fine.

TWO years ago, I wanted something more substantial, never realizing that a REAL boat was less money than my dreams of an inflatable kayak. Can’t wait to show you footage of it on the water. SO MUCH FUN!

December 15, 2013

Don’t Stare; Yours Is Just Fine

Filed under: Boating,Motorhomes and Campers,Teardrops & Tiny Trailers — Laura Moncur @ 10:57 am

I’ve been desperately looking at the local classifieds for a new trailer. We bought the Subaru XV Crosstrek, so we can tow 500 more pounds than we could before and I’ve been obsessive. Then I got some good advice…

from a video game…

Don't stare at cool new boats. Yours is fine

The Kap’n sang to me,

Yo-ho, me eyes! Don’t stare at cool new boats. Yours is fine. Just blink, and look skywise!

He’s right. I keep finding myself looking at new campers when my cute little tent trailer is just fine. Just look at how adorable it is with its homemade awning.

Homemade Awning on a Tent Trailer from Starling Travel

I actually LOVE that camper. Sure, I’d like it to have a toilet, but then again, I don’t particularly want to EMPTY that toilet, especially when we camp in places where there are facilities within walking distance.

The problem isn’t that I want a new camper. The problem is that I want to go camping, but we are buried in snow.

Too Cold For Camping from Starling Travel

Even our usual winter camping favorites, like Saint George and Lake Mead, are too chilly for us right now. Sure, we could go camping in 23 degree weather, but it’s not very pleasant when we do.

It doesn’t help that the dead of winter is the absolute BEST time to look at campers in the classifieds. People are desperate to sell their trailers to pay for Christmas, to get it out of their driveway or to unload it before they move away. There is a screamin’ deal on a 2010 tent camper with a toilet right now that is so appealing to me that I have to stop myself from looking at the listing every day.

I don’t want that camper. I want to go camping.

I just need to blink and look skywise, I guess.

March 4, 2013

One Minute Vacations: A SpringBar Tent, A Canoe and You

Filed under: Boating,Camping,One Minute Vacations,Pennsylvania,Places To Visit,Tents — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

There is so much awesome going on in this photo from URTrekking, that you really have to click through to the full-sized image to fully enjoy it.

SpringBar Tent from URTrekking at Starling Travel

From the canoe to the SpringBar tent, this photo is like stepping into a camping trip. It was taken in Marion, Pennsylvania, probably at Bald Eagle State Park. I can just imagine them canoeing on Foster Joseph Sayers Lake.

The next time you are feeling trapped at work, take a moment and really let yourself step into this photograph. Take a deep breath and smell the damp air blowing off the lake. Relax in the chairs or take a nap in the tent. After just a few minutes imagining yourself into this photo, you’ll feel refreshed and ready to tackle the day anew!

June 26, 2012

One-Sheet Plywood Boat

Filed under: Boating — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

If storing a boat isn’t a big issue for you, here is a video showing you how to build a one from one sheet of plywood.

If you need more detail, I found a great collection of free boat plans here:

He even divides the plans based on how much plywood you have (one sheet, one and a half sheet, etc.). The plans show some details about how to put the boats together, but you need to have some woodworking skills to understand them. If you’re a beginner, it will be hard to go with just these plans.

I never thought of building my own boat before. Just like I never thought of building my own trailer or camping gear, yet, people have been doing it for years and years. They create their own equipment, making a unique and interesting addition to their leisure time.

You may not be able to take a trip every weekend, but you can certainly work on your boat, trailer, chuck box or camping sink in your free time, dreaming of those two weeks every year when you can use them.

June 20, 2012

The Handy Andy Folding Boat: A DIY Boat That Stores Easily

Filed under: Boating — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

Here is another idea for a folding boat. It’s called the Handy Andy and the plans have been around for ages and you can download them here:

kulpatp on YouTube, made a video of his:

Here he is on his maiden voyage:

If you’d rather purchase a folding boat, the Porta-Bote looks to be a similar plan, but it’s made with lightweight polypropylene (plastic) instead of plywood.

Of course, setting it up could be a little embarrassing:

The price for the Porta-Bote is difficult to find and I needed to register with all my information to get it. Unfortunately, even the least expensive Porta-Bote is FAR outside my price range at $1599.

Porta-Bote Prices 2012

In the end, a little woodworking skills and elbow grease is worth the extra time to make your own boat. Download the plans and get started today!

Boat plans via: RowBoats HandyAndy

June 18, 2012

Kayaking at Sand Hollow Reservoir, Utah

Filed under: Boating,Places To Visit,Utah — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

We took the Sea Eagle kayak out on Sand Hollow Reservoir in Southern Utah last weekend and it was a peaceful trip.

Kayaking at Sand Hollow UT 06-16-12

We watched the people jump off the huge cliffs. It was pretty nervous making.

Then, we made our way to the island.

Kayaking at Sand Hollow UT 06-16-12

There, we found a lovely little hollow where we could snorkel and watch the fish. They had NO fear and let us swim right up to them.

Kayaking at Sand Hollow UT 06-16-12

The only problem that we had was with the kayak. The fuss and burden of pumping up the kayak before we went out was bad enough, but once we got out on the water, our SE 370 kept going in circles. We believe the heat (it was 102 degrees), made it so floppy that it just couldn’t track well.

Kayaking at Sand Hollow UT 06-16-12

Stacey and Dan did much better with their fancy boats, but our poor little inflatable just couldn’t take the Southern Utah desert heat. It was a wonderful kayaking adventure, but next time, Mike and I might need something a little more substantial.

June 9, 2012

Folding Kayaks: An Old Idea Made New by Oru

Filed under: Boating — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

I have enjoyed our Sea Eagle Kayaks while paddling around the lakes and reservoirs, but this origami kayak looks even better. It is Oru, the folding kayak.

Origami Kayak photos via Make

It folds up into a small and easily portable box.

Origami Kayak photos via Make

There is a full review of it on MAKE’s website:

At $500, the Oru is nearly twice the cost of the least expensive Sea Eagle, but it packs up into half the size as a Sea Eagle, so if space is an issue for you, this might be the kayak for you.

Folding kayaks aren’t new. There was a plan originally created for the Boy Scouts of America that has been altered many times by various troops here is a PDF of a plan for a folding kayak here:

Here is a video showing you how to make that kayak using one sheet of 4’X8′ plywood:

If you’re handy and you have a car long enough to hold a slim slip of 8′ plywood, then you can have a folding kayak of your own.

No matter what you choose, there is nothing that compares to sitting on the water in a boat, surrounded by fish beneath you and birds around you. The serene and delicious pleasure of floating on the water is something that’s worth the extra effort of hauling kayaks to the reservoir.


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