Paddling Planet

July 04, 2015

kajaknördar - paddling verkar kul
tid utomhus räknas. Tid i kajaken räknas dubbelt

Varmt och plaskigt i Skummeslöv

Pia under ytan

Pia under ytan



Vi tog oss en lite plask- och lekrunda nere vid stranden i Skummeslöv, eller är det kanske Mellbystrand? eller Hemmeslöv? Vi har ingen vidare koll på gränserna. Men väldigt lång strand är det i alla fall och smidigt att kunna parkera precis i vattenbrynet.

Plaskade, klättrade, rollade, räddade och hade oss ett tag, efter 1,5 timme var vi nöjda och lite svala oxå i shorts och t-shirts trots knappt svalkande vatten :)

Lämnade nog stranden innan den värsta rushen med värmetörstande helg- och semesterfirare tog över. Fast det var ändå en del folk på plats och grill- och sololjedoften började sprida sig!

Temperaturen verkar toppa runt 32 i Knäckebröhult idag, så det var svalkande ute vid kusten. I morrn verkar det bli sisådär 34 som högst :)





Upp igen

Upp igen

Gött väder

Gött väder



Inlägget Varmt och plaskigt i Skummeslöv dök först upp på kajaknördar - paddling verkar kul.

by Erik Sjöstedt at July 04, 2015 12:16 pm

OCEANPAX Paddle / Run / Be
Reflections on life, self-propelled outdoor pursuits, and all manner of things that may come to mind while sea kayaking on the waters, and minimalist running along the trails, of south Vancouver Island and Gabriola Island in beautiful British Columbia, Canada.

Exertion and gentleness on an East Lomond hill walk...

East Lomond beckons through a light, morning mist.
Leaving the trailhead, the air was soft, moist, still...there was a calmness and gentleness to nature. 

Two of our favourite volcanic hills, and right nearby, are East and West Lomond, also known as the Paps of Fife. It's been a while since they've felt the heat of molten magma. These hills have survived 300 million years of erosive forces. A mere 18,000 years ago, a kilometre of ice moved up and over and around them. They stood their ground, the dense and fire-formed rock refused to be intimidated by the massive weight and dynamic forces of the ice. They gently remained, "as they were".

In relative terms, it was just "yesterday" that nearby Falkland Palace was transformed, by King James lV and James V, from an old castle into a royal palace. Mary Queen of Scots ran her cherished dogs and flew her hawks on these hills, once part of the hunting grounds belonging to the former royal residence. 

At 448 metres (1,471 feet), there is a wonderful view over the Kingdom of Fife, south to the Firth of Forth, and north and west over the Angus and Perthshire Hills. 

Initial steps along the forested trail.
It's a good uphill walk. There was required exertion, but also there was also a gentleness to this day on East Lomond. 

A dramatic thunderstorm, a wild wind, a driving rain, or blowing snow can be exciting and exhilarating and invigorating...but the calm that often follows (or precedes) these meteorological events is often filled with both promise and surprise as nature takes a breath...for even She must need to rest and find quiet moments for respite and restoration.

The frequent rains had created a green and glowing effusion of health and wholeness to all that springs from the earth.

I like gentleness's always one step at a time.
My spirit is soothed by gentle music. It's easy to appreciate all kinds of music, from country to Celtic to the classics, and everything in between...but it's the meditative, gentle strains that touch most deeply. 

As I write this, I am listening to quiet, peaceful, and contemplative piano music. The heart rate and breathing has slowed, the body may even be releasing endorphins, those neurotransmitters that calm and produce a sense of well-being. The music is so subtle that it almost vanishes from the consciousness...but it is there, behind everything. It is easy to lose oneself, thoughts liberated and surrendering themselves freely to the keyboard.

Gateway to the summit.
For me, gentle colours are most appealing. Of course, there's a time and a place for the "high viz" vests and jackets that startle and stimulate motorists into recognising that courtesy is required, that they must share the road with the runner, the walker, or the cyclist. We know that very well, and when in doubt, we are known to add a brilliant flashing light when running along the road. But I prefer the softer colours.

Colours affect us psychologically, emotionally, and physically. They give us a way to express ourselves, and interpret the world. It's the gentle colours, the ones that are calming, restful, and tranquil that sooth the eyes and bring healing and strength to the soul. It's the colour of nature. 

The twin peak...West Lomond, from East Lomond.
I appreciate gentle voices, voices that don't have a need to clamour for constant attention. They are the voices that are sufficiently generous of spirit to take a breath, in order to listen to and value the thoughts of others. Listening seems such a rare commodity these days. It is an expression of openness, gentleness and humility. It requires courage and self-confidence. The willingness to listen, with care and respect, is what would change the world. It is such a gift. Gentle voices permit that gift to be shared.

I like gentle thoughts, expressed with sensitivity, kindness, and compassion by gentle voices...the shared hopes and dreams and aspirations, accompanied by courageous strategies, that would enrich the lives of all people everywhere. 

NT48S014...the pillar trig point on East Lomond.
I am drawn to gentle people...who listen, who value the moment, who want the very best for others, who are sufficiently patient to find goodness everywhere, who are slow to judge but quick to affirm and encourage, who believe in living love, who understand the planet that we share is fragile, and that all life is connected.  

It is in their lives that I am reminded...

Wild Scottish rhododendrons, the national flower of Nepal, looking back at East Lomond.

Nothing is so strong as gentleness, 
nothing so gentle as real strength.
-St. Francis de Sales

Falkland Palace, residence of the Stuart Monarchy.
Returning to the trailhead, near Falkland Palace, there was a calmness in the village streets. If the ancient palace walls could share their stories...they might remind us that their most peace-filled memories, and greatest moments, were when people lived with expressed gentleness towards one another. 

It is, perhaps, how we demonstrate our greatest strength.

And when it comes to hill walking, exertion and gentleness could be the best of both worlds. :)

by Duncan and Joan ( at July 04, 2015 07:37 am

Essex Explorations
Our membership is small…but that’s by design. Each of our explorers is a recognized leader in their respective field and brings a unique set of skills to the group. Whether a certified instructor, commercial guide, or in the case of our latest member, a professional photographer, each is passionate about explorations, pushing their boundaries, and then sharing that experience with others.

Kayak Yak
kayaking the We(s)t Coast of British Columbia

Kayakers Rescue Dolphin

Here's your "feel good" kayak story of the week. Kayakers in Scotland saved a dolphin from drowning. Investigating after being advised by someone on shore that there was a dolphin in distress, they discovered three juvenille dolphins near shore. However, one was trapped in seaweed and was slowing being pulled underwater and in danger of drowning. The kayakers managed to free the dolphin from the seaweed and direct it back out to open water. In return, it gave them a couple of joyous jumps.
Check out the video embedded below:

by (John Herbert) at July 04, 2015 02:16 am

July 03, 2015

Mike Jackson's Paddling Journal
A journal of my sea kayak trips.

June 28 - July 2 Gwaii Hanaas (#s 58-61)

While I was working on MV Swell as a naturalist in Gwaii Hanaas, I managed to get out for 4 short paddles in one of their cute little Delta 10s. We had amazing weather and conditions throughout the trip and it was great to putter about in our anchorages in the kayaks.Looking forward to Alaska and the North Coast in August.
overview, click to enlarge

Ikeda cove - June 28 - 2 km - click to enlarge
De La Beche Inlet June 30/July 1 - 4 km - click to enlarge

Anna Inlet - July 2 - 1.5 km - click to enlarge
7 km, YTD 517 km

by Mike J ( at July 03, 2015 11:18 pm

Gnarlydog News

GEAR: SeaDog Commander.

I fell in, again. I have been surfing for an hour and now I was heading home. I sailed for a while but then I turned directly into the wind and I wanted to stow my sail away. Stretching myself forward trying to reach the shock cord to secure the folded bundle of my sail made my loose my balance and I kept on falling in. I realized that I needed a sail that would fold easily on my kayak deck.

by gnarlydog ( at July 03, 2015 10:08 pm
Cycling, sea kayaking and life in the Scottish highlands

The APP Version of Sea Kayak with Gordon Brown

It's rather weird to see our films in the iTunes and Google APP stores but there they are.

What we've done is extract all the coaching sessions from Volume 1 and Volume 2, plus the Rolling Clinic from Volume 3 and make them available to purchase within in the App.

The advantage of buying within the App is that the films can be downloaded to your smartphone or tablet and then taken onto the water for in-situ coaching.  

The films we sell as Downloads through the website have to first be downloaded to a computer then synced across to phone or tablet.  

So the App offers greater functionality.

However, the films in the App have far less content - none of the Skye or St Kilda voyage for example.  So the full film downloads may well be considered better value.  

Primarily I see the Google and iTunes stores as shop windows to reach new kayakers who have yet to hear about our films.  Once they've browsed around the App (which is free) I hope they'll buy the longer films directly from us.  

But it's nice to have a choice.

by Simon Willis ( at July 03, 2015 07:58 pm

Being the Continuing Adventures of a Woman and her Trusty Kayak in New York Harbor, the Hudson River, and Beyond. (with occasional political rants just to keep things lively!)

Where are the HERMIONE pictures?

 L'Hermione will be at the South Street Seaport for the weekend of July 4th (except when she's in a parade) then continuing north up the East Coast. See yesterday's post for visit details and other blogs that are covering. Beautiful vessel, I'm so glad I got to visit! 

by (bonnie) at July 03, 2015 12:55 pm

Océanos de Libertad

Costa da Vela (Curso de Kayak de Mar, Nordeskayak)

Javi comenzando la Costa da Vela.
Javi e Ivan.

Aquí os dejo parte de la travesía que hicimos desde Aldán hasta Limens, atravesando la Costa de Vela... Como parte del curso en colaboración con NordesKayak y Camping Limens
 En concreto el video es solo de la Costa da Vela, el de la ría lo publicaré más adelante, pues allí practicamos remolques y desembarcos en roca...
Luis y Sofi estaban cansados y se dieron la vuelta, pero nosotros a diferencia del vendaval del día anterior, pudimos palear pegaditos a la costa...



Respecto a los cursos, hay quien me ha llamado, para informarse, sobre precios y fechas...bien si no he publicado nada al respecto, es debido a que la idea es que el curso se amolde a los diferentes grupos que se puedan ir formando, y por tanto en función de los días de curso, el precio variaría...Pero vamos creo que el precio es más que razonable para una formación que os puede permitir en su día solventar un mal día...y con ello vuestra pertenecia más preciada.

Ivan Leptach

 Yo insisto en que la gente se forme lo más adecuadamente posible, es importatntísimo para vuestra seguridad... teneis profesores cualificados  que imparten cursos por toda la geografía y os podría recomendar auténticos profesionales como Manolo Pastoriza, Arkaitz Erkiaga, Jose Bello y Ainhoa, Carlos Izquierdo, Alfredo, Pau Calero, Miquel, Elisa y Carmen,  etc etc...

Llegando a Cabo Home.


by Jorge López ( at July 03, 2015 09:44 am

Freya Hoffmeister
Home of Freya Hoffmeister

Eckehard Schirmer, Landeskanuverband S-H

Eckehard Schirmer via Seekajakforum

25. Juni 2015 00:53

Registrierungsdatum: 9 Jahre zuvor
Beiträge: 861
Moin liebe Paddelfans,

gerade zurück von Freyas Vortrag im Congress Centrum Husum kann ich nur sagen, es wäre ein sehr schwerer Fehler, Freyas Vortrag, wo immer sie ihn auch halten wird, zu verpassen.
Ich berichte ganz knapp:

Freyas Vortrag war erstklassig!

Nicht nur, weil ihr Riesenabenteuer wohl eines der Sorte ist, von der wir kaum jemals ein zweites zu Hören bekommen.

Freya hat nicht nur sehr viel zu berichten – natürlich reichen in Wahrheit viele Abende noch kaum, wenigstens das wichtigste zu hören- sondern auch deshalb, weil es sehr erfüllend und mehr als zufriedenstellend ist, einer äußerst fitten Kayakerin der Weltspitzenklasse zuzuhören, die auch charmant und mit norddeutschen Understatement mit einem unauffälligen, aber herzlichen Prise Humor erzählt.

Die Zeit verging wie im Überschallflug, die Seele hatte dennoch genügend Ruhepunkte, denn auch die Schönheiten der Natur haben Freya beeindruckt und sie konnte rüberbringen, wo es sie auch emotional erwischt hat.

Auch Fischer und deren Fangmethoden, Admiräle und deren penibler Umgang mit Formalien und deren galante Gockeleien hatte sie gut in Worte verpackt.

Dass kristallklare Karibik ebensowenig zu kurz kam wie eine Schokoladenbrühe in den Mündungen großer Flüsse, spiegelglattes Wasser in einigen Lagunenabschnitten, schwere Brandung mit vier Meter hohen Dumpern, Mangrovendickicht wie schroffste Felsenküste, Badewannenwasser wie auch Kap Horn mit absoluter Lebensgefahr, war ja zu erwarten.

Der Vortrag glänzte eben auch besonders, weil der Kontinent Südamerika so viele Facetten hat und Freya alle so gut verbunden spannend und für mich sehr aufregend aneinander reihte.

Der Saal war übervoll, und auch sehr viele Nichtpaddler waren ergriffen.

Natürlich wäre ich gerne länger geblieben, aber morgen ist ein normaler Arbeitstag, ich mußte zurück nach Kiel.
Ich freu mich auf schon auf das Buch, das aber erst im Herbst 2016 bei Bastei Lübbe herauskommen soll.
Bücher sind toll, aber Freya life, die Gelegenheit sollte man nicht verpassen.

Danke, liebe Freya!


by Freya at July 03, 2015 08:44 am

Kayak Yak
kayaking the We(s)t Coast of British Columbia

Cooper's Cove in a new kayak!

Today I had a chance to do two great things. One was to paddle in Cooper's Cove, which we've visited before as you can see at these posts, but I haven't been here in a boat for years. The other was to try out my new inflatable kayak!
Yes, I have a little fleet of kayak, and a number of them are inflatable. Yes, this one is a new model of one I already have. I've been using it for seven years, and oi, these puppies do get a little worn out after a while, y'know?
At any rate, I'll write a better post soon with a review comparing this model of kayak to the others I've paddled. For now, I'll say WOW, and close with a link to my SPOT message showing my location on this sunny day as the tide was coming up to full tide slack.

by (Paula) at July 03, 2015 05:27 am

July 02, 2015

Torso Rotation
An Oregon Coast Blog and Kayaking Journal

OOPS trip To Netarts Aug. 2 2015

Netarts August 2, 2015 An Introduction to Moving Water and Surf Spend a fun day learning to deal with moving water and waves in a safe location. We’ll assemble at the the end of...

The post OOPS trip To Netarts Aug. 2 2015 appeared first on Torso Rotation.

by Paul Steinberg at July 02, 2015 08:54 pm

Essex Explorations
Our membership is small…but that’s by design. Each of our explorers is a recognized leader in their respective field and brings a unique set of skills to the group. Whether a certified instructor, commercial guide, or in the case of our latest member, a professional photographer, each is passionate about explorations, pushing their boundaries, and then sharing that experience with others.

Rinse and Repeat

Over the couse of a life time, how many times have you read the phrase, ‘rinse and repeat’ on the back of a shampoo bottle? Countless, but I was reminded of just that phrase as I pack to head back to Alaska and the west side of Cook Inlet.

Chisisk Island

There’s a slight twist this time. Last summer I spent the majority of the summer ferrying supplies to various camps up and down the inlet; or at least I attempted to whenever the weather let me out of port.

Steve tending the fire for the clients while they fish the mouth. Photograph by Theres Weileman

Steve tending the fire for the clients while they fish the mouth of the river.
Photograph by Theresa Weileman

This year I’ll be managing base camp for a group of genealogist from the Alaska Department of Natural Resources. As I understand it they’ll be support by a helicopter crew and flying out deep into the back country to do surveys. Over the course of 4 weeks we’ll have anywhere from 10 to 16 people rotating through the cannery on Chisik Island.

Last year when left I wasn’t sure if I’d be returning, but here I am packing gear to head back up. Rinse and repeat. As much as I love Alaska it’s really become more about the people then the scenery, although both are outstanding.

It’s my understanding that communication off the island is limited this year due to whatever gremlins have worked their way into the cosmos so I guess I’ll be suspending the ‘Weekly Wallpapers’ until my return. If possible I’ll try to post from the island if I get a chance.

The post Rinse and Repeat appeared first on Essex Media & Explorations.

by Steve Weileman at July 02, 2015 08:04 pm


El chiringuito del delta 2015

El Delta del Ebro siempre imanta a los navegantes de aguas poco profundas, a los caminantes de espacios sin montañas, a los soñadores de dias soleados y templados, a los amantes de la naturaleza en estado puro. Todos los años visitamos este generoso espacio de 320 km cuadrados para dar rienda suelta a los sentidos. Todos los años, de paso, visitamos el chiringuito flotante que esta en la parte interior del delta, a refugio de vientos y oleajes, a refugio de turistas en masa. De hecho, solo puede llegarse a el, nadando ( solo para valiente fondistas), a remo, vela o motor, e incluso andando se puede llegar dando un rodeo genial hasta la punta de la banya desde San Carlos de la Rapita y con agua hasta la rodilla. 
Desde Semana Santa, periodo de nidificacion de las aves, hasta el final del verano, cierre del chiringuito y puesta de largo de los polluelos, el espacio terrestre del delta es un lugar de silencio y observacion. Precisamente es ese espacio de tiempo en el que el parque natural recibe mayor presion humana, a veces, escandalosa, a veces respetuosa. Ese espacio es el que elegimos todos los años para realizar nuestra particular ofrenda a la naturaleza y  a los sentidos.
Añado a esta entrada las fotos del chiringuito del 2014, donde tambien disfrutamos de un dia completo, coincidente ademas con un incendio en Peñiscola y que el pequeño hidro nos recordaba cada vez que venia a repostar en la bahia.

by Rafa ( at July 02, 2015 08:37 pm

The Dash Point Pirate
I love wooden kayaks

James Manke: This one weird trick will improve your Greenland rolls!

James Manke: This one weird trick will improve your Greenland rolls! from Andrew Elizaga on Vimeo.

Greenland-style paddling instructor James Manke is the founder of the website All Things Qajaq. He teaches at sea kayaking symposiums and events throughout the world, and along with paddler James Roberts, represented Canada to compete in the 2014 National Greenland Kayaking Championships. James Manke won gold in the Greenland rolling competition and 5 silver medals in other traditional kayaking disciplines. He is an active member of West Coast Canadian ocean kayaking group, The Hurricane Riders. We interviewed James at the 2015 Pacific Paddling Symposium.

Paddling out of Pedder Bay, Vancouver Island. Photo © Katya Palladina
Paddling out of Pedder Bay, Vancouver Island. Photo © Katya Palladina

Andrew: What was going on today at PPS?

James: Today was Coaches Day. It was all about getting out there, sharing with and inspiring fellow instructors, which I found very rewarding. One of the things I found very interesting was all the different games that some of these coaches are utilizing and playing. They’re quite clever, actually. Some of the other things that I picked up, and one of the things I do often in rolling, is that I talk a lot about a “load-drive concept”. When we implemented that into strokes and all the different techniques that are out there, it was amazing to find out that the load-drive concept is actually used though all the skill sets in kayaking, along with other sports. It’s very valuable to have a Coaches Day like this at the beginning of a symposium, simply because you can bounce ideas off other instructors. It’s just really rewarding as an instructor to have that as an experience.

Andrew: What will you be teaching this weekend?

James: I’ll be focusing on teaching Greenland rolling, primarily in the pool, and a lot of beginner rolling, some intermediate, and a little bit of advanced. Then on Sunday I’ll be teaching out in the actual currents, out in Race Rocks. We’re going to be doing a Greenland rolling clinic out in the currents, which is the next step after learning your roll. It’s kind of exciting because it’s the first time that’s happened here at PPS, so I’m pretty excited about that on Sunday.

Andrew: So how did you first get into Greenland rolling?

James: Interestingly enough, I got into Greenland rolling from a fear of the water. I was afraid of the water, and it all started when I was a young child. I actually got attacked by a loon when I was 11 years old. I was in a belly boat, and I was kicking backwards, coming around this pier and fly fishing. I kicked into a loon’s nest, and that was a big mistake. It was either the mother or the father, and it swarmed me, and came at me, then it decided to go under the water and it attacked me that way. It became quite an experience! I got out of the water, and never went in to the water until my late 20s, and when I did it was pools primarily. I wouldn’t step foot in a lake, because there are loons in a lake. And the ocean? Heck, no! I mean, if there are loons in a lake, what’s in the ocean, right? There was no chance of me even going in the ocean. I was quite terrified of the water.

When I picked up kayaking and discovered rolling I thought, Hey, this could be a great way for me to overcome that fear of the water. So I picked up on that, and it did help. It started to help me overcome that fear. I discovered that the more that I understood it and that the more rolls I learned, the more confident I became. I went from being completely afraid of the water to, all of a sudden, now I’m playing in the biggest water — paddling Skookumchuck rapids, and that sort of thing. I’ve been down the Grand Canyon. It just sort of all exploded from, started from, a fear of the water. Learning to roll really added a whole lot of confidence to my paddling. So that’s basically my story and how I started — a little bizarre, but that’s where I was.

Andrew: Can you comment about the difference between standard kayak paddles and Greenland paddles?

James: I personally use both paddles. I like “Euroblades” as much as I do like Greenland blades, and I’ll try to be as diverse as I can with both paddles. In the future I’d like to grab a wing paddle and start to blend that into the mix. I’m not so much a purist when it comes to Greenland paddling. I’m more about the blending of the skills. I think that there’s a lot of value from traditional kayaking that modern day kayakers can pick up, so that’s more what I promote rather than being the purist of Greenland, or being one-sided about a Greenland paddle. I think there’s value in all blades, all kayaks. The more kayaks and the more paddles you know how to use, the better paddler you are. That’s the bottom line.

Traditional paddles, modern gear. Photo © Katya Palladina
Traditional wooden paddles, modern gear. Photo © Katya Palladina

Andrew: About your trip to Greenland with James Roberts to compete in the National Kayaking Championships and to film the movie Greenland Bound — A Paddler’s Pilgrimage: how much do you think that experience changed you?

James: It definitely changed me. It changed me in a big way. Going into a competition, you really expect a competitive sort of feel. And when we got there it became very obvious that this was more of a celebration. It was more about a culture, and about inspiring young kids so that that cycle continues. It was really an inspirational event. It’s not so much about winning so much as it is about being there, and inspiring, and being a part of it. I think more of an American attitude toward something like that is that we are quite competitive. We do a lot of sports and we are competitive by nature. So going to an event like that, I walked in feeling that way, but had to give my head a shake, like, “Oh man, I’m here for the wrong reasons!” I really learned that the reason for being there was about kids, and about inspiring the next generation of paddlers. So there was a big message to learn when I was there.

There were some language barriers, for sure. In Greenland they speak Greenlandic. Their second language is Danish. There are a number of people who are Danish who live there, so you can use a Danish person as sort of a translator. But still, it’s pretty broken language. Someone from Denmark doesn’t really understand Greenlandic that well, but can kind of pick apart what it is.

James Roberts and I went to the judge’s booth, and we had a Danish guy with us to translate. We said, “When is our long distance race?” And from the translation that we got, he said, “Oh, you’ve got lots of time. You can go out for lunch.” So we thought, “Oh great! Thats awesome!” We take off our drysuits and put on all our camera gear, and start hiking up this mountain to go to have lunch. Well, we make it up to the top of the mountain, and it’s a good 15-20 minute haul to get to the top, and there’s nobody there! And we’re like, “No, you gotta be kidding! There’s nobody here!” So we sit around and wait. Nobody shows up for lunch. Ok, this is a little bit odd. So we walk all the way back down to the bottom of the mountain. And we’re like, “Yeah we went all the way up there for lunch but there’s nobody there.” And they’re like, “Oh, you missed your race!” So we ended up missing a race because of the translation that got lost!

It was a little frustrating, but we learned that you can’t really rely on the translations. If you want to be a part of this, you just have to stay in that area and just listen for your name. Because I know when they say, “JAMES MANKE, CANADA!”, I know that’s me. But all the other language is very hard to understand.

The interesting thing about culture and about different languages is that even if you don’t understand what they are saying, you can feel the energy. It’s very powerful. We felt that “welcomeness”. We could tell we were very accepted and welcome. And it took a couple days to warm into that.


Greenland Bound - A Paddler's Pilgrimage from Ontario Sea Kayak Centre on Vimeo.


Katya: What’s in your super-duper coach kit, as far as gear? Do you have some secret stuff in your PFD, something that you always bring?

James: I do like to hold on to a memento when I go paddling. For a long time it’s been a necklace of some sort. At one point I had a ring from my grandmother that I used to wear, but recently the memento that I’ve been wearing comes from a young guy that I mentored who lives on Salt Spring Island, and he made me a necklace. That’s now what I wear when I travel and teach. I make sure that I always have this necklace on me. He hand made that for me, so it’s just something that’s very special to me. So yeah, I do carry around a little something. I don’t have like a toolbox full of things that I might take out, because I am quite a minimalist when I go out paddling. But I do like to have something that I can sort of hang on to.

Andrew: How did you end up becoming a member of the Hurricane Riders?

James: Basically, how I became a Hurricane Rider is that a number of the Hurricane Riders are local to Victoria or Vancouver Island, and they became my peer paddlers. Since I started paddling I’ve always looked up to the best paddlers out there. I tried to tag along with them so I can learn from the best. I believe that if you want to become really good at something, you’ve got to surround yourself with people that are better than you, so that’s what I did. I hung around those guys, and eventually I just got brought on as a member. I think part of that was they saw some value in me for the skills and abilities that I have in rolling. And in reverse, they have skills and abilities in rough water that are absolutely incredible that that I can gain from. It was just a good partnership to join the team. I’m very happy to be a member and they are absolutely a blast to paddle with. A lot of times when I get out into some of those rougher conditions with other paddlers, they’re very timid and very afraid of the conditions. But when I’m out with those guys, it’s just nothing but fun — pure enjoyment and fun. And inspirational. I mean, we don’t just go out there and surf. It’s all about, OK, today we are going to do THIS! It’s always the next challenge, the next challenge. So that’s what I enjoy about the Hurricane Riders in particular. It’s a great group of paddlers to paddle with.

Andrew: What are your choice of kayaks?

James: I gotta be really careful what I say here because I’m a sponsored paddler, but I like a number of different kayaks. I am sponsored by Tahe Outdoors. One of the kayaks that they made in the past was the Tahe Greenland, and that is probably by far my favorite kayak that’s out there now. It is now made by a different manufacturer, but Zegul still has some Greenlands.

Some of the other kayaks that I really like — and if I was going to say some of the better kayaks that are on the market — are the Sterling Kayaks. Absolutely hands down. The Sterling Reflection is an excellent kayak. It’s very good in rough water, and actually rolls really well too. You can get in it a half-inch cut, and a one-inch cut. And they recently came out with the Progression which is meant for smaller paddlers. It’s cutting edge. It’s very cutting edge. The designer of the kayaks [Sterling Donalson] listens to paddlers, and that’s how the kayaks are made. So he takes all the input that he can from the paddlers and puts that into the build, and as a result makes the best products out there. So thats a little plug for Sterling!

A white Sterling Kayaks
A white Sterling Kayaks "Grand Illusion" at PPS. Photo © Katya Palladina

Andrew: How is the Progression for rolling?

James: Actually, the Progression is awesome of rolling. It’s really, really good — surprisingly good! When I rolled the Reflection, I was impressed with how it’s secondary kinda pops and finishes. With the Progression, when you do forward-finish rolls, all you gotta do is get your head up to the surface and the kayak just lifts. It’s amazing! It’s almost as if it does the roll for you. It’s a very odd feeling, actually, where it just has this incredible secondary stability and it pops. I think that has a lot to do with the rocker profile and its volume. As soon as you turn it over it just wants to lift right back up. Yeah, it rolls excellent. It’s a really good rolling kayak.

Andrew: I was wondering about that, because the conventional wisdom is that you need a really low volume kayak to do those Greenland rolls.

James: Well, you need a really low volume kayak to do some of the harder layback rolls, for example. Because you are looking to get back onto that back deck. Like a straight jacket roll, for example — good luck doing that in a touring kayak! That is something you gotta do in a very, very low volume kayak. So it really depends on the rolls and what your goals are. When we’re doing a lot of sea kayaking, the focus really isn’t on straight jacket rolls. I don’t think anyone is going to go out into the rough, get knocked over and think, “Oh, I don’t need a paddle”, and roll a kayak. We don’t really rely on the back deck that much when it comes to that.

I try to teach more forward finish rolling when it comes to the larger volume kayaks because with some tour kayaks you just can’t lie on the back deck all the way. And they become very difficult to do layback rolls in, so I find that, when that’s the case, I’ll teach the storm roll or some variation of a forward finish roll.

Andrew: Is teaching sea kayaking a full time job for you?

James: Yeah, I’m a professional kayaker. I do travel around the world, and I teach, and it's what I do full time. In the winter I supplement myself a little bit with some programming work, being an ex-programmer, just to bring in a little bit of extra income. But other than that, for about 10 months out of the year I’m a full-on sea kayak instructor. It’s my profession. This will be my third year as a professional instructor. It’s extremely rewarding. It definitely doesn’t feel like a job. And I would say probably, if it was a job, it would be the best job in the world! Hands down!

I’ve been blessed to be able to travel to lots of different spots. Japan I think was probably one of the greatest places I’ve been. Just the way they treat you there — like royalty! It’s so great! They are so kind and so accepting, and they learn incredibly well, even though there was a language barrier there, and I couldn’t speak to a lot of them. It was just a matter of getting in there, and twisting the shoulders, and doing this, and I’m almost like twisting Gumby, and they’re rolling! It was like, “Wow! These guys are really good!” Like they just picked it up really, really quick!

I think one of the reasons I am good as an instructor is because a lot of the rolls that I learned were all self-taught. I learned how to do it wrong just as well as I learned how to do it right. So if I watch someone do it wrong, I know exactly what’s going wrong. And I know exactly how you can fix that problem. It’s just a matter of being visual. I can see how someone is rolling and be able to detect incorrect things. I think a lot of that comes from being self-taught. If you are taught how to do it one way, then how do you know how to do it wrong? You don’t.

Andrew: At some point you must have gotten instruction from other coaches, the gurus of Greenland kayaking?

James: I did. Actually, at one point I hired Cheri [Perry] and Turner [Wilson] when I was learning to do forward finish hand rolls, because I was struggling with that a little bit. I didn’t really get very far with the session, but there were little nuggets of information in there that stuck with me.

Still, a lot of what I teach now with the hardest rolls, I’ve never even seen online. I’ve never been taught it, but when you watch some of the Inuit paddlers do the hardest rolls, it’s pretty obvious — some of the disconnection between the energy in the legs and the upper body, and the load-drive concept. A lot to people are just doing a “hip snap” to roll a kayak, or they are talking about lifting their leg. But they’re not really talking about what is happening to the other leg.

Andrew: What exactly is the load-drive concept?

James: So the load-drive concept is relevant to a lot of sports. It’s relevant to baseball. It’s relevant to golf — a lot of sports. Kayaking is another one. We use our legs often, and the load-drive concept is about the legs. If you are “loading” a kayak, you’re going to lift one leg and drop one leg down, and you’re putting pressure upward and downward on the kayak. So if this is the load position, than this would be the drive position — it would be the opposite.... When I roll the kayak, I’m loading the kayak up. Some of the benefits to loading the kayak is that I can get more power when I drive the kayak.

One way that I like to explain that to students is that it’s like throwing a baseball. If I threw a baseball from my shoulder and I throw it forward, I might get about 10 feet. But if I take that baseball to my shoulder and I load it up, and then I throw it, I’ll probably get about 50 feet. So I gain a tremendous amount of power by adding the load-drive concept to it.

But it can work against you, just like throwing a baseball. When you first learn to throw a baseball and your dad said, “Get it back there and throw it.” And you did this, and it just kind of fell to the ground, or went to the left or the right. It’s very much the same. The timing and the technique has still gotta be there in order to get that accurate throw. So it’s very much the same as in a kayak.

Some of the benefits again to loading the kayak up: when you are loading the kayak you can get your face closer to the surface, therefore you can reach further for leverage. It makes it easier to roll the kayak.

The load-drive concept is something that I never really learned from anybody else. I was always told about a “hip snap", or “lift the leg”, but nobody ever talked about that other leg. What is that other leg doing?

When it comes to the some of the hardest rolls, forward finish brick rolls, for example, you gotta load and drive the kayak. If you don’t, it’s gonna be almost impossible to do that roll. The load drive concept is the trick to the hardest rolls.

So I like to teach that to beginners. If you can teach a beginner the hardest technique, or the theory behind the hardest technique, and they can learn that from the beginning, then their success rate is huge. They’ll continue to roll. It’s not just take a rolling session and never roll a kayak again. They actually continue to roll because they’ve got so much power in their legs once they sort that out. So that’s the load-drive concept.

Katya: What is kayaking for you? Two sentences.

James: Kayaking for me is therapy. That’s one sentence. But it’s powerful!

by aelizaga at July 02, 2015 06:02 pm

Essex Explorations
Our membership is small…but that’s by design. Each of our explorers is a recognized leader in their respective field and brings a unique set of skills to the group. Whether a certified instructor, commercial guide, or in the case of our latest member, a professional photographer, each is passionate about explorations, pushing their boundaries, and then sharing that experience with others.

Jones Island [Flickr]

Essex Explorations posted a photo:

Jones Island

Carmen Wilson paddling across southern bay of Jones Isand with schooner in the background. July 19th 2009

by Essex Explorations at July 02, 2015 02:22 pm

Sea kayaking with
Imagine you are at the edge of the sea on a day when it is difficult to say where the land ends and the sea begins and where the sea ends and the sky begins. Sea kayaking lets you explore these and your own boundaries and broadens your horizons. Sea kayaking is the new mountaineering.

Lots of boats on the commute to Bute.

It wasa a bright Monday morning when Mike and I rolled up at the Wemyss Bay ferry terminal to catch the ferry to Bute. "Our commute to Bute" as we called it. The mountains of Arran rose majestically above the low rolling ground of Bute. We did wonder if the ferry would arrive as one of the two ferries had burnt its turbo charger out just a few days before.  Fortunately MV Bute seemed to

by Douglas Wilcox ( at July 02, 2015 02:41 pm

The Ikkatsu Project
In the Service of the Ocean

Working on the Railroad

Derailment Fire

Lately, I’ve been doing a little work involving oil spill response training. When spills occur, as was the case last month in the waters west of Santa Barbara, wildlife is impacted and shorelines are fouled for miles. With the currents we have swirling through Puget Sound, oil in the water at a similar level would be hard to contain and the cleanup could cover many miles.

When we think of oil spills, we usually look at tankers. In the case of the Refugio spill, it was a ruptured pipeline that was responsible for the carnage. Here in Puget Sound, we have both of those concerns to think about, but a spill around here is just as likely to come from a derailed train as anything else. The oil train traffic is steadily increasing in the Sound as mile-long chains of oil cars are pulled along our shorelines almost constantly, ferrying dirty crude from the Dakotas and Wyoming to the coast, where it can be exported from giant terminals, more of which “need” to be built to handle the trade.

train_derails.jpg.size.xxlarge.letterbox train_derails.jpg.size.xxlarge.letterbox If there’s one thing we know now, it’s that trains don’t always stay on the tracks. And when these trains derail, fire, explosions and death are common, along with all the environmental degradation. First we were concerned about coal trains… still are concerned, I suppose, given all the havoc coal represents for any attempt to slow the pace of climate change… and now it is the oil business that is causing second thoughts. But there are other nasty things in those rail cars too, and we never hear about them until something goes awry either. Perhaps it would be good to ask if maybe it is transportation that is the issue.

Any claim of rail safety should be met with eye-rolling, snickers and winks. How many derailments do you get to have and still be allowed to call them “accidents?” They are not accidents; they are a predictable cost of doing business. And when they happen and buildings blow up, and people die in flames and the surrounding environment is poisoned for decades, the railroad toadies should not be allowed to use that word to describe what happened. If what happened last night, involving toxics used for making plastic, were to happen here in Puget Sound, the results would be horrifying. (It is horrifying right now to the thousands who have been evacuated from their homes in eastern Tennessee.)

The thing is, it will happen. If these constant derailments are part of the equation, which they are, then it is not a question of if it will happen here, it is simply a matter of when. It is statistically unavoidable. Any chatter about how tragic and unforeseen such a disaster is will be meaningless when it all happens. Such chatter is just as meaningless now.

by Ken Campbell at July 02, 2015 01:40 pm

Paddling and Sailing

Epic V7 Surfski

I've wanted to try a surfski for a long time because I heard the ergonomics are great and the comfort is good. I'm not very comfortable for a long period of time in a confining traditional kayak so I prefer sit on top kayaks.

So when Jim Smith brought the Epic surfskis to our Carolina Kayak Club Demo Day, I got my chance.

I was very impressed with the comfort of the V7. It may be one of the most comfortable boats I've tried.  If you haven't been able to get the position right in your boat for good paddling try and Epic surfski they have the seating figured out.  Your feet and knees are together to facilitate easy rotation in the seat.   My feet were below my seat level for easy breathing and wonderful leg comfort.  

The Epic V7 turns well with the rudder and turns improve slightly when you edge the boat.  I had the under stern rudder and found that edging the boat towards the turn seemed to work better than edging away from the turn.  This is opposite from what I do in most sea kaaks to get them to turn well, so I recommend you try it both ways.

The boat was fast compared to fast sea kayaks I've paddled, but it is not a V12, a K1, or a thunderbolt.  

The plastic is a double dump with very shiney good looking outerlayer and a foamed inner layer that is a bit lumpy inside.  The weight seemed under 50 pounds with everything on the boat and the handles made it easy to carry.  

I think I've found the perfect boat for all my day paddles and short trips!

by Canoe Sailor ( at July 02, 2015 02:31 pm

kajaknördar - paddling verkar kul
tid utomhus räknas. Tid i kajaken räknas dubbelt

Sjuttio sommardagar kvar


Sådärja nu är det bara 70 sommardagar kvar. 30% avklarade, riktigt gött att de går åt! :)

Passa på och njut av sommarens dagar även om det inte är 25 grader varmt! Bara att röra sig så blir man varm(are)!

Nån undrade om det verkligen stämmer att det är hundra sommardagar på ett år, sommarmånaderna är ju bara juni, juli och augusti och det blir bara lite drygt 90. Som med så mycket annat är det inte så noga med siffrorna och antalet.

Men september då? Räknas inte den? Återigen är månaderna, dagarna och vad de kallas inte så kvistigt.

Njut av, och ta vara på, dagarna! Oavsett om de kallas sommar, vinter eller höstdagar!


Inlägget Sjuttio sommardagar kvar dök först upp på kajaknördar - paddling verkar kul.

by Erik Sjöstedt at July 02, 2015 05:30 am

Kayak Yak
kayaking the We(s)t Coast of British Columbia

Canada Day Paddle

Louise and I went for our annual Canada Day Paddle on the Gorge. Every year, Gorge Road is closed for a mile-long block party.

We don't usually see much wild life on our Canada Day paddles -- most of it finds something better to do than hang around with a few thousand humans while they make music, eat food and play road hockey -- but we did see something fitting for this day: Canada geese.
IMG_0174 copy

A quick paddle to the bridge and back and we were done. Time to get ready for the fireworks!
IMGP0508 copy
IMG_0184 copy

Trip length: 3.39 km
YTD: 8.34 km
More pictures are here.


by (John Herbert) at July 02, 2015 02:36 am

En blogg om padling og annet friluftsliv i (hovedsakelig) Vesterålen

Gjæva - check -

Onsdagspadling, det var en stund siden for min del. Onsdager er travleste dag på jobb, så det passer ikke egentlig så bra. Men i dag måtte jeg koble av, rett og slett, og tok turen. Inviterte til tur til Gjæva, for å sanke en Ti på skjæret-post. To av de nyeste i klubben ble med, Wenche og Åsa. Her er Wenche.

Og her er Åsa. Her passerer vi Risøya. Ofte går vi i land her, men i dag suste vi bare rett ut mot Gjæva. Vi hadde jo en «mission» der ute.

Stort flatere blir aldri havet! I hvert fall sjelden.

Her er ruta vi padlet fra klubbnaustet til Gjæva.

Møysalen er flott kulisse for en ettermiddags padletur. Her omkring en plass kom det ei nise forbi, men den var ganske snar. Vi benyttet anledningen til å teste litt krysspeiling med Gjæva og fjellene bak, det er lenge siden jeg har gjort. Kjekt å teste når man ikke har bruk for det, så er det klart fremst i hodet den dagen man behøver det.

Flatt. Rett og slett, peise flatt.

Framme ved Gjæva, nå er det stranden like borti her straks. Vannet var heslig skittent her ute, vi fant vel ikke helt ut hva det kom av. Men jeg slo i hvert fall fra meg rulling, som jeg tenkte å gjøre her ute som vannet pleier å være rent… Det er jo blitt juli, som kjent. Men nei, heslig rulling er kjip rulling så jeg sto over.

Dette er nokså sikkert en steinvender. Men dersom han tenker å vende på akkurat denne steinen, så tror jeg han har tatt seg litt vann over hodet…

Stranda på Gjæva! Møysalen! post i boks!

Vi ble på stranden til kajakkene holdt på å dra på sin egen tur, da var det på tide. Men det var herlig å sitte der ute i dette været, og kunne bare sitte der uten å begynne å fryse, faktisk. Det var også på tide! for å si det sånn…

Veldig kult lys en stund. Kompaktkameraet ga klar beskjed om at batteriet var tomt, så alle bildene er denne gangen tatt med Iphone. Ikke allverdens kvalitet, men det blir nå litt blogg av det i hvert fall. 

Returen gikk på silkeføre. Da vi kom til det grunne området ved Risøya var vannet blitt rent, så jeg fant ut at jeg skulle rulle inn juli siden det nå var den første i dag.

Første forsøk var latterlig dårlig, det kjente jeg før jeg var halvveis, så prøvde på nytt - kom nesten opp, men tippet ned før jeg flæppet meg opp. Det er jo ikke videre imponerende i seg selv. Men – jeg løste meg ikke ut. Jeg tenkte ikke tanken en gang, jeg bare prøvde videre. Dét er mye bedre og viktigere enn å gjøre en plettfri rulle, synes jeg. Så den er fullt godkjent.

De andre damene lot seg ikke friste til noe bading, men jeg derimot fant det for godt å demonstrere egenredning uten årepose. Det var lurt. Jeg må øve mer med Nordkappen. Jeg har sjelden problemer i Avocet'n, men den er jo som en flytebrygge. Det er jo lett. Nå var det flatt hav, og jeg fikk det ikke til som jeg pleier i Avocet'n, måtte gjøre det på en litt annen måte. Grrr.

Jaja, jeg fikk det til på den andre måten. Den tar bare litt lenger tid.

Da vi kom tilbake til naustet speidet vi etter Dag som hadde sagt han skulle komme og fyre, men så ingen Dag. Kjente imidlertid tydelig bållukt i fjæra, og da jeg kom opp til bilen var det tydelig at han hadde vært der, for minnekortet mitt som han skulle ha med til meg, var tapet fast på bilruta. Han hadde typisk nok dratt hjem kort tid før vi kom tilbake.

Damene gjetta på cirka ei mil padlet og det var en god gjett - 11 km ble det i dag.

by Miamaria Padlemia ( at July 02, 2015 01:31 am

July 01, 2015

Mark Rainsley
Adventures, writing, photography, other stuff.

Hartland Quay

Hartland Quay in North Devon doesn’t have a quay…various attempts have been made over the centuries, but the sea always claims them.

Filed under: Devon, North Devon, Surfing

by MRY at July 01, 2015 08:15 pm

Being the Continuing Adventures of a Woman and her Trusty Kayak in New York Harbor, the Hudson River, and Beyond. (with occasional political rants just to keep things lively!)

L'Hermione In NYC - Starting Today!

L'Hermione crossing the Atlantic, May 2015. Photo from Hermione Voyage FB Page.  

Bad boat blogger, bad. I've been going on and on and on about Hokule'a coming here in 2016, but totally forgot to ever say anything about another spectacular replica which actually arrived in NY Harbor today and will be here for the 4th of July weekend. 

Our current visitor is a beautiful replica of the Hermione, the frigate that brought Major General Lafayette to America in 1780. She was built in France; the build began in 1997 and she was launched in 2014, with sea trials in September of the year. In April of 2015, she set out from France, bound for the East Coast of the USA. May was spent sailing across the Atlantic Ocean (photo above was somewhere in the middle, isn't it gorgeous?), she arrived in Yorktown, VA at the beginning of June, and she's now making her way up the East Coast, arriving in NY Harbor just this morning. She'll be staying at Pier 15 at the South Street Seaport, where she'll have visiting hours for tours throughout the weekend, and on July 4th there'll be a grand parade past the Statue of Liberty and up the Hudson along Manhattan's West Side. For full details for her NYC visit, click here, for the additional schedule and ports of call, click here

Thank you to PortSide NewYork for the morning heads-up about where L'Hermione is staying while in NY. Keep an eye on Tugster, New York Media Boat, and the Old Salt Blog for more reporting of the visit; at the time I write this, none of them have posts yet, but I know Tugster Will and Bjoern Kils (NY Media Boat) went down to the Lower Harbor to meet her this morning, and Rick Spilman at the Old Salt Blog is the one who first told me about the visit, and I suspect he was at the welcoming ceremony at the South Street Seaport today, and I expect they'll all be putting something up eventually. I'm also hoping to get aboard tomorrow, so I might have something more to share too.Will did post a few photos on his Facebook page this morning - here was my favorite, Hermione in Gravesend Bay. Lovely, can't wait to see his writeup! 5:14 update - Tugster's first post is up with some pictures from the morning that are simply Ooooh La La! 

by (bonnie) at July 01, 2015 05:25 pm
Tilting At Waves


Sue at Big Bay State ParkSue and I often say, “This isn’t our first rodeo.” I’m sure that doesn’t sound romantic, but it’s true, honest and practical. We both realized that just because you make a big deal about your wedding or spend yourself into the ground, it doesn’t mean it will last. In fact recent studies have found that the...
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by derrick at July 01, 2015 01:21 pm

Essex Explorations
Our membership is small…but that’s by design. Each of our explorers is a recognized leader in their respective field and brings a unique set of skills to the group. Whether a certified instructor, commercial guide, or in the case of our latest member, a professional photographer, each is passionate about explorations, pushing their boundaries, and then sharing that experience with others.

Gig Harbor

I titled this photograph from the location where I took it, Gig Harbor, but on second thought I probably should have titled it ‘Barnacles’ or something similar. There often overlooked except when you’re walking on them barefooted, or you hear your hull scrapping across them which just sends shivers up your spine as you imagine the damage they’re doing to the gelcoat, but they are really quite fascinating creatures. They were the main focus of Charles Darwin’s studies long before, during and after his work on ‘On the Origins of Species’.

Gig Harbor

Camera Settings

Gig Harbor

Barnacles are encrusters, attaching themselves permanently to a hard substrate. The most common, “acorn barnacles” are sessile, growing their shells directly onto the substrate. The order Pedunculata (“goose barnacles” and others) attach themselves by means of a stalk.

No naturalist has devoted more painstaking attention to the structure of the barnacles than Mr. Darwin. – Richard Owen

Free-living barnacles are attached to the substratum by cement glands that form the base of the first pair of antennae; in effect, the animal is fixed upside down by means of its forehead. In some barnacles, the cement glands are fixed to a long, muscular stalk, but in most they are part of a flat membrane or calcified plate. A ring of plates surrounds the body, homologous with the carapace of other crustaceans. These consist of the rostrum, two lateral plates, two carinolaterals, and a carina. In sessile barnacles, the apex of the ring of plates is covered by an operculum, which may be recessed into the carapace. The plates are held together by various means, depending on species, in some cases being solidly fused.

Inside the carapace, the animal lies on its back, with its limbs projecting upwards. Segmentation is usually indistinct, and the body is more or less evenly divided between the head and thorax, with little, if any, abdomen. Adult barnacles have few appendages on their heads, with only a single, vestigial pair of antennae, attached to the cement gland. The six pairs of thoracic limbs are referred to as “cirri”, which are feathery and very long, being used to filter food from the water and move it towards the mouth.

Barnacles have no true heart, although a sinus close to the oesophagus performs similar function, with blood being pumped through it by a series of muscles. The blood vascular system is minimal. Similarly, they have no gills, absorbing oxygen from the water through their limbs and the inner membrane of their carapaces. The excretory organs of barnacles are maxillary glands.

The main sense of barnacles appears to be touch, with the hairs on the limbs being especially sensitive. The adult also has a single eye, although this is probably only capable of sensing the difference between light and dark.[4] This eye is derived from the primary naupliar eye.

So what does this have to do with Gig Harbor…well, there are a lot of barnacles in the harbor??


The post Gig Harbor appeared first on Essex Media & Explorations.

by Steve Weileman at July 01, 2015 12:31 pm
Cycling, sea kayaking and life in the Scottish highlands

Podcast - Guide to Isle of Bute

Roddy McDowell of Kayak Bute has written a free Sea Kayak Guide to the Isle of Bute and Surrounding Waters.

Roddy gives an audio destination guide to his home island in this months Podcast - find it at or iTunes.

You can also get hold of a copy of the guide in three different ways.

Part One is in this month's Ocean Paddler Magazine.  

You can download a PDF version by clicking here.  

There's an electronic version in your country's Amazon Kindle Store.  Please go to your local Amazon Kindle store and search for Sea Kayaking Guide to the Isle of Bute.  

The price is set at the minimum allowed by Amazon for making it available on Kindle.  

by Simon Willis ( at July 01, 2015 07:30 am

kajaknördar - paddling verkar kul
tid utomhus räknas. Tid i kajaken räknas dubbelt



Eric Tornblad som gett ut böckerna Fjällmat & Torka Mat har nu startat sajten Friluftsmeny. På Friluftsmeny hittar man både recept, tips och kan köpa mat av blandade varianter, både helfärdiga frystorkade rätter men även torkade ingredienser och annat matnyttigt. Stor faktabank om mat, recept, torkning av mat, friluftskök med mera.

Säljer även utrustning, t.ex. mattorkar.

Klart vettigt och besöksvärt!

Slå en kik på

Inlägget Friluftsmeny dök först upp på kajaknördar - paddling verkar kul.

by Erik Sjöstedt at July 01, 2015 05:25 am

Paddle California
Thoughts from the world of kayaking centered in California. Ocean, whitewater, flatwater, wherever the paddling takes me. Trip reports, gear reviews, teaching and leadership, with pictures and video.

When friends come to town - Kayaking Caspar

One of the dangers of living on such a beautiful coast is that you start to take it for granted. It's easy to sit at work watching waves crash over the rocks and think that it's nice but feel no urgency to rush out and experience it directly. That's why it's nice when people travel for hours to get here and spend several days paddling, super excited about being on the coast and blown away by the water and environment that we have. Their enthusiasm rubs off and it's a good excuse to rinse the dust off the boat and get out there.

This last weekend a big group (fifteen) showed up to play in the rock gardens. Busy with work, Lindsay and I could only join them for one day. They were camping at Russian Gulch and had paddled out of there a few times. They wanted to try somewhere new and suggested launching out of Caspar. I've paddled out of there a bunch, often to surf or do a quick lap around the harbor. I've thoroughly explored the stretch heading south down to Russian Gulch, but I've never gone north in conditions small enough to play in the many rocks that are there. We had a good forecast and decided to check it out.

I have to say it really impressed me. It's not easy to stand out in Mendocino, where every place you look has stunning vistas and the shoreline is filled with caves, tunnels, and intricate rock gardens. But Caspar North was pretty remarkable. It's definitely more exposed and on a typical day it would probably be too scary to do much playing. But in 3-4' swell it's a blast!

We had pour-overs galore and a number of really fun slots. We found some technical sections that were quite challenging on the bigger sets but also lots of forgiving features that could handle the silliness of the group. There was even a little cove with some surf waves - as long as you could dodge the rocks at the end.

And getting to enjoy it all with old friends, and to make new ones as well, was a huge bonus. Afterwards we were treated to a bountiful dinner at the campground, happy to contribute some fresh caught abalone that Lindsay got the day before. On the one hand, it felt a little silly to see everyone sitting in camp chairs, laptops out as  they reviewed pictures and video from the day. But seeing someone smile as they watched themselves go big, maybe the first time they really ran a large pour-over in this remarkable setting - you can't help but feel good at that.

The other drawback of being busy working and writing about paddling instead of doing it: I'm out of shape. After a full day of paddling and playing in my Jive, which really needs some attention to the backband, is that my back totally locked up the next day and I hobbled around the house like I'm twice my age. But I did manage to update my website to get ready for my book launch. A Paddler's Journey will be out soon and hopefully I'll get back to creating new adventures instead of merely recounting them.

More pictures from the day are at my Picasa Page.

by Bryant Burkhardt ( at July 01, 2015 02:36 am

Sea Kayak Podcasts .com
Interviews with interesting sea kayakers

Isle of Bute

Interviews with the world's most interesting sea kayakers. More than seventy free mp3 interviews online at

by Simon Willis ( at July 01, 2015 12:30 am

Green Adventures Blog
This is the blog from Green Adventures and Ulrika Larsson.

Life is good

Green Adventures is not only about work. It's about a passion, not only for kayaking but for all the amazing things we can do in the outdoors. Last weekend I had a wonderful time on a mirror calm sea just outside my door step.

July 01, 2015 12:00 am

June 30, 2015

Woman on Water
A woman's perspective on kayaking and other adventures on California's Mendocino Coast


My least favorite activity of being a kayak instructor and guide is schlepping kayaks.  This time of the year, I am schlepping boats most days.  When I have time to play, the last thing that I want to do is shlepp around a heavy kayak.  Sometimes it is fun to simplify and step away from the boat and just go have fun in the ocean - Coasteering!

Wetsuit, boots, gloves and off we go to play in the ocean.  We hike to a spot on the headlands and jump in.  We swim to off shore rocks or to the next headland, seal land ourselves, and repeat.  It is sh!ts n giggles fun!

Sometimes our route has us swimming through arches and into caves.  

Our last 2 adventures have actually been missions.  One mission was planting a Geochache for the Bay Area Sea Kayaker's 30th Anniversary Challenge.  Yes, Jeff and I coasteered into the location and would challenge other BASK'ers to do it too. 

Our other mission was a trash collection mission.  We are so thankful to be able to fish and gather food from the ocean.  We strive to tread lightly and have minimum impact on the environment but unfortunately have those moments where we snag and lose our line and tackle.  We have added lightweight packs to our coasteering missions for packing out trash - specifically fishing line that is snagged on the rocks that we are traversing.  Bringing a small pack allows me to pack my abalone gear and bring home dinner too.  

Swimming and playing in the ocean's rock gardens feels quite natural to me.I have to admit that jumping is a bit challenging for me.  I am working on my courage and technique.  Yes, I still hold my nose when I jump.

by Cate Hawthorne ( at June 30, 2015 08:02 pm

Qajaq Rolls
Dedicated to the Art of Greenland Style Kayak Rolling

A dichotomy of paddles – East meets West

Many people only think of the skinny Greenland “stick” when they think of traditional kayak paddles. Reducing Traditional Paddling to just the Greenland qajaq and paddle is doing a disservice to the vast array of other cultures that developed their own versions of hunting waterborne human powered craft, many of which came from the Arctic regions of North America.

If I had to guess I would say that the Aleuts with their distinctive Bardaika are the second most recognized lineage of traditional paddlers. It is interesting to note that their craft with the bifurcated bow are actually called iqyax̂ by the Unangan (Aleutians), the name Bardaika comes from Russia. It is perhaps no surprise that the usage of these names from both cultures became jumbled given the close proximity and the history of migration of people between both countries.


The Aleutian Islands are not just renowned for their beautiful iqyax̂, they are also the home of a terrific powerful paddle design. The Aleuts used their kayaks to hunt, as well as transport goods, cargo and people considerable distances. The kayaks were built for speed, high performance, and were very long. These flexible craft are capable of astonishing speeds. The Russian influence has been credited with converting them into multiple paddler’s kayaks, it was not unusually for them to carry three people while hunting. The paddles were equally advanced, the closest modern paddle to the Aleutian paddle is perhaps the wing blade although the comparison quickly falls apart when compared in use. The iqyax̂ design is a high side craft with a deep cockpit, the paddle is correspondingly long to allow the blades to submerge. Unlike the Greenland paddle the Aleutian paddle has a definite power face, it is not symmetrical. The power face has a pronounced rib running along the center. The rib provides stability during the power phase of the stroke, if the blade is used with the smooth face as the power face there is a remarkable difference in its feel. Some kayak historians I have spoken to question if the rib is on the power face or not. My experience has been that the rib really aids in the strokes stability so I believe it should be used as such.

I recently had the privilege of being sent two very different paddles to test. One an Aleutian paddle from East Pole paddles in Estonia and the other a Greenland Paddle from Gear Labs in Taiwan. To be absolutely clear, I paid for neither, nor am I being compensated for writing about them, other than the fact that paddles are now part of my growing collection of paddles I share with the local paddling community to promote their usage. You can read more about my paddle collection in this recent article.

It is worth noting the geography in the previous paragraph, an Aleutian paddle made in Estonia, and a Greenland paddle made in Taiwan. This is a sign of the times for Traditional Paddling. To some it is exciting to consider the growth in popularity of Traditional paddling and the proliferation of interest globally in the construction and use of the traditional paddling equipment, to others it is disturbing that these paddles and their materials transit the globe rather than are made locally using local material and employing local crafts people. Whatever your opinion, I ask that for a while you suspend judgement and consider instead what is unique and interesting about these two paddles.

East Pole Aleutian Paddle

East Pole paddles uses Western Red Cedar for their paddles, the grain density of the cedar is lower than some used by other paddle makers, this creates a very light paddle. The lightness comes with a drawback, softness. The cedar is soft and prone to damage. I felt compelled to bone the surface, I used a deer antler. This tends to create a layer of denser wood on the surface which protects it from the inevitable bumps and scrapes on the rocks.

I like to use longer narrower Aleutian paddles than my more regular Greenland paddles. The paddle East Pole sent me was 89″ long and 3.5″ maximum blade width the loom length was  22″. I paddle with a lower cadence with an Aleutian paddle, a combined effect of the extra length and greater surface area of the blade. Each stroke feels very powerful, and unlike a Greenland paddle I tend not to worry about canting the paddle blade, the power face rib “sets” the blade angle as it slices through the water. I would love to understand the hydrodynamics of this blade. But whatever the science behind it, it is one powerful paddle. When I have spoken to Greenlanders about paddles they pooh-pooh the quest for light weight instead preferring the security of strength. A good Greenland paddle is considered one you can do a pull up on and it not break. Aleutian paddles have a thin loom and their long length makes them potentially vulnerable to breaks. I have seen many Aleutian paddles break when people over muscle a Greenland Roll, especially a reverse sweep roll.

After having used the East Pole Aleutian paddle for a few trips I would consider it a good long distance touring paddle, it is powerful, light and is comfortable to use all day. I do not recommend using it to practice rolling with, as its wood was chosen for a different purpose and absolute strength was lowered to ensure the paddle would be very light to allow you to keep paddling all day. There are stronger paddles available, Adanac Paddles in Canada makes a great Aleutian paddle for example, but correspondingly the denser wood comes with greater weight – everything is, after all, a compromise.

You can contact East Pole paddles through their website.

Gearlab Greenland Paddle

I have previously used several different Gearlab Greenland Paddles, you can read about my previous experiences here. Each iteration has been an improvement both in design and construction. Their latest example continues this trend. The previous generation introduced the use of replaceable tips made of a more forgiving material than the carbon used in the rest of the paddle – much like the bone tips used by the Inuit’s of Greenland. This latest generation has improved the paddle in two significant ways. First the most obvious change, the blade profile. The new blade design creates a sharper edge profile, this dramatically changes the paddles feel in the water. It becomes especially apparent when sculling. Sculling rolls are substantially easier using this sharp design, a plus for anyone looking to advance their rolling skills. The sharp edges also made the paddle very smooth during the forward stroke, it canted easily and there was little discernible flutter.

The second change is internal, the entire paddle is now reinforced with a vertical plane of carbon spanning the center between the two power faces. This has added both greater absolute strength and considerable rigidity. Previous paddles from Gearlab had been some of the most flexible, comparable to very light cedar. This new design is as rigid as the paddle from Superior Kayaks, quite a radical change. I found that it increased my confidence in the paddle but I did miss the forgiving nature to the flexible blade at times. Gearlab paddles are available in shouldered or shoulder-less, the shouldered version provides a soft transition that allows you to index the blade and maintain a comfortable grip. My personal preference is for shoulder-less paddles as I like the ability to seamlessly slide and extend the paddle during strokes turn and rolls. Gearlabs paddles have a distinctive circular narrow loom which feels small when you grasp it, yet due to the way you actually hold the paddle at the transition between the loom and the blade I have never found it too small for my normal sized man hands. I look forward to seeing what Gearlabs do next, they seem to be constantly innovating.

You can contact Gearlab through their website.

If you are ever in Minnesota are are interested in trying these or any of my paddle collection feel free to contact me through my website.

by Christopher Crowhurst at June 30, 2015 03:33 pm

Being the Continuing Adventures of a Woman and her Trusty Kayak in New York Harbor, the Hudson River, and Beyond. (with occasional political rants just to keep things lively!)

Turtle Tuesday


Start your week off with this video of a unique Coast Guard rescue.

Posted by Go Coast Guard on Monday, June 29, 2015

I've never tried embedding a Facebook video on Blogger before, but this is too good to not share. Poor turtles shouldn't have to tangle with our stupid plastic, but since they did, at least they got some good help in time. This is actually the 2nd turtle rescue video I've run across recently, but this one's especially nice due to the alacrity with which the turtles zip away once freed - the other one, the turtle wasn't moving the flipper that had been the most entangled and I wasn't sure of his chances. This one, they look good. Go Coast Guard indeed!

by (bonnie) at June 30, 2015 03:02 pm

Paddle Reflections
Sharing my experiences of paddling and paddle making.

Nine days solo canoeing trip

At the end of May I finished my woodworking course at Insjön in Sweden. The school was quite far into the country and I usually live by the sea. So I saw this as an excellent opportunity for a long canoeing trip.


Dalälven is the river I paddled, it is one of Swedens biggest rivers. It starts off as two rivers, west Dalälven and east Dalälven which both have their sources in Norway, and then meet up and flow a little bit south of the middle of Sweden to finally reach the Baltic sea close to Gävle, about 100 miles north of Stockholm. East Dalälven passes close to the school so I decided to follow it down to the sea, a total of 256 kilometers (159 miles).
The name Dalälven consists of two words, "dal" which means valley and "älv" which means a river starting in the mountains. It flows through the county Dalarna (valleys) in Sweden which I believe has given it it's name.


The stream pass by some cities which allowed me to resupply along the way. This gave a lot of freedom in the planning process. I did not calculate how long it would take, I decided to not be in a hurry and just paddle as far as I felt like each day.
The time between deciding to do the trip and actually starting was very short, a little under one week. And I did not have all of my outdoor gear at school so some things were just improvised or simply left out. I dried a lot of food before heading out; potatoes, carrots, zucchini, paprika, onion, mushrooms and other vegetables. I only ate vegeterian food, and except the butter most things were vegan. Oat milk for example lasts much longer in warm temperature than milk product and works just as well in food.
I printed the maps from It's a free service where you can print your own maps of pretty much anywhere in Sweden. Unfortunately I only had access to a black and white printer so sometimes during the trip I had trouble navigating.

The trip

The rainy beginning

I started in east Dalälven and reached the meeting point already the first day. It was a day of constant rain, not an excellent start of a trip but I didn't get let down by the rain. And later I would have a lot of benefit (and some trouble) from the high water level the rain made. I also had to portage past the first dam this first day. There was about one dam per day to pass, but sometimes more. During the whole trip I portaged 14 dams.
I spent the first night in an abandoned storage shed. It was nice to have a dry place to sleep at after a day of constant rain.

Misery campfire after a rainy day.

The abandoned storage shed I slept in first night.

The city of portaging

The next day was also raining but in the evening it had stopped. I reached the first city now, Borlänge. I spoke to a man which explained that the name is old Swedish and means "carrying far". And that proved to be very true. The city had 4 dams. I did the first dam, which was just a short portage and then set up camp in a small forest on an old dirt road.

The next day was probably the heaviest during the whole trip. The first two dams were not too bad, quite short portages. But the last one was a lot worse. It was a total of over 3 km because the riverbank was blocked by a sewage plant. I first carried my packing and managed to hitch hike to the bridge where I was planning to end the portage. Then on the way back to get the canoe I put up my thumb again... and surprisingly got picked up by the same guy again. So then I portaged the canoe all the way. It was windy so the canoe caught wind all the time while carrying, When I got the chance I used the areas with high grass in the ditch to pull it instead of carrying on my back. I found it to be nice to alternate between the two a bit. At least it was fun to see the look on the psaserby's faces when I walked around in the city with a canoe on my head.
When the canoe was in place I decided to go into town and get some new boots, this far I had only used my working shoes which were in very bad condition, since I didn't have my tripping shoes at school. My shoes had gotten totally soaked by the rain and were also falling apart. So I bought a cheap pair of rubber boots which I used for the rest of the trip. It wasn't ideal but it was much better than the wet ones. I didn't want anything with lining as those never dry.

Lost in the forest and thunderstorm

The next few days were quite straight forward. The weather was better. It was a bit windy some days but I soon got into the rythm of waking up between 4 and 6 before the wind got strong and then setting camp between 2 and 5 when it was too windy to be comfortable to paddle.
Up until this point the stream had been narrow all the way, never widening into lakes or such. But on the 5th day I reached the first lake, close to Hedemora. By now the water level was very high and the land in this area was very low. This in combination with my bad maps and that I didn't have a compass made it hard to navigate. I decided to take a shortcut in a narrow canal between the mainland and an island. But it was hard to find where it started because the forest was flooded. I thought I had found it and started following it through the forest. But soon lost it and realized I was just paddling between the trees and because of the cloudy weather couldn't really tell directions.

High water level...
Eventually I got out again and decided to paddle around the island. But when I did so I found the canal and it was quite big because of the high water level. It was however blocked by some roads which I could easily pass because they were flooded too.
But now the wind got a lot stronger really quickly and I see some big dark clouds in the sky. It has kind of been building up for this the whole day but at one point it's no longer possible to paddle. I set camp at a big green field already around 2 o'clock. The thunderstorm and rain comes in th evening and is really close. But when it passed by it left one of the most amazing rainbows I've seen!

Halfway point, party and a change in nature

Next day I reach the city Avesta where I resupply for the rest of the trip and also buy a compass which I realized I will need. It's the last city I pass during the trip. It also has 2 dams which I do in one portage, quite far but not as heavy as the one in borlänge. In the afternoon I reach Sjöviks folkhögskola which is the school I did my 2 years bushcraft program at. I've been looking forward to reaching this point as it's the halfway mark of my trip. And after this the nature gets much more wild and untouched. The bushcraft students are still there and have just got back from a two and a half week paddle trip. It's their penultimate day and they celebrate it by visiting one of the teachers and having a barbecue party which I join. It was very nice to get some real food and meeting friends and my old teachers again.
The start of the second part of the trip was amazing. There was no wind and just a very thin layer of clouds, just enough so the sun wouldn't burn or blind me. And I was familiar with the area I paddled this day since we did trips here from Sjövik. From here on the river widened a lot and it was more like paddling in lakes than a river. The first rapids also started showing up now. I could paddle all of them except one. It's called Balen and is famous for it's huge monster wave which now with this much water was 1-2m high and followed by 2 more nearly as big waves. I decided to do it the safe way and portaged past it.

This day I did close to 60km (37 miles), it shows how much knowing the waters and good weather do for the speed. In the evening I set camp at a windbreak and baked bread in the pot.

The last challenging dams and the sea

The last days I did about 2 dams a day and they were quite challenging. The portages were not very far. But the riverbanks were artificial, high and steep and the water flowed fast. To get ashore I had to hold the canoe in a rope while I carefully unloaded the packing. Putting it in a bad spot would make it roll down into the river. Then I had to somehow pull the canoe up. This was also challenging to do without damaging it.
Then I had to do everything again to get it back in water below the dam. I first put the canoe in, and if I had something to tie it to I did so while loading it. At one place I was a bit careless. I had stored the map inside my rolled up sleeping mattress and while loading the canoe I tried to throw the sleeping mattress into the canoe, but missed and it was caught by the stream. So I had to hurry and pack the last things then untied the canoe and jumped in. I managed to catch it but the maps had gotten wet, but was still readable.
An old dam
One day I got into another thunderstorm. I was paddling on open water with just a few islands around. So I went on shore on the closest one which had a small cabin. At first I just waited behind the cabin taking cover from the rain but when it started raining more and seemed it wouldn't stop I went up to it and checked the door. The door to the veranda was unlocked so I could go inside and wait out the storm. It was all white and clean in there so I felt very uncomfortable. When the storm ended I wrote a message thanking the owners and left.
The last dam, in Älvkarleby was easy to get ashore at and from the water it looked like a quite short walk. But when I went to take a look there was a huge waterfall behind it with a long steep rapid following it. I realized it would be a long portage so I asked a pair I met (Magnus and Ulrika which would be the quickest way past it. They explained and in the end they even said they could help me carry. So me and Magnus took the canoe and Ulrika took the gear. Not having to go back up to get the canoe saved me a lot of energy and time. They were very helpful and told me this was the last dam and that the rest of the way would be a breeze.
And they were right, the river got narrow again, much like the beginning of my trip and the water was flowing fast. I just had to sit back and go with the flow, literally.
Reaching the sea was a great experience. It was a feeling of relief and freedom but also a scary feeling. The sea is big and wild compared to the predictable river.

This trip was a great experience! I didn't put much time into planning and preparing the trip. I just did the necessary stuff and went out. It was amazing to be alone for this long time. Lots of time to think and reflect and I got much closer to nature than I usually do on trips. I really learned to predict the weather and could sometimes go ashore even before the wind arrived.

And finally some more photos from the trip.

Amazing construction!

by Jonas Sjöblom ( at June 30, 2015 08:40 am

June 29, 2015

Mark Rainsley
Adventures, writing, photography, other stuff.


A mile offshore of Land’s End is Longships Lighthouse…

Filed under: Kayaking, Land's End, Lighthouses, South Cornwall

by MRY at June 29, 2015 09:51 pm

Gnarlydog News

Digital camera hand grip modification

. I reached the limit of tolerance with my pocket compact digital camera as I realized my images were lacking sharpness when light conditions were not ideal. Most of my images are displayed on monitors (web use) and only occasionally I print the very best pictures of mine. While all images look great when displayed small things don't look so good once they are enlarged. Add, low light and the

by gnarlydog ( at June 29, 2015 10:11 pm

Sea kayaking with
Imagine you are at the edge of the sea on a day when it is difficult to say where the land ends and the sea begins and where the sea ends and the sky begins. Sea kayaking lets you explore these and your own boundaries and broadens your horizons. Sea kayaking is the new mountaineering.

The Jura portage, a miracle, an udder and the 177th Law of the Universe.

The key to our weekend trip to Jura and Islay lay in the timing of the strong tides in the Sounds of Jura and Islay and the fact that Jura is nearly bisected by... ...West Loch Tarbert in the west and Tarbert Bay in the east. The connecting isthmus is only 1.9km wide and 26m high. I had last portaged across here in 2007 but since then increasing knee dislocations a nasty accident to my knee

by Douglas Wilcox ( at June 29, 2015 10:03 pm

Freya Hoffmeister
Home of Freya Hoffmeister

Fotostrecke Vortrag Husum

Mit Sponsor Markus Elberg von Nestlé-Janny’s Eis.

Vielen Dank für deine Unterstützung!


Begrüßung Bürgervorsteher Peter Empen (links) und Bürgermeister Udo Schmitz.

Vielen dank für die Begrüßungsrede!


Viele weitere Bilder hier auf meiner Picasa website!

by Freya at June 29, 2015 03:56 pm

The Ikkatsu Project
In the Service of the Ocean

Divine Intervention


Boyan Slat is a young engineer from Holland who has a plan to vacuum plastic particles out of the gyres with a giant array of high-tech machinery. It’s a bold notion and he’s attracted a lot of investors who have put up a pile of good money in the hopes that he is correct in his assessments. But in the end, I’m pretty sure it will play out as a daft idea fraught with integral deficiencies and will soon be gone, along with all the cash. But the plastic will still be around.

To debate the relative worthiness of the idea, however, might be missing the point. Whether Slat’s invention will actually function as advertised, the real story here may be our genetic hunger for instant solutions to complicated problems. “Seven-minute Abs,” for example, will take care of all those slack years of beer and pizza, just like that. Just seven minutes a day. And then there are the emails: “I work at home for just a few short hours a week and I made $64,000 last month. You can too.” We are hardwired to listen to these lies, and we are steadfast in our belief that some savior will arise to solve these problems for us, these things that we messed up even though we should have known better. We seek someone or something who will save us from ourselves.

Which sounds kind of like religion because it is. We want an omnipotent being to put it all right again, whether we’re talking about our weight, the dismal state of our finances or the immense ecological problems facing the planet. We are looking for a reset button for all of these and more, looking for a god-like solution all the time, almost always against the backdrop of our own poor judgment.

The blueprints for any real environmental change may not include the degree of instant gratification that we seek, but there are still paths to success that involve time and commitment; they are slower, to be certain, but unlike the alternatives, they work. When it comes to plastic in the ocean, reducing demand is key. There is more to it, but that is the one critical component. The personal decision to use less of the stuff is its own force of nature, and can gather momentum and size as it goes forward. Less consumption will lead to less production, which will limit what gets into the water beyond what any machine can suck up after the fact. (If all that sounds too simple, if there are not enough moving parts or engineering genius or carbon-fiber Fetzer valves for you, you can always write a check to Mr. Slat.)

When it comes to real change, Margaret Mead nailed it a long time ago: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

by Ken Campbell at June 29, 2015 01:23 pm

OCEANPAX Paddle / Run / Be
Reflections on life, self-propelled outdoor pursuits, and all manner of things that may come to mind while sea kayaking on the waters, and minimalist running along the trails, of south Vancouver Island and Gabriola Island in beautiful British Columbia, Canada.

A guide to the acronymical steps in a North Sea Paddle...IDGMB.

Packing the MTKTV at Base Camp.
 "Every journey begins with a single step...with subsequent steps to follow, most of which are described by acronyms these days." Anon.

(Some of the "steps" from this week's paddle from Arbroath to Auchmithie, and return.)


Time out on the water becomes an "epic" journey, even if it's just a precious single day on the North Sea. Preparations begin at Base Camp, currently in the Kingdom of Fife, Scotland. Gear, always at the ready and waiting, is carried out to the Moderate Terrain Kayak Transport Vehicle (MTKTV) in the International Kayaking Expedition Association (IKEA) bags. (Yes they do, indeed, look very much like the ones they sell at a certain Swedish self-assembly furniture store.) The boats are lifted into their cradles, where they are strapped and snugged in place.

The fully fuelled MTKTV is now loaded, and the journey to the DLC begins.


At the DLC parking area, a final visual confirmation of launch conditions and sea state is completed. The weather forecast is re-checked. A Go / No Go decision is established. Either way, a visit is made to the nearby Information Centre "comfort facility". The large, nutritious, and delicious 750 ml breakfast smoothies making this an absolute requirement before donning dry suits. And at 30p per person, it's a bargain. ;)

The excitement continues to build at the DLC.

The Agreement to Launch (AL) now confirmed, the sea kayaks must be transported to the PSI - on this day, the beach by the RNLI Lifeboat Station. Tidal conditions (outgoing) required the use of the Human-Assist Kayak Trolley (HAKT). Gear is loaded into the boats at the Designated Launch Coordinates. The boats were then affixed to the trolley by two Thule 275cm straps and rolled to the PSI.

Packing the last of the gear in waterproof bags.

The IOWM are critical. It is during this time that contact with land is happily relinquished, weight and balance and load distribution characteristics checked, paddling rhythm is established, and the mind emptied of anything that could possibly distract from the Sea Kayak Expedition Experience (SKEE).

Leaving Arbroath Harbour.

As with most self-propelled, outdoor activities, the Cathartic Effect (CE) must be given free reign over any accumulated worries and unwelcome stress.

The benevolent sea...on this day.

Very little time is required to transition from the Initial On-Water Moments to EM. Soon we are rock-hopping and exploring hidden and mysterious nooks and crannies along the ancient sandstone cliffs. 

The Cathartic Effect is expedited by EM. It becomes a matter of Self-Designated Focus (SDF).

Entering a geo...Dickmont's Den.

A state of NC can be quickly established in the mind of any outdoor enthusiast who longs to affiliate with nature...something hard-wired into the human soul. Ninety-nine percent of our evolutionary history has been in close connection to the natural world and it is clear that NC enhances subjective (psychological and social) well-being. 

It is in our nature to be connected...with nature. This is why chronic TV watchers, and people who have set up permanent residence on Facebook, develop what is known as Propensity to Chronic Grumpiness (PCG). (A related side effect is self-absorption.) It's nasty. They've become disconnected from one of the greatest resources for wholeness and health, physical and emotional. Nature Connectedness is a huge contributor to positive attitude.

Sea kayaking opens doors to the world outside, and an association with creatures great and small, whose habitats may be air, coastal land, and sea...and the changing intertidal zones in between.


RNUs are everywhere along our North Sea paddling is possible to be alone in this marine and coastal wonderland, but never lonely. Each of the pebbles and cobbles tell their story in the sound of the "swash", as the waves rush up and down the beach.

Preparing to enjoy "first" lunch.
Deep, dark, caves, now high above the water level and still rebounding from glacial ice sheets heighten Exploration Mode...

Carved by ancient seas.
and their weathered and eroded walls offer a time capsule of detailed information. To curious eyes and enquiring's a banquet table of treats.

The story of time.

The PPCFFT kicks in every time! Once the Moderate Terrain Kayak Transport Vehicle is re-loaded with gear and boats, it's time to check out a fruit stand and the East Scryne Farm, near Easthaven, where James Porter and his family have been farming for five generations. The PPCFFT craving was satisfied with fresh strawberries, homemade raspberry jam, two scones, and a gigantic meringue.

Mmmmm...fresh Angus fruit, and more.
So that's about it...just a few of the acronymical steps in a North Sea Paddle. 

It Doesn't Get Much Better (IDGMB). ;)

by Duncan and Joan ( at June 29, 2015 10:36 am

June 28, 2015

Sarah's Soggy Scenarios
A light hearted insight into my paddling trips in and around Scotland - and beyond!

Aunty Betty - Hmmm!


Our SSKEG group of the day
 A couple of weeks back Ian was good enough to organise a trip out from Stonehaven for SSKEG. The previous trip from Montrose had to be cancelled due to our rather breezy weather so I was extra pleased this trip was going ahead. Although I'm from the East coast, I don't often seem to get the opportunity to paddle this area.

Massive caves
Awesome arches!
7 of us met up at Stonehaven harbour on a beautiful sunny morning. We paddled out from the harbour and headed south. The coast line round here is so different from our Fife coastline, lots of caves and cliffs.
Big caves

Long caves
 The last bay must have been my favourite, friendly inquisitive seals and a freshwater shower.
We headed back after this, a whole 4km down the coast - that's how interesting the caves and cliffs are!

Fresh water showers
Our friendly seal above

And below!
 Just as well we started back then, the head wind had really picked up and it was quite a slog getting back. We were cheered up with the appearance of a pod of dolphins.

This was all rewarded by the most extravagant icecream cone ever! I would highly recommend a visit to Aunty Betty's, whether you've been out for a strenuous paddle or a gentle daunder!
Now that's what I call an ice cream!!!!
 A huge thanks to Ian and SSKEG for organising this trip, I'm already looking forward to the next one up there!

by Sarah's Soggy Scenarios ( at June 28, 2015 11:13 pm

Mercipourlekayak !
Pratique du kayak de mer

Retour de Corse ouest (1) : impressions

Nous avions programmé une rando kayak en Corse lors de la 2è quinzaine de mai 2015. Voici un aperçu de ce qu’a été ce voyage, avant d’en dire plus lors de prochains articles… La punta Muchillina, Scandola Le parcours Notre projet était d’itinérer d’Ajaccio à Calvi en 11 jours, en rasant la côte au plus […]

by Arzhela at June 28, 2015 05:16 pm

Being the Continuing Adventures of a Woman and her Trusty Kayak in New York Harbor, the Hudson River, and Beyond. (with occasional political rants just to keep things lively!)

Petals on the Paerdegat - a farewell to a friend

Saying a quiet farewell to friend & Sebago clubmate Joe Glickman on Saturday afternoon. Several Sebagoites attended his memorial service on Monday evening. That very moving service (Joe had so many friends) ended with a small paddle-out - one of the OC-6's from NYO came out with five paddlers and one symbolic empty seat, while Joe's surfski, covered with rose petals, was paddled out by two of his best friends from the racing world that he loved so much. One of our Sebago attendees suggested that we take some of the extra petals out to the club to scatter on Jamaica Bay; yesterday, on a day when Joe would've been in his element in the wind and the waves, I scattered mine on the Paerdegat.

Here was the story I put together for an upcoming tribute to Joe in the club's newsletter:

At Joe's memorial service, one of the themes his eulogizers kept coming back to was how he had this way of seeing you as somehow much better than you saw yourself. I loved that because that's exactly what happened the last time I saw him. 

It was back in March. I'd gone to the club to do something or other, maybe paddle, maybe putter, can't quite recall, but I was out in front of the club when Joe comes around the corner with a friendly-looking tower of a man. I recognized the tower instantly of course - you just can't mistake Oscar Chalupsky for anyone but Oscar Chalupsky. At first Joe assumed I must know Oscar already; when I told him that we'd never actually met, Joe of course proceeded to introduce me. 

Now, I'm a good paddler. I know that. But standing there with these two I was feeling very very ordinary -- Glicker's Glicker, and Oscar Chalupsky is a total surfski god -- but then Glicker did that exact thing that everyone was mentioning at the memorial service, telling Oscar a short story with me as the star. He recalled a day when there was a tropical storm moving through NYC and he decided to go out on the bay and have some fun in the wind and the waves. "So I'm out there, blasting around, having a great time, and I'm thinking I've got to be the only person crazy enough to be out there, but then I see another boat and I paddle over to see who it is and it's Bonnie, and she's bobbing around in the waves -- taking pictures!" 

Being me, I instantly had to explain that I was in my Romany, which is a super-forgiving sea kayak (and I think John Huntington was out there with me too) - but still, for those last moments I spent with him (and I had no idea that that would be the last time I saw him, he was a little on the lean side but his usual warm and happy energy seemed undiminished), Joe made me feel like a little bit of a rock star too. 

Goodbye, Joe, we'll miss you. 

by (bonnie) at June 28, 2015 04:56 pm

Paddling to See- A blog about sea kayaking in Maine. Join us on scenic sea kayak trips in Maine and other beautiful places

Kennebec River, Augusta ME: Wildlife and Current

Beach beside the launch.  That tiny white dot by the bridge piling; a sturgeon jumping or an osprey diving?
  If you're in Augusta, even if you're without boats, you should stop by the boat launch under the Memorial Bridge.  There's a small park there, trees for shade, a playground, picnic tables and benches looking over the river.  And a great variety of wildlife;  we saw osprey, eagles blue heron, herring gulls, mink, and ducklings.  But we were there primarily to look for sturgeon.  Large 3-4 foot long sturgeon, which for unknown reasons jump straight up out of the river, primarily in late June and July.  And, while you can just sit on the shore and look for sturgeon, if you have a boat available, it's also fun to play on the Kennebec River.

     Augusta has about a five foot tidal range, we were there about an hour before low, with a swift moving down river current, and a moderate south wind acting against it.  Noting the eddylines, we choose to ride the current down to buoy 82, cross there and wend our way back using old boom islands to assist us.

  Just above buoy 82 are some great stone buildings, the old Kennebec Arsenal, built between 1828 and 1838.  These structures were annexed by the nearby Maine State Hospital in 1905, and abandoned in 2004.   Note the wonderful broad ship landing, and the elegant copper structures capping the ventilation shafts.  It's a beautiful property, awaiting redevelopment.   

Picking my way back upstream behind boom islands, the launch is just beyond the bridge
    Having made it back to the launch in a reasonable time and with a reasonable effort, we headed north, past Old Fort Western.   Fort Western was built in 1754, and is New England's oldest  remaining  wooden Fort.  A bateau associated with the fort was docked at the landing.

    We made it up to the railroad bridge before reaching a point of no further progress, then crossed the Kennebec and rode down to the buoy again.

Gliding by the Old Augusta Post Office and Courthouse, the mink was hiding along this shore

  Along the way we probably saw ten or twelve sturgeon jump, including a few really big ones.  We didn't get any pictures, but Linwood Riggs, a patient photographer, has captured several jumping sturgeon.  Our wildlife photography was limited to some gangly ducks hoping for a handout.

  It was a delightful evening, temps in the 70's, low humidity, incredible architecture, amazing animals and just a great time to play on the water.

Summary:  Launch:  Augusta Boat Launch, off Howard Lane.  Concrete ramp, kayak condos, several parking spaces shared with a picnic and playground area, porta-potties.  The Augusta Tide Chart is here, it's far enough up river to have a very different tide from most places.  The loop with the extra section was 2.5 miles.

Links:  Kennebec Arsenal
           Wikipedia Kennebec Arsenal:

by PenobscotPaddles ( at June 28, 2015 01:03 pm

June 27, 2015