Paddling Planet

May 26, 2016
Kajak, Foto,Friluftsliv

Kajner 1 XS

Fyndade begagnad vingpaddel. Lite mindre storlek än den jag tidigare använt.


by Bengt Larsson at May 26, 2016 07:50 pm
Lightweight canoe and kayak travel

Safety-shaming says, “Say it ain’t so.” The Coach’s eye says, “You messed up.”

The Freemans kayak on Lake Superior.

There are several Facebook paddling groups that I find enjoyable and both approach safety in two different ways. The approaches couldn’t be more polarized. One group focuses on safety and understands safety. The other group rallies against safety. Two recent posts demonstrate the difference. In one group, a respectful safety conversation was had after someone posted about safety. In the other, people railed against the original poster and eventually the post was deleted by an admin.

The Post in the Pro Kayak Safety Group

screenshotScreenshot of a photo taken by Chris Burkard. He sells prints of this shot.

The first post was in Inland Seas, Kayaking the Great Lakes from one of the most experienced kayakers in North America and he posted a photo taken by Chris Burkard of a kayaker on calm water and asked, “What was the kayaker doing wrong?”

The responses were:

  • Not dressed for immersion/no wetsuit or drysuit
  • Wearing Parka
  • Wearing backpack instead of life vest
    • Backpacks are a search and rescue no-no
  • Paddling alone
  • Rudder on glassy water is a boat control red flag
  • Snow line in the mountains and color of water indicate glacial silt therefore cold water
  • Knitted hat on
  • Only a foam paddle float for safety combined with no immersion wear equals a red flag
  • As an advertisement it could cause someone to go out and buy a kayak and put themselves into the same risk
  • No spare paddle
  • The ACA/we teach “Avoid paddling alone”
  • Skirt not around coaming — commenter admitted he couldn’t tell for sure
  • Not enough torso rotation
  • Wrong exit location with the paddle
  • An inexperienced person might do this if they saw the ad
  • Not in a canoe

At the time I wrote (because I’m a smartass), “Considering this was shot for an advertisement and took place near the shore on completely calm water, I don’t see any real actual concerns other than if he doesn’t have immersion gear on, which we don’t know, he could die if he somehow falls out of his kayak in completely calm conditions and plunges into cold water. In other words, low probability and high consequence, but only if the water is actually cold and he isn’t dressed properly, which we can’t tell.”

Side note: If you’re going to post a picture and ask people to comment on the safety mistakes make sure that the readers know it is an exercise. But, if you just see a picture on the Internets showing unsafe practices, it’s probably best to ignore it and not post on that photo. Things go better that way.

While I find value in these types of posts, I do believe that there is a hyper-critical culture of safety in sea kayaking. I’ve written about that before in my Sea Kayak Safety article. I’ve also wondered about what is our burden as more experienced kayakers. And I’ve written about when the kayak community goes wrong on safety. I’ve also written about people that want to control safety so that everyone is safe even when they themselves don’t understand the risks. You can read my response to a first descent in Namby Pamby, a Kayaker and Minnehaha Falls.

But, just because there is a hyper-critical culture of safety in sea kayaking, it doesn’t mean that safety should be ignored. And it doesn’t mean that proponents of sea kayaking safety should be told to shut up because they are “safety-shaming” or “chastis[ing] for someone else’s safety standards” or “criticizing.”

And in a kayaking group, when someone posts something about safety, it shouldn’t be deleted even if some people disagree with safety. By doing so, the admins fall into a trap of blissful ignorance and bow down to those folks that don’t see safety as important. This conversation usually involves people who don’t wear lifejackets and freak out when someone says they wear a lifevest all the time.

Which brings us to the second post that eventually was deleted.

The Safety Post that Was Deleted

2016-05-26 12_32_39-Screenshot_20160524-123012 - Windows Photo ViewerOver at the Church of the Double Bladed Paddle, a kayaker affected by the death of a local kayaker wrote that he would be enforcing a rule that if you wanted to paddle with him, you’d have to wear a lifevest.

That’s sensible advice. There is nothing controversial about it. And, it is something I insist on as well.

His post was deleted, because it was considered too controversial. Before the post was deleted, one commenter said that it was “safety-shaming” to post about lifejackets.

Safety isn’t something that someone should be ashamed about nor is it controversial. Using safe and proven safety practices saves lives. And wearing a lifevest is a safe and proven practice.

Here are the statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention’s article, “Unintentional Drowning: Get the Facts.

Failure to Wear Life Jackets: In 2010, the U.S. Coast Guard received reports for 4,604 boating incidents; 3,153 boaters were reported injured, and 672 died. Most (72%) boating deaths that occurred during 2010 were caused by drowning, with 88% of victims not wearing life jackets.

Here are a few samples of comments that were posted. Names have be obscured.

2016-05-26 12_42_30-Screenshot_20160524-123143 - Windows Photo Viewer 2016-05-26 12_43_21-Screenshot_20160524-123423 - Windows Photo Viewer 2016-05-26 12_45_13-Screenshot_20160524-124358 - Windows Photo Viewer 2016-05-26 12_45_41-Screenshot_20160524-122934 - Windows Photo Viewer

In many of the anti-lifejacket comments, it was easy to see a sort of Dunning-Kruger effect. As explained in my article, 22 Ways to Improve Your Kayaking Skills Forever, Dunning-Kruger is:

Many kayakers never take a kayaking course, because everything seems so easy. The main problem is that you’re setting yourself up to experience the Dunning-Kruger effect. Just read the four points below about the D-K, and I shouldn’t need to say more.

1. Incompetent individuals tend to overestimate their own level of skill.
2. Incompetent individuals fail to recognize genuine skill in others.
3. Incompetent individuals fail to recognize the extremity of their inadequacy.
4. If they can be trained to substantially improve their own skill level, these individuals can recognize and acknowledge their own previous lack of skill.

In the thread, many didn’t recognize the danger that they were putting themselves in by not wearing one. For example, the poster who said that she paddles Class 2 rivers without a vest is putting herself into a situation with current and rocks. During a capsize, she could easily get hurt in a Class 2 rapid and not be able to stay afloat without the help of a vest. And there are other scenarios on a river that could happen and you wouldn’t want to be without a vest. Luckily for paddlers, the probabilities are low enough that it doesn’t happen often — even though the consequences are high, i.e. death.

What Happens When Admins Delete Posts About Safety

The response from the two different groups is significant. In one group, other than my smartass remark the safety post was taken seriously and discussed seriously. In the other group, many people objected about someone who wanted people to wear lifejackets because someone died, and it was eventually deleted. Ideally, the admins in the second group would have address the situation differently. Instead of deleting a post about lifejacket safety, the admins could have turned the situation around and put an end to those actions that were making the post into a controversy that wasn’t controversial. They could make a rule that users need to be respectful. If they don’t agree with a post on lifejacket safety, then they should refrain from commenting on it.

Here are the group’s rules:


My suggestion for a revision of the rules would read:

  1. Don’t remark about the safety of lifejackets when someone else posts a picture of someone not wearing a lifejacket.
  2. When someone posts about lifejackets and you disagree with the post, don’t comment.
  3. We reserve the right to delete a post because of safety issues.

The problem with groups deleting safety posts is that it becomes a de facto endorsement of the other side’s opinion. And, in kayaking or any other watersport, safety is of the utmost importance because kayaking takes place in an environment that once entered could kill you. Having rules that mute the talk of safety could increase the likelihood of accidents and the transfer of important knowledge, especially for those participants new to the sport or those suffering from Dunning-Kruger. It also encourages one side to show further disrespect of the other across the entire paddling community. That isn’t healthy. If there’s a problem, it isn’t because of the topic; it’s because of the participants. The rules should reflect that by banning disrespectful behavior and encouraging good conversations.

I enjoy the Church of the Double-Bladed Paddle. I hope that they revise their rules to encourage respect, instead of disencouraging conversations about lifejackets. In the meantime, if I want to engage in a respectful conversation about safety, I’m heading over to Inland Seas, Kayaking the Great Lakes.

The post Safety-shaming says, “Say it ain’t so.” The Coach’s eye says, “You messed up.” appeared first on You can leave a comment by clicking here: Safety-shaming says, “Say it ain’t so.” The Coach’s eye says, “You messed up.”.

by Bryan Hansel at May 26, 2016 06:51 pm


Nuevo curso Técnico Deportivo Nivel I en Piragüismo en Cádiz

El curso se prolongará desde el 20 de Mayo hasta el 8 de Julio, se llevará a cabo en El Puerto de Santa María y Arcos. Esta es la Covocatoria y esta la carga lectiva. 

20 h Generalidades, Metodología y Didáctica
5 h Reglamento
5 h Acondicionamiento Físico
10 h Técnica Básica de Aguas Bravas
10 h Técnica básica de Aguas Tranquilas
10 h Técnica básica de Kayak Polo
5 h Organización de eventos
10 h Técnica básica de Kayak de mar
10 h Seguridad en la práctica del piragüismo
15 h h Iniciación al guiado

by Jose Bello ( at May 26, 2016 07:45 pm


Il nostro kit di riparazione...

Per assemblare il kit di riparazione, io ho cominciato dalla mollette (quelle piccole nella scatolina di plastica e quelle colorate dotate di un elastico incorporato). Col passare del tempo, ho aggiunto un po' di tutto, senza una vera logica, dal filo per cucire alla chiave combinata (della misura giusta per le viti del mio seggiolino basculante!).
Quando ho conosciuto Mauro ho capito l'importanza di un kit funzionale e razionale.
Non sapevo ancora dell'esistenza del nastro americano, il nastro adesivo telato conosciuto nel resto del mondo come duct tape, utilissimo per le più svariate riparazioni, specie per le falle nello scafo.
Partiamo sempre con una grande scorta di quel nastro argentato: è diventato quasi un amuleto.
Tutti gli oggetti sono riposti in bustine di plastica separate, come nel kit di primo soccorso, e per gli stessi motivi. La scelta dei pezzi che compongono il nostro kit è stata dettata dalla necessità di risolvere i problemi che nel corso degli anni si sono presentati con maggiore frequenza.
Consigliamo comunque di personalizzare il proprio kit di riparazione in ragione del viaggio che si vuole intraprendere...

Tutte (o quasi) le cose che stiviamo nel kit di riparazione...
Il kit di riparazione di Mauro alla prova di tenuta d'acqua (durante il Sicilia kayak tour 2015)
Ecco cosa inseriamo nel nostro kit di riparazione:
Luci chimiche notturne
Moschettoni vari di riserva
Penna, pennarello e matita
Chiave combinata per viti esagonali (della misura necessaria!)
Cacciavite e mini-cacciavite per riparazioni di precisione
Coppiglie di riserva per le ruote del carrellino (se ne è dotato)
Attrezzo multiuso pieghevole e da montagna
Filo per cucine resistente e aghi da tessuto
Tela e colla per riparare la tenda ed il materassino gonfiabile
Elastici e cime di varie misure (adatte all’attrezzatura in uso)
Nastro adesivo telato (detto americano o duct tape)
Denso tape (in foto argentato) e nastro bituminoso (in foto marrone scuro)
Stucco epossidico bi-componente
Colla neoprene
Colla forte

by Tatiana Cappucci ( at May 26, 2016 04:29 pm

Il nostro kit di primo soccorso...

Ogni volta che partiamo per un viaggio, più o meno lungo, ma anche ogni volta che usciamo in kayak per un'escursione giornaliera, stiviamo sempre nel terzo gavone, per averlo a portata di mano anche in navigazione, il nostro kit di primo soccorso.
E' una buona regola per pagaiare sicuri: non siamo mai sicuri di poter evitare tutti i pericoli, ma almeno siamo sicuri di poter contenere le conseguenze - prevedibili ma evitabili - di ogni attività all'aria aperta che, come la nostra, comporta una certa soglia di rischio.
Portiamo con noi tutto l'occorrente per disinfettare, medicare, suturare e se necessario anche trattare una frattura, risolvere un principio di ipotermia o una patologia più seria. In genere, sappiamo cosa fare (e come farlo!) ogni qual volta dovessero rendersi necessari degli interventi di primo soccorso (fino alla rianimazione cardiopolmonare): abbiamo seguito un corso di BLS (Basic Life Support), e anche una serie di corsi di First Aid di uno e più giorni, e ci teniamo sempre aggiornati!
Preferiamo avere ognuno il proprio kit di primo soccorso, stivato nel proprio kayak e con i medicinali adatti alle proprie patologie. Usiamo l'accortezza di riporre ogni cosa in bustine di plastica, sia per tenere tutto separato ed ordinato, sia soprattutto per evitare che si bagni nel caso la sacca stagna dovesse riempirsi d'acqua... ed anche per evitare che l'accidentale fuoriuscita di liquidi o pomate possa impiastricciare tutto il resto!

Il kit di primo soccorso di Tatiana al controllo periodico... 
I nostri quattro kit di primo soccorso e di riparazione...
Ecco come organizziamo il nostro kit di primo soccorso:
Garze e bende di varie dimensioni
Cerotti resistenti all’acqua
Steril-strip per suture
Laccio emostatico
Bisturi monouso
Guanti in lattice
Disinfettante per le mani (conosciuto come gel igienizzante)
Cotone idrofilo (una confezione compressa in un barattolino)
Acqua ossigenata
Protezione solare
Telo termico (detto anche coperta di sopravvivenza)
Forbici di vario tipo (da quelle pieghevoli a quelle per tagliare i tessuti)
Aloe vera o altro antinfiammatorio per dolori muscolari
Sofargen o altro antibiotico per la profilassi delle ustioni
Pasticche di vario genere per le patologie personali esistenti o prevedibili
Nota: le ultime tre voci sono dettate dalle sintomatologie personali – ogni medicinale andrà scelto e stivato in ragione delle condizioni di salute specifiche della singola persona!
Se i farmaci richiedono una prescrizione medica, portarne una copia in viaggio semplifica le cose…

by Tatiana Cappucci ( at May 26, 2016 04:29 pm

BCU 3* course in Bergeggi: an international meeting!

E' stato un corso multilingue, un po' in italiano, un po' in francese e tanto in inglese!
Il gruppo era molto variegato: Denyse è arrivata dalla Svizzera, Uschi dalla Germania, Luigi da Brescia, Max da Parma e Claudia da Pisa... ed il corso è stato davvero speciale, pieno di risate ed esercizi e chiacchiere e pagaiate!
Grazie alla calorosa ospitalità di Costantino ed Angelo, i titolari del centro Winter Kayak, abbiamo potuto usufruire per tre giorni consecutivi dell'accogliente struttura dello stabilimento balneare Bagni Stella Maris (peraltro privo di barriere architettoniche e con un comodo parcheggio retrostante).
Le previsioni meteorologiche non lasciavano ben sperare, invece abbiamo trovato tre splendide giornate di sole pieno e ci siamo tutti abbronzati parecchio (anche se a strisce, come al solito!)
Abbiamo iniziato un po' indecisi e titubanti, per via del mare leggermente mosso e delle onde un tantino aggressive, ma dopo tre giorni abbiamo finito pieni di entusiasmo e voglia di navigare.

Claudia sorridente all'imbarco nei pressi dei Bagni Stella Maris...
Denyse si sta preparando
L'entusiasmo di Denyse è davvero contagioso!
Primi esercizi di balance (fuori dal syllabus della British Canoeing!)
Altri esercizi di edging, questo sconosciuto, durante il corso 3* British Canoeing...
I kayak pronti per l'ultima giornata con Giuseppe (e forse ho trovato i miei occhiali ideali!)
Bergeggi in tutto il suo splendore
Uschi è sempre molto rilassata, anche quando il temporale s'avvicina... 
Giuseppe istruisce Max sul traino di due kayak zatterati...
Il rientro impegnativo sotto Capo Noli spazzato dal vento durante le prove di 4* leadership...
L'occasione ce l'ha fornita Giuseppe, che deciso a diventare un 4* Leader quanto prima, ci ha raggiunti il lunedì mattina per organizzare una pagaiata fino a Capo Noli: l'obiettivo della giornata aggiuntiva era quello di lavorare sulle sue capacità di conduzione del gruppo e le condizioni meteo-marine si sono rivelate perfette!
Onda lunga all'andata e vento forte al ritorno, con una serie di "calcolati imprevisti" lungo il percorso: la perdita di un tappo del gavone e la sua pronta sostituzione con materiale di recupero, il mal di mare di un partecipante ed un principio di ipotermia contrastato con abbigliamento tecnico adeguato, la riparazione di una falla del kayak in alto mare, il salvataggio di più di un kayaker con tecniche di risalita differenti, il triplo traino in linea di due kayak zatterati sulla via del ritorno...
Tutto per testare la prontezza d'intervento di Giuseppe, che ha dato prova di grande determinazione, attenzione e voglia di crescere!
"Ho imparato più oggi che negli ultimi 10 anni" ha esclamato uno del gruppo all'arrivo!
p.s.: mi è piaciuto leggere il resoconto di Max sul sul blog "Sound of kayak"

by Tatiana Cappucci ( at May 26, 2016 02:58 pm
Kajak, Foto,Friluftsliv


Andra paret KEEN som går sönder, hela sulan lossnar

. Är typ 2-3 år gamla. Märkligt att de är så dåliga…


by Bengt Larsson at May 26, 2016 01:19 pm

May 25, 2016

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.

The Lost World of Shi Shi Beach

The Washington coastline has some unbelievable vistas to offer. Truly one of the few places were you can have a beach all to yourself. I’ve been fortunate enough to have seen much of it from the seat of a kayak which allowed me to get to tucked away seldom visited spots. But don’t confuse ease of access with beauty. Shi Shi Beach is proof that you can have both. A short drive from Port Angeles and an even shorter hike will drop you in this gem.

Shi Shi Beach


Behind the Photo

Brad and I had hiked down the Point-of-Arches just to revisit the spot where had camped for a few days in an attempt to capture the Super Moon. Considering the time of the year the weather was as good as you could ever ask for. In other words, at least we were getting some breaks between the winter squalls that were moving through the area.

But don’t confuse ease of access with beauty. Shi Shi beach is proof that you can have both.

On the return hike back to Shi Shi Beach where the trail head meets the beach this shot caught my eye. First I loved the fact that I felt like I was one of the characters in Sir Conan Doyle’s ‘The Lost World’. Granted different continents but the feeling of being the first in such a raw place was undeniable.

Secondly, I was captivated by the numerous shades of blue that met my eye. From the rich cobalt blue of the wave in the foreground to the last seastack lost in a misty blue-grey. I have no doubt that this contributed to that feeling of being the discover of a ‘Lost World’.

Shi Shi Beach

Shi Shi Beach is part of the Olympic National Park and has been since 1976. The quickest way to reach the beach is from Neah Bay. It’s an easy day trip but I’d recommend staying at least a night or two to really take advantage of the photo opportunities. Weather can be fickle anytime of the year and you need to be aware of the tides least you find yourself ‘stuck’ waiting for the ebb.


The post The Lost World of Shi Shi Beach appeared first on Essex Media & Explorations.

by Steve Weileman at May 25, 2016 03:35 pm

Mountain and Sea Scotland
Hillwalking and Sea Kayaking in Scotland

A long brawl in Loch Sween

 From our stop on Danna we headed across to the mouth of Loch Sween, reluctantly leaving an exploration of the MacCormaig Islands for another time.  A breeze helped us on our way but we knew that the northerly direction would be against us as we paddled up the length of Loch Sween.

 And indeed it was, a persistent headwind against which we tried to tack, but eventually we had to drop the sails and just accept the paddle into wind.  Out tacking leg did take us to the eastern shore of the loch though, where the rather impressive ruin......

 ...of Castle Sween occupies a small outcrop on the shore.  Possibly one of the oldest stone built castles in Scotland, Castle Sween is believed to date from around 1100 and was built by the eponymous Suibhne,  head of the half-Norse clan of the MacSweens - the Norse equivalent name is Sweinson. 

 The castle was enlarged in around 1262 to add a range and tower, and in its long existence  has seen its share of the "long brawl" of Scottish history, having been held by the MacSweens, the MacDonald Lords of the Isles, the MacNeills (another half-Norse clan) and the Campbells.

Sadly, these days it is almost entirely besieged by a large caravan park; it was actually quite difficult to frame photographs which didn't include the caravans.

 Having paddled past the castle we headed back to the western side of Loch Sween to try and find a little less headwind for our own "long brawl" up the loch.  The gorse had recently come into full bloom and matched the "Kokatat Mango Yellow" of Douglas' drysuit quite nicely!  In the sunshine and a calm patch of shore the scent of coconut filled the air, the distinctive smell of gorse flowers however unlikely  a tropical scent seems in Scotland...

In the narrow channel behind Taynish Island the tide was running strongly, fished by this Otter which seemed oblivious to the passing of our boats.

 On the shore is a rather nice circular crenellated building which seems to have once been a waiting room for boat passengers for nearby Taynish House; a small but well made pier is just adjacent.

 as we neared the end of our journey there was a nice coincidence; we met a couple in an open boat with whom we'd spoken as we prepared to set out from Carsaig Bay at the very start of our trip four days previously.  They had very kindly kept an eye on both cars we'd left - a gesture we really appreciated. 

 A little ahead of Mike and Douglas, I was able to very slowly get within camera range of this Great Northern Diver (Gavia immer).  Mostly a winter visitor to Scottish waters, a few non-breeding individuals remain on northern coasts, and it was a real thrill to see one of these shy and retiring birds close to, and in breeding plumage.

Although we'd had a long day per mare and per terram since starting out some eight hours previously from Cruib Lodge, it was with some reluctance we paddled into Tayvallich to end a simply exceptional four days around Jura.  The weather had allowed us to enjoy to the full the delights of the island's west coast and into Loch Tarbert - we felt truly lucky. 

After recovering the shuttle car from Carsaig Bay we packed up and headed home; another trip was at an end....but we hope to be back to Jura before too long!

by Ian Johnston ( at May 25, 2016 02:07 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.

A ferry glide across the Sound of Jura

No sooner had we launched into Tarbert Bay than we came across this otter. Tony and I had seen it in exactly the same spot a year previously. We now set off to paddle across the Sound of Jura. We had set off from Carsaig Bay some 14km to the NE and the SW going tide was now well into its third hour of ebb. There was hardly any wind but it was forecast to get up to F5 from the  north in the

by Douglas Wilcox ( at May 25, 2016 12:27 pm

Time stands still in Loch Sween

The mouth of Loch Sween is guarded by the grim walls of the remains of Castle Sween which... one of the oldest stone castles in Scotland. I have used a great deal of artistic licence in the composition of these photos as nowadays the castle is besieged on all sides on land by serried rows of modern caravans. Little is known of the origins of the castle but it is believed to date from

by Douglas Wilcox ( at May 25, 2016 10:23 am

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.

The Old Man of Storr: a real-life, ancient and "alien" landscape...or the thumb of a giant?

It's an "alien" landscape and topography...but in a most magical, mysterious, and completely enchanting way. Located on the Trottornish Ridge of the Isle of Skye, the Old Man of Storr is a 50-metre high geological formation that defies the imagination. A very, very long time ago, the land around it began to "slip" away towards the sea.

The more durable composition of the "Old Man's" geology (and the other vertical pinnacles and spires) have allowed it to remain, still resisting the massive forces of time and erosion. 

Driving north, from Portree, we could see the formations from the highway, still at some distance away. 

By the time Joan, Linda, and I arrived at the trailhead, rain and cloud had begun to envelop the landscape. 

Reaching the "Old Man", after 45 minutes of climbing, "he" had almost vanished in the clouds, and frequent squalls of horizontal rain.

Other hikers would come and go, suddenly materialising out of the swirling mists, and disappearing just as quickly.

But we'd seen him, the legendary "Old Man", and even taken shelter in the lee of his ancient body.

The geologist's reasoning makes sense...but there's another explanation for the Old Man's presence. Local folklore includes many stories of giants, fairies, goddesses, and spirits. Could it have been that it was the giants who moved into place the massive Standing Stones, and created the timeless and haunting Stone Circles? 

Perhaps, as one legend suggests, the "Old Man" is the thumb of a giant who fell dead, and was buried in the earth, here on the Isle of Skye? Ah, not so "alien", after all.

Maybe...yes, just maybe. This is, after all, a country that is truly a place of magic, mystery, and completely believable stories and tales. ;)

by Duncan and Joan ( at May 25, 2016 08:52 am

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

Ny krise – nesten. Nordnorsk service.

Da jeg her om dagen var på denne turen, viste jeg til Eirin (foran) den smarte sikkerhetslina jeg har fast i vesten, som snurrer seg selv opp og dermed ikke er i veien. Kameraet har jeg i vestlommen, trygt fast i sikkerhetslina hvis den skulle glippe.

Eller for å si det som jeg skrev til Alfa Fritid nylig, etter turen:
«Heia! Sist æ va ute og padla så viste æ fram den sjenniale løsninga med den T-reign-dingsen som sikra kameraet, sånn at æ kan tør å ha det i vestlommen. Kjempepraktisk. "Og så når æ går på land og tar av vesten, så gjør æ berre sånn her" sa æ, og sku vise kor lett det va å klipse den løs ved behov. Men det va det ikkje, nåkka va feil. Og det viste seg å være at den eine tingen knekte, nemlig. Veldig upassanes tidspunkt spør du mæ, æ va jo midt i reklamen.»

Her er sånn T-Reign-dings, min nederst. Det var jo litt krise at denne var ødelagt, så jeg gikk rett inn på hjemmesiden til Alfa Fritid som den var kjøpt hos, for å se om han fortsatt hadde slike. Det hadde han – både reserve den delen som var knekt, men også hoveddelen – men i tre forskjellige størrelser!

Videre til Alf:
«Men, så har jo du heldigvis nye dingsa man kan kjøpe, til og med de smådingsan som den tingen knekte på kan kjøpes for seg sjøl. (Nu har æ skjønt koffør, også.) Men selvføøølgelig, så finnes den i forskjellige størrelsa! Og korsen veit æ ka slags størrelse æ har? Passa klipsetingen på alle størrelsan? Og hvis æ ska ha ny berre den hovedtingen som heng på vesten, med selve snurropptråden inni, korsen av de e det æ ska bestille for å få den samme som æ har? Det einaste æ veit e at den ikkje e svart, den e sånn gråblåish.

Det va dagens puzzle fra mæ. Æ må ha ny sånn, for ellers så forsvinn det kameraet fortar enn Svint.

PS. Ellers e æ steike fornøyd med den tingen, nu må det jo være straks et år sia æ kjøpte den, og den heng fast på vesten og brukes hver gang æ padla (og rulla, og alt). Minus når æ har glemt kamera. Det skjer, men ikkje ofte. Og den snurringa inni e like sterk enda! Æ e søkkimponert! Har hatt en sånn snurreting før og den hadde ikkje lange levetida. Nesten et år og den e like god, det e ikkje verst! Ja, bortsett fra den knekte tingen da, men plast e plast så det sei æ ingenting på. En sånn her bør alle ha.»

Så kommer det fra mannen som er av litt færre ord enn meg kan man si:

«Gode Gud for en regle..... :-)
Tar med både dingser og deler så møtes vi på Sortland i morra kveld!

«Ja, det sku vær passelig! He he.»
 (Butikken holder altså til i Tromsø, som ifølge Naf e drøyt fem timers kjøring.)

Så sovnet jeg for natten og glemte jeg av hele greia, dagen som kom var travel. Til plutselig utpå kvelden ringer telefonen, helt uten at jeg venter telefon.

«Alfa Fritid» står det på telefonen som dirrer. (Det skal være usagt om det er av skrekk, spenning eller annet – den dirret i hvert fall.)

Det var Alf som var i Kåringen (en time unna). Med seg hadde han både klipsetingen og hovedtingen, og den siste i to forskjellige størrelser.

Hvordan er det med dere sørpå som har slike outlets og varehus og hele landets kajakkbutikker, har dere sånn service? Det har vi. Denne er riktignok en del timers biltur unna vanligvis, men dog. En times tid etterpå møtte jeg Alfabutikken ved Rema, og utstyret er i orden igjen. :)

Og når det gjelder selve dingsen, er jeg altså strålende fornøyd. Etter ett års bruk med den hengende i vesten til omtrent enhver tid, ser den fortsatt nesten like fin ut. Den snurrer inn lina like godt fremdeles. Jeg har størrelse small som er stort nok for meg, for jeg har uansett ikke lengre armer enn den lina er. Men for større personer og bavianer så finnes det altså to varianter som er større enn min, med lengre snurresnor.

Såkalt heavy-duty retractable gear tether. Anbefales definitivt herfra.
Det samme gjelder Alfa Fritid.
(Ikke at han kjørte ens ærend hit for å levere meg tingen, men likevel. Det hadde sikkert heftet mindre å slenge den i posten, og mange ville nok heller gjort det.)

by Miamaria Padlemia ( at May 25, 2016 12:18 am

May 24, 2016
Kajak, Foto,Friluftsliv

Finlir med segel

Paddlade/seglade någon timme på Mälaren. Har ändrat lite på vinklar mm på seglet. Idag provkörde jag att gå upp i vind, blir kanske ingen riktig kryss men en liten bit kan man ändå gå upp.

by Bengt Larsson at May 24, 2016 07:47 pm

Mountain and Sea Scotland
Hillwalking and Sea Kayaking in Scotland

A brew and a banjo

As we cleared Tarbert Bay we picked up a tiny breeze and hoisted our sails to get some assistance across the Sound of Jura.......

...but it soon died and we paddled on in a flat calm in hazy but very warm conditions.  To the south, the Kintyre peninsula and the outline of Cara were just visible, reminding of us of a great October trip around Gigha and Cara

We expected to be set to the south as we crossed the sound of Jura and so headed north along the Jura coast before striking out across the sound.  The tidal flow is stronger towards the east (mainland) side of the channel and we felt the push as we passed arraig and Daimh (Stag rock).  The Knapdale coast hereabouts is a series of low "fingers" projecting south and it's quite difficult to distinguish one "finger" from another.  Soon though we turned to land...... a sandy bay on the tidal "island" of Danna.  We all felt that this little bay was something of an anticlimax after the superb beaches of Jura......

...but as the sun came out and we got our second breakfast underway, the feeling was a bit more positive......'s amazing what a "brew" of tea and a bacon & egg "banjo" can achieve!

When we set out from Danna we looked back over the Sound of Jura to the island which had granted us to us an outstanding few days of sea kayaking in magnificent surroundings - it will not be too long until we return.

 A plan to visit the MacCormaig Islands was reluctantly abandoned given that time was marching on and we all had long journeys home once we finished the paddling.  Turning north, we began the last leg of our journey.

by Ian Johnston ( at May 24, 2016 07:12 pm

Océanos de Libertad

Retomando nuestro camino...el rio Ara

Acabo de ver este video que grabé y edité en el 2010...ufff ...en 6 años ha habido bodas, hemos tenido crios, hemos dejado apartado el kayak...pero ahora gracias a los Castores del Alberche retomamos con ilusión nuestra pasión por las aguas bravas....
Parece mentira que "jovencitos" y que guapo sale el Isma....jajaja!!!

Y ahora contando los días para Ara!!

by Jorge López ( at May 24, 2016 04:12 pm

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

Justine is in Da House!

Well, not in our house, but in Paula and Bernie's house in Sooke. Yesterday, award-winning adventure filmaker/kayaker Justine Curgenven landed in Sooke on Day 26 of her solo circumnavigation of Vancouver Island, taking advantage of Paula's offer fof some home cooking and a place other than the ground to sleep on. Louise and I were planning to visit them anyway this holiday Monday, so our visit coincided with Justine's landing at nearby Whiffen Spit. After transporting Justine's gear the 10 minute drive to the house, the conversation almost immediately turned to how one performs certain bodily functions in a kayak. That's always a sure sign that you're in for a fun afternoon. And the ice cream hadn't even come out yet. Justine is a pleasure to visit with, and quick to release her infectious trademark cackle. Check out these grins if you don't believe me.
_MG_0139 copy

You can follow Justine's paddle on Facebook, and check out her award-winning kayak films on her website.

by (John Herbert) at May 24, 2016 02:00 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!)

Out For A Sail on the Schooner Adirondack!

I'd hoped to finish off weekend-before-last-Sunday's fun, we did something cool after the conservatory garden, but that one I actually want to write a little something about, and work hasn't really been cooperating with leaving me enough time and energy to do that, so instead, here are some nice pictures from Saturday the 14th when TQ and I went on a boat (I'm on a boat!). I'm under doctor's orders not to paddle until the end of May, but there's no trouble in going out for a ride on a nice schooner, so we did. It was a gorgeous day, Capt. Kat was driving, it was great to catch up with her, and we had an absolutely splendid sail. We got a special treat in that the Transat Bakerly race fleet was beginning to arrive, and the first arrivals were slated to have some exhibition racing off the Battery; we were a little too early for the actual racing (the next Adirondack sail was going to have a great show!) but we did get to see some of the giant multihulls prowling about the Upper Harbor, which was very cool. I'd forgotten to put a card in my camera, but TQ had his phone along so we took turns with that; some of these are mine, some are his. We splurged on steak at the Knickerbocker Grill in the Village afterwards and all in all it was just a spectacular day!

OK - I just can't resist a little plug here - I admit to being horribly biased (I'm still proud to have been part-time crew on the Adirondack for 5 seasons, loved it!), but seriously, if you're looking for the pleasantest possible way to take a trip out on the harbor, whether you're a visitor yourself, or a lcoal looking for something fun and a little out-of-the-ordinary to do with out-of-town guests, you just can't beat Classic Harbor Lines.  

by (bonnie) at May 24, 2016 05:39 am

May 23, 2016


Entrenador Deportivo de Piragüismo

Este fin de semana curso en El Puerto de Santa María, Entrenador Deportivo en Piragüismo I.

Es una alegría constatar el interés creciente que existe en la cualificación técnica en este deporte, a pesar del esfuerzo que supone esta formación para los alumnos, que en muchos casos viven a a bastante distancia de aquí.

Son diez asignaturas en una configuración de formato semipresencial con clases en el fin de semana, comprimiendo muchas horas en pocos días.

Afortunadamente el uso de plataformas de formación, nos permiten trabajar on line, desde casa, con un contacto permanente entre profesor y alumnos.

by Jose Bello ( at May 23, 2016 06:44 pm

Océanos de Libertad

Fin de semana de cursos de formación con kayakAventur

¡¡ Javi Pro !!
Curso de esquimo en Picadas.

Culebra de agua en Picadas...
Javi Troncha al ver la culebra!!!...bueno no, esta foto era del finde anterior en el Alberche...pero da el pego ;-)

Pues si, este fin de semana nos ha tocado hacer de profe aprovechando que los niveles del rio ya son "tolerables" para bajar con clientes...el Alberche es un rio estrecho con muchas ramas y he ahí donde radica su mayor problema, pues con caudales altos, las posibilidades de que un cliente tenga algún encuentro con la vegetación de ribera son altas, es por ello que primando la seguridad, preferimos bajar cuando la fuerza del Alberche ha menguado. Gracias a por confiar en mi en estos dos cursos...el sábdo sesión de esquimos en el embalse de Picadas y el domingo descenso guiado en el rio Alberche a su paso por Navaluenga.

El grupo en el Alberche

Por cierto tanto mi "jefe" David como yo, queremos agradecer a Javi Encinas de que nos acompañara...¡Nos hiciste el descenso más agradable y ameno!



A este galapago alberchero le gusto la Katana de Ophion paddles...jajaja

by Jorge López ( at May 23, 2016 06:09 pm
Cycling, sea kayaking and life in the Scottish highlands

The Training Works - First Race of 2016

Photo: Triquetra Photography / Stuart Gillespie
Some of you will know I'm training for my first Ironman ("and your last", says Liz), writing about the experience in a separate blog here.

Yesterday was the first test of almost eight months of winter training and I'm pleased with the results. I took part in the LochLoMan Triathlon, a middle distance event with a 1.2ml swim, 53mile bike and 13ml run.  That's roughly a half-Ironman distance.

I knocked 16 minutes off my previous half-ironman time at Lanzarote, improving in the splits in all three disciplines.

I ran the half-marathon in under two hours, a personal best and something I've hitherto been unable to achieve in competition.

But still I can't get a helmet to sit square on my skull!  Thanks to Stuart Gillespie of Triquetra Photography who took all these great photos of the event for capturing my wonky head...

The run was surprising because, since twisting my ankle last October, I haven't run much all winter, certainly nothing over 6ml.  The last time I ran 13 miles was at the Lanzarote Ironman 70.3 in September and that took 2hr 9min.  However, my coach Joe Beer has had me deep water running in the pool and every bike session has been followed by a short session on my feet - either walking or jogging.  Clearly it paid off.

The swim was 10.7C so neoprene caps, gloves and booties were mandatory.  I wore two pairs of booties and my Zone 3 neoprene vest under my wetsuit plus some ear-plugs.  Swimming every week through the winter in Loch Sunart clearly paid off because at no time did I feel cold.  The extra neoprene might have slowed me down, but the gloves worked like mini-paddles and improved my catch.  However, low morning sun made sighting an issue.  Take a look at the GPS track below - we swam anti-clockwise.  

The first two sides of the 'square' were fine, but during the SE short side, close to the shallow coast, it was almost impossible to see the buoy even though it was huge!  second time around, when my goggles had really steamed up, I just followed the middle of the pack in front and hoped they could see where they were swimming.


My two trips to recce the bike course paid dividends because I knew to pace myself on the hills and then give it full gas back down Glen Fruin.

With 4,900ft of ascent it has more vertical climbing than the full Ironman I've entered!  I was overdressed in my Castelli Gabba whereas most other riders were fine in Tri suits.

The forecast at 4:30am had predicted some heavy downpours which in the end we were lucky to escape.

I don't think the Gabba was a mistake, I was just a little unlucky, and at no time did I overheat.

Incidentally, the bike route had more climbing in it than I'll face on my full Ironman.  It was a rather hilly course.

Then came the run - two loops of out-and-back.  The front runners experienced quite a few problems because a second event put up their signage which directed the leaders of our event off our route and onto theirs.  I believe this caused the organisers a lot of stress on what would otherwise have been a good event.  It probably meant some lead runners didn't make the podium, but the course had been described in detail in the athletes notes for which I had been able to complete a full recce.

There were niggles about the event, but nothing more than that.  I'd certainly do it again.

* The run Aid Stations were not located where the athletes notes said they would be - at the turn around points - they were some distance before.  One was missing altogether.
* One of the turn around points was so badly marked lots of runners missed it, me included.
* Those Aid Stations did not have the goodies that were promised and which I'd expect form other races - no pre-mixed energy drinks and no gels (warned about the day before the event by email).  Instead it was water, coke, bananas, biscuits and cake-things.  I was pleased to be self-reliant and only took water.
* There was an assumption that "it's all in the athletes' notes", when it wasn't.

As I say these were niggles, not complaints, and points from which I learnt.  Indeed, I learnt an awful lot from the event, so much that  I've written a detailed debrief to myself, one you really don't want to read.

by Simon Willis ( at May 23, 2016 01:42 pm


Montaña en Madeira

Mayo es un hermoso mes para disfrutar lo mucho que ofrece Madeira. En este caso montaña,

by Jose Bello ( at May 23, 2016 12:25 pm

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

May 22nd - Bewell Harbour (#39)

I took the SUP ATX paddleboard for a short trip in Bedwell Harbour while we were staying at Ainslie Point Cottage with Jack and Mary. I went from the dock out to the beach by the parks campsite. The wind was quite strong in my face on the way out, making it slow progress, but by the time I was on my way back the wind had dropped so I did not get the advantage of a push! No batteries in the GPS as I accidentally left it on, so the track is created manually...
Click to enlarge
3 km, YTD 401 km

by Mike J ( at May 23, 2016 11:11 am

May 20& 23 _ Cadboro Bay (#38)

I used the inflatable Jimmy Stix Puffer SUP to get to and from Natural C-lection on its mooring in preparation for our Pender trip. It works quite well as a vehicle for getting from the boat to shore for one person!
1km, YTD 398 km

by Mike J ( at May 23, 2016 11:02 am

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

Muddbyte på torrdräkten

latexmudd-byteI Kokatat Neck Gasket Tutorial visar Kokat hur man byter halsmudden på sin torrdräkt. Latexmuddarna har begränsad hållbarhet och behöver bytas med jämna mellanrum.

Vi har hittills lämnat in våra torrdräkter när det varit dags för byte av halsmuddar, handledsmuddar och andra reparationer. Vi har tejpat några sömmar med ny tejp och lagat nåt hål med liquisole men för det mesta fått hjälp. Har lämnat in på dykbutiker i de flesta fall och någon gång har vi skickar dräkterna till england för mer ordentlig genomgång och provtryckning.

Det mesta får att göra själv med lite tid,  pyssel och en kanske en instruktionsvideo 🙂

Inlägget Muddbyte på torrdräkten dök först upp på kajaknördar - paddling verkar kul.

by Erik Sjöstedt at May 23, 2016 07:52 am

May 22, 2016

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.

An unarmed portage across the Tarbert of Jura

After landing at the head of the inner part of West Loch Tarbert, Jura our first priority was breakfast. We then set off on the 1.9km crossing which is 26m high but involves 40m of ascent. I was using the prototype KCS Easy-Haul Harness (which I have already reviewed here) and Mike and Ian were using portage slings with short contact tow lines to attach the sling to the kayak. Straight away

by Douglas Wilcox ( at May 22, 2016 05:05 pm

Mountain and Sea Scotland
Hillwalking and Sea Kayaking in Scotland

Per mare per terram - across an island

 We slept well at Cruib Lodge, waking at at 0500.  After packing our boats and tidying the bothy ready for the next visitors we were pleased to be on the water as planned by 0600.  Unusually for us, first breakfast was postponed in order to get to the head of Loch Tarbert at high water.  The last morning of our Jura adventure began with a searingly bright sunrise......

 ...and a lovely quality of early morning light.  There was no sign of life on the yacht anchored in the bay, the only sounds were the dip of our paddles and the distinct calls of shorebirds creating a slight echo from the hills surrounding the middle part of the loch.

 The channel connecting the middle section of West Loch Tabert with the hidden inner section is called the Cumhann Beag (Little Narrow) and that just about sums up this unlikely passage.  The entrance is very difficult to see and the passage itself is more like a canal than a channel.  Tidal streams can run at up to 8 knots (16 km/h) on Spring tides, one of the main reasons we'd started so early was to get the last of the flood through here.

The stream was still pushing though as we paddled the narrows; remarkably in this age of digital charts and maps when everything would seem to be well explored, the first survey of the Cumhann Beag was only undertaken in 2006 and even that may not be comprehensive.  The inner loch was historically used as a concealing base for longships and their Scottish equivalent, the Birlinns of sea raiders.  It's more peaceful today but remains a challenging anchorage for adventurous yachtsmen.

 This tree growing from the west side of the channel clearly shows that it's not always calm in this part of the world!

 We reached the head of inner Loch Tarbert right on the time of high water, although the tide actually rose for some 40 minutes after this.  We were pleased to have avoided having to carry the boats over the mud which is revealed at lower states of the tide - this day was going to be energetic enough without an additional "plowter" through sticky mud!

The most important priority was to get tea and coffee brewed, after which our belated first breakfast was taken.  Then we rigged our boats for the next stage of the journey and changed out of drysuits into walking gear.

Between Loch Tarbert and Tarbert Bay, the island of Jura is less than 2km wide.  The name "Tarbert" is found in several places around the west of Scotland and derives from a Norse phrase meaning "draw boat"; a Tarbert being a place where a longship could be hauled overland from one body of water to another.  In at least one place, pulling a boat over a Tarbert was used to gain control over a large area of the mainland following an agreement that a Norse king could claim ownership of anything he could take his longship around!

This amphibious ability would have been most useful to seafarers in case of stormy weather, or as a flanking manoeuvre.  The Norse warbands were true "marine" fighters, using their shallow draught and manoeuvrable ships to access far inland, an amphibious ability which led them from their Scandinavian bases as far as North America, across the Arctic, down the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts of Europe, to the Middle East and even far into Asia via river systems.  The motto "per mare per terram" (by sea and by land) is that of the UK's elite Royal Marines, and sums up this amphibious fighting capability.

 In addition to sea raiding, the Tarbert was used to transport a range of goods and even bodies bound for burial on Iona as it avoided the fast tidal streams of the Corryvreckan and the Sound of Islay which flank Jura to north and south.

We aimed to emulate the Viking example (minus the raping, burning and pillage or course!....) by putting our boats onto the trollies for the 2km pull.  Douglas has been testing an Easy Haul Portage Strap made by Kayak Carrier Systems this year, and it works really well on a long portage such as this.  I tried out an arrangement using the short tow-line attached to the deck of my boat (which is one of those things which can be used in all sorts of ways) attached to a spare portage strap.  Once I'd adjusted for legth I found this worked very well, but is obviously less adjustable than the KCS shoulder strap.

The track across the Jura Tarbert is notoriously rough. The track is bumpy, stony and rises to around 30 metres above sea level before heading down to the east side of the island.  It's a noted destroyer of sea kayak trollies, but I'm pleased to report that our KCS Expedition trollies once again proved their worth; the addition of the rear extension prevented any movement of the trolley beneath the boat and all three made the crossing without a hitch - a truly tough piece of kit.

After crossing the high point of the crossing the track descends to cross the island's only road and enters the narrow strip of good agricultural ground on the east coast.  The underlying rock here is a schist which breaks down into much more fertile soils than the volcanic rocks elsewhere on the island.  It's land which has been farmed and lived on for thousands of years.  This slender 2.5m high standing stone is aligned N-S and is at the end of a low ridge near the remains of a later chapel and burial ground, indicating an ancient, continuing use.

Soon after, we arrived at Tarbert Bay on the east coast of Jura, and although the portage itself had been strenuous, it had presented little difficulty.  The final 10 metres to the sands of Tarbert Bay were another matter altogether though.....

Barring the way to the water was a wide swathe of rotting seaweed which was a calf-deep slime and absolutely stank - quite the worst example I've experienced for years.  We changed into drysuits and paddling boots before attempting this obstacle.  The stench was such that it attacked in a multisensory way and I found myself having to resist the urge to retch as we crossed it six times to move our three boats - fairly minging!  As soon as we reached the water we washed our drysuits and equipment clean of the vile residue.

At last cleaned off, we set out from Tarbert Bay into the Sound of Jura "per mare" for the final leg of our adventure...

by Ian Johnston ( at May 22, 2016 04:27 pm

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

Klubbnaustet – Gjæva med Eirin og Trude

Litt kort varsel, men Trude og Eirin kunne bli med på en liten lørdagstur. Vi møttes ved klubbnaustet, og padlet en kveldstur til Gjæva. Den er en 10 på skjæret-post, og et fint turmål. på kjøreturen bortover var vindusviskerne godt i bruk, men vi fikk fint vær. Litt duskregn nå og da, men hadde vi ikke sett det på overflaten på havet så ville vi ikke visst det, så lite var det.

Endelig fikk jeg et bilde der man ser ordentlig hvordan disse ser ut. De er superkule! De ser ut som kråkeboller med lange pigger, men er ikke i nærheten. Hvis man rører ved dem, så blir de borte og du ser bare et hull i sanden igjen etter dem. Det er vel en form for anemone, som trekker seg inn i sitt gode skinn når den blir skremt. Graver man den opp av sanden så er den bare en skinnfille med sand på – men veldig fin og dekorativ når den står sånn som dette og viser seg fram.

En liten kule fløt i vannet på samme sted som sist, så den måtte sjekkes nærmere. Den hang selvfølgelig i enden på et tau. Men tauet var så fullt av greier atdet var ikke bare å dra det opp for å se hva som er i enden.

Jeg håper ikke det er en teine eller noe annet som står og fisker jevnt. Dette er noe av det som vokste på – som jeg tror er spiselig! Da vet jeg hvor jeg har sånt stående, til jeg blir sulten på sånt.

Siden Eirin har flyttet hit nettopp, lette vi fram en hel masse artige greier på turen. Her ser vi det ikke så lett på bildet, men oppe på øya står en rype og følger vaktsomt med oss. Den fløy litt att og fram og varslet da vi kom. Ikke helt typisk rypeoppførsel slik jeg ellers har sett. Kanskje den hekker her akkurat nå?

Jeg fant meg en flott, lilla kråkebolle (tom sådan), men måtte litt nedi vannet for å få tak i den. Det var også ganske bortkastet, da jeg la den under strikken på kajakken og der knuste den etter hvert…

Som om ikke vi fikk sol og flott vær på turen? Det var silkeføre, rett og slett. 

Her ute ligger Gjæva og venter. Det ser ikke ut for at sauene har blitt satt ut ennå, de pleier å ha noen værer gående her ute.

Eirin fikk straks mer dreis på kajakken når fotstøttene var riktig innstilt. Det er absolutt en fordel å nå dem, så man får sparket godt ifra. 

Endelig framme på Gjæva. Møysalen var litt gjemt i skydekket, men vi vet at den er der.

Det var også en oter her, stakkaren gjemte seg under treplatten her.

Noen måsegg presenterte vi også for den nyinnflyttede. (Og fjernet oss raskt fra øya da vi så at det var reir så nært der vi satt, så måkene fikk hekke videre i fred.)

For første gang i år beit noen på kameratredning uten noe som helst forsøk på unnskyldninger for å slippe. Det var ja tvert fra begge to. Et litt angrende blikk da det bar til stykket og skulle gjøres, men ellerrs lite mukking.

De byttet på, sånn at begge fikk prøvd begge rollene. (Jeg derimot, slapp fint unna med min fotografunnskyldning, he he.)

Begge fikk selvfølgelig bestått, det gikk aldeles kjapt å få dem opp igjen, for begge to. Dette kan vi øve i litt bølger også, uten problemer.

Etter hvert var det blitt såpass sent at vi måtte komme oss i retur, men vi fikk sett på ett og annet på returen også. Når man padler på nokså fjære sjø får man jo sett godt der det er grunt, og i dette området er det mye kråkeboller, sjøstjerner, koraller småfisk og så videre.

Her er cirka rute vi padlet, det ble nok en drøy mil i dag. Passelig for en kveldstur.

En fin tur rett og slett, i trivelig selskap. Takk for turen, damer. :)

by Miamaria Padlemia ( at May 22, 2016 01:41 pm

May 21, 2016

Kollbergs Kajakblogg
Nynäshamn / Stockholm / Sweden

Paddling med Solön

Det är onsdag kväll och tredje och sista tillfället för Solöns nybörjarkurs i havskajakpaddling. Den Dagens sydliga vind är på väg att avta. Efter en kort genomgång lägger vi ut och paddlar upp och under Oscarsbron. Tar oss vidare förbi hamnen. Ett lastfartyg passerar på nära håll. Rundar Örnäsudden och paddlar över till Södra Stegholmen. Vi möter en säl på nära håll. Den tittar nyfiket och försvinner ner i djupet. Vi går i land och äter kvällsmat och småpratar. Pelle berättar att ön för länge sedan användes som avrättningsplats av kungliga flottan. Vi lägger ut och tar oss genom det trånga sundet vid Stora Marskär, förbi Såtholmen och Gårdssundet. Vinden har  avtagit och vi rundar sydspetsen av Inre Gården. En härlig medsjö underlättar paddlingen tillbaka till Nynäs Havsbad. Trötta och nöjda hjälps vi åt med att ta upp kajakerna.

 Tack för en paddeltur med "Bästa Gruppen"...

by Kenneth Kollberg ( at May 21, 2016 02:12 pm

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

Rariteter på andre siden av sundet

Det er gråvær for tiden, og på toppen av det har jeg vakthelg, sånn at helgen er brutt opp i deler med fri. Men det er jo for galt å ikke padle av den grunn – så i dag tok jeg en snartur ut likevel.

Her borte gikk det en eling da jeg satte ut, men jeg satte kursen dit likevel. Planen var rett og slett å ta noen ruller, her som ingen ser meg. Så slipper jeg at det stopper biler og sånt hvis jeg må ut av kajakken. (Det holdt med én gang, ja.)

Den planen slo feil kan man si, for der var det allerede folk! De hadde til og med slått opp et partytelt, så der var de visst tenkt å blir værende kunne det virke som.

Inne på det grunne vannet var det imidlertid kule ting. Sånn som denne grønne kulen! Hva er dette for noe? Jeg har ikke sett en sånn før. En blank gelekule med noe grønt inni. Grønne prikker liksom.

Den var ikke så stor, et par cm i diameter cirka
Oppdatert: Har fått forslag om rognkjeksegg, grønnalge og fjærbørstemark Eulalia viridis sine egg. Det siste stemmer ifølge bilder på nett ganske så bra, så jeg antar at det tipset slo til. Men hva med neste?

Litt lenger bort fant jeg dette her, som jeg heller ikke har sett før. Noen som kjenner igjen dette?

Den var mer sånn her på farge, om ikke enda mørkere. Kameraet ville ikke helt gjengi den som den var. Hva det enn er, så satt det fast til tangen. Så den flere steder. Rar reie.

Tilføyelse. Har nå fått tips om at dette er Clava multicornis. Det kan se ut for å stemme ganske bra.

Litt lenger bort lå dette her. Mye å se under vannflaten i dag, altså. En krabbe og en snegle spiser på et fiskehode. Det var jo i grunnen litt synd at jeg ikke husket å ta med dykkerbrillene, for det kunne vært kult å flyte rundt i overflaten og se.

Men det hadde jeg uansett ikke kunnet gjøre så lenge, for jeg skulle som nevnt på jobb. Men jeg rakk å rulle, og jeg prioriterte den siden jeg velger bort når jeg må ha den til å virke. Uten neseklype, men det var ikke med vilje – den ramlet av mens jeg var under.

Tok en par ruller da jeg kom tilbake også, og de gikk utmerket. Så den er på plass på begge sider for tiden. Bra.

by Miamaria ( at May 21, 2016 11:32 am

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.

In the wake of the dead at dawn through Inner West Loch Tarbert, Jura

HW was at 06:41 and we needed to be in the inner part of West Loch Tarbert as close to HW as possible to avoid a muddy exit and also to be able to paddle through the narrow rocky channel of Cumnann Beag before the spring tide turned against us. There was nothing for it but to rise early and forgo breakfast. We emerged from the bothy at Cruib Lodge, packed the boats in the cold blue predawn

by Douglas Wilcox ( at May 21, 2016 10:25 am

Blog collectif

Fleurs de Riou


Pavot jaune des sables
Calanque de Fontagne

Côte sud
Ile de Riou.
Laurent.  D

by Laurent D. ( at May 21, 2016 07:05 am

May 20, 2016
Kajak, Foto,Friluftsliv

Våren 2016

Några bilder
WK 500 provpaddlad



Smart brygga


Paddlar på g





by Bengt Larsson at May 20, 2016 06:46 pm

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

Klubbpadling Straumen/Hokkabogen

Vi er i gang med klubbpadlingene, sånn høvelig annen hver torsdag. Denne gang var det straks flere med enn de to foregående, faktisk dobbelt så mange. (Enda meldte noen avbud i siste liten. Vi satte ut fra stranda på Holmstad.

Vi hadde med ei som var rimelig fersk i helt ny kajakk, og det var litt vind. Så vi satte ikke kursen direkte mot Straumen og Hokkabogen, men mot neset rett imot stranda, så vi fikk sett ting litt an. 

På andre siden lå det et oppdrettsanlegg i veien. Det har klint det helt inn i fjæra, sånn at det ikke skal gå an å padle lovlig på innsiden.

Da vi rundet neset ble det litt mer vind og bølger, men det så slett ikke verst ut. Ferskingen padlet en av disse nye Tahe-kajakkene, Titris. Den er 58 cm bred, og hadde en ung dame oppi.

Ingen problem altså, vi satte kursen mot posten på andre siden av fjorden. Vinden sto inn fjorden, så det skulle gå greit tilbake til Holmstad uansett. 

Det ble litt bølger, men ingen problemer. En frisk tur over fjorden mens elingene gikk rundt omkring oss. Flott lys til tider, en regnbue og fine greier. Jeg fikk ikke bilde av noe som helst av det, siden kameraet lå hjemme... I likhet med vinterluen, men hjelmen har padding som varmer derfor tok jeg den istedenfor sommercapsen jeg ubetenksomt hadde tatt med istedenfor lua.

På andre siden må det fotograferes dokumenasjon til 10 på skjæret. Her er vi!

Og her er resten! Wenche får såvidt med seg selv også. 

Vi skulle jo helst hatt med alle på ett bilde da, men det var ikke så lett. Her klarer Wenche det uten at hun helt vet det selv. (Mobil i pose og sol, ikke lett å se.)

Så skulle jeg gjøre et forsøk, for å få Wenche også med.

Joda, hun ble jo med… Men det er vel en overdrivelse å kalle bildet skarpt…

Fint lys, blå himmel.

Nå tror jeg kanskje disse bildene kommer litt hulter til bulter, for dette ser da ut som oppdrettsmarkører til venstre? Jaja, vi har padlet her uansett. Tom til venstre, Bent til høyre.

Ferskingen klarte seg utmerket på returen også, selv om sjøen kom fra aktenfor tvers det meste av turen innover. Et par bølger var ganske høye og krappe, så jeg ble slengt litt sideveis. Så det var slett ikke verst prestert. Ny kajakk som må justeres litt sånn at man for eksempel når fotstøttene og får fart på kajakken, så blir det gode greier.

Holmstad-stranda er et fint sted å sette ut, og dra til for å øve på ting. Og når det er vindstille hjemme, kan det godt stå bra med vind innover fjorden her, det må jeg notere meg enda en gang.

Post nr X i boks. (y)

by Miamaria Padlemia ( at May 20, 2016 06:49 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.

Population of Omura Whales Found off Madagascar

One of the downfalls of keeping an eye on issues that affect our oceans is that so often I’m the bearer of bad news. So it’s refreshing to report on something positive for a change. Recently about 80 rare tropical Omura Whales were spotted of the coast of Madagascar.

Omura Whales

Very little is know about this small and rare tropical baleen whale. Male’s average roughly 30 feet with the females measuring about 6 feet longer. In appearance the closely resemble Fin whales and were on of their common names is ‘Dwarf Fin Whale.’ A particular characteristic is that there asymmetrical jaw will be white on the right side and dark gray on the left.

Pieces like this help to remind me that this is a battle worthy of our attention and perhaps still winnable if we act now.

Although they have been observed lunge feeding scientist aren’t sure exactly what their diet includes. It’s assumed that euphausiids and possibly fish are part of the diet, but their rarity makes collection sample data difficult.

Click here to view the embedded video.

New England Aquarium

The New England Aquarium first opened its doors in 1969 and is redefining what it means to be an aquarium. With the help of modern technologies they are not only entertaining the public but educating them on the challenges facing our oceans today.

Dr. Salvatore Cerchio and this team from the New England Aquarium were the ones who observed the large number of Omura Whales. Just the month before he had made news when he released the first video of an Omura Whale from the same region.

Having an unprecedented number of whales present came the team plenty of opportunity to gather both video and audio data including their feeding habits. Also seen and documented was the relationship between Mothers and their calves.


As I mentioned earlier it’s so easy to fall into a ‘gloom-and-doom’ mood when reporting the huge amount of negative news out there facing our oceans. Pieces like this help to remind me that this is a battle worthy of our attention and perhaps still winnable if we act now.


The post Population of Omura Whales Found off Madagascar appeared first on Essex Media & Explorations.

by Steve Weileman at May 20, 2016 03:22 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.

No evidence of book burning or obsessive compulsive behaviour at Cruib Lodge, Jura.

From the great raised beach at the head of outer West Loch Tarbert we set off in a brisk wind...  ...through the narrows at Cumhann Mor which lead into...  ...the middle loch. We were in the last hour of the flood so in addition to the wind we had some tidal assistance. This required some care as the narrows are riddled with rocks.  We took the tidal inside passage behind Eilean Dubh

by Douglas Wilcox ( at May 20, 2016 09:59 am

May 19, 2016

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.

Raising expectations of the stunning raised beaches of West Loch Tarbert, Jura

We paddled on round the west coast of Jura leaving the Sound of Islay behind and entering West Loch Tarbert which nearly bisects the island. On our way we passed many more basalt dykes which ran down the hillside into the sea. This one looked like Chief Running Deer of Jura complete with war bonnet.  At this turquoise lagoon the waters were...  ...crystal clear and we stopped on its...

by Douglas Wilcox ( at May 19, 2016 04:34 pm

Piragüismo San Fernando


 Los días 14-15 de mayo  se ha  celebrado el XXI Cto. de España de Maratón Master en Banyoles-Bañolas.


Empezamos nuestro viaje a Banyoles el jueves día 12 a las 3 de la tarde, salimos de San Fernando hacía Sevilla. El club de piragüismo Triana nos llevaba en un remolque los kayaks. Despues de perdernos por Sevilla una hora por el reloj, llegamos al club y dejamos las piraguas atadas y bien atadas. Les esperaba un largo viaje. Así que les dimos un besito para que no nos echaran de menos. En estos momentos me pregunto por qué he elegido este deporte. Con lo facíl que sería transportar unas zapatillas para hacer atletismo, por ejemplo.

 Al día siguiente viernes 13, para Jerez, al aeropuerto. Viajamos Inés, mi compañera del club, Marga del Mercantil de Sevilla y Mar que es de Huelva. En el aeropuerto, pasar control de equipaje y a esperar.

 Por fin embarcamos en el avión, en Jerez como los famosos, con escalerilla y todo.
Y una gran sorpresa para mi, cuando el avión nos da una vuelta por la bahia. Qué espectáculo tan bonito¡¡¡¡


El Puerto
 El Guadalete
 Cádiz y San Fernando
 San Fernando y Cádiz
Con una cosa y con otra llegamos a la residencia universitaria de Genora donde nos hospedamos a las 11 de la noche, buscamos un sitio para cena, y a la cama, teníamos un día bastante duro por delante.
El día empezaba bien con estas vistas desde la ventana de la habitación.

 Cogimos el coche que habíamos alquilado y salimos para el lago de Bañolas.
 Nos encontramos un gran ambiente en unas instalaciones magnificas.

 Que alegría ver a Jorge Cinto, siempre pendiente de todos.
 Recogimos los dorsales y vimos el recorrido.

 Una organización perfecta.
 Por la mañana todo un espectáculo ver a los senior competir, una maravilla. Luchando por cada segundo.

 Nos juntamos con todos los que habían venido con Triana.

Por fin en el agua, a las 7 de la tarde, empieza a hacer un poco de frío. Todos los veteranos, hombres y mujeres.

 mi piragua
 Mary Jane Parry

Calentamos un poco, no mucho porque no había un sitio habilitado para hacerlo y había que esperar entre carrera y carrera.
Dan la salida a los hombres y unos 3 minutos más tarde nosotras las damas, nos quedan por delante 19 km y 4 porteos, en 5 vueltas de 3600m y 1 de 1000m. En la primera vuelta no hay que hacer el porteo, así que son 7200m de palear continuo.
Es la primera vez que Inés y yo vamos a hacer un maratón de estas características, no sabemos a que enfrentarnos, si nos llegarán las fuerzas.
Yo procuro disfrutar el momento y el paisaje.
El agua está magnífica, casi no se mueve, solamente están las olas que provocamos nosotros mismos.
Llega el primer porteo, para desembarcar una rampa de goma que estaba bastante cómoda, una carrera de 100m y embarcar en un pantalán casi al ras del agua, nunca embarcamos en uno de estas características así que me cuesta bastante, hasta el tercer porteo no le cojo el tranquillo.
Mis contrincantes unas fenómenos Mary Jane tiene muchísima experiencia en esta clase de competiciones, lleva paleando desde muy pequeña y está en plena forma, así que nisiquiera la vi en la salida. Reyes también experimentada y multideportista me adelantó en los porteos, hizo una carrera extraordinaria. Y por fin Isabel, también hizo una carrera estupenda. 
No se puede estar en misa y repicando, pero me hubiera encantado verlas competir desde fuera, son unas mujeres extraordinarias.

 Marga, como ya nos tiene acostumbrados ganó el oro en su categoría y tercera ne la general de veteranas.
Blanca medalla de plata. Al día siguiente por la mañana, sin nisiquiera 24 horas de diferencia, volvería a conseguir la plata en k2, estas mujeres no son normales¡¡¡.
Inés hizo una carrera increible, estaba en plena forma, pero es una carrera en la que hay muchas cosas que pueden salir mal y ella que iba en la tercera posición volcó y no le dio tiempo de recuperar su posición. De todas formas sacando fuerzas, sobre todo de la pechá de comer que nos habíamos dado, jjjjj, terminó como una jabata. ole¡¡
Estas son sus palabras en el face:
 "Campeonato de España de maratón en Bañolas. Un escenario precioso aunque no salió tan bien......pero contenta!"

 Dos grandes campeonas, Mary y Marga
El podio de 45-49

Mar campeona de España.
Yo quedé la tercera de España en mi categoría.

Al día siguiente el domingo 15 salimos para el aeropuerto.
Desde la ventanilla del avión hice unas cuantas fotos.

 Aterrizamos y nos recogieron para volver a San Fernando, pero el viaje no ha terminado.
El Lunes, otra vez a Sevilla para recoger los kayaks.
Otra vez me pregunto ¿no hay otro deporte en el que el trasporte del equipo sea más comodo?
Seguro que si que lo habrá, pero A MI ME APASIONA EL PIRAGÜISMO.


by Paz ( at May 19, 2016 02:08 pm

Carolina Kayak Club Blog
<b>Adventures, insight, and commentary for paddlers, by paddlers</b><br /> <i><small></small></i>

Trip Report: Cedar Island to Portsmouth and Ocracoke

On Friday, April 29 Lee Toler led a group of four paddlers, including myself, John Keeter, and Chris Rezac on a trip to Ocracoke Island. Lee had outlined a plan that would take us around the island in three days, and after some email exchanges to discuss options we agreed on an ambitious but achievable itinerary. We would leave from the Cedar Island ferry terminal near mid-day on the 29th (after a 4 hour drive from Raleigh) and make the crossing to Portsmouth Island, camping on the beaches lining Ocracoke Inlet. The second day would take us out the inlet and northeast along Ocracoke on the ocean side, reentering the sound through Hatteras inlet and staying on the south end of Hatteras Island. On the third day we would paddle southwest on the sound side, camping just south of Ocracoke Harbor. We would finish on Monday by loading our boats on the ferry for the return ride to Cedar Island and the drive back to Raleigh. Lee had timed tides to give us favorable currents into and out of the inlets and the winds, though forecast to run against us in both directions, would be relatively tame at 10-15 miles per hour. So despite the roughly 60 miles total distance we all felt comfortable in our ability to handle the conditions. In the end, we would have nearly completed the 35 mile circumnavigation of Ocracoke Island, but for the several miles between Springer’s Point and Ocracoke Inlet.

Cedar Island ferry terminal
We launched as planned around noon on Friday under grey skies. We had encountered some rain on the drive to Cedar Island, but it had stopped by the time we got our paddles wet. Our plan was to paddle a straight course to the north end of Portsmouth Island. This would take us far enough out into the Sound that land would be barely visible, if at all. So we were to be guided by compass for the first leg of our trip. A moderate breeze off our front quarter and some light 1-2 foot swells from the same direction kept trying to draw us off course, but with occasional corrections we were able to maintain our heading. The breeze and spray kept me cool and comfortable in my drysuit (water temperatures were still in the low 60s, cold enough to be cautious), and the clouds gradually opened up to reveal patches of blue sky. All in all a very pleasant day on the water.

Until I got seasick. If you’re ever considering getting seasick, I have some advice: Don’t do it. Few things can ruin an enjoyable day of paddling more than the firm conviction that you’d rather die than spend another minute in your boat. In my limited experience with coastal paddling I’ve encountered seasickness about one out of every 5 times I paddle. So my advice isn’t entirely facetious; I have now decided that a 20% chance of being miserable isn’t worth the risk, and I’ll be taking Dramamine before every coastal paddle. I’ve never yet gotten seasick on a day when I’ve taken it, so it seems to be effective for me and has no apparent negative side effects. Unfortunately, while I had packed Dramamine in my first aid kit and even had a pill accessible in my pdf “ouch pouch,” I had decided not to take one prior to launch. Which leads to my second bit of advice: If you do get seasick, let your fellow paddlers know right away. It’s somewhat embarrassing to get seasick on a paddle like this—it is sea kayaking, after all, and hard to accept the fact that your body just can’t handle the “sea” part—and the inclination is to keep quiet and hope beyond reason that it’ll just go away. It won’t. In fact, it will almost certainly get worse. It’s far better to let your group know about the problem before you’re utterly incapacitated. Once I knew things were going downhill I drew up alongside Lee to let him know, at which point we all discussed options and planned to adjust our course to head toward the Core Banks and shallow water. This would take us a bit out of our way, but we’d still be heading in the right general direction.

Pitstop in shallow water in the Sound
As any nautical chart will show, there is a lot of very shallow water in the northern Core Sound. We were still quite a ways from solid marsh when we reached water shallow enough for me to hop out and stand next to my boat. The relief was immediate. We spent the next 30 minutes or so taking water and snacks and experimenting with various approaches to peeing from a boat while wearing a drysuit (experimental results available on request). Eventually I felt well enough to continue, and we headed off. I would have to stop one more time before we reached our destination, on the edge of a marsh prior to reaching Portsmouth Island. Fortunately I was able to continue paddling the entire time. The group decision to find shallow water and take additional stops allowed me to avoid the more debilitating effects of seasickness. In the end, I suspect that the extra distance and rest stops ended up delaying us much less than if I had needed a nurse boat and a tow.  In retrospect, given our plan for a long crossing without opportunity to land I definitely should have taken a Dramamine before launch to remove any risk; if shallow water hadn't been an option, things could have gotten much worse for me and the group.

Setting up camp on Portsmouth Island
We reached our landing on Portsmouth Island after 18 miles of paddling and well before dark. Once on sandy beach I made a full recovery, and we were all able to find a site and set up camp at a leisurely pace while the sun set. We pitched tents in the dunes just off the beach, and aside from some mild uncertainty about the likelihood of the tide overtopping the dunes (it would not), we spent a very pleasant evening refueling and resting. The campsite was mercifully free of mosquitoes. Portsmouth Island has a rather infamous reputation, and I had troubled myself by reading online horror stories of mosquito-plagued outings prior to the trip. But the breeze and the early season conspired to keep us bug-free, and to provide us with perfect camping conditions.

Portsmouth Island campsite
The next morning (after dutifully taking my Dramamine) we headed out Ocracoke inlet on the outgoing tide, taking a pretty steep ferry angle across the inlet to avoid getting swept out to sea. Before heading out we spent some time surveying the sandbars and breakers to find the safest route out to open water. We proceeding cautiously, pausing occasionally to discuss options and try to locate a calm path around the point. Our patience paid off, and we ended up getting outside without incident, following a relatively surf-free passage that cut inside an offshore break.

Once on the ocean side we headed northeast along the Ocracoke coast, directly into the wind. Fortunately the wind was as forecast, around 15 miles per hour. Having dealt with worse wind before I felt that we were making decent time, probably moving along at 3 miles per hour or better. But the markers on land seemed to tell a different story. After several hours of paddling we appeared to be making little progress, and decided to make a surf landing to take stock of the situation and get some food and rest. The landing was not entirely uneventful; the second boat in got tumbled in the surf after landing, coming up on top of the first boat and causing some minor damage. An important lesson learned: Spacing and timing are critical for surf landings. With so much beach available to us we should have been spread out much more. Also: Loaded boats and surf are a risky combination. It’s hard to control a loaded boat once you’re out of it, and the surf never seems to care that you haven’t quite gotten your boat out of the water before the next wave breaks.

On the beach we consulted Lee’s GPS, and were dismayed to learn that we had made it only about one third of the way up the island. We were barely averaging 2 miles per hour. Over the remainder of that day we pieced together an explanation. We had been fighting not only wind, but strong littoral or “longshore” current caused by swell approaching the coast at an angle. The northeast wind had been blowing for several days, building up 3 to 4 foot swell coming from that direction, nearly right in our faces. The associated current was running against us parallel to shore, and had been slowing us much more than we anticipated based solely on the wind. This effect was later confirmed by some other boaters we ran into, who commented on the strong longshore current to the southwest. Some quick calculations revealed that even if we kept up our current speed we wouldn’t reach Hatteras Inlet until the tide had turned against us. We discussed the possibility of continuing onward and camping instead at the north end of Ocracoke before entering the inlet, but we soon rejected this option. It would have gotten us in late after a grueling paddle, we didn’t know what would be available in terms of campsites, and (most problematic) we had all planned only for enough water to last through one night and couldn’t be guaranteed resupply. So the group opted to head back; we would reenter Ocracoke Inlet and camp at Springer’s Point, where we had originally planned to camp on the third night.

The experience presented a sobering lesson in the importance and challenge of accurately judging speed in conditions. The strength of the littoral current and its effect on our progress was surprising to all of us. Had we not been near shore with ample opportunities to judge land speed using obvious markers (water towers and other structures), we could have seriously overestimated our distance traveled and been in real trouble mistiming tides at the next inlet.

After launching through the surf we headed back to the southwest, flying downwind (and down current) and topping out at speeds over 6 miles per hour. We re-entered the inlet the same way we exited—cautiously, looking again for the path we had taken on the way out. We hit a bit more surf in this direction, which John took as the perfect opportunity to execute his first combat roll. After rounding the point it was a smooth paddle, mostly shielded from the northeast wind, to a calm beach landing at Springer’s Point. After setting up camp we walked through the nature preserve into Ocracoke and rewarded ourselves for 18.5 miles of hard paddling and judicious planning with pizza, beer, and ice cream.

Springer's Point beach
Since our plan for circumnavigation was shot, we mulled over a number of options for the next day. Unfortunately tides would not be conducive to heading out the inlet again, even just for a day of surf play. And a long paddle back to the takeout at Cedar Island just seemed like a lot of effort without the promise of anything new—plus, the wind was forecast to shift 180 degrees overnight, and would be right in our faces for a trip back across the Sound. So we decided to get up late, have breakfast in Ocracoke, and take the early afternoon ferry back to Cedar Island. From there Lee, John, and I would drive over to Lee’s place to spend the night, followed by a Monday morning surf session at Bogue Inlet. Chris decided to head home Sunday night, saving his vacation day for another trip.

Just one quick note on the ferry from Ocracoke to Cedar Island: It is outrageously inexpensive. One dollar gets you on board as a walk-on, and bikes cost a mere $2 more. Kayaks, mysteriously, are free.

Tides again worked for us at Bogue Inlet on Monday morning; we let the tail end of the outgoing tide carry us out in the morning, and rode the beginnings of the flood back in the early afternoon. Surf was at about 2-4 feet, perfect for a few hours of practice catching waves, bracing, and perfecting our rolls. John and I, both relatively new to the surf zone, found the conditions just right to challenge ourselves and build confidence in rougher water. At the start of the flood tide the water just outside the inlet turned confused, with a small area of clapotis and waves breaking from multiple directions, ideal for practicing timely bracing and boat and blade awareness. It turned out to be a fortuitous addition to the trip, something we wouldn’t have gotten had conditions not forced us to deviate from our original plan. It was a great end to a great weekend--challenging paddling, fantastic early summer camping, and good group decision-making made for an enjoyable trip and a valuable learning experience.

Taking a break from the surf at Bogue Inlet (photo by John Keeter)

by jd ( at May 19, 2016 01:07 pm

Northern California kayaking adventures

Use tie-downs on every kayak trip -- or risk disaster

At the scene -- and time definitely did not stand still  You know you’re in for a hair-raising kayak story when it begins... "Miraculously, no one was killed or injured."  This is one of those...

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by Glenn Brank ( at May 19, 2016 12:52 pm

Mountain and Sea Scotland
Hillwalking and Sea Kayaking in Scotland

Al fresco dining for three at Cruib Lodge

 After leaving the "Zen garden" raised beach we continued through the narrows and into the middle part of Jura's West Loch Tarbert.  It was now early evening and we were keen to get to our planned overnight stop.  A light breeze helped us, we were able to use our sails in addition to steady paddling for much of the way.

Loch Tarbert has three sections; a wide outer section open to the prevailing swell and weather passing between the islands of Colosay and Islay, a sheltered middle section and a smaller inner loch accessed vai the most unlikely of channels.  We were heading for a bothy in the middle section which remains hidden on approach........

 ...until a final corner is turned and the neatly kept bothy appears at the head of a small bay.  Our planned arrival time coincided with high water which meant that we had only to lift the boats from the water with no carrying involved.  This convenience did have a consequence though....we needed to be at the very head of the inner loch right on high water the following morning to avoid a long carry over mud.  As HW would be at 0641 we needed to be underway by 0600, but that was tomorrow's issue - for now we could enjoy being in this superb location and in warm evening sunshine.

 Cruib Lodge bothy is owned by Ruantallain estate who retain half of the building (open outwith the deerstalking season and locked for estate use in the stalking season) with half of the building  maintained as an MBA bothy open at all times.

It takes a deal of faith and trust for estate managers and owners to permit use of buildings as open bothies - and a good deal of work and cooperation to keep the buildings in good shape.  The trust, reputation and experience which the MBA has built up over 50 years is critical in maintaining the unique bothy tradition - and it's why I'm a member.  Membership gives no "rights" to bothies or any particular privilege other than contributing to something which is a national treasure.

The estate end of Cruib Lodge appears to have originally been a deer larder.  The hooks for hanging carcasses are still in place on large overhead beams and the large apertures now glazed with sash windows would have contained not glass but slatted wooden covers to allow airflow whilst the carcasses were hung and butchered.  The amount and size of the windows in this end of the bothy make it perhaps one of the lightest and airiest of all bothy rooms; Mike and I chose to put our sleeping things in this end, while Douglas chose the other room which would be warmer as we lit a fire in the grate with the wood we'd gathered earlier in the day.

 Above the fireplace is a well-stocked library, and it's the mark of a remote and well kept bothy that the books haven't been used as firelighters.  The peats placed around the fireplace were cut by Douglas' friend Tony who had visited some weeks previously and had left an entry in the bothy visitor's book.  After enjoying a great fire through the evening, we were able to add a good deal of dry logs to leave for the next occupants.

 A yacht which had passed whilst we were exploring the raised beach in the outer loch was anchored in the bay and other than that there was no sign of any other human activity - it's a truly remote and wild spot.  After sorting out our kit and changing into evening attire (not vastly smarter than our paddling attire!) we cooked our dinner.......

 .....which was served, accompanied by frothing sports recovery drinks and a post-prandial dram of Jura Superstition distilled just 15km from where we were dining, at a table on the terrace with marvellous views......

 .....over the bay and of a sunset lighting up the clouds in ever changing shades.

After dinner we got our fire going and sat chatting about this and other trips into the long Hebridean evening.  A glance outside showed a hazy full moon rising; a reminder that the following day would be Spring tides and that we needed to get an early start.

Alarm clocks set for 0500, we retired early and slept well after another great day on the west of Jura.

by Ian Johnston ( at May 19, 2016 11:50 am

Freya Hoffmeister
Home of Freya Hoffmeister

Buch-Premierenvortrag 9.9.2016 in Husum!

Nach der Weltpremiere meines Vortrages “THINK BIGGER – Survived.” letztes Jahr in der heimischen Messehalle in Husum ist die Messe Husum und Congress nun auch bereit, meine Buch-Premiere am 9.9.2016 im Rahmen eines Vortrages mit Lesung zu organisieren! Vielen Dank!

Termin schon mal vormerken!

by Freya at May 19, 2016 09:50 am

Liquid Fusion Kayaking
Cate's blog about the kayak adventures of Liquid Fusion Kayaking in Fort Bragg, on the Mendocino Coast, and beyond.

Sea Kayak Rock Gardening Classes in Mendocino

This weekend, we taught our first sea kayak rock gardening class of the season on the Mendocino Coast.  We had a full class with 6 students.  For rock gardening, we find this to be the ideal number - 3 to 1 student to instructor ratio and 8 paddlers total on the water.
Sea Kayak Rock Garden Class on the Mendocino Coast
This weekend's class was the first of our Art of Sea Kayaking Mendocino Series.  Several years ago when we were teaching a sea kayak rock gardening class, we asked the students for their goals for the class.  The students' goals and expectations ran the spectrum from strokes to rescues to play to sea caves.  Last year, we decided to specify the skills and topics of our sea kayak rock gardening classes   And decided to make them 2 day classes.  Day one focused instruction and day two was application.   Volia` - the Art of Sea Kayaking Mendocino Series was born and our students love it!!!
Sea Kayaking through one of Mendocino's many arches
Liquid Fusion Kayaking's Art of Sea Kayaking Mendocino Series is
Touring Ocean Rock Gardens - reading the water, route planning, and teamwork for rock gardens
Surfzone FUNdamentals - launch and land with control, safety, and finesse
The Art of the Pour-Over - timing and playing on and in rock garden features
Magical Mendocino Sea Caves - tips n tricks for kayaking in sea caves
Sea Kayaking into Mendocino Sea Caves
Student may select to do one or all four of the classes depending upon their skills and interests.  There is the option of a 5 day Art of Sea Kayaking Mendocino Course over Labor Day Weekend and also the option for paddlers to their friends or paddling club and schedule a custom class.
Rock Garden Safety and Rescue Training
This weekend's Touring Ocean Rock Gardens was a great start to the series.  We had beautiful weather, gray whale sightings, and lots of learning.  Many of the students are coming back in a couple of weeks for Surfzone FUNdamentals.  This is exciting because we get to build upon skills taught to give them a comprehensive skills set for sea kayaking rocky coastlines like the Mendocino Coast, and share with them different stretches of the Mendocino Coast.
LFK's Jeff Laxier teaches navigation basics to plan our route
Of course, the benefit of choosing Liquid Fusion Kayaking for sea kayaking on the Mendocino Coast is that it is our backyard playground both on and off the water.  We are the local experts on kayaking but know the other important things to do, eat, and drink on the Mendocino Coast.
Cate and Jeff sharing kayak crabbing with their students.  Cate is about to put this female Dungeness Crab back in the water.  Photo by Lisa Shapiro

by Cate Hawthorne ( at May 19, 2016 08:37 am

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!)

Hokule'a update -

Hokule'a is gradually working her way up the east coast of the U.S., and guess where she is today through next week? Click here for a hint! 

:D />


Here's a DC event list that was shared on the Hokule'a Crew facebook page - please note that although most of these are over the next few days, the last one goes on even after the wa'a has cast off and resumed her travels.

Visit the Hokule's Crew FB page (link in prior paragraph) or for more information about the voyage.


Thursday, May 19 (10:30 am) “Navigating by the Stars” Presentation Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum

Hōkūleʻa’s navigators will talk about traditional wayfinding, navigating across the deep sea using the stars, waves, birds and other signs of nature.

Friday, May 20 (1:00 to 5:00 pm) and Saturday, May 21 (10:00 am to 3:00 pm) Canoe Tour & National Geographic and National Parks Bioblitz Washington Canoe Club – Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Park (C&O Canal)

The public is welcome to come aboard the Hōkūleʻa and meet the crewmembers who will share the history of the legendary canoe and the mission of the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage.

During the May 20 and May 21 outreach, crewmembers and the public will be invited to help with a BioBlitz activity focusing on plankton. A BioBlitz is an event that focuses on finding and identifying as many species as possible in a specific area over a short period of time. At a BioBlitz, scientists, families, students, teachers, and other community members work together to get an overall count of the plants, animals, fungi, and other organisms that live in a place. May 20 and May 21 mark the National Geographic Bioblitz event dates, in partnership with National Parks Service. Hōkūleʻa crewmembers will conduct a plankton tow activity, adding plankton photos to the C&O National Park BioBlitz data.

Friday, May 20 and Saturday, May 21 (9:00 am to 5:00 pm) Polynesian Voyaging Society’s Mālama Honua Exhibit at the National Geographic and National Park Service BioBlitz The National Mall

Hōkūleʻa crew and Polynesian Voyaging Society staff members will be conducting hands-on activities and lessons on the importance of ocean health and the role of plankton from samples of water taken from the Potomac River. The crew will also celebrate the environmental efforts of the DC community by giving children and adults an opportunity to design their own quilt square with a message of what is special in their local environment and what they want the world to know about the project. The patches will be part of an “Aloha ‘Aina Peace Flag Quilt.” (aloha ‘aina means love of the land in Hawaiian)

Monday, May 23 (1:00 to 5:00 pm) Canoe Tour Washington Canoe Club – Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Park (C&O Canal)

The public is welcome to come aboard the Hōkūleʻa and meet the crewmembers who will share the history of the legendary canoe and the mission of the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage.

Hōkūleʻa-Inspired Events at National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI), throughout May

Throughout the month of May, NMAI will be focusing on Hōkūleʻa’s visit with a film series and weekend festival that will celebrate traditional Polynesian wayfinding, as revived and practiced by the Polynesian Voyaging Society. The month of events will culminate with the Mālama Honua: Hōkūleʻa Worldwide Voyage Celebration, a weekend-long festival taking place on Saturday, May 28, and Sunday, May 29, from 10 am to 5 pm each day. The program will be an opportunity to to meet the navigators and crew from the voyage, enjoy music by Robert Cazimero and Halau Na Kamalei, and to experience a special “pop up” planetarium collaboration with the ʻImiloa’s Astronomy Center and other hands-on activities. For full detail’s on NMAI’s Hawaii program series, click here.

For updates on the NYC visit, keep an eye on the Halawai website. 

by (bonnie) at May 19, 2016 03:45 am

May 18, 2016

kayak adventures
Adventures and misadventures of a sea kayak guide in Mexico, the Northwest US, and around the world

Hot Honeymoon, New York City

Five minutes after we returned to the hotel, Henrick and I smelled smoke. We were weary from walking all day: 3 hours in the World Trade Center observatory and memorial and 3 more hours walking back from there via the High Line and busy streets to Pod 51 Hotel, on 51st Street. We’d been refreshed by a good dinner and were ready to put our feet up and relax.

I thought the smoke came from our air conditioner, so I turned it off and opened the window to stick my head out. Below us was a restaurant and their back door stood open just under our window. Smoke drifted out. Were they smoking something? It didn’t smell very tasty. There were sirens outside, but this is New York City. Sirens all the time. They couldn’t be for us.

Henrick stepped out of the bathroom and into his shoes to investigate, but came right back. The hall was full of smoke and the fire alarm just started.

An announcement cut through the beeping, “This is not an emergency, but please evacuate the hotel using the stairways.”

Most of our possessions were already in our small day-packs. We’d traveled light on this 3-day honeymoon in the city. We shoved the rest into the packs in just a few seconds. I put my shoes back on, grabbed my headlamp (always the prepared camper), and we slunk low and quickly through the dark smoky hallway to the stairs, with shirts over our mouths, and eyes squinted. Others were descending as well. The stairs were well-lit and not so smoky.

Black-suited firemen dragged a hose into the entrance as we filed out. They were headed through a door to the adjoining Salvation Burger restaurant. It was about 8pm with the last daylight in the sky.

Red fire trucks parked in the street with their lights flashing. Firemen strode purposefully about. Police and fire vehicles blocked both ends of the street with their multi-colored light shows. The nearest truck extended a ladder up the front of the building but nobody went up, and nobody leaned out waving handkerchiefs from windows above. Smoke began wafting out of an 8th floor window. People gathered in the street to look.

Henrick and I chatted with a young Brazilian woman Natalia from the apartment across the street as we watched the action. More trucks arrived. Two firemen dragged a litter of first aid supplies and implements of destruction up the street. More yellow suits strode past carrying long crowbars and axes.

A friend of Natalia joined us and pointed out the owner of the burger shop, a woman in a white chef shirt. She was enjoying great success and notoriety in the city with her restaurants, of which this was the latest, open just 2 months. Kitchen fires are fairly common in the industry, according to our local informants. Natalia’s friend had lost her home and belongings to a kitchen fire in the restaurant below her apartment.

Firemen’s names reflected in yellow on the tail of their long shirts, a design modification since 9-1-1. “All these trucks may seem like an over-reaction, but this is what they do now,” she said. “They’re prepared for anything.” Steel-framed gurneys loaded with first aid supplies stood ready in the street attended by yellow-suited EMS responders.

After about an hour, the excitement slowed down. The smoke had quit. Hoses were being dragged back out and folded. The ladder lowered. The white-coated kitchen staff was herded away by a tall fellow, perhaps to be grilled. The owner still chatted with a tight knot of people near the restaurant. Our new friends and other spectators wandered off.

Cleanup looked like it would take a while for the fire crew, and not many were actually working on it. Henrick and I headed for someplace to sit, and the pub a few doors down looked inviting. The emergency lights flashed through the pub windows giving it a reddish disco feel. We nursed our beers for about another hour until the disco ended.

The street was still blocked, and a crowd assembled around the hotel, which was blocked and attended by an officer. A couple waiting said they’d been informed that there would be rooms arranged for everyone, and that they would get more info soon. Who knew when “soon” would be.

With everything we had on our backs and no worries, we wandered off in the other direction to find another pub. Might as well enjoy the evening! We sipped our beverages peacefully on sidewalk chairs between the noisy bar and the busy street, discussing life’s endless topics for another hour and joking about our hot honeymoon.

The last flashing lights quietly extinguished and drove away. Taxis began entering our street. The hotel lobby was still bustling when we returned, so we went up the stairs to see our room. In the hall there were some chunks of drywall and debris. One door near ours had been broken into. Other doors stood open, including ours. The room next to ours had a hole smashed in the wall. Our AC unit had been pulled from the window and lay askew on the floor. The room smelled slightly smoky, but was otherwise quite liveable. We decided we could stay, but would ask for a discount.

“What’s your room?” asked the clerk.


“We have a room for you in another hotel a few blocks away and the taxi fare is covered,” said the clerk.

We were impressed. Considering what Henrick and I had just discussed, though, this seemed more dramatic than necessary. I said, “We’ve just been up to see the room, and, if it’s permitted, we could stay there. The AC is on the floor and it smells a little smoky, but not too bad, and we can step over the AC. We were just going to ask for something of a discount.” I didn’t say it was to cover the bar tab while we’d waited, but that’s the amount I was thinking.

The clerk excused himself and ducked into an office. He returned to double check with us that it really would be ok, and then tell us that we could have the night for free. What’s not to like? That was worth several times more than what I’d asked for. There was a bagel store around the corner that I had my eyes on for the morning’s breakfast, and we didn’t feel like relocating, really. Believe it or not, we can both be homebodies, and we’d bonded with our tiny room whose closet of a bathroom reminded us of an apartment we’d shared for a month in Orebro, Sweden. We returned happy to our little nest.

After the fire, the restaurant would obviously be closed for a while, and the hotel had some repairs to do, but nobody had been hurt.

by Ginni Callahan ( at May 18, 2016 07:14 pm

Björn Thomasson Design

Frej – Ralph Merriman

Frej – Ralph Merriman

Ralph Merrimans nya Frej, lätt modfierat, är sjösatt uppe i Puget Sound i nordvästra hörnet av USA. Lika välbyggd som hans tidigare kajaker: en Njord och en Thule/2.

"Hi Bjorn:

After taking way too long to get a sailboat project out of my shop I was able to start my Frej in November. It went into the water a few weeks ago so I thought I would send the obligatory back yard beauty shots.

Although I am not particularly large I decided to make the boat a bit roomier than the plan. I am in my late 60s and I wanted more leg, knee and foot wiggle room than I might otherwise. My Njord lacks a bit in this regard, and I wanted to be happy with the boat. I added 2 CM height along the sheer and squared up the deck a bit from knees to toes. I also took out most of the swoop at the back of the cockpit to get me more lower back support. Deck height is 21.5 CM at rear of cockpit and 29.5 in front. Beam is 55 cm. So not as sleek and sexy, but comfier for an older guy (who is not quite as sleek and sexy anymore either).

I love the way it paddles. Maneuverability is wonderful. It reminds me of my white water days, when the boat needed a lot of attention. Skeg down it is quite docile. Secondary stability is very solid and reassuring, as good as I had hoped.I have not had it out in any rough stuff yet, but I am looking forward to it. Definitely a keeper.

I am staring longingly at my Panthera plans, which you were kind enough to send me.As lovely as it is I have not managed to overcome my dislike for rudders. Do you know if anyone has built one with just a skeg? I would not be surfing big ocean swells, just dealing with Puget Sound wind waves.

Thanks for the great design, and I trust I did it no great damage with my alterations."

Frej – Ralph Merriman

by Björn Thomasson at May 18, 2016 05:49 pm

Océanos de Libertad

Horda kayakista en el Alberche

The pictures speak by theirselves...Alberche river 50 m3/s with a bunch of friends and a sunny day!

Thanks to   for letting us to test in the river.

David atacando el primer paso.
Pedro entrando al agua.
Ruben y su waka.
Jorgito refrescándose.


Alberto en el Cabezazo.

Pedro en el cabezazo....
Javi Tronchapalas en el Cabezazo.
Sanna Olson
Bajo la espuma Rubén.

Júbilo tras el cabezazo ¡Rubén Makina!

Jorge entrando al Cabezazo.
Apoyando con la Ophion Trickstar.
¡ Esa Alpaca!
David dándole al cabezazo!
Yo con la Katana All Star de ophion paddles.
La Isla.
Katana Trick Star y Jorge Castor.


Rubén en la Isla.




David Inclán.
Javi Tronchapalas.


Pedro en la Isla.



by Jorge López ( at May 18, 2016 05:39 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.

Ninilchik-Finding a Historic Russian Orthodox Church

Forgive me for stating the obvious here, but Alaska is certainly full of unexpected wonders. Case in point is a small historic church designated only be a small worn sign on the outskirts of Ninilchik. I must have traveled this stretch of road between Homer and Kenai a dozen times before taking notice of it. I caught a glimpse of the sign with just enough time to read Russian Orthodox Church before the cutoff was behind me. Not sure what prompted me to u-turn by I’m certainly glad I did.

As I began reading the headstones, I found graves from as far back as 1880 and as recent as this 2014 so it was still an active cemetery.


Behind the Photo

I imagined as I looked over the church for different site lines and compositions, that their were thousands if not tens of thousand of photos of the church itself out in the wild. And although the church as very photogenic, what really caught my eye was the number of plots surrounding the church as well of the large range of dates represented.
I chose a low angle to olde weather Russian double cross in the foreground and newer better maintained crosses in the middle ground to highlight that fact. The church is placed in the background to give the shot context, but it’s really the historic cemetery that’s the focal point of this photograph.


Ninilchik was first settled by Russian immigrants from Kodiak Island in 1847. In 1896 a school was built and staffed by Russian Orthodox priests. The church, Holy Transfiguration of Our Lord Chapel, being followed 5 years later in 1901.

Two things immediately caught my eye. First was the obvious Russian style of architect with it’s signature onion domes. No missing that.

The second wasn’t quite as obvious from the roadside but once I reached the picket fence I was amazed and how packed the grave plots were packed in around the small church. With the exception of the path meandering throughout them, every bit of free space was filled with a plot. As I began reading the headstones, I found graves from as far back as 1880 and as recent as this 2014 so it was still an active cemetery.


The post Ninilchik-Finding a Historic Russian Orthodox Church appeared first on Essex Media & Explorations.

by Steve Weileman at May 18, 2016 03:46 pm

Mountain and Sea Scotland
Hillwalking and Sea Kayaking in Scotland

The Zen beach of West Loch Tarbert

As we paddled into West Loch Tarbert, the sea loch which almost bisects Jura we got a helpful push from a breeze at our backs.  Across on the north side of the loch we could see a huge raised beach system, and we were heading for an even more remarkable example.

The beaches and terraces above the present-day shoreline are a legacy of the last ice age. As the ice sheet melted the immense weight pressing down on the land was released and the land began to rise in a process known as "isostatic rebound".  The north of the UK is still undergoing this process and there's an opposite sinking effect in the south east of the British Isles.  Isostatic changes are quite independent of the major (eustatic) changes in sea level - it's the land itself which is changing level. The resultant landforms such as raised beaches, dry stacks, arches and raised beaches can be be found in many places around the Scottish coast and on many of the islands.

But this beach in West Loch Tarbert is perhaps the most remarkable I've ever visited.  A 750 metre crescent of pebbles rising 15 metres above the current sea level, the scale is quite difficult to convey without a very wide angle camera lens.  

The very top of the beach has a narrow strip of vegetation, mainly heather with some grasses.

Behind the beach is a lochan held back by the pebble ridge; it has no visible outflow and the nearby burn of Abhainn Liundale also disappears into the pebbles- the water reaching the sea by filtering down the beach.  In this image there's a pale line across the pebbles which is one of the tracery of deer tracks heading to and fro.....

...clearly visible if this Google Earth image is enlarged.

The whole beach looks as if it has been recently raked over, the pebbles are uniform and the surface smooth.  On the slope above the lochan there are a number of strange circular or oval patches of heather, arranged as if the whole beach were a vast Zen garden - and that's the feeling I had whilst wandering around.

Douglas captured the sense of the place during a previous visit in this image from above the beach and this one using a wide angle lens - in my opinion two of the most striking images from his very large portfolio.

From a distance the beaches look ash grey, while close up the water washed pebbles seem to have little variation - they are left just as they were at the last high tide several thousand years ago - a remarkable relic.

But down on the present-day high water mark a hidden beauty is revealed....

as the little waves rushing over the pebbles recede.... reveal a subtle palette of greens purples and browns, a reflection of the landscape from which the pebbles have been drawn.

I left this beach with a feeling of having been in a unique and special place, perhaps all the more a privilege due to the difficulty of getting to it.  With an atmosphere all it's own, the "Zen beach" of West Loch Tarbert is a truly amazing place. 

by Ian Johnston ( at May 18, 2016 01:07 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.

Catching the tide in the Sound of Islay past a mimetolith in a D cup on Jura

The south going ebb was still running as we set off across the Sound of Islay towards Jura.  Not long after we had left Islay the wind...  ...began to increase from the north but...  we were able to close reach most of the way across. Away to the SE the mountains of Arran rose above low lying Gigha and the Kintyre peninsula.  By the time we crossed the Sound the tide had turned and

by Douglas Wilcox ( at May 18, 2016 11:41 am
Cycling, sea kayaking and life in the Scottish highlands

Our Tour de Hebrides

This is a great Hebridean bike tour.

No huge mileages, you can travel ultra-light and it is easy to organise at the last minute when you've seen the current weather forecast - that's important because travelling with the wind at your back is gives a much more pleasurable experience.

Our trip was all last-minute.  On the Saturday we decided to go, so I fixed up the bikes with racks and bar-bag holders.  On Sunday we packed and waited for the evening long-range TV weather forecast.

On Monday, we started riding.  We were home again Friday evening.

If the route interests you, I suggest you start and end at Oban where there's long term parking in front of the Youth Hostel.

There's a good cycleway (Sustains 78) to the Corran Ferry if you wish to follow our route.  Alternatively take the CalMac ferry to Mull, and then cross back to the mainland at Fishnish or Tobermory.

The only 'major' island our tour didn't visit is Lewis, simply because it didn't fit the schedule.  You could add it with an out-and-back from Harris, but the main road to Harris is not one I'd rush to cycle.  With two extra days on the mainland, you could ride through Torridon to Ullapool and take the CalMac to Stornoway.

Our trip started and ended at home in Strontian and breaks down like this, with links to Strava.

Day 1: 64 ml / 4049ft to Lower Breakish, Skye (where we stayed with friends)
Day 2: 48ml / 2156ft to Tarbert, Isle of Harris
Day 3: 54ml / 2500ft to Claddach, North Uist
Day 4: 54ml / 1824ft to Isle of Barra (with diversion to the excellent airport cafe)
Day 5: 54ml / 2044ft to Strontian, Ardnamurchan

If you're tempted to try this, then I'd urge you not to use panniers.  Keep your load light.  A bar-bag and light pack on a rack (as we did) or better still a saddle-bag you are all you'll need.  Then you'll not be hauling necessary junk around with you and, should the wind blow against you, won't be pedalling into it with two sails either side of you catching the wind and blowing you backwards.

Created with flickr slideshow.

by Simon Willis ( at May 18, 2016 08:30 am

May 17, 2016

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.

An Iron Age fort, and the strength of spirit of the men and women of Auchmithie...all in a day's paddle.

Once upon a time, Lud Castle, an Iron Age promontory fort sat above the 30 metre vertical sandstone cliffs. It was a sound location, strategically. Today, we landed our sea kayaks, on the neighbouring beach.

The tiny figures of two hikers on the grassy top (image above), give scale to this site, once inhabited by prehistoric Celts. A narrow neck of land, to a current day farmer's field, was the only access to the ancient coastal stronghold.

Today, for us, the deserted beach would offer a place to stretch legs, enjoy a second lunch...and wonder, dreamily, who might have shared a similarly simple meal in this very place, from 700 BC to 500 AD. 

It was another perfect day to be on the water.

Sea birds had watched our passage from waterfront "balconies", eroded and etched into the sandstone - wonderful observation (and nesting) platforms. 400 million years ago, when these rocks were formed, "Scotland" was below the equator and part of a desert belt.

It was a different world, the advent of humankind still a very, very long way away into the future. Heaven and earth would move before that would happen.

It's rare that we ever encounter folks on the water here, except for those passing by in occasional fishing boats.

This glowing red sandstone, cave-infused, marine bird paradise is a bit of a "best kept secret". It's also the closest paddling spot, closest to home, here at Base Camp 2. Admittedly, we need to get out to more places...but its near-at-hand siren call is hard to resist.

Today, we met up with two fellow paddlers, also enjoying a fine day on the North Sea.

We shared some smiles, some good conversation...thankful to be sharing the waters with one another.

And then we were alone again...


A turn to the starboard would take us to Norway. It would be a bit far for today.

Returning to the waters off Auchmithie, where a year ago, dolphins-on-a-mission sped joyfully by us, we allowed the calm and gently rolling waves to massage body, mind, and spirit. 

Back in the ruined harbour, I thought of those strong and brave women of Auchmithie. There was no jetty, and in the pre-dawn hours they carried their men to the little fishing boats. The fishers would begin their long, dangerous, and exhausting day with dry clothes. It would have most surely been a life-saving, albeit backbreaking, labour.

They acknowledged their need for one another. Some today might raise their eyebrows at the image...women carrying their men to work. The pride of the men of Auchmithie, however, never entered the equation. 

That's strength of spirit...on both sides.

The mystery of Iron Age fort, a reminder of our inter-dependence and our need for one another...all in a day's paddle.

by Duncan and Joan ( at May 17, 2016 10:13 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!)

More from the Conservatory Garden

More from the Conservatory Garden in Central Park. I'm off the water for a month here, so taking advantage of that to squeeze in a little dry-land sightseeing. I used to live on East 91st and 1st and this was always a nice place to visit; somehow it had come up when my friend Mandy and I had gone to the Metropolitan Museum of Art over the winter, and I'd suggested that a garden/Cooper Hewitt combination would make for a nice day.

Unfortunately we missed the tulips at the north end of the garden, I'd been hoping to see those because TQ had helped plant them during a gardening class he'd done for work last Fall, but there was still plenty to see. 

by (bonnie) at May 17, 2016 08:34 pm
Lightweight canoe and kayak travel

Fenix HL60R Rechargeable Headlamp Review

Fenix HL60R headlamp with light on

Recently, I received a Fenix HL60R Rechargeable Headlamp for review. For the last month, I’ve used it on night outings for photography and for night riding a fat bike. Due to the time of year, I haven’t had a chance to use it while paddling at night — something that I seldom do — but I have used it for camping. The HL60R is the highest end light in Fenix’s headlamps lineup and one of the brightest headlamps on the market.

This is Fenix’s description for this headlamp:

Featuring a micro-USB port for go-anywhere charging, the Fenix HL60R Headlamp delivers a maximum output of 950 lumens, beam distance of up to 381 feet and a runtime of up to 100 hours from just one rechargeable 18650 Li-ion battery. This feature rich headlamp is equipped with neutral white LED for better color rendering, a side switch to activate the five brightness levels and the red night vision mode. The HL60R is an all-season headlamp designed with an all-metal housing and waterproof up to 2m underwater.

Fenix HL60R on a helmetIt fits on a whitewater helmet, but you’d need to jerry rig the helmet to make it stay on any whitewater helmet. They just aren’t designed for lights — Hint. Hint. Helmet makers. :)

My favorite features are its waterproofness and the ability to recharge via micro-USB. While I didn’t use it this way, having a rechargeable light while on long expeditions makes it easier than having to deal with batteries. You can charge it via a solar panel system and you don’t have to juggle extra batteries just for your headlight. Plus, it’s great not to have to throw away batteries after exhausting them. Rechargeable is the way to go with a headlamp.

Important for paddling is the ability to remain waterproof up to six feet underwater. Fenix claims a IPX-8 rating. An IPX-8 rating means that it’s rated for continuous immersion. Assuming you are in the water and the headlight stays on your head, it should continue to work until the battery runs out. That could be handy in an emergency. With this high of a rating, you could even snorkel at night with it on. To test it, I put it in a sink full of water for about an hour. It worked the entire time while in the sink.

The battery life holds up to Fenix’s claims. While I didn’t measure it exactly it does seem to last for the 48 minutes on the turbo setting — the brightest setting. On turbo it puts out a bright 950 lumens. On the high setting of 400 lumens, I seemed to get 3 hours out of it. One thing that I noticed is that when you start the headlamp, if you select a setting that it doesn’t have enough battery juice for, it’ll stay in that brightness for just a second until it drops down to the next level. That’s a good way to know that your battery needs topping off. In my testing, I didn’t exhaust the battery completely, but I drew it down below 20%.

The switch to turn on the Fenix HL60R is on the side and my instinct is to search for the switch on the top of the headlamp — I can’t remember having a switch that wasn’t on the top of the headlamp except for an old one that switched on by rotating the ring. After 25+ years of using headlamps with the switch on the top, my muscle memory always had me searching for the on/off switch on the top unless I was thinking about where it was. If you don’t have that muscle memory or can adjust quickly, it won’t be an issue for you. I think if I was able to use it longer before the review was due, I would have probably adjusted as well. To turn it on and off, you have to hold the switch down for about 1 second. I much prefer a headlamp that comes on instantly when you press the button, but an advantage of the Fenix is that because it takes a long press it won’t accidentally turn on in a drybag or your portage pack and leave you with dead batteries. I’ve actually had that happen to me. Habits are hard to break and when a company comes out with a light that functions differently than what you’re used to, but there are good arguments for the way Fenix does this.

As mentioned above, the Fenix gives you clues when the battery is getting low. When the battery is less than 20% the two red lights flash while the main light is lit. Another way to tell is to just tap the power switch when the headlamp is off. If the white LED flashes then you have more than 70% remaining. If the white LED and two red LEDs flash alternately, then you have somewhere between 30% – 70%. If just the two red LEDs flash, then you have less than 30% remaining. This is handy for knowing when you need to recharge. If you find you need more battery life than what you’re getting, there is a 3,500 mAh replacement battery available. It replaces the included 2,600 mAh battery.

With the battery, it felt heavy on my head. At a weight of 5.6 ounces with the battery, you can tell that it’s made out of metal. With that bulk and because the battery is about the same size as an AA, the headlamp has to be wider than those that use AAA batteries. The weight felt fine when I had a hat on, but with a bare forehead, the wide plastic plate — even though its rounded — bit into my forehead. Fenix does include an additional strap designed to go directly over the top of your head to support the headlamp better. This also makes it work great with a bike helmet and I tried it with my whitewater helmet and it fit it fine, although you’d have to rig up something to keep it on the helmet. I suspect it would stay on my climbing helmet, because the climbing helmet is designed to hold a headlight.

Fenix HL60R headlamp at nightThe beam from the Fenix HL60R headlamp is broad and bluish in color. It lights up a large area.

The beam that comes off this light is not only bright — bright enough to ride a bike at night on single track and be able to see everything — it’s also wide. Much wider than I expected. It lights up a huge area when on turbo or high. It’s truly impressive at how bright it is. For a sport enthusiast, this brightness can mean the difference between picking a safe route, staying on a trail or navigation at night and remaining calm or to trying to peer into the darkness without knowing what’s ahead. In turbo mode, there is no problems seeing what’s ahead.

That said, for a photographer who likes to make Milky Way or night sky selfies while shooting a headlight into the sky, this headlamp isn’t the one I’d use for photography — albeit this will concern only those people into night photography who like to put headlamps into the shot. The broad beam and blueish color temp doesn’t work well in night sky images. Fenix claims a neutral color temperature, which it is because it’s in the middle of the color spectrum. I’d guess that this is around 4000K, which is in the blue spectrum. Most people would call this a blue light vs. neutral. The advantage of the 4000K lights is that they render color correctly at night vs. warmer or colder lights. There’s research out that links bluer color light with sleep problems and that’s something to take into account if you use your headlamp for reading at night, especially blue lights near 6000K. While this isn’t as blue as some of the bluer LED lights, I’d rather see a color temp of around 3000K or warmer.

Overall, the upsides with the Fenix HL60R are it’s waterproofness, its brightness, long battery life and its ability to recharge using a micro-USB. The downsides are its weight and how it digs into a bare forehead. If you need a lot of light for a fast moving sport, it is a headlamp you should consider. It’s a headlamp that if I wasn’t a photographer I’d consider carrying with me on all my trips. It turned into my goto light for night fat biking and for hiking to photography locations and if I was paddling at night, its brightness would make me want it with me. Fenix also makes bike specific handlebar lights with similar features to this light. Those bike lights are lights I’d consider buying, because this headlamp works great for biking. This is a light that I like despite the few nitpicks I have with it.

More info: Fenix HL60R Headlamp

Note: Disclosure of Material Connection: I received HL60R for free from Fenix as coordinated by Outdoor PR firm Deep Creek PR in consideration for review publication.

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by Bryan Hansel at May 17, 2016 07:09 pm

Pouls kajakblog
Jeg hedder Poul, og jeg er kajakoholiker! Denne blog - der mest er min egen dagbog over mit "kajakliv" - handler om mine kajakture og det udstyr jeg benytter mig af.

Sku* ha* været Møntur

Men blev til en tur på Susåen, da det blæste så voldsomt at turledelsen aflyste den årlige Pinsetur til Møns Klint.
Udganspunkt på turen var Vrangstrup. Her er en offentlig plads med gode parkerings- og isætningsmuligheder.
Snart va vi på vandet og roede i nogenlunde læ på den smalle å
En enkelt af de lokale så lidt skævt til os, men lod os dog passere
Efter Næsbybro roede vi pludselig forbi en gudstjeneste under åben himmel. Men hva`! Sol, heste og salmesang holder selv en gammel hedning som jeg jo nok til
Første pause blev holdt efter 14 km ved udmundingen i Tystrup Sø.
Snart gik det videre. Lis give Anna et skub, mens Stig vader om bord
ud i blæsevejret på søen. Jacob er snart en rutineret bølgeroer.
Midtvejs ude på søen ændrede vi kursen fra side- til medvind. Og så startede løjerne. Den kraftige rygvind gjorde det let at fange surfbølgerne, og vi kom alle hurtigt af sted.
Snart var vi dog på Susåen igen...
... og heldigvis var vandstanden så lav at broen ved Stridsmølle kunne passeres uden problemer.
Frokosten blev nydt på pladsen efter Skelby. Stemningbillede fra bord et, hvor Jacob og Johnny råhyggede :-)
Her demonstrerede Lars og Jeanette den flotteste sæl-isætning jeg længe har set. De sagde også at de havde gode erfaringer med fra en tur i Tyskland.
Kajakroere har selvfølgelig køkultur - og humor. Der var et par af landgangene på den gyngende bro ved Holløse, der fik smilet frem på de ventende. Selv mener jag at enhver landgang - hvor jeg ikke havner i vandet - er en vellykket en af slagsen. Effektivitet før æstetik!
Der var lidt brus på vandet ved stemmeværket. Det gav mulighed for at træne lidt færgeteknik. Når der rigtig er gang i den, er der mere tale om overlevelsestræning.
Stadig med vinden i ryggen gik det rapt ned ad åen, og pludselig tårnede kranerne ved den nye ringvejsbro sig op. Der har lige været åben bro, hvor vi gik på den nystøbte bro.
Nu venter et ret stort stykke arbejde med at fjerne stillads og forskalning. Det bliver spændende at se hvordan broen kommer til at se ud, når den er færdig.
Ved fossen i Næstved er der en længere overbæring, hvor Susanne og Jacob gik tur med Frej'en på stien langs fossen.
Andre satte i fra Kranøen.
Stemmeværket så lidt slidt og utæt ud, så det er måske godt nok at der er kræfter i gang for at fjerne både det i Næstved og det i Holløse.
Vi slap i fin stil igennem tunnellerne under vejene i Næstved, selv om en meget vred - og tydelig beruset - borger mente at det var forbudt "og hvis jeg havde haft sin fiskestang med, var I fame' blevet kroget".
Som sædvanlig lå der store mængder træ på den gamle papirkaj
Det blev til herlige 42 km i godt selskab.

by Pouls kajakblog ( at May 17, 2016 02:48 pm

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

Soligt tjärövarv med Grimslöv maj 2016


Packar för avfärd i Järnavik

Eriks axel är inte i skick än så jag tog på mig turkepsen och for till Blekinge måndag-tisdag för ett Tjärövarv med Kenneth, Annki och Grimslövs folkhögskola. Jag har varit med ett par gånger tidigare, men inte varit lika inblandad som denna gången. Till en början lite rörigt men när jag vant mig så var det riktigt kul. Duktiga och glada killar och tjejer som inte gav sig i första taget. Vi hade verkligen tur med vädret. Högsommarvärme i luften, strålande solsken och badvänlig vattentemperatur. Det sistnämnda inte helt vanligt i blekinge 😉

På tisdagsförmiddagen gick vi på studiebesök på Tjärö som har fått nya ägare. Mycket trevligt och vi lämnade med en god och glad känsla för att det här kommer att bli bra!

Turen avslutades som vanligt med badlekar för de som var intresserade. Körde hemåt vid 18-tiden, glad och mör efter två, för mig, intensiva dagar 😀


Ovanligt många som hoppade i år


Det är hööögt =0


Tältläger, elever och lärare


Kenneth fixar linsgryta till middag, jag stod för luncherna. Bra uppdelning tyckte vi :)


Kvällsmys innan navigeringsgenomgång


Styvmorsviol i kvällsljus


Några ville paddla lite till


Superfin kväll som toppades med ett simmande rådjur :D


Morgon i lilla tältlägret


Fler än jag som tog sig ett morgondopp, trevligt :)


Studiebesök, verkar mycket lovande. Det fejas och grejas överallt på ön och de öppnar den 1 juni


Övar i- och urstigning på brygga, alla blev godkända. Imponerande med tanke på att den arga svanen från förra året simmade runt och fortfarande var arg


Bad- och rollövningar i Järnaviks hamn

Inlägget Soligt tjärövarv med Grimslöv maj 2016 dök först upp på kajaknördar - paddling verkar kul.

by Pia Sjöstedt at May 17, 2016 08:48 am