Paddling Planet

January 27, 2015

Gnarlydog News

Video: Best Moments of 2014 in Moreton Bay

Once a year a new video is edited focusing specifically on local paddling's best moments. This one was shot over 2014 in Moreton Bay alone. Of course, only a very small portion of "the fun stuff" is recorded despite spending most weekends on the water. I compiled mostly "orphan" clips that were not previously included in a other videos; the shots are short and highlight the best moments of a

by gnarlydog ( at January 27, 2015 08:02 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.

Kayaks at dawn in the Ballachuillish narrows.

We spent a very comfortable night in the excellent Ballachuillish Hotel. We planned to launch from the hotel and so started to load the boats in the car park.  It was minus 12C though elsewhere in the Highlands it had fallen to minus 13.7. Whatever it was a bit nippy on the hands. Although the loch side was still in darkness the summit of Garbh Bheinn, 885m, was catching the first rays

by Douglas Wilcox ( at January 27, 2015 06:15 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.

kajaknördar - paddling verkar kul
tid utomhus räknas

Järnavikfestivalen 2015


Förra året var det snålt på kajakfestivalfronten. Outside la ner både Tjäröfestivalen och West Coast Water. Nu återuppstår festivalen i Blekinge som Järnavikfestivalen. Trevligt! Och platsen blir som sista Tjäröfestivalen på Järnavik Camping. Smidigt på många sätt att ha festivalen på landbacken, kanske framförallt för utställarna och arrangörerna som har en del prylar att släpa på.

Freya Hoffmeiester kommer vara en av de internationella instruktörerna, då precis hemkommen från en nätt paddelutflykt runt sydamerika.

Datumet är 11-13 september. Bakom arrangemanget står Surfski och Kayak Camps, Järnavik Camping samt Aterra.

Mer info på: och på Facebook.

by Erik Sjöstedt at January 27, 2015 03:31 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!)
Cycling, sea kayaking and life in the Scottish highlands


On Arran from my saddle-camera
It is worth making a date or setting the recorder for this one.  7pm tomorrow night, Tuesday 9th Dec 2014.

Find BBC-2 Scotland (it's on Sky, Freesat, Virgin Media) and sit down to watch Sore in the Saddle.

After that search for Sore in the Saddle on the BBC iPlayer.  If you're not in the UK there are still ways to watch iPlayer.

If you'd like to read a few things about the programme you'll find articles on the following sites:

If you spot an article on another website or newspaper (not a forum) please let me know in the comments.

by Simon ( at January 27, 2015 11:02 am

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

Public Meeting on Island View Beach Management Plan

Another notice for paddlers in the area of Victoria and our wonderful beaches -- the Capital Regional District is hosting two public meetings to help them prepare for a new Management Plan for Island View Beach. If you've ever launched here, or paddled at the nearby islands, you might have an opinion on how to manage the park and campground over the next several years. Anyways, it's interesting to learn about the natural history of the park. Click here to read all about the meetings at the CRD website.

The CRD staff will be doing a presentation on the plan, and asking for feedback. The two locations for the meetings are:
January 29, 2015 | 6 – 9pm
Leonardo Da Vinci Centre, 195 Bay Street, Victoria, BC
February 5, 2015 | 6 – 9pm
Saanich Fairgrounds-Main Hall, 1528 Stellys Cross Road, Saanichton, BC
Public Meeting Format
  • 6 - 6:30pm: Greeting, light refreshments (cookies, fruit, coffee, tea)
  • 6:30 - 8:30pm: Scientific presentation, questions and discussion
  • 8:30 - 9pm: Time to complete response form

by (Paula) at January 27, 2015 09:35 am

IKDM Channel (video)

Kayak Argentario!

Due indimenticabili giorni di kayak (e merende) all'Argentario Two unforgetable days of kayaking (and big snacks) around Monte Argentario atc9k

by IKDMCHANNEL at January 27, 2015 08:50 am

Sea Kayaking in the Channel Islands
Sea kayaking in the Channel Islands and further afield

Some more aerial photographs

It has been a while since I have posted some photographs taken out of aircraft windows so here are a few from the last few years.  Some great kayaking destinations seen from above.  With views like these it is hard to understand why anybody would book an aisle seat!
 Passing over Calshot when heading south towards Jersey.  The site of the BCU Sea Touring Committee Symposiums in the early 1990's.
 Greenland West Coast.  The island on the right is Uummannaq and the larger Salliaruseq to the left.  The cliffs and the larger islands are over 1,000 metres high.  This post documents the day we paddled between the two islands.  This was taken whilst flying from Heathrow to Seattle.
 Final approach into Stockholm.  It looked like a kayaking paradise.  Little did we realize the frustration which was to follow after we landed
 Take off from Jersey on a beautiful summers day.  The aircraft is banking north over St Ouen's Bay.
 Sunrise over the Thames estuary.  The south coast of Essex is clearly visible, just minutes after leaving Heathrow.
 A few hours later the Essex coast had been replaced by the Turkish coast to the west of Istanbul.
Approaching Heathrow.  The rectangular shaped water directly in front of the engine is the location of Tower Hamlets Canoe Club, an area we have visited regularly over the years as members of the Jersey Canoe Club paddle with kayakers from London.

by (Kevin Mansell) at January 27, 2015 08:39 am

IKDM Channel (video)


A wonderful kayak day trip around Portofino Headland - Italy Una magnifica giornata di novembre in kayak intorno al promontorio di Portofino

by IKDMCHANNEL at January 27, 2015 02:51 am


Kayaking and mountaneering...

Yesterday Mauro paddled on the Maggiore Lake together with Gianni, while I went on my own along the mountain pathways around Dinorwig in the Snowdonia National Park.
While them fought against a 20/25 knots winds and had to paddling just from Cerro to Gurè, I advanced on a cloud of light drops that went with me up to the old slate quarry in Llanberis.
For one of those strange coincidence that sometimes happened in the lifetime, the distance was exactly the same: 13 km of kayaking and 13 km of moutaneering.
Mauro didn't take any pictures, while I shooted hundreds!
p.s. as you maybe noticed, starting from this post I've decided to flip the languages: every update from Wales will so come with the English version on the top and the Italian "translation" below under the pictures...

It's not bad weather, it's just bad equipment!
Interesting remains of the slate-quarrying industry...
Does they really exist? I mean, that people who fight for giving the freedom back to the garden's goblins?!? 
Dinorwik quarries were the largest anywhere in the world and closed down in 1969...
An old railway junctions to reach the quarries at the top of the mountain...
Mentre Mauro ieri pagaiava sul Lago Maggiore insieme a Gianni, io me sono andata in giro da sola per i sentieri di montagna nei dintorni di Dinorwig, alle porte del parco nazionale dei monti Snowdonia.
Mentre loro due combattevano contro un vento a 40/50 km/h che imbiancava lo specchio d'acqua e limitava l'escursione da Cerro a Gurè, io mi inoltravo in una fitta nuvola di goccioline leggerissime che mi inzuppava da capo a piedi e mi accompagnava fino alle vecchie cave di scisto di Llanberis.
Per una di quelle strane coincidenze delle vita, la percorrenza è stata la stessa: 13 km loro in kayak, 13 km io a piedi. Non so loro, perché si saranno persi dietro alle birre, ma io ho scarpinato per 5 ore filate.
Solo che Mauro non ha fatto neanche una foto, mentre io ne avrò scattate più di 100!
p.s. come forse avrete notato, a partire da questo post e per tutti quelli che scriverò dal Galles, ho deciso di invertire le lingue: inizio con l'inglese, tanto per impratichirmi un po', e la versione italiana slitta sul fondo dopo le foto...

by Tatiana ( at January 27, 2015 01:13 am

First days in Wales...

Quando ieri sera Trys mi ha consegnato un piumone colorato, un lenzuolo per letto matrimoniale e ben tre cuscini (yes, tre per davvero!), ho cominciato a capire che il lungo viaggio da Milano a Bangor via Manchester stavo finalmente volgendo al termine. Quando poi ho digitato il codice di accesso alla rete wi-fi ed il mio portatile ha iniziato a navigare nel ciberspazio, allora mi sono sentita proprio a casa! Molto vicino a casa, almeno!
La mia accogliente stanza al secondo piano della Casa Gialla di Deiniolen è il luogo perfetto per iniziare questa nuova avventura nel Nord Ovest del Galles. Due inaspettate giornate illuminate da un timido sole invernale mi hanno fatto credere in una perfetta congiunzione astrale, in virtù della quale sto andando in giro con il giaccone sbottonato e senza guanti né cappello! E dormo senza i miei soliti calzettoni di lana...
E' il terzo letto che cambio in tre notti: il primo è stato quello del B&B in perfetto stile inglese, con tanto di bowindow e caminetto; il secondo un comodissimo piano terra del letto a castello di una strepitosa cameretta per bambini.
Questo è anche il mio terzo giorno in terra gallese e sono colpita dall'elevato numero di cose piccole e semplici che ho dovuto affrontare e risolvere per arrivare al punto in cui sono: prenotare il volo, il treno ed il B&B, comprare una nuova sim card per il mio vecchio telefono cellulare (è il sistema più economico per le telefonate e gli sms UK-UK), chiedere informazioni badando a scegliere con cura ogni parola e a non sbagliare il tempo dei verbi, essere sicura della direzione del treno da prendere, salire e scendere dal marciapiede con i vari bagagli, sorridere al viaggiatore che per aiutarmi ha cercato di sollevare una valigia e ha subito esclamato inorridito: Ma è troppo pesante (e dire che era la più piccola delle tre che mi sono caricata in spalla per dei giorni!)
La cosa più eccitante è stata fare, disfare e rifare i bagagli più volte in poche ore... Sono alquanto sfinita, lo ammetto, ma allo stesso tempo sono sorpresa di come le cose evolvano rapidamente e di come i problemi si risolvano velocemente.
Su suggerimento di Beth Wilkinson ho potuto spedire le barre porta-tutto gonfiabili ordinate on-line direttamente alla fabbrica dei kayak NDK. Nigel Dennis ed Eila Wilkinson si prendono cura di me anche ora che stanno pagaiando alle Bahamas: mi hanno prestato il fantastico Romany Classic giallo che userò durante la mia permanenza in Galles. Trys Morris è una infaticabile "problem-solver": ha telefonato alla sua agenzia assicurativa di prima mattina e ha chiesto l'estensione dell'assicurazione auto per un secondo guidatore. Io mi sono limitata a rispondere a qualche domanda, ho dettato ad una simpatica voce femminile il mio nome, i miei dati personali ed il numero della mia carta di credito e qualche ora dopo stavo già guidando la macchina di Trys sulla A55 per Holyhead!
La cosa più difficile è stata invece trasportare i kayak (due kayak, perché sulla via del ritorno ho fatto una deviazione per recuperare - e caricare da sola! - anche il kayak di Trys... mi sembrava il minimo che potessi fare, oltre al pieno dell'auto). Quella congiunzione astrale in cui avevo cominciato a sperare deve essersi volatilizzata proprio quando ho cominciato a montare le barre porta-tutto gonfiabili. Forse perché le ho prima gonfiate e poi fissate sulla macchina (le istruzioni lo spiegavano chiaramente, ma io le ho lette solo quando sono rientrata a casa!). Forse anche perché ha iniziato a piovere esattamente 10 minuti prima che Beth ed io potessimo issare il kayak sul tetto dell'auto (le istruzioni dicevano anche di assicurarsi che il tetto fosse pulito ed asciutto!).
Considerato anche che stavo guidando un'auto inglese, che gli inglesi guidano sul lato sinistro della carreggiata, che hanno il posto di guida sul lato destro della macchina e che quindi tutti quei benedetti comandi sono invertiti, mi ritrovavo ogni volta che volevo azionare le frecce a far partire i tergicristallo e ad abbassare i finestrini ogni volta che cercavo di scalare la marcia...
Insomma, un vero incubo. Nel mentre, la famosa A55 era battuta da forti venti laterali, il kayak tentava più volte di cambiare posizione ed io mi fermavo una continuazione per controllare le cinghie... rimuginando sempre tra me e me che è mille volte meglio pagaiare in mare mosso che non guidare nel vento un'auto fatta all'incontrario!
La cosa più rilassante si è rivelata la pausa del te. Sono sicura che avrò modo di approfittarne ancora (e spesso!) durante i prossimi giorni e ho appena scoperto che al mondo esistono due tipi di persone: quelle che aggiungono il latte solo dopo che il te ha preso colore e quelle che sbagliano!
Ho anche imparato un'altra bella cosa, un paio di giorni fa, leggendo un foglietto incollato sulla porta posteriore del B&B, un sottile gioco di parole che vale anche in italiano: "Oggi è un REGALO, per questo lo chiamano IL PRESENTE"!
Beh, ho la sensazione di apprezzare sempre meglio il mio "presente"!

Trys' car on the front of the Yellow house: "my house" and "my car" for a while...
Happy lady in a fancy bathroom
Impulse first buying... what else!
Driving under the rain... and somthing more!
From th Bangor Pier: how strong can be the relationship with the sea!
When yesterday evening Trys gave me a coloured duvet, a double bed sheet and three pellows (yes, three indeed!) then I started feeling that the long trip from Milan to Bangor via Manchester was nearly to finished. As soon as I dialed the wireless key and the lap-top flew through the cyberspace thanks to a very good connection, then I definetely felt at home! Very close to home, at least!
My new confortable room on the second floor of the Yellow House in Deiniolen is the perfect place to start my new adventure here in Northern West Wales. Two unexpected timid sunny days also helped me to believe in a perfect stars aligment thanks to which I'm walking around with no hat and gloves on! And I can sleep without my wool socks I usually wear...
This is my third bed since I arrived in Wales (first was a single bed in a very British B&B with a bowindow and a fireplace, second was a bunk bed in special little baby room).
This is also my third day here in Wales and I'm pretty impressed by the high number of simple and little things I had to manage to arrive where I am: book the flight, book the train ticket, book the B&B, then buy a new sim card for my old mobile phone (the cheapest way to call and send text UK-UK), ask for some informations using the right verb in the right tense, be sure about the train direction, manage the luggage up and down every single step, smile to the traveller who wanted to help me and tried to move one and cried out: It's so heavy! (and was just the little one of the three bags I've carried on all the way long!).
The most exciting situation was when I had to packing unpacking and repacking few times in few hours... I'm quite exhausted now but at the same time I'm bit surprised how things are going ahead easily and how problems are been solved one after the other.
Thanks to Beth Wilkinson I was able to receive the inflatable roof bars directly at the NDK factory. Nigel Dennis and Eila Wilkinson are looking after me while they are paddling the Bahamas: they borrow me a fantastic yellow Romany Classic I will paddle during my long stay in Wales. Trys Morris is an untiring problem solving woman. She rang her insurance agent yesterday early in the morning asking for an extencion of the car insurance for a second driver. I just gave my name, personal data and credit card number and few hours later I was driving Trys' car along the A55 route to Holyhead!
The worst situation came with the kayaks' transfer (tow kayaks because on the way back I went to Conwy to pick up Trys' kayak). That special conjunction broke down when I had to start using the inflatable roof bars. Maybe because I first inflate and then lay them across the car (whereas the instructions explain to do exactly backwards - BUT I've read it only once I came back home!). Also maybe because it started raining excactly 10 minutes before Beth and I were ready to fixed them on the roof of the car (the instructions also say "make sure the roof surfaceis clean and dry"!).
One more thing to considere: I was driving an English car! English drivers drive on the left side of the road as well as Englsh driver's seat is on the right side of the car and all the controlls are inverted compared with Italians. So... everytime I wanted to use the turn signal I get the windscreen-wiper on and when I was ready to shift into gear I started open the window. A little nightmare. The A55 was also affected by strong winds, the kayak often tried to move away and I had to stop three time or more to check the straps... Every time I thought that paddling a kayak in the rough water is so much better than drive a car in that ugly windy conditons!
The most relaxing situation, however,  was the tea break. I'm pretty sure I will be able to enjoy it more and more during the next days. And I've just learnt that there are two types of people in the world, those who put the milk in after the tea has brewed and those who are wrong!
I learnt one more thing a couple of days ago, this one from the post-it glued on the B&B's back door: "Today is a GIFT, this is why they call it THE PRESENT". Well, I have the feeling that I'm appreciating my "present" better than ever!

by Tatiana ( at January 27, 2015 12:22 am

January 26, 2015

Freya Hoffmeister
Home of Freya Hoffmeister

Sun 25/01-2015 Day 761

Highlights: Quiet and cooler hours beautiful private hours until 10 am and after 7.30 pm
Lowlights: Horrible noise and heat in between…
Loc: Barra do Furado
Acc: tent

Despite my estimation of not being able to spend another noisy and hot day on the beach on a weekend day, I decided after writing yesterday’s update and after studying several forecasts I better have to be a hero suffering the noise than maybe unsafe sea conditions. The wind is a bit down on Monday, and much better the wave direction eventually turns in the same direction of the wind.My assumption are much better wave conditions crashing on the beach, as they can’t be worse as what I have seen…we’ll see if I am right. Maybe I can land before Macaré, maybe not.

Until 10 am, it was a peaceful morning, until the car convoys came, unpacking camp chairs, umbrellas, barbecues just around my tent and turning the music on full power – out of minimum three different cars. The highlight was a car parking eventually really only 10 cm besides my tent and kayak, leaving the doors open and this basically very nice Brazilian music from an elderly couple so full on that the loudspeakers were vibrating so much and stopped working (thank goodness) a couple of times in between. I am maybe not young enough any more to enjoy this kind of past time…please let me be back on my peaceful sea again!

One thing I learned eventually for this area – even arriving late afternoon on a seemingly deserted beautiful private beach never camp on the best looking spot like a river mouth tip or a dominating nice beach if you plan to spend a day or even two off. Rather either already land on a less attractive spot (without taking more risk) or just drag your boat and gear away from the best landing and camping spot *upwind* to a less attractive place. *Upwind* to hear less or even none noisy music, just in case, and to not feel like a freshly grilled steak from the smoke of the many barbecues. I had to move temporary out of my tent to escape the hammering noise, sitting somewhere upwind on a towel reading, with a blanket over my head against the sun and heat. There would have been so many better spots in this river after the experience I already had on Saturday, but moving was such an effort either. Best is all the trash the people leave…nature could be so nice.

A bunch of fishing boats had the Sunday off work and had loaded the family instead, nice! They were anchoring off the beaches a inside the river and also amused themselves. Tomorrow, they will ride with me probably again over the surf bar into the open sea. I have 14 hrs of day light to reach Macaré or less, this should be working.

by Freya at January 26, 2015 10:16 pm
Lightweight canoe and kayak travel

Free Kayak Plans and Free Canoe Plans

For years, PaddlingLight has been giving away the free drawings of historic and recent canoe and kayak, but I didn’t know how many plans people were downloading. In the last year I decided to start tracking just a few of the downloads to get a grasp on how many were actually being downloaded. I picked 5 of the 35 free drawings that I offer: a popular historic kayak design that has been built many times, a history canoe that has been built many times (most often in Italy), a canoe that looks interesting but hasn’t been built often (if at all), an original yost-style, skin-on-frame kayak and another historic kayak design.

I was surprised by the number of downloads.

Really surprised.

I haven’t seen many pictures of kayaks being built, so I suspect what is going on is that prospective builders are collecting lots of free plans before they eventually settle on a specific design or before they give up the idea of building a canoe or kayak. Regardless, it was an interesting experiment for me.

screenshot.32 screenshot.32 screenshot.31 fram museum kayak 10650046_10154771982340061_932919039925568636_n sullerba targa Photo0082 siskiwit bay mc plywood kayak

The drawings that I give away consist of stations and stems overlaid on top of each other. Someone could easily use them to build from. For an upgrade, I offer drawings that show the individual stations and stem on ARCH D paper. The upgrade is ready for printing. You can print at a copy shop and then glue to the plywood and cut stations directly. It makes building significantly easier and it’s worth the $30 in the amount of time saved and accuracy. For an upgrade above that I offer the actually computer models as a download.

My original plan was to do this project for fun and to see if historic canoes and kayaks would get built and then how they would paddle. But, as the project grew and I started to put more time into it, I needed a way to justify my time — it takes about 20+ hours per plan to plan to get it from the historic survey, into the computer and then drawn up. I figured that offering the upgrade would be a good way to get there. I also ask for donations from actual builders. I’ve gotten fewer than I can count on my hands. My plan hasn’t worked.

Last year, I made $260 in drawing sales among the drawings that I’m tracking this way (6 total drawings) — that’s not even enough for a new carbon fiber paddle. And to make it more depressing, $210 of that comes from the sales of my Siskiwit LV design, the only plan that I don’t offer free drawings for.

Here are the totals:

If we average and apply the average to all 35 free drawings, it equals about 6,000 free downloads a year. Or about 16 downloads a day every day.


This was an experiment for me.

Now, I need to decide what to do with the free canoe and kayak drawing project. Do I convert everything to a paid project? Do I shut down the free project? Do I do anymore drawings? If I do more drawings, how do I fund my time to do them?

I’m not sure what to do, but my commitment in time just administering the website is significant. I’d like to get feedback on what you think I should do.

The post Free Kayak Plans and Free Canoe Plans appeared first on You can leave a comment by clicking here: Free Kayak Plans and Free Canoe Plans.

by Bryan Hansel at January 26, 2015 09:25 pm

Sea Kayaking in the Channel Islands
Sea kayaking in the Channel Islands and further afield

Daily Picture - 26

Look east from the cliff path along Fiquet Bay early this afternoon.  The rock formation on the right is the Grosse Tete, where the swell was running yesterday as we paddled along this stretch of coast.
Beyond is Pt Le Fret, possibly the most dramatic headland on the south coast of the island but great paddling.

by (Kevin Mansell) at January 26, 2015 09:00 pm

Kayak, bici, cine ... y ahora ¡correr! ¡Ójala tuviera tiempo, además, para leer!

Bienvenido Mr. Virus

Se acaba Enero y no estamos ni a mitad de invierno, con la Candelaria a la vuelta de la esquina. Pero tenemos los virus en plena ebullición para hacer el completo. Virus diversos, gripe, constipados de toda la vida, etc.

He acabado de retirarme de todas mis actividades de entre semana para hacer frente a los virus mientras sigo mi personal cruzada de los deberes.

Francamente, no sé a que van mis hijas al colegio. No deben hacer nada allí por la cantidad de deberes que traen y de cosas que tienen que hacer sin saber.

Y me resisto a pensar que sean especialmente zoquetas. Yo no quiero que sean las número uno de su clase, pero tampoco creo que sean las últimas de la clase. Ni que tenga que haber un último de la clase.

Y admito que hay niños especiales. Siempre los ha habido. Pero parece que ahora también estamos escasos de recursos para controlarlos. Sólo podemos sufrirlos en silencio, como las ....

Los padres no tienen que hacer nada ...
Los profesores tampoco pueden hacer nada ...
Tampoco hay nada que hacer con los matones de la clase ...
El plan anti bullying tampoco se puede activar eternamente ....

Y luego las excusas-defensas:

- Esta ley mala ...
- Este gobierno malo ...
- Estos niños que no vienen educados de casa ...

Y aún habrá algún político que le parezca mal que la gente utiliemos el servicio público de educación. Y alguno que le parezcan mal los centros concertados. Y hasta alguno que le parezca mal que, el que pueda, se pague un colegio privado.

Esto es España. Concretamente, con ustedes, ¡La Comunidad Valenciana!

¿Porqué hace 30 años ibamos 40 niños a un cole sin proyectores, sin internet, sin un programa moderno, con métodos conductistas a veces, con profesores cuestionables, en colegios feos, sin aire acondicionado ni calefacción, llenos de barreras arquitectónicas, y no salimos tan mal?

¿Porqué hoy tenemos coles con todos los adelantos, leyes modernas, medios tecnológicos avanzadísimos, coles chulos, de colores, optimizados y vamos a la cola en todo? ¿Y encima intentan convencernos de que toda la culpa de todo es de los padres y somos los padres los que tenemos que hacer todo el esfuerzo educativo?

Ojo, educativo. De educar.

¿De verdad no hay medios para ganarse el respeto de 20 niños e imbuirles los valores y hábitos necesarios para que todo lo demás valga de algo?

¿De verdad no hay medios para  seleccionar profesores que tengan una gota de carisma, un ápice de lo necesario para enamorar a 20 niños y que le sigan hasta el fin del mundo?

¿De verdad tengo toda la culpa por votar mal, procrear mal, criar mal, educar mal, etc?

No me lo creo.

Cierto es que, para tener un hijo sólo hace falta una pareja y dar rienda suelta a los más bajos instintos. Aunque algunas amigas saben que hasta para eso hace falta a veces una gran ayuda.

Pero no podemos ser tan culpables.

No me creo que tenga que estar todos los dias, todas las tardes, para hacer todos los deberes de todas las asignaturas, todos los trabajos para todos los profesores, asegurarme de que sabemos el temario de todos los examenes porque si no, soy un mal padre.


Seguiremos informando.

by Juan Rafael Esteban Jurado ( at January 26, 2015 07:40 pm

Paddling Otaku
Otaku is defined as ' a Japanese term used to refer to people with obsessive interests'

Survival Gear

When I am prepping for a big trip do a lot of thinking about the gear I am packing. I have this fear, which is almost completely unwarranted, that I will be in the water with rescuers looking for me. They will fly right over me, or move past be in the water and never see me. I will see my rescuers slide off into the distance, having missed their goal - me - by a few hundred meters, and never know it. I will then die, slow, cold, and alone, bobbing in the water.

To fight this fear there are some things I do. On big trips I carry a spot device - if I do another big trip I will switch to an ACR personal locator beacon. I am also a big fan of strobe devices, which live in the pocket of my PFD. I am not a big fan of flares, because I have read too many times about them being discharged and not noticed. Also in the pocket of my PFD is a Fox 40 whistle, which is just ridiculously loud. I of course always leave a float plan with someone trust worthy, and in the cockpit of boat there is a dry bag, with power bars (of some sort, not actually powerbar brand) a headlamp, a compass, a chemical light stick... little stuff like that.

People are obsessed over survival gear. A quick peek at and you will find links to "the ten best pieces of survival gear" and knives designed by navy seals. (everyone wants to be a Navy Seal!) Head over to Reddit, and you will find r/survival with 60k subscribers and links to dozens of other related survival subreddits. This is from the sidebar of r/survival

r/survival defines Wilderness Survival as the philosophies, knowledge, techniques, and actions applied in a Wilderness environment, in a short-term survival scenario, which serve to increase the likelihood of survival of the individual or group.

So, the scenario is, your small plane crashes, you are lost at sea, you inexplicably get lost in the woods, or your cars satnav leads you of course on your way to your weekend getaway, and then the snow starts. By study, and patience, and what you read online you will be prepared to survive. 

There is another scenario, one that I saw frequently at my last job. The preppers, or as I prefer "end of the worlders." These are people preparing for the apocalypse, the government collapses, a dirty bomb is detonated, an EMP is detonated destroying all electronic equipment, or of course, we can't possibly forget... zombies. 

I think a big part of the reason for all the doomsday prepping we are doing is a combination of the culture of fear we have created, along with our rampant consumerism. I am afraid of this problem, therefore I will fix it by buying something that will make me feel safe. A $200 survival  kit, a glock 19 and 200 rounds. Better make it 300... Well, how about 500. Okay 1000. 

The Outdoor School I am working with has an amazing instructor. He teaches a wilderness survival class, and it is almost always full. He really is a great teacher - former US Military and taught survival for decades. The class is wonderful, and people really enjoy it. I think for most people it is a fantasy role play kind of thing - now, when the unthinkable happens, I will survive, and be famous... maybe for a few minutes. 

Here is the thing. I hate anything that begins with the word survival. I hate large impractical fixed blade knives, I hate paracord bracelets, and necklaces and bikinis  I hate any number of fire starting devices - if you can remember to pack a flint and magnesium, why can't you pack a lighter? 

I hate survival kits, that focus on weapons, but don't have any system for filtering water. I hate the whole concept of the bug out bag. If you buy a survival kit, or a bug out bag but don't know how to use any of the things in the bag, then it is useless weight. Likewise for first aid kits. You don't need that much, and you can improvise a lot with just a little knowledge. Take a Wilderness First Aid class. Please. 

I have spent a lot of the past 30 years in the woods or paddling on the water. I have never really been lost. I have dealt with cuts, and scrapes, and blisters, and one puncture wound - that's what you get for bushwhacking! - in the back country. You are never going to need quick clot, or a tourniquet, or even sutures. 

Want to be prepared for when things go wrong? Become skilled in the backcountry. Get to know a map and a compass. Learn to understand the weather, and terrain. Learn to dress appropriately for any environment. If you have gear for a weekend backpacking trip, you have the ability to cook, filter water, sleep warm, produce light, and just about anything else you will need to do. 

Spend some time in the woods, and you will learn the skills you need to make sure you never need a survival kit. 

by paddlingOTAKU ( at January 26, 2015 04:49 pm

kajaknördar - paddling verkar kul
tid utomhus räknas

UCO Original lykta


UCO-lykta upphängd i tältet

UCO gör bland annat små fina lyktor. Vi har haft vår i ganska många år och den får oftast följa med ut. Standardmodellen (Original) är liten och smidig och ljuskällan är speciella ljus från UCO som lyser i tiotalet timmar.

Mysigt med lykta i eller utanför tältet. Jämfört med gaslyktor och fotogenlyktor tar denna väldigt liten plats. Smidig, mysig och väldigt bra tycker vi. Ger inte lika mycket ljus som en gaslykta men tillräckligt för lite mysstämning. Kan ge lite tältvärme men inget man höjer värmen 20°C i ett stort tält direkt :)

UCO gör även mindre lyktor för värmeljus, Micro Candle Lantern och större för flera ljus Candelier. Numera har de även LED-lampor och lampor med USB-laddning.

Köp UCO hos Outnorth, Outdoorexperten och CDON.

Mer hos

Kvällsmys vid Rössjön

Lyser upp finfint utanför tältet

UCO lykta

UCO lykta


by Erik Sjöstedt at January 26, 2015 03:59 pm

Jersey Kayak Adventures
Kayak tours in the Channel Islands

BCU 4 Star Sea Kayak Assessment

Our next BCU 4 star sea kayak assessment is on March 21/22.

by derek at January 26, 2015 03:59 pm

Qajaq Rolls
Dedicated to the Art of Greenland Style Kayak Rolling

Old Problem – New Solution – Gearlabs

However hard I try I cant seem to prevent it. There is a certain inevitability or destiny about the damage that ocurs to the tips of my Greenland paddles. Whether it is scratches, bruises, chips or cracks, over time the paddles wear. Carbon fiber and wooden paddles alike, their tips are an area of vulnerability.
The harsh environment of Greenland with its ice bergs and rocky shorelines provide ample motivation to develop methods of extending the life of the hunter’s qajaq paddle. The wise Inuit had an answer. Many museum exhibits of historic Greenland paddles show the paddle tips to have been protected by shaped bone and ivory.
For many years paddle makers who have carved Greenland paddles from solid or laminate wood have attached hardwood tips to their paddles to protect them from bumps and abrasions. Purple heat wood is a particularly hard and beautiful wood that has been used by some paddle makers to create functionally robust yet aesthetically pleasing paddles.
The proliferation of modern materials such as fiber-glass and carbon-fiber has not removed the challenge of protecting the paddle tips. To some extent these modern materials have exacerbated the challenge due to susceptibility of the resins used to chipping when in contact with rocks.


Several attempts have been made to protect the tips of paddles, from adding extra carbon fiber, to dipping the paddle tips in a pliable elastomer polymer, or sliding on silicon booties. I have previously reviewed the carbon fiber labs produced by Gearlabs, a small Taiwanese company established by two paddling enthusiasts with a background in carbon fiber bicycle frame construction. Gearlabs has created an innovative answer to protect their Greenland paddles that uses modern materials to mimic the ancient solution. Gearlabs has developed a replaceable tip molded from thermoplastic. The tip exactly fit the contours of the paddle, it provides the paddle with the necessary protection while maintaining the efficient shape. The tip is replaceable so when it does inevitably get damaged it is a simple mater of unscrewing to stainless steel set screws and attacking a new tip to the paddle.
Gearlabs sent me a paddle to try so I was able to test an example of these paddle tips on a new Oyashio model carbon fiber paddle, the paddle felt alive in my hands, they are very light roughly 800g or 28oz. The flexibility of the paddle mimics that of soft cedar giving it a familiar feel. Little canting was necessary as this is a very forgiving paddle design with no flutter detectable while accelerating. Gearlabs has once again demonstrated that there is still room for innovation in the art and craft of Greenland paddle making despite the thousands of years of development that has already occurred.

gearlabsbw Henry Chang and Chunshih Sun proudly displaying their new paddle design with replaceable tips.

I recently had the pleasure of meeting the founders of Gearlabs Chungshih Sun and Henry Chang in Taipei, where they showed me prototypes of their new paddles, it was a pleasure to meet such talented and gifted engineers with a passion for our sport/art/craft.
I look forward to taking the new paddle for a paddle and seeing how the tips hold up to a season of paddling amongst the rocks when the ice melts and the lakes become liquid again in Minnesota.

by Christopher Crowhurst at January 26, 2015 01:53 pm

Mountain and Sea Scotland
Hillwalking and Sea Kayaking in Scotland

In the bleak midwinter - a warm-up

After a very comfortable night in the Ballachulish Hotel we woke to a cold and frosty morning.  The routine for this and subsequent mornings was to be breakfast at 0730 and then get ready to be on the water around 0830.  At first light it was clear that the night had been cold, our boats and cars had a heavy covering of frost.

We unloaded the boats and packed ready for the day, a chilly job.  One of the advantages of staying at the Ballachulish Hotel is that we could launch almost straight from the front of the hotel on a slipway.  Despite the cold we occasionally stopped to look up..... the morning sun began to touch the hills of Ardgour across Loch Linnhe.

Prominent in the view is Garbh Bheinn (rough mountain), a really fine hill which gives superb hillwalking and climbing with soaring ridges, buttresses and gullies.  The "Great Ridge" and immediately right the "Great Gully" are the chief climbing features, both pioneered by W.H. (Bill) Murray.

As the sun crept a little higher the Ardgour skyline began to glow brilliantly.  At Ballachulish, screened from the rising sun by the the bulk of Beinn a'Bheithir (hill of the thunderbolt) we were in deep shade, but about to get a lot warmer.

Our launch point was the slipway formerly used by a ferry prior to construction of the Ballachulish Bridge in 1975.  Not the most elegant of bridges, it is however an important crossing point and greatly aided road communication when it replaced the ferry.  The ebb tide was pouring through the narrows under the bridge at over 5 knots (10 km/h) and we needed to get up past the narrows into the wider Loch Leven where the tidal stream is much less. 

My first attempt at ferry gliding across wasn't successful as I just couldn't make headway.  I returned to the slipway and used an eddy under the bridge support to gain some ground then made a ferry-glide across to the north side - a strenuous paddle first thing in the morning but at least we were now all warmed up!

Once we were clear of the narrows the tidal stream became almost unnoticeable and we could take time to look back to the bridge silhouetted against the backdrop of Garbh Bheinn.

Ahead, the sunlight streamed down lower Glencoe around the flank of Beinn a' Bheithir and we paddled on towards the warmth and light.

by Ian Johnston ( at January 26, 2015 09:37 am

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

RIP Ted Harrison

We'll take a moment to acknowledge that Canadian artist Ted Harrison has passed away. His bright colourful works can be seen not only in galleries and on the pages of many books, but at his website. Many of his landscapes show water scenes along with canoes and kayaks, like this image below borrowed from his website.

by (Paula) at January 26, 2015 09:01 am
Cycling, sea kayaking and life in the Scottish highlands

So what's Club La Santa really like for cyclists?

For the last few years my wife and I have wondered what a winter week in this sports resort on the Canary Island of Lanzarote would be like. 

Would it be Pontins with push-ups? Hi-de-hi for the fit families of Europe?

 Or would it be a great way to train in relatively warm weather while home in Scotland turned grey, cold and soggy? 

In 2014 Club la Santa opened a new village of apartments, set aside from the main and close to the new aquatic centre. So we took the plunge. To share the cost of one of the new two-bedroom apartments at a low-season time, we travelled with two friends and booked a week just before Christmas.  (Continues….)

We had a fantastic time and we will be going back. However, if you're considering a trip to Club La Santa it might be useful to know one or two things. While I have shown the text of my article to the marketing department at Club La Santa for accuracy, we paid full price and I'm receiving no form of kick-back for what I write. This is my opinion, it's not an advert.

Club La Santa is all about multi-sport. I’ll not list them here (there wouldn't be space!) but your money buys you access to loads of different classes and facilities. For us, one of the main attractions was three 50m heated pools. Three - we only have four in the whole of Scotland! If, like us, you want to work on your swimming, attend yoga and other classes, and go cycling then there’s no place quite like it. It is no wonder triathletes love the place.

If you only want base from which to ride your bike then that is a very different matter and arguably a waste of money, because all those extra facilities and classes are included in the price. What’s more, La Santa is out on its own, adding around 30km to every ride, which does not suit every training schedule (I was recovering from surgery and wanted to ride no more than 50 miles). A cheaper apartment could probably be found in a location better suited for those who only want to ride their bikes.

Club la Santa run specialise cycling training camps which might suit some riders (there are swim, triathlon, golf... all sorts of camps). I've previously written about a cycle training camp in Spain which was nothing like I expected but where I picked up small yet useful nuggets of knowledge just from cycling with experienced riders. I expect the cycle camps here would deliver similar benefits, but bear in mind their cost is in addition to price of the stay, so my earlier comment about paying for unused facilities and classes still applies.

On arrival we were presented with a densely packed six-page programme of the week’s classes. Some classes, like the Stretch and Relax (wonderful after a long ride) require no booking, but many of the good ones have limited place numbers and can be reserved two days in advance. 

 Hesitate and they're lost. Popular classes, like Aerial Yoga, book-up exceptionally quickly so there's a waiting list system. 

 If you secure a coveted place you must turn up at least 10 mins before the class starts, or your spot is handed to the next person on the waiting list.

Sit down on the first evening and list every class you want to do, day by day. 

 Highlight the ones which need to be booked and the day on which you must book them. Be at the booking office when it opens and reserve a place. If you skip the class, someone else will take it.

We travelled at low season and secured places at almost all the classes we wanted, although on one occasion Liz was 21st place on a waiting list (she didn't get in). It didn't matter too much because the classes were just extras, supplemental to our main activities of cycling and swimming. I do wonder how easy it would be to book a class in high season when there are many more people in the resort. If classes are important to your stay I would seek reassurance about availability before booking high season.

Wind is an almost constant feature of riding in Lanzarote. During our stay it was particularly strong (22mph) from the north. You can take the positive view that wind increases training effort but after a while I found it a real pain. Chatting to another cyclist who had been on the island for a fortnight we decided the riding was about 20% harder than at home - ie 40 miles felt more like 50.

Roads are not as universally smooth as some magazine articles led me to believe and some smaller roads are real bone-shakers. There's a third category of puncture-inducing rough roads and even the maps don't agree about where these run. Riders tackling 100km plus each day might start to repeat roads within a week.

There are roughly four sections to the island. The north is the high ground with steep cliffs lining the north west coast. A ride through Haria and out to Mirador del Rio takes you to the wild, windswept northern tip of the island (don't follow the road signs but take the minor road for superb views without paying to access the visitor centre). Whizz downhill to the cafe in the harbour beside the ferry in Orzola, then follow the north east coast road to Arieta and another bar. Either climb back to Haria and retrace the route or pick one of the many other ways back.

The south west section of the island is the National Park. From Tinajo to Yaiza is an almost straight road through a volcanic building site - there were eruptions as recently as 1830. The land is black and brown and looks like it would rip you to shreds if you fell on it. Walking to take a photo I felt the pumice destroying my cleats. Into a headwind, this ride feels like it goes on for hours. Once at Yaiza, another cafe stop, several roads allow a loop back through Mancha Blanca to Tinajo.

The south of the island, everything below Yaiza, is almost as challenging and almost spectacular as the north. The side loop down the coast from El Golfo is superb. In summer the coaches might make riding here a little tricky but in December they were fewer in number. Indeed almost all the drivers seemed courteous to cyclists, waiting behind until safe to overtake. There's a minor road alongside the main one down to Playa Blanca which looks like every other Spanish resort I've visited but with the attraction of great views across to the other Canary Islands. I wouldn't want to book an apartment down here for a cycling holiday - it felt out on a limb. The ride to Maciot climbs inexorably, then came one of the steepest climbs on the island, up zig zags to Femes. Yes, there is a very active Strava segment for this and no, I'm not KOM.

I've left the south east of the island until last because I didn't ride it. Puerot del Carmen is the island's big resort town. Endure the inevitable tourist tat and there will probably be bargain accommodation to be found along with some good bike shops. Development is such that this town almost slides into the capital Arreciffe with only the airport between them. Costa Teguise further along would also make a decent cycling base. This part of the island gets less wind than Club La Santa and, I'm told by a local, is frequently five degrees warmer. This might make it attractive in winter, but those same factors make Club La Santa the place to be when the temperature rises.

Although they are both keen cyclists, neither of our friends Allister and Jo had previously had a professional bike fitting, so they were intrigued to see the Guru Fit System being offered in Club la Santa's main square for just £45. Jo had been experiencing pains when riding so she booked a session. Allister later told me he was astonished to see his wife's output rise by a significant wattage when all the fitter had done was tweak her cleats and seating position. In fact he was so impressed he immediately booked a session for himself. I didn't see the Guru system in action but it sounds less comprehensive than the Retul fitting I had a few weeks earlier in Scotland, albeit a fraction of the cost.

We booked one of the new, two bedroom apartments, sharing the cost with Allister and Jo, and felt it was good value. 

Our new apartment
The new apartments are excellent. The slightly pricier "sea view" is not worth the cost because the sea is so far away and, when we visited, very rough. Each structure is one up, one down, except for the four bedded apartments which are duplex. We requested a quiet location and, even though we were close to a thoroughfare, evenings were quiet and peaceful. We were so exhausted we were often in bed by 9pm and slept soundly even with the window open.

Inside the quality of the apartment was superb. Some people might expect a dishwasher or clothes washing machine but we didn't mind their absence, washing out our cycling kit in the sink. We heard no noise from upstairs (was anyone there?) and a ground floor apartment is definitely easier for wheeling bikes in and out at the end of the day. Bike locks are unnecessary.

Old complex left, new apartments right
The new apartments are white and set a short distance away from the existing Club la Santa complex. During our stay we asked to see some of the apartments in this main area. The un-refurbished apartments are much cheaper but grim by comparison. The refurbished apartments are of much higher quality and could be absolutely fine if you're only going to use them as a place to sleep and occasionally eat.

However, the main risk of booking in the main complex is noise. Construction and refurbishment is underway, but because this stops each evening, that's not the concern. The noise which would give me pause is that from other guests.

The main complex at Club la Santa is a concrete-and-tile network of apartments and corridors. 

For many guests I expect all will be well.  But TripAdvisor tells of complaints from visitors who have been kept awake until the early hours by noisy kids and partying adults. 

 Privately, I asked some staff and they confirmed noise can be an issue for some guests.

I stress, we had no first hand experience of this whatsoever. It might happen very rarely and TripAdvisor only highlights the worst cases. After all, most people go to Club la Santa to train not party. 

But we saw several parties of what looked like school kids and young sports club groups and they did not look like they were about to go to bed at 10pm. Concern about a good night’s sleep would make us hesitate before booking an apartment in the main complex.

We ate once at one of the three restaurants in the complex and found it slightly over priced for unexciting food. Other people I spoke to were delighted, so it's personal taste, but we didn't return. We catered our own breakfasts and ate light lunch wherever we were riding. On three nights we cooked our own dinners in the apartment and ate out on the other three nights in one of the many good restaurants nearby. In the village of La Santa, the restaurants Verde Mar and Amendoa were our favourites.

Club La Santa has a small supermarket, slightly more expensive than some others but very handy and with good fresh bread. We did one big shop driving from the airport then resupplied at smaller supermarkets in La Santa and Tinajo.

The cost of a taxi transfer made me splutter when I read the price – I won’t reproduce it because I’m still not sure whether it was a misprint. For £280 we rented a Peugeot Partner (like a Berlingo) into which fit 2 bike boxes, luggage and four people, so we shuttled across from the airport to Club La Santa in two trips.

The rental car was essential to my holiday. Because I wanted to ride shorter distances on this trip, to help my recovery from surgery, the vehicle allowed me to start the loop at places other than Club La Santa. It was also extremely useful for heading to and from restaurants or collecting shopping.

"No es normal" is a Spanish weather saying - it's always unusually hot / cold / wet / dry. Come to think of it, we say the same thing in Scotland. 

A few weeks before we arrived, Club La Santa had experienced two weeks of solid rain, which I'm told played havoc with all the outdoor classes.  

Our days in mid-December were warm enough to ride in shorts, but the wind was cool enough for me to occasionally need arm warmers. 

 Days often started hazy only to clear around lunchtime before the haze would drift in again. It rained on several occasions, two or three of which were utterly drenching cloudbursts that turned smooth roads scarily slick and caused fog to roll into high ground. 

 I spoke to some riders who were very glad to have carried lights after a blanket of fog completely obscured them from other traffic on the narrow road with precipitous drops from Haria to Teguise. It certainly wasn't the blue sky riding we hoped for, but it was a lot better than at home.

My wife is a keen swimmer and we booked video analysis to improve her stroke before leaving the UK. I’m less keen but tagged along. The cost is €150 each, which I considered rather expensive until I appreciated what was involved. 

Swim coaching with Paul Webb
It completely transformed our swimming. The first session lasted two hours. The second session, two days later, lasted one hour. In this time we did the following; described how we thought we swam; were videoed underwater so we could see how we really swam; learnt how we should be swimming; finally we were shown drills to move us towards how we should be swimming. The sessions were taken by GB international swimming coach Paul Webb of and were a highlight of our stay.

My wife an I will return to Club la Santa. Liz is keen to have more swimming lessons and to explore the other sports Club la Santa offers so she probably wouldn't take her bike. She would either use one of the free aluminium Canondale bikes available for guests to borrow and, if it's clunky, she'll rent a carbon bike on the days she wants to ride.

We might choose a refurbished apartment in the older complex if the price is right, but we'd take ear plugs. If we can persuade friends to come and share the cost, we'd definitely prefer one of the new apartments. The very fact we discussed this on the plane home shows how much we liked the place.

by Simon ( at January 26, 2015 06:00 am

January 25, 2015

René Seindal
Living, working, kayaking, rowing in Venice, Italy

Copenhagen paddle

These photos are from a short paddle in early January in Copenhagen, with our friends Per and Lise.

Many thanks to Kajakhotellet for lending us the boats.

Launching from Kajakhotellets dock Copenhagen harbour Under the new Royal Theatre Warehouses from the 18th century The Little Mermaid The Little Mermaid Two Small Mermaids Entering the Navy docks Inside the Navy docks Coffee and Bailey's break Navy Docks Houseboats At the Experimentarim Christianshavns Kanal Thanks for the boats :-)

by René Seindal at January 25, 2015 10:05 pm


120 millas Sur

Los kayakers y los retos solidarios parece que siempre han ido cogidos de la mano, lo digo por experiencia propia. Aunque sabemos que dentro de un kayaker siempre hay escondida una persona "proyectable", donde los indefensos y la aventura van en tambuchos contiguos.
Fernando Sendra ha decidido seguir el camino de la solidaridad remando rumbo Sur por una buena causa, en busca del atardecer y de la sonrisa infantil de los niños que padecen cancer. Una buena manera de hacer entender al mundo las carencias de unos enfrente de los excesos de otros, de la suerte de pocos delante de las penas de muchos. 
Mucha suerte y animo en este proyecto infinito.
Su mensaje es este:
Después de 12 años dedicándome al Turismo Rural y Activo he decidido plantearme este nuevo RETO, la navegación en solitario de toda la Costa Blanca, navegando así 120 millas, unos 224 kilómetros por una causa solidaria "el Cáncer Infantil". 
La navegación se realizará distribuida en etapas desde el mes de Febrero hasta el mes de Mayo. 
Si quieres ser parte de este proyecto, únete a esta nueva Página de Facebook, donde iremos contando todo lo que irá pasando. 
Os iremos informando como podéis aportar vuestra gota de mar a este bonito proyecto. 
Además si quieres que tu empresa o marca estén presentes puedes convertirte en Colaborador, Sponsor o Patrocinador ... serás bienvenido. Gracias a todos por vuestro tiempo y feliz tarde. 
Fernando Sendra - Tururac. 

mas info aqui.

by Rafa ( at January 25, 2015 09:17 pm

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

Årets første bassengrulling

Bassengkveldene er i gang. Men det er nokså labert, det var god plass der i dag. Forsåvidt kjekt for meg å ha god plass, men det er jo litt trasig for klubben at ikke flere har lyst til å være med der. Tror vi må gjøre en eller annen innsats for å få mer fres.

Jeg tok med Inuken, siden den ikke vinterpadles uansett. Jeg fikk til flere ruller enn jeg misset, men det er laaangt unna der det skal være. Alt er liksom feil, så kommer jeg rundt noen ganger likevel, siden den er så lettrulla.

Tror jeg får ta med Goproen neste gang så jeg får se hva i all verden det er jeg driver med.

by Miamaria Padlemia ( at January 25, 2015 09:14 pm

kajaknördar - paddling verkar kul
tid utomhus räknas

Soligt och lite skrynkligt vid Kullaberg

Mölle hamn. Anrika Hotell Kullaberg i bakgrunden

Mölle hamn. Anrika Grand i Mölle i bakgrunden

Hamnhäng i Mölle

Hamnhäng i Mölle

Helt vitt hemma i skogen nu efter lite snö inatt. Inte alls mycket men tillräckligt för att det ska ljust och fint. En meter till hade inte gjort nåt men är väl sådär troligt.

Efter en go cykelsväng hemomkring körde vi till Mölle, sjösatte i hamnen och plaskade utåt, lite skrynkligt på vattnet och solen i ögonen, riktigt gottigt väder. Och kul med lite skum att snirkla i inne vid berget. Tänkte pausa vid Stenstugorna men där var lite väl stökigt i vattnet fast strax intill innanför den lilla ön/klippan var det genomförbart att komma iland, var inte så sugna på skuggfika på norrsidan. Go fika och orange påslunch i solen. I båtarna igen och sen ut till spetsen för att spana läget, lite lugnare därute och såklart finfint.

På väg utåt

På väg utåt

Sån där jobbig sol nu igen

Sån där jobbig sol nu igen

Ute vid fyrarna, snart fikadags!

Ute vid fyrarna, snart fikadags!

Fika med vy. Finfint ställe

Fika med vy. Finfint ställe

Surf vid Kullaberg ;)

Surf vid Kullaberg ;)

Tillbaka igen med lite medvågor.

Riktigt fin och rolig runda. Gött!

Tillbaks igen. Slit och släp :)

Tillbaks igen. Slit och släp :)

Lite skum här och där

Lite skum här och där

by Erik Sjöstedt at January 25, 2015 07:09 pm

Sea Kayaking in the Channel Islands
Sea kayaking in the Channel Islands and further afield

Sea kayaking Sunday morning - St Brelade's

The last Sunday morning session with the Jersey Canoe Club saw much warmer weather than we have been experiencing over the last few days.  Launching from St Brelade's the plan was to head towards Corbiere but it was necessary to take into consideration that we still had an 11+ metre Spring Tide and there was a swell approaching from the North Atlantic.
It was a reasonable turn out for the time of the year, there were 17 of us heading along the south coast of the Island, experiencing some constantly changing conditions.  We turned back just before Corbiere, spending some time working on skills, something we probably don't do frequently enough.  The Peregrine, which flew over whilst we were looking at edging was a real bonus. 
A pint sitting outside, at the end of the session, was a treat for the end of January.
 Passing through the gap between St Brelade's Bay and Beauport.  In the summer months this is one of my favourite places to stop and swim.  There are some great jumps off the rocks, particularly towards high water.
 Just entering Beauport, one of the most beautiful bays on the Island.  In the summer months there would be numerous boats at anchor in the bay but we had the water to ourselves today.  
 Approaching the Grosse Tete, just to the west of Beauport.  This was the first time that we had really appreciated the swell
 The swell was certainly arriving in sets. Pete Hargreaves and Peter Wrigglesworth certainly gained some altitude as the passed through the gap.
 Trespass Point, the tide was certainly starting to flow west.  The cliffs behind are a lovely climbing location, short steep routes and sheltered from the prevailing winds.
 We pulled into the bay under the Highlands Hotel.  This is where the Jersey Sea kayak Symposium was based last May.
 Corbiere seemed isolated today.  We decided not to go all the way to the lighthouse.  The swell arriving in sets, the speed of the flow and 17 members in the group, seemed to have the potential to become just a bit too interesting.
 We, therefore, decided to turn and head east along the base of the granite cliffs.
 Some late morning sunshine catching the granite.
 St Brelade's lies ahead.  We had only been out for 2 hours but it had certainly been a morning of contrasting water conditions.

by (Kevin Mansell) at January 25, 2015 03:57 pm

Paddle Making (and other canoe stuff)
Functional paddle art and other canoe related ramblings

Ray Mears Bushcraft Paddle Video

Ontario Tourism is running a contest this summer involving a canoe package worth $10 000. The winner will get an all-expenses paid trip to Wabakimi Provinicial Park and paddle with some outdoor legends. The host guides are Ray Mears and Becky Mason. Here are some of the details from the official contest page

  • Round-trip airfare from anywhere in Canada or continental United States to Thunder Bay, Ontario where the adventure begins and ends
  • An 8-day fully outfitted trip including:
  • Floatplane into Wabakimi Provincial Park for 5 days of guided wilderness camping, paddling, bushcraft and wildlife observation with Ray Mears and his team
  • One night at Wabakimi Wilderness Eco-Lodge
  • Tour of Fort William Historical Park
  • All meals
  • Plus $2,000 in outdoor gear from SAIL

There is a promotional video making the rounds that shows brief footage of Mears making a bush paddle with an axe and crooked knife. Here is the screenshot at the 1:36 mark. Beauty!

In the summer of 2014, Ray visited Wabakimi for his own excursion. His blog post about the journey is filled with lovely text and photos. Here's one of Ray making a paddle on that trip:

Photo Courtesy: The Ray Mears & Woodlore Blog
Original Link

Over on the forums, a member began a thread about the minimal tools required to make an emergency paddle in the wilderness. Most respondents (myself included) mentioned the use of an a saw, axe and crooked knife as ideal, but the original poster correctly points out that few folks trip with an axe anymore and the crooked knife is even more rare. A few folks have come up with ideas for an emergency paddle including using duct tape and barrel lid. Creative!

by Murat ( at January 25, 2015 03:51 pm
Cycling, sea kayaking and life in the Scottish highlands

Big Changes - Downloads of Sea Kayak with Gordon Brown

We're changing the way we offer Download versions of the Sea Kayak with Gordon Brown series of instructional films to make it easier and to give our customers more choice.  We also have to comply with a new tax law in the UK.

We are sticking with Digital Goods Store, but instead of them simply providing the background technology which made the downloads work, our partners at DGS will handle the whole thing from sales to support.
Read more….

There will be new features too, and these are being added so fast if I list them here they'll have changed by the time you read this.

It should be an improved customer experience.

Volume 3 will (hopefully) be available to download later in 2015.  If you're wondering why the delay, here's the reason.

I have one concern about the new system. 

In the past if a customer experiences a (rare) download problem it's me who fixes it.

I usually manage to do this very fast.

From now on it will be DGS who provide that support and, even though they are good, I'm slightly worried about relinquishing customer relations.

The simple fact is I don't have a choice due to a change in the VAT law.

If others continue to sell Downloads in the old way then they're breaking the law which changed on 1st Jan 2015.

If you wish to read about those changes DGS has the best explanation I could find on its website.

I know Stephen and the team there have burnt lots of midnight oil to get the new system up and running.

Any problems, my email address is on the new webpage for customers to contact me directly.

by Simon ( at January 25, 2015 02:55 pm

New Podcast - Kayaking Oslo Area

The first podcast of 2015 is going to make you want to pack your kayak and head to Norway.

Unless you are listening in Norway, in which case you're going to want to head to Oslo.

Unless you're listening in Oslo, in which case - lucky you!

Richard Meadow is an American who has lived in Norway longer than the USA and we recorded this podcast when he visited us in Scotland.

You'll find it on and iTunes.

by Simon ( at January 25, 2015 02:53 pm

Paddling Otaku
Otaku is defined as ' a Japanese term used to refer to people with obsessive interests'

You never know...

For the past month I have really been doing two things. Working, and editing. This morning while editing I noticed something interesting in the background of some footage.

We didn't know he was back there. from Paddling Otaku on Vimeo.

This is very rough footage, I just threw a couple of clips together to get a feel for what was going on. He is actually in two of the clips, not just the one shown twice at the end. This particular morning we had seen a lot of seals, and they came pretty close. At one point, while I was changing the mount on a camera, my boat got bumped, and when I turned around I saw a large fella submerging. We saw three or four of them this morning, they were with us as long as we were in the ice.

As soon as we left the ice, they stopped following us. What struck me as funny, was that I am now wondering how often they were right behind us, or under us. We would never have known, except we had this camera running off the back of Beth's boat.

With a seal it isn't a big deal, but how many other times are we spied on by animals without our knowledge. It is really Mountain Lions that concern me - not bears. Mountain lions are silent, and can be very aggressive, and cover a pretty big swath of the United States. At least in a  boat I know I am okay.

Note. You should probably go full screen with this video. Particularly to see the earliest shot.

by paddlingOTAKU ( at January 25, 2015 02:45 pm
Cycling, sea kayaking and life in the Scottish highlands

Cut Price Downloads - Sea Kayak with Gordon Brown

You can now buy both Volume 1 and Volume 2 of the Sea Kayak with Gordon Brown series as a download package. 

You still download the files individually but, by buying both volumes together, you'll save money on their individual price on £16.99.

Buying Volume 1 and Volume 2 together costs £30.99.  Buy here.

Buying Volume 1, Volume 2 and Hamish's Kayaking Films costs £32.99.  Buy here.

We've not added any new titles to the Sea Kayak with Gordon Brown series but you can learn more about Volume 1 and Volume 2.

by Simon ( at January 25, 2015 02:44 pm

Blog Changes

As you can see - things have changed.  It's not just cosmetic either.  I felt this blog was too cluttered and had too little focus. 

In future I will use Twitter for all the casual, short postings - you can read those alongside.

Anything I post will hopefully have more in depth content and the tabs above will (hopefully) help keep me on track. 

Gradually I'm working my way through older, more popular posts and linking them to the tabs above.  For a while it means old posts will appear in the timeline as if they are new, when in reality they;re just republished.  

Sorry about that. Things will settle down.

by Simon ( at January 25, 2015 02:37 pm

Is It Goodbye GoLite?

GoLite Website
The US company which pioneered ultra-light hiking equipment, and with which I did some work a decade ago, has filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy according to this Outdoor Industry news source.

It is moving to terminate the business unless a competing bid surfaces.  Is it goodbye GoLite?  I sincerely hope not.

However, the Denver Business Journal says GoLite is preparing for liquidation.

Reading these articles shows how hard the owners have tried to keep the business going.

They sold the trademark 'GoLite' to Timberland in 2006 and licenced back its use.  Timberland has now withdrawn that licence from 31 March 2015.  All this makes me disappointed because I was among the first to use GoLite in the UK and I sort-of know the people behind it.

Way back in 2001 I was planning to hike the Pacific Crest Trail and became aware of GoLite which had just started up and was expanding into Europe.

PCT in Oregon
It had bought the rights to manufacture Ray Jardine's for hiking equipment, specifically packs, shelters and sleeping 'systems'.

Jardine had earlier published the patterns in the The Pacific Crest Trail Hiker's Handbook
expecting people would make their own.  GoLite did it for them.

I used the original GoLite / Jardine designs in a big test for TGO Magazine, which saw the editor Cameron McNeish, the deputy editor John Manning, the equipment editor Chris Townsend and me all tramping around Ben Alder area for a weekend.

People had used, bivi bags, minimal gear and had cut the handles off toothbrushes for years but this was the first time American west coast ultra-light kit had received such a pubic test in Scotland.

My girlfriend (now wife) and I subsequently went on to test a variation of the equipment in winter, crossing the Fisherfield Forest one New Year.

On Corsica GR20
In 2001 we took it down the Costa Blanca Mountain Way, the Corsica GR20 and parts of the desert around Santa Fe, New Mexico.

All that was training for 'the big one', our 2568ml five month hike from Mexico to Canada along the Pacific Crest Trail.

Everything we had we carried in GoLite packs (the Gust) which we still use when kayaking.

We had GoLite waterproof trousers (again, still in use), and shirts and wind/waterproof jackets which are long gone.

Before embarking on the trail we collected all these goodies at the Boulder headquarters of GoLite.  Demitri ("Coup") and Kim Coupounas took us out to dinner and there are two things I remember from that meal.

Testing winter ulralight in Fisherfield forest
One was the astronomic price of wine.  Second was a humorous remark by Coup which I've used myself, adapting it to different situations.

"You want to know how to make a small fortune in the outdoor gear business", he confided?  "Start with a large fortune".

I did a telephone interview with Coup a few years ago for a profile in TGO magazine and he was as upbeat as ever.

He was into raw food and had just completed his mission to climb the highest point in every US state.  We haven't kept in touch and we're not in any way close, but this news is still very disappointing.

I can only hope something good will come from it, eventually.

Kim recently gave a TEDx talk in Boulder which I've posted below - it's well worth watching.  The title - The Joy Of Less.

by Simon ( at January 25, 2015 02:29 pm

Sea Kayaking in the Channel Islands
Sea kayaking in the Channel Islands and further afield

Daily Picture - 25

Mine and Nicky's kayaks ready to depart St Brelade's.  Lovely paddle to Corbiere although we turned back before the lighthouse because of the size of the swell and the speed of the tidal currents on the spring tide ebb.  17 paddlers from Jersey Canoe Club out on the water followed by out first apres paddle pint sitting outside at La Marquendarie Pub.  So much warmer than yesterday.

by (Kevin Mansell) at January 25, 2015 02:20 pm
Cycling, sea kayaking and life in the Scottish highlands

Junking the Junk Training Miles Continued - 2nd Fitness Test

It is enormously satisfying to achieve a goal.  

Last week I discovered that I was on track with, not one, but three of my cycle training goals. 

Of course, the real goals come this summer when I try to ride the Raid Pyrenean and La Marmotte sportive. 

Back in November, I wrote at length about my testing session with Dr Garry Palmer of Sportstest which had happened a few weeks earlier.  

The fundamental point of the session was to give me precise heart rate training zones, and a training plan to follow.  

I was a slightly unusual case due to the geography of Scotland where I live. My body had become accustomed to riding junk miles.  It was either going uphill, working hard, or freewheeling down, not working. So right from the start it just burned carbohydrate. Endurance riding is all about using fat more efficiently as fuel, so that's what my winter training has been designed to encourage.

It worked.

I have dropped a lot of weight, including 3kg of fat.  Most importantly, the graphs show I am burning fat right up to close to my aerobic threshold.  That is exactly what the training has been designed to achieve.  But there's a downside...

I appear to have also lost 0.8kg of lean mass.  Was this muscle?  Possibly, because my peak power has also dropped.  Now, there are many possible explanations, so these are just early warnings.  

I haven't been training for power and was last tested after a strong summer of riding.  But it might also indicate a nutrition issue.  Perhaps I have been over-doing the fasted riding?  Or not recovering well enough from my shorter sessions?

I now have a, slightly daunting, new training programme to follow right up to the Raid Pyrenean and a taper to La Marmotte.  This programme keeps some endurance work, but adds a lot of threshold work and the long rides get a lot longer.  

A three hour Saturday ride is followed by up to eight hours on Sunday.  When I questioned this Garry pointed out, "er, you're doing the Raid?"  Ah.  Good point.  Time to get pedalling.

by Simon ( at January 25, 2015 02:19 pm

Register Your Phone To Make 999 Emergency Texts - Kayakers & Hill Walkers

If you head into wild places, whether on the sea or land, then you really ought to do this.  It takes less than 45 seconds. 

In an emergency situation, where you might not have a strong enough mobile phone signal for a voice call but a text might get through, you can use that text to alert the emergency services.

If your phone is registered.

Send a text to 999 with the word REGISTER.  Read the reply.  If you're happy, follow the instructions and reply with the word YES.

If you're in any doubt, I suggest you read this.  Honestly, why would anyone in the UK not do this?

by Simon ( at January 25, 2015 02:11 pm

Video - Filming Scotland's Hardest Cycling Event for TV

For a keen cyclist who works in TV this was a dream assignment.  I was one of four camera people who followed extreme cyclists around Scotland during a blazing hot July, filming their efforts. The results will be in an Adventure Show special on BBC-2 Scotland at 7pm on Tuesday 9th December.  Outside Scotland you can find the channel on Sky and Freesat, and the show will also be on the iPlayer.

It is the hardest cycling event ever held in Scotland. Daily distances and height gains were around double a typical stage of the Tour de France. 

David Crampton feeling the heat
Amateur riders came from across Europe to struggle 1300 mountainous kilometres, with a leg-sapping 18,000 metres of ascent, on a course they had to complete in a mere 100 hours.  

Oh yes- they had to do all that completely unsupported.  

The Highlands, Glens and Western Isles event is an 'Audax', the name given to a remarkable type of long distance cycling and which means 'Bold' in Latin. 

There are no team cars, masseurs or spare bikes - entrants must be completely self-sufficient and provide evidence of reaching specified control points.  
Lead riders on Skye

At the start of the year I'd been hired to do some initial research into whether or not this would sustain a one hour special for The Adventure Show.  
Then it was my task to get in touch with as many riders as possible, find their back stories and identify those who we should follow.

When the event came around, four camera operators, each with a driver, followed every pedal stroke of the way. 

Almost all the bike-to-bike footage you see was shot by my tiny Sony or one of my GoPro cameras. 

 I had one on my helmet that could point forward or back, and another under my saddle and one hand-held. I must have looked quite a sight.

Audax is a world where night slips into day, where sleep is snatched in bus shelters and under hedges, and where it's not unusual to ride a day or even two without rest. 

Midge encrusted Ken Thomson
Late on the fourth night civil servant Ken Thompson rolled out of the dark and up to my camera waiting outside a B&B in Spean Bridge to tell me, "I last got up at half past four - a day and a half ago."

The riders were not alone in being sleep deprived.  We worked hours on the trot - from early morning until early the next morning - but it was worth it.

This anarchic adventure is completely different to other cycling events. 

Whereas professional riders are cossetted in luxurious tour buses and fed by team chefs, these amateur Audaxers huddle outside corner shops, in remote corners of the highlands, guzzle whatever food they can't stuff into bulging saddlebags, before climbing back into the saddle and riding into the night.

Nearly over for two Swedish riders
Take another look at the map in that video.  

This unique challenge began on the Isle of Arran from where the cyclists pedalled up Scotland's west coast, timing their ride to coordinate with numerous ferry crossings; to Kintyre, to Mull, to Ardnamurchan and to Skye. 

After reaching and riding the far North coast, they descended the Great Glen, travelled through Glencoe and down the Cowal peninsula, took a final ferry from Dunoon before riding the Ayrshire coast to end their gruelling tour in Saltcoats.

I'm lucky enough to have seen the whole programme and, even if I hadn't worked on it, I would think it a cracker.  

I wasn't involved in wading through the huge mass of digital material we delivered, but the team who put this together did a great job.  

Organiser Mark Rigby and Simon, ready to cycle across Arran
I'm not sure the extreme heat comes across (Scotland in July was utterly baking!).  

However, they have managed to capture the true spirit of this utterly bonkers event.  

The physical challenge; the self reliance; the mental highs and lows; riding through the night - even nodding off in the saddle - we get it all in an understandable and entertaining package.

So make a date - even if you don't live in Scotland you can still see this programme.

It goes out 7pm Tuesday 9th December on BBC-2 Scotland.  That channel can be found on Sky, Freesat and I think Virgin Media.  

The show will also be on the iPlayer from 10th Dec.

by Simon ( at January 25, 2015 02:09 pm

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

Old Friends and New

When I moved to the Mendocino Coast a year and a half ago, it brought me closer to the ocean and its wonderful playground. But it took me far from my many paddling friends and co-workers at California Canoe & Kayak. I've managed to get back to some teaching for them here and there, but those days tend to be hectic and my focus is on my students. I was happy when my schedule aligned with the CCK Instructor Training weekend this year - lots of great folks in one place with no students to worry about.

The point of the weekend is great - a chance for all the sea kayak instructors to get together and go over curriculum, for the more experienced instructors to mentor the new, for policies and procedures to be clarified and updated. I had run the trainings in the past, but with Sean Morley taking over responsibilities as the program's director, and lots of other great instructors stepping up to lead sessions, I was invited as a guest and given free reign to have fun. And I got to bring my wife!

On Saturday I joined the group led by Bill Vonnegut, teaching rock gardening and heading out under the Golden Gate Bridge. Tagging along were another couple visiting instructors - Alec and Sharon Bloyd-Peshkin from Chicago. With so many instructors, the session became fairly casual. Bill led us through some stroke work and maneuvering exercises, Alec and I took lots of pictures, then we headed out the gate and explored the coast.

San Francisco Bay is remarkable in the variety of paddling conditions you get on any given day within a mile of launching. Horseshoe cove was protected and flat, a perfect place for the other groups to practice stroke technique. Around the corner was Yellow Bluff, the local tide race, going off at 3.5 knots and creating plenty of turbulence for rough water rescues. And us - we had blowholes, slots, and pourovers while still in site of the city across the water. Everyone was bathed in the common winter sun (regional secret - January is often sunny and calm, June is foggy and cold).

We worked our way down to Kirby Cove for an easy beach landing and lunch. Afterward we launched and paddled around Pt. Diablo, where the ocean swell was starting to reach into the Golden Gate and create some very dynamic water. At low tide, a few of the regular pourovers were too dry, but a tricky slot with a rock in the middle made for the excitement of the day.

Each set created vastly different currents running between the rocks. Bill glided through easy as cake. I started to follow but got pushed back by a big set and took my time re-positioning. I got a nice ride and made it through without incident. Sean F. came after and lost the water halfway through, dropping down and getting pinched between the middle and outside rocks. He braced off the rock (maybe both rocks - there was a lot of bracing going on) and held on long enough for the next surge to push him free. He came through with a grunt that turned into a large smile when he was safely clear.

Alex lined up to go next and the swells picked up even more. He timed a large wave really well, but none of us expected the reflection off the wall to pin him up against the outside rock. He held on while the wave pushed, but he couldn't go forward or backward and eventually the wave dropped out and he fell into the same pinch as Sean F. Only he wasn't quite as upright. And while he held onto the rock for a valiantly long time, the set had past and no wave came to free him. He ended up exiting from his boat and swimming to freedom - with half a paddle. His shaft had broken sometime during the excitement. Alec himself was fine and soon reunited with his boat and a spare paddle, and since we were at our turnaround point anyway we headed back in.

We made it under the bridge against the ebb, hugging the eddies and sprinting against the strong current at Lime Point. It's always great to watch people discover the power of current and the secrets to avoiding it. Alec challenged me to see how few strokes it would take to get past the current right on the point. I put my whitewater experience to good use and made it in four - I don't like working hard when I'm trying to relax.

The second day was a slightly different affair. While the CCK crew worked on ACA Skills Assessment practice and procedures, Lindsay and I just wanted to paddler, and Alec, Sharon, their friend Chris joined us. The heavy fog made a trip out to Pt. Bonita less appealing, so we decided to head to Angel Island - if we could find it. One of the other dangers of being a guest and borrowing boats is that you don't always have/bring the things you might need - like a compass. Luckily, the current itself serves as a pretty good marker. We skirted the mouth of Richardson Bay and cut across from Tiburon, a grey and featureless paddle that was made fun by the company and spirit.

After another restful lunch, we launched back into the mist, hoping it would eventually clear - we really wanted the out-of-towners to get to see Alcatraz and San Francisco from the water. We rode the ebb this time and pulled out into Yellow Bluff, the largest tide race in the Bay. It was small when we got there but grew a little as we played. It never gives great waves, but it always gives you some action to enjoy. And as we played the fog lifted, at least enough to make out the general features of the land surrounding us. We called it a success and headed in, lingering inside Horseshoe Cove, not wanting to let the weekend end.

But like all things good and bad, eventually it did end. At least, the paddling did. After racking the boats on the trailer and peeling off the drysuits, we all retired to the best kept secret bar in Sausalito - the Travis Marina, right over the cove with an unparalleled view of the bridge. Most of the CCK crew had made it in as well, and a fine afternoon was passed sharing stories, catching up, and hoping for the future.

It's great to live in an amazing kayaking Mecca, and even better to have a life partner who enjoys sharing it with you. But kayaking is a large community, and it's great to know that even if you can't be a part of it every day, or every month, that it's still there for you. I'm so glad I got to see my old friends, feel lucky to have made a few new ones, and I can't wait until the next time.

by Bryant Burkhardt ( at January 25, 2015 12:43 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.

Dramatisk tur ned ad Susåen

Kenneth og Kim havde iviteret til den traditionelle vinter/gløggtur en kold og blæsende januardag, men hele 12 roere trodsede vejret og mødte frem til turen.
Som sædvanlig satte vi i ved Fuglebjergbroen, og da vandet stod pænt op på engen var der ingen problemer med at komme i kajakerne og ud på åen.
Den problemfri roning blev dog hurtigt afløst af lidt drama ved betronbroen ved Stridsmølle. strømmen fik fat i Michaels kajak, og pludselig lå han i vandet med kajakken kilen fast under broen. Kolbe fik fisket ham op, og da Michael havde tørdragt på blev han hverken våd eller kold, og tog i det hele oplevelsen med godt humør.
Vi andre trak over land - eller det der plejer at være land - og roede videre efter en lille limbotur under hegnet.
Strømmen førte os lystigt videre ned ad åen uden de store problemer. Der var dog nogle steder pæn modvind, og så måtte der arbejdes - både for at komme fremad, men også for at holde kajakkerne på ret kurs. Der var flere steder modstrøm langs bredderne, og så kan selv en 5,5 m lang kajak hurtigt blive snurret rundt. Mere om det lille problem senere.
Ved Holløse kunne overbæringen ske langt for den lille bro ved rampen. Vandet gik op til dæmningens bagside.
Ved det officiele overbæringssted var der en del diskussion om den videre tur frem. Dels skulle malmstømmen ved overløbet passeres, og der var en del tvivl om der var luft nok under broen til at ro under den.
Jeg roede over åen og engnene og gik i land ved landevejen. Det var der flere andre der også gjorde.
Men der var selvfølgelig nogle der skulle lege lidt i det hvide vand - og de kunne faktisk komme under broen bag det.
I den kraftige strøm bag broen demonstrede Kolbe færning på tværs af åen ved at kante kajakken og ro fremad i strømmen.
Måske skulle han have brugt teknikken lidt senere, da vi side om side roede videre. Jeg roede i siden modsat et væltet træ og slap forbi det, men strømmen fik fat i Tomas kajak - og så var han ufrivilligt i gang med den ædle kunst at klatre i træer i havkajak. Det ved jeg af egen erfaring ikke er let, og det har en gang kostet mig et par helt nye briller.
Man kan vel sige at træet vandt. Jeg fangede Tomas vanter der var revet af fordækket - og Tomas kom lynhurtigt op i kajakken igen med en cowboyredning. Også han var glad for sin tørdragt, men havde fået en barsk lektion i strømmens kraft, og i hvert fald lært at det er vigtet at give hinanden plads og i god tid styre uden om forhindringer.
Turen gik videre mod sit højdepunkt. Gløgg og æbleskiver ved shelterne ved Ganges Bro. Der var venlige folk på land, der havde tændt bål og varmede gløgg da vi gik i land. Belært af tidligere ture fiskede vi tæpper, dunjakker, keddeldragter mm op af kajakkerne og nød pausen og lækkerierne.
Vejret viste nu at det var vinter.
Men med sådan en servering kan en flok barske kajakroere nok stå imod lidt sne og blæst.

Alt godt har en ende, og vi var flere der der var glade for at have tørre vanter at tage på efter pausen. Jeg var lige ved at drive ind i et træ, og i "panikken" med at slippe væk, tabte jeg min ene hanske i vandet. ØV! Men heldigvis havde jeg et tredie sæt rohandsker i daglugen og kunne snart sidde at nyde tørre og varme hænder. Ved vinterroning gælder det i den grad om ikke at gå ned på udstyr.
En ekstra bro til samlingen blev det sandelig også til. Godt nok kun en midlertidig arbejdsbro i forbindelse med bygning af en større bro til den nye ringvej rundt on Næstved - den glæder jeg mig til at erobre.
Ved Herlufsholmbroen tog strømmen fusen på os igen. Ole kom lidt skævt hen imod en af buerne, og lynhurtigt sad han kajak fast mod bropillen. Ole måtte ud af kajakken og drev ned ad åen til en intetanende skovtursvandres store undren. Han kom tilbage, og det lykkedes ham at gå ud til kajakken og får vristet den fri. Det tog lidt tid, og var en klar demonstration af vandets store kraft.
Længere ned erfarede vi senere var endnu en roer blevet fanget af en gren og havde fået trukket kajakken væk under sig. Også han var kommet op i båden igen, og snart var vi alle samlede ved kanohuset.
Det var en flok roere med nuvunden respekt på Susåens kraft der efter lidt logistisk arbejde med at hente biler og trailer, der tog tilbage til klubhuset til eftersnak/-grin, kaffe og kage.
17 herlige og dramatiske km. Som Susanne sagde: "Det bliver helt kedelig at komme en tur på fjorden efter denne tur"!

by Pouls kajakblog ( at January 25, 2015 09:26 am

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

"Kayaking the Aleutians" Trailer Released

Popping up all over the Internet today is the trailer for Justine Curgenven's new kayaking DVD, Kayaking the Aleutians.
Last year, Justine joined adventure traveller Sarah Outen for part of Sarah's human-powered round-the-world journey. Outen had planned to row from Japan to Vancouver, but weather and currents were pushing her north towards Alaska, so she changed tack and decided to kayak along the Aleutians and invited Justine along for the paddle. If the trailer is any indictaion, they had a heck of a trip.
Justine's many kayaking films need no introduction; if you're one of the few kayakers on the planet who have never seen any of her This is the Sea series of kayaking DVDs, quit reading this blog post and go watch one right now. All of Justine's DVDs can be ordered from, and the new Aleutians DVD can be pre-ordered from there as well. It will be released on February 14.

by (John Herbert) at January 25, 2015 09:26 am

Kayak Equation

I found a great mathematical explanation of kayaking, and borrowed it from Kayak Nu, a Norwegian website on kayaking. It transcends translation:

by (Paula) at January 25, 2015 09:25 am

mark tozer's blog
embracing the elements on the water and in the mountains

SGS USA Class Timetable - March 6, 7 and 8

Photo Credit: Paddle Pals Collection
Photo Credit: Paddle Pals Collection
We have set out below a timetable for the classes that are running on each day of the symposium.
If you've already registered, we'll be in touch with your itinerary. Classes are filling very fast. Don't wait too long to register!
Full class descriptions can be found by following this link.

Friday Afternoon, March 6 2015

All Levels
Kayak Sailing KS1
Fun With Foster FWF
Level 1 - 2
Storm Paddling Essentials SPE
Surf Zone Fundamentals SZF
Level 2 - 3
Practical Leadership & Group Dynamics FLGD1
Moderate Water Boat Handling MWBH1
Long Boat Surfing LBS1
Level 3
Rough Water Boat Handling RWBH 1
Tricky Launch, Tricky Landing TLTL1

Saturday Morning, March 7 2015

All Levels
Developing Boat Control DBC
Level 1 - 2
Fundamentals of Rock Gardening FRG 1
Core Rescue Skills CRS
Level 2 -3
Practical Leadership & Group Dynamics FLGD1
Incident Management IM 1
Moderate Water Boat Handling MWBH2
Long Boat Surfing LBS2
Level 3
Rough Water Boat Handling RWBH 2
Rock Garden Safety & Rescue RGSR 1

Saturday Afternoon, March 7 2015

All Levels
Simplifying The Roll STR
Effective Forward Paddling EFP
Level 1 - 2
Fundamentals of Sea Kayak Leadership FSKL
Level 2 - 3
Combat Rolling CR
Incident Managment IM2
Intermdiate Rock Gardening IRG1
White Water of The Sea WWS1
Level 3
Rock Garden Safety & Rescue RGSR2

Sunday Morning, March 8 2015

All Levels
Kayak Sailing KS2
Level 1 - 2
Fundamentals of Rock Gardening FRG 2
Ocean Journey OJ
Level 2 - 3
Sea Journey SJ
Short Boat Surfing SBS
Intermediate Rock Gardening IRG2
Level 3
Rough Water Boat Handling RWBH 3
Tricky Launch, Tricky Landing TLTL2

Further updates will appear on this website, via Twitter and Storm Gathering USA’s Facebook page.
Contact us if you have any questions, queries or want more information about the event.
The Storm Gathering USA Team.

by Mark Tozer ( at January 25, 2015 02:28 am

January 24, 2015

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

January 24th - Flower Islet (#8)

Julia and I went for a short afternoon paddle to Flower Island and back. We had calm conditions with a light drizzle, We saw a good collection of wildlife: river otter, harbour seal, common and hooded merganzers, Canada geese, harlequin duck, bufflehead, american wigeon, great blue heron, and cormorants.
click to enlarge
4 km, YTD 72 km.

by Mike J ( at January 24, 2015 10:03 pm

Travels with Paddles
a sea kayaking journal

The Saturday Club

Today I joined the 'Saturday Club' for a paddle out of Rhoscolyn. I arrived in North Wales yesterday in grey rainy weather. Today it is extremely nice weather; blue skies, max. force 4 Beaufort winds and not too cold. No pogies needed!! Unbelievable nice Winter paddling conditions.
With a group of 14 we set out to Rhosolyn Beacon. There was big swell but it was hard to catch the waves. Justine managed a pop-out though. I am in my old trusty Tweety Explorer again that I could use from SKUK for during my stay.
After lunch we headed rock-hopping towards Cymyran beach where there was nice surf to play in.
I tried to remember names... Barry, Justine, Aby, Ed, Gwyn, Jimsky, Mirco, and with a little help: Marc, Laura, Claire, Kirsty, Rich and Paul.
Upon return to Rhoscoly Beach my car would not open with my remote key. Cursing modern key technology first... At least the car door still has a keyhole. Flat battery; I had left my lights on. Jump starting no-go. Push starting no-go. Anyway, this emergency was quickly sorted by the AA and I could join the club again for dinner at the White Eagle. Not before I had to race as fast as I could across Holy Island to recharge my car battery within the shortest possible half hour as advised by the guy from the AA.

by (Axel) at January 24, 2015 10:00 pm

Have Kayaks Will Travel
Paddlesport Coaching

Poem of the week


Thoughts Aurorian

In late January, grey
cloaks the blue of day and black of night
hides sun, moon and stars
shades snow and ice
dulls all matter, outside and in
darkens thoughts even as daylight
moments lengthen, grey

O, blue and black uncover
sun, moon and stars…
icebows, lunar halos and meteor showers
morning star and aurora borealis
days and nights

–Mark Hochmuth, Poet in Residence for Have Kayaks, Will Travel


by havekayakswilltravel at January 24, 2015 08:07 pm

Mountain and Sea Scotland
Hillwalking and Sea Kayaking in Scotland

In the bleak midwinter - getting there

"In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
 Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago....."

Weeks of gales, one frontal system after another piling in bringing stormy and cold conditions and giving no opportunities for sea kayaking. Walking days had been restricted to the lower hills whilst the high tops were swept by 100mph winds on an almost daily basis; all very frustrating. But then, a forecast of a lull for a few days, not perfect weather but suitable for a winter kayaking trip. The residual Atlantic swell would make any trip on an exposed coast uncomfortable, so we looked for sheltered options. A couple of emails and phone calls later, Douglas, Mike and I were heading west...

But first we had to get there. Often in winter getting to the put-in is one of the trickiest parts of the venture....

...and it proved to be the case on this occasion.  Snow and then a deep frost gave very tricky road conditions as I crossed the spine of Scotland on my way west.

Many found the going more than tricky, cars stuck at various places on the infamous Lecht road, a regular feature on traffic bulletins throughout every winter.  With care I got through safely.

A brief stop at the Lecht ski area drew some puzzled glances - had I maybe packed the wrong choice of toys?!  I met up with Douglas and Mike at the very comfortable Ballachulish Hotel which was to be our base for the trip - it's not always necessary to "rough it" on a paddling venture!

We had arranged to meet early afternoon so that we could do a short hillwalk before dark, and it was to be a hill of some considerable significance

We chose to climb Ardsheal Hill, a "Marilyn" situated on the shore of Loch Linnhe.  At 263 metres/863 feet it gives a short climb with a view out of all proportion to height.  But the significance of this hill to us was neither the height nor the view.  After a series of major operations on both knees and on a shoulder, any one of which would have finished the outdoor adventures of someone with less determination, this was the first hill walk  Douglas has managed in a few years.  His smile was as wide as the view at achieving a return to the hills - he's most definitely "getting there"! Mike and I were absolutely delighted in being able share his successful ascent.

The view west from the summit of the hill along Loch Linnhe was superb, the forecast for the following day was great and we had a fine dinner ahead of us at the hotel - we were definitely getting there :o)

You will be able to follow our trip in "sea kayaking stereovision" (and with much better photographs than mine!) by reading Douglas' blog, starting here

by Ian Johnston ( at January 24, 2015 07:22 pm

Freya Hoffmeister
Home of Freya Hoffmeister

Fri 23/01-2015 Day 759

Highlights: Thank goodness this small river mouth is there to land safely
Lowlights: Horrible landing all day in high wind
Launch: Big dumper with no great timing
Landing: Through low to moderate surf into calm water
Pos: here
Loc: Barra do Furado
Acc: tent
Dist: 40,3 km
Start: 6:30 End: 13:50

I had a quiet night with no visits, just that huge ship I guessed was eventually sitting still behind me with inside the harbor wall with the bridge towering high over me with great view on my camp site was maneuvering all night – in, out, turning, what the heck were they doing? Was that kind of a”driving school” lesson during the night inside narrow harbor walls? In the morning I could see the ship’s name – Prins der Nederlanden – maybe they were lost? :-) It was some kind of a special task ship, I assume working with building the arbor walls some how.

When I was due to get up, the wind was blowing strong straight on my beach, fore casted were 10-15 knots in the morning, 15-20 knots in the after noon. The only safe landing was in 40 km inside a small river mouth. the rest of the coast until there I could only guess from the satellite images – as the coast was eventually trending very much to the west south west and this has always meant calm seas and easy landings with a wind blowing along the coast and slight bit offshore, I assumed I could basically land eventually every where after the wide bent. The surf on the sat images looked accordingly.

I was very wrong. My launch was already not the best, I felt so much watched by the guys from the huge ship’s bridge…but besides a cockpit half full of water all went all right. I pumped out, while watching not to get blown back to the beach. Then it was a kilometer of a tough paddle against the wind in quite big seas out to the last break water limiting this ugly harbor area. Very unfriendly paddling, and rounding the top of the break water was horrible. The very end was actually a long heavy floating jetty, not sure if that was meant permanent, or do they need them to extend the solid rock break water? I have no idea how they build such things. But no wonder there were yellow warning tons all around the end, but rounding those would have meant another long paddle against the wind…so I just went across this big heavy confused reflective waves area, inside the break water end and even more on the other side.

It slowly calmed down with the confused water, the big seas stayed for a while.No breakers though. I was hoping to get calm waters turning slowly but surely around the big corner, which basically was the case, but with the wind eventually reaching 20 knots. The beach looked steep every where, with the white wash from the dumper reaching horrible high.No wayyou could land here!

I turned around more, the wind eventually fully in my back from NE, the sea got slightly down, but the beach and landing stayed the same. Why the heck? I could paddle now relatively fast with strong wind from due behind, when I reached the area of some city with people on the beach and swimming. When they could swim in there, I should be able to land – if I wanted to? They were all surfers…and they got even more after some relatively harmless looking steep beach dumper area to what came after that…but first I was wondering why the city’s really huge fishing boat fleet was all on land? And not small boats, all large fish trawlers, which are always staying anchoring out in the water! They were about 100!! Ok, I also saw a bunch of new looking traktors and some ships on wheels, but no landing or launching action today, despite a bunch of fish trawlers being out there. To my idea, just recently this coast was either hit by a Tsunami, as the broken houses at the last big river mouth may have shown, or this coast got over the last few years some not normal heavy swells dumping on the beach. So many large ships can’t be planned to be stored all on land!

After this area with the dry parked boats where I may have been able to land with some luck, the surf on the beach really got out of control.The fat dumper was rolling in from SW hollow in a tube, looking like one of those waves the guys are surfing in Hawaii! Well, maybe a slight bit smaller, but so nasty I really didn’t dare to look and to envision I may get caught by one of those! I could paddle relatively close on relatively calm low swell water, how do such shore waves develop here? Well, it must surely have to do with the NE wind and the SW waves which seems to be such an unusual constellation that it is even marked on the chart having northely winds in this area here. How should I know…

The massive tubular waves calmed down eventually to still heavy fat dumpers washing high up the beach. I really needed to keep my nerves and trusting this tiny river mouth will be a safe landing also for me.Many fishing boats came my way, they obviously can get over the breaking bar which is clearly to be seen on the sat images. Still it was a mental very tough paddle, strong wind, no safe landing on the beach, and not sure about the river…

Some pile of artificial rocks about 2 km before looked on the sat images doable, but it was full of surfers and no good at all.Now the entry…surf went right onto the beach inside, but when I keep very close to the eastern break water wall, I could avoid the worst…still I got side surfed right on to the beach, but with moderate force on a shallow river beach I could brace out and paddle quickly into the calm sheltered water. Thank goodness…I’m in! A real relief…

I landed on the village beach, already thinking this is the place to stay and surrounded by a few curious people, when I discovered a remote beach on the other side and quickly launched again. This was the windy corner of the river mouth, and I dared to take a look on the steep beach surf. No, thank you…and camping here would not be too lonely also, as already two curious youngsters were following me by swimming just across the narrow river with fins…smiling broadly at me about their skills…but hey, there was another narrow river beach a bit more inside, with a flat meadow behind to camp on! Yes this is where I’ll be going, a remote beach with unlikely beach swimmers here, and a grassy spot to camp on with no flying sand and less wind. Yahoo! My privacy for this night…

But the wind carried the beach music noise over,and later around high tide two large fishing boats were anchoring on my side just close to me, obviously no unusual spot. But they leave me alone…probably they have seen me paddling offshore anyway and have respect.

For the next section, there will be no safe landing for 80km until the river of Macaé. Not sure if the dumping surf calms down at some point and I could short cut this stretch…I really hope! 80 km with good following winds may be doable just in day light, but ugly.I will decide ifI go tomorrow or if I’ll put ina rest day before this stretch. This camp spot would be inviting for such a break!

by Freya at January 24, 2015 07:06 pm