Paddling Planet

October 22, 2014

kajaknördar - paddling verkar kul
tid utomhus räknas

Höstfärger på Hjörneredssjön

Platt, höstigt och riktigt skönt

Platt, höstigt och riktigt skönt

Höstfärger och lite ödräll

Höstfärger och lite ödräll

Lite grå onsdag idag, lite ruggigt på landbacken men väl i kajaken är det som vanligt alltid gott. Tog en sväng på Hjörneredssjön och i Lagan idag på förmiddagen. Mycket vatten i sjön och gott om granna höstfärger. Finfint helt enkelt. Och så luktar det dessutom inte sololja, grill å sånt överallt :)

Fika som räknas, Utefika! :)

Fika som räknas, Utefika! :)

Gott om vatten. Inte bra då blir kanske elpriserna för låga i vinter ;)

Gott om vatten. Inte bra då blir kanske elpriserna för låga i vinter ;)

by Erik Sjöstedt at October 22, 2014 06:29 pm


3 star course in Salerno

L'accoglienza non poteva essere più calorosa. L'atmosfera non poteva essere più calda. Il luogo non poteva essere più attraente. La sintonia non poteva essere più profonda. Il divertimento non poteva essere più grande!
Il corso 3 stelle BCU che si è da poco concluso a Vietri sul Mare mi ha molto emozionato.
Non solo perchè ho rivisto una terra a cui sono da sempre legata, o perchè il mare era di un colore particolarmente intenso, o perchè la luce della costiera amalfitana è sempre speciale... e neanche perchè ho ritrovato amici di vecchia data e ho avuto la fortuna di stringere nuove amicizie e ho trascorso lunghe serate fuori dall'acqua a ridere e scherzare davanti a delizie "eno-grastro-nautiche" di ogni tipo...
Ma perchè l'ospitalità del circolo Ondalunga Kayak Salerno è stata eccezionale! Come eccezionale è stato il presidente Gianni De Luca che oltre a ricoprirmi di regali e complimenti mi ha messo a disposizione il suo kayak per l'intera durata del corso... altrettanto eccezionale è stato Gaetano Clarizia, l'istruttore di riferimento dell'associazione che mi ha aiutato a coordinare il corso, così come tutti i soci che ho avuto occasione di conoscere durante questo lunghissimo fine settimana in terra campana... sono tornata a casa carica di emozioni, colori, odori, sapori e suggestioni che non mi lasceranno più!

... c'è una magia speciale lungo questa costa...
Imma, Marcello, Pierpaolo, Antonio e Crescenzio
Papele, l'amico che mi ha fatto scoprire il kayak e a cui devo tutto questo! 
La magia della terra vista dal mare...
... e del mare visto dalla terra (picture made by Gianni De Luca from the tower of Erchie)! 
L'eccezionale presidente del club Ondalunga Kayak Salerno Gianni De Luca...
... e tutti i suoi doni, compresa la tessera onoraria "per sempre" dell'associazione!
The welcome could not be better. The atmosphere could not be warmer. The place could not be more attractive. The syntony could not be deeper. The fun could not be greater!
Last BCU 3 star course in Vietri sul Mare was really very excited for me.
Not only for that special land I'm so tied to, or because the sea decided to show us particularly intense colours, or because the light of the Amalfi Coast is always special... or even because I've met old friends and I'm so lucky to meet everytime new peculiar people and I've spent long evenings chatting and laughing and eating delicious dishes...
But also because the hospitality of the local club Ondalunga Kayak Salerno has been high-powered! As high-powered is the Chairman Gianni De Luca, who covered me of gifts and compliments and let me use his own kayak for the entire course... as many high-powered is Gaetano Clarizia, the instructor of the association who has helped me organizing the course, as well as all the paddlers I've met there during a long pleasant unforgettable weekend... I come back home full of good memories, colours, smell, tastes and suggestions that won't leave me anymore!

by Tatiana ( at October 22, 2014 05:27 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.

Cook Inlet

I’ve been fortunate enough to have spent the last few summers working and exploring the west side of Cook Inlet. In terms of raw wilderness and remoteness, I’ve never been anywhere like it; you feel it like you would someone standing next to you while waiting in line.

Alaska PeninsulaCamera Setting

Cook Inlet

It’s hard to imagine the actual size of the inlet and to look at a chart doesn’t really give you much appreciation for its size either. I can mention that it’s roughly 180 miles long and close to 40 miles wide at its southern end, but that still doesn’t give a sense of the immensity of the place. But when you start to consider that 3 separate zones of weather are assigned by NOAA then you start to get a feel for the size of the place. And the place is incredibly raw. Last summer, the calm season mind you, we had a marine forecast which included seas of 16’. That’s what we occasionally see on our Washington coast during winter storms!

“To the lover of wilderness, Alaska is one of the most wonderful countries in the world.” –  John Muir

The inland bears the name of the English explorer Capt. Cook, but it was the Russians who were the first Europeans in the area. Lebedev Lastochkin Company leader Stepan Zaikov established a post at the mouth of the Kenai River, Fort Nikolaev, in 1786. The small community of Ninilchik now resides where the old fort stands (see Ninilchik)

We came across this incredibly massive arc (the trees you see on the top are mature and would tower over a person standing next to them) after stopping to fill our water bladders and take a break. When we pulled into shore fog had prevented us from seeing the arc, but after launching and turning our bows to the north, the impressive formation came into view leaving us speechless while we tried to comprehend the size of this thing.

Just wish it had been high tide so we could have paddled through it.

The post Cook Inlet appeared first on Essex Media & Explorations.

by Steve Weileman at October 22, 2014 12:17 pm

Gnarlydog News

GEAR: SeaDog sail Code Zero

I nearly tipped in and went for a swim when a small set picked up my kayak and I started surfing. I was in my "tippy" kayak and half an hour into testing a new sail: the SeaDog 0.7 mt² in Code Zero . I was having fun trying to catch the short wind waves that the tidal flow against a healthy breeze was producing. I am familiar with this location and often I wait for the conditions to be just

by gnarlydog ( at October 22, 2014 09:22 am
Cycling, sea kayaking and life in the Scottish highlands

Learning to Shoot DSLR Video

Five weeks ago yesterday I underwent open surgery to repair two hernias.  Recovery, I was told, would take at least six weeks.

During that time I could not carry heavy rucksacks of video kit and tripods.

I've always considered working in television to be be a binary condition: you were either fit enough to work fourteen hour days and cope with whatever the shoot threw at you, or you were not.

If you couldn't handle any and everything, stay home.

In the freelance game there's no such thing as an easy booking.  So I've kept the bookings diary on my website clear until well into November.

To use my time productively I decided to learn how to shoot video on a DSLR camera, specifically a new Canon 5d mark 3.

Until now I've always shot on cameras with small sensors.  Good cameras, you understand, like my much loved Canon XF305 on which we shot Volume 3 - Sea Kayak with Gordon Brown and which I use regularly on shoots for the BBC.

For a long time now I have wanted to learn how to use a full frame sensor camera to get that much valued shallow depth of field.

My ideal video camera in this category is the Canon C300.  Once fully tricked out, it's out of my price range for now and I'm not good enough to make the most of it.

I know, I've tried.

The Canon 5D mk3 is a much cheaper compromise, especially if you buy a grey import here as I did.

The EF lenses it uses will fit the C300 and frankly, it's much harder to use for video.  After all, it's a stills camera.  If I can make this thing work for video then the C300 ought to be easier.

I could have bought a cheaper, more modern 'starter' DSLR video camera, but I'm thinking long term.  And an unexpected by-product is that I'm rekindling my love of stills photography.

I'll write more about the kit I've bought, the tutorials I've used, how it's working and hopefully post some video.  Once I've produced something which you might want to see.

by Simon ( at October 22, 2014 08:00 am

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

What's cookin'?

Spam musubi -- my first try ever! Why did it take me so long?

by (bonnie) at October 22, 2014 05:26 am

October 21, 2014


Cross Max... la renovación

Mi kickbike fué de los primeros (si no el primero) que llegó a este país directamente desde Finlandia, hace ya un porrón de años.

 Los componentes estaban muy mejorados pero el cuadro ya se había quedado un poco antiguo.

He mantenido todas las piezas sobre un cuadro race max, con la excepción de la rueda trasera, que para este cuadro es de 20 pulgadas, en vez de 18.

El resultado....


8 kilitos exactos...... por asfalto va perfecta.... este finde toca pegar botes por el campo........

by Jose Bello ( at October 21, 2014 11:32 pm

Trailrunning y .....drones

Las posibilidades de seguimiento de las pruebas deportivas en la naturaleza son cada vez más. Una pequeña grabación en "la trampa" cortafuegos de arena que nos pateamos en la carrera del fin de semana pasado.

by Jose Bello ( at October 21, 2014 11:30 pm

La Mesa de los Tres Reyes

Esta cumbre, la más alta del Pirineo Navarro (2.428 metros), se situa en la intersección de la frontera de Francia con España y la línea limítrofe entre Navarra y Aragón (Huesca).

La toponimia viene de esta localización histórica, entre los antiguos reinos de Navarra, Aragón y el vizcondado de Bearne (Francia).

Este mes de octubre está siendo sensacional para ir al monte, con una climatología en los Pirineos propia del verano. Así que aprovechamos... El mejor acceso es por el valle de Ansó, ascendiendo por el barranco de Petrechema.

El inicio de la ruta en si se situa en el refugio de Linza a 1340 m.

En el ascenso al collado de Linza, vamos dejando campas y pastos con ganado vacuno, ovejas y caballos.

 La vista hacia el noreste, ya nos muestra picos interesantes, aparte del nuestro, el más lejano y alto, destaca a la derecja el Petrechema.


 Al pie de la barrera rocosa ya tenemos sensación de altitud.

El terreno se empina.


Si como dice la tradición los reyes subían aquí para tratar las cuestiones comunes de los tres lo curraban...

 Llegando a la arista cimera


Estirando el día, ya de vuelta.

by Jose Bello ( at October 21, 2014 11:29 pm

South West Sea Kayaking
The personal blog of Mark Rainsley

Herm Island

On account of a camera battery failure, I have just one blurry camera phone picture of the stunningly beautiful island of Herm. It tells a story, though. The northern half of Herm is surrounded by white sandy beaches. The girls wanted to stop and camp here, I wanted to go on. I came up with all sorts of logical reasons why we should continue, but basically my motivation was simple: I really, really hate camping on sand.

I was outvoted, and sulked.

Actually, it wasn’t so bad there.


Filed under: Camping, Channel Islands, Islands, Kayaking, Mobile phone photos

by MRY at October 21, 2014 08:04 pm

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

Rice Lake Canoe Catalog Paddles has a copy of the Rice Lake Canoe Co. Catalogue dated to 1900. The company was one of the many builders in southeastern Ontario at the turn of the 20th century and it's well illustrated catalogue showcases many style of canoes being built at the time. A short history of the company can be read here for anyone interested.

Page 14 of the document a full page ad with a series of paddles. They're all long deep-water paddles consistent with the deep lake water conditions of region. Check out those prices...$1.00 for an oiled Maple, Ash, or Spruce paddle!

Rice Lake Canoe Co. - Paddle Closeups

by Murat ( at October 21, 2014 09:35 am

October 20, 2014

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

Nature is Speaking

And honestly, Nature sounds a little pissed off....

.... Rightfully so.

The Trees are a little pissed too.

We treat this guy, like dirt...

Yes, we will wage wars over you.

And this guy, he sounds indignant, and angry. I spend a lot of time with him, and I am a little afraid.

All of these are brought to you by Nature is Speaking ( When I saw it, I figured it was going to be lovely pictures crossed with he destruction we have wrought. I am glad they didn't go that route. I am glad Nature is angry. I am a angry, and very sad. I love nature. I really do. If that makes me a hippie, or a lefty or a freak, I am okay with that. This is a small planet, and we have no place else to go. If we don't start taking care of this place, we are in for a very. big. surprise.

I realize the truth in that statement. Do you? 2014 is on track to be the hottest year in history. The bee's are dying. Disease is spreading. California has no water. Last year my town in North Carolina got more rain than Seattle, Washington... Does that sound right to you?

by paddlingOTAKU ( at October 20, 2014 07:51 pm

South West Sea Kayaking
The personal blog of Mark Rainsley

Flat Holm morning

A grey morning on Flat Holm Island. We explored the overgrown and neglected ruins of the cholera hospital and the various WWII bunkers and barracks.

A cold stiff headwind was making the paddle back to England – into the teeth of this wind and across several major tide races – look distinctly unappealing and more crucially, rather unwise.

After lots of umm-ing and aah-ing, we came up with Plan #B – hitch a ride on the boat leaving that morning. But, it turned out there was no space on the boat. Plans #C and #D I forget (I’m sure they were good) but Plan #E was to paddle a shorter distance downwind to the Welsh coast, and then figure out how to retrieve the car from where we’d left it on the English shore of the Bristol Channel.

For all its faults, Plan #E turned out to be a success…

Filed under: Bristol Channel, Castles and Defences, History, Holm Islands, Islands, Kayaking, Wales

by MRY at October 20, 2014 05:33 pm

Travels with Paddles
a sea kayaking journal

Waiting for a train

Because of time and schedule constraints I could not drive to Cornwall and instead had to fly in via Bristol. It had already been a tight schedule but at least I made it to Bristol Temple Meads train station on time. Only to find my train to be delayed by 26 minutes. The platform by then crowded with people for a next (last) train in that direction. Like herrings in a can... At Truro the delay had run-up to 45 minutes, making me miss my last train on the Falmouth branch line to Penmere. Fair to say that Great Western Railways kindly provided for a taxi-bus to drop the stranded passengers off along the line's stations. But Jeff Allen picked me up from Truro and at midnight I could call it a day.

On my return trip a week later (today) I opted for the connection that needed no other transfers and a reserved table seat. So at 09:26 I am waiting at the (non-staffed) Penmere Platform for a train... that is canceled... Fortunately I could sit at (unreserved) table seats on both connecting trains and I am now 30 minutes away from Bristol Temple Meads. Then only a bus ride away from the airport.

The British and the Dutch rail system appear to have more than one thing in common. Privatized and delays. And maybe they also use the same statistics for measuring service, in that a canceled train does not count as delayed. Also it seems there are a lot of jobs with British Rail. All those gated stations and platforms with service personnel at those stations, gates and platforms to help people with valid tickets and non-opening gates. And many conductors on the trains, at least on the ones that run, calling out for tickets of newly boarded passengers only.

The British rail users remain kind and polite under all of this and show patience in queus. The train conductor on the Penmere branch line gracefully accepting my written-down reservation number, despite regulations, for I only could collect my on-line booked ticket at a Truro ticket machine.

by (Axel) at October 20, 2014 03:10 pm

something to sink your teeth into
sea kayaking in Israel and kayak building

3 days at sea, again

Our annual trip from Rosh Hanikra down to Sdot Yam got off to a good start with a rainbow as a good omen

once the kayaks were loaded we set off

28 kayakers to look after, luckily the sea was calm and the weather good for paddling, Did you ever try to count all your paddlers, when the group is so big it gets difficult to keep track of everybody. We have one guide  leading one in the middle and one guide at the back, sometimes two of us at the back helping keep the group together , but from time to time the group stretches for about one kilometer. This would not be good in rough water but here its ok and we manage to keep tabs on everyone. Sometimes you have to count the group a few times just to get the right numbers.

Rain clouds in the distance but not on us

First stop for a coffee break 

Happiness is a wet paddle

Acco is an interesting town to pass from the sea

should I take a break now?

the wall round Acco

and then the crossing of Haifa bay, about two and a half hours across

as you get closer to the port you have to watch out for larger vessels, they don`t see kayaks. We landed after a hard days paddling and about 30km all in all

Camping here is a luxury experience, the manager of the beach lets us in after the official closing time, he leaves the showers and toilets open for us, brings us firewood for a fire and chairs and tables for our comfort. He gets a gold star from us.

Noam makes us coffee whenever we stop

Next morning we pack up and leave before the beach opens to swimmers again, and we leave no trace of ever having been there

Packing a kayak is an art and it takes a while to remember where everything goes , so one of our paddlers has a map to remind him

Leaving the beach

we pass fishermen 

always put on sunscreen

We stop for breakfast  after about one and a half hours and get ready for the next leg

We pass a navy base and have to go 3 miles out to sea to avoid the firing zone, they send out a patrol boat to check on us

It takes about 4 to 5 hours and we need to stop for frequent breaks, the water is still nice and warm so its easy to jump in for a pee when you need to and no dry-suites to worry about

there is some boat traffic out there too

Food is an important part of the trip.We make all our meals into one big picnic. This time Avigail delegated everybody a specific meal and asked them to bring the necessary  ingredients.Good planning made meals easy and fun and very tasty

The forecast for Saturday was worrying, strong Southerly winds were predicted and the sea was going to get rough, so we decided to push on as far as we could on Friday evening

We found a great beach just north of Nachsholim

and spent the night here, another 30km day, well done to all

Saturday morning the wind was up and against us, and the sea was more active

We left the beach and began to paddle 

But then Yiftach decided that it was too dangerous to take such a large and mixed group out in such conditions and we aborted , landing on Nachsholim beach and called for transport home.

A few brave souls decided to paddle home anyway and left us 

The menu for Saturday breakfast called for pancakes, and as we didn`t have time before leaving the beach we decided to have a late meal when we got back to the club.All in all it was a great trip, not easy to do such distances when the usual trip is only about 2 hours. It puts a great strain on the body and takes a lot of determination and will power to paddle for a whole day so I think its a good achievement to all who did it. See you again next year and thank you all for being such a great group

by Steve Gordon ( at October 20, 2014 02:41 pm

Biking and Hiking and Kayaking
Ramblings of an outdoor person trapped indoors.

Volksmarching the Volkswagon Trail


The Frederick MD watershed area is bisected north/south by the Catoctin Trail. On the south end, the Gambrills State Park trail system gives you some loop opportunities, and at the northern end frequently used mountain bike trails do the same. However, we've never found loops in the middle section but Carl did some research and found this Volkswagon (sic) Loop someone had documented.

So, after the traditional coffee and bagels at Frederick Coffee (along with Carole who was on her way to visit her brother in PA) we headed up Hamburg Road to the start.


The Catoctin trail is a hiking trail so it tends to take the shortest path to get from Point A to Point B. Mountain biking trails rarely do that - they tend to try to find the most fun path for an exciting bike ride, so we did a lot of snaking around at the start of the hike. As we headed downhill to connect with the Catoctin Trail, we passed a the root system of a very large tree that had blown down - sort of looks like nature's Rorschach test.


About 3 miles in you find out why this is called the Volkswagon Trail...


From there it was  a brief downhill to a stream crossing above a set of cascades that didn't quite add up to a waterfall but it was very scenic, anyway. After that a brief section of a pine forest that looks like some planting plus lots of wild "volunteer" pines. From there we could not quite find one of the connector trails on the map, so we did some backtracking on the Catoctin Trail until we found an old Jeep road that took us past what looks like an abandoned small reservoir, or just a part of a flood control system.

After that, it was about another mile back to the Catoctin Trail and a short walk back to the trailhead for a total of just over 5 miles. Waiting for Carole to get back, we found that the vaunted Sheetz kiosk order system for sandwiches seemed to have turned into some kind of a random lottery system where order of output seemed to have no relationship to order of input but eventually our custom designed sandwiches did come out...

by John P. at October 20, 2014 12:51 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!)

Coney Island to Sandy Hook Test Swim with CIBBOWS, 10/18/2014

Preparing for the day at 5:30 am. I'm sharing a small selection of the day's photos here - visit my Flickr for more from the day (with a lot less words) 

I had an interesting adventure yesterday with some of the lovely folks at the Coney Island - Brighton Beach Open Water Swimmers (more commonly known as CIBBOWS). I've served as kayak support for a number of their races along the Coney Island shoreline and I always enjoy volunteering for them, so when I got a message saying that they were looking for kayakers for a special test swim from Coney Island to Sandy Hook, New Jersey, and it turned out that I didn't have anything else planned for the day, I said "Sure!"

When I started doing kayak support for swims (1999 or 2000, not sure exactly), most of the swims were along shorelines, with the biggest one being the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim, a 28.5 mile circumnavigation of Manhattan Island.  Over the last few years, the local swim organizers have been developing a number of new swims. A couple of them were based on historical swims; Rose Pitonof's 1911 swim from East 26th street to the Steeplechase Pier in Coney Island was commemorated in 2011 with the Rose Pitonof Swim, organized by Urban Swim and now an annual event, while the Manhattan Island Foundation's Ederle Swim honors Gertrude Ederle's 1925 achievement in becoming the first woman ever to swim the length of New York's Upper and Lower Harbors, breaking the standing record in the process (the following year she became the first woman to swim the English Channel).

Meanwhile, CIBBOWs continues to run their annual classics, Grimaldo's Mile, (named in honor of the understanding lifeguard who went to bat for the early CIBBOWS crew as they began regularly turning up for open-water swim training at Coney Island, arguing in favor of allowing them to swim outside of the jetties which the lifeguards had previously regarded as the de facto boundaries of the swimming area), and the Aquarium Triple Dip (one mile, five mile, and 10K races with a simultaneous start at the New York Aquarium), while actively developing new swims.

Interestingly, their public entrant in the "Big Swim" category, the Eight Bridges Swim, is not on their "home turf" at all but is rather a spectacular 120-mile seven-day swim down the Hudson, named after the eight bridges that mark each day's segment, beginning with the Rip Van Winkle Bridge in the Catskills and finishing at the Verrazano Narrows Bridge that marks the southern end of the upper NY Harbor. Still, they must stand by Grimaldo's Chair and look out across the lower harbor and say, "Wouldn't it be neat to swim...there?" The most obvious of those would be Breezy Point, which you're looking straight at when you stand on Brighton Beach and look south; it's temptingly close for an experienced open-water swimmer (5K), the currents are fairly straightforward, the point shelters the waters there, and although you are crossing a channel, it's primarily recreational traffic. The organizers deal with the safety issues by simply not making it a race, but a group swim for members; the number of swimmers is limited and swimmers must choose to join one of three "pods", slow, medium, or fast, with the pace of each pod set by the slowest swimmer and runaways returned to their pods by the jetskiers who form part of the safety escort.

Sandy Hook is the other of the two arms that embrace lower NY Harbor, and so naturally that's another tempting destination from Coney Island. It's a MUCH more complicated venture, though, and they still consider it a test swim, working out the kinks. This one, the swimmers are striking out for a destination that's over 10 kilometers away; on the Coney Island to Sandy Hook version that we did on Saturday, they travel across currents that can be flowing any direction from northeast to due south as the water runs out of the Upper Harbor, Raritan Bay, and Sandy Hook bay, all eventually funneling out of the five and a half mile wide mouth of NY Harbor. As the various flows run into each other and over various shoals and sandbars around Sandy Hook, chaotic wave conditions form (we managed to avoid the worst of them this year but if I heard the story right, last year as they crossed the Romer Shoal they got into some stuff that was so rough that the escort boats had to detour while the kayaks took the swimmers though), and before you even get to that of course you have to cross the Ambrose Channel, which feels a little bit like crossing the runway at JFK - big big craft coming in and out and they can't stop and they aren't going to go around you if you get in their way. All in all, when I first heard about this swim, I had reservations - that wasn't why I didn't go with last year's, I think I had a prior commitment, but it just sounded kind of scary.

The kayakers who have gone came back with stories of a challenging but well-run day, though, so this year I didn't hesitate when I got that email - for all the reasons I just gave, kayaking across the Lower Harbor is a pretty rare occurrence for all but the most ambitious, but it's also spectacular, and to have the chance to take swimmers across? The Manhattan Island Marathon Swim was always one of my favorites to volunteer for back when my boat was in Manhattan just because it's such a feat, and this had the same wow factor to it.

It was a hideously early start - five a.m., and as you can see from the first photo, it really was "oh-dark thirty" - but with the forecast for the day showing a small craft advisory with winds gusting to 25 kts, that actually worked out really well - we'd gone over and been brought back and were back on shore in Brooklyn long before things kicked up. The waves were pretty good-sized when we launched (I don't think I've ever done what I would quite consider a surf launch at Coney Island before but this time I did not turn down a helpful shove out) but either they settled down as the sun came up - or they just stopped seeming so big once I could see 'em. Also may have been a factor of getting used to the boat - clubmate Larry is another big fan of CIBBOWS and volunteers for them a lot (in fact when I was the kayak organizer for the Grimaldo's Mile this year he was a huge help), and sometimes lets me borrow one of his boats when Eri (another frequent CIBBOWS volunteer) isn't; Eri was in fact in on this one and was the one who told me they needed kayakers, but she was volunteering on one of the support boats this time as she's a less experienced paddler and this one needs some really solid skills, so Larry's spare boat was open for me, making the whole thing work. He has 2 Tchaikas, which are really nice little boats that put the lie to the common belief that a sea kayak under sixteen feet long can't keep up, great boat for a small to medium paddler. I'm pushing the limits of that boat at my size but it's worked well enough for me and I expected that that was what I would be paddling, but then Larry told me that one of the footpegs in his spare Tchaika was broken and how would I like to use his newly-acquired Epic 16 instead?

Sounded great except that one fairly good rule of thumb for kayakers is "Don't try a new boat for the first time for a long trip" - sometimes you'll run into a boat that just doesn't agree with your body type (I've only run into this once but that once, it was profound - the boat was the Anas Acuta - lovely lovely boat, beloved of many paddlers, but I got into one once and within five minutes my hip joints were screaming for mercy) - but given the choice between taking that gamble and dealing with a missing footpeg, I decided to take the gamble, figuring if worse came to absolute worst, I was sort of a spare kayaker for the relay team (they had me and Larry) and bailing out would be an option. Worked out fine, I would say it felt a bit less stable than my Romany, and it took me a little while to get accustomed to the steering (it's got a rudder that is meant to be used, I'm accustomed to ruddering on my surfski but it took a little while to get it through my head that I should steer with the rudder in a decked boat) - anyways, to get back to the point of things, getting settled in the new boat may also have been part of why the waves seemed bigger at first.

The swimmers started from the beach on Coney Island at 6:30 am - the sun was not up yet and the swimmers were wearing lightsticks, but you could barely tell them apart. I got in as close to shore as I could without getting involuntarily surfed back in - still really hard to see but I did manage to guess the right swimmer.

Larry and I were accompanying a three-person relay team - Phyllis was their starting swimmer. It was too early and a little too rough for my camera to focus but it looked pretty neat with Phyllis swimming along with her glowsticks past the Parachute Jump with dawn's early light finally coming up so...

Absolutely gorgeous sunrise, shortly after 7.

Phyllis stroking along smoothly, chasing Larry down the harbor

After an hour and twenty minutes during which Phyllis barely missed a stroke except to sip some water and liquid nutrients, Capri (Polar Bear Princess, the day's race organizer, and the relay team's boat volunteer) called on the radio to let me know that it was time for the switch. Phyllis swam over and boarded the Karen II, and then Spence, our second swimmer, jumped in and set to work. He's a big rangy guy and we moved on towards the Ambrose Channel (see the freighter in the distance?) at a good clip.

Not too long after that, I got a surprise call on the radio that a second swimmer was going to be joining us. It was Shara, who was slated to swim the third leg; it turned out that she had gotten terribly seasick on board the Karen II, the waves weren't crazy but they were enough to set a slow-moving boat to rocking heavily and it was too much for her. I guess she'd consulted with Capri and they decided that she might do better joining Spence in the water. 

Worked like a charm. Within a few minutes she felt well enough to take a few sips from the food bottle I still had from Phyllis. At this point I was VERY glad that the Epic 16 and I were getting along well - Shara is another strong swimmer but she just didn't have big rangy Spence's speed, so Larry took him and I stayed with her. It was actually particularly fun watching her because I think she's one of the happiest-looking swimmers I've ever seen. Don't know if she just has a naturally cheerful swimming face or if she was particularly happy to be off the boat -- could've been the latter because when Capri hailed me on the radio again ten minutes later to ask if she was ready to re-board, she grimaced and said "I don't EVER want to get back on that boat!" -- I relayed the message back and we were given permission to carry on. 

Capri did call her back on board about half an hour before her official start time, and I caught back up with Larry and Spence. Spence was doing an admirable job of closing the distance between himself and the solo swimmers out ahead of us, it wasn't a race but we were still having fun yelling "Go get those guys!" and Spence was having fun trying to catch 'em. We were closing in on the Ambrose Channel when he began to get too cold - I think he had maybe just a couple more minutes in his swim but his teeth were chattering and he decided it was time to get back on the boat. 

Shara was of course very happy to get back in as she'd gotten quite seasick again, and she was closing the distance to the Ambrose Channel quite nicely when, unfortunately for her, we saw three container ships heading north up the channel towards us. After a bit of discussion, the decision was made to pull all three of us onto the Karen II (she was an excellent swim support boat, being a dive boat with a big, sturdy, easy to negotiate swim ladder and a big open back deck with plenty of space for both kayaks) and motor across the channel. 

The loading needed to happen pretty fast; it was quite choppy here and being worried about having one of the steel-pipe rungs come down on Larry's lovely shiny red boat, I decided that instead of manuevering the boat to the ladder, I would just jump out nearby and swim to the ladder (our skipper cracked us up at this point, I told them what I was going to do, I said it was because I was worried about damaging the boat and without a pause he said "Oh, don't worry about my boat!" - the Karen II is a big sturdy vessel and a carbon fiber kayak was about as likely to do damage as an eggshell so we all started laughing and I said "It's Larry's boat I'm worried about!"). Larry followed with a little more elegance and then our captain put the boat in gear and we zipped on across the channel well in advance of the three big container ships. At this point Capri and the captain decided that as long as we were all on board, we would continue on to just past the Romer Shoal light, as the ebb was quite strong and we had already been carried pretty far down towards the mouth of the harbor - with this swim, the concern is being swept out into Atlantic, and we could see large breakers to the south that we definitely didn't want to get mixed up with. Our skipper was great, btw, been running dive boats for a long time (including a 6-year stint with the NYPD scuba division) and knows the Sandy Hook area very well. When we got into those areas I mentioned earlier where the currents get very confusing for one unfamiliar with the area, he gave Capri good clear directions and points of reference to relay to us. Really, really helpful!

Once we passed the lighthouse, we were ready to go again. I decided to jump into the water again to take care of, er, some personal business (there was a head on the boat but I was wearing a Farmer Jane and I was going to have to take off all of my gear and then put it all back on again and it was SO much easier to just jump back in the water) and just have them throw my boat in after me. Unfortunately in the process of scrambling back in, I managed to pull the wrist strap and float off of my camera, so I didn't take too many more pictures after that, but eventually I just couldn't resist the "god rays with swimmer and kayaker" shot. 

As we made the final approach to Sandy Hook, Shara started feeling bad about her teammates sitting on the boat waiting for her while she finished the swim, so she asked me to invite them to join her if they wanted to. Phyllis jumped in right away, Spence waited until we were a little closer, and then the three swam together most of the rest of the way.  

Phyllis had an arm that started to bother her and decided that close was good enough, but Shara and Spence swam on in to the beach together - a successful swim! 

I couldn't resist running off then and catching one of those lovely waves that were sweeping along diagonally to the shore - Epic 16 surfs very nicely - and then I made my way back to the boat for the ride back to Coney Island. Several of us adjourned to Tom's on the Coney Island boardwalk for lunch, and then Eri gave me a ride home - thank goodness for that, after a cheeseburger, fries, and a beer I could barely keep my eyes open there at Tom's and I just couldn't get home fast enough.
And again - repeating in case you missed it at the start - of COURSE I took more pictures than this, too many for a blog post. visit my Flickr album for the full set. 

by (bonnie) at October 20, 2014 03:00 am

October 19, 2014

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

Geocachingtur til Kringelneset og Fiskholmen

I dag tok jeg med meg speilrefleksen på tur. Men skarv er virkelig ingen enkel fugl å ta bilde av likevel. Den flyr fortere enn det ser ut til! Det var forøvrig et strålende vær i dag.

Dagens mål var testing av geocaching. Den blå prikken viser meg, som står ute på et nes ikke midt i havet som det kan se ut til. Målet er den grønne prikken til høyre. Der skal det altså befinne seg en boks med ett eller annet inni.

Rett og slett inni skauen her et sted. Egentlig skulle jeg ikke padle Avocet i dag heller, men det har fortsatt ikke kommet noe ny Nordkapp, over tre uker siden den etter sigende skulle sendes fra Vestlandet.

Denne her traff jeg på i fjæra på Kringelneset, la selvsagt ikke merke til den før den beveget seg. Tror de liker oppmerksomhet selv om de er godt kamuflerte, for hvis man ikke ser dem så begynner de å løpe eller hoppe, mens de lager pipelyder, he he he.

Jeg var ikke eneste båt på sjøen, men jeg kan ikke si jeg så noen ombord i denne. (Den lå skylt opp på stranda, men jeg sjøsatte den selvsagt igjen. Kom ikke på før nå, at den kanskje var satt i vinteropplag.)

På neset på andre siden hadde ikke sola nådd fram ennå, så der var skjellsandhaugene harde som stein og fulle av rim.

Det vil si, noen steder hadde sola nådd der også - såvidt.

Selve geocachinga kan jeg ikke vise så mye bilder av, man skal jo ikke spoile hele greiene. Folk skal jo lete selv. Det jeg kan si er at jeg fulgte anvisningene til telefonen (caching-app) gjennom en skummel krokeskog med skjegg på trærne, til jeg fant en boks. Ganske stor boks faktisk. Jeg skrev i boka og logget cachen. Min aller første - en slags testtur, rett og slett.

En rimelig stor bestand av kråkefot!
Så gikk jeg gjennom skogen tilbake til fjæra, men en annen vei for det gikk ikke sti der akkurat. Da jeg kom ned til fjæra var kajakken vekk. SKITT!

Søkk borte. Jeg så den ingen steder. Det var merkelig. For det første var jeg rimelig sikker på at sjøen falt, og for det andre var det lite vind der, og for det tredje gikk den lille vinden som var - rett mot vika, og der var heller ingen kajakk. SKITT!!! Noen må ha vært der og gjort jævel med meg???

Ingen kajakk der, så jeg fant ut at jeg måtte bare gå helt ut til neset selv om jeg så helt dit. Og sannelig, neset viste seg å være lenger ut enn jeg trodde, så kajakken lå rett bortafor det jeg trodde var ytterst...

Så enkelt viste det seg å være med den saken, altså. Jeg satte kursen mot Fiskholmen, der er det ingen cache, men jeg ville nå bare bortover for å se. Og det var lurt, for det begynte å blåse bittelitt, og så tok straumen seg litt opp, så da jeg kom helt til Fiskholmen var det faktisk litt action der. Her er jeg på tur utover mot der det er mest straumbølger, men da kom det en båt på helt kryssende kurs så jeg snudde.

På andre siden av Fiskholmen var det helt rolig - og masse hoder i vannet. Plutselig begynte skjæret til siden for meg (motsols) å bevege seg, og det ble action der også! Masse sel! Gøy. Lenge siden jeg har vært så nært, og sett så mange.

Jeg tok meg liksågodt en rekognoseringstur på land med det samme jeg var der. Vurderte fortsatt å padle helt bort til Jennestad. Det viste seg imidlertid at jeg måtte padle mye i skygge videre hjem i så fall. Fristet lite. Flatt var det også bortover.

Nei da var det mye bedre å bli her, det var nå litt fres i hvert fall. (Forøvrig et selhode til venstre i bildet.) Ikke enorme bølger akkurat, men det bråket og splæsjet og var betydelig bedre enn flatt hav.

På et spesielt sted var det til og med surfebølger som var helt perfekte for Avocet'n.

Seilbåten gikk litt rundtomkring og hit og dit, men uten seil. Her er den på vei tilbake fra Sortland, den svingte innom sentrum også.

Kanskje ikke så rart, det var jo fint lys der borte.

Ikke helt typisk midten av oktober, men de setter liksom stemninga uansett når, blåklokkene. Rett og slett et herlig innslag på denne turen. (Nei, jeg har IKKE spart bildet fra juni, det er tatt i dag.)

Ja, for jeg tok en tur i land på Kringelholmen også. Det er alltid noe kult å ta bilde av der, og jeg hadde jo med meg speilrefleksen i dag.

Dermed fikk jeg dette kule bildet, av en stakkars, stakkars glassmanet skylt på rygg opp på stranda.

Men så begynte ryggen å krangle, det var bare å komme seg hjem. Jeg skjønner ikke hva det er den driver med - den pleier å være grei hvis jeg bare ikke padler lenger enn 1,5 mil i strekk eller løfter tungt. Det var bare en mil tilsammen i dag, og jeg kan ikke huske å ha løftet tungt. Urettferdig.

Ikke mitt naust, men tøft var det likevel. Fin liten tur i dag.

by Miamaria Padlemia ( at October 19, 2014 09:11 pm

kajaknördar - paddling verkar kul
tid utomhus räknas

Text i bilder är väl ändå onödigt

Bild med copyrighttext. Ingen ser bilder, bara texten

Bild med copyrighttext. Ingen ser bilder, bara texten

Jag gillar att spana på bilder. Inom blandade områden, kanske mest inom friluftsliv, kajak, natur och sånt men även inom de flesta andra områden. Bra bilder, helst oarrangerade, är alltid skoj.

En del lägger in text i sina bilder. Kan vara så brutalt som ovan men även mindre varianter och/eller ibland med logotype med mera. Tanken är nog att försöka framhäva sitt namn eller varumärke och/eller för att försvåra kopiering.

Jag tycker det förstör bilderna. Man ser knappt bilderna, hur de än ser ut, lätt att man fastnar på texten istället.


Och visst lär det bli färre som ”snor” bilden. Så det är ju bra om det var man ville uppnå, men tyvärr lär betydligt färre titta på den och betydligt färre dela den tror jag.

Så dela med er av era bilder men skippa texten. Låt bilderna tala för sig själv. Uppmana istället andra att dela bilderna vidare och de gör de såklart med glädje om den/de är bra och om det inte finns text/logga som stör.

Man vill se hela bilden utan störande texter eller logotyper såklart

Man vill se hela bilden utan störande texter eller logotyper såklart

by Erik Sjöstedt at October 19, 2014 06:54 pm

South West Sea Kayaking
The personal blog of Mark Rainsley

Sea kayak surfing at K-Bay

A splendid surf at Kimmeridge Bay this morning. Although Kimmeridge is famous in surf circles for its reef breaks, the slow moving and not-especially-steep waves which form in the bay are simply perfect for sea kayaks. Exciting surfs, forgiving consequences. Perfect!

A wonderful spot, indeed one of my favourites….but not somewhere I now visit very often. Not since the Smedmore Estate greedily started charging ten quid to use the road to the bay, anyway. Yes, you heard that right. Ten quid.

Filed under: Dorset, Isle of Purbeck, Kayaking, Surfing

by MRY at October 19, 2014 06:41 pm

English Whitewater – 2nd Edition

The recent rain has brought the rivers of the South West up nicely; this seems a good time to remind folk that the second edition of English Whitewater is now in print and on sale. I updated my section on the South West’s rivers and I’m proud of the work I did…and if nothing else, it got me out paddling. I didn’t make any money out of this but if you click THIS LINK and buy yourself a copy, I will get a small commission, enough at least to buy a lottery ticket and hence become immensely wealthy.

Picture below shows the upper section of the splendid River Walkham, Dartmoor.

Filed under: Dartmoor, Devon, Kayaking, South Devon, White water, Writing

by MRY at October 19, 2014 02:44 pm

Kollbergs Kajakblogg
Nynäshamn / Stockholm / Sweden

Lunchpaddling till Yttre Gården

Vaknar tidigt. Det är fem minusgrader och klarblå himmel. Dricker kaffe och äter en smörgås. Solen börjar värma på. Temperaturen stiger sakta. Packar för en dagstur. Kokar gulaschsoppa. Fyller termosen med kaffe. Blir avsläppt vid NSS. Byter om. Bär ner kajaken till bryggan och stuvar ner packningen. Pelle, Carina, Mats och David möter upp. Vi lägger i och tar oss ner längs Gårdsfjärden. Paddlar genom Gårdssundet  och ner på utsidan av Yttre Gården. Det är lågvatten och svag vind. Kliver iland för lunch. Vågorna sköljer upp över Södra stranden. Dricker kaffe och småpratar. Solen värmer skönt. Hjälps åt att lägga ut kajakerna. Styr mot Sandskär. Rundar Såtholmen och paddlar sakta hemåt. Vinden har börjat friska i. Drar nöjd upp kajaken på bryggan.

Tack Carina, Pelle, David och Mats för en härlig lunchpaddling i vårsolen...

by Kenneth Kollberg ( at October 19, 2014 02:35 pm
Kajak, Foto,Friluftsliv

Strängnäs kanotmaraton 2014

Bestämde mig att köra Strängnäs kanotmaraton som gick lördagen den 18/10-2014, Har inte hunnit paddla så mycket så jag är inte i någon vidare form för ett paddling på 4.4 mil men tänkte att det ska väl gå bra bra man kör lite försiktigt.   Tar en timme att åka till Strängnäs så jag fick gå upp vid 5 tiden för komma iväg i tid.

Det var en trevlig startplats även om det saknades toalett som var låst av misstag. Många som anmält sig kom inte till start men det var ändå ca 44 stycken som startade. Det var en salig blandning av kajaker allt från snabba surfskis till vanliga havskajaker.

Starten var bra med lite mulet väder med en svag sydlig vind som gav lätt medvind de första 20 km. Startar i en fart runt 4.4-4.8 knop och efter en mil började jag bli trött och blev orolig hur detta skulle gå!   Fick en svacka runt 25 km då jag tappade fart.

Efter Hjulstabron svänger det tillbaka mot Strängnäs och det blev till en början lätt motvind, Paddlade med en herre inom synhåll annars såg jag inga andra kajaker.  Min strategi var att ta det lugnt men att inte göra några stopp, fick dock gå iland snabbt för att fixa slangen till vätskesystemet som låg i kläm. Strategin var bra för många som var snabbare än mig tog en paus utmed banan  och ett stopp på 5-10 min är jobbigt att ta ingen.

Sen blev det en överraskning !! Efter att ha rundat Aspön norra udde kom en regnfront snabbt och vinden ökade  ordentligt så att det blev motvind i stort sått ända till målgång. Början av Gisselfjärden bjöd på stora krabba vågor för att sedan övergå i mindre men i frisk motvind ( filmade lite när den värsta biten var över).

Sista  sträckan över långsmala Strängnäsfjärden tog krafterna slut och det gick mycket långsamt. Tappade bara en placering trots detta. Det gör ont minst sagt sista biten och man vill bara komma i mål.  Det var här som min otränade kropp sa ifrån men lyckades ände höja farten  lite de sista 2km in mot mål.

Var en trevlig tävling men på gränsen till lite för långt, skulle personligen hellre paddla banan medsols och börja med den något trista  Strängnäsfjärden och överfarten av de större fjärdarna.

Att använda GPS var mycket bra då det inte är helt lätt att navigera om man inte har paddlat här tidigare.

Resultat: plats 23 tid: 06:48:28

En  filmsnutt från tävlingen:

Besök Strägnäs kanotmaraton

by Bengt Larsson at October 19, 2014 12:51 pm
Cycling, sea kayaking and life in the Scottish highlands

One Year With Maggie

When a tiny border terrier came to live with us twelve months ago today I promised this would not become a dog-blog.

This anniversary is an exception.

We don't have kids so we laughingly refer to Maggie as our "fur-baby.  Actually, that's not far from the truth!

I've made a few videos of her in the past year which you can find on her YouTube channel.

I am self-aware enough to know how sad this sounds.  My younger self would scoff and sneer mercilessly.  But she is endlessly entertaining, as you can see below.

by Simon ( at October 19, 2014 11:04 am

. . . WELCOME PHOTOGRAPHERS, PADDLERS AND DREAMERS If there be magic on the planet, the magic is in the water (ANON)

Doug Winter

Still missed by friends

It seems as if it were just yesterday when we messed around in boats.

Doug (far left) was our friend, a kayaker, a fine teacher of children and...above all...a fine decent guy. 
After all this time he is carried in our hearts. His name is spoken often in our circles. 

Paddle safe...

by Silbs ( at October 19, 2014 10:19 am

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

Kayakers' news from CHEK

Two local stories of note for paddlers on Vancouver Island, reported on CHEK news:

-a paddler from Campbell River is missing. His vehicle has been found on Quadra Island, and his kayak and gear have turned up on another island nearby. You can read this story and see the CHEK video here. This case is a reminder for all of us, especially those who paddle alone, to have a ground crew. It's also a good idea when parking your vehicle to leave a brief note on the front seat telling your paddle plans and when you plan to return.

-a cargo vessel loaded with fossil fuels was drifting off Haida Gwai, but is now under tow. It appears disaster may have been averted, for now. You can read this story here.

Update: as of Saturday night, the tow line had broken and the vessel was drifting again towards the rocky shore. Then the vessel was taken under tow again. On Sunday the 19th, the vessel was being towed for repair. Stay tuned to your news services to hear the next stage in not only this particular vessel's story, but the ongoing story of How Fuel Tankers Affect The Coastline. As small boat users, this is our story too and there are many ways we can participate.

by (Paula) at October 19, 2014 12:39 am

October 18, 2014

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.
Greenland Or Bust - Helen Wilson & Mark Tozer

Lumpy Waters

“We want Lumpy, we want Lumpy, we want Lumpy…” This group chant has become very familiar at the Lumpy Waters Symposium, which took place in Pacific City, Oregon last weekend. This was my second year coaching at the event, and I had an absolute blast.

The event started mid-day Friday, and I showed up a couple of hours early. Sea kayaking symposia usually feel like a big family reunion, and it was great to spend some time catching up with old friends and making new ones before classes began.

The Fun-Balance-Games competes in a singing competition.

The Fun-Balance-Games class competes in a singing competition.

Throughout the weekend I ran three sessions of Simplifying the Roll and one session of Fun-Balance-Games. It was great to work with coaches from all over the country, and fantastic to see so many repeat and new participants.

There were races as well.

There were races as well.

Taking balance to another level.

Taking balance to another level.

There were some very creative thinkers in this class.

There were some very creative thinkers in this class.

The social aspect of Lumpy Waters is one of the things that makes it special. Event sponsors, Thule and Kokatat, provided the beer, and Werner provided some REALLY nice stainless steel pint glasses to enjoy the tasty beverages out of. The campfire was always running strong, and evening social activities included presentations by Matt Nelson and Nick Cunliffe, as well as the legendary “Pub Quiz,” which is difficult to describe… guess you’ll have to go next year to experience it for yourself.

Thank you to Paul Kuthe, Suzi Elle and Dave Slover who all do an amazing job of putting this symposium together. You all rock!

by helen at October 18, 2014 02:16 pm

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

Mount Hope Cemetery Animals

 More animal shots gathered off the water, this time from Bangor's Mount Hope Cemetery.    There are entrances off State St and Mount Hope Avenue.  The State Street Gate is open more hours.
"I'm flying"
Mount Hope is the second oldest garden cemetery in the United States.  (The oldest is Mount Auburn, Cambridge, MA.)   It has a stream running through the middle which widens into several ponds and a seperate turtle pond by the main office.  The water, and the banning of dogs, makes this a great place to find animals.
    Groundhogs are especially common, as are squirrels.  Unfortunately, by October, all the groundhogs are hibernating.
     In the spring and summer, uskrats are frequently seen in the ponds, or on nearby banks.  This one is just a baby.
    Less rarely seen are chipmunks.  And just once this summer were we able to spot a fox or mink.
Eastern Bluebird
  A variety of birds show up through the season.  For awhile Merlins were nesting in a tree.
    But this Cooper's Hawk just showed up recently.
There are an abundance of frogs, and tadpoles in season.  Surprisingly, herons and kingfishers are not there every day.
    But there are lots of mallards.  These ducks are hoping for some food.
   I hope you're having some wonderful fall adventures!

by PenobscotPaddles ( at October 18, 2014 01:25 pm

South West Sea Kayaking
The personal blog of Mark Rainsley

Magpie River Diary

Recently came across this article from 2006, about a 115 mile paddle in Quebec; down the West Magpie River, along Lac Magpie and then down the Magpie River to the sea.

Friday 28th July

The alarm went off in our motel room at seven am, and Simon made the phone call right away. No good, the planes are fog bound and nobody is flying today. We went right back to sleep.

We’re in Sept Isles, a small town in the far east of Quebec, Canada. Yesterday we drove nearly six hundred miles here from Montreal. Our final arrival was a bit of a let-down. With grey concrete, grey sea and grey skies, Sept Isles looks suspiciously like Barrow in Furness. The culprit who rounded us up and dragged us all up here is Simon Wiles, an expat Brit. He has convinced us that – given that it possesses 13% of the worlds fresh water – Quebec has to have decent whitewater hidden somewhere out in the woods. So here we are, a dozen Brits and Americans, wondering if we are all victims of an elaborate hoax.

Saturday 29th July

The alarm went off again, Simon phoned again and this time the news was good. Clear skies for our flight inland. Within an hour we were all assembled at the lake which serves as an airport, weighing our creek boats and a mountain of gear; presumably so that our pilot could calculate how fast we’d fall out of the sky. I found myself in the first group, cramming half a dozen boats down one side of the little Otter float plane. Whilst the second group drove the long shuttle, our pilot cranked up the engine and we were airborne in seconds. Labrador Air Safari doesn’t provide air hostesses or in-flight movies; instead a pair of ear plugs was doled out to each of us and entertainment consisted of hanging onto luggage straps whenever the plane banked sharply.

Below us was nothing but trees, lakes, cliffs and rivers. After an hour, the pilot swooped low and yelled over the roar of the engine that he was going to attempt a landing on the river. A succession of things flashed past my window disturbingly closely: tree branches, a cliff, sandbars, rocks…and then the pilot revved the engine and we climbed steeply up again, before landing gently on a lake a few miles away from the river. We offloaded the gear and by the time we’d waded to a beach, the plane had left to collect the rest of the group.

For the first time in many months, none of us had anything much to do. Marvellous! We sunbathed and paddled on the beach, whilst speculating what to do if the second flight didn’t appear. This seemed a distinct possibility, as a thunderstorm was brewing…but by late afternoon, we were all reunited and paddling across Lac Vital in our somewhat low-floating boats. Water levels had been a concern prior to the trip but as we reached the lake outlet, we found a very healthy flow. After several miles of easy rapids, we were deposited in the West Magpie River itself, which was surprisingly large. I’m not sure what we expected, but we didn’t think wed encounter a big volume Grade 5 gorge at the start! Clearly the Magpie deserves respect, but more importantly we have established that it has quality miles after miles of long technical Grade 4 rapids to puzzle your way down.

The silence and solitude out here is simply daunting. The nearest road is about 80 miles away as the Loon flies. The Muskeg landscape is totally alien to us; thick boggy moss with stunted trees. We aren’t alone, we constantly see moose prints on beaches and we are wearing head-nets to keep the blasted evening black-flies from draining our blood.

No one seems to like my cooking. What’s wrong with hot-dog sausages and spaghetti? It’s raining.

Sunday 30th July

I woke at five am and tried some fishing. Despite my total incompetence, a few brook trout were dumb enough to get caught. All too small for breakfast, though. Damon joined me and produced a gigantic fly fishing rod from his kayak, Tardis-style. He taught me how to cast a rod properly, not that it made the big fish bite.

Eventually we were all on the river, trying to loosen up after our first night of bivvying. The rapids fizzled out early on and the following four hours were more or less flat water. Andy Mc noted that it was more flat water than hed paddled in his entire life. We all zoned out into our own headspace. I had time to notice that the trees were slowly getting taller, and the grass greener; really.

In the evening, the whitewater returned and we picked our way down a long series of bedrock ledges, trying with varying degrees of success to dodge the big stoppers they generate. Boofing isn’t much of an option when your boat weighs 40 kilos! The paddling gets better and better, not unlike Norway (but with fewer gorgeous blonde women).

We’re getting to know the Americans better. Shoving an international mix of egos together out in the wild, sounds on paper like the worst plan ever. In reality, its splendid; they are easy to get on with and we’re all having a laugh.

It’s still raining.

Monday 31st July

Mark G had a lousy start to the day, when his sleeping bag blew into the river. What is this changeable Quebec weather all about?

After a slow start waiting for Kevin to pack his boat (usual culprit) we were off with Lac Magpie as our objective for the day. The West Magpie moved up a gear, laying on some of the finest continuous rapids we’ve ever paddled. We’re all paddling carefully; heroics generally aren’t a good idea when you are several days from help. Keeping communication and safety tight with such a large group is pretty awkward, and at one point Eric found himself left behind, pinned across a large boulder choke…oops.

The West Magpie flattened off again, and we assumed that Lac Magpie could not be far. Wrong! A bonus gorge appeared which is not on our maps. At the entrance, the whole river plunged into a slot with enormous tow-back; our first portage. The remainder of the gorge was alternately portaged and paddled, and this took much of the afternoon to deal with. Full marks to John, who carried Andy L’s boat right around the gorge for him after he flaked out. Finally we escaped the gravitational pull of this abyss and emerged into Lac Magpie. The lake is fifty miles long and we have to paddle more than half the length of the bloody thing. With an unexpected gale blowing down the lake, we found ourselves surfing! This was totally exhausting as the creek boats kept slewing off course. After two hours of this unpleasantness, something snapped in me and I rebelled, paddling towards a beach to stop for the day. Thankfully everyone else felt the same and followed.

This evening we are perched atop a slab of rock beside the fire, watching squalls of wind and rain race up and down Lac Magpie. Its a beautiful spot, but everyone’s mind is focused on the distance we have to paddle along the lake tomorrow. A headwind would be all of our worst nightmares come true at once

Tuesday 1st August

In the early hours of this morning, I crawled out of my bivvy bag to pee. There were more stars crammed into the night sky than I ever knew existed. The heavens seemed three-dimensional, with some stars almost close enough to touch. Better still, the wind had dropped.

Breakfast catastrophe! The porridge I cooked was accidentally tipped over and lost. This didn’t bother Eric, who grabbed a spoon and ate it off the rocks. He declared that the mossy bits didn’t taste so nice.

We rather reluctantly launched and headed off along the shore. Nothing is more soul destroying than lagging behind someone all day, so Mark G and I paired up. For the first few hours, my shoulders screamed in protest and my mind wished for my sea kayak. We stopped for lunch under a cliff and Damon (once he’d caught up) declared emphatically that this was the lousiest day of his entire life. We considered the possibility that we were all unwitting victims of some Reality TV show, and that Ant and Dec would appear out of the bushes at any moment. After lunch however, something bizarre happened. My arms seemed to flow, the miles began to fall away easily, and a wave of euphoria washed over me. I was loving it! I told others about this, but they just looked at me funny. It took us eight hours to cover 26.7 miles of the lake (wonderful thing, GPS) to the outflow of the Magpie River. This section began with large multi-channelled Grade 3 rapids. These were pleasant, but we stopped shortly; we were zonked out and it began to rain coldly.

The campsite we’ve selected has quickly become known as Camp Misery on account of the endless rain, wet unburnable wood and nasty claggy sand which works its way into every piece of your gear and every nook and cranny of your body. There is talk of paddling the whole Magpie River (over thirty miles) in one single day tomorrow, instead of two. Whilst the thought of steak and a warm bed tomorrow night is tempting, it’s a long paddle and we’re all pretty run down so it doesn’t seem likely. I expressed my opinion of the plan using a word which rhymes with ‘pollocks’.

Wednesday 2nd August

We did it! I was forced to eat my words, today was The Longest Day.

Strange river, the Magpie. It has friendly easy rapids in the first ten miles, but then it just flattens out into a chain of small lakes linked by large granite ledges which form huge stoppers. We were able to find sneak routes around them all, but Chris attempted to commit euthanasia before reaching his 42nd birthday (tomorrow) when he totally missed his line and boofed straight over an evil pourover onto a thirty foot long towback.

The Magpie dragged on through the day, getting flatter; we thought we’d almost done it when the GPS read five miles to the sea. Never count your chickens, the GPS also told us that we were 500 feet above the sea. The flat water ended abruptly as the river dropped into a monster gorge, losing most of that height in one mile. As we shouldered our boats for the long portage, I emptied my water bottle to save weight. This was about the stupidest thing I could have done, an hour later I was clinging to mossy cliffs high above the river, completely dehydrated. Idiot.

Damon and I were the last two paddlers to climb back to the river. We were above the gorge’s final big grade 5 rapid. Neither of us was enthusiastic about this, given our tiredness. I ran the entrance drop by a chicken chute, and waited in the eddy, savaged mercilessly by blackfly. Damon seal-launched and paddled out to catch the central tongue through the drop…disaster struck! Damon missed and instead plugged the largest stopper. As the inevitable beatdown ensued, I readied myself to chase a swimmer down the gorge. Damon had different ideas; he is a phenomenal playboater, and regained control over his heavy, loaded creekboat. For a full two minutes he tried to cartwheel and loop out, eventually wresting free, purple in the face. I was in awe, this being some of the best paddling I’ve ever witnessed (except for the bit where he dropped into the stopper).

It was nearly over. As dusk began to descend, we portaged around Magpie Falls, 80 feet high and spectacular. Perhaps we were too tired to appreciate it fully, but scenes like this made the price of admission easier to swallow.

A few more rapids, another corner in the river, and we faced the building site of a new hydro plant, quite a jarring sight after days in true wilderness! The dam will flood the last mile of the river to a depth of thirty feet, a sad loss but in truth, only a fraction of what the Magpie River drainage has to offer.

One more murderous portage left, through the trees past the dam site. We crawled up to the cars after eleven hours of paddling and portaging, physically defeated but elated. The beer we left in the cars has disappeared in about five seconds. Steak awaits a hundred miles away and Simon has his foot on the gas pedal…

Mark Rainsley 2006

The following photos show some other nearby rivers which we enjoyed…

Filed under: Camping, Canada, Magazine articles, White water

by MRY at October 18, 2014 11:51 am

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

A quick sip of "Brandy", waiting for my paddling partner.

It's been quite a while since last posting and there are lots of days in the narrow boats, on the waters around Vancouver Island, still to share. Maybe sometime. It was good to be home for a visit, we knew the Scottish boats would wait patiently for our return. 

Speaking of return, your scribe has been back in Scotland and the locum at St. Margaret's for a couple of weeks, but my paddling partner is still in Canada for another week or so. Joan's UK visa arrived from Her Majesty's Passport Office, the day after I left Vancouver on the big blue KLM jet(s), bound eventually for Edinburgh. There are tremendous advantages to having dual citizenship, not the least of which is the freedom to travel back and forth at will. 

So, since I'm not "allowed" to paddle without my partner, and can't get the Valley Étain onto the MTKTV (Moderate Terrain Kayak Transport Vehicle) racks easily anyway...what to do? Hit the trails, of course. On this day, it was a quick trip up to one of our favourite hill walking destinations, Loch Brandy. It's that marvellous mountain corrie at nearby Glen Clova, a jewel of a lochan. In Canada, we would call it a mountain cirque.

It doesn't seem to matter what the weather is like up there, it's simply lovely. The rain pelted down, the wind blew, and the mist came and went, but the rain gear and the delicious isolation made for a perfect adventure. It was a grand day out.

Taking shelter behind a stone grouse "hide" (I think that's what it was), I lay on the soft heather and marvelled at the landscape, made dynamic by the movement of the liquid air. It was the perfect place for lunch, in the company of only a few sheep. The distant and eerie roaring of a red deer stag, Britain's largest land mammal, was carried by the wind, to this little place of respite.

Even the loch would mysteriously vanish...and reappear before my eyes. There was a "mystical" element to it all. These are, however, the Scottish highlands, the depth of their history and associated legend is palpable.

The plan had been to complete the high circuit, over the top of Brandy, but the visibility was very poor, sometimes non-existent...and there was no one else on the mountain. I would be content to leave it for another day.

It's so easy to be alone in these craggy hills...but not lonely.

It's such a special place... last "sip", and it was time to descend to the trail head.

I miss my paddling partner, but she's enjoying some additional "pal" time back home and I'm really happy about that. Soon, we'll be back on the water together...and undoubtedly sipping the occasional "Brandy" - corrie blend. :)

by Duncan and Joan ( at October 18, 2014 11:57 am

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

Paddlenorth - a book by author and paddler Jennifer Kingsley

Conservationist and paddler Jennifer Kingsley has a new book being launched this fall, called Paddlenorth. Published by Greystone Books with support from the Canada Council for the Arts, this book tells the story of Kingsley's 54-day paddling adventure on the Back River in Canada's north. This is a terrific choice for a gift to give the paddler you love.

“A perilous journey through an unforgiving landscape. A wild adventure that sweeps you up in its wake. Jennifer Kingsley is a wicked paddler and a beautiful writer.”–Andrew Westoll, author of The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary
“In the tradition of great exploration literature, Jennifer Kingsley examines both the wilderness she paddles through and the wilderness within. An engrossing story that illuminates the north and the nature of friendship.”—Don Gillmor, author of Mount Pleasant

 Kingsley will be reading from her book at the following free events in Vancouver and Victoria BC in the next few days:

October 19, Vancouver, B.C.

Afternoon in-store signing at Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC). 130 West Broadway Vancouver, British Columbia V5Y 1P3
Come by to say hello, talk about paddling, check out some muskox fur and meet the author.

October 19, Vancouver, B.C.

Evening presentation at Book Warehouse, 4118 Main Street at 25th Ave.
6:30-8:00 p.m.
Free admission.
Join author and naturalist Jennifer Kingsley for stories and a sample of her new book, Paddlenorth. Meet other people who love travel writing. Say hi to Jenny.

October 20, Vancouver, B.C.

Evening presentation at Mountain Equipment Co-0p (MEC). 130 West Broadway Vancouver, British Columbia V5Y 1P3
6:00-7:00 p.m.
Free admission.
Join author and naturalist Jennifer Kingsley for slides, stories and a sample of her new book, Paddlenorth. Meet other paddlers, talk about adventure, get inspired.

October 22, Victoria, B.C.

Evening presentation at the Victoria Public Library, Central Branch, 735 Broughton Street.
Join Jennifer Kingsley, author and naturalist, on her Arctic voyage as she recounts stories, shows photos, reads select passages and answers questions. Come and say hi!

by (Paula) at October 18, 2014 07:02 am

October 17, 2014

Travels with Paddles
a sea kayaking journal

Last days of Summer

Last week I was at Sea Kayaking Cornwall's annual Sea Kayak Symposium course week. Unfortunately I could not attend the symposium weekend itself. Monday onwards I ran the BCU 4* training over 4 days + 1 day for the Coastal Navigation & Tidal Planning module. Monday it was raining so a good day to get the CN&TP done. The forecast for the rest of the week was 'horrible'. Strong and gale force winds and more notably: long wave period swell out of a deep low from the west. Cornwall is famous for it's surf on many of it's beaches, but where to go with up to 2.9 meter significant wave height with 13-17 second wave periods for a 4*?
My group was very focused. At our 9 AM meetings they had already discussed among them the paddling possibilities with the forecast for the day. Strong south-easterly winds. North coast today. Rock hopping and skill training out of Portreath. A beautiful sunny summer-like day. The last day of Summer?
Wednesday we went to Carbis Bay. The long period swells to arrive around noon. Heading out to the east side of St. Ives bay, the surf gradually increased in height and frequency of waves. Extremely clean long running waves in sets, unknown in the Netherlands where I come from. I had my longest surf EVER. The only drawback with this kind of surf (and long runs) is that everybody is scattered all over the place and counting is quite impossible not being able to see over the top of the swell. Time to get out and for lunch on this (surely) last day of Summer.
Thursday the (strong) wind was southwest enough to use Falmouth Bay and check-out close-by Swanpool first. The long swell did not wrap around to Swanpool, so a great 4* environment to use for leadership and incidents. The first three scenario's I did not even have to stage. Reality was better than the best scenario I could plan. Leaving a (dumpy) surf beach uncontrolled inevitably creates mayhem with a backwashed paddler hitting the ready-to-launch kayaks side-on. The first rocky outcrop had a paddler out of the kayak onto the rocks. A throw-tow rescue. A third participant by now thought this was a 'free-for-all' incident hour and decided to capsize waiting to be rescued. Did I mention that in-view Falmouth coastguard wanted to be notified when we would start our rescue exercises? I did not even have time to prepare them... The sun only visible through a gray sky. Brown leaves floating in the sea. Autumn has arrived.
Grey skies of
Friday we went to Swanpool again. Now with a south-southwesterly force 5 Beaufort wind we could check the 'outer limits' of the Swanpool area and the remit boundaries of the 4* environment. Rain was fore-casted for the Friday afternoon, but we were off the water before that.
Do check out Sea Kayaking Cornwall for their activities and their annual sea kayaking Symposium in October. Cornwall has a spectacular coastline, also famous for it's surf. The water temperatures (in October) are still very warm, so wet activities are not uncomfortable. A good place to spend any time of a long Cornish Summer.

by (Axel) at October 17, 2014 08:00 pm

A whole bunch of Ing's.
Kayaking,camping,rolling, practicing,paddle making, ..Writing,blogging and nautical miles from a normal life

Johnny got his rain jacket on!

Consternation by talking heads shrouded with common sense advice to "survive the storm". I turned off the media fury over hurricane Gonzalo grabbed my drysuit and took to the brine.  A stiff southern wind gusting to 50km/hr; warm gulf air being pushed ahead of the approaching storm. Swell still pounding in from the open Atlantic mixing with the stiff southerly wind and claptois; made for an exciting open crossing around Greens hr point.

Out here there was no panicked voices. No nanny state media telling little Johnny to ensure he had his rain jacket on. Nothing but the sea breathing in.......

 .........and out.

Living in 2014 we are bombarded by media at every turn. How much is really pertinent to our life's is something we all should question. Even for a guy like myself who doesn't watch television I am still bombarded by Facebook links, the passing internet story, and the radio. All spreading panic and fear for profit. To hook in people, have them waiting with bated breath for the possible tragedy.

Bated breath? Not me. The hurricane will pass. Temporary power may be lost, some siding and shingles missing Some romantic meals cooked on a peak stove. 

Some rain, some wind then the sea will calm, and I'll be back on the ocean.

by Lee ( at October 17, 2014 08:21 pm

Le Kayak de Mer dans le Nouveau Monde: Nouvelles
Cette section du site Le Kayak de Mer dans le Nouveau Monde présente les nouvelles et actualités qui touchent de près ou d'un peu plus loin, le kayak de mer, le milieu marin, la faune et la flore, l'environnement, des trouvailles et nouveautés d'équipement de kayak et plus.

Les canots Scott, Bleu Water ainsi que les Kayaks Impex seront de retour sur le marché en 2015

October 17, 2014 06:03 pm

Woman on Water
Sea kayaking on the Mendocino Coast and other adventures from a woman's perspective.

Shake IT!!!

For those who regularly follow my blog and have been wondering where my posts have been . . . they have been in my head.  I have some great material and am hoping for a rainy winter in Northern California for me to do a bit of writing (and whitewater boating).

Until then you might enjoy reading my latest post for Jackson Kayak about our trip to the Lost Coast using our Karma RG's.

And of course check out the video that I just finished editing of our whitewater of the sea ocean kayak rock gardening adventures on the Mendocino Coast (yes, that's me in the green/blue Karma RG getting worked at Nick's Nightmare and getting a nice wave as the credits roll).

Now Shake It and do your rain dance for Northern California!!!

by Cate Hawthorne ( at October 17, 2014 08:54 am

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

Old-timey Kayak Racing

Here's an old, and short, British Pathé newsreel showing a canoe and kayak racing in Ausburg, Germany from 1957. The first event shown is apparently the Double-scull Canadian Canoe race. Check out the embed below:

by (John Herbert) at October 17, 2014 07:30 am

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

October 16th - Discovery Island (#87)

Dan and I went for a quick morning paddle around Discovery since I had a free morning. We were able to set and maintain a good pace of 7 kph (3.8 kt) throughout the 14.3 km trip. The weather was calm and clear but fall has definitely come and I was wearing fleece under my tuilik! I was also surprised at how straight our track back was, suggesting that the current had dropped by the time we started to cross Baynes.
click to enlarge
14 km, YTD 848 km

by Mike J ( at October 17, 2014 08:22 am
Cycling, sea kayaking and life in the Scottish highlands

Sunart Community Hydro Electric Project

Photo: Iain Ferguson for Scottish Water
Our community is raising money to build a 100kw run of river hydro electric scheme.  

We're ahead of many communities trying to do the same because we already have a dam.

Earlier this week Scottish Water formally handed over their old dam which was previously the water supply for our village of Strontian.  

Archie Macgregor handed it to Sunart Community Company Chairman John Tyldsley, one of our near neighbours.  I took along my video camera and you can see the results below

I'll write more about the Sunart Community Renewables scheme in coming weeks.

I've made a promotional video for the project and I'm helping the team with their publicity.

What's more, I shall invest in the project.  As well as being an ethical, environmentally sound project which will deliver returns to our local community, it also offers a good financial return - equivalent to 10% over five years.  More on that in coming weeks.

by Simon ( at October 17, 2014 08:00 am

October 16, 2014

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.

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.

Decay on Ailsa Craig.

While Phil recovered from his crossing to Ailsa Craig, Tony and I took a stroll round  the buildings near the lighthouse. This was the site of the gasworks and this building was the engine room which ... ...once housed the compressors which were powered by the gas and provided compressed air for the fog horns. The gas engines were replaced by oil burning engines in 1911 and the large oil

by Douglas Wilcox ( at October 16, 2014 08:52 pm

South West Sea Kayaking
The personal blog of Mark Rainsley

The M27

You haven’t paddled, until you’ve ticked off the M27.

On the way around Portsea Island, somewhere north of Portsmouth.

Filed under: Kayaking, South East England

by MRY at October 16, 2014 07:49 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!)

Are You Ready For Winter Boating? Find out at New York Kayak Company, Saturday, 10/18/2014

Proxigean Paddle - January 2010, possibly still my coldest paddle ever! 

Well goodness gracious, it's felt like summer again for the last couple of days here in NYC, but the flaming maple tree I see outside of my window every morning says, "Nope, it's still Fall", and (groan) that means winter is right around the corner.

Does that mean the NYC paddling season is coming to an end, though? Nope, no way, no how. A lot of people do hang up their sprayskirts (or move indoors to the various pool sessions) for the winter, but it is absolutely possible to keep going through the entire winter if you have the right gear, skills, and knowledge. Interested, but not sure? This is a great time to find out as outfitters will frequently hold cold-water workshops this time of year.

The first of those that I've heard about this season, as announced on the NYCKayaker moderated email list,  is coming up this Saturday at New York Kayak Company, located on the south side of Pier 40, which is right at the Hudson River end of Houston Street. This one's got an unusual spin as Randy's Kokatat rep is also the area's GoPro rep, so it's going to be a combination winter paddling and GoPro for SUP and kayak workshop. The fun starts at 11 am. Bring your own booties if you want to go swimming. The workshop is free but Randy would appreciate RSVP's at 212-924-1327.

Here's Randy's full announcement: 

When: Saturday, October 18th at 11 AM

Where: New York Kayak Co. at Pier 40

What: Tom Harsh represents Kokatat and Go Pro. This Saturday he will be coming to New York Kayak Co. to discuss how to dress for off season paddling. As days grow shorter and temps fall, Kokatat makes it easy to manage challenges to safety, comfort and performance. Tom Will also be presenting an Introduction to Go Pro for SUP and Kayak.

Join us to see and feel the apparel, and hear what Tom has to say about dressing for maximum enjoyment of your off season paddling opportunities. Topics will include strategies for avoiding hypothermia, proper layering, and material selection. We will examine the differences between various wet and dry items and how to select the garments that best suit both your off season paddling goals and budget.

Have you ever worn a dry suit? This is your chance to not only try one on, but people who BRING THEIR OWN IMMERSION FOOTWEAR and sign a waiver can see what its like to go for a short swim in a dry suit - it’s really fun! Additionally, attendees will receive10% off all Kokatat items - even our over-stock dry suits, jackets and PFDs here at the shop that are already on sale! We are overstocked in size small for both men and women - so if that’s your size, now is the time to get a dry suit! In addition to dry suits made for kayaking, we have lighter paddling suits specially made for SUP and surf ski paddling, and a few made specially for kayak fishing.

This is also a great opportunity to learn how to use a Go Pro. We can combine the demos so you can take a camera into the water.

Apparel discussion will begin promptly at 11, and Go Pro will start at 12. Please spread the word and call the number below to reserve your spot today. Hope you can join us!

Randall Henriksen 
New York Kayak Co. 
Pier 40, Hudson River Park

Winter Paddling is Fun. Penguin Hats Optional.

by (bonnie) at October 16, 2014 04:18 pm

I am a paddler, explorer, guide, and coach. Any day on the water is a good day, and I can't get enough.

Lumpy Waters Symposium 2014

Last week and weekend I got to spend a few days being coached and coaching at the Lumpy Water Symposium 2014, hosted by Alder Creek Kayak & Canoe in Pacific City, Oregon. Wave forecast wasn't great-a mountain of water was forecast to come ashore Saturday and stick around Sunday (it did). We had beautiful weather with 12-14 foot waves at 18 seconds from the WNW. Not neccessarily the best conditions for teaching folks who self assessed as introductory/intermediate conditions and want to work on boat control and flatwater skills development. Luckily, we had multiple locations that offered sheltered water for skill building without dodging mountains of water.
Gearing up on at the Nestucca River Boat Launch. Look at all those boats!
I spent Thursday in Portland doing my Level 2 UKCC coach assessment, which went well. Big shout out to John, Seth, Levi, and Andrew for also passing and doing a great job teaching and rescuing at assessment. Cheers guys!  Immediately after I headed out to Pacific City, about a 3 hour drive.
There were kayak rollers, kayak fisherpeople, and skills class all at the same location. Quite a variety of craft.
Friday afternoon I helped Kim Grandfield teach a rescue class for both folks who had never practiced a rescue in their lives, and also folks who just wanted more practice.

Steve Macdonald working on progressive edge development.
Saturday I had a double dose of edging AND Steves. In the morning I taught Paddling the Edge & Beyond with Steve Macdonald of Beyond Adventure in Scotland. He is a mighty fine coach and I highly recommend anyone going over to his neck of the woods to check him out.

One v. one time with a student.
Circuit training.
Mary, one of our most enthusiastic students.
Paddle warmups.
Steve Pilch (of Alder Creek) and I co-taught Paddling the Edge again that afternoon-after a good warmup of paddle rotation.

Steve Pilch showing how to play the game.

Seal launching with Gordon Brown.
Gordon Brown of Skyak Adventures was one of the coaches I didn't get to work with but did get more than a few interactions with. He is apparently a very helpful guy!

Not everyone on the same page!
Who is having fun here?
Great clouds.
Sunday I helped with an exploratory class, Dynamic Maneuvering, that paddled 2 nm to the mouth of the Nestucca River looking for conditions that were not quite as huge as the outer coast. We found conditions with surf, current, and many, many fishing boats.  Had there been no fishing boats, this venue would have been phenomenal. Very dynamic, but not unsafe, and the current brought us back into safe waters. The fishing boats were coming around blind corners at speed, had multiple fishing lines in the water, and were under power at all times due to the current speed. We split into two, smaller groups and worked around the fishermen so that we could achieve our course aims without putting ourselves in unsafe situations and not disturbing the fishermen.
Heading out on an exploratory mission to the mouth of the Nestucca River.
 Not for us! A successful course is a safe course.
Big shout out to Paul Kuthe, Suzi, and Dave at Alder Creek for bringing me down and putting me up, and running a symposium that smooth. I saw so many smiles and so much improvement across the board. Finally, big thanks to my assessors, Steve Mac and Nick Cunliffe. Cheers.

by donaldcheyette ( at October 16, 2014 11:31 am

October 15, 2014

Mercipourlekayak !
Pratique du kayak de mer

Un été dans les Hébrides extérieures

Peter et Liz & Cie ont passé 3 semaines dans les Hébrides extérieures (Ecosse) cet été. Le vent d’ouest les a contraint à se limiter aux faces Est de Lewis et Harris et Uist, tout un programme ! North Uist A découvrir  en photos sur le blog de Paddles with an Anas acuta : Hebridean […]

by Arzhela at October 15, 2014 09:52 pm

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

October's Newsletter


Here in Northern California, Autumn is often the prettiest time of year. Foggy summer days are replaced by clear skies, and when not paddling, days can be spent at apple harvest festivals, corn mazes and pumpkin patches. In addition to all of this, the selection of fresh fruits and vegetables at farmers' markets couldn't be bigger. This is our favorite season, and we're just at the beginning of it!

Although "summer" is officially over, our schedule remains full for the rest of the year. It has been nice to spend some time at home though, catching up with friends, and when the ocean permits, exploring new places.

September started with Mark's return to the UK and Helen's return to the U.S. for the Traditional Paddlers' Gathering in Minnesota. This event is great for many reasons, some of which include the wonderful people, the ideal location and a really fun harpoon contest. Harpoons are not common at symposia, but they really should be :-) 

Helen spent another part of the month paddling and fishing with friends in Mendocino and Humboldt counties (both in Northern California). She also ran private rolling classes during the Bay Area Sea Kayakers' Mendo Madness event, which takes place in Mendocino, California. Mark ran two introduction to sea kayaking programs, Simplifying the Roll and a combat rolling class, along with catching up with friends on and off the water in North Wales after the long summer.

In October Helen will be instructing at Lumpy Waters in Oregon; Big Lagoon in California; and at the Optimist Kayaking's Symposium in Israel. Mark will be working on a number of BCU classes, including a BCU 4 Star Sea Assessment and 4 Star Sea Training, as a well as providing some regional coach development programmes for Canoe Wales. Mark will also be one of the guest coaches at the DGI’s Autumn Coach Conference in, Denmark. Later this year we have classes scheduled in the U.S. and Mexico.

In December we'll be meeting up with Wes Moses and the three of us will attempt to circumnavigate Jamaica, the largest island of the Commonwealth Caribbean. To our knowledge, we will be the first people to attempt this circumnavigation. 

Interested in joining us for an expedition? How about paddling near penguins and icebergs? Our Antarctic expedition dates are set for December 31, 2015 to January 27/28, 2016. Our next Greenland expedition is set for summer 2016. For more information on either of these expeditions, email

As usual, visit for more information and our current Events calendar and Blog postings. You can also find us on FacebookTwitter and YouTube. For questions, comments or to schedule us in your neighborhood, email Happy paddling!

- Helen and Mark

Dr. T's Coaching Corner

This month we highlight some educational thinking about practice and achieving a high-level of domain specific expertise.

According to K. Ander Erricsson* and his colleagues, becoming an expert within a given field of endeavour is a combination of deliberate practice that is challenging yet methodical, which in turn is supported by insightful, critical coaching.

Deliberate practice is seen as being about improving the skills you already have and learning how to extend the range as well as the reach of your skills.

Added to that, achieving an outstanding performance in any activity can be enhanced by being in a collaborative and supportive environment that includes like-minded individuals who can provide specific and constructive feedback.

The published work of Benjamin Bloom** in 1985 reports that the superb performers he investigated had practiced intensively, had studied with devoted teachers and had been supported enthusiastically by their families. Erricsson’s research, building on Bloom’s pioneering study, reveals that the amount and quality of deliberate practice are also key factors in the level of expertise people achieve.

Whichever way you look at it, being the best within a single pursuit requires a lot of time, sacrifice and hard work which, as is often the case, few people are willing to dedicate so much of their lives to.

However, if you do want to be a more skillful and knowledgeable paddler then spend time with a well-informed coach who will not only guide you through a process of deliberate practice that focuses on tasks beyond your current level of competence and comfort but will also to help you learn how to coach yourself through processes of reflection, critical thinking and goal setting.

*K. Anders Ericsson ( is the Conradi Eminent Scholar of Psychology at Florida State University, in Tallahassee.

**Benjamin Bloom (1913 – 1999) was an American educational psychologist who made contributions to the classification of educational objectives and to the theory of mastery-learning.

Program Schedule

Lumpy Waters: October 10 to 12, Pacific City, Oregon

Simplifying the Roll: October 18, Big Lagoon, California

The Fundamentals of Leadership: October 22, North Wales

Optimist Kayaking's Symposium: October 23 to 26, Israel

Overcoming Anxiety with Action: October 29, Anglesey Outdoors, North Wales

Traditional Skills Paddle (ENC): November 1, Stone Lagoon, California

Who's Leading Who? November 1, Llyn Padarn, North Wales

Qajaq Immersion Weekend: November 15 and 16, Bacalar, Mexico

Kayak Immersion Day: November 17, Bacalar, Mexico

ENC Crescent City Paddle: December 6, Crescent City, California

Simplifying the Roll: December 13, Dana Point, California

Simplifying the Roll: December 20, Marina Del Rey, California

Jamaica Circumnavigation Attempt: December 28, Jamaica

…And Finally

Working on your roll and need a little help? Simplifying the Roll with Helen Wilson and Yoga for Outdoor People are available from our on-line store HERE

Yoga for Outdoor People can also be purchased as a download from the Digital Good Store.

by Mark Tozer ( at October 15, 2014 05:43 pm

On the Big Sea in a Little Boat
Trip reports and other kayaking related ramblings.


I had given up hope for paddling the season. It looked like every weekend save for a very few were booked up. The fall season, while it can offer great paddling days, is also notorious for rainy weekends. Work was feeling like a long, bleak slog to nowhere. Is it any wonder that most representations of Autumn in literature are bleak and hopeless.
Then TM e-mailed asking me to post a Jamestown circumcision paddle on a day that I had free!! I only had two days notice, but I was hopeful that I'd get clearance. I was a little uncertain about my stamina and skills for a long haul paddle, but felt that I could handle the distance and the price I'd pay the next day.
Saturday morning I woke up achy and stuffy... Initially, I thought it was just lingering effects from a long week. As the day wore on, I started thinking it may be a cold. Knowing there was a potentially excellent paddle the next day made me even more miserable.
The forecast for the following day was looking pretty grim as well. There was a better than 50% chance of thunder showers. In New England 50% is hardly a sure thing. I checked with TM and his feeling was that the showers were a red herring.
H kept asking if I was still thinking about going. I kept saying that I was holding off until morning to see if I felt any better. Secretly, I think both of us had come to the conclusion that I was going to be home.
I was not prepared to admit defeat. I packed the car and deployed the roof racks.
Sunday morning I woke up feeling much better. At least better enough to go paddling. The sky was grey and the forecast still called for showers, but the paddle was not being canceled. H was very kind and said nothing and helped me load the kayak on the car.
The paddle crew was an interesting mix of old faces and new faces. It was odd not knowing everyone. It was odd to be using the stick again. It was even odder to feel like I may be the weak link in the chain. I resolved to just pretend everything was normal and that I was still the same seasoned paddler I was years ago.
As it turned out, I am still a pretty good paddler. All the paddles in Big Red kept my paddle muscles in functional shape. The rest of the skills are like riding a bike. I little time on the water and I felt pretty good.
The paddling was an interesting mix of play boating and distance paddling. Our first leg was up to the dumplings to see if there was any current to play in. There was a little, but not enough to hold our interest for long. We then headed south along the Jamestown coast. There was enough energy in the water to make things fun and require helmets. We worked our way down the coast and around Beavertail. Then we headed north up the other coast. TM wanted to lunch at Ft. Getty, so we passed most of the little coves that dot the coast. After lunch we passed Dutch Island and into the harbor. We carried over the beach and headed back to Ft. Weatherill.
It was a long paddle at nearly 13 miles. I was tired, but I felt good. I was fully re-energized and ready for a week of work.... even if I was planning on being a little stiff on Monday.

by Eric J. ( at October 15, 2014 04:58 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.

Puget Sound

Doesn’t seem like we’ve had much of a fall this year, in fact, the weather, with its cumulus towers and thunder in the distance, feels more like spring. Certainly the colors are here, but I just haven’t felt any of those cool crisp mornings you associate with the coming of winter.

Puget Sound

Camera Settings

Puget Sound

Just north of Steilacoom where this photo was taken, is the new Chamber Bay Golf Course and before that it was a sand-and-gravel quarry, with bunkers and docks for loading the gravel on barges. Prior to the golf course going in, I used to paddle up here specifically for the beachcombing.

I grew up in a wood cabin on Puget Sound in Manchester, Wash. My family taught me to appreciate the arts and the outdoors, and I still yearn for the absolute silence I experienced there when I was young. – Steven Holl

With almost no foot traffic the high tide mark was a treasure trove of collectibles; not so much these days, but the views are as awe-inspiring as ever. The sound was named by Captain Vancouver in tribute to his Third Lieutenant Peter Puget. I wonder what Puget would think of the place now?

The post Puget Sound appeared first on Essex Media & Explorations.

by Steve Weileman at October 15, 2014 12:47 pm


1 de Noviembre Curso de rescate y autorrescate (esquimotaje)

Iniciamos el mes de Noviembre con un nuevo curso de rescate y autorrescate en Cádiz, hay que aprovechar que el agua aún está a buena temperatura.

by Jose Bello ( at October 15, 2014 01:18 pm
Cycling, sea kayaking and life in the Scottish highlands

Do You Want That In A Bag?

From Monday (20th Oct 2014) stores in Scotland must charge 5p for plastic and paper single-use bags.

The official guidance is here.  This is the result of a law passed by the Scottish Government to protect the environment by reducing the use of all bags which then reduces the resources used.  

A jolly good thing it is too.

The leaflet I picked up while buying a coffee in McDonald's makes it clear this applies to their take-away food.  

Want a burger and fries?  Expect to pay 5p extra for the tiny paper sack.  But here's where it's slightly odd.

Want just fries?  Then you don't pay 5p.  There's an exemption  for part-packaged food provided it is the only item in the bag.

What if the server hands you the fries in the bag and the burger in your hand - then once you have them you put in the burger in the bag bag yourself?  

Er, I don't know.  It's already in force in Wales, so perhaps someone can advise me.  Or I could just read the official guidance.  Nah - I don't eat burgers.

by Simon ( at October 15, 2014 08:00 am

October 14, 2014

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.

Scared the willies out of them on Ailsa.

After the High Speed Catamaran Express passed behind us, we could at last relax on our crossing from Pladda to...  ...Ailsa Craig. We enjoyed a light but steady tail wind which helped speed... ...the final few kilometres. Perhaps we relaxed too much because we let the now flooding tide...  ...carry us a kilometre to the east rather than keeping our ferry angle. After our 22km

by Douglas Wilcox ( at October 14, 2014 11:41 pm

Mercipourlekayak !
Pratique du kayak de mer

Leave No Trace Seven Principles

7 principes qui s’appliquent aux activités outdoor pour minimiser son impact dans la nature : 1. Soigner sa préparation 2. Bien choisir son endroit de campement 3. Éviter et minimiser les déchets 4. Laisser ce que vous trouvez 5. Minimiser les impacts d’un feu de camp 6. Respecter la faune 7. Respecter les autres visiteurs […]

by Arzhela at October 14, 2014 08:11 pm


3 star course in Menorca

Basta trascorrere quattro giorni a Minorca per rinascere. E' un'isola dove mi piacerebbe vivere. La più belle delle Baleari. Verde, selvaggia, varia, sorprendente, accogliente... Con un mare che incanta!
Quasi quanto le persone: calorose, empatiche, ospitali, sorridenti, sempre abbronzate!

Teresa e Carlos mi hanno invitata a partecipare alla nona edizione delle Jornadas "Menorca en kayak":
tornare sull'isola mi ha emozionato moltissimo, ancor di più abbracciare i tanti vecchi amici!
Il Consigliere allo sport di Minorca mi ha fatto dono di una splendida raccolta fotografica sulla riserva naturale
e ha introdotto la mia presentazione sul sistema didattico BCU e sui viaggi di Tatiyak "A zonzo per il Mediterraneo"
Al termine della settimana di pagaiate intorno all'isola, una parte del gruppo si è iscritto al corso 3* BCU
mentre Carlos ha proposto sessioni teorico-pratiche di tecnica groenlandese nella splendida baia di Es Grau...
Da sinistra: Lucas, Marc, Alberto, Miquel, Gonzalo e Alex.
Non avevo mai lavorato con un gruppo di ragazzi tanto giovani, entusiasti ed appassionati!!!
Le condizioni meteo-marine sono state più che perfette per il corso 3* BCU!
I kayak di polietilene si prestavano bene a tutti gli esercizi in acqua, compresi gli sbarchi sulle rocce!
L'acqua calda della baia ci ha permesso di praticare tutte le manovre previste dal syllabus
e di trascorrere lunghe ore in ammollo per affinare salvataggi, traini e navigazione costiera...
Una variante della tecnica di salvataggio assistito detta "push contact tow"...
... si è presto trasformata in questo composito salvataggio ribattezzato "Rescate Menorquin"!
C'è sempre stato un momento più che perfetto per apprendere divertendosi:
qualche volta ho pensato di essere tornata all'asilo d'infanzia!
Minorca è l'isola ideale per praticare il kayak da mare!!!
Una delle situazioni in cui ci siamo trovati durante gli esercizi "all in rescue"....
un altro dei tantissimi momenti di svago che hanno caratterizzato il corso minorchino!
Marc ha sorteggiato il kayak messo in palio da "Menorca en kayak":
la reazione entusiasta di tutti gli altri partecipanti alle Jornadas mi ha sorpreso ed emozionato,
è stato un boato di gioia come se il kayak fosse stato vinto da ognuno di loro! 
Il suggestivo tramonto sulla baia di Es Grau ha anticipato la degna conclusione di giornate davvero speciali:
una perfetta organizzazione dell'evento, una grande complicità ed un'incredibile sintonia tra tutti!
Carlo e Teresa di "Menorca en kayak" con le sei nuove stelle della BCU:
I'm really looking forward to meet you all next October for the X Jornadas 2015!!!
Four days in Menorca are enough to get a new lease on life. It's a wonderful islans where I would like to live. The most beautiful of the Balearic Archipelago in Spain. Green, wild, sundry, amazing, pleasant... With a fascinating clear warm sea!
Even people are pretty special: warm, empathetic, hospitable, smiling and always suntannned!

by Tatiana ( at October 14, 2014 06:36 pm