Paddling Planet

May 20, 2018

Björn Thomasson Design
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En Sharpie 600 i Blekinge

Sharpie 600  – Anders Olausson

Anders Olausson i Blekinge har ägnat både tid, kreativitet och avsevärd båtbyggarskicklighet åt sin gaffelriggade Sharpie 600. Resultatet är en ovanligt vacker båt där traditionella beslag och gammal båtbyggeritradition samverkar för att skapa en känsla av skepp snarare än en liten enkel plywoodbåt. Anders har flyttat sittbrunnens förliga skott lite akteröver för att få mer plats under däck och gjort en mer utarbetad lösning för motorbrunnen än de enklare lösningar jag visar på ritningarna.

Den som ser Anders Olaussons Sharpie i en hamn eller möter den ute till sjöss kan nog förledas att tro att det är en gammal välskött pärla från gaffelriggarnas guldålder! 

Sharpie 600 – Anders Olausson

Sharpie 600 – Anders Olausson

by Björn Thomasson at May 20, 2018 07:46 am

May 19, 2018

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!)

Three Paddle - Island Cruise, saying hello to ospreys

Continuing on with the one paddle, two paddle song -- here's "three paddle", and this one finally brings me up to this month!

May 6th was a very nice day for paddling, maybe not so much for the racers in the spring sailing race series that was underway! Light winds, and very shifty (I asked Patrick, who I'd just passed here, how the racing was and that was what he said).

Our paddle was a pretty straighforward one, TQ is off work on Sundays so we'd decided to go when we saw a decent forecast - nice temperatures, light winds, potential for drizzle but hey, it's a water sport - and when a new club member asked if anyone was willing to take him out paddling, we invited him to join us. We hadn't met him before, but he'd said on his request that he was an experienced paddler; now, people have different ideas about what constitutes "experienced" and and we were ready to keep the paddle slow and short if that's what was appropriate, but it turns out R. was most recently from Alaska and really does know what he's doing. We set out at 3:00 and I'd suggested about 3 hours on the water. I'd first proposed just a loop around Canarsie Pol, clockwise, say hi to the ospreys, on around the island and back, but we were zipping along quite nicely as we passed the nest platform and I suggested maybe extending our course to around Ruffle Bar, too. TQ and R. were both very happy with that idea, so off we went.

The Canarsie Pol ospreys haven't got much of a nest going, in fact we weren't sure they were there at all as we approached (ospreys add to old nests every year and the things can get massive, but we had some pretty bad storms this winter and last year's sticks must've blown away), except that there weren't any cormorants. The old pier structure here is a favorite perch for the local cormorants until the ospreys get back from their wintering grounds - the ospreys are very territorial and won't let anybody else perch on their pier when they are in residence. Ospreys generally return to Jamaica Bay in March, with the males returning first, with older males reclaiming their nesting sites and unestablished males finding a territory. The females join the males a little later. There was a great project that ran for a while a while back, where one of the established males was fitted with a tracker and you could follow his travels on a website - it was so fascinating watching the bird fly all the way back from I think it was Chile and settle in with his mate back at their usual nest in the bay. The tracking was supplemented by direct observations by project scientists including our baykeeper, Don Riepe, and they did a great job of telling the story. There was drama - there was a 2nd bird with a tracker, and all of us who were following the site were so sad when his course showed that he'd most likely been blown out to sea in a storm and lost, and then there was soap opera - like one year where one established male got held up en route, and another male decided to take over that tempting unoccupied platform, and when the female came back & found the new guy, it seemed like she was going to be OK with that, and the original guy got back just as this was going on - total Days of Our Lives, only with feathers and fish. :D

Anyways, there was indeed a nest on the Canarsie Pier platform and as we went by we could just see an osprey watching us paddle by, just her head - no pictures, sorry, the guys were moving along well and I didn't want to hold them up. We also saw a pair of ospreys when we got over to Ruffle Bar, plus the usual spring mix of gulls, terns, brants, and oystercatchers. R. enjoyed hearing the oystercatchers, turns out those guys make it up to Alaska in the summertime and it's always fun to hear a familiar bird in a new place.

Also some very cool clouds - looked to me a bit like "mammatus" clouds, same root as "mammal" and "mammary" where it looks like breasts hanging down from the sky. You can google "mammatus" to see some really cool pictures - we had a suggestion of that, you can see it in the first photo below, but sometimes it can much more pronounced. Also excellent views of Manhattan, especially for a cloudy day.

I ran out of steam a bit as we paddled into the ebb current on the return home, with R. & TQ pulling away from me depressingly fast. Now this is partly established paddling habits for me and TQ - when we get into a headwind or an adverse current, I do best going into a low gear and then just chugging away, while he does better if he sprints, so when we get into that kind of situation is I'll tell him if I'm feeling comfortable and am OK with him running while I plod, and then he goes (keeping a good eye on me as he goes) - but it's also a matter of conditioning. This is something I'm hoping to work on this year, it's been two and a half years since my mastectomy and I'm still nowhere near in the shape I was before I went my round with breast cancer; last summer got away from me in the worst way, but I'm really going to try to get more water time this year.

We did get back to the club in a nice amount of time, and R. was very happy with his first real intro to the bay, and we were happy with having given that to him!

8.5 miles according to Google. Here's hoping I can get back into a good habit of doing trips like that regularly this summer!

More photos, no more writing. Click any photo for a slideshow view.

by (bonnie) at May 19, 2018 08:48 pm

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


Sikke da en maj måned vi har. I NKC gik formiddagsturen til Karrebæksminde i nærmest havblik og solskin.
 Hele 13 roere tog af sted fra klubhuset ved kanalen.
Turen fulgte sejlrenden, og da vi kom til Karrebæksminde var der ingen strøm i havnen.
På bugten så vi en enkelt optimistisk sejler der hev sejlet op.
Forhåbentlig havde han god tid.
Vi nød en kort pause på stranden inden turen gik hjemad. Her fik vi lidt modvind. Men pyt! Det blev til ti 18 dejlige km

by Pouls kajakblog ( at May 19, 2018 06:00 am

May 18, 2018


Borse di studio "Il sorriso del mare"!

E' pubblico il bando per le borse di studio ideate e proposte dal primo symposium femminile italiano di kayak "Il sorriso del mare": l'evento ha avuto luogo a Genova Nervi dal 30 marzo al 2 aprile 2018.
La prima edizione del symposium si è conclusa con un bilancio positivo e le organizzatrici hanno così deciso di utilizzare i fondi rimasti nel bilancio consuntivo per bandire delle borse di studio.
La finalità è quella di promuovere il kayak da mare femminile italiano in ogni suo aspetto: potranno concorrere ad una delle tre borse di studio tutte le partecipanti all’edizione 2018 del symposium femminile italiano di kayak “Il sorriso del Mare”. Tra i progetti pervenuti saranno selezionati, ad insindacabile giudizio della commissione di valutazione, quelli più adatti ad offrire una crescita personale tecnica e didattica in campo canoistico delle candidate. La principale finalità delle borse di studio è quella di riuscire a trasmettere le conoscenze e le competenze acquisite alle partecipanti sia dell’edizione successiva del symposium “Il sorriso del mare” che si svolgerà tra due anni, nella primavera del 2020, che delle altre iniziative intraprese dalle organizzatrici nel corso del 2019.
Partecipare è facile: basta compilare la scheda di candidatura con il progetto prescelto, seguire le istruzioni pubblicate sul blog ed inviare la proposta entro la data del 15 settembre 2018 al seguente indirizzo:
I nomi delle vincitrici delle tre borse di studio saranno resi noti sul blog dell'evento.
Siamo sicure che si tratti di un'occasione unica per crescere insieme!

La scheda di candidatura da compilare e spedire...

We have finally published the announcement of selection for three scholarships conceived and proposed by the first Italian women sea kayak symposium "The smile of the sea": the event has taken place in Genoa Nervi from March 30th to April 2nd 2018.
The first edition of the symposium is concluded with a positive financial report and the organizers have so decided to use the resources to organize some scholarships. The main purpose is promoting the Italian women sea kayak activity in every aspect: three scholarships are open to all the participants to the edition 2018 of the Italian women sea kayak symposium "The smile of the Sea." The scholaship commission will select three projects that offer to the nominees a personal, technical and didactical growth in their sea kayaking skills. The principal purpose of the scholarships is succeeding in transferring the adquired knowledges and competences to the other participants both of the following edition of the symposium "The smile of the sea", that he will take place in two years during the 2020 spring, and the other initiatives undertaken by the organizers during the 2019.
The participation is easy: complete the candidacy form with all the informations about the project and send it within the date of 2018, September 15th to the following e-mail address:
The names of the winners of the three scholarships will be made public on the blog of the event.
We are fully convinced that this is a really unique opportunity to grow up all together!

by Tatiana Cappucci ( at May 18, 2018 06:00 pm

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

Book Title?

Good afternoon everyone!

Book 2 is mostly completed. I am finalizing the layout, and then it will get one more round of proof reading. And while the book has had several working titles, I haven't finalized anything.

So take this survey monkey and help me out.

It will take about two minutes to complete.

If you are unaware, the book is about planning outdoor trips. I highlight three trips in the book, a weekend backpacking trip, a ten day cycling trip, and a month long paddling trip. It uses these three trips to create a framework that anyone can use to plan outdoor adventures.

Take a moment and help me out if you can.


by paddlingOTAKU ( at May 18, 2018 06:48 pm

The Ikkatsu Project
In the Service of the Ocean

Yowkwala Beach in May

There’s a Surfrider beach cleanup scheduled for tomorrow (May 19), at Yowkwala Beach. It’s a great spot, actually within Tacoma city limits and yet almost completely unknown by its residents. It’s on the north side of Commencement Bay where the prevailing winds often deposit a heavy concentration of plastic debris on the beach, especially over the winter. There should be plenty of trash to go around.

The cleanup is from 2-4pm, followed by a happy hour at Peaks and Pints in Proctor, one of Tacoma’s fast-growing list of ocean-friendly restaurants. The OFR program is another Surfrider creation and here in T-town, it’s being run in cooperation with Metro Parks, something that gives it a lot more reach and visibility.

I hear the weather is going to be iffy. Of course it is.

by Ken Campbell at May 18, 2018 05:04 pm

What I talk about when I talk about kayaking.

Scottish Womens Paddle Symposium 2018

After a fair while out of the game injured I got myself off sooth to this years SWPS to help folk learn some foundational skills for Greenland rolling.

Van broken, Tahe on car with 'stealth' mode interrupted we set off ...

Arisaig is an iconic paddle destination on the west coast of Scotland not far from Fort William. With sandy coves and skerries and amazing views of Skye, Rum amd Eigg to the west - it turned out to be an ideal location for our sessions. 

It was a pleasure meet up with everyone and help them get their rolling going, or see just how much had been achieved since the last time we met. 

Using the avataq to slide on to the surface of the water.
photo: Geri O'Sullivan

Floating in a balance brace position.
photo: Geri O'Sullivan

Coaching the first steps to rolling requires very slow transitions through the body movements and  is like putting my roll in for a service and getting it fine tuned after a long winter - a great way to start  a new season of rolling. Looking forward to the next time already.

by Mackayak ( at May 18, 2018 02:40 pm

Mountain and Sea Scotland
Hillwalking and Sea Kayaking in Scotland

Light and warmth in the "dark glen"

As there's a track to the door, Glendhu gets more visitors than the bothy at Glencoul so we didn't expect to have the place to ourselves on an Easter weekend.  The two upstairs rooms each had a couple of sets of kit inside so we decided to put up tents behind the bothy for sleeping and share the downstairs rooms with the occupants when they returned.

A deer skull mounted on the wall above the fireplace in one of the downstairs rooms has uses way beyond a decorative trophy; in good bothy style it has multipurpose use as a drying rack and glasses stand.  Unfortunately I'd forgotten to bring the wi-fi code with me........

Soon after we got set up the folk already in residence came back from a long hill day - four lads from Northern Ireland and Scotland having a reunion weekend break.  We brewed up tea and sat outside in warm sunshine, our backs to the warm stone of the bothy - life seemed particularly agreeable.

I took a stroll up the hill behind the bothy to get a view over the head of the loch - this really is a great spot.  As at Glencoul, the call of a Black Throated Diver rang out; this time with a beautiful, eerie echo - a true voice of the wild and so atmospheric and "of its place" here.

We enjoyed dinner in front of the bothy before retiring indoors as the sun sank behind the hills down the loch; the air cooled rapidly, a reminder that it was still April despite the warmth of the afternoon.

The colours of the sunset were enhanced this evening by a pall of smoke hanging over the lower loch, though we couldn't see the source of it.  The breeze died away after sunset and in the dusk we saw an Otter fishing right in front of us, eventually disappearing with a splash when it became aware of our presence.

I went outside to fetch something from the boat after dark to a flood of pale light as a full moon came up into the "V" of the bealach (pass or col) above the head of Glendhu.  We all came out to enjoy this sight, our shadows were cast long and sharp in the moonlight - just magical.

Indoors, we'd got a fire going and with candles lit around the room there was a glow of light here too - perhaps one of the greatest pleasures of bothying. When we went back out to the tents the moon was riding high and a touch of frost was crisping the grass.

by Ian Johnston ( at May 18, 2018 09:00 am

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

Historic Paddle Illustrations - More Verner

Here are two more images of decorated paddles from prolific artist Frederick A. Verner (1838 - 1926).

Frederick A Verner
Indians in a Canoe

Frederick A Verner
Ojibwa Crossing Lake Nipissing with Cargo of Furs

by Murat ( at May 18, 2018 08:20 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!)

An Oyster Reef in Canarsie!

Photo by Sebago clubmate Jeff Krause
I'm taking a break from my slow meander through my spring trip reports (I've done one paddle, two paddle, and then there will be a three paddle and maybe a four to take me home, although the last may fall by the wayside due to other good stuffs going on) to share something very cool that went on at the club this week - the installation of Canarsie's very own Community Oyster Reef!

We've had various little test cages of oysters hanging from our dock for a while, and evidently they did OK, because on Tuesday, club members and neighbors gathered at the club and a van from NYC's Billion Oyster Project pulled up loaded with oyster shells, which the volunteers loaded into wire cages and anchored in the muck of the Paedergat. Baby oysters need certain surfaces to grow on, and oyster shells are one of their favorites, so the installation of this reef should encourage the establishment of a healthy population right there in the Paedergat, where they'll help to clean the water, which is WAY cleaner since the new sewage holding plant was opened (the old one was woefully inadequate to the size of the neighborhood, and on rainy days, and sometimes on other days too, you could smell the basin from the street, it was just foul) but still could use some help. NYC used to be famous for oysters, but between overfishing and pollution, they were pretty much gone - with the water being so much cleaner now, the Billion Oyster Project and the various community groups with whom they work are doing everything they can to bring this key part of the harbor ecology back from the brink. Here's hoping for the success of the Canarsie reef!

I'm very sorry that I couldn't play hooky from work to go help out, but there was some good reporting from the club, and there's some good general info on the internet, so here are some links:

Channel 11 was there, here's their report;

Jeff Krause, one of the coordinators for the day, who took the photo above and who probably knows about as much about Jamaica Bay's wildlife as anyone at the club, is featured in the news report and also put up a very nice set of photos on Flickr.  

Here is the Billion Oyster Project's website

And here is a well written story of the history of NY Harbor's oysters on Untapped Cities.

by (bonnie) at May 18, 2018 06:11 am

May 17, 2018

Merci pour le kayak !
Blog du kayak de mer

Ligurie (2) : Les Cinque Terre, par terre et par mer !

Notre parcours de Sestri Levante à La Spezia nous a fait passer par les Cinque Terre. Il s’agit de cinq villages très pittoresques accrochés sur les falaises. Ils sont isolés dans leur environnement de montagnes. Ils ont tous un accès par la mer, mais il est souvent difficile ! Vernazza Doublement protégés par un Parc […]

by Arzhela at May 17, 2018 04:50 pm

The Ikkatsu Project
In the Service of the Ocean

12-Step Program, Anyone?

I was sorting through the various digital scraps that drift through the inbox when I came across a piece featuring Penelope Cruz’s husband (seriously, I’m not hip to celebrities like I used to be), and he was talking about his latest encounter with plastic pollution. He used the phrase “addicted to plastic,” in there somewhere and that’s the thing that jumped out at me. It’s an addiction.

I have long thought that plastic pollution represents a uniquely deceptive kind of public health danger, mostly because of the persistent organic pollutants (POPs) that attach themselves to plastic, that is then ingested by organisms up and down the food chain. Click here to read up on more than you want to know about the various poisons that we have swimming around inside of us humans, for example. We are certainly not exempt from the related consequences (even though we’re just starting to understand what those consequences include), and I think there is traction to be gained by pursuing a campaign against plastic – especially single-use – on the basis that it is a health threat.

But to also see it as an addiction, and treat it as we might treat other addictions… hmm. This is an interesting take. Thank you, Mr. Bardem, for the insight. I think it’s worth considering.

by Ken Campbell at May 17, 2018 02:14 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.

Un kayakiste en condition critique mais stable, suite à une 4e tentative de pagayer de la Califormie à Hawaï

by Dave Shively, at May 17, 2018 05:01 am

May 16, 2018

Mountain and Sea Scotland
Hillwalking and Sea Kayaking in Scotland

Two lochs, two bothies

Just around the corner from Glencoul there's a series of tidal islets guarding the entrance to an extension of Loch Glencoul.  Loch Beag (little loch) opens out slightly before reaching ints head among the hills.  It was a peaceful spot on this afternoon and what little breeze there was died away soon after we paddled in.  The haunting call of a Black Throated Diver echoed around the loch - the only sound apart from our paddles.

A little way from the head of Loch Beag is the Eas a' Chual Aluinn - Scotland's tallest waterfall.  Boat trips bring folk from Kylesku on a tour of Loch Glencoul and to see this waterfall - which has always seemed to me a bit underwhelming as waterfalls go; there's not usually a lot of water in it.  There's an impressive set of falls on the Maldie Burn which drains a hill loch system into Loch Glendhu; in wet conditions they're really something.

Having reached the head of Loch Beag we'd come as far as we could and turned back, out ito Loch Glencoul in mirror calm conditions.  The lovely weather seemed set to last for the afternoon as we made our way back down Loch Glencoul.

Rounding the Aird da Loch (height of two lochs) which defines Lochs Glencoul and Glendhu we came across the empty shells of two sea urchins - very likely the work of either gulls or an otter.  The urchins are often exposed at very low tides and become vulnerable; as we were just after low water a day before Springs these had probably met their end very recently.

The view up Loch Glendhu is as spectacular as that up it's "twin", a narrow fiord hemmed in by high and rugged hills.

A track runs along the north side of the loch, at times clinging improbably to the craggy shoreline;  the retaining wall is often the only indication of the track from the water.

Crossing to the north side of the loch gives a longer view to the hills beyond, a tantalising glimpse of snow capped summits.

As at Glencoul, there's geology on show here on a grand scale - the tilted plane of Cambrian quartzite overthrust by much older pipe rock and Gneiss.

We paddled steadily against a breeze which had sprung up, and gradually our target became more visible.  The buildings at Glendhu are utterly dwarfed by their surroundings - for me that's one of the attractions of this place.

The three buildings at Glendhu are all in good repair - all owned by the Reay Forest estate.  The two buildings on the right of this image are private, the left hand building is open and administered by the Mountain Bothies Association

Glendhu is "dark (or black) glen", which would seem to indicate a place of deep shadow and little sunlight.  In midwinter there's no doubt that the surrounding hills rob it of sunlight for part of the day, but the alignment of the loch allows the morning and afternoon sun to flood the glen at most times of the year- and then it's anything but a dark glen although the name probably refers as much to the narrow rocky valley beyond the head of the loch.  A spot I have good memories of, I was looking forward to staying here again.

by Ian Johnston ( at May 16, 2018 10:50 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.

Review: SOG Baton Q3

Baton Q3

Between chores around base-camp and setting up camera gear I’m almost always in need of a small tool of some sort. Multi-tools have just the assortment of tools I most need, but honestly, I had wearing them on my belt. Then I stumbled on an intriguing alternative from SOG and there’s no going back for me.      

The post Review: SOG Baton Q3 appeared first on Essex Media & Explorations.

by Steve Weileman at May 16, 2018 05:20 pm
Triathlon, cycling, sea kayaking, swimming and life in the Scottish Highlands

May Challenge #2 - Charity (Video) Work

I started this particular challenge earlier in the year.  Now seems an appropriate time to explain it in more detail.

Last year I helped organise and photograph a few local charity swims. This year we put the organisation on a formal footing and registered as a charity.  I'm one of the five trustees.

You can read about the swims we're running at and on Facebook.

As (bad) luck would have it, the best weekends for our swims are also weekends when I'm already committed to filming work for The Adventure Show or I am out of Scotland on holiday or business.  Consequently, I'll miss most of this years swims.

I did manage to attend our swim across the Sound of Mull last weekend, so I used it as the basis for our promotional video.  Soon it'll find its way onto our website, but until it does you can take a look here.

by Simon Willis ( at May 16, 2018 03:30 pm
Triathlon, cycling, sea kayaking, swimming and life in the Scottish Highlands

May Challenge #1 - Attempt a Craft

When I told friends we were heading back to the Isle of Muck, one of our favourite places on Scotland's west coast, they assumed we'd be kayaking, swimming or running around the island.

"We're doing a two-day basket making course", I explained.  I was greeted by stunned silence.

Basket making was never on my bucket list, but my #yr60 campaign is more subtle than that.

It's about doing things I'd never got around to doing - for whatever reason.  Crafts are really not my thing, but I suspected basic basket making might be more about knowledge and experience - time actually doing the thing - rather than specific skills.  Turns out it was great fun, in good company, with great food, in an idyllic location.

Obviously we got to swim and run as well, but the highlight was leaving the island with our two new baskets.  At £120 each they're not exactly cheap, but that fee did include two lunches and dinners.  Plus I might know enough to attempt another basket.  One day. 

by Simon Willis ( at May 16, 2018 03:04 pm

Freya Hoffmeister
Goddess of Love to the Seas

Mon 14/05-2018 Day 218

Pos: 35.1774,-120.7484
Loc: Port San Luis
Acc: Hilleberg Allak tent
Dist: 34,6 km
Start: 08:00 End: 15:15

I heard Russ getting up earlier then I did, but as we agreed to meet with a paddling friend of his at 8 pm only, I dared to tun around again. No ranger or such was bothering us here at this lovely beach, thank goodness!

Ingmar paddled around the corner out of Morrow Bay already at 7.20 am. Though he came in an Explorer HV, I felt he was “one of those guys” who are keen to race me…and I felt like to tell him that I am not. ALL of the guys who were anytime on my trips paddling with me for a short time were like that, I had to pace them all down in their empty kayaks, being well rested, strong guys and only out with me for a short time. I best like to NOT talk about “speed” or “faster” and “slower” at all. Even Russ yesterday was heading off like hell, until he noticed how stupid that was…

Anyway, we all three paddled nicely along for a while, until we changed direction from south west to south east after we paddled around Point Buchon and came to the usual big kelp beds upfront the coasts. I showed Russ yesterday how nice it is to paddle easy and safely close to the coast, just inside the kelp bed line, where there are no breakers, and this is where I went, expecting Russ and Ingmar to follow my experience.

Ingmar obviously had his own ideas and preferred to stay far outside the kelp bed, while Russ was following me. I was already paddling for a while on the millpond-like seas topless with the dry suit stripped down in some hot sunshine, would I paddle like that when it is unsafe?? Ingmar was never seen again when he left us to stay far offshore, he didn’t even wait any where at Pecho Rock, before the headland or at the beach…his loss. No need to paddle “together” any more.

When we had to pass the security zone around the big power plant at Diablo Canyon, we gave it a wide berth as requested. Russ has been working inside the plant with his Special Services Company twelve years ago, changing the turbines, what a job! It looks like a scary place to me, and we were both happy to be off range of the security zone soon.

The wind has breezed up meanwhile to some choppy seas, and Russ had to get used to my more tippy kayak. But he did well, and paddled much harder than both mornings when we had dead calm seas and winds – conditions which make me fall asleep on paddling! Now I almost had a hard time to follow with my heavier loaded boat…glad to sea how my paddling partners adjust to my kayak!

Turning into the wide San Luis Obispo Bay to hit Avila Beach, we had to paddle 2,5 km against now strong headwinds, some good final exercise!

It was my last paddling day with Russ and the finish of my southern section for now. I’ll continue here probably in October!

by Freya at May 16, 2018 01:11 pm

Björn Thomasson Design
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tvåmetersdinge från Johan Bergdahl

2m Dinge – Johan Bergdahl

Dags för sjösättning av en snygg och välbyggd dinge i Norrtälje. Johans lilla jolle är byggd i kallbakad fanér istället för granstrip.

Sjösättning på lördag.  Jag har satt frigolit under tofterna, ger väl ngn flytkraft åt jollen.  Slutvikten blev 24 kg, utan kapellet.   
Varma vårhälsningar,  Johan Bergdahl. "

2m Dinge – Johan Bergdahl
En fantastiskt finish på det kallbakade skrovet!

2m Dinge – Johan Bergdahl
Ett par tvärbalkar håller kapellet uppe när den används som släpjolle.

2m Dinge – Johan Bergdahl
Fanérbakning är lite mer arbetskrävande men ger ett lätt och starkt skrov.

2m Dinge – Johan Bergdahl
Det färdiga skrovet lyfts av byggjiggen.

2m Dinge – Johan Bergdahl
Laminerade balkar för att kapellet.

by Björn Thomasson at May 16, 2018 07:23 am

May 15, 2018

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

Karrebæksminde - Bjørnebæk og retur

Jan og jeg havde aftalt en rotur tirsdag formiddag. Fruen skulle til Karrebæksminde, så kajakken blev læsset på taget og kørt derned.
Vi satte i ved DUI og roede ud gennem havnen. Ved molehovederne stod en del lystfiskere og prøvede at fange hornfisk.
Undervejs langs kysten kunne se flere stå i waders og" bade blink". En enkelt hev en ørred ud af vandet lige foran os - til hans store utilfredshed var det en regnbueørred. Han var også utilfreds med at vi roede forbi ham i "kanoer". Da jeg høfligt fortalte at det var kajakker, svarede han surt at det var det samme!
Vi skyndte os videre og så mange hornfisk svømme rundt under kajakkerne tæt inde under land. Og store flokke gæs der fløj forbi os.
Ved Bjørnebæk spiste vi madpakken - på min ene mad var hjemmefanget og -røget hornfisk. Mums!

Vi havde haft en behagelig udtur i rygvind. Da vi roede tilbage havde vinden lagt sig - vi har virkelig vejrguderne med os for tiden. Men vi fortjener det 😇

Det blev til 17 behagelige km.

by Pouls kajakblog ( at May 15, 2018 11:02 pm

Woman on Water
A woman's perspective on kayaking and outdoor adventures.

Rock Garden Buffer Zones

Buffer - to lessen or moderate the impact of something.

When kayaking among ocean rock gardens, it is helpful to know where safe zones are.  Knowing and using these safe zones will allow one to paddle in close to the rocks and to access more areas and play spots.
Cate Hawthorne sea kayak rock gardening on the Mendocino Coast of California. Photo by Jeff Laxier
Deep water (where waves aren't breaking) are obvious safe zones.  There are also areas in rock gardens where we can find safety from breaking waves.  We can hide behind a rock when the wave comes and let the rock take the impact of the wave and lessen or buffer it's energy.

Have you ever gone out into the driveway when your significant other is washing the car?  Perhaps, they are feeling a bit ornery and try to spray you with the hose.  By ducking behind the car, you can avoid the full blast of the hose.  This is the same with using rocks as buffers in the ocean.  We refer to these areas as buffer zones.
Jean sitting in a buffer zone behind a rock during a Liquid Fusion Kayaking Rock Garden Class.  Photo by Jeff Laxier.

To use a buffer zone -
1. Determine the direction of the waves.
2. Look for a sizable rock that will block the incoming wave (watching a couple of sets roll through the area will give you an idea if the rock is large enough)
3. Hold position as close behind the rock as possible when the wave hits.
4. Stay loose in the hips and potentially ready to brace as the water may surge under or around you.

When the set has passed, journey to the next buffer zone.  Whitewater river runners can compare this concept to eddying out and eddy hopping.

Not all buffer zones are created equal just as all waves are not the same size and direction.  It takes time to develop the water reading skills to recognize buffer zones and how to use them.  On your next rock garden journey, start looking for buffer zones and find small friendly ones to play with.

by Cate Hawthorne ( at May 15, 2018 06:33 pm

The Ikkatsu Project
In the Service of the Ocean

Let There Be Light

Back in 1984 and 1985, I was living in Newfoundland, a student at Memorial University and a staff writer on the student paper, The Muse. There are multiple directions I could go with this story at this point, but the reason it has been on my mind is that I need a light table and I don’t know where to find one. We used to have these big light tables in the layup room, where we would burn the midnight oil (among other things), every other Tuesday night in order to get the paper to the press on time.

Light tables can be helpful when going through sediment samples in search of tiny pieces of plastic. Sometimes they’re easy enough to see with the naked eye but there are some pieces that are more visible when viewed through the light. If you know where I can get one of those layup-type tables, preferably one of the smaller sizes, please let me know.

Meanwhile, I made one. A prototype, if you will. This one is going out to Lakeridge Middle School this week, where students will be using it on collected samples through the end of the school year. Once we see how it holds up – or doesn’t – I’ll have a better idea what direction to go next.

by Ken Campbell at May 15, 2018 04:37 pm


BC 3* course in Venice: such a fantastic venue!

Venezia è sempre Venezia!
E tornare a Venezia è sempre un grande piacere!
Soprattutto tornarci in kayak, pagaiando tra canali e briccole, ammirando la città dall'acqua...
Ospiti di Venicekayak sull'accogliente Isola della Certosa, Tatiyak ha svolto un corso 3 stelle durante due splendide giornate di sole, con temperature primaverili che hanno consentito di svolgere salvataggi e roll senza temere l'acqua fredda. La grande varietà di condizioni che si creano in laguna, con la corrente di un paio di nodi che si incanala tra le isole, con il moto ondoso provocato dall'intenso traffico a motore e con la presenza di tantissimi segnalamenti marittimi ha reso il corso molto interessante per allievi ed insegnante.
I quattro allievi hanno tutti mostrato un grande interesse per le varie manovre proposte e non c'è mai stato un momento in cui non si parlasse di kayak, di attrezzature, di vantaggi e svantaggi di ogni tecnica, di viaggi in programma e di progetti futuri: è stato molto entusiasmante entrare in contatto con "volti nuovi" del kayak da mare e con tanta energia positiva!
L'accoglienza che ci ha riservato Renè è stata impagabile ed è sempre un'ottima occasione di confronto e di crescita, in kayak e non solo, poter osservare da vicino la bella realtà canoistica che i soci ed i collaboratori di Venicekayak hanno saputo creare negli anni: Venezia vista dal kayak è molto più bella!

Arne, Damiano, Paolo e Leonardo pronti per iniziare il corso 3 stelle...
L'imbarco dal pontile...
Le prime manovre tra le briccole del canale tra Certosa e Lido...
I salvataggi assistiti a conclusione della prima giornata...
I traini di contatto all'inizio della seconda giornata di corso...
Confronti sulle tecniche di utilizzo della cima di traino...
Alla scoperta della città...
Uno dei campanili "pendenti" di Venezia...
Il fascino dei canali interni e la destrezza nel manovrare il kayak...
Foto ricordo!

Venice is a unique town in the world!
Coming back to Venice is always a great pleasure to me!
Especially when I have the chance to paddle along its canals to discover the town by the sea...
Thanks to Venicekayak, Tatiyak was hosted to the sea kayak center based on Certosa Island to run a special 3 star course during two sunny days with exepcional good weather forecast and warm water. The location is pretty interesting with lots of different conditions from moving water, due to the around two knots of corrents in between the canals, to the rough water created by the strong motor boats traffic jam. Venice is also full of maritime signals all aroung the lagoon and we have had the chance to put in practise the basic navigation skills.
The four students were really motivated and passionated and we spent all the time talking and discussing about any single stroke and technique, comparing advantages and disadvantages of every skill: it was really good for me to share moments with such enthusiastic "new entries" of the Italian sea kayak community!
The warm hospitality received by Renè was priceless and it is always a great opportunity to have an inside watch in a young, active and inspirational reality of a sea kayak activity created by Venicekayak here in Italy: Venice is a really better if you visit it by the sea! 

by Tatiana Cappucci ( at May 15, 2018 01:00 pm

May 14, 2018

The Ikkatsu Project
In the Service of the Ocean

Thinking About a Race

The photo above is a look north up Colvos Passage, part of the Seventy48 course that I’ll be paddling next month. It’s a funny piece of water actually, where the current is always flowing north. True, there are times when there is no current at all, or none that you can detect, but the water never reverses direction and flows southward. It’s a function of the the topography – both above and below the waterline – as well as the fact that Blake Island sits like a cork at the top of the passage, preventing the flood from entering with any force. It’s a pretty fascinating anomaly… I could talk about that for a while.

Of course, that gets me to thinking about George Colvocoresses, a middie on the Wilkes expedition of 1842, the guy that Colvos Passage was named for. Wilkes went into a naming frenzy in Puget Sound on that trip, trying to tag as many features as possible for the United States in an area that was still very much contested by Great Britain. Wilkes made the command decision, however, that George’s family name needed some nips and tucks before it could be entered in the official record. And so it was done.

And then I look up into Colvos Passage again, knowing that soon I will be paddling here with a purpose, trying to move a boat seventy miles in less than two days. It is a literal piece of garbage, this “kayak,” something I have made out of foam blocks that washed ashore at Salmon Beach. It is seaworthy, I think, but it is not going to be a fast trip. My entry into this contest is not a bid for victory; it is rather an attempt to present people with the governing metaphor of our time, that we are all floating on garbage.

I’m doing everything but thinking of the race, as it turns out. Soon it will be here.

by Ken Campbell at May 14, 2018 04:42 pm

Björn Thomasson Design
<div class="container"> <div class="col-sm-10 col-sm-offset-2"> <img class="logo img-responsive" src="" alt="logo" /> <div class="lang"> <a href="">English (UK)</a> | <a href="">English (US)</a> | <a href="">Svenska</a> </div> </div> <form name="aspnetForm" method="post" action="" id="aspnetForm"> <input type="hidden" name="lemoon.rooturl" id="lemoon.rooturl" value="/" /> <input type="hidden" name="__VIEWSTATE" id="__VIEWSTATE" value="QbMqUCksjkWRzVPV6Nl6buWqF38XnjXV5XpbJBdYOOtP/ufPT3XfLtd/nM9qDZEy4PNPw+ZK5+iv11y2t2Qw6GXGJLqFtAOGSS9iir4emAk=" /> <input type="hidden" name="__VIEWSTATEGENERATOR" id="__VIEWSTATEGENERATOR" value="1231C1A0" /> <input type="hidden" name="__EVENTVALIDATION" id="__EVENTVALIDATION" value="tCMTIrkOytNLPpjkWKDDbx0WMXmhVFRGDy+SYLmgsNCq9yNs7GUE8995RhTWWaz2MEzLWeLw3yXsIYcHEMx3tLuM/xaMGu9e+6MgVs8Spvq2mDPs/jXm3ha/xpcE16BI" /> <fieldset class="form-horizontal"> <legend>Setup Lemoon</legend> <div class="form-group"> <div class="col-sm-10 col-sm-offset-2"> <p class="form-control-static"> Please verify that the following requirements have been met. </p> </div> </div> <div class="form-group"> <div class="col-sm-10 col-sm-offset-2"> <ul class="list-unstyled checks"> <li class="passed"> <i class="fa fa-check-circle"></i> Can open database connection </li> <li class="passed"> <i class="fa fa-check-circle"></i> Supported version of SQL Server </li> <li class="failed"> <i class="fa fa-ban"></i> Database is not empty <em>An empty database is required for setup to continue.</em> </li> </ul> <a id="ctl00_content_checkButton" class="btn btn-default" href="javascript:WebForm_DoPostBackWithOptions(new WebForm_PostBackOptions(">Check again</a> </div> </div> <div class="buttons form-horizontal"><div class="form-group"><div class="col-sm-10 col-sm-offset-2"> </div></div></div> </fieldset> </form> </div> <div class="alerts"></div>

Öppet hus hos Kanokajakcenter i Lyngby

Kanokajakcenter i Danmark

I helgen var det öppet hus hos Kanokajakcenter vid Nybrovejen i Lyngby. Långhelg med fantastiskt väder lockade stora delar av Köpenhamns befolkning ut i sjösystemet Furesø, Bagsværd Sø och Lyngby Sø, och Mølleån som binder ihop dem. Hundratals kanadensare fick det att se ut som rusningstrafik mellan sjöarna, danska landslaget i K1, K2 och K4 drog fram och tillbaka i hög fart längs banorna i Bagsværd, turbåtarna Svanen och Prins Christian tuffade på kors och tvärs mellan bryggorna, och SUPar och C1:or – och så alla från Kanokajakcentret som testade kajaker och surfskis, gick kurser i roll och paddelteknik eller bara paddlade runt för att njuta av högsommarvädret.

Leif (Aterra) hade surfskis för provpaddling, Petrus från Tranås visade en blivande spännande kajakprototyp för snabb expeditionspaddling och en nybyggd 11,5 kg tung Black Pearl, Fylkir Saevarson höll kurs i vingpaddelteknik (och skall snart använda Petrus nybygge för en spännande utmaning), Jeff Allen från England berättade om sina expeditioner (främst Japan runt) och gav tips om att planera och genomföra krävande expeditioner, Peter Engholm lärde ut grunderna i havspaddling, Andreas Holm höll kurser i roll och visade sina paddlar, och jag pratade om kajakers egenskaper och höll kurser med grönlandspaddel. 

 Aterra med surfskis att testa
Aterra med surfskis att testa

Danska landslaget tränar
Danska landslaget tränar


...och Frej
...och Frej

Lördagens första kunder...
Lördagsmorgonens första kunder

Petrus packar den snart färdiga prototypen
Petrus packar upp prototypen – i bakgrunden mitt nattkvarter...

Som vanligt en trevlig helg med nya och gamla bekantskaper, god mat och dryck, och komfortabelt boende – jag brukar ockupera en av kanokajakcentrets specialare, en kanadensare med tältkapell och mycket bekväm madrass (och mottagande som ett bättre hotell ;-). 

 Min svit...

by Björn Thomasson at May 14, 2018 09:36 am

Freya Hoffmeister
Goddess of Love to the Seas

Sun 13/05-2018 Day 217

Pos: 35.3610,-120.8622
Loc: Morrow Bay
Acc: Hilleberg Allak tent
Dist: 26,3 km
Start: 08:00 End: 16:20

Mark, Russ’ son, drove us down back to Cambria where I left the water four days ago. An older asian couple was fishing in the early morning hours, and a kayak fisherman launched the same time as we got ready.
The bay was less sheltered today, or rather the swell period was much longer, the big sets coming in were quite nasty. Russ pushed in all right, jumped on a bit slow, but thank goodness went out over some larger swell waves with no problems. For the fist time launching my kayak in some surf, this was quite good!

As expected, Russ felt a bit tippy in my kayak at first, especially when it s not fully loaded. We both packed only gear and food for two days/ one night. But he adjusted soon to the new feeling with no thigh braces and a rudder. There after, I will drive up to Vancouver Island to spend a few days prior to the symposium with some friends, this will be my “trip holiday” before I continue from Kodiak north.

We had dead calm winds and seas all morning, I really feel asleep a couple of times…until I got the idea to strip down the top of my dry suit to feel less HOT. We saw a few whale spouts, and tried to stay close to the coast for a better view. But even the light afternoon breeze did not really motivate me again to dig in hard after those four days of rest.

We decided to cut across the the visible within Morrow Rock, just to find the entrance more or less blocked by a huge dredging ship of the US Army corps of engineers. Our beach across inside the rive entrance looked dead calm, just paddle in…same mistake as last time…never underestimate the surf! A large set cam in when I was still paralleling the coast, but I got away with a high brace. Russ performed a low brace, and camp was made on a calm corner close to the jetty. Just hoping no ranger will disturb us here!

by Freya at May 14, 2018 04:55 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!)

One Paddle, Two week later, much better, trying to find a WHALE!

NOT MY PICTURE! Photo taken by Captain Frank of the American Princess, that's a whale RIGHT OFF RIIS LANDING!!! 

2nd trip report (pix at the end of the post)- As mentioned, the paddle on April 8th (trip report on last post) was way too short when I was craving a long one, and the meeting that brought us off the water too soon was just the first one in a string of 3. The next weekend's meeting was actually one that ordinarily I would have wanted to attend, a gathering of some of the club's more experienced paddlers plus a couple of board members to discuss clarifying certification requirements for the independent use of club boats. Getting more members "safety certified" is something I've been very interested in; I just remember it as being so great and so freeing to get to that point where instead of waiting for other people to take you out, you can start planning your own trips, and my thought is that it would make for a better and livelier club if more members are shooting for that instead of just being stuck waiting for the club's volunteer trip leaders to organize things.

So ordinarily, a meeting to discuss just that was a meeting I would've liked to attend. But work was still crazy and the 3-mile teaser on the 8th may've just made me want to get out even more. TQ had been there for my post-paddle pre-meeting meltdown so he did have an idea of how stressed out I was getting over having all of these meetings right when I was literally crying for a nice long paddle, and he offered to go to the meeting while I paddled and fill me in afterwards. This was a very tempting offer. He and I have very similar views of the desirability of getting people to graduate to being able to paddle on their own, and he was a professional kayak guy for years and knows about as much as anybody I know about getting people onto the water safely. I was still thinking it might be good for me to be there, though; he would make the same points I would just fine, but I think the two of us back each other up really well, I was a professional for less time than he was but I did have that experience that I could share if others were looking for confirmation beyond his say-so.

But then on April 13th, still on the fence about the meeting, I checked Facebook at work (as I do entirely too often), and there on my wall I found a video post from Gotham Whale that was absolutely jaw-dropping to me! It was a whale - that's what Gotham Whale is all about, of course, check out their website if you haven't heard of them. It wasn't the most spectacular whale video you've ever seen, the whale wasn't indulging in any of the (literally) splashy acrobatics for which humpbacks are famous, just quietly swimming around, surfacing for breath every now and then - but it was jaw-dropping for me, and for anybody else who paddles Jamaica Bay, because it was swimming around RIGHT OFF OF RIIS LANDING, where the American Princess is docked. Riis Landing is on the bay side of the Rockaway Peninsula, just outside of the Marine Park Bridge. The whale was right there in the Jamaica Bay inlet! If you're on Facebook, watch it here! Photo above was taken during the same sighting.

Well. Meeting, shmeeting, that knocked me right off the fence. Since I've gotten so enthusiastic about the Gotham Whale/American Princess whalewatching cruises (full details there if you'd like to go, unsolicited plug/link), people frequently ask me if I think we could paddle out to see the whales. I always say no, it's really better to go on the American Princess if you really want to see whales - the NY Bight, where most of the sightings happen, is a big place, and the AP is a big, fast boat that can and does cover a whole lot of territory during one of their whalewatching trips. Highly unlikely that a paddler going out from Jamaica Bay at 3 kts (average cruising speed of a trained kayaker) is going to find a whale. It's possible that they could be super, super lucky and have a whale find them, but from our location, at least, I don't think a whalewatching paddle is a very practical thing.

With that video, though, I decided that for all that, I was still going to give it a try. Maybe the whale would still be hanging around in the inlet. And what I really wanted was a good long paddle - so this was perfect, I would go out to where the whale had been, that would be the kind of good long paddle I'd been craving, so that would be a fine thing, and if I saw the whale, well, holy cow that would be the whipped cream, cherries, rainbow sprinkles and hot fudge sauce (and I mean a really good rich yummy truly fudgy hot fudge sauce, not a little drizzle of Hershey's syrup that somebody stuck in the microwave for a few seconds) on top. Win-win.

And that was just the right attitude to take out there. Because no, I did not find the whale, it had apparently moved back out into more open water somewhere. But it was just the paddle I'd been daydreaming about during the busy days at work. Beautiful weather. Light winds - got down to pretty close to mirror-calm at one point as I was paddling out. Lots of birds - cormorants, oystercatchers, brants, ducks, and a couple of loons, and one of the loons was in that dashing black-and-white checkerboard breeding plumage that they put on for their summers at the lake instead of the soft grays they wear for wintering in coastal environments. I'd never seen one in summer plumage before so that was pretty cool - maybe not as cool as seeing the whale would've been but still a lovely first. Sorry no picture, I just looked for a bit and then just when I started fumbling for my camera, the bird dove.

I made it out to the Breezy Point "Light" - really an old WWII fire control station where observations and calculations were made to direct the guns in the batteries at the forts that protected NY harbor. Today it makes a good Thing To Paddle To - I tend to be something of a landmark-driven paddler, I like to paddle to things or around things. It would've been tempting to keep going but I'd kind of whooshed out there, the currents weren't really right for what I doing, the ebb had not been going for too long when I launched; it was most helpful going out but would be against me going back. Currents in Jamaica Bay proper are pretty light but strong enough in the inlet that I knew it was going to be a bit of a slog going back, so I made the tower the turnaround point of the trip and headed back for the club.

Paddling back to the club against the ebb, the tops of the old metal bulkhead along Floyd Bennett Field started reminding me of highly stylized Greek theatrical masks, so I stopped for a bit to take some pictures of those for a "Found Art" Facebook page I'm on where people share photos of things that aren't meant to be art but look like they are anyways. One nice thing about a solo paddle is that you can stop and futz around with something like that if you want to, which I frequently do.

Also paused here and there to pick plastic bags out of the bay. Malama honua!

And the final nice thing about this paddle was that I went back to the club because I was ready to, not because I had a certain time. Oh, ok, I was ready to go back because a blister, but that was OK. Otherwise I would've gone to see the ospreys - but this was 13 good miles and I was very, very happy with the day.

And the meeting went just fine without me.

Here are a dozen photos from the trip, and a bonus forsythia picture - we were still in the early spring flowering at the club and the forsytha was so festive, I couldn't resist it. Click on any photo for a slideshow view. 

by (bonnie) at May 14, 2018 04:39 am

May 13, 2018

Mountain and Sea Scotland
Hillwalking and Sea Kayaking in Scotland

From cool to Glencoul

The next few posts are a catch-up of a sea kayak trip to the northwest of Scotland around Easter. A slim window of lighter winds was forecast to follow a period of strong northerlies which we hoped to exploit. We expected cold conditions and planed to use bothies though we were equipped to camp. Our plans were very flexible with no defined goals other than enjoying our first overnight sea kayak trip of the year.

Leaving home at dawn, it was clear that we would probably get the cold conditions we expected!  The temperature was minus 5 Celsius and the road from home a little slippy.  I'd arranged to meet Allan and Lorna at Inverness at 0900, so that we could get into position and be on the water further north by lunchtime.

We arrived at Kylesku after a drive which (visibility permitting) is one of the most scenic anywhere; north of Ullapool the road heads into Assynt, a truly ancient landscape.  You can put in at the former ferry slip adjacent to the hotel, but parking can be difficult there.  We wheeled our boats on trolleys down a rough track near the fishing jetty to launch off a stony beach and parked the vehicles in a layby on the road.

The weather was, if anything, better than forecast and there was even some warmth in the sunshine. Our plan was to head east into the twin lochs of Glencoul and Glendhu, each of which has a bothy in their upper reaches.  This being Easter, we expected others to have the same idea, hence we were fully equipped and prepared to camp elsewhere.

Rounding the dividing headland of Aird da Loch (appropriately "height of the two lochs") an impressive view opens up along Loch Glencoul to the rugged hills surrounding the head of the loch.  The most prominent of these is the Stack of Glencoul, a 494m/1621ft boss of steep rock.

At our right shoulder was a superb view to Quinag, one of my favourite hills - it's been way too long since I climbed it.

Paddling up Loch Glencoul is like moving along a geological text book writ large.  The pinkish rock outcropping in a tilted plane above Allan in this image is Cambrian Quartzite; at the top right of the image you can see the start of another type of rock overlying the quartzite.

The astonishing thing is that the overlying rock is much older than the Cambrian rock below.  This is the Glencoul Thrust zone, a part of the complex Moine Thrust zone.  A good explanation with photographs to illustrate the stacked-up nature of the rock is provided by Oxford University as notes for its students fieldwork (thanks to Allan for pointing me to this resource).

The head of Loch Glencoul is a wild and majestic place, surrounded by rugged hills.  There's no easy access on foot to this spot, the natural way to arrive is by water.

We headed for the broad beach on the north side of the loch, just below the house of Glencoul. The building on the shore is a boathouse and storage shed, the house and adjacent bothy is just above the beach to the right.  We were arriving near low water one day before Springs - the water goes back for some 100 metres as the beach is fairly flat.

Nobody was about when we landed, but three open canoes drawn up near the bothy indicated that folk were in residence.  We thought we'd be able to camp and share the bothy during the evening, but......

...on opening the bothy door it was clear that it was absolutely rammed with kit and gear.  A single party of eight had taken every available inch of space.  Even if we'd camped there wouldn't have been space for us to cook or share the evening in the bothy.

This was a little disappointing, the bothy code is pretty straightforward concerning group size and duration of stay - and this group intended to stay a while.  They were a "Song of the Paddle" members group and left the bothy book right below a notice asking groups of six or more to neither use the bothy or to camp nearby......  It was undoubtedly a fabulous adventure for the kids, just too many folk at one time for a wee bothy.

Above the head of the bay, a prominent white marble cross commemorates the Eliot brothers, two lads enlisted in highland regiments and both killed in the slaughter of the western front in 1917 and 1918.

Their bodies aren't here, but the spot chosen for their memorial has a view which has few rivals.

The afternoon sunshine was warm and there was almost no breeze, quite a difference in temperature from the "cool" early morning back in Aberdeenshire! We ate a late luncheon with our backs to a warm drystone wall the bothy and discussed plans.  Adding our three to the eight folk here would detract from the wild feel of this spot; and we decided to spend the night elsewhere.  But before heading back down Loch Glencoul there was somewhere else we wanted to explore...

by Ian Johnston ( at May 13, 2018 11:21 pm

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

Fantastiske Blekinge

I år gik forårets Tour de Fisk (en familie og venner gruppe der arrangerer to årlige fisketure) til Blekinge, hvor Jan og jeg roede en tur sidste efterår.
Vi ville gerne se området om foråret og geddefiskeriet i Blekinge er noget af det mest berømte i lystfiskerkredse og landsdelen har en spændende historie, der for en stor del af tiden er dansk.
Jan og jeg tog af sted fra morgenstunden og etablerede lejr på Arpö. På vej derud rullede havgusen ind over os - det var en meget speciel og kold oplevelse.
Snart meldte Casper, Søren, Jørgen og Martin deres ankomst, og kort efter kom Knud og Jess. De sidste med to kanoer på taget af Jess camper. De var lagt derop med hjælp af en gaffeltruck. Vi lod de unge og stærke om at få dem ned, og snart var kanoer og kajakker pakket til bristepunktet. Det er ikke en del af Tour de Fisk konceptet at rejse let 😎.
I tre dage fiskede og hyggede vi. Det gav ikke de store mængder fisk - slet ingen til mig - men hyggen gik godt. Og øen vi boede på viste sig at huse en spændende petson. I et over hundrede år gammelt hus boede Ulrich - og Ulrich var gåsemor.
På en rotur rundt om øen så jeg en mand gå med en flok gæslinger efter sig. Jeg roede tæt på og spurgte om jeg måtte tage et billede af scenariet. Manden var Ulrich og han inviterede mig i land, og vi fik en lang snak om lidt af hvert og meget om gæs.
Ulrich kom fra Tyskland og der er et marked med gåseæg. Mange blive slået i stykker for at begrænse antallet af gæs, men nogle af æggene bliver solgt til folk der opdrætter dem.
Ulrich havde før opfostret gæs i Tyskland, men ikke for at slagte gæssene, men for at lade dem flyve af sted, når de selv ville det. Det er en forpligtende hobby, får gæssene kan ikke lades alene, og Ulrich havde da også forsyninger ti 5 uger i huset, der hverken havde elektricitet eller vand. Strøm fik han fra solpaneler, og vand var opsamlet regnvand.
Det kunne godt alt sammen virke lidt nørdet, men Ulrich var en mand der virkelig hvilede i sig selv. Han nussede om sine gæs, men var helt på det rene med at havørne og andre rovdyr snuppede et par gæslinger. Han var dog ked af det, da flåter et år tog livet af alle hans gæslinger. Nu fjerner han flåterne hver aften.
Vi var alle over at besøge Ulrich, og en aften kom han på besøg i vores lejr. Mødet med ham var en fantastisk oplevelse, og man kunne kun være glad i selskab med ham og gæssene.
Er der nogen der skal til Blekinge, så besøg ham. Han bor på den sydlige del af Arpö og tager meget gerne mod besøgende. Han bor der indtil sidst i august. Om vinteren bor han hjemme ved Flensborg og besøger også sin bror i New Zeeland.
Da Touren var taget hjem med "Motorindianene" som de store flyttemænd med deres motoriserede kano, tog Jan og jeg på rotur.
Inden vi drog videre besøgte Jan og jeg  Ulrich. Vi blev på stranden modtaget af et par gæs, der meget mod sædvane lod os komme tæt på. De fløj først, da vi på en afstand af 7-8 m rejste os op fra kajakkerne.
Ulrich fortalte efter vi var kommet hjem Jan i en mail, at to af "hans" voksne gæs senere samme dag havde besøgt ham og gæslingerne. Det må have været dem vi så. Trods mange naturoplevelser og flot, flot rovand, var mødet med Ulrich det der gjorde størst indtryk på mig på hele turen. At møde et så dedikeret, sympatisk og imødekommende menneske gjorde dybt indtryk.
Med vinden i ryggen roede vi først til en overnatningsplads på Haglø. Vi havde været der før, og jeg fandt en vandtæt pose med mit navn på toilettet - rullen var endda stadig i den.
Der var også på Haglø mange egetræer. Disse kæmpe krogede træer siges at vokse 300 år, leve 300 år og endelig dø over 300 år. Det var imponerende at se træer der var gået ud flere stede, havde grene der visnet og knækket af, men som stadig havde grene så tykke som bøgestammer og med masser af spirer - lige ved at springe ud.
Vi fortsatte ud til skærgården sydøst for Karlskrona. Efter lidt udtjekning af forskellige lejrpladser, valgte vi at bo på en plads på Hästholmen som vi kendte fra efterårets tur.
Som sædvanlig står Jan for teltopslåning og jeg for brændeindsamling. På pladsen var der masser at brænde at finde, så snart var der gang i Kelly Kettle og gastrangia. Vores aftensmad besår sædvanligvis af suppe med ristet chorizopølse og en pose Real Tourmat med ris eller pasta. Vi får en øl til maden. Som dessert tager vi os et par kopper god kaffe lavet GSI kaffemaskinen.
Vores morgemad er specialblandet mysli med mælkepulver - den skal bar røres op med vand, så er det klart. Med nødder og dadler er der masser af krudt at ro på. Og ro det gjorde vi dagen efter i den yderste skærgård. Skal vi spare, kan vi klare os med fem liter vand om dagen. Ris og paste koges i havvand. Det medbragte vand bruges til suppe, pulvermad, kaffe og drikkevand. Med 12-13 liter i hver kajak har vi til nogle dage uden vandhane.
Om formiddagen var vandet spejlblankt, og vi roede som de andre dage rundt og var vildt betaget af det meget rige fugleliv - og en enkelt sæl var lidt betaget af os. Jan kender mange af fuglene, og vi så blandt mange andre rovterner, havørne, kæmpe bramgåsetræk, edderfugle, grågæs, hejrer og nattergale. En nat lå vi i telt lige under en syngende nattergal.
På skærgårdens sydligste spids holdt vi frokostpause. Frokosten består sædvanligvis af rugbrød med dåsepålæg - og i Sverige altid med Kalle Kaviar og majonæse og ost på tube. Som alt andet mad vi spiser, pifter vi det lidt op med Tabasco. Normalt er der vand til maden, men ved særlige lejligheder bevilger kantineudvalget en øl.
Efter en 30 km rundtur kom vi tilbage til lejren, og kunne konstatere at ejeren af området havde lukket 9 nysgerrige tyrekalve ud på området. Det var jeg sgu ikke helt tryg ved. Der blev snuset til, puffet rundt med og slikket på alt der stod fremme.
Vi vendte kajakkerne om og vogtede vores aftensmad. Om aftenen deltog kalvene i hyggen omkring bålet. Der faldt ro over tingene og vi krøb i poserne. Klokken 4 vågnede jeg dog ved at der blev slikket på teltet og kalvene trampede på bardunerne der ellers var spændt helt ind til teltet. Det kan nok være at jeg kom ud af posen og i kludene. Det var dog meget koldt at lege cowboy om natten, og da kalvene begyndte at græsse fredelig, krøb jeg til ro igen.
Turen tilbage til udgangspunktet ved Rønneby Havscamping, hvor vi havde fået lov at stille bilen, gik fint i medvind.
Igen oplevede vi et rigt fugleliv langs alle kysterne. Et militært øveområde mellem Hasslö  og Drotningskär var ekstra flot.
Vi tog den sidste overnatning på Arpö og roede næste morgen tilbage til campingpladsen og bilen.
134 oplevelsesrige km i høj sol og medvind

Se evt flere billeder her.

by Pouls kajakblog ( at May 13, 2018 10:58 pm

Freya Hoffmeister
Goddess of Love to the Seas

Sat 12/05-2018 Day 216

Pos: 35.5705,-121.112
Loc: Cambria, Leffingwell Creek
Acc: Russ’ house

I started early working on the kayaks, so many little things to clean, to maintain and to repair. I LOVE to attend my babies, second to paddle them!

The bad news are that my other spare kayak I shipped already to Kodiak to use for my paddling partners up north has been damaged severely on the shipping with Lynden transport. They have been very nice to give me a good rate, but what is it worth if one of my babies got heavily damaged…it broke my heart to see the pictures! It can be repaired, but will cost me some money, no one feels responsible for the damages…I am hoping to find qualified help on that job in Kodiak.

I had an appointment with a hairdresser to make me once more 10 years younger – it worked! at least for a while…We had some lunch with Russ’ lovely mom Dell, as Russ will join me paddling on mother’s day, and were shopping for the Flex tape, cutting it in stripes and applying them lovingly. Looks actually not bad with the black seam stripe now!

We assembled the kayaks back to use, and I fitted Russ into my spare kayak. We will paddle together for two days Sunday and Monday further south. Will be nice!

by Freya at May 13, 2018 11:36 am

Fri 11/05-2018 Day 215

Pos: 35.5705,-121.112
Loc: Cambria, Leffingwell Creek
Acc: Russ’ house

Russ was so nice to drive us back to San Francisco to Laura’s place, where I stored my spare kayak. On the way, we picked my box of stuff I left at Joe’s place. Joe was not home, but Laura and Julien were – good to see them again, at least briefly! Thanks to both and to Joe to store my equipment for a while! And sure thanks one more to Joe and Franca to have hosted me so often in his house, and to Laura and Julian (and Kelly) for that wonderful paddling weekend together!

Back home at Russ’, I explored the possible leakages of my spare kayak, and found the seam split around the hull for quite some lenght. Shitty quality of the old manufacturer, but still the best design of my loved baby!

The designer of my kayak, Magnus de Brito, is cooperating already since some time with his new company Melker Kayaks of Sweden, and they are working hard on a re-design of my wonderful “Freya” kayak. I’m curious to see what comes out evry soon! Please stay tuned!

I also took the rudder apart as so many times, and this time re-assemble it with some (hopefully waterproof…) grease. Maybe the friction of the spring-loaded skeg blade will be a little less to pop out safely and to stay down when I paddle over kelp or such.

I decided to not glue the seam, but to use the magic “Flex Tape” Franca introduced me to. That’s some heavy rubberized waterproof tape which sticks to everything, even under water, I can by it at the local Lowe’s hardware store. I will cut some long stripes matching the width of the seam, and stick it on all around both of my kayaks, so any seam crack would be healed or prevented. Hope this works!

Another hop in the hot tub under the stars…I could get used to that!

by Freya at May 13, 2018 11:36 am

Thu 10/05-2018 Day 214

Pos: 35.5705,-121.112
Loc: Cambria, Leffingwell Creek
Acc: Russ’ house

My birthday!!! I was overwhelmed by the many birthday wishes via facebook, messenger or e-mail – thanks once more to all of you guys wishing me well! I spend an easy day, lots of calls of friends and family, plus some office work.
In the evening, Russ took me for dinner to a Thai restaurant. A soak in the hot tub, some guitar playing…life could be worse! Thanks for your company on my birthday, Russ!

by Freya at May 13, 2018 11:36 am

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

Djupfjorden med selskap

På himmelsprettdagen var jeg i Fiskfjord på grensen medllom Sortland og Hadsel innland på fugletur. Jeg hadde med meg padleutstyret for å kunne padle etterpå, enten i Lonkanfjord eller Djupfjord. La ut invitasjon på Facebook, og etter litt kom det tikkende inn melding fra Leif Hermann og Berit. De ville være med på padletur i Djupfjord - hurra! Da slapp jeg å velge. Dette er tett ved utsetting i Broksløysa, utenfor brua.

Det var lenge siden jeg padlet her sist. Jeg husket ikke så mye, annet enn at det var et kraftverk og en del hytter inne i fjorden. Det skulle vise seg å være langt finere enn hukommelsen min tilsa.

Foto: Leif-Hermann Jensen
Blant annet er det jo en flott fjellside som går nesten rett ned i havet på den ene siden. Den er ganske mektig å padle langs.

Utsikten innover er det rett og slett ingenting å si på - vakkert.

Vi tok oss god tid, det var jo fridag og kosetur.

Sett ut fjorden, der vi kom fra.

Litt inn i fjorden kom vi forbi dette her. Noe må ha stått her en gang i tiden, men hva? Noe som hører til kraftanlegget lenger inn?

Det er kult med fosser, særlig på denne tiden av året når det er godt med vann. Synd med den kraftlinjen, men. Vi later som vi ikke ser den.

Som sagt, mektig flott.

Bunnen av fjorden, der pyntet også fjell opp. Litt mer hvitkledt her.

Foto: Leif-Hermann Jensen
Så kom vi fram til kraftverket. Ganske stri elv ut her.


Snedig sted å legge til? Det må vel være derfor det er et dekk her, eller hva? Mye å bli nysgjerrig på her i denne fjorden.

Synes dette ble et kult bilde. Liten padler, stort fjell. Alltid gøy.

Det er en god del hytter innerst i fjorden, så man kan bli litt midt i glaninga til dem om man går i land. Men her var det litt mindre i glaninga, ettersom det ikke var vinduer i dette bygget på denne siden i hvert fall. Vi satte oss på berget til høyre, nøt mat og drikke og det knallfine været.

For en drømmedag!
Det var virkelig flott å være her i dag.

Det er en liten øy i fjorden, på baksiden av den var det ei litt shabby hytte.

Hytta på andre siden av øya så litt finere ut.

Foto: Leif-Hermann Jensen
Brygga her er PRIVAT! Bare så du vet det. Sånne skilt gir meg et bilde av eieren, uten at jeg skal si så mye mer enn det.

Nesten litt høstfarger, men det er det jo ikke. Trærne begynner så smått å få litt grønnskjær.

Siste innspurt av turen var ikke det mest spennende, men selve turen var finere enn jeg hadde sett for meg. Her kan det fort bli en post til neste års 10 på skjæret. Vi får se, den er ikke i år i hvert fall, så det ble ingen nyregistrering på meg i dag. Det behøver man jo ikke hver gang. :)

Takk til Berit og Leif-Hermann for en fin tur.

by Miamaria Padlemia ( at May 13, 2018 10:17 am

May 12, 2018

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

May 12th - Oak Bay and Chatham birding paddle (#31)

I paddled over to Turkey Head beach to join a SISKA birding paddle guided by Daniel and led by Jennie. Conditions were excellent and we saw a nice variety of shore and sea-birds. Due to paddling over to the starting point and back it was a nice long paddle for me! I was able to get a better handle on identifying our three species of cormorant (pelagic, Brandt's and double-crested). Plenty of rhinoceros auklets and pigeon guillemots around.
click to enlarge
22 km, YTD 256 km

by Mike J ( at May 12, 2018 07:06 pm

Travels with Paddles
a sea kayaking journal

Holy Island

Yesterday, this years' Anglesey Sea Kayak Symposium week drew to a close. With a georgeous weather forecast I joined Eila, Ashley, Lianne and Thom for a circumnavigation of Holy Island. I only paddled this trip two times before but never clockwise.

by (Axel) at May 12, 2018 04:00 pm


Itinerari e Kayak: intervista a Tatiana

Ci sono molti modi per diffondere le proprie passioni.
Walter Paesano, canoista e fotografo, con il suo canale YouTube "Itinerari e Kayak" propone alla nutrita schiera dei canoisti, ed a tutti gli amanti della natura, un grande contributo a questa diffusione.
Qualche giorno fa è stata la volta di una intervista a Tatiana, che vi proponiamo di seguito.

Se volete vederla sul canale YouTube seguite questo link.
Ringraziamo Walter per il suo lavoro di condivisione e per aver pensato a Tatiana.
Buona visione.

by Mauro Ferro ( at May 12, 2018 04:05 pm

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


Denne uken – torsdagspadling på en onsdag, også kalt onsdagspadling. Torsdagen var rød, nemlig. Ingen av de som har ivret etter onsdag ble med, men det ble hun her. Første gang med klubben, vi tok turen fra klubbnaustet rundt Risøya.

De som ikke ble med på grunn av været kan bare angre seg – det var aldeles flott og vi hadde ikke en dråpe regn på turen. Derimot flotte skiftninger i lyset. Her ser vi den største stranda på Risøya til høyre, der så det ut for å være folk.

Vi tok runden rundt øya, langs land. Den store isoporklossen var nå kanskje tinet fra bakken, i hvert fall var det ikke snø der lenger. Men jeg hadde ikke tenkt på å ta med noe for å få den med til naustet, så den fikk ligge der mens vi padlet videre.

Kule skyer.

Jenny hadde ikke padlet på en god stund, men fikk bedre og bedre dreis på det etter hvert.

Jo, vi hadde sett rett, det sto to telt på øya faktisk. Kult, det har jeg ikke sett før. Vi lurte på hvordan de hadde kommet seg dit for vi så ikke kajakker, men her ligger det altså en båt på stranden.

Flott sted vi har adoptert for strandrydding?

Underveis tilbake til naustet ble det en liten stopp for rulletrening. Jeg rullet på begge sider, så nå er mairulla i boks. Det var fortsatt svinkaldt i vannet, så jeg nøyde meg med tre-fire. Mislyktes først en gang på den dårligste siden, men kom meg opp på den gode og prøvde så en gang til - da gikk det.

Takk for turen til Jenny. Neste onsdag er det ny klubbpadling, håper på flere av "onsdagspadlerne" da.

by Miamaria Padlemia ( at May 12, 2018 10:36 am

May 11, 2018

Mountain and Sea Scotland
Hillwalking and Sea Kayaking in Scotland

A year in the fields

During spring 2017 I took some images showing the rapid change as a "green wave" of fresh growth spread across the farmlands close to home, developing into summer gold. I hoped to continue a series of images taken through the year from the same viewpoint to show the change as the wheel of the seasons turned.

21st April 207 and the "green wave" was just starting; the fields changing almost daily as barley began to push through the soil.  All the fields in this image apart from the two at lower left had been sown a couple of weeks previously, the other two were kept under gras through the winter.

Just over a month later, in the second half of May and the change is really noticeable.  Lush growth despite a somewhat cool spring had given a good start to the season.

By mid June the barley was fully formed and beginning to take a slight golden colour; a cut had been taken from one of the grass fields.

Mid August and the barley was ripening fast, a litlle later than in an average year as the summer remained cool and changeable.  The field (fields are known as "parks" here in the north east) at lower right contains potatoes.

Most of the barley crop was cut in mid to late September - by 4th October the harvest was home and the fields were dotted with "tractor eggs" waiting to be stacked as winter feed and bedding for the Aberdeen Angus cattle.

November brought the start of winter, sweeping showers of hail trailing across the landscape.  The "tatties" were all harvested and the stacks of hay bales can be sen close by the farm.

The top field in this image had contained barley, undersown with grass.  Once the barley was down the grass could continue growing, giving an early start for grazing.

Late November and all was quiet as the winter shutdown began - the sun dropping lower by the day.

Early December and winter's grip tightened; spells of snow becoming more frequent.  Late December into January had less snow than usual, but the winter had still plenty of bite to come.

By mid February the farming year had begun again, fields gradually going under the plough to start the turn of the wheel again.

February and March brought the worst of the winter, as is often the case here.  Falls of snow built up rapidly - this image was taken at the start of a run of bitter easterly weather which lasted most of the month.

On 28th April, there wasn't much growth to be seen, just the green of the grass parks breaking the bare brown palette of the area.  It's interesting to contrast this image with the first in this post - taken a year previously and a week earlier.  The effect of a cold, prolonged winter is clear to see, the crop about three weeks behind already at this early part of the year.

The migrant birds have been affected by the cold conditions too, we usually see our first Swallows and House Martins on about 20th April, this year it was 28th April, and just a day later we had Willow Warblers and heard the first Cuckoo on 30th April - all very compressed compared to a "normal" year.

On 6th May the change is in full swing though, the green wave washing across the land.  A warm spell has helped to bring things on after a really slow start.

So that was a year in the fields, and the wheel continues to turn.......

by Ian Johnston ( at May 11, 2018 09:08 pm

From grass to glass

Things haven't been easy for dairy farmers in recent years. Farm-gate milk prices have been driven down due to pressure from big supermarket chains buying power and a shrinking number of milk processors.  Add in rising feed prices, increased energy prices and evolving technology requirements and you have a very tough trading environment.

For many dairy farmers, milk is actually being produced at a financial loss, and lack of processing facilities in some areas limits the collection of milk.  There's surely something wrong when farmers are being paid less per litre than it costs to produce.....and milk is cheaper than bottled water in some supermarkets.

Many dairy farmers have simply given up, unable to keep going at a loss - driven out by crude market forces.  But, there will always be innovative, imaginative farmers who'll fight back - and here's a super example.

Forest Farm is near Kinellar, close to the busy A96 road but in a rural setting.  The Willis family farm 260 acres here with over 100 Friesian and Holstein cows.  This is longest established organic dairy farm in Scotland, using no chemical fertilisers, pesticides, herbicides or GM feed.  If you visit between 3.30 and 5.30pm you can watch the cows being milked.

This is all good, positive stuff, and the Willis family have gone much further into a what at first glance seems a niche market.  The secret is in the small building next to the spotless and modern milking parlour.....

Scotland's first milk vending machines!  The milk is pasteurised but not homogenised, and comes, quite literally, from grass to glass.  This has undoubtedly been a leap of faith for the family, but it's great to report that it's a very successful venture and the machines sometimes get more demand than the "girls" can supply.

Reusable screw top glass bottles are available for £2.50 for a litre bottle, the bottle is then yours to keep, re-use and fill from one of the two machines at a price of £1.20 for a litre of whole milk.  The innovative approach continues at the point of payment, which can be by cash or contactless card payment.  Plastic bottles are also supplied if you must, but we saw nobody taking a complementary plastic bottle, everyone who bought milk while we were there used glass - which is a good thing.

And this is what it's all about.  Organic whole milk as fresh as it can be, and providing a link between the livestock and the customer.  Small children who have never really considered where their milk comes from can now watch the process, connecting them with what they consume in a small way.

We chatted with one of the family who was very pleased with the way this venture is developing - it's surely something that other farmers could adopt.  He pointed out another benefit of the machines and viewing arrangement - the family get to meet people on a daily basis.  Farming can be an isolated, lonely existence and this social contact is a real plus point.

By chance, we had some organic whole milk from a supermarket in our fridge at home, so were able to do a comparison.  Really, there's no comparison - the Forest Farm milk was just so much nicer, smoother and just wholly better.  Although Forest Farm isn't that local to us, we'll be calling by regularly!

by Ian Johnston ( at May 11, 2018 09:07 pm

The Ikkatsu Project
In the Service of the Ocean

Moving On

These past few weeks have been focused on fundraising. Anyone who’s ever worked at a non-profit has a love/hate relationship with the fundraising process, and I am no exception. I am extremely grateful to all who gave so generously… those dollars will be a huge part of this year’s success. At the same time, I am also thankful that now I can turn my attention back to the programs that are either in progress or are about to be.

I seem to have a lot of articles to write, for starters. (The photo above shows the anchors that flank the Sunsweep sculpture, an art installation that marks the path of the sun along the US-Canada border at Point Roberts, WA. The piece I wrote about this unique spot will be coming out in next month’s OutdoorsNW magazine.) Others coming up are supposed to be about San Juan kayaking and Olympic dayhikes; I should probably check to see whether there are others as well. Might be a good idea.

And then there’s a race coming up… one month from today is the start of the Seventy48, in which I’ll be paddling a pile of garbage 70 miles from Tacoma to Port Townsend. Then there’s Alaska, and while the South Kuiu Cleanup is coming together, there are still a thousand little things yet to be done. And although it’s not scheduled to go down until the fall, the Tacoma Shoreline Survey still has some major organizational steps to get done on the way to that event being successful.

So, more to come, as usual. Back to work… there will be time to sleep later.

by Ken Campbell at May 11, 2018 05:55 pm

Travels with Paddles
a sea kayaking journal

Anglesey Sea Kayak Symposium 2018

This years' Anglesey Sea Kayak Symposium all again could share experiences and knowledge with other paddlers and coaches from all over Europe, Britain and North America. Anglesey is a great (the best?) training and testing 'ground' for paddling, judgement and leadership skills in moderate and advanced tidal waters. One does not need too much wind or sea state to find great challenges and fun learning opportunities here.

For Nigel Dennis and Eila Wilkinson this years' symposium got overshadowed by the Holyhead Marina Disaster in March. I could witness the last remnants of the clean-up and salvaging with my own eyes and it was much, much worse than I even imagined I would see it.

I finally had time to get around sorting-out my symposium pictures and writing some blog entries. I am very much looking forward to next year and be again part of this great knowledge and experience sharing sea kayaking community.

05-05 | GPS Track | Photos |

05-06 | GPS Track | Photos |

05-07 | GPS Track | Photos |

05-08 | GPS Track | Photos |

05-10 | GPS Track | Photos |

by (Axel) at May 11, 2018 05:00 pm

May 10, 2018

Freya Hoffmeister
Goddess of Love to the Seas

Wed 09/05-2018 Day 213

Pos: 35.5705,-121.112
Loc: Cambria Leffingwell Creek
Acc: Russ’ house

An all-office day…well, besides the wonderful and scary distraction of me riding Mike’s Harley Davidson…just have a look on my separate face book post!

For dinner, Russ and I went to the supermarket for chicken and salad, plus we bought two half-liter buckets of Häagen Dazs ice cream, second best after my own (and unfortunately not available here Janny’s Eis!), which we eventually happily gulped down, one bucket for each!, with a pile of fruit salad I made…just what the doctor ordered for my (German) birthday morning!
I also got a quick tour on Russ’ tiny motorhome, this is just half the size of my old one…LOL!

With a stretched tummy to the max, Russ and I didn’t feel able any more to hit his amazing large hot tub…TOMORROW! Thanks to Russ to hosting me so nicely here!

by Freya at May 10, 2018 03:55 pm
Kajak, Foto,Friluftsliv

Kajakevent och kajakprovardag den 6/6 i Gröndal Stockholm

Nu kör vi igen!

Kom och testa kajaker och se olika event den 6/6 i Gröndalshamnen Lövholmsvägen 22 Stockholm (invid station Trekanten på tvärbanan).

Kul att både Johan Wirsen och Nigel Foster kommer.


Utställare& aktiviter


Örnsbergs KS/ ÖKS Ungdom

kommer att ha klubbens ungdomstränare på plats för att informera och låta ungdomar få veta allt om paddling. De kommer även att få prova på att paddla med stöd av ledarna.

ÖKS Kårerace

Kåreracet pågår mellan kl. 11.00-13:00.
Anmälan görs hos sekreteriatet på bryggan när det passar mellan 11:00-12:30. Det är bara att komma ner!
Tävlingen: KÅRERACE 2018 är en rolig tävling på kort bana där alla är välkomna. Enda kravet är att man är simkunnig minst 200 meter och har flytväst (lånas på plats). Vi tävlar bara i stadiga Kåre-kajaker som både nybörjare och vana kan hantera.
Sekreteriatet registrerar deltagarnas tider som skrivs upp på en tavla. Bästa tid vinner tävlingen. Vi försöker samla ihop cirka 6 st deltagare åt gången som startar samtidigt. Gemensam start ger både spänning och gemenskap. I mån av tid kan man köra flera gånger för att försöka förbättra sin tid. Bästa tid räknas.
Prisutdelning till de tre bästa tiderna sker efter tävlingen.

Qajaq Sverige

Grönlands kajaker med rolluppvisning


Vituddens kanotvarv

VKV kajaker


Zegul, Kayman kayaks, Struerboats och Rebel tar vi med oss. Samt Kingpaddles pagajer.

kajak & uteliv

(Skim, Snap dragon mm)

Ostkusten kajak

Rebel Kayaks med johan Wirsen

Point 65

Visar kajaker med Nigel Foster , Nigel kommer vid 15 tiden och har eventuellt lite uppvisning på vattnet


Millekul Adventures

Arrangerar unika tropiska paddlingsresor till världsarvet Misool i Raja Ampat, Papua, Indonesien. Mycket tät karstskärgård med fantastiska klippformationer, laguner, grottor, jellyfishsjöar, sandstränder, korallrev och djungelfloder. Vi har den bästa utrustningen och våra paddlande gästguider är också av toppklass bla Nigel Foster, Sandy Robson och Sören Kjellkvist.

Provsmaka och köp garanterat palmoljefria Lyofood friluftsmaträtter av mycket hög kvalitet till bra priser. De har också supersmaskiga fruktdrycker och efterrätter av frystorkade frukter och bär, en stor del ekologiskt odlade.


Se även:

by Bengt Larsson at May 10, 2018 09:57 am

Woman on Water
A woman's perspective on kayaking and outdoor adventures.

Redwoods and Rapids

Spring Run Off 2018
Each spring, Jeff and I dedicate 2 weeks to whitewater river kayaking.  Sometimes we offer classes during this time through Liquid Fusion Kayaking, but typically LFK is closed as we run off to chase the spring run off and use the time to rev up for our busy spring and summer season. Spring run off trips often include traveling to destinations to do whitewater runs and almost always include a multiday river trip.  This year, we loaded up the whitewater kayaks, camping gear, and mountain bikes and headed north to the Smith River.

Day one of our trip, we ran the North Fork of the Smith River.  The North Fork of the Smith is among my favorite whitewater rivers.  The waters are crystal clear.  The scenery and plant life are unique and the rapids are fun.
Eddied out for lunch on the North Fork of the Smith River.
The 14 mile wilderness stretch feels other-worldly.  The water is so crystal clear that one could get dizzy staring at the rocks when zipping down the rapids. 
Cate loving the crystal clear waters of the Smith River.
Between stretches of whitewater, one can float along and ponder the geology of the arid hillsides and be enchanted by the song of the canyon wren.  Springs of crystal clear water cascade down the hillsides and along their gulches and crevasses grow gigantic carnivorous plants.
Gigantic carnivorous plants growing along the Smith River.
The whitewater rapids on the North Fork of the Smith are fun.  There are lots of class III rapids with about 6-8 class IV rapids keep things fun and interesting.

A huge thank you to groups like the Smith River Alliance and American Whitewater for their continued efforts to protect these waters from environmental threats like mining and advocating for access to river runners.
Jeff and Paul enjoying a lunch break on the North Fork.
 After running the North Fork, we eddied out at our campsite on the Smith for about a week.  We enjoyed whitewater kayak runs on both the Middle and South Forks, mountain biking, camping, and hiking in the giant redwoods.
Jeff enjoying his Dagger Phantom on the Patrick Creek section of the Middle Fork.
The diversity of ecosystems of the Smith River Watershed is amazing.  One of our mountain bike rides took us through 3 distinctly different types of forest - old growth redwood forest, cedar and mixed conifer forest, and Jeffrey Pine Forest. 
Jeff mountain biking through Jeffrey Pines on a ridge above the Smith River.
And the redwoods in the Smith River area are some of the tallest in the world.

After a week on the Smith, we debated staying a bit longer.  We could have easily spent another week boating, playing, relaxing, and exploring the area but felt the need to totally disconnect and do a multiday self support trip.  We headed home to reset and gear up for a 70 mile Eel River whitewater kayak self support trip.
Dehydrating spaghetti sauce for kayak camping.
Our Eel River Trip was fantastic!!!  Stay tuned for a blog post on our Eel River Trip - Paddling the Emerald Triangle.
Cooking over the campfire and enjoying a tasty beverage on the Eel River. 

by Cate Hawthorne ( at May 10, 2018 06:00 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!)

One very short paddle, boo.

One paddle, two paddle, three paddle,
Four to take me home...

Boy, am I falling behind on my trip reporting! So here's the first in the catch-up. April 8th. Beautiful day, had potential, but not nearly what I was wishing for that day - we short-changed ourselves when we probably could've gotten away with a little more time than we gave ourselves.

This wasn't the best boating winter ever; January and March were kind of a wash for paddling what with the snow and the snow and the snow and the cold and aaaaagh the snow, plus the flu that was going around flattened me for a week or two in there. I did sneak in that one 8 mile paddle to the Cross Bay Boulevard Bridge and back on one less Arctic weekend in February in
 between snowmabombaggedon fun, but then that was pretty much it until April. And this is of course the time of year when work gets extra extra crazy, and paddling is the absolute best way for me to blow off some of the stress from that, so by April I'd worked up a pretty intense craving some time on the water.

But then all of the sudden in April it's time for the club to start gearing up for the season, and so right when I was really NEEDING some time on the water, there ended up being a string of meetings three weekends in a row.

First one was a kayak committee meeting on April 8th. Potluck beforehand, then a meeting with scheduling.

Now, Sebago has the most astounding potlucks, and meetings - well, I don't always enjoy them but you just have to have them if you're going to have a well-run club, which we really do. But this one was running at cross-purposes against getting out for much of a paddle (OK, could've gotten a great paddle in if we'd gotten up at 6 am, but I am very seriously not a morning person even when well-rested, and I'd been working some long days in April).  So I dithered and grumbled about what to do with the day until finally a couple other trip leaders proposed a pre-meeting paddle. I talked to TQ and we decided we'd go for that. 

It ended up being a bit on the breezy side, and we were the only other ones who showed up. We ended up running late, so we told Chris and Stephen to go ahead and launch without us, we would catch up with them.

We found them hanging out by Green Can #3. It turned out that part of their motivation for calling for a pre-meeting paddle was an interesting project for a navigation workshop they were teaching - they'd brought along a GPS and were checking actual locations of a couple of the nearby aids to navigation to see how closely they matched the locations on the charts. I must remember to ask them next time we paddle together how that turned out - that was some serious commitment to teaching a good class!

TQ and I left them to their location-finding and proceeded to go on a teensy weensy loop - first we blew down towards Mill Basin, then realized we were setting ourselves up for a long slog into the wind going back to the Paerdegat, so we cut over towards Canarsie Pier to get the slog into the middle of the paddle, then back to the basin.

That was short. WAY too short. We got back to the clubhouse and for one reason and another, but at least in part because I'd just been dreaming and dreaming about a good long work-stress-vanquishing cruise and ended up with this stupid little tease of a 3 mile paddle, I had a little bit of a meltdown right before the meeting. Fortunately not witnessed by too many. Hindsight 20/20, afterwards TQ and I agreed that we should've just stayed out longer.

Note to self: You joined a paddling club to go paddling. Next time you NEED to go paddling, just go already. It's not the end of the world to be late for a  meeting at the club.

PS don't worry, next one was better! And at least I got some pretty pictures. Click on any of them for a slideshow view. 

by (bonnie) at May 10, 2018 04:11 am

May 09, 2018

The Ikkatsu Project
In the Service of the Ocean


Today is Give Big!, a one-day fundraiser based in Seattle that the Ikkatsu Project is participating in. Thank you to those who have already contributed… I am continually blown away by your generosity and support. The money that has been raised so far, between last Sunday’s Social and the Give Big donations that have already come in, is enough to cover about half of the costs of a larger boat for transporting debris this summer between Kuiu Island and Wrangell. That’s amazing! Again, thank you.

If we can cover the rest of the boat costs by the end of the day, when the 2018 Give Big! campaign comes to a close, I will make that call first thing in the morning. Being able to remove larger quantities in a shorter time, especially in a region known for frequent storms and foul weather, is the kind of thing that would make such a huge impact on this summer’s cleanup… words fail me.

If you haven’t made your contribution yet, it’s real easy. Just click on the link below and follow the instructions. Give Big! ends at midnight, tonight. And, finally, thank you.


by Ken Campbell at May 09, 2018 08:26 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.

Successful Bird Survey At Toleak Beach

bird survey

Looking toward the northwest I observed the dark clouds with a deep suspicion. Last time we attempted to conduct a bird survey on Toleak Beach we were hammered by wind and rain. I double checked the forecast. Saturday had a much better forecast but today the tides were better. A bit of a gamble -- which way to choose?

The post Successful Bird Survey At Toleak Beach appeared first on Essex Media & Explorations.

by Steve Weileman at May 09, 2018 06:18 pm

Nautilus Kayaks
Construccion Artesanal de Kayaks de Madera y Palas Groenlandesas

Colocación del listón peri-métrico para la unión de casco y cubierta.

Aunque la técnica habitual empleada para unir el casco y la cubierta consiste en laminar una cinta de  vidrio por el interior del casco centrando la cinta sobre  la unión de ambas partes. Yo  encuentro grandes inconvenientes con esta técnica a la hora de asegurar un buen trabajo en zonas de difícil acceso, especialmente en kayaks con proas y popas curvadas.

Esta es mi solución…(continúa leyendo)


by Roberto Yañez vargas at May 09, 2018 04:05 pm

Freya Hoffmeister
Goddess of Love to the Seas

Tue 08/05-2018 Day 212

Pos: 35.5705,-121.112
Loc: Cambria Leffingwell Creek
Acc: Russ’ house
Dist: 26,3 km
Start: 08:00 End: 13:00

I felt like sleeping in for a while…I really need a proper physical and rest My body is aching in all corners…but I launched as usual, calm and easy behind my reef corner. The sea was building quickly up to Point Piedras Blancas with up to 20 knots tailwind. When the coast trends due south, NW swells and winds hit it fully. Still not much breakers yet, but here and there over a rock, I spotted places where I should better not be.

Piedras Blanca’s huge white rock looked like a recumbent lion with an open mouth facing me, but in front of his “paws”, some calm reef water with a lot of kelp was lurking to relax. No need to paddle around the rough waters of the massive Point rock – but I also assumed I’d be ending up deep in the fauna of the nature protected area. Barking sea lion colonies occupied the cliffs, many single males anchored themselves in the kelp and were staring fearless with huge heads and googly black eyes to the strange structure entering their territory. A float of sea otters occupied some quiet corner, and across to the sandy beach, elephant seals had their home. What a place!

I kept my distance to all animals, took some picture and was slowly getting blown by the strong wind through the calm area. I spotted some guys with huge cameras or binoculars or such, either naturalists or rangers monitoring the wildlife…as I was not sure if I was allowed to be here, I also better got going. Many more elephant seal colonies on sandy beaches followed, each packed side by side with hundreds of animals. One beach had access for tourists viewing them from the road, they got even closer than I dared to go.

After Piedras Blancas, the sea state and wind was mellow as expected, and I relaxed for the last kilometers to my agreed meeting point with Russ Wilson, my next host. At the sheltered bay of Leffingwell Creek, he was waiting already fr me with his dog. So grateful to have anther paddling friend taking care of me for the next well deserved rest days!

Russ and I drove up to his home in the mountains of Paso Robles, a city living these days on wineries and horses. It is HOT up here! Nothing compared to the fresh sea breeze climate close to the coast! Russ took me to a restaurant for some salmon salad, that place was not on aircondition (yet), as much as the water park was not opened (yet) – it seems to be not really summer heat for the locals (yet)!

Russ ownes a construction company, his large properity of an ex-ranch was packed with all the heavy machines and tools he now likes to get slowly but surely rid of, as he likes to rather slip int retirement and to just go paddling…who can blame him! I got a wonderful room with own bathroom in his fancy house, with hot tub and gym in the backyard, a massive Harley Davidson and a huge motorhome in the front yard, plus kayaks and “smaller” toys in the garage. Not too much of a bad place to hang out with fellow paddler Russ Wilson! Thanks for loking after me, Russ! We might go paddling for a few days after my rest days, before I head up north to Victoria to the Pacific Paddling Symposium, and then fly to Kodiak to continue paddling north!

by Freya at May 09, 2018 01:56 pm

May 08, 2018

Björn Thomasson Design
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Bästkusten har fått en ny Frej och Black Pearl

Frej – Mikael Larsson

Från Mikael Larsson i Göteborg, två snygga och välbyggda kajaker: 

Hej hej Björn.

Nu efter 6 månader av underbart slit och kliande i huvudet, sjösattes en strippbyggd Frej, och en S&G Black Pearl. Din design levererar allt du lovar i känsla och uppförande, jag kunde inte varit nöjdare. Jag vill även ta tillfället i akt att tacka för supporten under bygget.

Frej var den jag började med, och i mitten av det bygget drog jag även igång BP bygget.

Nu skall det göras några grönlandspaddlar, så att jag även har dom egentillverkade.

På bygglistan återstår : Njord, Hunter och en Frej till frugan. (men den listan blir nog längre med tiden).

Tusen tack så länge, så hörs vi i nästa bygge.
//Micke Larsson.

Frej – Mikael Larsson
Frej – Mikael larsson

Black Pearl – Mikael Larsson
Black Pearl – Mikael Larsson

Black Pearl – Mikael Larsson
Black Pearl – Mikael Larsson

by Björn Thomasson at May 08, 2018 01:18 pm

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

Circa 1860 "Delaware" Paddle Replica

Another replica chosen for its unique shape and decoration is based on the circa 1860 paddles briefly discussed in previous posts. Described originally as “A Pair of Painted Wood Oars, Probably Lorette-Huron.”, they first appeared in an auction catalog from 1998.

“A Pair of Painted Wood Oars, Probably Lorette-Huron.”
Important American Indian Art
Sotheby’s New York
May 19,1998, lot 726
Original Post Link

Later, they were being sold again and were further listed as maple paddles circa 1860s attributed to the Delaware (Lenape) tribe.

circa 1860 "Delaware" paddles

I finished carving out the design (based on the larger stern paddle) out of some basswood stock last fall. The poor quality color photo of the paddles illustrated a a rather simple decorative element with a dark, blackish tone next to a faded brown-red paint. An alternating series of dots rise up from the midpoint of the blade up to the thwart. I was just about to start painting when I came across on an advertisement in a back issue of American Indian Art Magazine (original post link). The blade on the left was a closeup of the shorter bow paddle easily identified with the drip marks on the black dots.

Ad from American Indian Art Magazine
Spring 2015, Volume 40, Issue 2

This better resolution image revealed that the maple wood had aged to brownish patina and that the reddish paint was a semi-transparent coat revealing some of the underlying grain pattern.

Given that basswood is a very light cream colour, a decision was made to stain the paddle using some of Minwax Gel Antique Stain. I also had some Tremclad Red paint left over from refurbishing the 14' Chestnut canoe so used this for the red decoration. Despite directions on the label not to thin the paint, I used a substantial amount of thinner to achieve the desired semi-transparent look. Instead of drilling the three holes in the handle, I simply burned three dots to mimic the effect. Here is the final result:

ca 1860 paddle replica

Similar to this earlier post of the Naskapi (Innu) paddle, I converted my image to greyscale graphic in order to compare with the original.

circa 1860 "Delaware" paddle and my reproduction 

by Murat ( at May 08, 2018 08:26 am

Freya Hoffmeister
Goddess of Love to the Seas

Mon 07/05-2018 Day 211

Pos: 35.7135,-121.3155
Loc: Point Sierra Nevada
Acc: Hilleberg Allak tent
Dist: 32,6 km
Start: 07:10 End: 14:25

My first night after long by myself on a beach…I really enjoy paddling with all those different addlng partners, but it also adds “stress” to my trip – which I chose to enjoy! If I’d only get more sleep…

I happily paddled along today, just stopped once at a wonderful beach corner behind a reef to adjust my back rest. My daily whales showed up, plus sea otters, seals, sea lions, pelicans, lovely rocks to paddle behind…the usual, one could almost say! And the usual wind breezed up after noon, and Point Sierra Nevada became actually quite nasty!I was lucky I didn’t catch a breaker, but decided to go in with 25+ knots tail wind behind the hook of the reef into dead calm water. A great place, and good decision!

I was able to catch up with three updates, and some extended physical rest. I will meet Russ Wilson, my new host in Cambria tomorrow! Thanks for volunteering to look after me and my kayaks, Russ!

by Freya at May 08, 2018 12:52 am

Sun 06/05-2018 Day 210

Pos: 35.9291,-121.4708
Loc: Pacific Valley
Acc: Hilleberg Allak tent
Dist: 38,6 km
Start: 08:05 End: 17:35

I felt better rested this morning, but the lump was still there…we launched and had the pleasure to paddle already through some wonderful arch! More sea otters, more kelp beds, and a wonderful paddle like yesterday close inside the many rocks with low and regular swell. Really pleasant!

Kelly and Laura had agreed to meet up with Julian, our “shore shuttle bunny” at a campsite at the Hare Canyon. Julian was waiting at the beach, nice patient guy! thanks so much for looking afer my paddling partners!

I enjoyed to spot a guy on a floating device e used for speer fishing…kind of a mixture of paddle board, surfboard and kayak with a large hatch for the fish prey, propelled like a surfboard, with fins on, attached to the speer fish diver by a long rope…really interesting piece of kit!

We all walked up to the car at the campsite, and I picked some gear I forgot inside. Kelly stayed at the car to change, while Laura and Julien got ready for a short mutual paddle. i checked with the ranger if I’d be allowed to camp on the beach…sure, NO WAY! I could buy a campsite “close” to the waterfront, but that was not close enough for me to get my gear and kayak up…so I decided to launch again to find the next free beach. Very sorry I missed in this way to hug Kelly good bye! But we won’t have met the last time, lady, thanks for your great company this weekend, and anytime welcome again on my trip! Same goes for Laura…

Laura, Julien and I launched again, and fund a structure of arches with four big openings and more smaller ones…I went through all four! I said now also good bye to Laura and Julien, we will meet again once I pick my spare kayak! Thanks for keeping it!

I paddled on, not really knowing where the next landing beach would be, as I didn’t had time to prepare beyond the section with the ladies…but I found in a wide bay to the very left some unbroken line leading behind some small reef to a rocky beach, where I could land easy and safe. The whole bay was messed up with wide surf lines…nothing to go in on the sandy beach!

But the rocky beach was even better, as no one could access it, and I had it to myself, no rangers or police or whoever chasing a harmless kayaker away…I set tent on the highest ledge, stuffed ear plugs in and enjoyed an early, well deserved rest.

by Freya at May 08, 2018 12:45 am

Sat 05/05-2018 Day 209

Pos: 36.1648,-121.6783
Loc: McWay Rocks
Acc: Hilleberg Allak tent
Dist: 27,7 km
Start: 10:15 End: 17:00

We all rose early, to start driving at 5 am. Laura and Julien loaded two kayaks on their car, mine went for now on Scott’s car, as we will meet Kelly on the interstate at a Starbucks to swap. My spare kayak stays at Laura’s, and Scott will have to drive back to San Diego today.

We purchased some breakfast, and after I waved Scott goodbye, I jumped into Kelly’s carto drive south to Point Sur where I stopped those weeks ago my trip south.

The issue was to get back through the gate of the lighthouse area – the friendly ranger from last time, John, who promised to let me in again, was unfortunately not available today. I took his word for garnted, and as the lighthouse tours were due later anyway and the gate would be opened, we simply climbed the fence to get our kayaks down to the beach. All good – so far…on the way back to the road, some other ranger drove by, and told us to leave instantly, as we broke the law by climbing the fence…he was not to calm down and to be explained by John’s friendly promise last time, and obviously preferred to be unreasonable and nasty and to call the police!

Officer Brian arrived, we friendly explained ourselves and my misunderstanding of John’s confirmation I could launch again from here, and surely admitted in that process we had climbed the fence…this was obviously worth a ticket…he had to do his job, but was not as unreasonable as that other nasty ranger, and let us launch with the gear we had grabbed on the first run after we received our citation papers…we would meet up with Julien some 3 miles down the beach to grab our complete gear. What a unlucky, late start of our weekend together, just because of a misunderstanding…

Anyway, we launched into strong tail wind on calm seas, and we three ladies were still happy to be on the way! At the meeting beach, Julien was expecting us already, but we had to walk up a mile to the car park, Laura an myself in dry suits…at “hot” job in the noon sunshine! They only came handy when we had to cross quite some river close to the car park! Kelly and Julien were not in dry suits, so Laura and I took them piggy backing across the knee deep water! Quite some fun!

Less fun, but interesting to hear was a rattle snake along the path to the beach…we didn’t see her, but everyone made a wide berth round that bush…we grabbed our heavy gear bags to walk back to the beach, thanks to Laura and Kelly carrying parts of my “household”! What a surplus job…but the path down to the lighthouse has also been long…

Back on the water after long 1.40 h, we again enjoyed a strong following wind. At some point, Kelly got drifted and was stuck deep in a dense kelp bed, while Laura and I had just been rafting up for a cookie, steering easy through an open strait in the dense kelp bed and getting blown downwind past Kelly with over 5km/h, …”Good bye, Kelly!” Laura’s dry humor caused us LOL!

But we soon happily all three surfed along with over 10 km/h, what a pleasant ride! I forgot my physical tiredness, and enjoyed our merry threesome surf hours!

Conditions soon changed around a headland, and the wind was barely noticeable any more. Time for woman’s talk! We chatted along, so many things to talk about…! Really pleasant company! Many sea otters were hiding in the many dense kelp beds, we had to shovel our ways through some of them, occasionally chasing some seals of their sunny rocks, and some sea lions barking from others. Life was good!

We didn’t see any whales today, but found an almost complete steam bathroom on a beach…it must have been fallen from a helicopter on an attempt to place it at some house, as it still had a solid belt around the round structure, minus the window pane and door…the houses up the cliffs all looked like they could afford to lose a complete steam bath…LOL! Really many interesting expensive architecture up there…and probably all of them “just” holiday houses…welcome to California!

When we spotted a nice sandy beach, I admitted I wouldn’t mind going in already…I was deadly tired, physically from those three hard paddling days with Scott with little sleep and lots of talking, and mentally as I noticed the liquid-filled lump on the backside of my left knee has developed to almost egg-size…I first noticed the lump after the second, 56 km day paddling hard with Scott, no idea what went wrong or different that day…it is not really painful, but it is there…anyone has an idea what it might be, and if it might go away by itself?

I preferred to be unsocial this evening and to go to bed early, not even able to write any update…so sorry for my really lovely ladies company! But I needed my rest and privacy to mourn the destiny of having that lump in the knee…

by Freya at May 08, 2018 12:28 am

May 07, 2018
Triathlon, cycling, sea kayaking, swimming and life in the Scottish Highlands

Duncan Winning RIP

Sadly I couldn't attend the funeral of Duncan Winning OBE yesterday as I'm not in Scotland.

Those attending were asked to take a photograph and write a few words about what it meant to them.

I'm pleased to say Gordon Brown of Skyak Adventures took my contribution which consisted of the photo alongside, a USB stick with video and podcasts of Duncan, and a copy of my book to which he wrote the foreword.

I'd been told family members had been listening to his podcasts so I felt adding the video would be of interest.  I also wrote a few words which I'll reproduce here:

The photograph shows Duncan doing what, in my experience, he enjoyed second best to kayaking - talking about kayaking.

I found him a kind and generous man in both spirit and deed.  He drove boxes (lots of boxes) of our first Sea Kayak with Gordon Brown DVD to the SCA show in Perth on the day of the launch.  The DVD manufacturer, based outside Glasgow, had only just finished making them the day before the show so without Duncan we wouldn't have had any to sell.

He was also kind and generous with his knowledge.  Duncan and I recorded two podcasts in 2007 for my website and did a television and radio interview for The Adventure Show about The Canoe Boys, a story that interested me greatly.  You'll find the TV feature from 2009 on the enclosed memory stick along with a second feature I edited from 'leftovers' and subsequently used in presentations.

He wrote the foreword to my book about The Scottish Sea Kayak Trail.  When I was contacted by Paul Murton to speak about kayaking for a Grand Tour of Scotland television programme, I politely declined and volunteered Duncan.  "I'm just the monkey", I told Paul, "Duncan's the organ grinder".

Years later we persuaded the BBC to make a full one-hour television programme about The Canoe Boys.  I then had to persuade the Scottish Maritime Museum to allow its apprentices to construct two replicas of an old 'Lochaber' design canoe which we'd pay for.  

It did not surprise me to learn the original canoe had found its way to the museum via Duncan.  

However, I was pleased to discover the team at the museum knew all about me well in advance and that I could be trusted.  

They had checked me out by calling Duncan. I'm delighted to say he vouched for me.  At least, I think he did...

Duncan has a huge legacy.  Most of us leave only fond memories among friends and loved ones.  By contrast Duncan's skill is in the hull and deck shape of almost every modern kayak.  

Decades from now teenagers will 'discover' sea kayaking.  They'll pick a crystal clear day and under a perfect blue sky will paddle out to an island off Scotland's west coast to camp.  There the conversation will turn to the generations who came before.  

One of them will ask, "Did you know we have some Scottish bloke to thank for these kayaks?  What was he called again... oh yeah.  He was called Duncan Winning".  

by Simon Willis ( at May 07, 2018 06:03 pm

April Challenge #1 - Ride Box Hill

OK so Box Hill is not a climb of the caliber of Alpe d'Huez or even the Beallach na Ba.

It wasn't even on the tick-list I drew up at the start of the year.

But it is famous.  Especially after the 2012 Olympic Road Race went up it.

And I'm down in Richmond dog-sitting for my brother-in-law - why not?

We come down a couple of times a year, but in the past my triathlon training has been focused on keeping a constant heart rate, so it was easier to stay within the relatively controlled confines of Richmond Park.

I also felt safer.  Traffic here is much busier than where I live in Scotland and I certainly wouldn't tackle it on a Tri-bike.

Now though I'm not training for anything, I'm just enjoying my cycling.  So I've been using the GPS routes provided by Dirty Weekend cycling to explore a little further.  Today that took me on a 60miler that included Box Hill.  The Relive video below gives a good idea of what it was like.

Relive 'Box Hill from Richmond Park'

by Simon Willis ( at May 07, 2018 06:02 pm

Cyclists Visiting the Dordogne

Cyclists heading to the Dordogne, looking for good routes to ride, could do a lot worse than hooking up with The Dordogne Cyclist via his Facebook page.

Over 9,000 sq km in size, Dordogne is a big Department, and very popular with British visitors.

It does, however, have at least one quiet corner which I've marked on the map alongside.  This is Perigord Vert, so called because of the trees and lush fields.

It's great for cycling.  There are no massive climbs, sweeping vistas, or huge tourist attractions.  Those might sound like negatives but the locals love it that way, because it means the roads are amazingly quiet.

I've ridden quite a lot in France and, by and large, drivers are courteous towards cyclists.  Here I found there were so few drivers that the riding was pure joy.

Mr and Mrs Dordogne Cyclist
Escorted by Mr Dordogne Cyclist, I joined two rides with the Piegut-Pluviers Cycling Club.  It's a friendly 'touring' club, which is code for not always cycling at a flat-out pace.  You might gather as much from the photo on their website - these lads do not possess racing-snake physiques.

On both occasions I rode and chatted with Bob who runs this lovely Gite and whose website also has quite a lot to say about the local cycling.  So if you're heading for the Dordogne this summer, try to make a little space for your road bike.

by Simon Willis ( at May 07, 2018 06:01 pm

The Ikkatsu Project
In the Service of the Ocean

A Grand Time

This is the only photo I took at the Spring Social yesterday… I felt like I ran a 10K by the time it was over, but what a great afternoon! A huge thanks to those who showed up for the gig; it was great to reconnect with all of you, listen to Satori Bob frontman John Baumann bring the tunes to Tacoma and raffle off some amazing items to extremely happy people.

The photo above? That’s Beau Gaughran, winner of the 220 Werner Camano and a small pile of related kayaking items, showing off part of his winnings. Beau is going to be going to Cape Decision with us this summer as a volunteer on the South Kuiu Cleanup and will also be filming the trip for a later production. As always, more on this as it develops.

Meanwhile, Beau is very happy. I saw similar looks on a lot of folks yesterday. If you missed this one, you should make a mental note to not let it happen next time. Everybody was asking about you.

by Ken Campbell at May 07, 2018 04:47 pm