Paddling Planet

April 21, 2018

Freya Hoffmeister
Goddess of Love to the Seas

Thu 20/04-2018 Day 194

Pos: 39.7105,-123.8080
Loc: Hardy
Acc: Hilleberg Allak tent
Dist: 45,2
Start: 07:00 End: 14:40

For a bit of change up, I (Merrill) will write todays post. We started out launching from the very sheltered Shelter Cove where there was no surf or wind, allowing for an easy paddle off the beach. Feeling a little bit sore from the day before we slowly paddled along the cliffs. It didn’t take long till we were talking about music and Freya pulled out her phone and began to play some music. This helped set the pace for today. Freya was feeling energized by the music and I was in general still a bit sluggish this morning (because my half and half had curdled, and I only noticed this after I poured it in my coffee, however, with no time to boil more water I just went on with my morning). After some time I found my rhythm and our paced picked up.
With only one quick stop to eat some grapes and turn on the music, it did not take long till we had made it a few miles (get out of here with your silly Kilometers) down the coast and Freya spotted a large penis shaped rock coming off the headland. Around this headland we also saw a whale and a few porpoises, and several arches in the rocks. We kept our pace up and made our way to the next headland where we again saw several arches and large valleys in the cliffs.
Once we had cleared the second headland we had an open bay in front of us, with very little swell and no wind. We raced along for a while, paddling till I had worked up a nice sweat.The music helped us keep our pace up throughout the day and we took no breaks along the way, we didn’t want to stop when we were in our groove.
About halfway through this bay the predicted winds finally came in, and by the time we had made it to the last headland, where Freya had marked a protected bay (Rockport) we should be able to land in, the wind had picked up and was making for a very lumpy sea state. We paddled into the bay that we thought we would camp at to find that the beach did not look too friendly for landing, so we paddled back out of the bay, watching out for huge rolling breakers, and around the last bit of the headland. This again was quite a lumpy paddle, with wind chop and large backwash from the nearby cliffs. We came around the headland and with the wind at our backs paddled into a nice beach about a mile or so after we turned the corner. We had a halfway-easy landing at Hardy beach, and both set up camp so we could relax and enjoy the sun. I was freezing cold from having my clothes all wet from sweating under my drysuit and then having the wind pick up, so I was very happy that we landed where we did.
Looking forward to having a fire on the beach tonight!

Merrill was once more a great pace paddling partner in this quite fast endurance paddle with no breaks, paced up a lot by good music! But different to me, he was sweating his butt off under his PFD…I so much enjoy “topless freedom” paddling on calm conditions, my Gortex suit doing the “ventilating” job what it is made for…! And thanks to Merrill “suffering” my singing along at the top of my voice…just feeling happy! Feeling so privileged once more today paddling along a wonderful coastline, not too sunny with a bit of misty air, calmish seas with following swell and low to moderate following wind…we were just flying along! Life(style) is good!

On the beach, I had a refreshing bath in the deeper section of a damned part of the river, wonderful! I really love to go for a dip at the end of the day. I just had to watch occasionally for paparazzi spying from the top of the cliffs where the coastal road goes along, not that I get arrested here for public indecency…quite regularly cars are stopping here at the view point and people pull out their cameras…

by Freya at April 21, 2018 12:39 am

April 20, 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.

Kort onsdagstur

Onsdag havde jeg lidt travlt, så det blev til en kort tur på fjorden sammen med. Han havde også travlt - vi skulle begge passe børnebørn om eftermiddagen
14 km i fantastisk vejr - vi svedte godt i tørdragterne.

by Pouls kajakblog ( at April 20, 2018 07:00 pm

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

April 20th - Cadboro Bay tour (#24)

I went for a short afternoon spin around the bay to get some fresh air (reprieve from doing taxes!). It was flat calm and overcast and a low tide (1.6ft). Not too much in the way of birds around. A few Canada geese and a couple of small flocks of buffleheads and mergansers. I did see a couple of great blue herons and a river otter (in the sea!).
click to enlarge
7 km, YTD 201 km

by Mike J ( at April 20, 2018 04:27 pm

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

Codex Canadensis Odawa Paddle Replica - Part 1

One of the earliest recorded images of decorated woodland canoe paddles is from the remarkably illustrated manuscript,  Codex canadensis. A previous post (from way back in 2008) mentioned that Collections Canada has a site setup to view all the illustrations in this piece of Canadian heritage.

For many years, the Codex canadensis was attributed to Charles Bécart de Grandville (1675-1703), but given more historical evidence, this attribution is no longer considered valid. The manuscript is now believed to have been by Louis Nicolas , a French missionary who spent 11 years in Canada during the late-seventeenth  century. The codex is illustrated with 180 drawings of First Nations peoples, plants, mammals, birds and fish of Canada.

The Art Canada Institute has a wonderfully illustrated, free online book about the Jesuit Missionary and discusses details of his artwork.

Most relevant is the realization that the author was never trained an an artist so he copied the outlines of his figures from other sources, a practice common at the time. However, Nicholas took great care to illustrate details of his own observations, such as body tattoos, hairstyles, clothing as well as as accessories such as as the tobacco pouches, weapons and most relevant to this site, canoes and paddles. It is these details that make it a relevant ethnographic source for the time period.

Nicolas made all his drawings in pen and ink  using a feather quill. The ink commonly used at the time was iron gall ink from iron salts and tannic acids from vegetable sources like oak. In its fresh state the ink had purple-black or brown-black colour, but over time, the the ink has taken on a warm nutty-brown shade. Some of the images were also carefully stained with a reddish watercolour.

Pages 15 to 18 of the manuscript contain the images of various tribal canoes and paddles.

 Page 15

 Page 15

Quite interesting is that Nicholas illustrated the canoes and paddles with some painted decorations. Gunnels on the canoes were stained red, a feature that is also present on many surviving model canoes from decades later, like the Neuchatel Model. Paddles were also enhanced with common red colour, easily available as either native ochre earth paints or as a trade item such as Vermillion powder.

Since Nicholas was never trained as a formal artist, the proportions of his illustrations are not to scale. The paddle blades are also crudely drawn and not symmetrical but it is interesting to note that nearly all of his drawings show no discernible grip end.

The paddle illustration I chose to replicate is depicted on Page 18 of the Codex canadensis. The upper canoe is labelled "Canot a loutaouase" - an Odawa (Ottawa) canoe. It has distinctly sharp ends along with various decorations on the hull. The paddle features a relatively broad, leaf-like blade with a tapering shaft ending in a pole grip.

Close-up of Fig. 23
Outaouase (Odawa) canoe and paddle

I have a short piece of basswood stock that seems perfect for this reproduction. More in another post...

by Murat ( at April 20, 2018 04:25 pm
Triathlon, cycling, sea kayaking, swimming and life in the Scottish Highlands

Routes for Cyclists Visiting London Area, plus Drop-In Club Rides

Walking into The Dynamo cyclist cafe in Putney early last Sunday morning I saw tow folks sitting at a table, and couldn't resist.

"Is this the right place for a Dirty Weekend?" I asked.  "Er, ride that is".

Within twenty minutes the place was heaving with about forty riders.  We split into three groups, each doing rides of slightly different lengths and speeds but meeting for coffee, then saddled up for the lanes and hills of Surrey.

In my previous post I mentioned I'd ridden Box Hill.  On previous visits to family in Richmond - and we come twice a year - I've rarely ridden outside Richmond Park.  The reason was simple.  I didn't know where to go.

I suspect many cyclists visiting London feel this way, so let me point you towards this page on the Dirty Weekend website which lists routes in North, East, South-east and South-west London.  They link to a page on Strava from which you can download the .gpx file and add it to your Garmin.

Pre-ride faffing and chat
Dirty Weekend has been going two years and is a modern take on a cycling club, modelled on the Rapha Clubhouse principle.  Most people will pay an annual (or monthly) fee to join, then can turn up at all sorts of cycling events all over London each week - hill climbs, time-trials, long rides and more.  They also run rides further afield, to Yorkshire, Mallorca and the Dolomites.

Dynamo - my kind of cafe
Plus they offer some seriously good member discounts.  (I considered joining for a month to get their 50% discount code on a bike box).

One rider told me the 50% reduction on bike servicing paid for his membership, so the rides were effectively free.  There's no "whose turn is it this week", it's all professionally run and members can join a session at the last minute with a few clicks on their smartphone.

Living in Scotland I clearly wasn't going to take an annual membership.

But a nice social ride can be a good day out, so I clicked a few buttons, paid £5 from my PayPal and I was signed up for the Surrey ride.

Afterwards, when we all crowded back into The Dynamo for utterly delicious sourdough pizza and craft beer, things got very social.  A bunch of people I hadn't met until a few hours earlier became new friends, even though I was old enough to be most of their Dads.

When I said I'd be sure to join them on future rides, I really meant it.  I shall.

by Simon Willis ( at April 20, 2018 08:00 am

Freya Hoffmeister
Goddess of Love to the Seas

Thu 19/04-2018 Day 193

Pos: 40.0237,-124.0660
Loc: Shelter Cove
Acc: Hilleberg Allak tent
Dist: 31,2 km
Start: 07:00 End: 12:45

Merrill and I decided to move the kayaks and gear just about 100 meters down the beach for a safer launch on low tide. The spot where we had landed last night was now displaying some rocks and rolling breakers, and the new spot was a narrow but open channel with unbroken water. Launching went well for both of us, and we happily paddled close to the shore in low swell and moderate winds offshore, but with some ferry gliding moves we reached low winds in the shelter of the cliffs. Surfing was occasionally fun!

A bunch of hikers passed along the beach in both directions, but we doubted they saw us…whales came up like everyday, and so did the wind around noon – as forecasted…we still aimed for Shelter Cove, and had some challenging paddling to do to get around the wide rocky headland. The swell was not really high, rather the whippe up wind- and reflecting waves with occasionally topplers made us staying highly alert and to low brace here and there. It was menawhile blowing solid 25 knots from NW, and we were happy to eventually turn slowly but surely in a wider berth into the shelter of Shelter Cove

The “harbor” was sitting high and dry on top of the cliffs, all boats had to get down the launching ramp. W put up camp on top of rough gravel, quite smelly here actually…I had a swim and hair wash, and had to find wifi up at the campground for a huge load of office work.

Thanks to Merrill to be so patient with me and my plenty of office work jobs in the evenings. Merrill is a really skill full, calm and relaxed paddler and fun to talk to, I had not to worry about him anytime on our trip, and especially around the rough Shelter Cove headland! A great new generation of sea kayaker! Glad to be able to share this section of my trip with him until Sunday, and he is welcome anytime back.

by Freya at April 20, 2018 01:41 am

April 19, 2018

Jimski's Blog

Road Trip to Scotland

With Easter fast approaching, it was time to make a plan. It had been a while since I had visited the west highlands of Scotland so I joined some folk from Liverpool Canoe Club on their Easter break based in Kinlochleven.

Photo: Dawn Brankley
Once over the border it was time to stock up on supplies... it is always better to buy local produce where possible. By the time we reached the bunkhouse it was nearly midnight but there was still time for a bite to eat for supper and couple of beers.

Kinlochleven is a small village about 7 miles from Glencoe. It is conveniently located close to excellent walking, river kayaking, skiing and sea kayaking.

Photo: Kathy Morton
Our first day was a sea kayaking trip from Arisaig to Mallaig. This is a stunning stretch of rocky coast with skerries and a few sandy beaches. The view out to the west is a perfect backdrop made up or the Ardnamurchan peninsula and the islands or Eigg and Rum. We took our time exploring along the way until we reached Mallaig harbour where we took shelter in the Fishermans Mission. The coffee and cake made for excellent refreshment before heading back to Arisiaig in near-perfect conditions.

The following day was due to be a little more breezy so we chose to have a shorter day in and around Port Appin. It was windier that we expected and bitterly cold. Our windy paddle came to an early end rounded off nicely with a few drinks in the Pier House.

Having had two tiring days on the water, it was time to venture out on foot. The original plan was to explore the upper reaches of Glen Coe but we were enticed by some white water kayaking action on the river Etive. There were a couple of groups paddling a series of steep drops and waterfalls. The best fun was the final drop called 'Right-angle Falls'. Many of the paddlers clambered back up the rocks for a repeat run. Some even took the 4 metre plunge without their boat.

Photo: Dawn Brankley
The sunshine and settled weather had been kind but the forecast for the coming days was for strong winds, sleet and snow. The decision to head back south wasn't taken lightly but it was the best thing to do. As ever with my trips to Scotland, I'm always left wanting to go back for more.

by Jim Krawiecki ( at April 19, 2018 11:00 pm


Corsi 3* e 4* British Canoeing 2018...

Ecco le date dei prossimi corsi proposti da Tatiyak secondo gli standard della British Canoeing:
11 - 13 maggio 2018 a Venezia in collaborazione con Venicekayak
(1 solo posto disponibile)
25-27 maggio 2018 a Genova Nervi in collaborazione con Canoaverde
(1 solo posto disponibile)
8-10 giugno 2018 a Latina (3 posti ancora disponibili)
15-17 giugno 2018 a Pedaso, Fermo (3 posti ancora disponibili)
22-24 giugno 2018 a Malta - completo
21-23 ottobre 2018 a Minorca in collaborazione con Menorca en kayak

CORSI MW SEA KAYAK LEADER (vecchio 4 stelle)
1-4 giugno 2018 all'Isola Palmaria (La Spezia)
24-27 ottobre 2018 a Minorca (Spagna) in collaborazione con Menorca en kayak
22-25 novembre 2018 nell'Attica (Grecia) in collaborazione con Odysea
7-10 dicembre 2018 all'Isola Palmaria (La Spezia)

Partecipare ad uno dei corsi 3* in programma offre l'occasione di praticare durante l'estate le tecniche necessarie per partecipare ad uno dei corsi di Moderate Water Sea kayak Leader (vecchio 4*) in programma per giugno e per novembre...
Tutte le specifiche relative ai corsi 3* e MW Sea kayak leader (vecchio 4*) della British Canoeing sono riportati sulle relative pagine della scuola nel sito di Tatiyak seguendo i link di questo post.
Per informazioni e prenotazioni scrivete una mail a

by Tatiana Cappucci ( at April 19, 2018 07:08 pm

Corso Istruttori di base FICT: prima sessione del 14-15 aprile 2018

Lo scorso fine settimana si è svolta la prima sessione del corso per istruttori di base FICT: ci siamo ritrovati a Bergeggi con Arcangelo Gengis Pirovano, Enrico Brentana, Mauro Ferro e con 9 partecipanti altamente motivati e provenienti da varie regioni del centro-nord (Marche, Piemonte, Lombardia, Liguria e persino Svizzera italiana). Sorprendente l'alta presenza femminile, superiore al 50%, che ci ha confermato l'importanza del symposium femminile italiano appena concluso.
Le due giornate dedicate al corso introduttivo sono state caratterizzate da condizioni meteorologiche molto impegnative, per via del forte vento di tramontana che spirava a 25 nodi, con raffiche anche fino a 35 nodi: il mare scuro e spianato dal vento è sempre stato imbiancato da onde frangenti che galoppavano verso il largo e le folate si rincorrevano lungo la costa formando a più riprese piccole trombe d'aria. Abbiamo trovato una piccola oasi di calma nella spiaggia ridossata proprio di fronte all'isola di Bergeggi e abbiamo spronato i partecipanti a restare per quanto possibile nell'unica ansa riparata dal vento, sotto le scogliere rocciose su cui corre la strada litoranea.
Non sono mancati momenti di convivialità, grazie soprattutto all'ospitalità offerta dalla Pro Loco di Bergeggi, ed abbiamo trascorso un paio di sere attorno al tavolo a gustare specialità locali...
Lo scambio di esperienze, conoscenze e competenze è stato continuo, proficuo e completo, tanto da stimolare nuove idee e nuovi progetti, sia tra i formatori che tra gli aspiranti istruttori. Tutti i partecipanti al corso si sono alternati nell'insegnamento e nonostante il tempo inclemente hanno avuto modo di praticare per diverse ore sia in acqua che a terra...

Eccoci: Roberto, Anna, Francesca, Fabio, Jolanta, Mauro, Mirella, Tatiana, Enrico, Alessandro, Martina, Celeste e Gengis!
Le prime sessioni a terra sulle similitudini e differenze tra le varie discipline di pagaia...
I primi confronti sulla pagaiata...
Le prime prove in acqua con kayak differenti...
Autosalvataggi e salvataggi assistiti...
Preparazione atletica ed esercizi propriocettivi...
Le cinque donne del corso: Anna, Jola, Martina, Mirella e Francesca!

Il livello di preparazione di tutti i partecipanti si è subito rivelato molto buono: si sono presentati insegnanti di fitness e kik-boxing, di matematica e di chitarra, tutti con un grande bagaglio didattico che senza esitazioni hanno messo alla prova in kayak; si sono aggiunti anche professionisti di vari settori che hanno dimostrato indubbie capacità comunicative e di coinvolgimento, tutti forti di pregresse esperienze in altri settori sportivi, dal paracadutismo alla pesca, dal nuoto alla canoa fluviale.
Il corso base è volutamente centrato su tutte le discipline di pagaia ed è stato proprio Gengis ad introdurre le differenze e similitudini tra le varie canoe da fiume e da mare e anche tra le tante pagaie ad una e a due pale. Il corso si è poi arricchito della competenza professionale di Enrico che, come tante altre volte, ha messo a disposizione attrezzi specifici per la pratica di esercizi propriocettivi, utili per proteggere le articolazioni ed importanti per la preparazione atletica.
Più che sulla tecnica, questo corso per istruttori di base si è concentrato sulla didattica: i partecipanti hanno avuto modo di sperimentare un preciso metodo didattico che permette di chiarire i punti salienti di ogni manovra, tenere alta l'attenzione degli allievi ed al tempo stesso stimolare le capacità di apprendimento di ognuno.
L'estate sarà il momento migliore per mettere a frutto le nozioni acquisite e per progredire lungo il percorso dell'insegnamento del kayak: la preparazione premia sempre e la partecipazione a questo corso FICT dimostra che gli sforzi dell'Accademia della Canoa stanno andando nella giusta direzione. Ci rivediamo a novembre per la sessione finale, sempre a Bergeggi!

by Tatiana Cappucci ( at April 19, 2018 05:54 pm

The Ikkatsu Project
In the Service of the Ocean

Time is Flying

Time is flying faster every day. At the risk of sounding even older than I am, it’s just hard to believe the speed at which everything is moving lately. I fear I am barely keeping up.

There is a new video on the You Tube channel on the Basura del Mar, to this point. Between now and the race on June 11th, I’ll be bringing it to a few places so people can get a better look at it, take a pledge to use less plastic, and then sign their names on it somewhere. It will be at the Spring Social, for example.

The Spring Social is another major project going on at the moment… it looks like it’s going to be a fun way to spend an afternoon and help support the ongoing Ikkatsu programs. It will be even more fun if you are there.

I’m leaving tomorrow for Neah Bay and this year’s Coastal Cleanup. I’ll be leading a group of six 10th-graders (or was that ten 6th-graders?), into the pocket cove at Portage Head to collect and carry out everything we can. It’s a pretty rugged climb in and out, through brush, downed trees and muddy gullies, and it always seems like an adventure just finding a way in. (Photos and stories to follow.)

From there, I’m driving to Bellingham for an early start on Sunday, kayaking over to Point Roberts for the night, returning on Monday. I’ve got an article to write and I’ve never been there… this promises to be a whole other adventure.

Stay busy, yes?

by Ken Campbell at April 19, 2018 04:49 pm

CASKA: Chicago Area Sea Kayakers Association
Chicago Area Sea Kayakers Association. Forum for news, kayaking information, trips and events, and other paddling information in and around Chicago, IL.
ute räknas. Ute med kajak räknas minst dubbelt :) 20 år :)

Om datumen på hos iis stämmer är det idag 20 år sedan vi registreradeänen 🙂 Kul och ojoj vad tiden går. Vi köpte våra första egna kajaker i mars samma år, det var liksom då intresset vaknade till liv. Tidigare hade vi bara paddlat nån vecka om året. Första två åren var det nog...

Inlägget 20 år :) dök först upp på

by Erik Sjöstedt at April 19, 2018 07:07 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!)

Early Bird? Nope. On-Time Bird. Late Snow.

If you've been reading this blog for a while, or if we're Facebook friends, you've probably seen this guy before. This is The Early Bird, and I was inspired to paint him a few years back when I'd seen my first oystercatcher of the spring a good bit earlier than I ever had before - mid-March or so - and then a couple of days after that, it snowed, and I just couldn't stop thinking of the poor bird out there in the sloppy wet snow, wishing he hadn't been such an early bird. He now reappears on my social media every time I see a spring bird and then it snows.

Snow in mid-March isn't that unusual, but this year spring keeps giving us false starts and then winter comes back for another encore, even though the folks in the northeast and midwest are all yelling "GO HOME, WINTER, YOU'RE DRUNK!"

So we had a bit of a snowstorm in early April and our Jamaica Bay Guardian Don Riepe totally outdid my bummed-out oystercatcher with this magnificent photo of an osprey wondering what is this white stuff doing all over the nest.

Actually the osprey doesn't look nearly as put out as my oystercatcher does, but seriously, this poor guy just flew a very long way starting from someplace warm and sunny only to be greeted with a snowstorm - well, wild animals are tough, but I still can't help feeling a little sorry for them when this happens!

Click here to read a great NY Times article about an osprey tracking project that Don was involved in a few years back. They actually had a blog while it was running, and I absolutely loved following the sea eagle's journey from his wintering grounds in South America back to the nest platform in Jamaica Bay. I was so sorry when it ended!  

by (bonnie) at April 19, 2018 03:37 am

Freya Hoffmeister
Goddess of Love to the Seas

Wed 18/04-2018 Day 192

Pos: 40.1974,-124.2738
Loc: Spanish Flat
Acc: Hilleberg Allak tent
Dist: 35,4 km
Start: 07:00 End: 15:45

The exit out of the channel fro our campsite was quite easy, it was low tide, clean and nowhere breaking at all. It was a headwind day between 10 to 15 knots, but with seas going down to very calm by the hour. We threaded our way through and behind rocks wherever we could – but I should have been paying better attention to a clapotis wave behind a huge boulder…I was watching only the incoming side, not the side behind me…it looked later like they alternatively were piling up…and I had to high brace into some nasty breaker over shallow rocks. Merrill was waiting well behind me, saw the one which caught me rolling in and warned me, and could just about back paddle over the crest of the second one…but all good.

We saw like yesterday many whales, three or four huge rocks littered with sea lions, and one elephant seal colony on the beach of a small light house. Lush wildlife here at the Lost Coast! It is once more wonderful sunny, and just about hazy enough to be even able to look at the coast to the east in the morning hours. The sea is low nough to paddle close, and we really enjoyed the mountains high besides us, bare of any civilization. Well, besides a few hiking huts and a dirt road all along. Three hikers and two dogs and one fishing boat added to the “catch of the day”…

About 5 km to Punta Gorda and around it, the headwind was a little nasty with about 15 knots, but it calmed back down to 10 knots on flat water soon. Still we both noticed well were were working harder today than yesterday, and the leats thing I like to do is to over-stress mine or my paddling partner’s body. We decided to go in at a reasonable looking each with a nice flat area on top. Landing was all right with good timing, on some more or less steep-flatish black gravel/ sand beach. The back surge was not too bad this time, I managed to land without much water or gravel inside the cockpit, and helped Marril in. Camp is on a wonderful flat flower meadow!

Tomorrow’s forecast is following wind again, so we will be able to cover the remaining 28 km distance to Shelter Cove with a good push, but on 2-2,40 m seas again. Hope the launch will be still going well…today was at the end only 1,30 m!

by Freya at April 19, 2018 01:23 am

April 18, 2018

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.

First Attempted Survey at Toleak Beach

As I was crawling through the rain slick log jam, I thought, “This can’t be the rain I’m feeling, it can’t be raining that hard, the surf must be dumping on the logs”! Well, it was both. And that was in direct competition with all the noise. This time the battle was between the wind in the tree tops and the dumping surf. Was I on Toleak Beach or an alien world.?

The post First Attempted Survey at Toleak Beach appeared first on Essex Media & Explorations.

by Steve Weileman at April 18, 2018 03:57 pm

Jimski's Blog

The Frozen Storm Gathering

The 9th UK Storm Gathering was held in North Pembrokeshire on the weekend of March 16-18th near to St Davids. The idea of Storm Gathering is to bring together like-minded paddlers wanting to develop their skills and to network with others seeking to improve their sea kayaking.

I arrived late on the Friday evening through sleet and snow showers just as the first day was drawing to a close. It was bitterly cold! The next morning I settled in with a group of paddlers who were wanting to improve their rescue skills. With low temperatures and wind from the East, we decided to focus the workshop on towing skills and staying dry! Other groups went in search of more challenging waters and to the edge of their comfort zones.

Photo: Tavi Murray
We found a suitably sheltered stretch of coast at Pwllgwaelod and along the western side of Dinas Head. During the morning session we explored the different methods of contact towing. In shelter at first, then later in more challenging conditions. At Lunchtime we were lucky enough to be warmed by a rare spell of sunshine whilst preparing ourselves for an afternoon of rope work and towlines.

We experimented with towing in confined spaces, rough water, in twos and threes and then more until the whole group was 'husky towing' two fortunate slackers back to Pwllgwaelod beach.

As we landed the wind chill bit hard. It had been 7 Celsius when we launched. It was 4 degrees when we landed and once again it had begun to snow.

Photo: James Pigdon
After the evening meal I began to prepare for the evening's entertainment. It was to be a quiz based on expedition kayaking. Just before kick off I ventured outside for a breath of fresh air. I found myself in a winter wonderland. Snow drifts had begun to form around the buildings and along the lanes. The quiz led to an entertaining evening of long drinks and tall stories that went on late into the night. 

There was little appetite for paddling in the morning with sub-zero temperatures and strong winds. One group went out. Others opted for indoor based expedition planning and navigation workshops. My challenge was to get home through rural mid-wales whilst trying to avoid snow drifts and road closures.

This was by far the coldest Storm Gathering I have ever attended. Mother nature always provides special challenges at these extraordinary events.

by Jim Krawiecki ( at April 18, 2018 09:10 am
ute räknas. Ute med kajak räknas minst dubbelt :)

Oskrynklig måndag kring Hallands väderö

I måndags stack vi på utflykt till Hallands väderö. Lite disigt i Torekov och helt platt och oskrynkligt vatten när vi kom utanför hamnen. Go utpaddling med enstaka sälinslag, lite sol som kikade fram i diset då och då och massa fåglar. Sådär mysigt disigt när man inte kan se horisonten och var gränsen går...

Inlägget Oskrynklig måndag kring Hallands väderö dök först upp på

by Erik Sjöstedt at April 18, 2018 05:52 am

Freya Hoffmeister
Goddess of Love to the Seas

Tue 17/04-2018 Day 191

Pos: 40.4333,-124.4036
Loc: Cape Mendocino
Acc: Hilleberg Allak tent
Dist: 46,6 km
Start: 07:20 End: 16:50

Thanks to Damon to host us for the night, and to store my main kayak! Michael Morris was so nice to drop Merrill and myself at the launching beach, still in darkness. Merrill was quickly packed, and took even a few of my bags into his kayak to even out the weights. He turned a few rounds in the calm water, found seat, backrest, footrest and foot pedals in te correct position, and the seating afloat comfortable. off we go!

Michael took a bunch of launching pictures, very nice! Lowest tide was at 7.50 am, we aimed to gout just on slack water. The corner break was full on, but the unbroken navigation channel looked doable. A larger fishing boat went out before us, rolling up and down in the channel entrance. W did the same, but nothing serious was going on here o breaking.

We spent the long way along the open beach far our in long high swell, chatting about this and that, and Merrill swapped to my spare wing paddle. He feels quite comfortable in the kayak, very good! There is no way back now anyway…and no open beach landing…

False Cape was the first rocky point, we donned our helmets and thread our way through the rocks on the now quite moderate swell. I put Merrill in the lead, and the young man did extraordinary well to find a good safe line through some nasty rocks breaking here and there. We did the same thing on the more challenging Cape Mendocino with it’s huge rock with a large sea lion balcony. Quite a place!

I had marked our landing for the day just after the Cape, and I felt by sensing and checking my GPS our narrow unbroken line of way through some hidden breaking rocks to shore. I landed first on the back of a big dumper, and had a really hard time to get my kayak out of the surge on the very steep gravel beach. I was fighting hard not to get hit by my own kayak, as it gotr damn heavy when it filled up with water on a nasty wash up on the last breaker.

Merrill waited patiently as instructed for me getting the kayak safe, but after I was tossing the water out of the cockpit, I still had to unload the bow compartment, throwuíng bag after bag high up the gravel beach to be able to drag it up. I waved him in, and with good timing he also landed safe and upright to my feet, jumped out quickly and together we got his kayak out of the surf zone easier. What a nasty, but safe landing on today’s 2-2,20 m swell!

Thanks to Merrill to make me feel safe out there by showing no sign to be scared, unsafe or to be too slow on today’s first long paddling leg! A multi-talented, very skillfull young man, a future rescue-swimmer of the coastguard and occasional fishing-boat deck hand. As he forgot to bring a sun hat besides his helmet and warm beanie, I borrowed him my coast guard hat, making him looking like I was paddling with my private handsome young body guard….

We shared the first-time cooking outdoors, even here he proved to be a skill full chef by preparing a yummy stew of quinoa grain mix with grounded pork meat, fresh onions, pineapple and chilly. I instructed him on my GPS chart on the laptop and downloaded satellite images, and we found our likely landing options for tomorrow’s low to moderate headwind, after Karel had to send the forecast on my satellite phone in no cell phone reception area. A pleasant, entertaining and safe paddling day, thanks Merrill!

by Freya at April 18, 2018 04:11 am

April 17, 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.

Enø og Dybsø rundt

Kenneth havde inviteret til langtur søndag formiddag. Hel 7 friske roere mødte op og var hurtigt på vandet.
Turen gik med en kort pause ved Karlsgab mod Svinø
Det var meget lavvandet, men med godt lokalkendskab fandt vi bag om Enø og Dybsø uden at skulle på vandretur. Man kunne føle sig langt væk med det klare vand og solskinnet, der spillede på sandbunden.
Luften var også dejlig klar, og snart spottede vi en masse gæs på Dybsø
De gav en lille flyveopvisning, de en lille rovfugle fløj ind over dem.
Det var helt rart at komme i land og strække benene i Svinø
Den lokale farmer - der for ikke så længe siden trak store overskrifter med en halv snes døde kreaturer på Dybsø - var ned og færge kvæg over strømrenden. Vi gik op på klubbens grund og nød de medbragte madpakker.
Turen gik videre, og jeg sneg mig gennem de mange sten foran klinten på Dybsø. Noget jeg absolut ikke gør, når der er bølger. Jeg er for gammel til rock-hopping!
Så er det noget helt andet at nyde de mange edderfugle der i store og små flokke flyver rundt på bugten. De er her hele året, men snart har hannerne gjort deres pligt og nyder derefter ungkarlelive langt ude på bugten, mens hunnerne kan passe afkommet.
Og sandelig om ikke også det efterhånden var blevet så varmt at jeg kunne smøge hanskerne op for første gang - jeg erkender at jeg er en kylling med frysende hænder
31 herlige km

by Pouls kajakblog ( at April 17, 2018 05:01 pm

Freya Hoffmeister
Goddess of Love to the Seas

Mon 16/04-2018 Day 190

Pos: 40.7716,-124.2133
Loc: Eureka
Acc: Damon’s house

no paddling today

Merrill and I drove first down to the Halfmoon Bay kayak shop, to check on the options for him which kayak to use. He also tried my spare kayak, and I trusted him to be able to handle it. He has paddled a lot of surfskis and in surf, so he will be fine with that.

A longish road trip, some food shopping on the way, and I was back to Damon’s house who meanwhile kept my main kayak. Thanks Damon! Felt like coming home…this time with another paddling partner. We packed our food, and got ready to be picked up by Michael Morris tomorrw morning 5am. It feels so good to have so many helpful hands around! Thanks to everybody who is making this big trip easy happening!

by Freya at April 17, 2018 05:07 am

Sun 15/04-2018 Day 189

Pos: 36.3052,-121.8963
Loc: Point Sur
Acc: Magowan family’s house
Dist: 26,0 km
Start: 07:00 End: 12:20

I had a good, but as usual way too short good night’s rest, without the need to drink some Heineken beer in the evening…I felt rather well protected!

I launched into a easy to time dumper, and for the good luck of the day, I paddled through one of the easy accessible arches to the right side of the beach. Offshore, conditions were lower than yesterday, and got even better by the hour, with the swell much longer, and less high, and winds lower. All good! The whole coastline was impressing steep and rugged, the coastal road dug into the mountain walls like a long scar, interrupted by high bridges with sandy beaches. But no real shelter on those to land, and how would I get up there if I like a pickup?

The plan was either to land at Point Sur, or Pfeiffer Beach. Both of them I could have reached easy, but I opted for the shorter paddle, as I am still exhausted and getting not enough sleep.

Point Sur with it’s lighthouse high up on a huge cliff looked very impressive to me, but I better concentrated on the sea…it was not dead calm any more around the cliff! I took a few shots, but aimed to be around the corner to find the sheltered landing beach very soon. Landing was fine through a moderate dumper, and I unloaded, had a quick shower and dried things out. My pickup was supposed to arrive in an hour, and I started to shift my gear up the the small dirt road where I spotted some cars.

My assumption the car park must be public as I saw a group of people in yellow jackets, and the dirt road up to the car park would be easy accessible was wrong…a friendly yellow dressed guy named John, volunteer park ranger since 20 years, came up to me and explained to me I was also not supposed to be here…he was just coaching and guiding some new volunteer rangers, not open for public access today at all.

John was helpful to get my gear and kayak up to the road, and was also opening the gate for Merrill and Annaliesa to drive up to the bottom of the lighthouse to load kayak and gear. Thanks for that, John! It would have been a long haul, and also we would have to climb over two gates…and I obviously once more did not recognize I was landing on another “park”…this time a Historic State Park…sorry! There are not that many halfway sheltere landing spots around here…

Thanks to Merrill and his girlfriend Annaliesa to volunteer to pick me from the beach! Merrill is also keen to join me paddling for a bit, but I was not sure what to expect, as we haven’t had the chance to chat and text much. I was skeptical about his paddling background, but the more we were talking, the better I got to know him and understood his already quite broad experience! He is a friendly, easy going tall strong young lad of 24, with a widespread variation of paddling and ocean experience. See how far we get until I have to do my talk in San Francisco on Monday night!.

We drove to his parent’s house in Halfmoon Bay, thanks to Runa to make a nice dinner, and to find still a space for me to sleep with so many house guests in already! Merrill packed his gear, and I was happy to have another paddling partner by my side the next week.

by Freya at April 17, 2018 05:06 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!)

April 16, 2018

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

Gaining Courage

“Courage is the power of the mind to overcome fear” 
                                                                          – Martin Luther King

The following post has tips to empower the body and mind to overcome fear - co-written by Jeff Laxier and myself (Cate Hawthorne).  It is written about whitewater river kayaking, but one can apply these skills to many different situations on and off the water.
Make hard moves on water you are comfy with. photo: Jeff Laxier

Bobbing in a surging eddy, I bounce above an elevation drop.  Time slows, and the river holds me in its trance. My heart pumps loudly above the roar of the river as I second guess my ability to negotiate the rapid.  My inner voice screams “STOP,” and I start to work through my fear.

There are many ways to overcome fear. Here are 3 strategies that work for us:
Mathew Nelson reads the water with perfection. photo by Jeff Laxier

1.    Warrior Cry – Reach deep down into your core and belt out a primal roar.  This activates inner strength, positive attitude, and clears the head of “what ifs?”  By clearing the mind, it readies the body for action.  Don’t worry – no one else will hear you above the roar of the rapid.  If they do, they will blow off the stress to by laughing at you or emitting their own warrior cry.
Cate Hawthorne demonstrating a Warrior Cry. photo by Jeff Laxier

2.    Train Hard – Show up at the rapid with the skills necessary to style it.  In your training, build general and specific skills that you can apply to the rapid.  Examples of general skills include look where you want to go, generate speed, keep strokes forward.  Examples of specific skills include precise eddy turns, ferries, and boof strokes.  These skills don’t come by just running the river every weekend but are earned with focused practice and training.
It does not need to be hard or scary to learn, train hard. photo by Cate Hawthorne

3.    Visualization – Review the moves that need to be made and rehearse them in your mind.  Visualize them and talk yourself through them.  Emphasize the positive.
Cate Hawthorne in the flow of the Eel River. photo by Jeff Laxier

Often our minds get in the way of what our bodies know to do.  We allow ourselves to doubt our training and skills and focus too much on the hazards rather than the correct line.  In your training, focus on building your skills and using positive visualization and self-talk.  When you get to the tricky rapid, pour-over, or scary wave, use these tools to squelch fear and style the line.

Do you have strategies that help with managing fear?  If so, please share them in the comments.
Rivers, Arteries to Life! photo by Cate Hawthorne

by Cate Hawthorne ( at April 16, 2018 10:47 pm


Holyhead Marina disaster... please share and help!

Sono andata ad Anglesey per 8 anni consecutivi e proprio quest'anno che non riesco ad andare loro cosa fanno? Mi usano come ragazza-copertina! Ragazza, vabbè: cover-girl... insomma!
E' un po' come essere lì ancora una volta, anche se solo virtualmente...
Quest'anno è particolarmente importante essere ad Anglesey, anche se non ci si può andare.
Anglesey è un luogo rinomato nella piccola comunità del kayak da mare, famosa per le sue correnti di marea e per le scogliere verticali che sovrastano il bel faro di South Stack. Anglesey è uno di quei posti in cui bisogna riuscire ad andare almeno una volta nella vita: per capire cosa davvero significa "tidal-race", per apprezzare fino in fondo la forza magnetica di Penrhyn Mawr, per scoprire uno dei mausolei del kayak internazionale...
Adesso Anglesey ha bisogno di noi!

Come forse saprete, la notte del primo marzo scorso, il passaggio di una tempesta ha distrutto il porto di Holyhead, i pontili sono stati strappati dagli ancoraggi ed oltre 80 imbarcazioni sono affondate. Nigel Dennis ha perso la barca su cui viveva da anni, Carpe Diem.
Nigel è l'ideatore ed organizzatore del symposium di Anglesey da quasi tre decadi: è sempre stato molto generoso e ha aiutato tantissimi kayaker. inglesi e non solo. Quando ho trascorso tre mesi in Galles, per esempio, mi ha lasciato usare uno dei suoi kayak per tutta la durata del mio soggiorno senza chiedere nulla in cambio, salvo una cena al ristorante dopo le mie insopportabili insistenze...
Adesso Nigel merita di ricevere il nostro aiuto: è stata lanciata una campagna di raccolta fondi per sostenere le spese del recupero di Carpe Diem dal fondale fangoso del porto di Holyhead. Si può fare una donazione seguendo questo link:!
Siamo già quasi alla soglia prestabilita di 20.000£: se potete, sostenete Nigel!

by Tatiana Cappucci ( at April 16, 2018 10:35 pm

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

Falkfjorden og Holdøya

Fortsatt må det noen flere 10 på skjæreposter på plass for i år. Vi kan jo ikke bare ha de samme gamle. Det tenkte jeg kunne passe på Slåttøya i Hadsel, men der hadde jeg ikke vært før selv. Altså var jeg i manko på et bilde til beskrivelsen - og en beskrivelse, for såvidt. Når jeg da attpåtil hadde en ledig søndag var det bare å ta seg en tur hit – vi satte opp en klubbtur, og da ble vi faktisk seks stykker som dro. Artig!

Jeg dro sånn at jeg hadde ekstremgod tid til ferga, for det er jo vår og fuglene trekker nordover. Sist jeg kjørte mot Stokmarknes så jeg tre viper på en gang. Det kunne fort være noe å stoppe for. Ved flyplassen fant jeg da også disse her – et par gravender. En hann (ser man på kula på nebbet), og ei ho. Hun likte ikke at andre ender spiste i nærheten, da jaget hun dem bort. Men hannen hennes fikk lov.
Været var som du sikkert har sett, strålende. Det er ikke ofte det måles 0 m/s vind selv i blankstilla. Fantastisk flott.

Vi satte ut sånn høvelig på samme tid som bøndene i Hadsel fyrte på bråtebrenninga si. Det ga litt ekstra skyer på himmelen, men det holdt seg på andre siden.

Den fossen som er kul om sommeren, er ikke mindre kul når den er frosset om vinteren. Synes det er litt rart at jeg ikke finner noe navn på den i kartet, det må da en sånn foss ha?

Denne har nok stått her en stund ja... Ikke bare algegrodd, men skikkelig skjellvekst også.

Normalt padler jeg jo disse turene alene på impuls. Men siden jeg nå bestemte meg i god tid og la ut ut, så fikk jeg selskap av Johnny som kom helt fra Borkenes, Trude, Wenche, Siv og Evy. Det var jo helt perfekt føre til å ha med et par ferskinger på tur, også.

Det skyet delvis over, men det ble kult lys både her og der rundt oss. Her er det Siv som beundrer den opplyste Møysalen.

Det var rett og slett fine omgivelser å padle i her.

Etter hvert fikk vi også padlet litt «imellom». Det gjør vi jo stort sett, når vi kan. Fordi vi kan. Det er jo skøy.

Dette treet har tatt en utfordring, kan man si. Vokse seg så pass stor i en steinsprekk er imponerende.

Falkfjorden, som var ett av målene vi hadde satt oss med turen. Vi synes vi så godt hele fjorden herfra, så vi gadd ikke padle helt inn. Det så ikke ut for å være så veldig mye interessant der.

Wenche har vært i området før i annen type båt, og kjente til denne lille perlen. Denne hadde jeg sansen for, her må det da være enda flottere når det er sommer. Dette blir neppe siste gang jeg stikker innom her. I dag ble det bare en kort beinstrekk før vi padlet videre.

Trude har øynene med seg når hun padler, og la merke til denne her. Det er veldig klart vann ennå. Det kan se ut for at noen har rasket med seg fileten på den, og latt resten ligge igjen. Synes han var litt kul likevel. Merkelig at ikke noen krabber, snegler eller lignende har funnet den, men. De kommer vel sigende etter hvert.

Pause for å se på dau fisk. Finneren av liket i gul kajakk. Finnerlønnen ble dette bildet i bloggen, uvisst hva hun synes om det.

Flere på tur etter for å se på dau breiflabb.

Etter den stoppen padlet vi litt imellom, før vi satte kursen mot øya vi skulle ta en litt lengre pause på; Slåttøya. Trude er kjent i området, og her skulle det være fint på den sørlige stranda.

Her er tracket fra turen. Nordligste øya er Slåttøya, Holdøya er den i vest, med vei på.

Det hadde hun rett i. Fyre bål kan hun for øvrig også, det var i full flamme før jeg rakk bort. Jeg som hadde med juksefyring og alt, men hun klarte seg uten. Bålet var også plassert sånn at det ikke ble fæle merker oppetter stein/svaberg. Sporløs ferdsel, ganske tett på i hvert fall. Poeng.

Foto: Evy (glemte jeg da jeg la vannmerket... Men det var på min forespørsel og kamera)
Jervendukbanden måtte foreviges. Det er ganske god kamuflasje altså, det er det virkelig.

Husker ikke hva jeg sa her, men det fungerte i hvert fall veldig bra for å få smilet fram. Burde ha notert meg den, antagelig.

Flott plass dette også?

Jeg har jo gjort aprilrulla tidligere, men cluet er jo strengt tatt å få rulla helt på plass igjen, nærmest bombesikker. Der er jeg ikke ennå, så jeg tok mot til meg og øvde et par ganger. Øvde også litt på sculling, det er lenge siden jeg egentlig har gjort ute, og ikke minst - med trekket på. Det gikk sånn passelig. Men sånn static brace turte jeg ikke å prøve, selv om jeg faktisk fikk det til i bassenget. Vi får se hva som skjer neste gang - kanskje. (Foto: Wenche Edvardsen)

Det var fortsatt blankstilla da vi tok fatt på returen til Holdøya. Vi bestemte oss for å padle rundt den, siden det var så fine forhold.

Rett og slett en veldig flott ettermiddag. Angrer på ingen måte på at jeg prioriterte dette i dag, nei.

Evy i en slags solnedgang. (Egentlig en god stund til sola gikk ned, men det så sånn ut siden det var litt overskyet her.)

Trude med Hadseløya bak.

Strøna er ganske flott? Skal visst være flott utsikt der oppe fra også.

Turen ble en drøy mil, vi hadde rolig tempo og koste oss og skravlet underveis.

Men så, en stor overraskelse for min del! Det er jo en holme i Svellingan som heter Jorda. Den har jeg padlet rundt to ganger, for jeg synes det er litt kult å padle rundt jorda. Det er det garantert ikke så mange som har gjort, særlig to ganger. Men nå har jeg padlet rundt jorda TRE ganger! For her er visst også en plass som heter Jorda, og den var vi rundt! Det skulle jeg jo visst på forhånd og fristet med. Eller, man får kanskje ikke så mange med seg på å padle rundt Jorda, det høres jo veldig langt ut. Men dette ble altså bare ei drøy mil.

Veldig kult å oppdage dette. Bare synd det da ble straks mindre eksklusivt å padle rundt Jorda, denne er jo veldig lett tilgjengelig i forhold til den ute i Svellingan. Og nå har jeg fortalt alle det. Dumt.

by Miamaria Padlemia ( at April 16, 2018 10:22 pm

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

April 15th - Victoria Harbour (#23)

After the guides' exchange was officially over I went for a short paddle around the upper harbour on a multi-person SUP with Olympian Simon Whitfield and several others. A 4 person, 22 ft long SUP goes quite fast (though not as fast as a good kayak!). I did not have my GPS for this one.
After that I went for a paddle in one of the ORS rental fleet a CD Prana (very nice kayak!) and made my way down to the Fort Street docks. I paddled past a boat that is on its way to Galapagos (Pacific Coaster, soon to be Cachalote Explorer) and then under the catamaran Village (soon to be Cascadia). The Cascadia catamaran has a neat "tunnel" underneath! It was also my first paddle under the new Johnson Street bridge!
click to enlarge
2 km, YTD 194 km

by Mike J ( at April 16, 2018 09:10 pm

April 14th - Sooke rock Gardens (#22)

I assisted Scot and Jordie in leading a "rock garden" class for 8 SKGABC guides as part of the guides' exchange. We had perfect conditions - no wind and just enough swell to make it interesting but not so much as to make it too "exciting". The participants all finished the day with big smiles, so I think the class was a success.
click to enlarge
6 km, YTD 192 km

by Mike J ( at April 16, 2018 09:03 pm

The Ikkatsu Project
In the Service of the Ocean

Garbage Floats, Reprise

Now that the Basura del Mar has passed its sea trials and there is not much more work to be done to get it ready for the race, it seemed like it might be a good time to lay the whole project out in one place, try to explain the logistics and the purpose of the whole idea.

When I heard about the Seventy48 race I thought that it might be a fun way to get the word out to people about marine plastic… building a kayak out of foam chunks that washed up on Tacoma’s Salmon Beach was done as kind of a nod to the Hyas yiém, the plastic bottle boat from a few years back. Where the first boat just had to float, however, this new one needed to be able to cover the 70 miles of the race course in less than 48 hours. (There’s no way the Hyas yiém would have been able to do that. Not even close.)

From what I’ve seen so far, the Basura seems to be up to the task. It will not be a particularly fast paddle and I am not anticipating a top three finish, but I do expect it will finish in time. It’s been a while since I looked at the currents for the 48 hours that the race will be underway, so I should probably check those again but I remember guessing that it would probably take me about 36 hours. That’s just a guess and it may well take longer, but I do expect to finish.

The idea was never to win, it was to get the word out about plastics in the water, single-use plastics and how people can use less on a daily basis. The Basura will be out and about at a few events prior to the race where people can take a pledge to use less plastic and then sign the boat. I am looking forward to paddling for all of those folks, and sending a message to others about the steps we need to take to clean up our lives and our oceans.

June 11 is race day. It will come quickly.

by Ken Campbell at April 16, 2018 01:39 pm

Freya Hoffmeister
Goddess of Love to the Seas

Sat 14/04-2018 Day 188

Pos: 36.5071,-121.9393
Loc: Gibson Beach
Acc: Hilleberg Allak tent
Dist: 44,9 km
Start: 07:10 End: 16:30

Joel paddled out with me for an hour, thanks to him and Juli to look after me! We passed a bunch of harbor sea lions, finding their rest high up in the construction of the jetty. Fascinating, how high the y can jump to get up there, and what kind of diagonal “uncomfortable” places the chose! If I were into paddling through the stakes, it might happen one of the guys would jump on my kayak…but I better left them their peace and kept myself safe in some distance.

Across the northern harbor breakwater, a huge flock of sea lions were anchoring themselves in the kelp for rest. The rocks of the breakwater were absolutely all taken! A clear case of overpopulation of sea lions here! A bit further out, some sea otters were living in the kelp, floating their bellies into the early morning sun- if it wouldn’t look like they use the kelp leaves for a “blanket”…so cute to watch!

When Joel turned back to start his workday, I felt once more the lonely peaceful freedom to look only after myself on the water…but also rather lonely not to be able to share this time with a paddling partner. But maybe it was better today…?

Conditions were seas around 2,50 m, going down, and wind around ten knots following, but gusts up to 20…I should have better believed into a continuous “gust” all day…especially around those exposed headlands of Point Pino, Cypress Point and Point Lobos. It actually started not to bad on the first point, on the second one I already felt I better had to stay far out in quite some big seas with increasing white caps on top. But still all fine!

Joel told me, instead of aiming for the white beach of China Cove or Gibson beach, I might better be off in the southern end of Carmel Bay landing in the far end of Monastery beach, but this sounded to me like a too short paddle for that day…actually, the bay I should have best looked into but didn’t really know of would have been Whaler’s Cove with it’s launching ramp. But at the end, all would have been State Natural Reserve. I should better look and prepare for landing or not in those areas…

So I decided to push on around Point Lobos for China Cove…it became actually quite big and lumpy now! I had to stay far out to feel halfway safe from unexpected trashers over the widely scattered submerged rocks, and I had to balance a lot with the wind now around 20 knots on top of what felt like massive seas. Well, this was what I chose to do! I was a bit tight in my actions, didn’t really feel relaxed today, being also a bit overtired. But all went fine without major bracing or even worse.

I kept an eye for China cove which I was hoping to show up very soon as soon as I would be around the point fully, and was hoping the sea would be calming down and I might find some shelter from the now nasty wind soon. It took a while…but the white beach of China Cove was lurking magically for rest from this very challenging paddle. Finally, I came close enough to see the beach was very sheltered, and I concentrated on the final approach in the criss-cross reflecting seas to stay upright. I only briefly thought Gibson Beach around the corner might be the better landing option, but the wide berth around the scattered rocks of Bird Island seemed too much now – I urgently needed to go in now for my own safety.

When I was in calmer water quite close to the beach, I realized too late this cove was a seal refuge, and a bunch of them were already launching on my approach. Sorry, guys! But this feels quite like an emergency landing for me here…I was waiting for the rest of the seals to launch, and made my landing in the far end of the narrow cove, feeling relieved I had made it safely in.

But I was also sensing this is not my place to stay over night here…this is “seal country”…I also checked my satellite image on my phone to see if there might be a sneaky gap between the islands to avoid the rough stuff out there once more…and what I sensed on the lumpy paddle into this cove already, there would be likely an open calmish wide gap…I regained my breath and constitution to relaunch after about fifteen minutes, hoping the seals would take over “their” beach very soon. I also did not feel very comfortable realizing there were many tourists high up on the cliffs watching me disturbing the poor seal’s peace…but no one was able to climb down the steep cliffs – and I could also not get up here. I also heard some whistling…probably the ranger…high time to be gone here!

It came even better to sneak around the corner in shelter…I could paddle through an arches and a narrow gap to emerge in front of the wide white Gibson Beach which was reserved for people’s use. The landing looked steep with a single dumper, but doable. I timed it right, and saw already the uniformed ranger approaching…yes, I am very sorry, I should not have landed at China Cove, I knew, but I felt like it was an emergency landing for my own safety…the very friendly ranger Garrison explained to me I was also not allowed to land here also – although the beach was used by many people? Ok…I really need to get better prepared in those places…but he also saw I could not get off and anywhere else again now in those sea and my own condition…even climbing up the very narrow and very steep staircase looked like an impossible thing to do with my kayak and gear. With a lot of effort and a handful of very strong men – maybe possible…I promised to be gone tomorrow very early…and he allowed me to stay for now, and he would be back to see what he would need to do with me…

I was basically waiting now all afternoon Garrison would be back with a reasonable solution, which felt actually the only one could be I could get an exceptional permit to stay over night here…

I did not dare to set up my tent before he would be back, and the people would be gone, and I had to spend a rather uncomfortable working afternoon in the quite hot sunshine with hundreds of flies and people around me, not able to relax and to stretch out my sore bones in the calm, private, shady, sand- and fly free space of my tent. Well, I could have done it different with more research prior to my launch…I looked at it as “punishment” …

I opted to sit high on the cliffs in the useless hope there would be less flies around in some breeze, and worked online all afternoon, until at about 5.45 pm I spotted a ranger climbing down to the beach. I had just packed up my laptop anyway, and hurried down to greet, him and to finally clear up the situation.

But this was a different ranger on duty now, Michael, I smiled friendly and shook his hand, asked if he was informed by Garrison, and started the conversation to explain me, my trip and the situation. Sure he was informed, but the very officially, but friendly acting Afro-American ranger insisted firmly I need to be gone here, now – and completely! We discussed options…I would need to jump back into my kayak, paddle back around the dreaded Point Lobos against the strong wind, to land at Whaler’s Cove, and to pay there my launching fee…sorry, not possible this evening due to sea and my personal condition…

I would need to get my kayak and gear upstairs, as he could impossible let me stay here tonight for my own safety, he was not sure the waves would be trashing against the cliffs at night…sorry, I was VERY sure they would not come that high this night…

Or I could leave my kayak down here and could camp with an exceptionally permit upstairs in the park (and within his easy reach of his night watch shift)…already better, thanks for this option! But what if “the waves would reach the cliffs and my kayak would be flooded away”???

We kept on talking…and talking…and talking for about an hour…all very friendly, but his personal style was just like that…discussing this exceptional complicated matter matter endless from all sides, before I finally, eventually got him with a lot of storytelling, charming and smiles to see the one and only reasonable option would be to wait to set up tent just right down here until all people would have to leave at 7 pm when the park would be closing. Thanks very much, Michael!

He was helping me to drag my heavy kayak to a sheltered corner on the highest beach spot, and was jokingly mentioning he should be back later with a sixpack of Heineken…no way man, no bribes, and not of that sort! He also saw this was not really appropriate, and stayed helpful and polite.

When there was some noisy alarm going off high up on the cliffs in the housing area just after sunset, he was back with a strong flashlight to search the beach…for what? For an escaped prisoner, or a marauding seal threatening me? But thanks for checking on my safety…and I eventually could fall into a deep sound, but too short sleep.

by Freya at April 16, 2018 01:38 pm
Triathlon, cycling, sea kayaking, swimming and life in the Scottish Highlands

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 April 16, 2018 08:30 am
ute räknas. Ute med kajak räknas minst dubbelt :)

Picklad Rödlök

Jag är inte så förtjust i lök, framförallt inte rå lök, så inlagd, även kallad picklad, rödlök var inte så troligt att jag skulle gilla… Haha, så fel jag hade. Inlagd rödlök är en höjdare till rätt mycket. Jag har använt mig av recept från ICA. En timme efter tillagning är löken redo att ätas,...

Inlägget Picklad Rödlök dök först upp på

by Pia Sjöstedt at April 16, 2018 06:42 am

April 15, 2018


Entrando en Cádiz..

No es lo mismo entrar en Cádiz a vela que a pala, ellos pasan la boya por fuera, nosotros no....

Directos al puente canal....

Extraordinarias las fotografias de Luis, como siempre. Los fotógrafos kayakistas tienen una especial sensibilidad para captar la mar...

by Jose Bello ( at April 15, 2018 10:56 pm

The Ikkatsu Project
In the Service of the Ocean

1st Period Environmental Science

I was back to the classroom earlier this week, part of the freshwater plastics program that began in the Sumner School District three years ago. Students from Michele Chamberlain’s environmental science class at Lakeridge Middle School have been collecting water and sediment samples at several locations on the Puyallup and White Rivers since 2015 and using their data to inform other class projects and further explorations. It’s a powerful thing, to actually go and collect the data, bring it back and analyze it and then interpret what it is trying to tell you. These kids get this experience at an age where others don’t.

And their teacher is a state-level finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PARMST). It’s not an acronym that rolls off the tongue but it is a great honor just to be nominated… and the decision should be made by the end of the month. Fingers crossed. Michele has a curious nature and a scientist’s eye for detail and her ability to connect with her students is a thing of beauty. I’ve been lucky to work with her these past few years and I look forward to what we will do in the future.

For more info on Michele’s award and some of the other things she’s done, Check out the write-up in the local news…

by Ken Campbell at April 15, 2018 05:49 pm

Manolo Pastoriza

VII Jornadas a técnicas KDM (Malaka-kayak)

Las VII jornadas técnicas de kayak de mar dan comienzo a la nueva temporada de formación continuada que el club Malaka-kayak ofrece a sus socios a lo largo de todo el año.

Primero fue el club pagaia de Llançá, después la federación gallega de piragüismo a través de su comité de kayak de mar y ahora el club malaka aprovechando estas jornadas de formación me han hecho socio de honor y cada vez que ha sucedido esto me pongo a pensar: ¿será por qué me estoy haciendo mayor?, ¿será porque estoy haciendo algo bien?, ¿será por ámbas cosas?... Sea por el motivo que sea, muchas gracias por este honor y por seguir contando conmigo año tras año. Esto me hace seguir trabajando año tras año para poder dar lo mejor de mí.

De izquierda a derecha: Carlos, Paco, David, Manolo, José Antonio, Juan Ramón y Rafa.

Segundo por la izquierda Fran

Día de la cena y nombramiento de socio de honor

Muchas gracias a tod@s !!!!

by Manolo Pastoriza ( at April 15, 2018 02:31 pm
Kajak, Foto,Friluftsliv

Ny shoppat

Lite nya prylar!

Längre roder till Tiderace Pace 17, foam till sittbrunn Frej 534 och nya foam kuddar till takräcket

by Bengt Larsson at April 15, 2018 08:27 am

April 14, 2018
Kajak, Foto,Friluftsliv

Stockholms största kajakbutik har nya lokaler

Var på invigningen av kajaksidans nya lokaler. Stort och välfylld med massor av kajakprylar. World of kayaks, Tahe`s olika märken och Nordic kayaks surfkis är de tongivande märken som säljs. Om man skulle önska något så är det väl något engelskt märke typ Tiderace eller Valley som skulle vore trevligt om det fanns i butiken.

nya butiken

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by Bengt Larsson at April 14, 2018 04:13 pm

Freya Hoffmeister
Goddess of Love to the Seas

Fri 13/04-2018 Day 187

Pos: 36.6015,-121.8879
Loc: Monterey
Acc: Joel and Juli’s house
Dist: 44,9 km
Start: 07:10 End: 16:30

I used again the big trolley from the shop to get back to the dock for launching all by myself early in the morning. A nice, sunny, quiet and dead calm early morning! Packing from a floating dock with the kayak in the water already is a bit tricky when I did not like to roll my kayak heavy loaded over the edge.

The forecast was still for 3 m seas, but no to low winds. All easy going, the harbor bar was calm, and my choice to cross directly over the Monterey Bay was just right. For half the day with calm winds and seas, I had another Karaoke session, this time with no one listening…it is lifting my actually already bright spirits to sing along!

I startled at some point for a small triangle fin sticking out of the water, with a large tail wiggling slowly from one side to the other. An about 1,20 m long shark was lazily cruising along, and I came quite close to him. Not sure if he was attracted by my still playing music?

Another fin showed up later, but no tail but rather a large white body underneath, I assume it was a huge sunfish. I had seen such one already stranded at a beach in Australia. They are massive!

Whale spouts and -backs in many places, some large Albatross-like brown birds with huge beaks, plus eventually some see otters and a bunch of sea lions at the harbor jetty were the wildlife of the day. I also spotted a surf ski, and wondered if the guy came out to look for me? He didn’t see me, and I was too far away to call. We just met at the beach, and it turned out it was Joel, my host, on the lookout for me arriving! He organized a wheelbarrow for my bags, and a beach cart for my kayak to quickly haul my gear and kayak up to the Monterey kayak shop just across. Nice place!

Cath, the lovely owner of the shop, was greeting me warmly, and I changed my clothes under a some nice hot shower. I had a date at 5 pm, Christian, my ex-stepson (I raised him when he was about 7 to 16 years old), is currently studying at the famous Monterey Naval school, and he was able to take some time off his intense studies to drive me on a quick sightseeing tour around for a chat. Nice area! A pity he couldn’t stay longer, and I can’t see it all…I’ll be back! At least I saw the next headland from above…actually way too nice to paddle alone tomorrow here for the next days.

The forecast also shows in the Lost Coast area some easy days coming up, I might give it a thought to rather paddle that section maybe from Tuessday or Wednesday next week. Not sure yet…

Joel, a Monterey Kayaks employee for thirty years now, took me to his home, where Juli, his wife, prepared a yummy dinner with many home-grown veggies and herbs. Delicious! Thanks for looking after me!

by Freya at April 14, 2018 04:28 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!)

Fish on Friday!

h/t to Joe at The Horse's Mouth for my stealing of his Friday theme since time immemorial, plus my Hawaiian friend K., whose FB page was where I first saw this and loved it more than I can say. Had to share this for all my mainland friends who are curious about how that neighborhood McPokebowl (possibly spelled with an é) joint stacks up against the real thing. Now you know. Perhaps I owe an apology?

PS - Leonard's...ahhh...SWOON!

by (bonnie) at April 14, 2018 12:56 am

April 13, 2018
Triathlon, cycling, sea kayaking, swimming and life in the Scottish Highlands

How To Check What Data Facebook Holds On You

There's an easy way to see what information Facebook has collected.  I'll explain it here, then suggest a couple of strategies to minimise your data down.

I'm not a tech expert, so if I have anything wrong, or you can add to this, please do so in the comments.

Log into Facebook on a computer, and click the wee downward arrow on the right of the blue bar, then select settings.

Under the General Settings page, selected on the left side of the page, there's a link to Download a copy of your Facebook Data.  You'll receive an acknowledgement email then, a while later, an email with a time-limited link to download the data.

The data you receive might be anything from horrifically detailed to utterly bland.  It largely depends on how you configured your Facebook settings, such as whether you gave it permission to track you or access your contents.

The phone App in particular is somewhat invasive.  If you leave it running while doing other things, it will track which websites you visit, ostensibly to give you a better selection of adverts.  According to The Guardian article, people using the method I've described to download their data discovered Facebook kept "complete logs of incoming and outgoing calls and SMS messages.  It's worth a read.

Also if you signed into any third party apps or websites using Facebook, rather than creating a separate account, Facebook can track what you enter.

So should you delete Facebook?  The #deletefacebook campaign is certainly growing in strength.

I considered it, but decided against so doing after I downloaded and read the data Facebook held on me.

It was very bland.

Incidentally, that page alongside shows what comes in the zip-file once it is downloaded.

Why so bland?  Partly it's because I have carefully configured my Facebook settings.  I'll not bore you with the details, but spend a little time going through those settings.  It's very obvious what you should tweak if you want to be the one using Facebook, rather than the other way around.  Pay particular attention to the Adverts settings.  Facebook has recently posted a blog to guide users through Privacy Settings.

There is one other practice I regularly follow - the Facebook purge.

No-one reads posts more than a few weeks old, so at the end of every month, I use an App called Social Book Post Manager to wipe out everything on my Facebook page.  The App only works in the Chrome browser, so you'll need that installed too.  I also go into my Facebook photos and delete them.  If I want to keep a diary, I'll decide what goes into it - like this Blog - not the Facebook algorithm.

There's a good, detailed post on Martin Lewis' site about Facebook security plus Instagram (owned by Facebook) and Twitter.

Along with many people I don't like Facebook but find it a necessary evil.  In our rural part of NW Scotland it has become the main platform for sharing information - controversial planning applications, up-coming concerts and events.  I occasionally use it to see what my 'Friends' are up to, and if I want to let them know anything special I'll post.  But mostly I use Facebook for reading, not Liking or posting.

by Simon Willis ( at April 13, 2018 08:59 pm

March Challenge #1 - Explore Andalucia

I've been visiting Spain for forty years.  During that time I've seen a lot of the country.

I've mountain-biked in Extremadura, climbed hiked and cycled the Pyrenees, ridden the ancient pilgrim route to Santiago, and spent many, many weeks living between Valencia and Alicante where my parents lived and died.

Andalusia had escaped my attention so I decided this was the month to rectify this oversight.

I would combine a cycle training camp with a visit to some of the great Andalusian cities of Granada, Ronda and Seville.

I decided I would not take the training camp too seriously - after all I'm not training for anything - so I could mix the riding with city exploring.  I looked at a few companies offering camps, and decided to go with Andalucian Cycling Experience.  They had great reviews, promptly replied to emails, the dates worked but in truth, the main reason was their location.  From their Montecorto base I could easily reach Ronda and Seville.

To save you hunting, the others were Wheels in Wheels, Epic Cycling, Cycle Sierra Nevada, and Custom Cycle Coaching.
Montecorto, home to Andalucian Cycling Experience
The experience of cycling in Andalucia deserves a separate post which I shall write.  However, just getting to the lovely village of Montecorto proved a challenge worthy of my #yr60 programme!

This was the cunning plan.  I don't have a bikebox, so planned to borrow one from my friend Allister in Northumberland.  I'd stay with him overnight, leave the car, and he'd drive me to Newcastle airport for the Malaga flight early Saturday morning. 

The 'Beast from the East' weather hit the UK days before I left home in North West Scotland.  "Stay in your homes", was the advice.  EasyJet cancelled all its Friday flights from Newcastle.  Hotels were full to overflowing.  Allister had to walk five miles home through deep snow because there was no way to get up his track.  Suddenly my Andalucian Cycling Experience was looking doubtful.

Is it a sledge or bike box?
I set off from home early Friday morning.  The Amber weather warning across Scotland's central belt switched to Yellow as I reached it and I sailed through.

While the side roads were snow-choked, the main roads were clear and, with relatively few cars using them, I made it to Newcastle Airport Hotel in a little over five hours - that's actually faster than normal.

Meanwhile, Allister had sledged the bike box down his track and met me at the hotel which I'd reserved on the moment the weather looked doubtful.

 I was set.

And alone.

When I reached Montecorto I discovered I was the only person on this cycle training camp!  Two other riders had postponed their trips (there was only ever three of us) so I had the town-house and cycle guide Drew all to myself.  Initially I was slightly narked by this - one of my reasons for coming had been to ride and hang out with other cyclists.  As it was it worked out very well.

No strap, snapped cable tie, open catches
I was also rather lucky.  Allister had given me a ratchet compression strap to wrap around and secure the Polaris Bike Pod box.

At the other end, the strap had disappeared, along with the luggage tag identifier that the airline had wrapped around it.  These straps hold ladders of car roofs and simply do not snap, so it must have been cut off by baggage handlers.

Also one set of cable-ties had snapped, and two of the locks on the bike box pinged open, putting enormous strain on the remaining catches.

I was lucky the bike and contents survived.

This was the second time a Polaris Bike Pod had sprung open on me.  For the return I had it 'wrapped' in a thick clingfilm-like wrapped in the departure hall which added €20 to the flight but meant it arrived intact.

Andalucia might have escaped the snow but it had suffered storms.  The previous week's cyclists missed a few days riding because of torrential rain and  especially high winds.

It was completely unseasonable for this part of the world, and while it moderated, the rain hadn't entirely disappeared.  So we switched days around to suit the weather.

 When it was raining hard in the mountains,  I headed north to explore Seville.  There's a single-line metro and it's easy to drive to a large well signed park-and-ride and take the train into the centre.  Andalucia had also been hit by storms and all the city parks were closed for clear-up crews to work.  I'd identified three 'must-do' sights in Seville.
Real Alcazar, Seville
The Real Alcazar is an Moorish fort/place which is now the royal residence in the city.  The cool architecture, designed for summer days over 40C, was harder to appreciate in the chilly temperature, but the beauty shone through.  There were a surprising number of tourists too.

So many tourists that the queue to get into the cathedral was just too long to contemplate, so I walked to the third on my list, the Plaza Espana.  I remember the publicity around 1992 Seville Expo and considered taking the metro out to the site, but saw photos showing it was pretty much wasteland.
Plaza Espana, Seville
I was slightly underwhelmed by Seville.  I'm not sure why.  Perhaps it was the temperature?  It's a city designed for the heat of the sun.

Whereas Ronda is impressive.  Essentially it's one old square with a bridge over a breathtaking gorge.  Drew included a stop here during one of our rides and it was a great way to visit.  Yet again, there was a overwhelming number of tourists even in March.

So what about Granada?  The big tourist attraction here is the Alhambra, but I discovered tickets must be bought a month in advance.  Plus Liz had told me to leave something to do with her.  So that will have to wait.  Next, I'll write something about the cycling which really was very good.

by Simon Willis ( at April 13, 2018 08:59 pm

Andalucian Cycle Training Camps

When northern Europe is still in the grip winter weather, the lure of warm weather cycling can be irresistible.

It seems like a chance to ride in shorts and get some long days in the saddle early in the season.

Previously we've headed to Lanzarote for open water swimming camps that gave plenty of free time to ride.  Warm weather couldn't be guaranteed in the Canary Islands early February but it was better than most of the northern hemisphere, and certainly better than home.

This year I waited a month and in March went on a cycle training camp in Andalucia, Spain. I wrote about why I went here, but briefly I wanted to see the city of Seville, ride somewhere different to normal, and didn't want to go to Majorca.

This piece is not an overview of cycling in Andalucia.  I did just four rides in a Spanish Province that's bigger (33,694 square miles) than Scotland (30,090 square miles) the country in which I live. Trying to summarise all the cycling opportunities would be daft and ill informed.

But I can share some information which might be useful to anyone thinking of heading to a cycle training camp there.  I found five providers and I've marked their bases on this map.  They are, Andalucian Cycling Experience,  Wheels in WheelsEpic CyclingCycle Sierra Nevada, and Custom Cycle Coaching.

Most are clustered in the east to be near the Sierra Nevada mountains.  I have no knowledge of three of these providers - they may be good or bad - but I can tell you a little about Andalucian Cycling Experience with whom I rode.  Firstly though, the weather.

Weather:  Good weather in Spain is not guaranteed in February and March.  As I write, London is warmer than Madrid.  I regularly visited the Costa Blanca for forty years and made this mad-March-mistake several times (I really should learn!).  One March I had to abandon a week-long hike through the coastal mountains because thunder and lightning storms caused serious flooding.

That's not a lake, it's a flooded field
I'd often hear folks saying "No es normal", but they're wrong.  It is.  It just doesn't feel normal when most of the year you're baked alive.  So this time I knew what to expect - make sure you do too.  The cyclists who'd visited a week earlier than me only rode for three days due to rain and dangerously high winds.  The week after me it was pretty rough too.  So if you're heading to Spain in March, take warm kit; shoes covers, longs, warmers and goretex.

So what is a 'training camp'?  There doesn't seem to be one accepted format.  The Openwater Swim Camps and Triathlon Camps I've done at Club La Santa are highly structured and pretty much ran to timetable.  A high level of coaching was mixed with fitness training, plus evening talks.  Knowledge and technique was imparted along with fitness.

I did my first Cycle Training Camp in Spain way back in 2012 and as you can read, it was not what I expected.
Denia cycle camp, 2012
The photo above shows 33 people on the Train In Spain camp and we split into three groups each day.  A support vehicle travelled between them, carrying water, food bags and kit.  There was no coaching, we just bashed out the miles.  Yet, as I wrote at the time, I learnt lots from talking to fellow riders who'd done more than me.  It was totally different to the Triathlon and Swimming camps I'd subsequently attend, yet thoroughly enjoyable.  Thirty three people is a good crowd with which to ride and socialise.

The contrast with my recent Andalucian Camp couldn't have been greater, because I was the only rider there!  I was expecting to be one of thirty again, yet I was all alone.  Two others, a couple, had booked on the 'camp' but postponed.  (Yet the owners, Ashley and Claire still charged me a single room supplement, which I felt was a little harsh).

All by myself...
Still, I had a guide to myself each day and we had lots of time to talk while riding.  I was told the maximum number their operation takes is around twenty.  This felt much more like small group guided rides than any sort of camp.  They also offer mountain biking and gentle touring on hybrid bikes of which they have a fleet.  Overall it felt a very different operation to the Train in Spain operation I'd experienced in Denia, and completely different to the Triathlon and Cycling Camps.

What about the riding?  The area in which Andalucian Cycling Experience operates offers fantastic cycling.  I've put links to my four GPS tracks below along with a link to a Relive video fly-through.

Remember, these are not the Sierra Nevada mountains.  From the base in Montecorto they can go south-west to the mountain climbs of the Sierra de Grazalema or north east to the (very steeply) rolling roads through cultivated land.  The whole place is surprisingly green, party due to the time of year and partly due to the heavy rain.  That said, this is cattle country, the home of bull-flighting.

Setenil de las Bodegas
Ronda and Setenil de las Bodegas are fascinating tourist spots to which there are coach trips from Seville.
I thoroughly enjoyed the riding and the guides were great company.  However, I missed not having other people to ride and socialise with - that had been a key part of my previous training camp experience.  I also rode well within my abilities, because there was no group dynamic pushing me to go further or faster.  Actually, that might have been a good thing...

Las Palomas climb
There are only a handful of long climbs and we tackled one of them on my last day.  It was wonderfully wiggly, like someone had spilled a plate of tarmac-spaghetti down a hillside.  A
beautiful sinuous road climb to Puerto de Las Palomas, a notch in the Sierra de Grazalema, was followed by a drop into Grazalema town for coffee and cakes.  Tucked in the rain-shadow of peaks, and close to the Atlantic, it is apparently the wettest town in Spain.

I still don't know which experience is closest to the standard Cycle Training Camp, the one I did in 2012 or the one I've just enjoyed.  Perhaps each one is different?  If you have specific needs, then make sure you ask in advance.  I hope I've given you a few thoughts to consider if you're heading to ride in this part of the world.  If you want to see the GPS tracks of the four ride, then you can find them here.

Relive 'Ride-3, Andalusia'

by Simon Willis ( at April 13, 2018 08:57 pm

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 April 13, 2018 08:00 am

Freya Hoffmeister
Goddess of Love to the Seas

Thu 12/04-2018 Day 186

Pos: 36.9674,-122.002
Loc: Santa Cruz
Acc: “Kayak Connection” shop

no paddling today

At 9 am, I guessed it was high time to go up to the shipyard office and talk to the guys…thanks a lot for letting me stay for free that night on your dock! For the next night, I preferred to walk again up to the “Kayak Connection” shop to see if they are open now…and guess who was just opening the shop door – my signed-up-and-unsigned-again paddling partner David Santaniello! I eventually knew this morning after a proper online-research he would be working as a manager there, and here we are! Yesterday it wasn’t him though to shut the doors prematurely…

Davids was happy to borrow me a kayak cart and to get down to the docks with me to pack and haul everything up. He offered me to stay in the shop, as he has only one room himself. Perfect! Thanks, David!

I used my day off for office work, a never endless story, and at the end this here is my “Job No.3” …I had no plans and no intention to play tourist on the “Boardwalk” or such…too many things needed to be hooked off the list.

I invited David for dinner at the fancy “Crow’s Nest”, and he was also so friendly to quickly drive me to a “Safeway” for some fresh fruit and white chocolate…most jobs done for today!

by Freya at April 13, 2018 05:05 am

April 12, 2018

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

Duncan Winning OBE

Today,  I received a phone call from Gordon Brown to tell me that Duncan Winning OBE died yesterday. He had been ill for some time.  I send my sincere condolences to Duncan's family.  Duncan was a father figure in Scottish sea kayaking and because he gave of his time generously, he started many people off on a lifetime of sea kayaking adeventures. So  many people have stories about Duncan

by Douglas Wilcox ( at April 12, 2018 11:21 pm

Freya Hoffmeister
Goddess of Love to the Seas

Wed 11/04-2018 Day 185

Pos: 36.9674,-122.002
Loc: Santa Cruz harbor dock
Acc: Hilleberg Allak tent
Dist: 49,5 km
Start: 07:30 End: 16:45

Down at our beach at Pigeon Point, we had no internet, and I was searching half-successful upstairs the cliffs for reception, when the small hostel close to the lighthouse caught my attention. They will have wifi! I walked in, and got connected. thanks for that! The guy at the reception mentioned their hot tub, and if I’d like a soak…? Sure! Just need to finish my online work, grab my towel, swim suit and paddling partner Franca, and we will be back in a bit! But when we were back, he told me he was sorry, the tub has just been booked by residents of the hostel, and the next slot would be at 9.50 pm…a bit too late for my gut feeling…bummer! We wanted to launch early tomorrow and to paddle 50 km…

Down on our beach, Franca didn’t trust my high tide time at 8.30 m, and was scared about the odd dumper to wash up to the ledge where we had put up our tents…girl, this will stay dry!!! I stayed, and it did well stay dry…no worries.

On next morning’s launch, I saw Franca’s paddle stuck in her cockpit in a bad position as soon as she would jump on on a good timing in the low dumper, and I shouted to her “watch your paddle, watch your paddle!” before it might be cracked…just in time! Never store your paddle inside the cockpit anyway…

We had some choppy seas and large swell, which smoothed out along the open beach. We knew about Ano Nuevo being a protected area for elephant seals, sea lions and whatever birds, and dared to slip through the gap of the outer island and the headland. We could avoid the large rolling breaker at the eastern side of the island, and stayed in the narrow but clean line in between, and finally in the eddy to watch the many elephant seals ans sea lions on the island beach. What a wildlife! The island used to be a peninsula, and they were also supposed to hang out on the beaches of the headland, which we could not see from our position.

seas were small then after, only at a few headlands, things became large enough to make us watch. But it could have been much worse! Three big whales crossed our path, two of them very close, and Franca quite paddled right over one without even noticing, hehehe…

The more we addled east along the coast, the better we were protected form the largest swells, and the better the wind was in our back. We had a really wonderful, sunny challenging day’s ride on dynamic water! Franca held up extremely well all these days with endurance and speed, and in short choppy big seas, she her small light weight white/ green “Grashopper” kayak dances on the waves even easier than my heavy loaded long line straight running boat. We checked on the two beaches I marked as “best landings”, Davenport landing and some other beach 20 km down the coast, but even from the distance, we were not really tempted to even try to go in…so Santa Cruz Harbor it was! And a 50 km day was really doable in today’s conditions.

Some huge point break at Santa Cruz point attracted a bunch of surfers, not a good place for us! I also didn’t know of the breaker on the bar of the harbor entrance, but we were lucky to find it low and barely breaking this late afternoon.

Unfortunately, I have missed out to pre-organize a stay in Santa Cruz harbor, I did not think about getting there so quickly…and was actually kind of counting on the local “Kayak Connection” shop open until 5 pm (but they were closed already by that time), or my ex-step-son on Monteray. But I also knew he might be very busy, and after shopping around with the harbor master who advised a boat yard for storing my kayak, at the Yacht Club, and with a lovely outrigger Lady Rita, I decided to pull up again on the wide clean private floating dock of the Santa Cruz Harbor Boatyard to also find the office closed already. I anyway set up camp right on their floating dock, nobody bothered me here for the rainy night.

I only felt bothered about the floating dock not squeaking, but rather banging occasionally in the tiny waves inside the sheltered harbor on a pole right on it’s middle in the tiny waves inside the sheltered harbor. Earplugs do help…but against the cold wet chill from the bottom gaps of the planks so close to the water line, and the general cooler air on the water compared to a pre-heated sandy beach bed, there is no help but dressing in layers inside the sleeping bag.

I might also have felt cold because of being alone again now…I am thankful for the great days I could spend with Franca north, in and south of San Francisco, but wouldn’t mind some new other company from tomorrow on until the 22nd of April to keep on going south, and then from April 24th from Eureka south – if the conditions allow.

by Freya at April 12, 2018 09:02 pm

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

Godvikbotn og en ubehagelig surprise

I Godvikbotn ligger det en gapahuk. Jeg var her i fjor for å ta bilde sånn at vi kunne sette den opp til 10 på skjæret-post, men da lå det ennå for mye snø og gjørme langs fjæra, så jeg kom ikke helt inn. Med kajakk er ikke det så nøye, så lenge det ikke ligger is her. Stine skulle egentlig være med på tur i dag men ble bortheftet med jobb, så da la jeg om planene litt og satset på en noe lengre tur.

Jeg satte ut fra Skjellfjord, etter en del krøll. Først måtte jeg snu etter et kvarters kjøring, for å hente mat og drikke. Så sleit jeg med å få til betaling for parkeringen. De skulle ha 200 kroner for å sette ut båt fra slippskråen, det syntes jeg var drøyt for kajakk. Gjestebrygga hadde en helt annen pris for å ligge, og jeg skulle ikke ligge en gang. Jeg går vel egentlig ut fra at de ikke regner kajakk som båt, men det har jeg ikke fått sjekket opp. Jeg kom meg i hvert fall ut.

Det var en nydelig dag, men det var meldt litt mer vind utover dagen. Foreløpig kun flott, og et lite sig bakfra.

Finn diverse feil... 1 - har kjøpt nytt sugekoppstativ til Goproen. Det har så flat sugekopp at jeg får ikke satt den på vanlig sted. Fordelen er at her når jeg faktisk å betjene det uten fjernkontroll (men det har jeg jo), men jeg synes jeg blir litt stor og forvrengt i siden der. Merkelig pukkelrygg på ene siden liksom.

I tillegg har jeg ryddet på boden, sånn at noen ting har fått veldig fornuftig plass. Men da ligger det ikke sammen med resten av stæsjet. Så vest og trekk ble glemt hjemme, og det oppdaget jeg ikke før jeg var helt framme. Heldigvis har jeg nå fast en boks med ekstra vest og trekk og diverse annet, til andre folk som glemmer. Kjekt å ha når jeg gjør det sjøl også... Så det ble tur, men etter hvert som det skyllet en del bølger over så ble det en del vann i kajakken med dette trekket. Til pass for meg, antagelig.

Planen var å sneie innom Ånnfjorden på retur, hvis det ble tid og ork. Det er lenge siden jeg har vært her sist nå.

Mellom Sandset og Torset står det også en gapahuk. Kjører du med bil er det omtrent bare å åpne bildøra, så er du her. Men det var ikke her jeg skulle stoppe i dag.

Kul stein.

Dyrøya lå flott i dag. Vurderte også å padle rundt denne etter at jeg hadde vært i Godvikbotn.

Men først altså – Godvikbotn.

Det tok litt tid før jeg faktisk så gapahuken, men den lå jo virkelig fint til her inne. Flott turmål. Attpåtil lå det en sel og duppet utenfor, passelig nysgjerrig på denne suspekte padleren som kom og forstyrret søndagshvilen.

Det var strengt tatt ok utsikt fra selve gapahuken også. Dette kan man ikke klage på!

Selve gapahuken var også fin, med artige detaljer. Sånn som denne lysestaken på veggen, som fjell og himmel speilet seg i. Det er gården på Torset som har stått for gapahuken, og den er åpen for alle som ferdes forbi og oppfører seg ordentlig her. Det er vel også et TellTurmål her inne, litt usikker på om det er selve gapahuken eller den posten er et annet sted i nærheten. Jeg så ingen kasse.

Men selv om det var flott her, var det også flott utpå sjøen. Jeg ble derfor ikke værende her så lenge, i dag hadde jeg utforskerrang.

Det flate hitfor Dyrøya er Langøya, den skulle jeg i hvert fall rundt. Rett ut fikk jeg medvind, men fra jeg passerte på høyde med odden ca. fikk jeg som forventet sidevind.

Da jeg kom til Langøya gikk det hvitt videre imellom den og Dyrøya, og vinden gikk logisk nok utover mot storhavet. Jeg droppet derfor å runde Dyrøya, i tilfelle det kunne være fallvinder på yttersiden i tillegg. Det får bli en annen gang, ikke alene der med fralandsvind på vinteren.

I perioder var det sur motvind opp langs Langøya, så jeg holdt meg nært land for å være mest mulig i le. Like surt som forrige helg, men nå hadde jeg padlet kortere før motvinden så det gjorde ikke så mye. Flere steder kunne jeg padle imellom holmer og skjær. Jeg har padlet her før, men det er så lenge siden at jeg hadde helt glemt hvordan det så ut.

Etter Langøya padlet jeg over fjorden mot Hamnneset, for så å følge land videre mot Sigerland.

Kul holme på andre siden. Jeg liker denslags holmer. Dessverre ser trærne litt for små ut til å kunne bruke til hengekøye. Da hadde den vært enda kulere.

De har det fint på Sigerland. Jeg padlet videre herfra ut til sauøya, der det er et naturreservat.

En liten vindforklaring - for selv om jeg nå hadde dreiet kurs en del, så var det altså motvind her også, ettersom vinden kom ut av fjorden. Det kan kanskje høres ut for at den i løpet av turen kom fra alle kanter, men det er ikke så rart som det høres ut. Vindretningen var i utgangspunktet sørøstish, altså kommer den gjennom sund, langs fjorder, rundt øyer, osv. Så dette er egentlig et ganske godt eksempel.

På reservatøya er det ilandstigningsforbud fra 15. april.  Det var godt med fugl her, både måker og skarv, så det kan jeg i grunnen skjønne. Men at det skal hekke fugl her fra bare om få dager? De får det kjølig i reiret, stakkar.

En eling var på vei forbi, og laget flott stemning på himmelen.

Så kommer vi straks til surprise'n i overskriften. Det var litt sidevind da jeg skulle videre fra Gapøya mot land, men ikke noe voldsomme greier. Noen litt sterkere vindrosser, men heller ikke det noe å bry seg så mye med. Goproen slo seg av etter dette bildet, men jeg kunne fint ta bilder sjøl også, verre var det ikke.


Før jeg begynte å nærme meg land. Plutselig kom det et skikkelig sterkt vindkast! Selvfølgelig kom det fra siden også. Jeg så heldigvis at det kom, og fikk lagt meg skinnflat for minst mulig vindfang, med åra klar til støtte. Jeg så det, fordi det var så sterkt at det løftet vannet fra overflaten og på en måte pisket sjøen opp. Har ikke vært borti maken, foruten ved Belgen i Andøy den gangen vi måtte snu.
Jeg tenkte ærlig talt, at her spørs det sannelig hvordan det går. Men vindkastet traff (så klart), jeg sto imot, og så var det over. Det varte veldig kort, og det kom ikke flere. Veldig merkelig fenomen. Det var så utrolig mye kraftigere enn de andre vindrossene. Det her var langt sterkere enn de fleste vindkast jeg har opplevd før.

Jeg kom meg altså over til andre siden uten noe velting og egenredning. Her fant jeg en påminnelse om at det er sein vår, isen lå ennå i fjæra. Huff. Nå er jeg veldig klar for vår.

Videre bortover var det fint, med små holmer og skjær.

Blå prikk markerer start og slutt på ruta, som er inntegnet cirka i oransje. GPSn gadd nemlig ikke å tracke turen selv om jeg hadde den på. Bu. Hadde jeg kommet meg av gårde litt tidligere og ikke måttet kjøre tilbake en tur så hadde jeg nok padlet litt lenger.

by Miamaria Padlemia ( at April 12, 2018 09:33 pm
ute räknas. Ute med kajak räknas minst dubbelt :)

Sjöhäng med Winzent

Inatt blev det lite häng i och kring stugbilen Winzent i sjökanten. Gött med sjötomt! Go kvälls- och morgonpromenad med vy. Soligt och grannt men inte så varmt i den svaga men svala vinden 🙂

Inlägget Sjöhäng med Winzent dök först upp på

by Erik Sjöstedt at April 12, 2018 08:16 pm

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

Historic Paddle Illustration: Encampment of Voyageurs

Another piece of artwork from Francis Anne Hopkins (1838-1919). This smaller watercolour clearly showcases the light blue coloured paddles standing out on the rocky shoreline.

Encampment of Voyageurs.  
Credit: Library and Archives Canada,
Acc. No. R9266-277
Peter Winkworth Collection of Canadiana
Copyright: Expired

by Murat ( at April 12, 2018 08:55 am

April 11, 2018

Mountain and Sea Scotland
Hillwalking and Sea Kayaking in Scotland

Alpkit Filoment Down Jacket - Long Term Review

A lightweight down jacket is a versatile piece of kit for the outdoors, providing warmth without bulk. This review is based on wearing an Alpkit Filoment jacket very regularly for over two years. Alpkit are a British company based in Nottinghamshire, England.

 Until recently products were available only by ordering online (with a free return/exchange system). The company regularly wins awards with the latest being voted "Best Online Retailer" by readers of TGO magazine. In 2017 Alpkit opened three shops; one at the factory, one in Hathersage and one in Ambleside.

The Filoment jacket is a mainstay in the Alpkit range and has gone through several incarnations.  I purchased my first jacket in 2015 and have used it mainly for walking, general out-and-about wear, as a warm layer around camp between Spring and Autumn and for travelling during colder weather.  I received the hooded 2017 version as a Christmas gift and so have been able to compare the two versions. Available colours are "Rocket" (green), "Nemo" (blue) and Black.

The Filoment is described as "a lightweight and packable micro-rib down jacket" and as "a versatile and lightweight addition to a layering system".  Retailing at £130 including postage, the Filoment is competitively priced when compared with lightweight down jackets of similar specification.  The sizing is reasonably generous, a medium size is a comfortable for me (5 feet 8 inches, 42 inch chest) and has room for a base layer and fleece to be worn underneath.  The medium size weighs approximately 400 grams, of which 140 grams is down fill.

The down itself is 90/10 European duck down rated at 650 fill power and uses a Nikwax Hydrophobic treatment.  Alpkit only use down which conforms to the RDS standard, meaning that birds aren't force fed or live plucked.  The outer is 20 denier polyester ripstop and is DWR treated to help keep moisture at bay. The down is contained in stitched through baffles; I've not experienced any clumping or migration of the down, and there has been no loss of feathers at all. The cuffs and hem are lycra bound (but see below concerning the latest version of the jacket). Design is in UK, manufacture is in China.

The latest version, the Filoment Hoody, has a couple of updates over the original jacket I bought.  Firstly, the hem now features an elasticated and adjustable drawcord.  I feel this is an improvement over the original which had a non-adjustable lycra hem.  The waist can now be cinched in a little to take it above the bum, or dropped down to protect the backside in colder conditions.

The second change is that, as suggested by the name, the jacket now features a hood.  This is large enough to go over a climbing helmet, moves reasonably well and is volume adjustable.  I must confess that I find this update a bit of a mixed blessing.  I rarely use a hood on a mid layer, preferring a hat unless the weather is really hostile - and then I'll be wearing a hardshell jacket with a hood.  The size of the hood doesn't lend itself to fitting comfortably under a cag, which could be a limit on use as a mid layer.  That said, I' probably in the minority concerning hoods!  The perfect solution for me would have been to have the hood detachable as on Alpkit's super-toasty warm Filo jacket.

The third update is that the lining in the front of the jacket is now a scrim type fabric rather than the original plain face.  This feels great and seems to shift body moisture very effectively during moderate exercise.

The cut of the jacket is subtly athletic and features articulated sleeves.  In the 2015 jacket there are smaller ribs at the elbows, but this feature isn't on the 2017 version.  Despite the light weight of the jacket, I've been pleasantly surprised by how resilient it has proved in use.  The only sign of wear at all is that after two years use the lycra hem isn't as elastic as when new, which clearly won't be an issue with the Hoody which has an adjustable elastic drawcord

The Filoment has two handwarmer pockets and a chest pocket, accessible by a vertical zip.  Zips all run smoothly, and while not particularly chunky, are all usable while wearing gloves.

Full care instructions are on the fun care label.  My original Filoment has been washed twice, using Nikwax Down Wash.  After gentle tumble drying the down lofts up again well, but it does take a little time and patience to regain full loft.

Both the original and the Hoody fit comfortably into a 1 litre stuffsac, making them very compact.  This Cordura/nylon silicone treated stuffsac is available from Alpkit for £7.50, and is better quality than the majority of stuffsacs.

The Filoment (and now the Hoody version) have become my "go to" jacket through most of the year.  For cool evenings, general walking, around camps and just about everything else.  Warm enough for most activities and yet not too warm to (for instance) wear when travelling through airports, the bottom line is that the Filoment is a well designed, well made and very versatile lightweight down jacket.  If you feel that you need something warmer again for very cold conditions, Alpkit's Filo may be what you're looking for.

Conflict of interest statement:

I own a number of Alpkit products, and have found all to be great kit.  Other than being a satisfied customer, I have no connection to Alpkit - my original Filoment was bought at full retail price and the Hoody was a family Christmas gift.

by Ian Johnston ( at April 11, 2018 09:38 pm

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

Floral Filler #2 - Incandescent Daffodil

Same day as the cherry blossoms, in front of my building. I got home from the club potluck just when this daffodil was still illuminated by the sun but the shadow of the building had fallen on everything behind. I will admit to upping the contrast but not by a whole lot, the daffodil was shining out like neon! 

by (bonnie) at April 11, 2018 03:14 pm

Océanos de Libertad

Chronicle of a announced swim ! Crónica de una nadada anunciada.

When you have a lack of confidence in you, this is what  happens! Our old friend Jose Carlos has been retired from white water kayaking for the last two years...The last sunday he came back again with a new kayak, the Salto Evolution...but he committed a great mistake...He forgot to  fix the kayak for him.

Cuando tienes una falta de confianza en ti, esto es lo que pasa...! Nuestro viejo amigo Jose Cralos, ha estado retirado del kayak de aguas bravas durante los últimos dos años... El pasado domingo, regreso de nuevo con un nuevo kayak, la Salto Evolución....pero cometió un gran error...olvido calzarse el kayak.

Your friends give you thanks for such a funny moment at the river! (It´s a joke)

Tus amigos te damos las gracias por un momento tan divertido en el rio!  (Es broma)

Here you have the secuence of your firts capsize:

Full of energy! (lleno de energía)
Without a active paddling. (Sin un paleo activo )
Your paddle is too  much behind (Tu pala está muy retrasada)
IMG_9412 you lose your support (Así que pierdes apoyo)
and capsize. (Y vuelcas)

Your blade is in bad position to prepare your roll...
(Tu pala está en mala posición para preparar el esquimo)
At the end...the only way out is a wet way out...hahaha
(Y al única salida es una salida húmeda...jajaja)

by Jorge López ( at April 11, 2018 12:30 pm

Freya Hoffmeister
Goddess of Love to the Seas

Tue 10/04-2018 Day 184

Pos: 37.5030,-122.4808
Loc: Pigeon Point
Acc: Hilleberg Allak tent
Dist: 42,0 km
Start: 08:00 End: 16:35

We launched into dead calm harbor water, quite relaxing…I was in the best mood and spirits, though I slept a bit short. This nasty online-world! It’s an addiction…so much looking forward to be in Alaska in the “bush”and to be OFFLINE! Well, besides my satellite e-mail possibility for my blog posts…

Franca and I chatted endless, so good to have someone nice paddling besides me knowing as much of the world as I know…not really many interesting stuff to see the first hours anyway, before we paddled behind a long breakwater reef with a line of caves inside the soft high sandstone cliffs. But despite the low seas, no cave looked inviting and accessible.

In a bay with a small picturesque holiday village, we found high up on the cliffs some huge letters, probably to be lit at night: “WILL YOU MARRY ME?” Someone has made here, probably already long ago, a really romantic and extraordinary proposal…a few minutes later, I found a full inflated blue-crystal clear kiddy beach-ball, with an attached inflatable small seahorse inside…couldn’t help but kissing the “frog” resp. – appropriate for sea kayaking ladies – the little seahorse, in the hope my prince comes out of his blue crystal ball…he will one day!

I agreed with Franca to have a musical afternoon, and as she is not the keen singer, but happy to listen, I performed kind of a Karaoke session, singing happily on top of my voice my favorite songs to my phone speakers. LIFE IS GOOD! That’s also what my LG phone says on booting…At some point, Franca put on her little neoprene cap against the upcoming wind chill…or was it rather against the noise???

The very sheltered Pigeon Point lighthouse beach is our home for this night. One more paddling day, and Franca needs to be back home for work, and it looks like two bad weather days on Thursday/ Friday are coming up anyway. I decided for myself to keep paddling south until the weekend before my talk in San Francisco on April 23rd, and am hoping someone will be happy to drive me and my kayak back to San Francisco latest on Sunday 22nd? Thanks!

After my talk, I’ll decide if I start tackling the missing bit between Eureka and San Francisco. I’m really hoping the wind and sea state will let me doing this April/ May it without endless waiting and high risk-taking…or I’ll have to postpone it to the autumn…

by Freya at April 11, 2018 02:09 am

April 10, 2018


Oväntat besök!!!

Äntligen klartecken från Helenes sjukgymnast som gav tillåtelse till lite försiktig paddling. Vi tog oss i sakta mak från badplatsen i Kuggeboda till Slädö, en gammal favvis som vi inte besökt på riktigt länge.

Årets första kommaframmare blev J Ballys 7-åriga agricole från Martinique.  Inte alls dum om man gillar rom med liten sötma och mycket fat! Hur som helst – den slank ner tillsammans med lite nylagad espresso.  Lunchen blev förstås löjligt sen, antagligen för att vi slumrade i skift i den fantastiskt sköna vårsolen. Som vi har längtat efter den här värmen. 🙂

Bortåt 18-tiden såg vi två kajaker med kurs mot Slädö. Det visade sig vara två killar från Oslo som är ute på en fantastisk tur. De har satt av 7 månader för ett nätt litet äventyr. För en dryg månad sedan lämnade de Oslo för att ta sig till Stockholm, Åland och sedan in i Finska Viken och över till Ladoga. Planen är sedan att ta sig upp genom ryska sjöar och floder till Kirkenes. Turen avslutas med att följa den norska kusten tillbaka till Oslo…. jodå så att … puuhh…



Det blev naturligtvis en bra kväll framför brasan tillsammans med de norska äventyrarna. Spännande historier och intressanta diskussioner fortsatte på morgonen. Efter en trevlig frukost lyckades Erling och Stein så småningom packa kajakerna och fortsätta sin tur mot Torhamn och sedan norrut. Garanterat bästa vädret sedan de lämnade Oslo i början på mars.

The Russian-Scandinavian Kayak Expeditions foto.

Den som vill följa killarna på deras resa kan göra det på deras blogg The Russian Scandinavian Kayak Expedition 2018 De finns också på Facebook 

Lite lyx bland havregryn och Real Turmat måste man ha! Stolar är ett måste om man ska vara ute i 7 månader,

Bara sex månader kvar! 🙂

Go söndag

Gula intevetjag-blommor.


Det här ska ju inte vara möjligt!

Sent på söndag eftermiddag gled vi hemåt. Fullständigt oslagbart väder!

That’s all folks! 🙂

by Christian Cronberg at April 10, 2018 09:01 pm


Un año de colaboración con Omei.

Ya hace más de un año que inicié camino con Omei, que me patrocina en lo referente al equipo personal de navegación.

Para mi es un privilegio el contar con este respaldo y quiero agradecer sinceramente su compromiso.

De los productos Palm ... ¿que puedo decir? ... calidad contrastada al mas alto nivel de exigencia, y no hablo ya solo por mi, sino por muchos deportistas y profesionales de las actividades acuáticas. La seguridad es un elemento básico para el kayak de mar, y esta tiene mucho que ver con el equipo que usemos.

El rojo de Palm va conmigo en mis aventuras, travesías y actividades.

by Jose Bello ( at April 10, 2018 10:00 pm


Un corso 2* a Malta in preparazione del 3*...

Lo scorso fine settimana sono volata a Malta per un corso 2* della British Canoeing.
Conosco bene da tempo l'isola e sono sempre contenta di poterci tornare, specie ora che la primavera sembra finalmente arrivata. Malta è il luogo ideale per i corsi di kayak e nonostante il vento che sempre avvolge l'isola, si trovano ovunque angoli incantevoli e ridossati...

Alcuni dei ragazzi coinvolti nel corso 2* a Malta...
Le prive prove di salvataggio assistito...
Prove miste con kayak e sit-on-top...
Una baia ridossata e protetta, perfetta per il corso 2*...
Un curioso osservatore silenzioso che ha seguito il corso da riva!

Il gruppo di 7 ragazzi interessati al corso 2* è stato molto attivo, attento e allegro per le due giornate in acqua e ha dimostrato di sapere usare con eguale destrezza sia i kayak da mare che i sit-on-top che i sup (stand-up-paddle board) e ha coperto il syllabus con le diverse pagaie in uso...
Adesso non vedo l'ora di ritornare a Malta per il prossimo corso 3* della British Canoeing!

by Tatiana Cappucci ( at April 10, 2018 08:01 pm
ute räknas. Ute med kajak räknas minst dubbelt :)

Mars 2018

Mars drog även den förbi i en himla fart. Vi lyckades få in lite skidåkning hemmavid på Vallåsen, lite paddling i Skälderviken, sex skiddagar i Trysil. I sista minuten lyckades vi även få till ett bad! En seg tvåveckorsförkylning pressade vi oxå in vilken gjorde att slutet av mars blev lite mer passiv än tänkt/vanligt....

Inlägget Mars 2018 dök först upp på

by Erik Sjöstedt at April 10, 2018 06:40 pm

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

Guvåghytta til Olderfjord

Fortsatt på Guvåghytta. Har du ikke kommet hit ennå, så kan du lese del 1 først, den ligger HER.
Planen for dagen er å padle videre inn Eidsfjorden til Olderfjord, og så tilbake til bilen på Straumsnes. Litt avhengig av hvor langt inn i den jeg dro, kunne dette bli en lang tur. Det skulle være meldt "fint hele dagen", jeg så ikke helt det samme da jeg sjekket Yr. Fint nok, men det meldte noe vind utover dagen.

Da vi våknet var det enda mer vinter ute, det hadde snødd i løpet av natten. Urørt nysnø, og litt grått.

Sola kom imidlertid snart gjennom, og det ble kjempefint.

Et par båter kom og la seg utenfor hytta og fisket en stund. Uvisst hvorvidt de fikk noe. Jeg bestemte meg for å ta fram fiskestanga sjøl i dag.

Siv og familien hadde fine forhold for å kose seg rundt hytta en stund før de dro hjem. Det er jo en gedigen lekeplass for små og store, dette.

Jeg dro fram fiskestanga slik jeg hadde bestemt meg for. Satte på den kule «gullfisken» som skulle være veldig bra til sjøørret, men den var ikke fristende nok i dag (heller). Begynner å lure på at jeg er lurt med den, men jeg synes den er kul så bruker den likevel. Vil ikke ørreten ha den så - ja, da blir jeg fri. Det er jeg etter hvert veldig vant med uansett.

Jeg har droppet å padle hit et par ganger, fordi det meldte pålandsvind og jeg så for meg at det var mest bare stein bortover her, og det er lite holmer og sånt å skjule seg bak, foruten akkurat der det går en fjord inn. Det viste seg å være akkurat sånn som jeg hadde sett for meg.

Så hvorfor jeg tok turen med akkurat sånn melding i dag, kan man jo saktens spørre. Det var kanskje en ørliten tanke bedre varsel, og så har det jo blitt vår - i teorien.

Hva skimter vi så her? En eling mot Lofoten. Jahaja. Der borte skulle det vise seg å ligge eling hele dagen, og «trykket» fra den kom til meg virket det som. Jeg sulet opp fiskestanga, det begynte å bli småskvalp her og der - best å fjerne alle kroker før det blir bølger.

Ett sted så jeg to ørner som satt, det var helt åpenbart ørn men jeg stusset på at det var en veldig ung og en gammel (mørk og lys). Men jeg var helt sikker på at det var ørn. Så jeg nærmet meg i skjul sånn at jeg kunne komme ganske nært - og ble lang i maska. En stein med snø på midten... Jada. Passe flaut, glad ingen var med og fikk det med seg...

Dette fjellet var flott. Imellom Melfjorden og Solum så jeg forresten en ringtrost. Jeg så den først bare i samme øyeblikk som den forsvant, men så at det var en trost. Jeg så sånn høvelig hvor den dro, så jeg kikket nøye da jeg nærmet meg og rakk akkurat å se det hvite i brystet på den før den stakk av på nytt. Da var den borte for godt.

Kul sky.

Det var et flott område innover. Jeg har jo padlet her før, men det var begynt å bli ganske lenge siden nå. Flott å padle her igjen.

Solum ligger ved innløpet til Olderfjorden. Her er det en god del hytter og fritidshus. Fint sted, de er heldige de som holder til her på fritiden.

Da jeg var kommet litt forbi, kom det plutselig en drøss med skiløpere gående. Det hadde vært skitur en dag eller to tidligere fra Ryggedalen, mulig disse fulgte samme ruta. Eller så er det bare folket på Solum som har vært på formiddagstur, hva vet jeg. Gjette kan man jo.

Joda, det lå et oppdrettsanlegg her også så klart. Drrrrrrrrrr.

 Høyspent, obs obs.

Det er ingen tvil om at elgen har vært på holmene her inne. Det er det kule med Olderfjorden, den er nokså lang, utilgjengelig, og med masse krinkelkroker.

Jeg bestemte meg for å padle noen av krinkelkrokene, når jeg først var her. Det var nemlig ganske stor flo. Likevel måtte jeg akkurat ut av kajakken her.

Litt lenger framme lå det et ganske så tykt sørpelag, det var virkelig tungt å padle i.

Det var ganske fint her, men jeg begynte å ta fatt på returen. Merket at det hadde økt på med vinden, så jeg regnet med det ville bli en del når jeg kom ut av fjorden. Det var helt riktig antatt.

Det var så pass mye at jeg ikke vurderte å ta bilder underveis. Ikke bølger, men det var så mye vind at jeg ville svosjet tilbake alt for langt. Vinden var jevn, så det var tungt nok. Merker at selv om jeg har padlet i vinter, så har jeg ikke padlet så mye som jeg gjør ellers.

Jeg la meg i ei vik der det var et øyeblikk le for vinden, for sånne viker var det få av, for en liten pause. Uten at jeg merket det dreiv jeg bak i en stein så det skrapet. Men istedenfor å bruke åra til å padle litt frem igjen som man pleier å gjøre da, så snudde jeg meg isteden og ga klar beskjed (muntlig og høyt, ja) til steinen at det der kunne den drite i og dra til hælv@ med.

Da skjønte jeg at jeg burde ta en tur på land, for litt påfyll av både vått og tørt, også...

Bevis, jeg har gått på land for en pause! Midtvinters! Frivillig, uten noen som påprakket det! Jeg vurderte å sende en SMS om at jeg var ok, i tilfelle noen syntes det var dårlig vær. Fremmede folk har jo blitt urolig grunnet bilen min før, i sånt vær. Men det var ikke noe å fundere på, for mobilen (gammel Ihpone) var så klart død. Så her var det best å ikke bli skibbrudden heller.

Neste pause ble i Melfjorden, bak denne lille holmen. Jeg var inne på tanken noen ganger å bare snu og surfe inn fjorden istedenfor, men så ille var det ikke.

Disse her var godt gjemt og kilt fast, ikke bare å strandrydde dem.

Det var bare varierende vind mellom (mest) laber og til tider litt frisk bris, men det var jevnt surt og få pauser. Syntes jeg det løyet en liten stund, så ble det straks motbevist. En liten stemningsrapport fra begge dager her på video.

Her har det roet seg så pass at jeg kan ta bilder uten å tape for mye på det.

Hurra! Elingen er på vei bort! Kanskje det blir helt stille den siste biten bort til Straumsnes og bilen?

Den nye drakten har ikke bakluke, så den må av for å få gått på do. I hvert fall når jeg ikke har med tissetut, den har jo faktisk luke i front, har jeg kommet på. Men om den er langt nok ned er jeg usikker på, har ikke sjekka. Det var ikke et alternativ nå, og jeg gikk derfor i land ved Guvåghytta. Da kunne jeg stå innendørs og kle av meg, der er jo også utedo å benytte når man har nøkkel.

GPSn viste at jeg hadde padlet to mil, halvparten altså i jevn motvind. Det var en stund siden sist jeg padlet så langt, og da var det stille og jeg brukte lengre tid. Turen bort til Straumsnes har jeg også padlet mange ganger før, og nå var jeg i grunnen både sulten og lei - og den lengste fjordkryssingen gjensto. Klokka var også blitt en hel del, så farten hadde tydelig gått ned.

Jeg varmet opp telefonen, og ringte opphavet. «Har du tid til å hente meg på Guvåg?»
Svaret var ja, så jeg padlet bort til Guvåg «sentrum» og ble plukket opp der.

Det hadde sikkert gått fin det siste stykket også, jeg kunne både slappet av og spist på Guvåg først. Det blir seinere mørkt nå, så det haddet ikke vært et stort problem det heller. Men jeg syntes ikke det virket fornuftig å gjøre den lengste fjordkryssingen og padle de største bølgene når jeg var mest sliten på turen, samtidig som jeg er rimelig lei av å padle akkurat den turen. Godt fornøyd med å slutte litt før planlagt. Godt mulig jeg skulle tatt den turen en annen dag heller. Det er vinter ennå, selv om man kjenner varmen av sola.

by Miamaria Padlemia ( at April 10, 2018 05:07 pm

Essex Explorations
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Despite Goo Disease Sea Stars Making Comeback


Last winter I was up at Salt Creek on the Strait of Juan de Fuca with some friend spending the weekend taking photos and catching up. It was while on an outing to a nearby cove that I noticed some juvenile sea stars on the beach. They had all their limbs and I remember asking […]

The post Despite Goo Disease Sea Stars Making Comeback appeared first on Essex Media & Explorations.

by Steve Weileman at April 10, 2018 02:58 pm