Paddles with an Anas acuta...... unashamedly biased toward the sea kayak of that name (actually the voyages of two boats, one 'traffic over gold', one 'quill')

Monday, 29 November 2010

The Selkie

Someone has been selling off old school Palm Selkies on fleabay, an investment that proved its worth on Sunday in -3C a light dusting of snow and sharp wind. More pictures of the fashion icon in question and the day's paddle can be found here. Thats me in a fetching shade of red, third in the line-up of snowy Anas acutas. Does my 65kg become 130kg in this? At any rate it is as warm as toast.

Thanks to Simon D for the pictures.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Ships that pass in the night

A black black night last night, luckily the wind at 4kt wasn't inducing much wind chill, or it would have been very cold. One of the joys of paddling a busy place like Portsmouth Harbour is the interest of passing shipping and being only a few yards away from large ships whilst keeping things safe for everyone, crossing deep water channels responsibly and letting QHM know your intentions.

Here is the Bretagne, 24,500 tonnes, 2000 plus passengers (but only 400 tonight), 130 man crew, creeping up behind 7 kayaks, 0.5 tonnes and 7 passengers and crew. It has engines generating 18,000 kW, how many kW can we manage between us? Its 26m beam almost exactly measures 50 Anas acutas side by side, but it is only 20 times longer; how sleekly the kayak slides through the water.

Watching each other, it passes as we head outbound to No.4 buoy

and continues into the night for France, whilst we cross astern, back towards the shore and a well deserved drink at The Wellington.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Getting in and out

A couple of posts ago I talked about getting in and out of the water.  

Here are a couple of messing about videos taken today at Langstone Bridge in calm conditions, water 5C, air 8C, wind NE 2-3.  However,  what you can do in the Tahe Marine Greenlander on the flat is easy enough in the super stable Anas acuta in pretty choppy conditions.

Getting in, and getting in and out!

Incidentally, there was a magic light over the sea for an Anas acuta leading the Greenlander; just to prove that we did go for a paddle as well.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Autumn in Lakeland

Mist rising over Buttermere soon after dawn on Saturday.

Rough tracks....

Rougher tracks....climbing over to Ennerdale

The top of Black Sail pass.

Well deserved rest on the climb out of Wasdale to Styhead.

 My nice new Orange 5 in orange, what else?, and it matches the Ground Effect merino top. 

Onward and upward in the shaddow of Scafell.

The inevitable puncture on the way down.

We reached the valley at dusk and took the road back over Honister in darkness.

Sunday at the Whinlatter trail centre involved much more cycling and less walking and carrying. Fun for a couple of hours, but less satisfying than a day out on the fells.

Tricky Landings in the Isles of Scilly

The lovely sandy beach,

and yet another; however, rocky shores are more common than white sand. 

Practising getting out of the cockpit on the water

is a more useful skill than the eskimo roll,

allowing landings,

getting the lunch out,

and launching from the rock shore.