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')

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

My annual foray into white water

Here is 3 hours of paddling the 'Dart Loop' on Saturday 19 December condensed into 4 minutes. It was a good water level, around 1.20m on the gauge and the best place to be in gale force winds and lashing rain.

Each time we go we marvel at how quickly you get the feel of the river and how useful this is to our sea paddling. It is a pity that we don't have a river on our doorstep.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Anas acutas at play

A grey day and a poor forecast for 8 November 2015, but it was still fun out on the Solent from Langstone Harbour entrance. The water is still really warm.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Selsey, westbound race, 4.5m tide, no wind

 Selsey is underrated as a play spot, the race works in either direction even in calm weather if the tide is big enough.

Thanks to Dave for the photos

Greenland- Ice II

The ice comes and goes in mysterious ways, driven by wind and tide. We only just got off the water in time in this bay. Another few moments and we would have been separated and crushed.
Next morning it had mostly vanished leaving us free to paddle again. Just checked on Ilulissat weather -14C today and forecast -20C next week. July seems a long time ago.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Greenland- Ice

Ice, ice and more ice, from tiny fragile fragments,
 to apparently small pieces which can never-the-less prove inconvenient for the kayaker.
Once the tide goes out you can see why those little pieces can be hard to navigate!
Then there are the large bergs best viewed from a healthy distance away.

Once they leave the deep fjords the larger bergs often go aground on shallower spots in the highly irregular bottom of the Bay (200-400m deep). They act like mobile islands funnelling or reversing tidal flow, creating their own currents from the volume of cold melt water falling to the sea bed, creating their own micro-climate of fog and cloud. They make prediction of tidal flows next to impossible. Two or three of them side by side create temporary 'land' to affect water flows. On the other hand they break the wind and sea and maintain ice free areas in their lee. The smaller pieces drift on the wind and tide.

When stationary the ice is not too dangerous to navigate, stay away from the big bits, although even a block of a few tens of tons could hurt you as it rolls over or splits up. Then there are the bits of submerged ledges which break off and surface with great force. There is a constant crack of gun shots and rumble of thunder, but seldom close enough to see, just a mysterious swell from time to time. However, a bit of wind and tide soon get it moving. It is simply incredible how quickly conditions can change from an ice free sea to a complete log-jam of ice. Where have all the bits come from? Even more mysteriously a few hours later, or the next morning, and it has all dispersed. Kampe's ice navigation rules:

1. stay away from ice as much as possible or paddle past quickly
2. never paddle over submerged ice ledges, often visible 20 or 50m down as pale shadows.
3. don't start to think that you can predict the stability or behaviour of the ice -you cannot

Once the bigger blocks start eddying around the only thing to do is get off the water as quickly as possible.

Friday, 7 August 2015

Back to the roots in West Greenland

The Anasacuta is based on a west Greenland style kayak, so three weeks paddling and a weeks hiking from Ilulissat were in a sense a pilgrimage as well as a jolly good holiday .
 Once we've sorted out our photos and thoughts I'll post more about the ice...
 The paddling and links to Greenlandic culture...
The camping...
Wildlife, large...
and small... nothing nicer than to watch the mosquitoes attempt in vain to pierce my fleece trousers, stiff enough to stand up on their own after 3 weeks.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Home from home, or a bivi at Long Ledge

 The paddle over in glorious sunshine, force 5-6 westerly raised a lively sea in places, but just added to the sparkle.
 Once in the shelter of the island all was calm.
 Selecting our bivouac spot.
 Home from home. The night tide was 40cm higher than the day tide and a passing French ferry just at HW led to slight concern about wet toes from its wake. No worries, although it did dampen our fire down.
 Orchids on the landslip above us.
 Packing away.
All that remained was the paddle home, misty at first, but the sun came our before we reached Eastney

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Another well known where-is-it

 The sea breaks over the remains of a third daughter, but the legend relates a mother and two daughters drowned in the 14th Century and turned to stone.
 Just the place for a pot of rock-hopping

MacLeod's Maidens with the Portsmouth Canoe Club last week

Elections over -back to paddling!

But where is this gulley?
 An element of scrambling
 Some swimming
 and the flow-stone
It has to be the Spar cave on Skye

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Flat water blues

 Calm seas in the central Solent but bright winter sunshine.
 The race at Lepe Spit proved very very tame, balancing the paddle failed to increase the challenge, but the idea caught on.

 A step too far!
 The Red Funnel ferries and CMA-CGM were a distraction as we crossed the shipping channel. We were hoping for a wake, but alas the modern hull is much too efficient, barely leaving a ripple. It was warm enough for the first few rolls of 2015 on the way back to the beach.

Friday, 30 January 2015

East Hampshire Green Party

Politics is going to eat into my paddling time over the next few weeks, but I thought that it was time to stand up and be counted. Maybe missing a few paddles over the next 100 days until May 7th will mean cleaner seas for myself and everyone else.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Trying out the Gopro

Even the pintail duck has to move with the times so this is the first moving picture where my foredeck features centre stage

Paddling the Hayling Seafront 11 January 2015 from Peter Bisset on Vimeo.