Friday, 20 November 2009

New Boat

Managed to get my new boat out to play yesterday on the Clywedog.

Pyranha Burn Medium. It's a bit different to my old Jefe, so just getting used to it, but what a great boat - I'm well chuffed......

...... and so are the girls -


Still wet and Windy yesterday!

I was running a four star kayak providers day with two of my good friends Jon and Matt

All the rivers in North Wales were in the fields and many roads were flooded. We met at Newtown, I'd paddled here two days ago and it ws ok - today it was just a big brown mess.

We decided to go check out the Clywedog, it's a trib of the Severn which confluences at Llandilloes about half hour from Newtown.
Here's Matt checking out the first drop on the Clywedog
Jon styling a flare 'n' boof
This is me about 5 years ago - the last time I ran the Clywedog

What a little gem!!

I had a great day, very pleasant paddling, good weather - in the gorge sections we even got out of the wind for most of the time.

Good paddling, Nice River. Good company!

Wind and Rain!!!

This week it has mostly been wet and windy.

Here's the cars loaded up ready to go, two vehicles. Six canoes

I ran a four star canoe for the Old Vicarage Centre, the lake day was at Bala - it was horrendous, almost gale force winds. Luckily we managed to launch at the top of the lake and paddle up into the Upper Dee - still pretty grim though.

We had a good one the next day on the Upper Severn, around Newtown, it was high but do-able. None of the photos came out very well.

Isle of Wight

Just before I went to Georgia I worked on some four star sea courses with Owen Burson at Isle of Wight Sea Kayaking.

Here's Owen -

Check out the blue skies and calm waters!

We had great weather and some great paddling

At one point we spotted an unidentified boat on the horizon -
We decided to paddle over to find out what it was, and found these two guys fishing from what looked like a bath tub!

Gators and Oysters

In October I had the good fortune to be invited by Marsha at Sea Kayak Georgia ( to coach at their symposium. I ran a Level 2, or rather I watched as my good friend Jen Kleck ran the course. What a great symposium in a fantastic location.
I was a bit slack with photos I'm afraid.
We were always well fed, but one night we had an oyster dinner, they were different to any oysters I've had before, much smaller and they cooked them with pepper, but there were bucketloads of them!! Check out the boys cleaning them before cookin 'em

One of the highlights for me was when we found a 3 foot gator on the grass in front of the shop, they guys managed to grab it while I held onto one end of a paddle, while the gator held onto the other! We released him into the creek at the back of the shop - no-one was very keen to do rescues there again!!
I'm in the process of organising a trip to the 'Deliverance' river - the Chatooga with the guys from Sea Kayak Georgia for next September, let me know if you wanna come!

New Sign at Leam Boat Centre

Pedalo Confession

OK, so it has been a while since my last confession.

I really needed to update my blog, so I thought I'd start by owning up to this one!

I love working at Leam Boat Centre 'cos they have loads of cool boats to play with.

I was running a Level 1 Coach Course, sat in a GP kayak with no deck, cos I wasn't gonna do anything but observe, anyway in the review I got all animated (surprise surprise) and ended up edging the boat a bit too much and soaking my shirt and shorts - cotton briefs too! I went back in and changed into more suitable clothes, then as I was about to rejoin the group I thought it would be cool to take a pedalo, everyone laughed - what a guy!

A pedalo is an amusement park ride

You sit in a moulded seat next to your partner and pedal it recumbant stylee, that then turns a paddlewheel under the hull which moves the sucker along, little joystick in the middle to steer.

When I came back to the deck I was struggling to parallel park it so I just pulled up next to another one and hopped across, one leg on each, I then twisted to pick up the painter of my pedalo, and the boats drifted apart slowly. No problem, I just scissored my legs together to bring them together again - I do it all the time in canoe, but to stabilise myself a little I held onto the high seat back. As I applied pressure, the f******* seat popped out, I toppled backwards a little and the boats parted dropping me on my ass in the Leam!

I did hurt my fingertips while clawing at the poxy little excuse for a boat to save myself, to no avail. I came up, looked around and all of the deck staff, all of my students were just staring in disbelief, even the hundreds of members of the public around sensed that something monumental had just occured - the silence was eerie, then I heard a click from an SLR camera, then the laughing commenced! I was up over the pedalo and onto the bank in an instant, grabbing my cap as I went.
In this photo, I've just climbed back on and am in the process of replacing the REMOVABLE seat!!!.

Time to change again for the third time and it wasn't 11am yet!

Jenna said that never in the history of the Boathouse has anyone fell off a pedalo, even the most incompetent of deckhand boys has ever been that f***in' lame!