Thursday, 20 May 2010

4 star at Llangollen

Yesterday I had a days work with Leo from Getafix.

The mighty Dee was almost 2 on the guage!

But the sun shone and three happy paddlers passed their 4 star White Water kayak assessments - I really enjoy my job!

Duncan, looking confident on Chain Bridge rapid Colin weighing up the ferry glideDuncan on the run in to Serpent's TailAlex, 'S' crosses on the Serpent's tailColin crosses the tail,Side surfin' the Bottom HoleKeep that bow up Alex!

What a very pleasant day, gotta love the Dee in the sunshine - quite looking forward to the weekend now!!!

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Level 1

This weekend and last I've been busy running a Level 1 course for Rugby CC, with Stu Malcolmson

Six new Level 1 coaches, Stephen, Luke, Dave, Kath, Jen and Julie.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Monster Trucks and Guns!

First take a Ford Monster Truck - Jen bought this for me!Drive it out into the desert....Take friends.... I can't make up my mind if this is Bonnie and Clyde, or Natural Born Killers.....More friends.....and guns......
more guns.....
Then just shoot stuff.......

I love America!!!!!!!

And America love's me .............. Git her dun!!!!

Baja Baby!

After the South West Symposium, Jen took all of the coaches down to La Bufadora, Baja for a spot of R&R.

On the way we stopped at a tamale stand and I got to ride one of the famous Zonkeys!!!We Surfed kayaks in the Pacific swellsWe played in the blowholesMost of us got ourselves in some kinda trouble, I think Jen is telling me off here, I don't know if it's cause I aint wearing sunscreen, cause I aint wearing a PFD (that's BA for the Brits), or cause I'm seal launching her glass boat!!! After a hard days paddling and breaking stuff we went to La Bufadora Tequila Bar and Grill, where it was Tacho and Tequila Tuesday! We had a couple of Margeritas, than I sangRussell played guitarWe all danced a littleDressed up a littleSome of the girls went a little crazy

A fun time was had by all!!!!!!!

South West Kayak Symposium

After a week at home, to wash socks and see the kids, I was off again, this time down to Southampton to run a Level 1, as soon as I was done with that it was back on the plane, this time to the South West Kayak Symposium run by my best friend Jen Kleck at Aqua Adventures in San Diego.

My mate Owen from Isle of Wight Sea Kayaking joined us and ran a couple of Level 2 assessments - well done to all the guys who passed that!!!
My first job was to take Owen out into the Quivira Basin, in Mission Bay, just yards from Jen's shop to see Seal lions
Jen and myself ran yet another Level 1 - were getting good at em now!!!

The symposium was fantastic as always and we even had a party on the beach! Here's Russell, Steve and Nigel trying to get me to overcome my shyness and sing a song
Backing singers help!Always a good idea to dedicate a song to the boss!!!

You can even see a video here

Englishmen and women in the USA

Right, still trying to catch up here!

In March, right after Russell's Sweetwater Symposium, I had a group of Friends from Birmingham Canoe Club join me, so I could show them some of the sights of Florida. First we went back the Weeki to see Manatees, again we weren't disappointed.

Keiron getting upclose and personal with a Weeki mermaid
Weeki Mermaid, getting a bit personal with me!

Then we teamed up with Jake for a few days in the Everglades, it was pretty cold for the time of year, and as anyone who has paddled in the Glades will tell ya - cool, with a little wind is a blessing down there - no biting insects!

Arriving at camp on White Horse Key.
Clare, Dave, Ian, Sarah, Keiron, Lee and Jake

After Lee had almost been bitten by a scorpion (Lee was also almost bitten by a brown recluse, a gator and a manatee!) - Clare adopted this rather fetching sandals and socks combo

View from the camp!

We had a great time saw plenty of wildlife, dolphins, turtles, osprey, roseate spoonbills and my personal favourite - horseshoe crabs,

Then we went to my favourite paddling destination in the world, the famous Myakka River. This is a grade one river with grade 6 consequences. It had been cold in Florida for months and this was the warmest day of the year so far, so the gators were all out, and some were more than a little playful, even rubbing their backs across the keel strips of the kayaks - scary eh Clare??

Jake trying to outgrin this scaly smiler!

Keiron likes Gators!!!

Deep Hole, Myakka River - we counted about 70 gators just in this spot!

Here's Clare's report that she did for the club magazine - it appears to be mostly lies, unless I was on a different trip!