Archive for January, 2009


It’s nice in Nice

I’m currently in Nice, on the French Riviera. I’m enjoying soaking up the winter sun, strong coffee and the gastronomic delights that this corner of Europe has to offer. It didn’t occur to me to bring some boating clothes, but if i had, a nice mellow sea-kayak trip on the Med would help to burn off all those calorie rich crepes I’ve been gobbling up. One sea-kayaker clearly had the right idea (you can just see them in the center of the photo below).

Photo: Lone seakayaker enjoying the Mediterainian waters.

Boys: A word of warning if you head to Monaco- if you wander around in your Speedo’s you might just be arrested.


Photos (L to R): No Speedos!; Me chilling over-looking Nice.


Tavy Time!

About 1.5 weeks ago a depression was brewing in the Atlantic. As it swept towards the UK, it brought with it copious amounts of that precious liquid gold. Ah yes, the sweet smell of rain. Plans were hatched to go west to Dartmoor to tackle the mighty upper-Dart, the best Class IV river in England (so the guidebook says). We headed out, bacon butties in hand to see what all the fuss was about. We got to the take out to find about 3-4 inches of water above the ledge - probs too much to run the upper for our first time. We opted for our back-up plan of the Middle Tavy. And what a super second option that turned out to be.


Photos (L to R): Chris running a fun little ‘un; Dom and Shelly scouting: Chris on the 3+ section.

At this level its a more or less continuous Class II/III with one nice III+ section. It’s extremely picturesque, with overhanging, moss coated trees. The run has a remote feel but with the luxury of bank access for scouting/rescues pretty much along its entirety. Eddies were often small, but plentiful.

Photo: A group from Frome, Somerset, also enjoying the Tavy.

It felt really good to run something fun and we rewarded ourselves with a trip to Two Bridges Hotel, in time for arguably the west country’s BEST cream tea. My JK Rocker looks so much better on the water than it does gathering dust in my storage unit…I need to get out more!


You’re not hardcore unless you live hardcore!

Okay, so Woodmill is about as hardcore as you can get in the current drought that UK is suffering. And school of Rock’s Dewey Finn (Jack Black) would most certainly not have been proud of me last weekend for bailing on boating. Tides were good but temperatures…positively sub-artic; and a few crazy peeps (i.e. the So’ton hardcore-oh yeah, baby) braved the -50 gazillion degrees C to play at Woodmill weir in Southampton. I’m sure Joe and I deserve some hardcore kudos for capturing their fun on an SD card.


Photos (L to R): Chris, Shelly, Chris


Paddle Travel – A 2008 Summary

Greetings and happy 2009. I hope the new year brings you all the rain you could wish for. Here is a little summary highlighting the fun I had throughout 2008. Well, the year began with finishing the physio-therapy/ sports-therapy for the dodgy discs in my neck. This was successful and i was back to paddling speed in January, in time to catch Lake Creek at good level.  Yay!


Photos: Me doing my physio work, Dave and Amy putting on Lake Creek; Todd Baker surfing Bus Stop

During the early part of the year, I spent a lot of time surfing with my boardy friends down at Agate Beach and South Beach. The coast of Oregon had a fairly sunny spring in 2008. James and I also co-ordinated the ladies park and boof class.


Photos: My all star, prior to being stolen; Kim on McDowell Creek; Sunset at Ona Beach.

The competition season started in May with the Professor Paddle Ball on the Wenatchee, followed by Wenatchee Festival.


Photos: Timothy Elverud visualising his moves; James on Rodeo Hole; Dave at Clover

In June, Christina Russell and Heather Herbeck organised the first ever west coast women’s white water fest, proving a great success, with the competition season culminating with Gorge Games in July


 Photo: Kim Russell winning the WCWWWF


 Photos: Me and Lizzy from NZ battling to qualify: Heather, Me and Monica- boto-X winners.

In August 2008, I moved back to the UK and in September I was out on one of the best tidal races in the UK- the Bitches in West Wales. Chris Constantine organised a great trip.


Photos: Top Wave; Chris; Me

I was lucky enough to land a research scientist position in Southampton in the south of England and moved there in October. I started boating with some of the folks at Upper Hamble Canoe club and have had fun exploring new runs with them.


 Photos: Dom on the Dart Loop; Joe at Hurley

Its been a good year of boating for me, but looking though my old blog posts I realised that I didn’t do a whole lot of creeking in 2008. My new years resolution is to rectify that and get out on the technical creeks in the UK. Thanks for reading and I wish you all a great 2009; see you on the river-or waves!