Thursday, 21 May 2015

Ravenglass Seaquest - 17th May 2015

Perhaps the least said about this the better! I was suffering the after-effects of one too many drinks the evening before, so was not feeling my best. As a result, I cut my race short after just going up the Esk estuary and only 90 minutes. I must remember to refuse that last whiskey....

Conditions were a bit windy, and I think for the first time in the event, nobody managed to get all the controls. Thanks to Karen and her team from Copeland Canoe Club for organising the event - I'll be back next year and hopefully in better condition.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Wastwater - 16th May 2015

With strong winds on the coast, we opted to paddle inland, and headed for Wastwater in the western Lake District. With the imposing Wastwater Screes alongside us, and the highest hills of the Lakes forming a panorama in front of us, it was an atmospheric place to paddle.

We launched where the road from Greendale meets the lake and paddled SW to where the lake water enters the river Irt. Sunshine combined with the lush spring vegetation made for an idyllic spot.

We then paddled NE under the screes passing a couple of walkers negotiating the ankle-twisting boulders. The wind was gusting quite strongly now, and Jim tried to use his storm cag as a sail (without too much success). Rachael and I were make better progress paddling and surfing the small waves.

Once we reached the head of the lake and turned for home, the wind was so strong we were hardly making progress, but luckily the more jagged coast on the NW side meant we could get occasional shelter from inlets to enable return to the car.

Jim Krawiecki with Yewbarrow, Great Gable and Great End in the distance
It would be rude to visit Wasdale without a pint in the Wasdale Head Inn, so once off the water we duly obliged. About 10km paddled.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Macclesfield canal - 13th May 2015

Another canal session to try and ensure I don't disgrace myself at Ravenglass. Paddled from the club's boathouse to Higher Poynton Marina (bridge 15) and back. About 48 minutes each way.

Most notable incident was another attack from a Canada goose. This one charged right at me, flapping and hissing and stopping against the boat alongside me. As it stopped, it kicked up a wave that put quite a bit of water into the cockpit. I was paddling a K1 without a spraydeck, so I got quite wet. Could have been embarrassing. Not sure why the geese seem more aggressive this year.

Monday, 11 May 2015

Macclesfield Canal - 10th May 2015

With Ravenglass next weekend, I thought I had better get some more miles in, so I did a paddle with a planned duration of 3 hours. In the end I was paddling for 3 hours, 10 minutes.

I switched to paddling the Epic, since I will be using this at Ravenglass. I also paddled wearing my old fell running shoes. Ravenglass involves getting out of the boat to clip orienteering checkpoints, and the bank can be very muddy. Every year I forget this, and wear wetsuit shoes with no grip at all, so hopefully the fell shoes should give me a lot more grip.

Launched from Clarke Lane, and turned around just beyond bridge 7 (90 minute point). Return paddle was a bit slower due to headwind. Didn't feel very fit - can't believe I used to do this length of paddle at around 9 kph pace... was more like 7.5 kph. I don't think I'll be troubling the prizegiving at Ravenglass this year!

Brereton Lake - 7th May 2015

First chance to play with my new toy - a red cedar Greenland paddle from Mike Bell at Cedarboats.

Intention is to work my way through some of the Greenland competition rolls to improve my general rolling skills. It was interesting paddling around getting used to the Greenland paddle - marked difference in performance as you extend the paddle and put more of it in the water.

I could do the standard layback roll easily, and managed to "scull" myself back up too. I tried to do a "storm roll" but I find it difficult to break my instinctive rolling position and come up leaning forwards rather than laying on the back deck.

Perhaps when the lake is a bit warmer I'll get a bit more adventurous!.. like rolling on the left as well as the right.

PS - if anyone reading this doesn't know what I'm talking about, here's a video clip demonstrating Greenland rolling technique... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Se-xytOeSc

Macclesfield Canal - 6th May 2015

Another evening paddle on the canal from the MADCC clubhouse out to bridge 18 at Adlington and back. Quite windy, so not a good indicator of fitness levels. About 70 minutes paddling.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Macclesfield Canal - 29th April 2015

Evening paddle, MADCC clubhouse to Adlington Marina and back. 65 minutes paddling.