Thursday, 9 May 2013

Around Ireland Final Preparations ....

Its been a busy week, make that two what have i been up to.  A few weeks back now I had a good day out with Justine and Barry testing out and getting a feel for our boats.  While paddling on Skye, I had found the Cetus hv, to turn into wind a fair bit and although I could easily control this with the rudder, I wasn't happy having to rely on the rudder ... what if it broke!  Once back, courses and admin sucked my time away, until the evening before our planned paddle.  I had decided to take the seat out, hoping that I could move the seat back.  There was no hole's pre drilled, but I soon created a couple and was able to move the seat back by about 20mm. But what would it be like now, would it help?

 Once on the water at Bull Bay on the North coast of Anglesey, I couldn't believe the difference a small change could make.  The wind dropped, which is what we all wanted ... but Middle Mouse race was chunky and provided suitable rough conditions ... and i was a happy boy again ...

 Since then I have been out in my boat eight times working with clients and Ive been very happy.  Ive also received spare cables and a rudder blade from Pez at P&H Custom Sea Kayaks, thanks for your help.

Ive also received all of my Kokatat paddle wear now, so thank you to Lisa and her team for getting it out to me, with time to spare.  I plan to wear the Gore-Tex Whirlpool Bib, Tec Tour Jacket, (will have the expedition dry suit in a dry bag behind my foot pegs, ready for those wet and surf happening days).  Gore-Tex Storm Cag in my day hatch for some quick warmth and it also doubles as an emergency spray deck, Tributary rear hydration pocket with the Ronin Buoyancy aid, small pocket but very comfortable cut.

My just giving page is up for Cancer Research and thanks to Stephanie for the stickers and the t shirt, to further promote my fund raising.  Thank you to those who have donated so far. You can give by following the link on the right of my blog page and its easy to do.

I would also like to thank Leonie of Art and Sea for sponsoring me the logos ...

Above is food for 10 days. It may not look like it but the weight feels like it ... I tend to keep my Breakfast, lunch and dinner each in its own dry bag.  This means I can delve in and have a choice.  I tend to have 5 meals in each and then the rest is then doubled bagged and will be pushed into the stern, behind the skeg box area of the kayak.  Each evening I then top up my deck bag and the deck fore hatch with lunch stuff.

I keep a separate brew kit with pasta soups in my day hatch next to my stove.  I try and limit how many cans, plastic containers and glass  I carry, as this just ups the weight.  Peanut butter, Manuka honey and a Guacamole in a squeezable container, I've got in plastic containers and there good pick me up foods, that can go super in a wrap, or a good sauce with noodles can easily be made up.  I like things to have more than one use. ...

My joint favourite item's or ingredient's have to be  .... small sachets of coconut milk.   These I can add to my porridge, evening meal or rice pudding, to change flavour, add flavour and increase calories.  And the rice pudding, Ive got 10 of them.  Its dehydrated and fairly easy to do in a jet boil (which says something!), got it from ASDA, made by Aunt Bessie's.  Took about 3 minutes and then left to stand for another 3 or so (with a lid on), delicious!

Last few days Ive been photo copying and laminating tidal stream hourly flows and been thinking about maintaining motivation and how I will celebrate what has been achieved.  One way I hope to be able to manage is sending a postcard home to Sonja and my parents, each time I cross into a new County.  There's 17 coastal Counties (20 if you included those at the back end of an estuary or inlet).  The girls, Erin and Alice who paddled from England to Finland sent post cards as they crossed into a new country, which i thought was a great idea.

Eight Imray charts make up the coast line of Ireland (big thanks to Marcus Demuth for loaning me his charts ...promise to get you over for diner on my return!) and these I will also send back home.  Sonja did this with the OS maps when she cycled around Wales and again this was a good motivator.

Paddling from the East, South, West, North and back to the East, seeing ones compass change are more obvious motivators and super opportunities to celebrate  ... mmmmm, a gentle pint of the dark stuff may be ...

This Saturday, 11th May at 1030 we board the Stena Line ferry to Dun Laoghaire, blue pin above.  Stena Line have been super in sponsoring us and our kayaks as foot passengers with return tickets, many thanks and to Justine for enquiring with in the first place.

On arrival, we are then being picked up by Des Keaney, of Deep Blue Sea Kayaking and Justine will be doing a talk about her recent dvd, that evening.  The following morning we aim to begin our paddle, if the winds allow us.  Yesterday the Windfinder forecast was showing f5-7 SW ... :( which would be into a head wind ... today its more hopeful F4-6 ... so we will just have to see on the day.  Our hopeful time of departure is 1100.

Where I can, I will up date the Blog my self, other wise I will text Sonja, so she can then update my post.  Photos will be limited and down to whether or not I can Blog or do I have a 3G connection, or enough battery life to send anything back.  Justine will also be keeping a Blog, which can be found here and a spot locator beacon which will be live on her Blog and show our progress.


roger chandler

expedition sea kayaking
sea kayaking course's

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