Mainly kayaking photographs taken on the Isle of Man and beyond.

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Kayaking Isle of Man - Calf.

You can contrast the top photo of the Calf Sound yesterday, with today's sedate, windless and sun soaked paddle with Molly and Emma around the Calf of Man. Neither had circumnavigated the Calf before and so this was quite an achievement for these two novice paddlers. Stopping for refreshments at the South Harbour you can just make out the seal pup we had for company above Molly's head in the lowest picture.

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Kayaking Isle of Man - Ramblings!

The picture above of me was taken 3 days ago. When I first saw it I thought how old I seem to be looking these days. I am 43 today! Perhaps the illusion of ageing was brought on by the frantic paddling in a tidal race I'd participated in just a few minutes earlier. Salt water does age prematurely. Perhaps its something to do with my job. Working as a Consultant Anaesthetist can be unpleasant. Who knows? Still I do have one or two things to celebrate today. Firstly my 3 piece Rockpool Alaw Bach is ready. I've waited a long time for this boat and I know it will be something special having been hand built by Mike Webb. I can't actually get my hands on it today, but knowing it exists is enough. Something to look forward to in the very near future.
The other cause for celebration is that my Coach level 3 certificate has finally arrived. You may remember that I passed my assessment back in August 2007, but had failed for nearly 8 months to extract the certificate from the BCU. You may be wondering what the problem was. Perhaps it was the paper work or information from my assessors was lacking? Well, it was neither of those things. Instead the cheque that all 3 of us who passed that day sent to the BCU was short by £2.50! Now, I can understand that all those £2.50s could add up to a great deal over the years if we all short changed the BCU. They were right to stick it out for the full amount. What non of us can understand is why they couldn't actually bring themselves to tell us what the problem was. I only found out through a very indirect route. You don't think that this is why I'm looking so old do you?

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Kayaking Isle of Man - Tidal Races.

Just some photos from today's session at the Calf tidal races, Isle of Man. I hope you like the new website layout.

Thursday, 17 April 2008

kayaking Isle of Man - Tidal Races.

Sea kayaking can be a relaxing, peaceful paddle on a gloriously sunny day, observing the myriad of coastal wildlife around our shores. For me however, sea kayaking is an extreme sport which at best takes place in a tidal race. A tidal race occurs when huge quantities of sea water move with the rising or falling tide through a constriction. This narrowing can occur between two landmasses such as islands or large rocks. It can just as easily arise from beneath, as a shelf or reef on the sea bed pushes water upwards. If a large volume of water is suddenly pushed through a narrow gap, it has no choice but to speed up. With speed comes turbulence, standing waves and a great deal of extreme, but potentially dangerous, fun for the sea kayaker. Indeed, speeds of up to 17 knots have been recorded in one tidal race off Vancouver Island in Canada. can read the rest of this article at

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Kayaking Isle of Man - Spam!

It's amazing how many of us these days have web sites of one sort or other. These can range from simple "Facebook" type entries, blogs, amateur web sites all the way through to glossy commercial sites promoting a business. Which ever it is, the minute you add a means by which you can be contacted then the spammers are in business. Of course, you could make it so that no body can contact you. Not surprisingly, however, those of us with such sites wish to communicate, and we want it to be two way, at least to some extent. There are ways of adding your email address to your site which make the spammers job more difficult, but it's difficult to stop them all together.
Traffic on my own web site grows week in and week out, and so does my spam. At one time I was irritated and even annoyed by it but I'm starting to look at it differently. Some of these entries are mini masterpieces of comedy and satire. Apparently, I have access to various funds around the world. These are overwhelmingly in US dollars and have ranged from $800k to $30 million! I can't believe my luck; I've been offered such large sums, at a time when the global economy has taken such a down turn. Sometimes I'm required to wire large amounts of money in order to liberate my larger amount of dollars, $10,000 is the record so far. Other times it's much more simple; all they require is my identity - name, address, phone number etc. Perhaps most bazaar are the messages sent by bankers based in London, with English names but who write in a type of pigeon English! Perhaps this is done to reassure me? One other fellow, who did own up to starting out in Nigeria, has moved my money to China, and now he is currently in Iran. I salute his imagination, but why is he in Iran and not somewhere more accessibly like Switzerland?
Joking apart I have enjoyed some of these messages and I would like to thank the spammers for taking the time to provide me with such great entertainment. Never the less, it is possible to have too much of a good thing and even I will be introducing some anti spam measures to my web site soon.

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Kayaking Isle of Man - Spring.

Well, Spring is here in the Isle of Man and the photographs above are from yesterday's walk at Ballaugh. If you look closely you can just about see the UK in the background of the lower photograph. Sometimes it is easy to forget here on the Isle of Man just how close we are to Wales, Scotland, Ireland and England.
Mike Webb of Rockpool Kayaks contacted me yesterday to go over the final details of my new 3 piece glass/carbon hybrid Alaw Bach. Yes, it does now actually exist. They were just about to gelcoat the deck. Photos coming soon.

Friday, 4 April 2008

Kayaking Isle of Man - Port Moar.

I found myself in an unusual position today. My girlfriend can't see me because she's going kayaking! The tables have been turned here well and truly. Tonight she starts her pool course at the Venture Centre in Ramsay. Not to be outdone however, I took a solo trip from Port Moar, around Maughold head, and off towards Ramsay. This is Venture Centre territory and I've never paddled it before. I was pleasantly surprised at the scenery and the wildlife. The latter really got up close and personal as 5 seals surrounded me, one chewing on my stern toggle. A little further on an unidentified sea bird flew into my kayak and knocked itself out! It quickly recovered and swam off underwater - at least I think it swam. I do try to blend in with the environment and remain unobtrusive and invisible to wildlife, but I guess I may have taken things too far.

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Kayaking Isle of Man - BBC Article.

Today's blog entry has been kindly hosted for me by the British Broadcasting Corporation, and can be found here. Not all the photographs included were taken by myself and so thanks are due to Jessica and Noah Egelnick for allowing their photos to be used.