Popped out for a training paddle after work and had a bit of a special moment. Rutland is one of the only places in the UK, outside of Scotland, that has nesting Ospreys. They attract large numbers of visitors to Rutland Water, all hoping for a glimpse. I've never been lucky enough to spot one, until today. I was just getting sorted when a magnificent bird came swooping down and hovered above checking me out. The sun was out and I had the camera with me, so just had a chance to fire a few frames before he moved up out of camera range. What a fantastic sight... It's fair made my day
Posted by Jay
That's the moto of Rutland, England's smallest county, and the pace that I call home. It translates into 'much in little' and I've certainly come to know that that is true, and it has a surprising amount to offer the outdoor enthusiast. Despite living in Rutland for the last two years however I've never managed to make it down to meet the ladies and gents of Rutland Canoe Club. That is until Junior Writer Ross and I arranged a Club Scene visit and I finally got to meet the gang. The club has its HQ at Whitwell, on the banks of Rutland Water and meet every Sunday morning throughout the year, as well as heading out on lots of sea kayak and river trips. After logging on to the water and a safety briefing I joined Club Chairman Trevor's group who were heading out on to the main body of Rutland Water for a trip in sea kayaks down its southern arm. Rutland Water is one of the largest man-made reservoirs in Europe and the canoe club members are allowed access to the main body of water, which is out of bounds for everyone else. It's a great privilege and one that they certainly cherish. While I was out in the sea kayaks Ross joined a group of open boaters heading out in to the northern arm. The weather and conditions were absolutely perfect and the club made us very welcome indeed. I'll certainly be taking out a membership and joining them on the water again soon. If you'd also like to find out more about the club visit their website at www.rutlandcanoeclub.org.uk You'll be able to read all about our visit in issue 98 of Canoe & Kayak UK and, in the meantime, I've posted a few images in the gallery too.
Posted by Jay
Sunday morning saw us paying a visit to Rutland Canoe Club to go for a paddle with them on Rutland Water ready for next issue's Club Scene. Ross had arranged all the details and we were to meet at 9am ready to fire over to the water to meet the club. Ross had spent the end of last week camped out in the Thames Valley at the GB Freestyle Team Selections at the famous Hurley Weir Playspot and was planning on heading up early on the Sunday Morning.
We were a bit surprised when the phone went at just past 8 with Ross saying he was running a bit early and had arrived already and was sat outside CK Towers. No worries time for a brew, some brekkie and the odd boating video before we headed off then. As we were chatting over the tea Ross lets it slip that he'd got up at 4.30am and hit the road to make sure he wasn't late! 4.30 am... On a Sunday! Now we always knew that the fella was dedicated but that takes the proverbial Rich Tea. When we finally reached the clubs headquarters on the banks of the water at Whitwell, poor Rossco was looking a bit the worse for wear, but he still donned his dry-suit and headed for the water in an open boat with his customary grin and enthusiasm. Well they say the early bird catches the worm and in this case the warm, sunday morning paddle in perfect conditions. Once we were off the water we retired back to the towers for a bacon butty before packing Ross off home for a well-earned afternoon nap!
Posted by Jason Smith
A Big Good Luck to Jim and the rest of the Kayak Coast 2 Coast Team as they prepare to set of for their demanding challenge. Jim dropped us a line about the trip. You'll be able to read all about their adventure in the pages of CKUK on their return, and you can keep up to date with their progress and, if you wish, donate to their very worthy fund-raising cause the RNLI by visiting their blog spot and fundraising pages at the bottom of this page.
'Kayak Coast 2 Coast is a paddling trip that crosses northern England from the Irish Sea to the North Sea. On the 14th of March 2009 four paddlers from northwest England will set off from Crosby at the Mouth of the Mersey Estuary. At Runcorn the route will follow a historic trading route through Manchester along inland waterways across the Pennines before reaching the Humber Estuary at Goole. On the Humber the route passes Hull and after eight days, having paddled 180 miles, and portaged around 150 locks finishes at the historic lifeboat community at Spurn Head on the North Sea Coast.
This is a journey of exploration with a difference. Most sea kayak voyages take place in wild places far from our homes, often in different countries sometimes on the other side of the world. Running a close parallel to the walkers / cyclists 'Trans-Pennine Trail', our journey will pass right through the very cities and suburbs from which we, and thousands of other outdoor enthusiasts seek escape every weekend. Kayak Coast 2 Coast is a challenging adventure that uses a historic trading route to link urban life with rural and seafaring culture.
We will be raising funds for the RNLI Lifeboats along the way and donations can be made via our charity page www.justgiving.com/kayakcoast2coast .
The team would like to thank ‘P&H Kayaks’, ‘Peak UK’ and ‘Kayaks North West’ for their help with supplying lightweight equipment for the trip.
There is more information on kayakcoast2coast.blogspot.com/ and further updates will be posted throughout the voyage. There will be a piece on 'BBC Northwest Tonight' on the evening of 16th March.
Posted by Jason Smith
Just had this through the E-mail.
One of the favourite canoeing rivers in Scotland is up for sale - in affordable, and individually identifiable, one metre square plots.
You can now own plots of the land and the riverbed along the River Garry Inverness-shire. The current owner is putting the full seven miles of riverbank and the riverbed into Trust in order to secure its long-term future, to the benefit of both the local community and canoeists alike.
For the first time ever paddlers can now own a part of this river and, through voting rights, have a say in how it is run: a world-first and an opportunity not to be missed.
The website www.myglengarry.com enables visitors to explore the entire river, which will be familiar to many canoeists, and zoom in on areas of interest. For those familiar with the River Garry, favourite play holes such as 'Double or Quits', 'Surfs Up', 'Hey Diddle Diddle', 'Satan's Sphincter' and 'Bottom Fall' can all clearly be seen. These will be great places for canoeists to buy a plot of the riverbed.
Once an area has been chosen, a grid is displayed showing the unique, and individually identifiable, plots available to buy; at a stunning eight times greater definition than Google Earth.
Photographs have been taken every few metres along both banks and down the centre of the river, highlighting its beauty and its attractiveness to canoeists from all over the country. Many of the best-known play holes are shown in these photographs.
The 1m sq plots cost £30 each and new owners get an official legal Deed of Transfer, an aerial photograph of the section of the river containing their plot(s) and an information sheet on the area. They can also buy copies of any of the photographs taken along the banks, or down the centre of the river from a raft.
The more canoeists who buy plots, the more say the sport will have on which regeneration and maintenance projects are carried out on the river banks and surrounding woodland.
Revenue from the Trust's sale of the plots of land will go towards maintenance of the river and its banks, including opening up sections of riverbank currently impenetrable with scrub and rhododendron.
The Trust will also help fund further restoration of the historical Glengarry Castle, expansion and regeneration of the surrounding ancient Caledonian forest and its pathways and support for the Heritage Centre in Invergarry.
Posted by Jay
We've had some positive feedback regarding the article on folding boats by Helen McKenna in the latest issue; Frank Torgersen, paddles a Feathercraft Kahuna and kindly dropped us a line to share his tips on caring for folding kayaks. Here they are:
Extra care needs to be taken in handling any soft skinned boats.
In Feathercraft the maintenance of joints is important. Keep clean and oiled. These joints flex when the boat is afloat.
Sand will cause problems.
Soft skinned boats do not have the same momentum as rigid craft. They absorb some of the force of rough water but they quickly lose momentum
Thus on longer journeys more energy is used in paddling.
Use a balloon pump to blow up the sponsons and air bags. You can get a better pressure and uniform hardness
The rudder is needed because there is no skeg. The rudder can be locked but it is still needed as a skeg.
It is only a “surf rudder” and best used for correcting the course. Acute turns are done using paddle strokes.
The boat has a poor turning circle on rudder alone.
The inflatable sponsons are used to tighten the skin to the frame, not as a part of the buoyancy. However they act as buoyancy
aids along the gunwales. This might not help in rolling. Possibly causing impedence.
I would say that cross deck rescues are out unless as a last resort. There is a great chance of damage to fabric on the boat.
You need to look at drills using paddle floats, stirrup rescues and climbing up the stern etc. The “sea Sock” reduces water entry into the boat.
Therefore turn the boat upright and empty the sock then climb back into the boat. These drills are covered well at Plas-y-Brenin basic kayak courses.
It has to be remembered that in skin boats there is a greater risk of the rescuer becoming another casualty.
Greater care is needed when launching and landing for the same reasons. A very good trolley can be obtained.
Their advantage is that they fold up into the large rucksack and stow in the car boot. They can be put on a roof rack but ensure that they do not chaff on the
lashings. I would use this method when shifting to a new campsite/launch site. Long journeys are best done with boat folded.
They are definitely seaworthy and handle well. But people seem to have an expedition boat up their sleeve and use the smaller boat for day trips or one night camps.
It was good to see an article on these craft. Looked after, they last a lifetime. However the initial costs are high.
Posted by Jay
Out testing a whole range of bits and bobs this morning. Once the mist had cleared the sun was shining and the light perfect for getting some shots in the can of gear that we've been putting through its paces recently. We headed over to Rutland Water, as it's an ideal location for shooting. It's a very tranquil and peaceful spot and the guys at Rutland Water Watersports Centre are always really helpful. If you find yourselves in England's smallest county give the centre a call as they always have loads of courses running, and you can even hire out kayaks and canoes for a jaunt on the water. Call 01780 460154 or visit:
Posted by Jason Smith
It's all good and it all goes!!
Want to read my old blog entries? Browse through an achive of all my posts below:
- March 2011 (2 posts)
- December 2010 (3 posts)
- November 2010 (3 posts)
- October 2010 (7 posts)
- August 2010 (3 posts)
- July 2010 (6 posts)
- June 2010 (6 posts)
- May 2010 (3 posts)
- April 2010 (3 posts)
- March 2010 (5 posts)
- February 2010 (1 post)
- January 2010 (12 posts)
- December 2009 (1 post)
- October 2009 (6 posts)
- September 2009 (5 posts)
- August 2009 (7 posts)
- July 2009 (10 posts)
- June 2009 (16 posts)
- April 2009 (4 posts)
- March 2009 (7 posts)
- February 2009 (15 posts)
- January 2009 (4 posts)
- December 2008 (6 posts)
- November 2008 (4 posts)
- October 2008 (6 posts)
- September 2008 (4 posts)
- August 2008 (7 posts)
- July 2008 (20 posts)
- June 2008 (6 posts)
- May 2008 (2 posts)
- April 2008 (8 posts)
- March 2008 (2 posts)
- February 2008 (9 posts)
- January 2008 (1 post)
- November 2007 (5 posts)
- October 2007 (3 posts)
- September 2007 (3 posts)
- August 2007 (6 posts)
- July 2007 (4 posts)
- June 2007 (3 posts)
- May 2007 (5 posts)