Friday, 30 July 2010

Just keep rollin' along

This time I used a beach ball bat instead of a norsaq and swimming finger paddles.
Other paddlers out there on a similar journey... your comments are invited!

Since I did this latest session I have received Helen Wilson's DVD and can immediately see where I can  make simple improvements to adjust and correct body position. I surprised myself by watching the video and thinking that it looked possible to do these rolls. Helen makes it look achievable. Although I had not realised it I have been working on the set of rolls which use the butterfly roll as their foundation. Now I will be able to take a much more structured approach to consolidating and developing what I am doing.

Helen's DVD is clear and straightforward. The instructions simple and concise - exactly what you need when you are trying to remember what to do while upside down in the water. It would be fantastic to be coached by Helen herself but this has got to be the next best thing. Oh yes - and having a great rolling boat helps!

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Roseness to Newark

A summer evening paddle.
We passed Roseness and the mysterious beacon, paddling through an area notorious for shipwrecks and this paddler's encounters with big waves. This evening though, it was peaceful, with a few gentle waves to catch a ride through the rocks and a helpful following swell. The low tide allowed lots of cave visits.

Passing the beacon.
  photo Malc
 We reached the Roseness Gloup, easy to miss if you are not vigilant!

Into the Gloup.

In the Gloup.
 This photo was taken with a flash but the tunnel is really much darker with dramatic light beyond where the cave roof has collapsed.

7 sea boats sitting in a cave...

Leaving the Gloup.
 We carried on to the Y shaped tunnel at the next headland.

Ansgar decides which tunnel to take.
 Further along still there is a tunnel with a very narrow point - SCRATCHY!!
Malcolm makes a smooth exit.
 After a little rock gardening we reached Newark in time to watch the moon rise over Copinsay.

Antje takes a moonlight dip to celebrate rolling her sea boat.

Thanks for the track Jack.
See Malc's excellent video,
and Steve, our visitor from Fife, made a video too.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Half paddle to hand roll

A few weeks ago I recorded some further attempts to develop rollling repertoire after watching some videos on the internet. Pausing and replaying only a second or so of some of Helen Wilson's videos gave me a rough idea but its usually very hard to make out what folk are doing exactly, so its a slow job of figuring it out in practice. Watching my attempts back again helps.
It would be great to get a bit of coaching in this but since that is unlikely at the moment any helpful comments are welcome.

I am not sure why having my paddle in my left hand helped. Originally I had it in case I failed and wanted to roll up in the regular way, but it must have had a positive effect on how I positioned my body. Quite often I had to re-set up the starting body position and go again and it worked second time.

I am hoping to get out and give it a go again soon. It will be interesting to find out if watching the video helps me remember how to do it...
Next time I am going to try other hand held objects like a swim fin, hand paddle and bat in the hopes that will increase my 'feel' for what is happening.

Monday, 26 July 2010

Day trip to Rousay

A one way paddle with return by ferry, no fee for the boats on Regatta Day.

Just over an hour's worth of paddling, a relaxed day out.

Wacky Races

The coast is clear.
 We made a dash for it between races, arriving at the Rousay pier just as the sail boats set off for the next round.
Negotiating the pier at Rousay.
 Peter set up his kitchen producing an impressive menu as usual!
Peter's kitchen.
 The pier at Rousay looked more like a marina for the afternoon.
Rousay 'marina' with Wyre behind.
 The crew of the 'Mean Machine', complete with a 'Mutley' arrive for the raft race to Wyre and back.
The Pigeon anxiously waits for the race to start along with Dick Dastardly and the crew.

The Thunderbirds and Fiona have a pre-race consultation with Penelope Pitstop.

...and  they're off!

'Catch that pigeon!'

Shrek loses his early lead.

The crowd follow the action from the Eynhallow.


Sunday, 25 July 2010

Cubbie Roo's castle

Watching the race from the new slipway at Wyre.
 We took a wander up to Kolbein Hruga's 12th century castle.
It is clearly marked on this old map at the visitor centre.
Rousay, Egilsay, Wyre and Gairsay.
 We passed St Mary's kirk on the way.
This was built later in the 12th century after the castle.
Some parts have been rebuilt and it is still in use as a burial ground.

Cubbie Roo's 'burden' seen from St Mary's kirk.
 A wandering geophysics expert might be considering how difficult a site this might be to survey.
 Kolbein Hruga was an important man in Norway before he came to Orkney. He acquired land in the mainland parish of Evie as well as the island of Wyre.
He may have chosen to build a strong castle there around 1145 perhaps becuse he was the tax collector for the Norwegian king.
In Edwin Muir's day the castle was a grassy mound of rubble, and it may have been in this state that the ruin became the basis for the traditionally Norwegian style legend of the giant Cubbie Roo.
The view to Rousay from the base of the tower.

Rousay Regatta

NK about half way across to Wyre
We made the crossing to Rousay Sound in the company of a few yachts.

The sailing boats prepare to race with Trumland House in the background.

Just in time we removed ourselves from the race course to Wyre.

Viewed from Wyre, the race provides the unusual spectacle of sails in the Sound.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Puffins and a porpoise

back in a boat again...                photo Johnny
I didn't manage to get photos of either the puffins or the porpoise, but enjoyed sitting under the cliff at Mull Head with puffins flying off and landing on the cliff ledges above.

Conditions were perfect for spotting marine mammals and sure enough after a few minutes of concerted 'spotting' a tiny porpoise performed close to us in smooth oily swell.

Along the way there were plenty of caves to explore, including the Gloup.

Entering the Gloup, paddling downhill.

No kayak trip to Orkney is complete without a visit.

Time to paddle up and out.

It was fine to hear the familiar cry of 'Ramming Speed!' once again echo off the cliffs of Orkney.

Our visitor Steve's video:

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Viking Connections

Orkney's culture and way of life was entirely that of a Norse earldom by the end of the ninth century. 

 At the Viking ship museum at Roskilde I noticed that many of the smaller reconstructed Viking boats resembled the Orkney Yole design, which was in turn built and used by the Hudson Bay Company Orkneymen at York factory.

The students at the museum build boats based on the archaeological evidence and reconstruct everything from longships... boats carved from single logs...

...and early boat designs with hulls of expanded timber.

The Earldom of Orkney was held for the Norwegian (and later Danish) Crown until 1468, when the impoverished Christian I, King of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, gave Orkney to the Scottish Crown as part of a marriage agreement with King James III.

Kayak DK

On a recent trip to Copenhagen kayaks were very much in evidence.

The kayak - a convenient form of transport.

SOF Greenland kayaks being emptied on the canal bank.
 The National Museum exhibits items from the 5th Thule expedition (1921 - 1924) which visited most of the Inuit peoples of Arctic Canada. The five Danish and six Greenlandic explorers built their main base in the land of the Iglulik people. From the base ethnographers and archaeologists explored to the south and north. In 1923 Knud Rasmussen continued west on the long sled journey to Bering Strait and Alaska.
On his way he spent seven months with the Netsilik.
He returned with a large collection of objects.

Paddle designs

The original kayak gear
 The kayaker wore gear which varied from area to area. The most common garment was an anorak made of depliated waterproof sealskin. The anorak was tightly laced around the face and around the kayak aperture. An eye shade made of skin or wool offered protection against glare.
Double thumbed mittens

Fishing lures

Danielsen watercolour
 Jakob Danielsen was a hunter living in the Disko Bay area, West Greenland, 1888 - 1938.
In 250 drawings and watercolours he depicted the hunters mode of living.
Hunting methods for seal, walrus and whale are displayed in detail.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Where I live..

...the weather has been unseasonably windy, even for such a generally windswept place. Combined with rain and occassional thunder and lightning, the long school holidays have not provided the long anticipated freedom to far.

However I am trying to sort my rolling and undo the hybrid roll into either CtoC or back deck and from there build up to hand roll. For the Norsaq part I am trying to use half my paddle.
This is a video I first picked up from Christopher Crowhurst's site.

Friday, 2 July 2010

Rollin' with Ola

Well nobody is around to paddle with...
No point in moping around. 
Might as well practice.