Saturday, 25 September 2010

And the winner is...

...this photograph, set up by Mike Cooper (also in the photo) for a national RNLI competition showing safety officers at work. Dennis and I discuss VHF radios and ask about where to dispose of out of date flares.

'Are you sure about that?'
The same evening I began to look distinctly uncomfortable about standing around on dry land. 
I must become more aware of my body language!

All dressed up and waiting to go...

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

One year on

the dog remembers...
I started this blog almost a year ago after breaking my ankle on 20.09.09.

(Clustrmaps says the blog visits total since 25 Sep 2009: 4,360.
Blogger says since May there have been 2,338 visits)
I have resumed my swim to recovery in the pool along with another unfortunate paddler!
Be careful out there.

New Season

Sunset 7.14pm = end of evening paddling season...

Warm up

Good save.

Spot the ball.
...and beginning of canoe polo season  in Orkney.
Spectator sport only for this paddler!

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Sunday school

Morning session - sea boats at Scapa.
Great fun intoducing a new paddler to the delights of the ocean wave!

Footpeg adjustment break.

Time for a little continuing personal development.

Afternoon session: solo canoe.
Practise pure and simple - forwards, backwards, sideways,
through the buoys... and as ever a few unanswered questions...

Earlier this summer.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Crossing the tide

The race ends as we get ready to launch from Hatston slip.
Who said there are no rivers in Orkney? For this paddler today's trip felt like crossing a huge river as we went north with the ebb tide then ferry glided across the flow. Hopping from skerry to skerry and dealing with the tide as it flowed around each small landfall was an education. At one point my learning curve became rather steep and I was glad to be able to shriek call politely for further instruction! The calm conditions meant focussing on what was happening in the tide was all there was to deal with which was just as well for me. It was easy to imagine what conditions might be like with wind and tide combined.
An unexpected familiar face in a fast boat greets us as we leave Kirkwall Bay.

Looks calm...

Hitching a ride with the north going ebb tide.
In an eddy at Vasa Skerry - no more photos taken until Gairsay...
Dennis heads for the Mainland.
Arriving at Tingwall in the rain.
It was a great learning experience and I appreciated being on the water in places usually only viewed from the north isles ferries. Many thanks to experienced fellow paddlers for taking me along and coaching me across those eddy lines.
About 8nm? - don't know, left the GPS on in the car, again!

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Swell at Roseness

A few days of high winds left behind a swell from the ESE. So on a still evening we set off towards Roseness through dumping waves at the launch beach, disturbing a raft of geese on the way.

Noise on the water.
 The unusually still atmosphere looked like it might develop into fog so a bearing was taken, just in case, to help us find our way back.
HK finds north.
 At the headland there were regular breaking waves of about a 1m, with the occasional extra large bonus wave. For a short while I enjoyed trying to catch the swell, paddlle strokes eerily silent on a raft of foam, with a rainbow on my right and sunset to the left. 

Sun setting behind Hoy beyond the glassy swell.
Arriving back at the put in point in darkness, there will be only a few more opportunities for evening paddles like this one.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Paddler's Playtime!

This evening might have been the first moment when two paddlers were simultaneously trying to get to grips with their own particular 'dods o'wood' at Scapa. Could it be the beginning of Greenland skills group?
While I flailed my stick around (but never actually threw it - much to Ola's frustration) another paddler was testing a self made GP and evaluating for refinements.

going through the motions...
 As usual after a break from practising, I was doing everything too fast.
Carrying on the pace of the working day isn't helpful.
The doubt about whether I could pick up from where I had left off floated around...
I went through the motion, 'butterfly floating on water' again and again...
This is becoming a ritual!
 Eventually the moment came and it all worked fine...
putting it into practice...
 Though only an hour of practice, I think that little and often is effective.
Each time the demons of doubt are a little less of a problem and keeping the faith is easier.

Is she ever going to throw the stick?