This week I am preparing to set off sooth to meet up with some of the lovely people I have met through paddling ‘traditional style’ at the Kayak Ways sessions at Loch Eck in Argyll. These trips away are about much more than learning new things - catching up with the group of friends I have made through Greenland paddling is one of the high points of the year.
As usual and as far as I know, I am the only person who currently paddles and rolls with a stick, or ‘stick-person’, here in Orkney though I am ever hopeful that someone may join me… The closest kindred ‘stick- people’ are in Shetland (maybe time to have an Orkney and Shetland Traditional Paddlers’ event?).
With my new Canadian paddles from Joe O Blenis, Orkney Greenland Kayaking Club went out to Scapa for a quick practice session in the company of regular OGKC attendees - the dunters (eider ducks) and the occasional selkie (seal). Although our capsize and recovery methods are different we all have to come up for air - some of us sooner than others.
Life and weather dictate how much I prepare before heading off each year. I feel I should advance my skills as much as possible so that I don’t go over old ground with Cheri and Turner, but instead learn new things and take home ‘fresh’ homework. The reality is though that I often do my best rolling at the beginning of a session after a break from practising for a while, and when I’m not taking it too seriously…