Friday, February 26, 2010

Birthright - Watch this Video

Nothing more needs to be added.

BIRTHRIGHT from Sean Mullens on Vimeo.

A huge thank you to Sean Mullen and Michael.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Rolling Practice Smugglers Cove

Wednesday turned out to be a beautiful day on the water. A perfect day to test out the new FLIP HD camera. After six weeks waiting for a water proof case one was finally delivered through the mail slot. Alas it did not come with an external tripod mount.

The threads for the tripod are safely tucked away on the camera inside the external water proof case. So it was down to the work shop to build a Frankenstein monster device to connect the camera and the water proof case to my suction cup deck mount.

A little wood, some close cell foam, nuts, threaded rod, and a hour of puttering around and I had something workable. It ain't pretty but it worked. Dan G. calmly stood by whilst (that's for any UK readers) I set up the monster. I then shot a 50 minute clip of mostly flat water took the camera off the deck and stored it away.

We then rounded the south-east corner of Discovery Island into some really fun surge waves completely missing the opportunity to test the rig in rough water.

It got worse, as we returned to the Baynes Channel crossing the SE wind was pushing up the ebb waves into hay stacks and surf-able waves. Lots of fun was had in playing in the waves unfortunately the camera rig was still down in the hatch.

Safely back in Smugglers, or more correctly Maynard Cove, I pulled the camera out and waded out chest deep to shoot some footage of Dan rolling only to discover I have a pin hole leak in my dry suit somewhere very near the family generator equipment. In the interest of great cinematography I sacrificed a few future generations and caught the following. My apologies for the cheesy music but I could not resist.

I finished the day with my first February rolls and we retired to Starbucks for coffees, then home for a hot shower. Hours later the numbness down below was perfectly mirrored by the freezing stare from my spouse. The woman simply has no compassion.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Shephard back on course to South Georgia

Haley Shephard has resumed her attempt to circumnavigate South Georgia after a replacement crew member for the rescue boat was located in Stanley on the Falklands Islands.

Shephards attempt nearly came to an end when the skipper of the Northanger lost part of a finger in an accident on-board. Shephard hopes to start paddling soon after the 21st. To learn more follow the links.

Pocession Point on Juan de Fuca Strait

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Freya Hoffmeister makes Landfall in Victoria BC

On a damp Friday evening when the whole of Canada was tuned into the Olympic Winter Games opening in Vancouver, a group of kayaking die-hard's gathered in Victoria to greet and listen to Freya Hoffmeister recount her epic journey around Australia.

Well excuse me for not jumping on the kayak band wagon, but I cannot help but think that Freya's presentation in Victoria was kind of well flat.

Granted I was at the back, where the sound was not that great, but I earnestly strained to hear something that would convey the excitement and epic nature of her trip around Oz. I think her cold or sore voice may have gotten the better of her - she seemed tired.

Sure there were moments in her presentation, but not nearly enough of them. The south coast of Australia, shark nudges to name a few. But mostly it seemed to be one day of drudgery after another. Certainly there was not enough offered up to help a person plumb the depths of one of kayaking's most remarkable characters. I came away knowing little more about Freya then was shared in her blog. Maybe that's a down side to blogging. Could blogs reveal to much or maybe they indulge us to much?

During my checkered kayaking career I've had the opportunity to paddle and share a drink with two of the most prominent women in the sport Shawna Franklin and Justin Curgenven, and now Freya. I'll take Shawna and Justin any day. Maybe it's the way they laugh and smile or see a world of colours and not just black. Perhaps they lack an obsessively driven nature or what might be a smouldering intensity of Freya.

Or maybe it's just me. I'm a parent and the most important thing in my life is my son and family. Since Freya's trip began I've been trying to understand how a parent can essentially put kayaking ahead of one's family. Freya's son is 14 years old and for half of his life she has accomplished some of the most spectacular solo trips in the world - Iceland, New Zealand and now Oz to name but a few.

Though out my son's formative years I was privilege to be a stay at home parent. During that time we shared a journey of discovery that I would not trade for all the islands and all the oceans in the world. I cannot help but think that in 30 years the colour will have faded on Freya's photos and there will little left but dusty memories. Whereas, I'll have the a living bond, love and strength of a remarkable person.

I know nothing of her family circumstances but I fear that she's missed out on lifes greatest journey. Perhaps I'm wrong, there is after all no one right way to raise a family, maybe the course she's steered will have been the right one. One thing is certain I knew little more about Freya upon leaving then I did before arriving.

Perhaps her story is like Homer's Ulysses, just too big for one sitting or one quick power point show. Maybe the book will be the ticket.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

South Georgia Adventure in Jeoprady

Late last week an accident on the support vessel Northanger has put Hayley Shephards attempt to become the first to solo kayak around South Georgia in jeopardy.

The co owner and skipper of the Northanger severed part of his right index finger while underway in Drake Passage.

After being hove to, due to the storm, for three days the vessel diverted to Port Stanley on the Falkland Islands. Short an able bodied sailor the support vessel may not be able to sail to South Georgia. Without the support vessel Hayley's circumnavigation is in serious trouble.

Saturday will be the critical day, if a replacement sailor cannot be found by then the trip will likely be canceled. Waiting longer stretches the favourable weather window just too far.

As an alternative Hayley is considering the possibility of an attempt to circumnavigate the Falkland Islands. She'd be the first female to undertake the endeavour.

To read more follow these links.