New Podcast - Whales & Dolphins

This is Robin Ruddock leading a beach-combng trip at the Skye Symposium in May 2007.

He didn't find that red rug amongst the kelp, and it's fair to say Robin brought most of the dolphin skulls and whale baleen with him.

Robin has spent so long studying the marine mammals we see around us, he has an almost intuitive understanding of them. I found his talks fascinating and I hope you will too.

Subscribe free and listen here or download directly from the Podcast Library.

New TideRace Expedition Sea Kayak

It was utterly impossible to get online at Paddle '07. My apologies if you were expecting regular posts - I was too! Lack of wi-fi anywhere in the vicinity and a highly temperamental local government network at the venue kept me off my computer.

But by popular agreement the newest thing at the show, and certainly the sexiest (boat) was the expedition kayak from TideRace. The sodium lighting in the old sports hall is awful (and played havoc with Douglas Wilcox's otherwise excellent slide presentation). Try to ignore that and look at the lines on this baby.

Around 10th November I'll try to put live the podcast I recorded with its designer Aled Williams who talked me through the changes to the boat and what makes it special.

Friday Night Paddle 07 - Perth

The storm before the bigger storm.
People are very busy here, putting up stands, carting kayaks around the hall and blocking the car park. Good healthy activity.
Wired kayaking workshop might be a bit odd - both my PC and Mac connect to the network here but, because there's a local government security firewall, I can't use the browsers. So this is being written on a borrowed laptop, on which I'll have to run the workshop.
Inspecting the places where Justine and Patrick will give their presentations I found no cable to connect their computers to the pa. Someone has promissed to bring the right lead tomorrow. Everyone being very helpful, and it sounds like it's going to be a good event.

Canoe Boys Presentation at Paddle 07 next Sunday

This image of the Canoe Boys, from 1934, comes from Alastair Dunnett's personal scrapbook.
Next Sunday at 1pm I'll give a presentation about them at Paddle 07 in Perth.
I'll have a load of stills like this courtesy of Ninian Dunnett, Alastair's son who has republished his Dad's book.
On video, I'll have a feature about the trip I made with Cailean MacLeod, paddling key sections of the original route for three radio documentaries. The feature goes out on BBC-2 Scotland's Adventure Show on 7th November. Cailean is also taking a workshop at this event.
Also on video, I'll have two extended interviews.
The first is with Ninian Dunnett, who takes us through the famiuly album and explains how the Canoe Boys trip fit into his Father's busy life.
The second is with SCA Honorary President Duncan Winning, who met the original Canoe Boys and puts their achievement into historical context.
Between these, I'll talk for about twenty minutes about what we were trying to do in our radio programmes, what we found, and what has changed since the Canoe Boys days.
I've never done anything like this before, so if you want to throw things or heckle, please don't come!

Editing "The Canoe Boys"

This is my view for most of the weekend. Sitting beside Meg, editing three radio programmes and a TV piece.

I Wouldn't Paddle That!

For most of the twenty years my Mum has lived in Spain, this has been a dry river bed, passing within a hundred metres of her house. Not last weekend! I'm still doing what I can from Glasgow to help with the aftermath, hence little activity on the blog this week.

However, I have made an update to with a photo from Sir Alastair Dunnett's personal scrapbook.

Rusty Replaced

"Are you finished already?" Even Liz was surprised at how quickly I replaced the rusty skeg slider on my new Nordkapp. Readers may remember a supplier to Valley Sea Kayaks supplier a component made from mild steel, not stainless steel, to the skeg slider of my boat. It also affects quite a few others too. Valley sent a replacement immediately, and I replaced the parts with little effort. The photos show how to do it, but if you've any questions, please ask.

New Podcast - West Cork, Ireland with Jim Kennedy

Jim Kennedy, of is the guest on the latest Podcast.

What a talker! Jim gives the low down on the best three routes in the West Cork area of Ireland and explains how independent travellers can get there and enjoy the visit.

However, Jim's such a good talker you can see why people want to paddle with him.

Listen and subscribe free or download directly from the Podcast Library.
This will be the last Podcast this month because of other committments. And I've decided to stop doing them in 2008. I need the time to try other things.

Wired Kayaking

I've agreed to take a workshop at the Perth Paddlefest called "Wired Kayaking".

This is not about drinking a double espresso and a Red Bull before going on the water.

"Blogging, Podcasting and getting noticed on the net. Share ideas on publicising expeditions, earning money from adverts, and sending content from remote places" is how I described it.

The plan suffered a set-back yesterday when the organisers were told there was no internet access in the Bell's Sports Centre. It would be rather difficult to take this workshop in such circumstances! Today, the ever helpful Jakki e-mailed to say someone would run a cable into a room where I could go on-line. High-tech, eh?

Incidentally, in my description of this workshop, note the use of the word "share". I do not have a monopoly on wisdom when it comes to this area. I understand very little about computers, and only want to know how to make them work for me.

I'm delighted to take ideas and suggestions from wherever I can. So please add a comment, e-mail, or come to the workshop in Perth at 2pm on the Saturday.

Oh, I'm also giving a presentation on the Canoe Boys on the Sunday, but more about that later.

Video - McLeod's Maidens

We've been in Spain this week sorting family matters which means no paddling. However, I dug out this video from last weekend on Skye. Route details and map.

New Podcast - Nigel Foster

His Podcast is live now. Listen and subscribe free or download directly from the Podcast Library.

McLeod's Maidens

What a great weekend. Friday, from Kyle area to Applecross and excellent meal in the Inn. Saturday, to the Crowlin Islands, then Longa and Pabay and back to our launch. Sunday, out behind Wiay to McLeod's Maidens, through a rock arch and back. Wonderful. Photos from Sunday below.