The First Review of Sea Kayak with Gordon Brown

I confess, I've been nervous.

I posted the review copies of the DVD to magazines, bloggers and kayakers whose opinions I value, then sat back to wait for the comments.

I'm delighted to say Douglas Wilcox has been the first to publish a review, and it sound as if he likes it. A lot. Please read it.

Douglas has also taken lots of video grabs from the DVD, far more than I sent him. Well done for that.

It's rather odd to be confonted with someone else's detailed analysis of your work. He picked up on all the things I knew were good - Gordon's coaching; the clear radio-mic sound in rough seas; the slow-motion shots from unique but helpful angles.

However, Douglas found far more in the DVD than I anticipated, especially the relationship between me and Gordon. (We are still speaking!) Ahh to see ourselves as others see us.

First Look at Cover - Box Artwork for DVD Sea Kayak with Gordon Brown

It will probably change a little before we go to print, but here's the first glimpse of what I expect will be the cover of our DVD. It was designed by Pete Woods at Pesda Press who did such a stunning job on the layout of my book.

Premier - Sea Kayak with Gordon Brown

The Scottish Premier of our DVD Sea Kayak with Gordon Brown will be the opening event of Paddle '09.

It will kick off at 11am on Saturday 24th October at the Bell's Sports Centre in Perth.

We'll show a 35 minute long 'highlights' version which I'm still editing. After that, I'm hoping I can persuade Gordon to take some questions. We'll also sell the £19.95 DVD at a special introductory price.

I'm also down to take a workshop on my book, The Scottish Sea Kayak Trail. That's on the following day, Sunday 25th October at 14.00.

Hope to see you there.

New Podcast - Turner Wilson

Now that's what I call a beard!

Turner Wilson turned up early for this years Scottish Sea Kayak Symposium. It wasn't a mistake, he was here to run a week long kayak-building course.

He and partner Cheri Perry then ran daily Greenland skills courses in Armadale Bay. Turner is a really interesting bloke and I thoroughly enjoyed chatting to him, so I hope you'll enjoy the Podcast at

And yes, I did ask about the beard.

The podcast downloads as an m4a file, but if you prefer the MP3 version you'll find that in the Podcast Library.

DVD Release Date - Sea Kayak with Gordon Brown

We hope to release the DVD Sea Kayak with Gordon Brown on 1st November 2009 priced £19.95.

Preview copies have been posted to reviewers and the menu structure is being created by someone who knows more about authroing DVDs than I do.

We hope to premier a cut-down version of the DVD at the Scottish Canoe Association Paddle '09 event in Perth 24/25 October. If things go to plan we'll have some early copies to sell at a special price.

In the run up to the event, I'll release a series of short films and excerpts from the main DVD on this site and also as Video Podcasts at If you don't want to miss them, you can subscribe free now.

Initially, only a PAL version will be made, with an NTSC copy for the US and Canada to follow soon.

Published - Scottish Sea Kayak Trail

I've just collected my first book from the post-box and I feel rather excited.

There were times I thought it would never happen. Originally intended for publication in May, there have been a series of delays, none of which I've fully investigated.

I've yet to go through the book in detail but there's noting I can do now. However, if people spot mistakes or out of date information, there is a forum at where they can contribute their wisdom.

So if you spot anything, please share your knowledge. Oh, and you can buy the book here.

Kayak Storage Outside

Having no garage or boat-shed we must storeour sea kayaks outside, securely locked.

Until now, we've used a home-made wooden stand. But for a while we had five boats, and it was a real pain shuffling two out of the way to get to the others underneath.

So earlier this summer, we paid £350 for this 6 kayak rack from Kari-Tek. I've waited until now to review it because I don't automatically assume everything I buy is great. This is.

Apart from one niggle during assembly. The plates into which the cross-members slotted had not been welded on straight, and so the parallel insert didn't fit the tapering hole. I had to bash the thing with a hammer to get it together, but now it's up it works well. I could have managed with just a couple of flagstones for the feet, but a friend layed some concrete pads.

The two Cetus could fit side by side on one level, but since the fifth kayak has now gone, there's a little more room. There are plenty of points to which the boats can be securely locked and the whole thing is far more convenient to use. Nice one Kari-Tek.

Kayak to University

Kayaking doesn't often make the pages of Scotland's own red-top tabloid newspaper, The Daily Record.
James Killingbeck has.

He kayaked 1500 miles from home in Devon to St Andrews University, ticking off Snowdon and Scafell Pike along the way.

Lochaline - New Kayaker Resource

In this context, for 'resource' read 'cafe'.

The O2 Cafe has recently opened in Lochaline Dive Centre, sadly too late to make it into my book. But that's the point of having an updates section on the website

But it's much more than a snack-bar.

There are excellent rooms, with ensuite facilities, clearly geared to outdoors folk. Excellent evening meals, cooked breakfasts and free wifi. Prices seem reasonable too.

If you're kayaking in the Sound of Mull, this would be a good place to hang out.

Routes in Far North

We've just returned from a few days kayaking north of Ullapool.
We tackled some great routes. Kylesku to Scourie through Eddrachillis Bay was a great opener, although riding back had its problems.

We remembered kayaking in Loch Laxford ages ago, so we returned and paddled up to Kinlochbervie after dropping the road bikes so we could ride back.

Tricky to decide which was the best route - either the a circumnavigation of Handa Island or the trip to the Old Man of Stoer and back.

A great few days. Routes all now in

Face Full of Midges

We're kayaking north of Ullapool. Today we went Kylesku to Scourie.
Why the bike kit? We rode back to complete the shuttle, ending with
what looked like a scattering of black freckles but was in fact, a
swam of midgies embedded in our sunscreen. A scraping was required.

Sea Kayak with Gordon Brown - website

So we have the website where we're going to sell the DVD.

If you go there now you just see this holding page, but the excellent team at WideBlueYonder (ie Duncan) who run the Solent Sea Kayaking blog are working behind the scenes.

We'll have a page where you can buy PAL versions of the DVD for Europe (and much of the world) and a page for NTSC versions for USA Canada and Japan. The NTSC versions will, we hope, be made in and shipped directly from the USA.

You'll notice the photo is from the cover of Gordon's best selling book. Pesda Press kindly gave us the go-ahead to use the image (which is Gordon's photo) and are also helping with box design.

A rough copy is now with a highly experienced Executive Producer for his input. Frankly, I'm terrified he's going to suggest major changes! Having cleared all the music, found people to author the complex menus, replicate and box up the final product, the last thing I want to do is a re-edit. But if it makes it better I will.

We're also waiting for graphics. I've commissioned maps from a colleage I used to work with at the BBC. These will guide viewers through our journey up the west coast of Skye.

So for all these reasons we're hesitant about announcing a release date yet. We have a provisional date to which we're working, one which coincides with a big kayak show, but we're not shouting about that just yet.

We're simply keeping our fingers crossed and learning a lot about the DVD business.

Kayak to Faroes - Now on iPlayer

If you're in the UK, or you can find a way to give your computer a UK IP Address, then you have seven days to watch the film of Mick and Patrick kayaking from Scotland to the Faroes.

The Adventure Show featured the Island Peaks race. The kayaking was cut into two long sections which fit around the sailing/hill running. If you just want the kayaking, spin forward to 14:00 in, and then again to 38:45. (Thanks MikeB).

I shot lots more than was shown here because we were hoping to get a 1 hour slot. It might yet happen.

Old Wedding Video Tops Viral Chart

Top of this weeks Viral Video chart, is an old wedding video from 2005. You may have already seen it - millions of people have and I'm probably slow on the uptake. It seems the Bride, Groom and friends just decided to give those attending something to remember. They now have their own website where donations go to a good cause. It goes to show, some of the best media doesn't need fancy cameras or massive budgets, just a damn good idea.