Featured blog of the week: Kayaking is not a crime

Many new things, new website, new vid, new petition: 

The nooshmooshiny website is at http://www.kayakingisnotacrime.org.uk/ 

Here’s a short nootoob clip of the new video:

Here’s a previous post about the T Shirts.

Most important news, as per Martin’s email, please sign the new WCA petition on land access reform. This is the second petition – its the next stage in the campaigning, so its important that you sign this one even though you already signed the first one.

Tyne Tour and other upcoming events

Come on. Its the Tyne tour this weekend. Cmon. Other events are in the google calendar (links from sidebar), are summarized here. Hooray, the rain is here, feels like beginning of the paddling season.

Wed afternoon 31 Oct: Dee session: Lloyd
This weekend:  3 / 4 Nov: Tyne Tour  
Weekend 10 / 11 Nov: BUSA WWR Washburn
Sat 24th Nov: Day Trip, organised by Cath, wales or lake district
Weekend 1/2 Dec LUCC trip (TBC) organiser: Nev C
Friday 7th Dec Xmas Dinner: organiser Lloyd
Friday 14th Dec Xmas panto: organiser Laura G=Medic Dave
Sometime (TBA) trip to Brecons.

Choir of Angels

Singing seals, joining in with to the sound of lighthouse foghorns. Do they sound like a heavenly host of gilded angels?

Tenor section Bass section

No. Not much.

But they are very nice.

Porth Oer - setting off for Bardsay bardsay island

A lovely weekend in Wales. Dinny sea-kayaked round Bardsey island in the fog. Cath, Alison and Helen were “tumbled by friendly waves” at Hell’s mouth. Leo was 21 again (again).

 Cath surfin Surfin

On Sunday a trip round the Tudwalls. More singing seals and baby seals –

Helen

East Tudwell from West Tudwell

 

Baby

More seal pics from Alison and more surf pics that make the surf look loads smaller than it was, really! from Helen.

Discostu Waterfalls Vid

Stu doing some waterfalls on Dee, Conway and some rivers beginning with ‘T’? Love the new line-choosing technique near the end (at 02:00 minutes). Nice mellow vid.

Other recent vids:

   Andy R’s 2006/2007 a year of lucc

  Aussie Dave’s Norway taster

Video LUCC 2006 2007

Perfection: Yep, checked Andy Rahooo’s vid and its officially perfect. The ratio of:

Right-way-up:Not-right-way-up=0.842

is correct to 3 dec pl when compared with empirical evidence measured over all LUCC trips. This video is spot-on and also has very cool tunes.

Nice one!

Manchester Talks were tops

Some of us from LUCC came over for the Manchester kayak talks last Thurs and enjoyed them v much, thanks Manchester! Eight short talks in two hours, very fast paced and fascinating. Definitely makes you realise that there is a lot of boating out there to be had, at all levels and budgets and loads of great destinations which are possible for uni-aged folk. All these trips took place 2006/2007. Inspiring – get out there and get yourself an adventure.

Manchester Talks

Jo and Beth – Canada, 4 paddlers and a hire car. (The 4 paddlers survived fine…) Lots of boater-fests, great rivers, III/IV/V, guide book was basically “look at the road atlas and go,” met loads of nice people and paddled a lot.

ChrisMadagascar videos – serious expedition end of the spectrum – weeks of pre-scouting, lemurs, chameleons, no roads, no bridges, deep rain-forest, monster walk-outs in the dark, new rivers, two fantastic videos :one from Chris, one from the Poly boys.

Beth – went to New Zealand, just turned up, went to Bliss Stick, slept next to the Kayak-oven while they baked her new boats, went boating with new people on loads of Lord-of-the-rings mainly IV+ (some harder, gulp) rivers, sea kayaking on Milford sound, had a great time.

Maddy – Joined about 8 canoe clubs simultaneously during her year in Arizona, and did lots of I/II/III paddling there and in BC – exotic paddling doesn’t have to be gnarly.

Nic – Fresher insight into what the Alps is like 1st time round – extremely good talk reminding us what its all about, the pre-trip worries about whether its suitable, how its actually brilliant once you get there – a freshers-eye-view. Summary: Hey freshers, you should go to the Alps!

Skip Fairweather Nepal– epic expedition, scary fly-in, great video of very continuous and serious stuff with strange German music, gnarl and a lot of goats.

Scuba Dave and Chris L – gollums living on a diet consisting solely of free coffee and campfire-grilled fish, running a bazillion Norwegian Waterfalls again and again until they get perfect pictures to show us.

Little Pete and Jo – “Dynamo man” – an experiment to see if rubber-dummy-man takes a better line than Jo and Pete over a selection of different waterfalls in NY state. Music hall antics.

The vids are not on line at the moment, although there are a bunch of other good ones from the same folk (Lazy and Inept productions) to browse, while Skip’s Nepal video will feature at Student Symposium and other events, and will be incorporated in a commercial DVD currently being produced in deepest Wales. If you get chance to see any of them, do, as they are very, very funny and inspiring.

A lovely evening.

How to go on holiday without your kayak, by Rachel and Simon

Last week, Simon and I set off for our first non-paddling holiday together, to the lovely island of Tenerife. We arrived at our very touristy (but very lovely) hotel in 28c heat and took in the local sights. These consisted of a cool swimming pool, lots of cacti, English restaurants (!), rock pools in the sea, and sun! A lot of people seem to go to Tenerife to get drunk and sit on the beach, but we thought that a whole week of that would be a bit much, so we ran around and saw lots of amazing things. It’s probably a bit dull to describe all of them, so I’ll tell you about the best things we did.

The Swiming poolSimon with cactus

 

Mount Teide is the highest point on the island, at 3718m making it the highest point in the Atlantic, and also still an active volcano. We decided that this would be a good place to see some cool views and we’d also heard that it was cold at the top, so to stop Simon moaning about the heat (didn’t drop below 20C the entire week) we decided to drive up to the top. It was a strange drive; sea-level is very dry and arid, lots of cacti and no greenery. As we got higher up, the air got wetter and we drove through pine forests. We stopped at a viewpoint to take some pictures of the misty forests and typically our car wouldn’t start again……not too much of a problem as it had just overheated due to steep roads and some enthusiastic driving with lots of 2nd  gear. But it did give us a fright!

View from Mount Teide

As we continued driving, the forests died out again, we drove into a huge crater and the landscape began to resemble the moon. The rocks were black, red and grey and not a green thing in sight.

Mount Teide and the Roques de Garcia

After a quick stop to look at the Roques de Garcia, beautifully shaped top-heavy rock (above) we parked up at the cable-car base. The cable-car takes you from 2000m to 3500m in a speedy 8 minutes, and when we arrived at the top, it was freezing, windy and the air was very thin. Both of us struggled with the thin air and we found that we got out of breath and dizzy if we walked quickly. We didn’t quite look down the crater as you need a special permit to walk the last 200m to the top, but the views were incredible. It was even more moon-like at the top and there was a faint whiff of sulphur and smoke coming out of a couple of places to remind us that we were on a volcano! The drive back down was fantastic- the mist was really thick and it made the forest really atmospheric and creepy.

At the top of Mount Teide

Towards the end of the week (and feeling the need to find a boat) we ventured to Los Gigantes, a coastal town on the south of the island next to the most incredible cliffs I’ve ever seen. We boarded a speedboat for our tour along the cliffs which rise vertically out of the sea for 600m, and as we zoomed along, we marvelled at the sheer rock formations all along the coast.

Los Gigantes 

We also marvelled at two very brave sea kayakers who were battling the quite big waves and strong winds to paddle alongside the cliffs in a duo. The boat moved out into the open sea a little more, and we slowed right down to look for dolphins. After a lot of false alarms, we found a big pod of dolphins. They collected round the boat and after 5 minutes or so, there were 7 or 8 dolphins playing in the waves around us. Dolphins have always fascinated me and seeing them in the wild didn’t disappoint. They were playful and really enjoying themselves. When the boat turned and accelerated back towards land, the dolphins followed. They were surfing and jumping through the wake of the boat and trying to keep up, jumping out of the water and under the boat. They were really magical!

Dolphins

 As if that wasn’t enough, the boat stopped in a quiet bay so we could have a quick swim. We dived into the crystal clear water for some impromptu snorkelling without a snorkel and we saw huge numbers of different fish swimming around underneath the boat. Back on dry land, we drove up and over the mountains and came to the top of the infamous road to Masca (the photo doesnt do it justice).

 The Road to Masca

This tiny town is nestled into a gorge in the middle of the sheer cliffs of Los Gigantes and it is so remote that the road to it was only built in 1991. Simon called on his best rally-driving skills and we tackled the hundreds of hair-pin bends to get to the bottom. The town itself has unfortunately been taken over by tourists (only cafes and souvenir shops) but it was stunning. The drive back up was more interesting…..and we were relieved to get back onto straighter roads!

On our last day we went to Playa las Americas to go surfing- well, bodyboarding. We hired a board and some cool flippers and then braved the waves. It was a pretty rubbish experience all round. Playa las Americas is the centre of British holiday resorts in Tenerife and it is awful. The town is a mass of run-down and grubby concrete hotels and bars. It’s like Blackpool on a bad day, but more tacky. However, the surf is really good. The waves were at least 4 foot, clean breaks, but they were breaking directly onto the reef. We both managed to surf a couple of waves in and both managed to get trashed in the shallows. I just swallowed a few pints of sea water; Simon gashed his leg on the rocks. We sat on the beach (more like gravel than sand) to recover, then went home wishing that we’d got our kayaks with us!

In the rest of the week we saw some pyramids, went to Santa Cruz (the capital), did a lot of swimming, ate fresh seafood and drank red wine! The wildlife was very different and interesting. We saw loads of lizards, hermit crabs in rock pools and some huge crabs that jumped from rock to rock. All in all, we had a lovely relaxing time and found some amazing sights on this small island.

Seafood