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New Cackle TV blog & website

January rolling practice

"This is canoeing" cover done!!

Esquif & Kokatat sponsor "This is Canoeing"

Skiing...... in Wales!!

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Snowy Snowdon horseshoe

Sunny Snowy Wales

Fifth Award for "South island circumnavigation"

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 Justine's Journal

CackleTV Productions


New Cackle TV blog & website
Thursday, February 11, 2010

Cackle TV has a new look..... this blog will no longer be updated.

please go to our new blog and website for the latest news and adventures.

This 'old' blog will remain on the internet so you can still search the archives.


January rolling practice
Sunday, January 24, 2010

'I've never actually rolled an Avocet', I thought to myself as I shot down another steep wave, and I couldn't help thinking that today might be the day that I would get to try it out!

I've been inside editing for an unhealthy amount of time recently and I nearly didn't go playing today as I want to finish editing "This is Canoeing" by tomorrow afternoon, but I decided a break would be good for me, apart from plain old fashioned fun!

I hadn't paid any attention to the weather forecast or swell conditions all week, I just jumped in the van with Barry and off we went! Roger & Greer were already on the beach, and we were soon headed for Penrhyn Mawr just as the tide was starting to flood. As we came round the corner where you first see Penrhyn Mawr in the distance, there were already quite an impressive collection of white waves on the horizon. We were all glad that we hadn't arrived any later in the tide when the waves usually pick up...

In the end we had a great day, lots of fantastic rides, a few scary moments, and I can now say that I can roll the Avocet with absolutely no problem AND the sea isn't that cold! We had a total of 4 rolls between us, although I had half of those ( just making sure it rolled OK!).

We had a paddle up towards South Stack, then lunch on a bouldery beach, before heading home...
Now, here I am back at my desk..... ! Time to finish off the editing.. I hope to have a preview clip up on the internet tomorrow or Tuesday which I'm quite excited about.


"This is canoeing" cover done!!
Thursday, January 21, 2010

If you've ever tried to make a film then you might know that the editing is only part of the job!!

Alongside cutting, mixing and adding voice-over are all sorts of other tasks like making sure you have the correct credits for the film, getting permission to use the music, and not least telling people about the DVD!

One of the big jobs is always designing the DVD cover. As this is the first impression that many people get of the DVD, it's a pretty important undertaking! I'm lucky that Canoeroots magazine and Rapid magazine are sponsoring "This is Canoeing" so Beth Kennedy, their designer, has been working hard on the DVD cover for the last couple of weeks. I know she's also working hard finishing designing the upcoming magazine issues so I'm really grateful to her for doing such a good job and for politely making revisions and then more revisions when I'm sure she's really busy! I'm also grateful for the comments of those people who I sent earlier versions of the cover to, everyone has helped to create a cover that I'm really excited about.

So here it is - I hope you like it!

Over the next few days I need to finish the editing, complete an update of my website which Derrick Mayoleth and I have been working hard on over the last few months, and get a preview clip up on the internet. So watch this space!

Esquif & Kokatat sponsor "This is Canoeing"
Monday, January 11, 2010

I'm delighted to announce that Esquif Canoes are headline sponsoring 'This is Canoeing", my upcoming DVD celebrating the single blade.

Esquif make excellent canoes that can be seen in "This is Canoeing" in 3 of the 12 films. Mark Scriver, Paul Mason & Andrew Westwood paddle the Taureau whitewater canoe that they helped design on the amazing Moose river in New York State. These talented paddlers are incredible to watch as they make grade 5 rapids look easy with 1 blade and no spray deck!

The Esquif Spark was the most popular choice for the competitors in the 2009 Open Canoe slalom National Championships. I filmed this exciting event and am editing the film of the competition at the moment. It's amazing to see paddlers spin the Spark on a sixpence as they negotiate the slalom gates.

15 year old US team member in womens canoe slalom, Hailey Thompson, is also seen paddling a Spark in the OC Nationals. There is a film about Hailey in "This is Canoeing" which looks at her remarkable success and how family trips in Wisconsin as a child inspired her to get out in her canoe as often as possible.

Photo credit: Michael Thompson

Kokatat watersport wear are the main supporting sponsor. I have been sponsored by Kokatat for about 5 years and have found their paddling gear to be excellent over this time period. I still wear the same dry suit I received from them 5 years ago and it's seen a lot of wear! I wore it every day on the 2 week trip down the Mountain River & it kept me warm and dry. I'm delighted that Kokatat have chosen to support this DVD and help bring these canoeing films to you all.

Another great sponsor is Rapid Media. Their editor and publisher, Scott MacGregor is featured in one of the films taking his 4-year old son Dougie down the Petawawa river in October. And their magazines, Canoeroots and Rapid Magazine are sponsoring the DVD. Beth is in the process of designing the cover for "This is Canoeing". I've just seen the first draft and it looks great!

Not long now!

Skiing...... in Wales!!
Saturday, January 09, 2010

We've really been taking advantage of the snow and sunshine in Wales over the last couple of weeks and the last 2 days Barry and I did something I hadn't really thought I'd do in Wales - we went skiing!

Neither of us have touring skis so we carried our skis and boots up to the top of a couple of big snowy hills, swapped walking boots for ski boots and skied back down. Yesterday we went in the Ogwen Valley and took 2 hours to trudge up a long snowy ridge. I don't know how long it took us to get down, but it was much much quicker!! We stopped quite a few times to savour it.

Today we went with Nick, Matt & Mark into the Carneddi and had a great outing. We carried the skis up almost 600metres - and thankfully the snow was harder today so our ski boots didn't break through the surface as often and it wasn't that bad walking uphill. The others had touring bindings and skinned up the hill - it looked a lot easier and more fun... I definitely have to get a pair of touring skis! The downhill was great fun - not the best snow in the world but none of us cared, we were out skiing in our backyard - Barry and I could even see our house across the valley as we were walking up.

Nick & Matt have been working hard on a new instructinal DVD that they will be releasing in the next month or so called "Kayak Essentials"

I haven't been working hard enough on my canoeing DVD, "This is Canoeing" but I'm back on the case tomorrow morning and will stop myself from looking out of the window for the next week or so to try to get the editing finished.

Original art
Thursday, January 07, 2010

I was obviously a very good girl this year as Santa was very kind to me!

It all started a few weeks ago when Barry and I paddled out to Bardsey island and stayed overnight with the family who lives there year round. We had a great time, bought a few christmas presents ( homemade Bardsey island rugs & hats, and hand woven willow) & caught up with Steve, Jo, Rachel & Ben. Their daughter, Rachel, loves art and showed us her GCSE art projects which were really imaginative and beautiful. I particularly liked a charcoal painting she had drawn of a seal.

We returned home and a week or so later, Barry told me that he would have to lie to me over the next week - but all in my best interests of course! I knew his lies involved making something out of wood, but I could never imagine that when he left home telling me he was going to work, he really drove down the Llyn Peninsula, paddled to Bardsey in a force 5 westerly & lumpy seas to pick up a charcoal painting that he'd commissioned Rachel to paint for me! When he got home that evening, I had no idea where he'd been!! He then disappeared off to make a lovely frame out of a big piece of elm and gave me the end result. The seal charcoal by Rachel is her first commission, but I don't think it will be her last!!


Snowy Snowdon horseshoe
Monday, January 04, 2010

Today was so beautiful with sunshine, blue sky and great snowy conditions on the mountains. How could I spend the day inside knowing that friends were out making the most of these pretty rare conditions in Wales? So I postponed starting work again and spent the day out in the hills with Clare & John D (they didn't have to twist my arm very hard!).

We did that classic Welsh walk - the Snowdon horeshoe, up the knife edge Crib Goch ridge, down, round and up to the highest peak in Wales, then down via the striking peak of Y Lliwedd. We were glad of our crampons and axes on some of the scrambly bits and the spikes stayed on our boots for most of the day. I'm home now and still smiling from a great day out on the hills.

Time to start back on "This is Canoeing" now I'm energised from lots of fun playing outside!


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