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 Justine's Journal

CackleTV Productions


Windy paddling, Port Townsend, cheap VHS
Monday, July 04, 2005

Oh the joys of Summer in Wales. Outside the window the trees are shaking and almost all of Snowdon is covered by mist. Still, it's a lovely place to be. Over the weekend we were visited by a friend from Newfoundland, Geoff Minnely. Geoff is a river paddler who took us down Pipers Hole river in Newfoundland so we returned the favour and took him on 2 classic sea paddles. On Saturday we went "round the Stacks", which is a great paddle near Holyhead around really prety cliffs and via 3 tidal races. We went on the flood tide when Penrhyn Mawr and South Stack races run and North Stack is pretty flat. On a calm day with neap tides the paddle can be very straightforward and you can linger under the cliffs and look up at thousands of nesting birds and a few climbers (not in exactly the same place!). The only thing was that on Saturday there was a force 6 wind kicking up lots of whitecaps on the sea. Still, Geoff is used to lots of whitewater! Penrhyn Mawr was pretty confused but we had a short play in the smaller race to introduce Geoff to surfing in these funny long boats! The wind was behind us as we continued round the Stacks and we surfed speedily along to Soldiers Point. Alun was trying out his new Greenland paddles for the first time - I think he can safely say that he put them to the test and we were all very impressed that he not only remained upright but he even smiled a few times! On Sunday we paddled out to the Skerries, a small island about 5km from shore which is always interesting to get to because strong tides take you away from the island so you have to plan your angle of approach. The wind was still at least force 4-5 but the sea was exciting without being scary. We had lunch surrounded by seals, arctic terns, kittiwakes and the odd puffin. We're threatening to tell Geoff's friends that we converted him to proper paddling because that's what they told the seakayakers in Newfoundland after we really enjoyed the river!

Last week I was invited to be the Saturday night speaker at the 'West Coast Seakayaking Symposium' in Port Townsend on Sept 9-11th this year. I accepted and am looking forward to crossing the pond again, catching up with old friends and meeting new people. You can read about the event at

Finally, "This is the Sea" continues to be very popular but the DVD sales are far outweighing the VHS sales. I have a few VHS left and am selling them for the bargain price of £4.99 on the website. They work in the UK, Australia and Europe so if you want to share the excitement of seakayaking without paying the full price of the DVD, or you want to treat a friend by inspiring them to get out seapaddling then take advantage of this special offer.


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