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 Justine's Journal

CackleTV Productions


"This is the Sea 3" - the first review
Tuesday, February 27, 2007

I've been busy posting out hundreds of DVDs to the UK, Europe, Australia & New Zealand so that 'This is the Sea 3' will be at your nearest kayak shop for the release date of 10th March 2007. (US DVDs will be shipped this week from Colorado).

A few 'review' copies have got into the hands of their reviewers very quickly. Here is the first review that I know about, written by Harald Rishovd from Norway.

"I have now watched the whole DVD to my eyes got big and wet:-) You should
really look forward to the "this is the sea III", it is at least as good as
the two first films, and really has something for everyone. My favourites so
far is the hardcore sea kayak playboating in Scottish Tidal Races, the
surfing from New Zealand, an incredibly cool sequence with rolling and
tricks from Freia Hoffmeister and Cheri Perry, and not to forget, the
incredible film from the Antarctica Kayak Expedition - really extreme stuff.
Total length of the DVD is 2 hours".

Harlad will be writing a longer review for 'Paddling' magazine in Norway, but has written his first impressions on 2 Norwegian paddling forums. If you understand Norwegian then you can see the review here !
or here

It's the same review on 2 different forums, but there may be different comments added to each one.

Messing About in Boats
Sunday, February 25, 2007

What do you do on a cold, drizzling, winters day?
The surf was big and all over the place at Hells mouth - not much fun in a surf boat - so we decided to go and mess about in our seakayaks in the smaller surf at Dinas Dinlle. It was great fun and good practise. Neither of us have spent much time trying to surf waves in our seakayaks. Usually on trips with heavily laden kayaks we're trying to avoid big surf and come in on the back of waves, and if the surf is up at home we go out in our surf boats. So today was great for experimenting and having a laugh - well, as much as you can when you're fingers are tingling with the cold!! An hour or so later, we emerged from the beach smiling, after 5 rolls between us, one of them when we collided with each other!!

On a separate note, the PAL 'This is the Sea 3' DVDs have landed in Wales and have taken over the house ( much to Alun's annoyance!). I wish I could post them to everyone right now, but I have to wait a while so that they arrive on the release date of 10th March. The pre-orders are all packaged up and labelled in separate boxes - one for Europe, one for the UK and one for Australia and far away places like that!! I've already posted a few out to magazines and websites who want to review the DVD, so we might start to see trickles of feedback very soon!! I've also sent them to UK and Europe shops so they'll have them on the shelves on 10th March.

The US DVDs are still being made - they should be finished this week and then a similar process will happen there.

The Future - This is the Sea 4?
Thursday, February 22, 2007

I know "This is the Sea 3" isn't quite out yet, but plans are already underway to get some footage for dare I say it, 'This is the Sea 4' !? ( The title is to be confirmed, but there WILL be another Cackle TV seakayaking DVD in the next 12 - 24 months!)

In fact, Alun & I fly to San Diego next week to do some filming with some very good kayak fishing guys, including Jim Sammons.
I'm excited about that as I know very little about 'proper' kayak fishing and I've wanted to film it for ages. (I have caught the odd fish with my hand line trailed behind my kayak but I think it's more luck that judgement!) If you live near San Diego then I'm giving a presentation ( with Jim Sammons & Jock Bradey) on Saturday 3rd March and showing a sneak preview chapter from 'This is the Sea 3'. If that's not enough to whet your appetite then there's wine & Cheese aswell. Contact Aqua Adventures if you're interested.

We then drive to Baja with Jen Kleck from Aqua Adventures, and some of the Johnson Outdoor pro paddlers to camp & do some rock hopping & rough water paddling. I'm told that Jock Bradley will be putting down his camera and taking up his wooden spoon to produce some fine foods!

Next is Canoecopia & the launch of "This is the Sea 3". Lendal are hiring a bar and a band on 10th March in Madison and we're showing the world premiere of 'This is the Sea 3'. DVDs will be on sale at Canoecopia from Friday 9th March, and at other shops around the world from Saturday 10th March. I'll be around all weekend to sign copies ( and giving some presentations).

In late March, Alun and I head to Australia for the New South Wales Canoe Club's annual "Rock N Roll" event. After that we plan to paddle in the Nadge Wildernes Area of NSW with Laurie Geoghegan and others, followed by an attempted crossing of the Bass Strait to Tasmania. We'll cross to the East side of Tassie via a chain of islands. The total distance is about 370km and the longest hop is 67km, which I think will be my longest open crossing so far.

We'll be home in May & June, then in July we fly back to the West coast of the States. This time we are delighted to be attempting to circumnavigate Haida Gwaii ( The Queen Charlotte Islands ) with our good friends and very talented paddlers Shawna Franklin & Leon Sommes. We hope to paddle back to mainland Canada afterwards making the total journey around this remote, wild and beaufiul island chain around 1000km. I'll write more about all of these trips as they approach and I hope to have regular blog updates of all of them as they progress. And I'll have my cameras with me, of course!

(The photo is obviously nothing to do with any of this! It's Alun Biking in Scotland last weekend as we enjoyed 3 days of biking and hiking)

"Kayaks of Greenland" Book available
Friday, February 16, 2007

A few copies of Harvey Golden's "Kayaks of Greenland" book have landed in Wales. As far as I know Cackle TV is the only company selling this book in the UK. We'll be selling them for £35 each ( the retail price is $69 in the US ). Unfortunately it's a big heavy book ( almost 2 kilos of pure quality! ), which I think will cost £4.78 to post by parcel post within the UK, and more within Europe. I'm happy to post them to anyone if they are prepared to pay the postage on top of this.

I will take some to the Fort William Film Festival with me this weekend, and take some to the Outdoor Show in Birmingham in March, so if you would like one without paying the postage then please come and find me!!

For more info on the book, see


"This is the Sea 3" cover
Thursday, February 15, 2007

Here's the final cover of "This is the Sea 3". You've probably already seen the front.

I'm driving up to Fort William tomorrow to talk in the Fort William Mountain Film Festival. Myself and Patrick Winterton will be giving a seakayaking presentation on the Sunday evening. I'll be showing a sneak preview from 'the Falls of Lora' footage which I think will go down well!

Support Fund for Andrew's family
Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The New South Wales canoe club have set up a trust fund for Andrew McAuley's family, following his tragic disappearance less than 100km short of his 1,500km solo crossing to New Zealand. If you would like to donate something to help his wife Vicky, and 3 year old son Finlay then the details are below.

I will be donating a percentage of sales from "This is the Sea 3" to the fund, partly because this DVD contains the story of Andrew's recent 800km journey down the Antarctic peninsula, which he filmed. For every DVD sold I'll give US$1.50 to Andrew's family.

With sad timing, this documentary of Andrew's Antarctic expedition won "best paddling adventure travel story" at it's world premiere at the Reel Film Festival in Canada last Saturday. The film "Epics in Ice - An Antarctic Kayaking Odyssey" is a fantastic story, where Andrew's love of exploration and wild places really shows through. The film festival is now on tour across Canada in over 30 different venues. The organisers, Rapid Media, have said they'll tell people how they can donate at each event.

Here are the details,

Andrew McAuley Support Fund
To make a donation, please electronically transfer funds to:

Account name: Andrew McAuley
Bank: Commonwealth Bank of Australia
BSB: 062505
Account: 10184059
SWIFT: CTBAAU2S (for international transfers)

If you find a wire transfer too cumbersome, you can go to the NSW Sea Kayak Club's web site and make an online donation using your credit card:

Highs and Lows
Saturday, February 10, 2007

I've just had one of the best days surfing I've ever had in North Wales.
Clean head-high lines of surf rolled onto the north coast of the Llyn Peninsula all afternoon. We put in at the pretty harbour of Trevor, a place we usually drive past on the way to the 'proper surf' at Hells Mouth. Today, most people avoided the pounding unpredicatble walls of white at Hells Mouth and there were cars with roofracks parked all along the road on the north coast of the Llyn. The sun even shone for most of the afternoon and everyone had big grins as we crawled off the water as the sun set. Trevor is usually flat but it's a great spot when it works, with clean steep lefthanders peeling for a few hundred metres. We started off trying to surf outside the harbour but I got caught in the already broken water on my first attempt and struggled to get off the pounding surf as I was driven towards some nasty sharp rocks. We thought better of it, and moved to a slighly smaller, friendlier, and excellent break in the bay. At this spot, you can take a fantastic clean ride in then paddle back out in flat water and set up for another go.

Despite the fun, I've had a shadow hanging over me today as I constantly kept thinking about Andrew McAuley and his family on the other side of the world. I found out last night, UK time, that he might be in trouble so close to the end of his solo kayak journey from Tasmania to New Zealand. I so admire Andrew for living his dreams, for setting himself goals, and methodically and sensibly working towards them. From the few emails I had from Andrew, I have been really impressed with the logical and rational approach he has to challenges - and the guts that he has. It made me feel alive just to read his trip updates every day - which has been the first thing I've done every morning for 4 weeks. So Andrew, as I was catching those waves today, feeling the adrenaline surge through my body, I was thinking of you & Vicky, sending you my best wishes and hopes & thinking of how the sea that we love can be so giving and so taking, how it can bring joy on one side of the world and despair on the other. It's not fair but it's that unpreditable, untamable beauty that draws us to the ocean.

I hope more than anything right now that you are OK. If it's possible to send warmth and energy mentally then you've been getting plenty of help from all over the world. It must be daylight again in NZ now. My best wishes are with you and the rescue teams.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Ok, here is the world's first glimpse of 'This is the Sea 3'. You're probably not reading this anymore and have clicked the link (!).... but just incase someone sticks it out then I'll explain that it shows a few shots from every chapter in the DVD, except for the 40min documentary about Antarctica. You can probably work out which chapter things come from by reading the accompanying text. Just to keep you coming back, I'll add a separate preview clip of 'Epics in Ice - An Antarctic Kayak Odyssey' in about a weeks time. Thank you very much to Derrick Mayoleth who has been slaving away at his computer to put the video on the site ( and about a million other things!!).

In related news, 'This is the Sea 3' is already on sale on my website, and on a few other sites. In the next few days, I'll be introducing a 'special offer' on the shopping pages. Buy any 2 DVDs and save, or buy any 3 DVDs and save even more! I will also be contacting shops and distributors this week to make sure that they stock up on the new DVD prior to the launch on 10th March. Feel free to hassle your local shop to stock some - they can email me for details.

If you are based in the UK, then I'll be showing the UK premiere of 'This is the Sea 3' at the Outdoor Show in Birmingham on 17th and 18th March. Well, strictly speaking I'll be showing some of it because it's over 2 hours long andmy slots are only 45mins long!! All my DVDs will be on sale and if you are too tight to buy anything ;-)then "The North Face" are making some posters that will be FREE.

Blogger won't let me post a picture.. I'll try again later!

Monday, February 05, 2007

Well, phew.... 'This is the Sea 3' has flown out of my computer. The editing is over at last!!! I'll post the master tapes off today and in about 3 weeks time the finished DVDs will arrive ( maybe slightly longer in the States because I have to post a master DVD over there). So now Derrick and I are madly finalising the back cover, and near the top of my long list of things to do is editing a promotional clip which I'll put on the website in the next few days. For now here's a photo of a demanding visitor we got to the house today. There I am with my eyes glued to the TV checking the master tapes for any drop-out or glitches and there's a loud bang on the window. The pheasant who seems to be resident in the garden had decided we had been neglecting feeding him so he came to the glass door to say 'hey, whatever you're doing isn't THAT important. I need some food!' Alun opened the door and he came right into the house!

I know I don't often write about general happenings in the seakayaking world, but if you're not aware of Andrew McAuley's expedition to kayak from Tasmania to New Zealand then you should check out his website and read the daily reports that his wife has been writing. It's amazing what he is doing, in little more than a standard kayak. I'm proud to have one of Andrew's other adventures featured in 'This is the Sea 3' - an amazing 800km journey that he made down the Antarctic peninsula with Laurie Geogheon, and Stu Trueman. He got back from that trip last February... he doesn't sit still for long!! See his blog here

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