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PACIFIC HORIZONS DVD available in UK & Europe 11th December
Thursday, November 29, 2007

Many keen seakayakers will already have seen the impressive preview clip of Bryan Smith’s new inspirational seakayaking DVD, "Pacific Horizons". Just released in America, you'll be able to buy the DVD in the UK & Europe right here at Cackle TV from 11th December, and you can pre-order now.

The format is based loosely on the "This is the Sea" series with individual chapters about places, people or tidal races but the DVD is based entirely in the Pacific North West region of America & Canada.

Showcasing some of the world's most sought after sea kayaking destinations, Pacific Horizons captures the essence of the Ocean and inspires everyone to get out on the water and go kayaking! Blending wildlife, people, places and action-packed kayaking, Bryan Smith takes us on an unforgettable journey documenting impressive tidal race surfing, the Orca whales of the San Juan Islands, the Bunsby islands off the remote coast of Vancouver island, "commando kayaking" with Greenland rolling and ropes gymnastics champion Dubside, the wind and waves of the Oregon coast, and to top it all off, a special appearance of Justine Curgenven's work depicting her journey around the Queen Charlotte Islands with Shawna Franklin and Leon Somme. Pacific Horizons is an entertaining, breath-taking and inspirational adventure film.

The DVD is £19.99 with free postage.

Please see
for more information and a preview clip.

Warm and wet in Israel
Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Symposium has been great fun with really nice people. It ended today with 4 star assesment done by Jeff then a paddle home past the ancient city of Ceaseria with it's 2,000 year old ruins right on the seafront.

We're here for 1 more day tomorrow and we'll go for a social paddle in the north of Israel, then home to cold wintery wales and my lovely wood-burning stove!!

More photos from Rami here

Israel Symposium
Friday, November 23, 2007

It feels like I've been in Israel for much more than 3 days! I'm here with Jeff Allen working at a symposium organised by Hadas for one of the 2 seakayak clubs that she works for ( the Optimists Club) They are working us hard ( in the nicest possible way!) with long full days!

Wednesday was a fun day with a trip to seakayak on the Dead Sea. Yosale, hadas and Steve were our local hosts and drove us inland and down down down to 417 metres below sealevel where the Dead Sea lies. The weather was more typically Welsh than typical for Isreal with rain hammering down at Hadas' house, and 20 knots of wind whipping the Dead Sea up into choppy waves. Hadas assured me it was usually flat calm, but today we had to keep our mouths shut or salty spray would sting our lips and mouths. One wave broke on me, sending mineral-rich water up my nose, into my mouth and eyes. It's paniful and you have to try really hard not to lick your lips. It was definately worth it though, as the setting of steep mountains on either side of the Dead Sea, and the sheets of salt crystals on the edge of the sea were really beautiful.
And of course we got to float in the sea afterwards which is incredibly buoyant - it's actually hard to stand up as your legs tend to float up to the surface. Finally, we rubbed ourselves in Dead Sea black mud which is full of minerals and meant to be good for your skin. I don't know if it is good for you but it was a lot of fun. I squirmed into a hole full of mud up to my waist! When we washed it off afterwards my skin did feel good, except for the places where I cut my legs on the sharp salt crystals!

On the way home we drove through Jerusalem but unfortunately the traffic was bumper to bumper and the rain was torrential so I didn't get to see much of the old city.

The last 2 days Jeff and I have been coaching at the symposium with Hadas. I was itching to go surfing on the first day as the recent bad weather had kicked up some lovely waves. In the end we did have a bit of a surf as part of an incident management session in the afternoon which was great fun! The water is wonderfully warm and a real treat after getting numb fingers last weekend in Wales!

More pictures here

North Wales Tikki Touring
Monday, November 19, 2007

Paul Caffyn describes going on a sight seeing paddle ( or perhaps anything other than focused expedition paddling ) as Tikki Touring! I quite like that expression and think it could well describe what Barry, Axel and I enjoyed this weekend. I hadn't been paddling for 3 weeks so I was hoping for a good play at one of my favourite familiar spots. Top of my list was Penrhyn Mawr and/ or a trip around the Stacks, but Winter has crept up on us and Axel reported that a Force 6 southerly was making Penrhyn Mawr a little more than playful. We decided to head instead to Puffin Island on the NE tip of Anglesey and enjoyed a more sheltered paddle around the island. It's such a pretty spot with the nugget-like island sticking up prominently a few hundred metres offshore, with a slight tidal race running in the channel on Saturday. We saw dozens of seals on the far end of the island and then headed west along the limestone Penmon Cliffs for about an hour - a part of the coastline that I've not really explored before. I really enjoyed poking my bow around every corner, peeping into small caves and braving a few gentle rock hops. We even saw 3 swimmers in one bay - now they are brave!

On Sunday, we opted for a paddle around Great Orme and Little Orme, near Llandudno on the north coast of Wales. I paddled past these prominent limestone headlands when I paddled around Wales with Fiona Whitehead but we didn't stop to have a look around. On Sunday, we spent the afternoon poking into every cave, getting showered by blow holes, and rock hopping. Sharp limestone covered with barnacles isn't the ideal arena to get it wrong!!

I'm off to Israel tomorrow morning for a week long symposium. I have very definately left my dry suit at home!!

New Zealand Start date 24th January
Friday, November 09, 2007

Barry and I have booked our flights to New Zealand. We leave home on 22nd January and arrive in Christchurch on 24th. We’ll start the expedition as soon as we get organised and buy things like food & flares – probably around 25th or 26th. A big thanks to ‘the North Face’ who have not only given us some of their lovely kit to keep us warm, but who are also giving us £2,000 towards the trip. (We’ve just given it all to a travel agents to pay for our flights!). Our kayaks are already half way to NZ thanks to Seakayaking UK and Lendal ( and Shawna and Leon from Body Boat Blade who are helping transport the kayaks from the NDK container to Lendal in Washington). Thanks to all of them.

I’m very excited for this huge challenge in a beautiful place, and I’m also full of anticipation. I’m reading with great interest how Freya is getting on on her circumnavigation of the South Island which is going on right now If you haven’t done so already then check out her blog – she’s not having an easy time of it with dumping surf keeping her off the water for longer than she’d like.

For the next 2 months, I’ll mainly be at home in Wales, starting to edit ‘This is the Sea 4’ ( to be released in late 2008), and getting out in my kayak in surf and challenging conditions as often as possible. I have just found out that I will be going to Israel around 22nd November to help Hadas Feldman out with a symposium that she is organising there, so that will be fun!

Wilderness First Aid
Friday, November 02, 2007


I'm in Glenmore Lodge in Scotland doing a 6-day course about Wilderness First Aid. 5 days into the course my brain is full of all sorts of things that can go wrong in a remote place where we are far from outside help! But hopefully I also have a much better idea of how to deal with it. On previous expeditions that I've been on, someone else has had good first aid experience, but neither Barry nor I have much knowledge. Now when we go to New Zealands' Fjordland and are miles from a roadhead, I'll be panicing everytime Barry gets a headache but I'll be able to make much more informed decisions if something does go wrong, from dislocated fingers to a severe bang on the head! II'd recommend the course to anyone who is leading groups in remote situations, or who is planning a remote expedition where medical help is not on hand. There is even a diamond miner who works in Africa here, and amazingly a girl who i went to school with and havent' seen since! The course is quite intense, most days are 10 hours of lectures, practicals and scenarios. Today in our pretend scenarios we had to deal with injuries including a woman who had fallen on her paddle and impaled herself on it causing it to go all the way through her body. The photos are of the scenarios - not real injuries! I'll be writing an article about the course for 'Ocean Paddler' magazine ( which is a 'Wilderness First Responder' course run by Wilderness Emergency Medical Services Institute, WEMSI ( Europe) .

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