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 Justine's Journal

CackleTV Productions


3 Peaks Yacht Race
Monday, June 30, 2008

I'm in Scotland, filming the 3 Peaks yacht Race where teams sail from Barmouth in wales to Fort William in Scotland but stop off to send runners up the 3 highest peaks in Wales, England and Scotland. over 2 days in, I'm a bit sleep deprived having been on board one of the leading boats from Barmouth to Whitehaven, filming events as they unfold. We got almost 3 hours sleep at Caernarfon when the runners were racing up Snowdon, and very little last night as we filmed the lead yacht trying to leave and getting stuck on a sandbank at 1am, then really leaving (neck and neck with another boat) at 5am. Tonight, I'm at Crewhaven eating a pub meal before being taken on a boat in the middle of the night out to the Correvrekkan area where we hope to catch up with the lead boats in the early hours and get some shots of the battle for first place. I'm one of several camerapeople filming for "DreamTeam TV' and the final programme will be shown on TransWorld sport.

Thanks to Arran Cartwright for the photo from the land.

Isle of Man and the ellusive basking sharks!
Wednesday, June 25, 2008


In June every year basking sharks are often seen feeding around the Isle of Man. These amazing creatures which can reach up to 12 metres long often feed on the surface with their dorsal fin and tail wiggling menacingly above the water. Thankfully they only eat plankton so there's no fear of becoming dinner, just the exciting possibility of looking down upon one of these amazing creatures if they chose to swim up to your kayak. I've been hoping to get over to the Isle of Man to film them for a few years and finally on Monday evening, Barry and I flew over for a few days with our fingers crossed. Keirron, from Adventurous Experiences looked after us and tried his hardest to make us and the sharks meet but alas, it wasn't to be this time. On the positive side, we had a lovely sunset paddle on Monday, and saw a lot of the beautiful west and south coasts on Tuesday as we walked the cliff paths, scouring the water for any sign of a black fin. Today was pretty windy, a force 6 SWerly was whipping the sea up so we decided there wasn't much chance of spotting sharks and we'd just go for a fun paddle. Keirron took us to Port Erin and we surfed north to Peel Castle. Barry and I got to paddle the double which we paddled over to the Isle of Man from Anglesey about a year ago!

In a way, it's good that the sharks are so unpredicatable and we can't just plan to go and film them - after all the unexpected, untamable aspect is one thing I love about being out in nature..... but hopefully next time the sharks will give us just a little peak! "This is the Sea 4" needs you!

Mountain Equipment Co-Op PaddleFest
Monday, June 16, 2008


The Toronto MEC PaddleFest was a lot of fun with a few hundred people out on the water in canoes, kayaks, outriggers, dragon boats and everything inbetween. There was a really good atmosphere with loads of instructors teaching beginners through to more advanced strokes. My favourite session was kThe weather held out well until the last afternoon when a thunder storm and torrential rain had everyone off the water and running for cover. It didn't dampen spirits and the final class of the day was back on the water briefly! Dubside was there impressing everyone with his rope gymnastics, slack lining and rolling, and I had the pleasure to meet some very talented canoeists including Karen Knight and Bob Foote doing an amazing freestyle routine which was like dancing on the water.

Thanks a lot to MEC for inviting me to the event and to Dave, James and Erik at the Harbourfront Canoe & Kayak centre in Toronto for helping me out with various things including a pontoon boat and driver ( Erik!) for filming.

Ottawa River in seakayaks
Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I'm in Ottawa, Canada filming Ken Whiting and Brendan Mark seakayaking down the mightly Ottawa River. These former world champions ( Ken in playboating and Brendan in Squirt boating) know the river like the back of their hand and make 10foot drops into a wall of whitewater look like a piece of cake.

One the first day we paddled down the Middle Channel which opened my eyes pretty wide. I've paddled in quite a few tidal rapids but have spent less than 20 days kayaking on rivers in my life so it was exciting, to say the least. I managed to slide sideways into 'Phils hole' but emerged the right way up, and had one roll on my weaker side at another rapid. The boys were very cool and even ran the impressive Garvin's shute in their TRAK kayaks.

Today we paddled down the main channel, which is 3 times the volume of water of the middle channel. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous!! Today I managed 4 rolls, 2 of them in the last rapid which was a HUGE wave train! The 3rd wave broke on me from what felt like a great height and I knew I was in trouble. The next second my kayak was vertical and soon after I was upside down. It took a while to be able to get into position to roll as the water was very turblent, and almost as soon as I was up, I got knocked over again. A quicker roll this time and I paddled to the eddy. It was quite a buzz to survive that! Ken and Brendan made it look pretty easy and I've got some great footage of them on waves which make the seakayaks look very small! The footage will be in 'This is the Sea 4', which will be released before Christmas this year - more details to follow soon!

Tomorrow I fly to Toronto for the MEC PaddleFest at the weekend.

Njord Symposium
Monday, June 02, 2008

Barry and I had a fantastic time in Norway in glorious sunshine. The symposium was a lot of fun, in a great location right next to the sea. Everyone camped perched amongst boulders on grassy patches, and we ate in an old boathouse right on the water, you could have fallen over backwards into the sea ( but fortunately no-one did!). The setting for the event is a pretty chain of islands and islets dotted on the west coast, from a few square metres in size to a few kilometres squared. Where you launch from is really sheltered and protected from any swell, but the further west you go through the islands, the more exposed it becomes and usually you can find challenging conditions for rockhopping. At the moment the calm weather provided at most a 0.5metre swell and we had 2 great days exploring the outer islands, paddling past colourful old boathouses, and squeezing through narrow gaps between islands. The Norwegian people we met were really friendly, fun and relaxed... we'd love to go back some time to explore the area more and hang out with them. Our group even got serranaded by a boat full of musicians on the way back from our trip, which was very cool! We gave a talk about New Zealand on the Saturday night and Nigel and Kristen Foster made a surprise appearance that evening, on their way to a symposium in Iceland - it was nice to catch up with them.

Thanks to Ronny at God Tur for putting us up ( and depite the weekends festivities, getting up at 5.30am to take us to the airport this morning!). Thanks to Njord for inviting us to the sympoisum. Thanks to Kjell for the photos.


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