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"This is Canoeing" to launch at Canoecopia 2010
Friday, November 27, 2009

I finally have a name for my canoeing DVD. I'm not sure why it took so much agonizing over because as soon as Paul Mason said,

"Why don't you call it "This is Canoeing"?"

a lightbulb went on! I'd already thought of 'This is the Canoe' but it somehow didn't have a good ring to it!

Some people will be relieved ( or disappointed?) that the acronym is the very respectable TIC !

The other big news is that I'l be launching the DVD at Canoecopia in Wisconsin in March 2010. I attended this event once before 3 years ago when I launched "This is the Sea 3". I was impressed with the huge scale of it, there were so many stands and people there. At the time - as a seakayaker who had never tried canoeing - I was surprised to see that half of the hall was full of canoes and open boat stuff! Things I knew very little about!

This year, I'll be looking with interest at everything at Canoecopia, on the seakayaking and canoeing stands! The programme isn't finalised yet but aswell as launching the world premiere of "This is Canoeing", I'll be giving some salty and fresh water presentations. I'm excited that my good friends, Shawna Franklin & Leon Somme from Body Boat Blade will be there and we may even all give a presentation about our trip to the Queen Charlotte islands.

Back to now.....I only have 105 days left until Canoecopia! Realistically thats about 70 days left until I need to have finished the editing, graphics and cover! Plus letting customers, shops and distributors know about the DVD!
It's a bit of a tight deadline but I'd like to launch the DVD at a big event at the start of the season, so the gauntlet has been laid down! Editing is going well and the stuff looks great! ( although I say so myself!).

The DVD is being sponsored by "CanoeRoots" and "Rapid magazine". The staff there have just launched new websites which you should check out. They will also be designing the DVD cover for me so thanks a lot to Beth and Scott for that.

Right, back to it! I hope to see some of you there at Canoecopia!

Remember, if you are a facebook user, you can follow Cackle TV on facebook for more frequent short updates.

North Coast paddle
Monday, November 16, 2009

I've been making the most of having use of a Valley Rush surf kayak and have been out surfing 4 times in the last 10 days! I really love the kayak and am trying to learn to do it justice. For the last 8 years I've been surfing a longer surf kayak without fins and feel my surfing hasn't really improved in that time ( although that could be mostly because I don't do it that often). I've had some great moments on the Rush .... I just need to learn to string them all together on 1 amazing ride!! Barry has been given a raider pro waveski by a kind man in Oxfordshire (thanks Ronny) and he's been enjoying trying to get to grips with that as it's a competition ski and not easy to even sit on, never mind surf!

On Sunday, Barry and I left the surf boats at home and took out some seakayaks that we are borrowing from Valley. We tried the Avocet and the Avocet LV on a lovely paddle on the north coast of Anglesey. We managed not to break the carbon kevlar one, which was the first good thing about the day! I enjoyed manoevring the kayaks around the rocky coastline and through slots and gaps. We paddled out to the island of Middle Mouse & had a play in the small tidal race there, which was also great fun. I'm looking forward to getting out and trying the boats in a bigger tidal race, and trying out the Nordkapp LV and the Aquanaut LV.

Algonquin in the Autumn
Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Doug is sitting happily in the bow of the canoe clutching Kitty the toy cat in one hand and his lego magazine in the other hand. His dad, Scott MacGregor, paddles their red canoe along the Petawawa river, one of the classic canoe journeys in Algonquin Park. Inbetween looking after his toys, eating snacks and casting his fishing rod, four year old Doug will pick up his small wooden paddle and help his dad propel the boat down the river.

It's a frosty October morning. It was hard to get out of our sleeping bags this morning and once we were up, the cold was biting. My thermometer says minus 7 and there is frost all over the gunwales and seats. Who's idea was this anyway? Scott was too cold during the night but Doug tells us how he was so warm in his double sleeping bag that he took his hat and socks off. Now he's happy because he's toasting a marshmallow over the morning fire.

Over the next 3 days we paddle some challenging rapids, admire some beautiful Fall scenery and enjoy a remote adventure! We don't see anyone else on the river. Doug is a trouper, surviving - enjoying - the cold temperatures and challenges of living from a canoe. Perhaps that's because he has his own small barrel full of his favourite toys!

Thanks a lot to Scott MacGregor for organising the trip down the Petawawa and for Paul Britain for paddling with me and providing a Mad River Canoe for us. And of course to Dougy for letting me come along. It was a great fun trip and I'm looking forward to editing the footage and telling the warming story of this father and son paddling down a beautiful river.

Helen Wilson has written an account of the Vulcano symposium that we both attended in Sicily. Read it here.

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