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Festive paddle
Monday, December 28, 2009

Where was everyone today on the sea? It was a glorious day with sunshine, views of snow covered mountains, very little wind and fantastic clean waves at Penrhyn Mawr tidal race.

After a lovely Christmas Day with our families, Barry and I have enjoyed a couple of days working off some of that turkey and trimmings. On Sunday we hoped to paddle to the Skerries, but the wind was a bit stronger than forecast and we decided it would be much more sensible and sane to walk along the north coast of Anglesey from Cemlyn Bay for a few hours. With our legs suitably exercised, today the wind dropped right off and allowed us a wonderful window to enjoy one of our favourite paddles from Porthdafarch to Penrhyn Mawr and South stack. When we first got to the tidal race at PRM it was just starting and we played in small waves before heading around the rocks to South Stack.

It was a gorgeous clear day with views across to the snow-clad peaks of Snowdonia and the Llyn Penisula. We tried to surf some small waves off South Stack before heading back to PRM for one more play. By then it was mid-flood and the waves had built to a fun and exciting size. The lack of wind and moderate swell meant the waves were lovely and clean and we had a great time flying down the faces, burying our bows, getting spun around to face backwards and both of us coming very close to rolling. I thought I was going to get looped at one point and was half relieved (it's pretty cold out!) and half disappointed ( it would have been pretty exciting!) not to.

We were having so much fun that we stayed out until it practically got dark, landing back at Porthdafarch at 4.30pm. What a great day!

We are trying out some Valley seakayaks - Barry was in the Avocet today which he loves and found very maneuverable & responsive. I was in the Avocet LV which I really enjoyed ( although I'd like another go in the Avocet aswell). I'm enjoying trying out some different kayaks as they all respond slightly differently and I'm sure it's good for my paddling to experience that.

We're also trying out some Mitchell blades which are made pretty locally to us in Chester. We both like the way they feel in the water.

"This is the Sea" available as digital download
Wednesday, December 16, 2009

"This is the Sea" is now available as a digital download for the bargain price of under 6 Euros - just in time for Christmas!!

I'm not sure how you wrap up a digital download, but you could always put the download information in an envelope for someone, or buy it for yourself - after all we should spoil ourselves at Christmas aswell!!

Or perhaps you could download it and burn it to a DVD for someone?

Then again, if you'd rather have the physical disc in it's original cover with the disc artwork then you can buy them from the Cackle TV store, or from your local kayaking and outdoor shop. Remember you can save money if you buy more than 1 DVD.

I'm interested in feedback about digital downloads. The recommended price seems a bit cheap to me, but then maybe it appeals to people who wouldn't pay more for a physical DVD?

Should I make the other DVDs available as digital downloads? What about selling individual films from the DVDs? For example I could sell the award winning film of my circumnavigation of New Zealand? This is part of "This is the Sea 4", but I could offer just the NZ film for a lower price?

Hilbre & the Seiont - packed weekend!
Sunday, December 06, 2009

They say variety is the spice of life. On Saturday, Barry and I headed to the Wirral to catch up with his family and my sister, who was visiting the area. We went for a seapaddle out to Hilbre island at the mouth of the Dee Estuary - Barry's local paddle when he lived on the Wirral. The tidal race out the back of the island was working well and we had a bit of a surf before having lunch on the island with some friends.

We headed back to North Wales and today joined John Domony and Gordon on a river paddle down the Seiont, a mostly grade 3 river which is right on our doorstep but which Barry and I haven't done before. The level was high and we had to portage around one low bridge, but it was great fun and bouncy.

Winter white out!
Friday, December 04, 2009

It's been snowing on and off for the past week or two and yesterday afternoon I got out into the mountains for the first time this Winter. That's the beauty of living in North Wales - we have sea, rivers and mountains right on our doorstep, which makes it possible to chose your poison depending on the weather and what you feel like.

Tara and I had a great walk up Y Garn and back down the Devil's Kitchen. There was loads of snow and a bit of ice up top, and white-out conditions for the top 100-200metres. Map reading was quite tricky!! But we had a great day! Back to work today, before the weekend tomorrow!

Strait Flush
Thursday, December 03, 2009

Last Saturday a windy forecast & big swell kept us from venturing onto the more exposed parts of the coast. Instead we opted for a 'sheltered' but longish paddle from Moel y Don on the Menai Straits, south and then out of the Straits to Lladwyn island. I've only paddled this stretch of coast once before and that was when I paddled around the whole of Anglesey in a day so I wasn't really stopping to see the sights! A 30km round trip was enough on this day and we ended up returning practically in the dark. Barry's godson Jake was visiting so he went in the double with Barry. The mountains of Snowdonia and the LLyn peninsula looked beautiful with a dusting of snow and I really enjoyed the different scenery and fresh crisp air!!

I tried out a Valley Aquanaut LV and Barry and I tried out Mitchell Paddles, which we liked.

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