Exciting news for 2017

Exciting news, for 2017 I will be joining team @palmequipment !

If you had told me when I started boating over 18 years ago that I would one day be supported by this company I wouldn't have believed you. One of the very first pieces of paddling kit that I had back in 1999 was a palm extrem buoyancy aid and I have used their kit, throwbags and rescue equipment ever since.

A huge thank you goes out to immersion research who have supported me for the last few years who make some outstanding kit. I wouldn't be where I am now without your help.

In 2017 I want to connect more with local clubs and paddlers, get out personally paddling and push myself to a new level with my boating. Bring it on!


The Maltese SUP project update

Once we had packed up and got ready to get on the water, we headed to the bay in Selima to start our journey. With some rough water out at sea we knew the first part of the journey would be tough . 

Heading east out of the bay we experienced quite harsh conditions meaning that we were on our knees for most of the time on the board . Being fully loaded with kit makes the board pretty unstable and slow , but we were in high spirits and making progress . 

We pulled into the port in Valletta quite late in the day for lunch and to reassess how far we actually felt we could go on the water that day . 

Needing to set up camp pretty soon we found a special place on the end of a Fort in Valletta and set up for the evening  

Even though we didn't get very far on the first day , we are learning so much about the island, the boards and our capabilities . Bring on day 2



Day 2

After an early night and an incident with a slug on my face in the middle of the night we set off at first light determined to make a bit more distance.  

Even launching and landing our exped boards is a real task, but working together we are slowly becoming a bit more organised and a bit more aware of what we need to do

With the sea a bit calmer than it was the day before we quickly began to make good progress 



With the south side of the island coming up , our knowledge is that there will be limited places to stop and resupply , so we stopped in Marsaskala Bay . 

After gathering enough water and food for the next few days , we pushed on further , hoping to get about another 8km further into our journey . 



With George keeping our spirits high with some tunes on her whistle we kept moving and made it to Marsaxlokk Bay and set up camp . 


Completing 15km today seems like a big achievement. Progress is slow but we are having fun . Now for a little ukulele jam session at camp 

No Van = No Paddling??? Think Again!

When my van was towed away by the AA on Monday, my plans of going paddling the day after seemed to fade away.  However with Mother Bear offering me her Toyota Yaris to help me get around for the day, it seemed like an adventure could be back on the cards.  However the Yaris has no roof rack and no kit space, but for an inflatable SUP that is no problem!

My Red Paddle Co Explorer 13'2" fits nicely in the boot of the Yaris

As I am currently in training for our Maltese SUP adventure I was keen to get some distance in so decided to head off up to Windermere to paddle its full 18km from Fell Foot to Waterhead.

Parking up, pumping up and packing took no more than 20 mins

Even though the weather was due to be a bit damp throughout the day, I was expecting a very light breeze blowing me all the way up towards Ambleside throughout the trip.  At the moment Im using a Red Paddle Co Explorer 13'2" which seems perfect for the type of adventures I want to go on with a SUP.  Check it out here  and you can contact Andy at Go Kayaking Northwest to arrange to try one or buy one 

I was keeping track of my progress with my Garmin GPS throughout and was averaging around 6kmh throughout which I am really pleased with at the moment.  I certainly can go faster, but Im a long way away from keeping that up for 18km! 

As I was on a "one man, one board, one way" type journey I was going to need to get back to where I started at Fell Foot at the south end of Windermere.  Usually with kayaks/canoes this typically involves needing two vehicles or an extra shuttle back and forth.  This involves leaving whatever you have just been paddling on its own at the end of your journey whilst you return back to the start to get your vehicle.  

It was at this stage that my inflatable SUP showed once again how versatile it is!

Removing the fin, deflation and roll away only takes about 5 minutes

Packing down into a very portable package, traveling with the SUP was going to be a breeze

5 minutes later I was ready to head back to my car at the start!  If I had brought a big enough drybag rucksac and had been using a 3 piece split it would have been a bit easier to put it all in one bag, but still it was more portable than my open canoe!

All that was left was to catch a lift back to the start, fortunately due to the amount of traffic and the kindness of the local people, it only took about 5 minutes before I was already on my way!

The 18km journey took 3 hours and 20 minutes which I am really happy with and I managed to average 6km an hour moving speed.  Bring on more SUP adventures! 

500 people trained in First Aid!

Its been fun, hard work, enlightening, interesting and Ive met some incredible people along the way!  Thanks to everyone for heading out in the rain and rolling in the mud when I suggest doing first aid outside and to anyone who has ever asked me one of those tricky or unusual questions that keeps me on my toes!  Heres to another 500!