Monday, 3 December 2012

Cards for Kayakers from Cackle TV

Well known for her films - as well as her laugh - Justine Curgenven has recently launched something rather different - cards for kayakers.
Available as a set of six, or individually, you can find out more on Justine's website: Cackle TV. The images used are mine - something I find flattering, bizarre and very satisfying all at the same time - and were taken while paddling around Shetland, Skye, Eigg, Cumbria and Anglesey, all on days that stand out as amongst the best I have enjoyed while sea kayaking.
The first was taken at the mouth of the Ravenglass Estuary at the end of a cold winter's day. As I paddled the last few strokes to the mussel bound shore, I could see Chris from the corner of my eye, paddling straight into a perfect sunset. It was a lucky shot, a second or two later and I would have missed it completely.
The second shows Tim dwarfed by one of the stacks known as Macloed's Maidens on the west coast of Skye - taken towards the end of a long day, our second on the circumnav. that turned into one of the most memorable evening's paddles I have experienced.
The third - one of many such images taken while surfing at Trearddur Bay. I liked this one particularly - Brian catching a faceful - as it seemed to capture that moment of breaking out, the sudden power of a breaking wave that fills the eyes and ears before the hull smashes blindly down into steep troughs - superb fun.
The fourth - a much calmer, though significantly colder day - this was taken as we returned to Porth Dafarch from a trip around the stacks. The beach was frozen as we launched that morning, the air temperature somewhere around -5c. A stunningly beautiful day - I remember the pastel shades of a perfect sunset, stormy skies and the Lleyn Peninsula shimmering in the distance - I'm sure we suffered at the end, but the cold has long since been forgotten.
The fifth - a puffin landing on Sumburgh head was taken on a rest day during our trip around Shetland mainland. Ironically, it was probably the best weather day we had in two weeks and we passed Sumburgh two days later on steep angry seas with thick fog shrouding the cliffs - one of the more dramatic passages I have experienced passing any headland.
Last, but not least, the sixth was taken on one of those perfect spring evenings as Tim and I passed between Rum and Eigg, to land shortly after on a wide golden beach, just in time to watch the sun set across the channel, beyond Askival.
It is moments such as these six, that make the sport what it is - as diverse as any one could hope for, the opportunities endless, like that crossing of St. Magnus Bay...

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