Sunday, December 14, 2008

Canadian Wild Geese !

Woodburn river leading into Belfast lough
Kilroot power station and Carrickfergus a few miles away .

Yes frost on the ground ! -4 degrees c at the slipway 9:50 am .

Ireland's smallest Castle ? Greenisland .

Light bellied Brent Geese on Belfast lough all the way from Canada !

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Royal Navy at anchor - Belfast lough .

William and I paddled out from Carrickfergus to get a closer look at HMS Enterprise .
Me and H88 flying their insignia
HMS Enterprise is a State of the art mapping ship and dual role warship ,
and was in supporting the Sea Cadets UK regatta which was held at Carrick Castle .

William and I got permission to get very close to ship , and we had a little chat with an Officer, who gave us a little bit of history and general talk about the Enterprise who are not long back from Iraq . Thankyou to the crew and the Captain on the bridge who gave us a wave.

Heading back to Fisherman's Quay.

Back on terraferma.
One of the attractions was the Royal Marine Commando's abseil tower and their marching band.
The sail ability weekend , for those with special needs , being well supported. An old sea dog "Vambo" my mate on his trawler the Audacious which I fished off a few years ago . Is that a beer belly I see developing ?

Friday, August 1, 2008

Can you check my Skeg mate !

In the last few days loads of people have came to me for advice in relation to sea kayaking , being a relative newcomer myself of only a few years I point most people to my paddling club or the Internet . It just amazes me the amount of interest and older people than me out there ( said quietly ) who are looking some sort of escape from normal hum drum sports like the garden and speed knitting !

Well hats of to them all for getting out there and kayaking - it's a bug that only gets worse !

Above picture , Tojo - his first time in a sea kayak and me under the Irish sea looking for treasure ! GREAT CRACK .

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Paddle buddy Isle of Man - Sunday 13th July 08.

Eleven paddlers took to the water at Port Erin and headed for the
Calf of Man with a short stop to look at the basking shark sighted in the sound.

The weather was superb and the welcome was even better !
Carole in the middle "my new French teacher "
The stunning coastline just south from Port Erin
My new "grass fibre" sea kayak , isnt she a beauty !! my campsite scars in the Isle of Man,
which is located bang in the middle of the Irish sea between N. Ireland and England .
I was told it takes only 10 minutes to climb to the top of the Island - aye by Helicopter !
maybe , my feet are still sore ! but the view was worth every stride .
Looking back to Peel south to north from the Calf of Man the little island just off
Isle of Man .

Some nice tide races are to be found here , Chicken rock in the distance.
The harbour for a little break . A big thank you to everyone and I can't wait to go back . ps I will not go mountain climbing again Jessica I swear .

Monday, June 16, 2008

Copeland Island's to Donaghadee Safety cover . 15.06.08

The winner on my right and runner up left and a happy man centre ! me.
Had to slip this one in , a " Trent class " all weather lifeboat , this time it's Donaghadee's turn !
Taking the plunge , into a fast tide and water temp around 11 c .
Tarron behind me 15 minutes into the race and the conditions getting worse. Touch down ! at the harbour around the 49 min mark . Mervin in the red boat glad to see his brave wife on hard ground after a hard slog through an ever increasing sea .
I had great fun and met some new faces , cant wait till I put on a spray deck again , thanks to everyone there .

On Sunday five brave soul's endured the cold Irish sea !

Four women and one man swam the treacherous gap from the Copeland island's to Donaghadee on the County Down coast of N.Ireland for charity and triathlon point's ,

Six paddler's Pete Mervin Ernie Tom Neil and me Danny ! all paddled to the island to await the competitors also covering the race were the R.N.L.I. in a rib and a support vessel with a camera crew on board.

We each had a swimmer to guide across the fast flowing sea . My swimmer Tarron was a so called ( iron man ) was a very nice fit lady triathlete who would make someone in the SAS regiment look like a boy scout , only joking !

49 minutes was the finish time by my swimmer who came in first ! at one stage there was nearly an extra swimmer in the water as the sea got quite choppy near the end and I had to brace a few times in quick succession ! due to rouge waves from behind ! but somehow I managed to stay sunny side up and I was pleased to paddle in with the winner following me , well done to this remarkable lady and a big congratulations to her . ps who made that soup in the pub afterwards ? Tomato , lentil and Tabasco !! nice - but some mixture HOT , I am still suffering .

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Portmuck fun May 08"

Above : are my Chariot & my Valley Avocet , also Muck island nature reserve just visible near my cockpit. Below - the view of Portmuck from half way up the hill , on a clear day Scotland is easly seen , but the heat haze today obscured it .

My children love the sea , and at every chance , they board my sea kayak for a little go ! This week the weather has been very good and the sun tan oil has well slapped on !

I am trying out the video on my blog , sorry about the quality .

Portrush Lifeboat on the North Antrim coast - N.Ireland

The crew at Portrush R.N.L.I. station warmly gave my family and I a little guided tour and taught us more about boats and the history of the volunteers who risk there lives to save others.
This is a Severn class all weather boat , cost -two million pounds ! the boat is part of the Royal National Lifeboat Institutions' reserve fleet , the reason - the original boat was severely damaged during a stormy rescue of the coast of Rathlin island recently and the damage may result in the (Katie Hannan 17-23) being retired for training only. A big thank you to all at the station and cheers for the little gifts the kids got , we all had a great time .

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

My first sun-burn of 2008 ! Island-Magee coast Co.Antrim.

The Scottish coast under a cloak of thunder storms , about 15 miles away over the other side of the Irish sea. Whitehead and the oil jetty at Cloghan point .
My friends summer home near the shore. ( Lucky devil ).
Tea-time ! and every few minutes you could hear the calls of Pheasants echoing from the countryside , spring is underway! The gobbins cliff's in the distance .
Rounding the headland.
Razorbills and Cormorants nesting on the cliff face.
Blackhead lighthouse.
The squad rounding Blackhead !
Ernie , Peter and Kevin and me about to have a lunch break. Peter's new Capella and my red Avocet.
In the distance if you enlarge the photo you can just make out the Copeland Islands Co Down .

This is a photo of a little hand cleared slipway at IslandMagee which I used many times in the 90's when my friend had a small boat tied up here .

Steven and I used to set the odd lobster pot and fishing net just off the shore here which was very successful .

Short sleeves today as the weather was fantastic ,as I write with beetroot arms !

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Lagan descent kayak race - Northern Ireland. 20.4.08.

Michelle and I
The race about to start .
Half way mark and thumbs up from the boss !

Michelle and I both entered the race just for the sheer fun , and to meet up with some old friends we missed from the pool sessions and other paddles we did last year .

The race is 10 miles long and snakes its way through Belfast's valleys and parks and has in times of flood has some very interesting rapids and weirs which I've run a few times with my heart in my mouth ! but as always it was great fun .

This was my other half's first time on a river " hangover and all " and she was over the moon when she shot her first weir at Edenderry like a pro ! but the next one - lets just say backwards and wrong side of weir and no more !

For a great day and some nice scenery have a go , you don't know what your missing .

A big thank you to all at Belfast Canoe Club and thank you Mark for the race T shirt that Michelle has adopted as a second skin , can't wait till November for another go !