In 2008, it'll take place 23-30 May and in this Podcast, Kevin describes the top three routes to kayak in Jersey.
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We spent much of Sunday with Harry Whelan on the River Thames. We met up at 9 in a fog so dense we couldn’t see from one side of the river to the next. Over-looked by penthouses costing £7.5m, Liz squeezed into an NDK Greenlander with an ocean cockpit.
Allegedly it was the first one out of the mould, but Harry has a touch of the blarney so I’m not sure whether it’s a story I believe. Did you know the London eye was powered by hamsters?
Going against the tide was not exactly hard work, but it was consistently tough for several hours. We snaked from one bank to the other making the most of the eddies and avoiding the industry. Normally such repeated river crossings would be a little dangerous as traffic moves swiftly up and down the Thames, but today the river was closed to navigation. Three sea kayaks and we had the river to ourselves.
I expect we’ll be on more than a few photos. Harry often finds himself on Flickr. Tourists stared and snapped us as we passed under bridge after bridge. Those on the London Eye had a particularly good view. Actually, we were the only view, since the fog was so dense there was nothing else they could take photos of.
We were called over to a pier just before Tower Bridge and told the harbour authorities were aware of us and, please, could we not go beyond Tower Bridge. As the tide was turning, and we could barely see the bridge from right underneath, this was good advice. Now with the tide in our favour we whizzed back. Passing Parliament, the bell of Big Ben rang out. “Come on”, called Harry, “we’re near the exclusion zone. You’ll get shot”. That’s how to motivate a kayaker.
Within an hour we were in a fantastic pub in Chelsea. God, how I miss decent English beer living in Scotland. Sorry and all that, but apart from a few small breweries (like Isle of Skye), most Scottish beer is awful. Harry and I made the most of it, while Liz smiled and suffered obligingly. Apparently I look like Richard Dreyfus and have to learn to say “however” rather than “but”, which is a preposition to an apology. Or was that the beer talking?
Liz drove me back to Maidenhead while Harry went in search of a pushbike he’d left chained-up somewhere near Canary Wharf two days previously.
I was 49 yesterday, Christmas Eve and that was a great way to spend it.
"If you want to give God a laugh, tell him your plans". It's a line from a Mike Scott song and a rather popular way to start a Blog entry. It's a useful reminder of the fragility of dreams. So while we are making plans for 2008, I feel uncomfortable writing about them, as in doing so I might scupper them.
Over 2 million Brits are obsessive online video self-publicists, posting their own footage onto video sharing websites to promote themselves or their work according to a new study from MSN Video.
Men have the biggest online egos, being twice as likely as women to use online videos for self-promotion (34% compared to 16%). Women are more likely to use uploading video as a way of sharing news and movies of events with family and friends (35% compared to 25%).
In a bid to become ‘DIY ad agencies’, older Brits are harnessing the power of online video to boost their business, with a fifth (19%) of uploaders over 45 years old using it to showcase catalogues of work and promote their company.
Regionally, over a third (38%) of Londoners upload content to video-sharing websites for self promotion, whilst the South of England is the most modest with only a fifth (21%) using online video for promotional purposes.
· 30% watch in the evening (6pm-9pm)
· 13% watch on the weekend
· 82% watch at home
People who view User Generated Content:
· Male (65%)
· 18-24 years old (87%)
· Lives in London (62%)
· Key reason = entertainment (38%)
· Male (26% )
· 18-24 years old (33%)
· Live in Wales (29%) and the Midlands (29%)
· Key reason = sharing with others (29%)
Saturday night we loaded the boats onto the car and packed the kit for a few hours kayaking. Sunday morning was dry but a forecast F6-7 was particularly chilly.
We made it as far as Loch Sunart before looking at each other, shivering, and heading back to the cottage.
I envied the team of three climbers kitting up in the dark in Glencoe, the sowy peaks behind them already touched by the first light of day shining in brilliant contrast to the valley.
The Blackmount is white. A photographer had his medium format camera mounted on a tripod near the road, in front of the lochans of Ranoch Moor, presumably waiting to catch a tinge of pink on the reflected mountains behind.
I drove on heading to Glasgow, leaving the highlands for another week.
It’s amazing what you can find on your doorstep. Especially when your doorstep looks like this. We’ve managed a day’s paddling on each of the last three weekends. Today we didn’t have much time. So we put into Loch Linnhe, somewhere we never normally paddle because we’ve always thought it a little.... dull.
Today we saw a white tailed sea eagle.
It was perched in the spindly upper branches of a leaf-bare tree, seeming far too massive for the twigs to hold it’s weight. Then it stretched forward, unfolded its huge wings, and hung in the sky. When I see an aircraft carrier I find it almost impossible to comprehend how it can float. That this animal could be borne aloft by the wind under its wings seemed equally improbable. To mis-quote Douglas Adams, it hung in the sky in the same way that a brick doesn’t.
Ben Nevis had a good blanket of snow as did the upper slopes of the Mamores, but it was warm-ish down at sea level. I’m wearing one glove in the new masthead photo, not because I’m imitating Michael Jackson, but because I burnt my hand the previous day as was trying not to rip off the blister.
Winter sea kayaking. Marvellous. And the sun-set was pretty good too.