Kayak to Faroes - 11pm Tuesday

Patrick and Mick are 50 km north of North Rona, one sixth of the way
to the Faroes.

They're settling down with their sleep system for two hours then
pressing on. They feel strong, the weather is good, and this might be
their only attempted sleep-stop. They may kayak right through tomorrow
night and arrive in the early hours of Friday.

All this felt weird because, after a very late start, we just pitched
camp on the Siamt Islands when the phone rang.

Bizzarely, there's a large group of people here, working through the
night to trap storm petrels in nets and ring them. They are being
lured in with amplified recordings so we've had to set up camp well
away from thx loudspeakers.

I bet Patrick and Mick are feeling more isolated!

Kayak to Faroes- Big Crossing Starts Today

Mick Berwick and Patrick Winterton start their three day crossing from North Rona to the Faroes in under an hour from now.  (The photo is them leaving Butt of Lewis yesterday at dawn.  More photos).

Their earliest arrival time is 6am Friday. They're going now as Saturday's weather looks like northerly wind.

We cannot get a camera to their arrival point on Suderoy in time (don't say it - I know). So the production company might not send one at all.

If anyone is Reading this on the Faroes and has any sort of camera - still or video - please contact Laura at Triple Echo Productions on +44 1503 272428.

Kayak to Faroes - reached North Rona

I just heard from Patrick and although their crossing took longer than
expected they are safe on North Rona.

They won't leave in their earliest option of 3am but might leave 10am
tomorrow, Tuesday. They'll make their decision when they get a
weather update tomorrow morning.

Friday's predicted weather will make all the difference.

But if they go 10am tomorrow they'll be on the ocean for three nights.

Hopefully more news in the morning.

Kayak to Faroes - Patrick & Mick left Butt of Lewis

05:30 Monday they left with dawn braking. Beautiful spot. They should
be on North Rona Mon night after the first huge crossing, only rarely

They have water purification this time, as bad water in Rona ended
their previous attempt last year.

They would like one day rest in Rona but fear the wind could swing to
north by Friday giving them a difficult arrival into the Faroes.

So their key decision will come after they get a forecast by Sat phone
tonight. Can they afford the time to rest Tuesday, or with a north
wind threatening, do they push on?

A three - day, two- night crossing immediately after an 80km crossing
(Lewis to Rona) will be exceptionally draining.

Oh, and when they arrive they probably won't be able to walk.

You can see where they are right now with their Spot locator. Www.paddlefaroes.com
and go to 'our progress'

Kayak To Faroes - Ready to Launch

This photo shows how Patrick and Mick will sleep on their three day crossing from Rona to the Faroes.
Built by Chris Reed to Mick and Patrick's design, the protoype tested on Skye during the symposium didn't work smoothly.  The addition of the zip made all the difference.

This morning they did TV interviews for STV and BBC plus The Stornoway Gazette.  They're sleeping in the RNLI station (we're in the van outside) and heading for Butt of Lewis first thing in the morning.

5am Monday they aim to leave Butt of Lewis.  After that, you can follow them on their Spot tracker system. If it's working...

Kayak to Faroes Starts Sunday

Patrick Winterton and Mick Berwick will be here in Stornoway at the
RNLI on Saturday mending Patrick's kayak. It took some punnishment
coming from Oban.

Sunday morning they plan to leave for Butt of Lewis where they'll wait
for good weather. The forecast is good, so they could reach the Faroes
a week tomorrow, Friday. Where hopefully we'll have another cameraman
waiting to meet them.

Best Day Kayaking?

We're at Hushnish. Try to find it on a map of the Western Isles. Then
look at the coast north of here. That just gave us one of our best
days kayaking. Superb.

Ultra-light Camping. Not.

After hiking the length of the USA using ultra-light techniques, our
present camping set-up would appear to be the antithesis of such a
minimalist approach. But it's comfy.

Berneray / North Uist

It really is as good as the photo.

After a day crossing and re-crossing the Sound of Harris the wind picked up, so we're just taking care of business waiting for a lull, hoping to cross to the Monach Islands.

Great place to relax.

DVD Sea Kayak with Gordon Brown - update (again)

The end to a fantastically successful sea kayaking DVD shoot on Skye.

We've kayaked from Elgol to Loch Pooltiel at the northern end of this island.  The journey took us four days, and we spent the last day looking for some rough water for a little extra filming.

We're now relaxing in Morag & Gordon Brown's kitchen, reviewing some of the easily accessible material shot on a solid-state camera and knocking back the Talisker.  The nine, one hour tapes of material will have to wait for a while.

We're off to the Western Isles now for a holiday.

DVD Sea Kayak with Gordon Brown - update

Seven of us in our campervan near Neist Point almost at the end of filming our four day journey up Skye. We've enjoyed stunning weather and superb conditions in excellent company. We're camped here tonight with the aim of doing a few hours in rough water tomorrow. Oh, and we're not all staying in the van.

Fort William Mountain Biking

Call this work? Filming the 4x semis and finals for the Adventure
Show. Long days but exciting stuff.

Replaced Neck Seals

Days before we're due to head out on an extended paddle trip, the dry-suit neck seals on not one but both our suits ripped.

Sent to Rubberman in North Wales, I have been staggered at the speed of the turnaround.  Highly recommended.

Treshnish Puffins

We're back from a lovely two days on the Treshnish Islands.

My camera phone didn't do a particularly good job of capturing the puffin shot last night, so I thought I'd post this one by way of compensation.

The video below, shot with the new compact Sanyo (a point-and-shoot) video camera, is a very short, very rough edit, but shows how close these little chaps come when you sit still.

Treshnish Isles

With a trip to Edinburgh then three days filming the Mountain Bike World Cup at the weekend before a week long filming trip kayaking up Skye it promises to me a hectic fortnight. So with two days good  weather forecastvwe headed to one of our favourite spots to say hello to some puffins. Sadly this camera phone is awful. The shots on the big camera are great.