Website Re-build

If you're returning to buy a Sea Kayak with Gordon Brown DVD or Download as a Christmas present for a kayaker, you might find things changed a little.

For now, the front page remains much the same, but the buying process is quite different.

Rather than put all the 'Buy' buttons on one cramped page, they're now divided down product lines. This is simply to allow me to make some changes I have planned for next month and for the New Year.

If You Want To Buy Anything Online For Christmas...

For example, if you want to send something (like a great sea kayaking DVD for instance) to Australia, New Zealand or South America it has to be posted by 5th Dec - one week from today.
For North America and Eastern Europe it's 9th Dec - one week on Friday.

Western Europe it's 12th December.

Last year there were many disatisfied customers (not ours you understand) who bought online and then, when bad weather caused traffic delays, were disappointed their gifts didn't arrive in time for Christmas.

What better stocking filler than the DVD that's "an essential companion for the improving sea kayaker and a pleasure to watch", according to

Newsreader Gives Obama the Finger

An award winning journalist and host of Russia's flagship national news programme was reportedly fired after this incident.

It sometimes seems like a different lifetime, but I too used to read the news, albeit only on a regional programme. This newsreader probably thought the director had already cut to the VT, so she was out of vision and her gesture was for the amusement of her colleagues on the studio floor and in the gallery, who'd see her on the preview monitors.

In my first day in training in 1982 I was told, "never say to a microphone anything you wouldn't want broadcast". That goes double when you're infront of a camera.

For Sale - Ultralight Single Skin Tent by Golite

I'm selling a GoLite Trig 1 - a superb ultralight single skin tent / shelter.

I used it a few years ago for an ultralght test which appeared in TGO Magazine and on this blog.

It uses trekking poles to form the apex, and condensation is avoied by roll-up sides. These give remarkably good ventilation, and at the same time, complete midge protection due to good mesh netting.

I'm also selling not one but two excellent expedition kit bags (big zip holdalls). It's all part of a recent clear out.

There's also a really useful carry-on bag piece of luggage that has a zip off briefcase and hidden rucksack straps.

But the "star" item is the Trgi 1 tent / shelter. There's a video of it (not taken by me) below.

Edinburgh Presentation - Scottish Sea Kayak Trail

On Wednesday evening I will be giving a presentation about the Scottish Sea Kayak Trail at Teviot - the Edinburgh University Students' Union.

Doors open at 8pm.

I'd like to link to more information but I can't find it on their website. I hope someone turns up...

Ever Had The Feeling You're Being Watched?

Monday was one of those amazing Autumn days whose rarity makes them all the more special.

Crystal clear and perfect light, with a chill in the air hinting at the winter to come.

After a busy few weeks we seized the opportunity for three hours of gentle, relaxing sea kayaking on Loch Linnhe, a short drive from our cottage.

The area is close to Ardgour, a gaelic place name. 'Ard' means point. 'Gour' means goat.

We're usually cycling and smell them before we see them. The wild goats of this area (at least I think they're wild) emit an odour that any devotees of French goat's cheese will instantly recognise.

This time we saw them first.

It looked like they were playing 'king of the castle' clambering onto one particular little hill.

They were moving to take advantage of the sun, appreciating as we were the rarity of the day.

For Sale. Cheap Sea Kayaking Kit.

As well as selling the mini-camera rig on which we shot some of our first DVD, I'm also selling some old (classic?) sea kayaking kit.

Two Knoydart cags, the first we bought back in 2003, one yellow one blue.

All starting prices just 99p!

Yes, it has been quite a clear out.

For Sale. The Mini-Cam Rig On Which We Shot DVD-1

This is the home-assembled waterproof mini-cam rig we used to shoot some of the coaching sequences in Sea Kayak with Gordon Brown, Volume 1.

There's a lot in there. A Sony camcorder which works as a VTR.

A Sony mini-camera which we mounted on the end of the pole to give the big top shot.

And a cable microphone, which I added after the shoot and never actually used. Plus the Pelicase.

If you'd like to see how it was all rigged, then take a look at the video below.

Camino Documentary

Twenty years ago last month I completed the Camino de Santiago. I didn't walk it, I rode it on a mountain bike, using the off-road capability to stick as close as possible to the original route. There was no English language guidebook and I met few English speaking pilgrims en route.

Things have changed. A Hollywood movie called 'The Way' is now out, but perhaps more interesting is this documentary. I've only seen the trailer, but I'm rather surprised at how many people now seem to be following the way. There are numerous guidebooks (a publisher rejected my idea for one as too few people walked it) and even baggage transfer services

And you know what? I didn't choose to do it, it found me. Twenty years on, it hasn't yet let go.