Kayaking Scotland's Coast

Alan Wilson tells me he's setting out to paddle Scotland's coastline for three charities.

He'll start on the Solway coast on 8th April, hopefully ending in Eyemouth around three months later.

Here's his blog, if you care to find out more, and follow his training.

Also, here is Alan's JustGiving page, if you wish to sponsor him.

One of his charities is The Erbs Palsy Group - and I confess I had no idea what this was until I read Alan's page.

He writes;

"My son Cameron was born with an Erbs Palsy to his left arm.

This meant he had to have a series of operations to repair the nerves in his neck.

His first operation was at 4 months of age. He is now 13 and his arm is a lot better thanks to the wonderful work of Professor Simon Kay at Leeds General Hospital.

The Erbs Palsy Group put us in touch with Professor Kay and for that I cannot thank them enough."

SeaKayakPodcasts - Taking a Break

A few days ago I wrote this:

"Apple is dropping the system which allowed me to simply make and upload podcasts. So after six years, that seems like a cue to bring them to a close".

This was picked up by David at PaddlingInstructor.com.

Since then I have been utterly overwhelmed by the feedback I've received.

Wow. Thank you all. And thanks for all the offers to host the archive. Brilliant.

Here's the thing. I don't want something I love to become a chore.

While I never tire of chatting to interesting kayakers, the getting-it-on-the-internet bit was hard enough using the simple Apple system. With that being scrapped in June, I figured I was looking at a lot more work for each podcast = a chore.

Now the team at WideBlueYonder.net, who made our early versions of the SeaKayakWithGordonBrown.com websites, reckon they can set me up with a really simple system. Perhaps even more simple than what I used.

So the Podcasts are on hold while I investigate this new system. It might take some time. But they're not gone. Not yet anyway.

Oh the boat. Nothing to do with this at all...

New Year, New Eyes. What?

Sorry, I realise that title is a bit weird. Rather Gary Gilmore.

But it came to me during our first paddle of 2012 last Friday.

We covered a very familiar section of Scotland's west coast, but we launched at a different place than we normally do.

"Big deal", I hear you say. Well it was, actually.

For some reason I still can't fully explain, the route felt completely different.

Liz and I explored nooks and crannies of the coast we'd hardly noticed before.

Our new put-in cut out a whole section of (excellent) paddling in Loch Moidart, so while we won't make a habit of it, we travelled further up the coast to a lovely lunch spot before turning back.

A Golden Eagle lifted off from a skerry as we approached - not the easiest shot to take with a compact camera.

I suppose it's a matter of perspective. Shift it ever so slightly, and even familiar ground can look fresh and exciting.

Buy 1 Sea Kayak Coaching DVD - Get 1 Half Price Offer Ends Tomorrow

Since just before Christmas we've been running this offer on the two definitive Sea Kayak Instructional DVDs.

Buy one DVD, get the other DVD for less than half price.

This has proved very popular. Many people bought Vol-1 two years ago, mislaid it, but didn't want to spend another £19.95 on a new one.

£9.90 is a much better price, when bought with the new Vol-2.

The offer ends tomorrow evening UK time 12th January.

If You Want To Give God a Laugh, Tell Him Your Plans

Not a religious observance on my behalf, just a line I know from a Mike Scott song, probably borrowed from Woody Allen.

While I don't 'do' resolutions, Liz and I have made some plans for 2012.

I thought I'd scribble down a few so, this time next year, we can look back and have a chuckle with the Almighty.

* Sea Kayak with Gordon Brown Volume 3. We hope to research and shoot some more elements this year, focusing on navigation. But there will be no DVD-3 in 2012.

* Other Kayaking Filming. There is another kayak filming project under discussion. While I might shoot some of it, it's not my production so it would be wrong of me to say more. It could take up a slice of the summer.

* Shetland. We've tried and failed to get there for the last two years. Once again it's on the cards for May/June.

* SeaKayakPodcasts.com. Apple is dropping the system which allowed me to simply make and upload podcasts. So after six years, that seems like a cue to bring them to a close.

* Road cycling. I'm taking this more seriously this year, hence the tweak to the masthead - the word 'cycling' has appeared in the blog title. I'm training more seriously, keeping a tight check on my weight and have booked a place on a training camp in Spain in March. I've entered a few Sportives and we have plans to spend a large chunk of time in the Pyrenees in June/July. We may even catch part of the TdF.

So there you go God. Those are our rough plans for 2012. Mess up that lot!