New Podcast - John Willacy, Performance Sea Kayaker

John Willacy brings a performance oriented approach to sea kayaking.

Voted 'Adventure Paddler of the Year' by Canoe & Kayak, John's website PerformanceSeaKayak.co.uk reflects an aspect of the sport far removed from the usual image of sea paddling.

He's not normally one to shout about his significant achievements, so I'm pleased at how open John is in this interview.

I was fascinated by our conversation and I hope you will be too.  Download at SeaKayakPodcast.com, through iTunes or listen to the streaming version below.

DVD3 Sea Kayak with Gordon Brown - Stornoway Team

Our filming week on the Outer Hebrides has come and gone.

My grateful thanks to whole kayak team who performed in outrageous conditions and even suffered mild hypothermia to fulfil my creative demands. 

Calum, Donald and Graham operated cameras, frequently working independently as second and third units.  

Still, this film is far from finished.

We've been working with outside agencies who have not always been available when we hoped.  So to complete this film, we must do some more shooting.  Hopefully that will happen next week.

Perhaps this is the time to reveal that, unlike the first two volumes, Volume 3 - Sea Kayak with Gordon Brown will not be a journey mixed with coaching. We've done that, twice, and now want to try something new.

Volume 3 will be a series of films, each covering a coaching topic at considerable depth, yet each with its own narrative structure. It will be our most ambitious production, with more detailed, in depth coaching, higher production values, and a level of insight which will be if value to paddlers of all standards.  I promise.

When the Weather Is Too Good

Simon and Anne Young
We thought we'd covered all our bases by deciding to shoot our rough water filming section for Volume 3-Sea Kayak with Gordon Brown in the Outer Hebrides in February.

Surely bad weather was guaranteed? We even set aside a second week just in case the weather was so bad the ferries weren't running.

The day we arrived, so did a Scandinavian high pressure weather system. A good wind on Sunday disappeared and we've had barely a breath of wind.  Not good.

This is why, in my previous post, I said we don't talk about our plans. They always change. Yet although conditions were not as expected, our footage looks superb!

Such constant change has been stressful. Plans made each evening are completely revised over breakfast, and utterly transformed again before we launch. I'm amazed the other seven paddlers can keep abreast of the constant mix of evolution and revolution.  Schedule? Ha ha ha!

On the water, late at night, illuminated by powerful floodlights - the whole scene looked stunning, if slightly scary. Our image intensification equipment produced some atmospheric (if rather green) shots lit by only the stars and moon.

We have one more day left to film, tomorrow, Friday. The team head back to the mainland Friday afternoon with me following on Saturday.  Next week will be spent in a dark room, viewing and logging.

Anne Young, the national kayak liaison officer for the Coastguard has been hugely helpful in helping set up the filming. The photo is me chatting to her in the Stornoway MRCC today, shot by Gordon.

We Start Shooting DVD-3 Today

I admit I'm excited. I'm in the Outer Hebrides to shoot key sections of our next sea kayaking film, Volume 3, Sea Kayak with Gordon Brown.

We shot some of Volume 2 out here.  That was on Loch Seaforth, roughly on the border between Harris and Lewis.

This time we're based just outside Stornoway for the whole week.

And that is all I'm going to say about this shoot.

From the very start, Gordon and I made a strict rule of not revealing our plans in advance, simply because those plans change.  We adapt them to weather, to sea conditions and to availability of people with whom we want to film.  

However, you'll find a few hints on SeaKayakWithGordonBrown.com and we will try to tweet occasionally.

If you use Twitter, then follow me here and Gordon's business, Skyak Adventures here.

As well as the main filming, I'm trying to keep a video diary which I hope will turn into a film in its own right.

I think it might be interesting to see what goes into a production like this. 

If you've bought a DVD or a Download directly from our website, then I have your email address on file and I'll send details of Volume 3 as soon as it's available.

However, because we're away from home all week, Liz won't be fulfilling PAL DVD orders until 25th Feb

Video - Reviewing SiS REGO Range

Flitting between posts about sea kayaking and cycling is a sure way to loose an audience I'm told.  Apparently all the blogging experts say "stick to one subject".  

But hey, you're more sophisticated than that, right?

You'll know I was picked to join Science in Sport's Winter Academy. 

It's a promotional thing really. Nine amateurs are given free and discounted products, plus some excellent nutrition advice, in return for blogging and tweeting our experience with the items.  

The advice has been utterly eye-opening, particularly with regard to fasted training.  If you don't want to watch the videos, I suggest you read the entry about the advice I was given by SiS founder Tim Lawson and the follow-up advice from Dr James Morton.  I know at least one experienced sports scientist who poured over everything both told me.  

If you want to see all the Winter Academy posts, separated from the sea kayaking stuff, click here or on the logo alongside (if it's still there).

As you'll see in the video I made when the free products arrived, most were recovery based.  So having reviewed the GO Range here (the on-the-bike items) I felt I had to review the REGO Range of recover products too.  The result is below.

Oh, and I managed to work in some sea kayaking near Eilean Donan  too.



New Podcast - Jasper Around Ireland


Jasper Winn has written a superb book about a sea kayak journey.
Called Paddle - A long way around Ireland I honestly cannot recommend it highly enough.

Jasper is a professional writer, a great story teller, and has produced the best book about a sea kayak journey that I've read since Brian Wilson's Dances With Waves.

He also runs the excellent website TheSlowAdventure.com

It was after reading the book I invited Jasper to record a podcast which you'll find at Sea Kayak Podcasts.com and all the usual places.

There's a streaming version below.  Subscribe free and you won't miss a thing.