Exploration Paddle

A few years ago I was really into SUP racing but have steadily lost interest in it.. I m not sure why; but I think I have met a few too many paddlers who compete to be the winner…if they are not the winner they have an excuse…always an excuse…either that or they are a bit too non chalant about paddling it seems to be a side interest…something that they will move on from in the next few years…. as a die hard paddler I m dissappointed… so I limit myself to spending time in that environment and thus I have steadily decreasing mad training sessions and started exploring the coast with SUP. ( also the  fact that I can’t actually be arsed to train…. if there are waves I ll be on a wave with my sup surf…if there is wind and waves I ll be on my surfski…if there is neither I ll be relaxing on the beach….)

This exploration all started in Scotland and since moving to the north coast of finistere I have started branching out, finding islands and stretches of the coast I can only get too by paddling….and having a cup of coffee..I like the idea of peace and quiet…funny how that has just evolved in the last 3.5 years ;)…eventually I ll take my tent…spend the night…

So last night my mate Melina (a canuck and hockey player) came up to join me…a much needed respite from the kids  (I run a respite centre for mums in the summer holidays…paddling and wine drinking is on the syllabus).. with bloody strong westerly winds I was unsure of what to do… but alas I thought lets do an upwind wind\down wind with an apero ( “aperitif  alcoholic drink taken before a meal to stimulate the appetite” )

After a short drive to the neighbouring village; Plouguerneau, and an obligatory drive-by of my hockey hall we set about for a tiny 1km up wind…after a few minutes of zig zagging by Melina we were away….20 mins later we were on the island… some tourists had already pitched camp there…I can only imagine their horror when they thought their island insolite was about to be ruined….lucky for them we were keen to avoid them too…

So after a bit of island exploration we set about to find a place to take our apero and watch the sunset…. looking over to Stagadon and Ile Vierge it was great to breathe without worrying about an elbow in the throat from a child….

What amazes me is how the scenery changes with the tide…it really becomes so different…

I m hoping to go back for an overnight in September when the grockles have left; with the girls….and some refreshments…

So there you have it…a micro adventure of 2.5hours…babysitter was on the clock so no tine for dilly dallying

(We also wanted to reward ourselves by ordering a take away pizza…only to find the pizza placed closed…ah yes we thought its is Thursday and the height of the tourist season….why would they be open???  – bloody french)

Paddle talk…We paddled my 14′ bic tracer and loco amigo 10×32 isup…considering the head wind was 20knots the loco handled it well…extremely stable and cuts through the wind nicely… Melina had the bic and on the way back she really got some speed…the loco surfed the dw waves really nicely too…I am suitably impressed by the amigo i ve surfed it; been on a dw and taken beginners out on it and uts been great and its extra light too ūü§ó

Wait for meeeeeee

Nice bit of green on the beach

Phare ile wrac’h

Nice bit of pink

No i m not going to be Leo….

View out to Ile Vierge lighthouse

Paddle Race

It has been 3 weeks since my paddle race weekend. But in between then and now my youngest caught foot n mouth ūü§ó. 

1st race was on the saturday. The Te Alto race was a mixed boat race, a combo of OC and surfski. First impressions, I was a bit dissappointed it wasn’t a downwind, a big triangular course meant I was going to be up wind; side wind and then a-just-off the bow wind…fustrating.  And that was just about right.  6km slog upwind then trying to find a good run on the way back… 14km later I finished. But it was satisfying to finish… 14km….


SUNDAY, the day after was the Beg Meil paddle cup…A family affair and a fairly managable 6km. 1st outing on my new 14′ bic tracer.   The race was fairly non descript a bit of a downwind but fairly short. More importantly it was a chance to hang with the friends in my 2nd backgarden in Concarneau…plus I won some booties! 

More importantly my friend Sandrine came 3rd in her class…so big up her!!!


Chasing Seals

Thursday morning sans enfants and the cleaner is in. So I have to excuse myself from the house.. I barely have my shit together with children I m not about to do a dance with the dyson… leave it to the professionals….

So this means wednesday night planning on #windty where to go…? Northerly winds means I can go to the holy grail of islands up here in #payspagan….Stagadon…

By time I got to the shoreline I was dreaming of a surfski about 10kg lighter…I love my boat but she could be lighter….but kudos to epic the V7 has taken so many knocks.

The trip was only 6 / 7 km but was pretty spectacular.. I was able to see a seal skulking around…

Once I arrived on stagadon it was deserted…except for the house…apparently its owned by a charity and its a bit out if boubds…shame …..I could have stayed a bit longer….but before long 20 teenage kids arrived… which prompted me to leg it and continue my circuit…  so I completed a circuit of the islands….

I had a bit of company in a seal…the 1st one this season… 

All in all a good morning paddle….

My next mission is to find an island I can #bivvy on…maybe enjoy some beers…. 

Route to Stagadon

On the way there….

Back of the island

Stagadon

Percy Paddler

White on blue

I heart Scotland

 

I have tried to live in Scotland varies times, but it has broken me, I have figured Scotland is best served on Holiday, and on paddling holidays… There is no better place.

Every October I make a pilgrimage to Scotland, to paddle….There is no plan, although where there is less rain is probably the best plan…..

Last October and friend I drove to Fort William, had a look at the weather and made a plan…..

The plan that we hatched was to drive to Glenuig and go from there, we knew there was a bunk house there, so off we went.  The plan was to paddle (SUP) to the bothy opposite and then to bunk at the bunk house.

So off we set to the bothy, the currents were pretty rad and strong, but we made it. The Peanmeanach Bothy was an old fishing community that had been abandoned. A great location for a stay over night, and a possibility to venture further up the coast, but as we had the thought of the Glenuig bunk house to sleep in, next to a pub, so we paddled back .

Imagine our disappointment when we were asked to pay 30pounds each for the privilege of staying the bunkhouse….plan aborted and onto find somewhere less expensive, and more wild.

To¬†Peanmeanach Bothy –¬†https://www.strava.com/activities/766584364/embed/e3e43b950f5c7ca025771e780a73b32c5dccf01a

Back

https://www.strava.com/activities/766583884/embed/b341475c26072f8f7122bc79ce1920f404f44ee9

DCIM103GOPRO

Peanmeanach Bothy

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Peanmeanach Bothy Beach

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Glen Ailort

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better than a 30pound a night

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Ardtoe

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Looking across Kentra Bay – towards the singing sands

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Castle Tioram

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Loch Miodart

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Castle Miodart

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Loch Sunart

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Loch Sunart

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Last morning brew 

 

 

The Wind

This week with the crap weather and swell I have been out surfsking….and have been training for my first 14km surfski race in Finstere, France (Where I live). Named Ti Alto, and organised by the Combrit va’a club Its a 14km circuit I hope, so yup, ¬†I’ve been trying to push myself a bit and did 2 paddles, one 14km in my local bay and the 2nd one an upwind / downwind in the local river aber w’rach, that was insane and actually bloody exhausting….50km head winds, but I made it, 4 km up wind and 4 km, I didn’t have the energy to do any more, and in the back of my head, knowing it was 8pm I knew I needed some energy to get my 3 year into bed, and actually stay there…..

So that was this week…. I have added some photos and GPS tracks for those who like to see, as you can see I am slow, but that is ok….cause in my head I am as fast a cheetah…that has been sedated….

https://www.strava.com/activities/1055545757/embed/0e523f3c1f745e0747d18e4da0b43d4d5d8adebf“>Guisseny Paddle – 14km

https://www.strava.com/activities/1058585056/embed/00cf33372c321d38dfeb65b140c5efe8eb24bf9c“>Paddle of purgatory

The photos above are of the Aber w’rach, I wish there was a wind filter, So much wind……………………….

so that was my 1st blog, now I have to go get the girl……from school, enough paddle talk and now on to peppa pig….