Wednesday, 16 May 2007

The Year Out so far...

Until the new year I could be found working in my local Aussie sports bar / club; Walkabout in Derby. Since then I have been travelling and paddling virtually every day. This has been quite an experience and something I am not likely to be able to do again for quite a while - I have to start studying again soon.

January was spent shredding the Atlantic swells in Sourthern Morocco. February consisted of creeking in Scotland with a trip to the Falls of Lora and March was the compulsory trip, for any playboater, to Uganda! I celebrated Easter with visiting family at home before heading out to Canada for a month and the World's. Unfortunately due to a number of reasons I did not do as well as expected but learnt a lot from the experience.
This is a collection of my best moments, most impressive paddling images and interesting places. More images can be found here.

This is an average day at a break called Crocodiles in Morocco. It is pretty hard to not get addicted to this...Thurso anyone, give me a call! The food in Morocco (below) was unbelievable; fresh and so cheap. The Falls of Lora never really produced their best for our trip. Fortunately we, Ross Montandon, my Dad and I, took our creek boats too and chilled out on some classics.

We didn't however bring plates to eat with; Ross's boat was the next best thing! Ross also accompanied me to Uganda and my Dad met us out there for the last fortnight. Ross and I paddle together quite a lot and get on really well. We always have fun even on trips to Hurley - only to discover it has dropped to one gate!

I forgot to mention that Dad took a three month Sabbatical and came on the second half of each trip. I really enjoy paddling with Dad, it is one of my favourite aspects of the sport. I help him out with technique on the river and he teaches me about everything else; from competition preparation to article writing.
Dad (Chris) on a Boda after the Day 1 section.
Ross getting inverted. During the first week that Ross and I spent at the Hairy Lemon there were some spectacular storms. I got the camera out, set it on f2.8 and 30 second shutter and shot away. The result is below.
I have been lucky enough to spend the better part of the year so far in as little kit as this.
I then boarded a plane to snowy Canada. I had to get the bus from Montreal to the Ottawa River which was easy, it was amusing to see snow starting to fall as the bus pulled out of Montreal. It didn't stop for about 26 hours; that was not amusing!
Spot the difference from the previous picture! The new drysuits work well though. Pistol flipping on Buseater, below. Courtesy of Peter Meares.

Now I am back at home, listening to the rain and wondering when the Trent weirs will start to run. I have paddled at Nottingham a couple of times since Canada; yes, it is not as fast or big but you can still have fun. You can put into practice things you have learnt from the World's and just mess about too. I am planning a surf trip though...