Highlights of 2005?

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Mark R
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Highlights of 2005?

Post by Mark R »

Merry Christmas all...here's to a great 2006 too.

Just wondering! What are your paddling highlights of the past year?

I've had a fantastic year of boating myself, loads of highlights...

- White Nile last New Year.
- Bolivia - awesome, exceeded all expectations.
- Paddling to Lundy Island, magical place.
- Paddling around the Castlemartin Ranges in Pembrokeshire with Heather...best cliffs I've seen in the UK?
- Paddling to the Scillies with Kevin F, smooth blue seas.
- Taureau Gorge in the wilds of Quebec, top-notch whitewater in a totally unfamiliar environment.
- Paddling right around Wales...turns out it isn't such a bad place after all.
- Paddling the Dart at the highest level I've ever done it...awesome to know that my favourite river can still amaze me.

Apologies for the high salt water count.

Best bit of all? The year isn't over yet!
Mark Rainsley

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Post by Finchy »

Starting kayaking! (I'm about 4 weeks off it being a year)

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james fleming
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Post by james fleming »

For me...getting others or encouraging other people into the sport.

In the swimming pool, on the loch or on the rivers.

Seeing young kids progress through a red rainbow award to doing some mad ariel manoeuvre.

If I have played a part or touching someone else and showing them how great the feeling of paddling is then I have had a GREAT year. And my year has been FABOULUS!

"Roll" on 2006......

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David Fairweather
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Post by David Fairweather »

For me being involved in the planning and execution of our Kyrgyzstan trip was the highlight.

A cracking week boating and relaxing with good friends in Italy in May was another.

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Post by Poke »

This may make people jealous:

- "studying" in Lyon for a year, at a uni 10 mins walk from Hawaii-sur-Rhone
- going to northern Sweden with some mates from Uni and getting scared by some of their BIG volume rivers in flood.
- finally getting on a uni alps trip (not been able to make previous ones as working for the past few summers)
- three weeks with the girlfriend on the Soca in Slovenia (and meeting some cool people as a result of having to get there/around without a car)
- Paddling the Zanskar - Scenery=Wow
- Surviving a month with the Kayakstan.net crew on some of Kyrgyzstan's finest WW
- having a heart operation and being lucky enough to have it take only a week out of my summer of paddling (the uni alps trip)
- being unemployed on my return and enjoying the freedoms of being able to go paddling when and where I wanted.

Have no idea what was a highlight as it was all bloody excellent. It is unlikely i'll top 2005 as a boating year, but i'll certainly give it a try!!
Uniyaker - Uni expeditions
Team Pyranha - My adventures

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Post by MarkB »

Me, jealous? (hmmm).... ok I'll say mine, if only to encourage a few more mere mortals to post their replies:

Keswick Greta, in spate during mid week (thanks HeyBaz for calling that one out!)

and finally getting round to doing some proper sea-kayaking... topping off with a NWSK Anglesey trip. A weekend full of highlights - from tide races to the seal at North Stack.

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Post by OwenBurson »

Yeah, i'm there with the salt water thing as well!

For me it was paddling round the Connemara coast and up around Clew Bay on the Irish West Coast during the summer.

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Helen H
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Post by Helen H »

Returning to paddling after 30 year gap! I intend to paddle for the next 30 years now...

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Post by Rockrat »

My highlights:
Paddling some 'proper' rivers like the Duddon.
Becoming a trainee coach.
Getting paid for two weeks kayak teaching at the local swimming pool.

One highlight, which depends on how much money i get for Christmas tomorrow:
Eventually having enough money from countless paper rounds, my 17th birthday and hopefully this Christmas to buy a Fluid Flirt sometime during Christmas and New Year
Iain Robinson

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Chas C
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Post by Chas C »

My main highlight is having a great bunch of paddling friends that have joined me in the following over the year.

Taking up Sea Kayaking (don't tell anyone).
Uganda in the New Year
Scotland in March
France in May
Turkey in June
Introducing more new WW paddlers from both our Club and Sea Scouts - who will hopefully look after me when I get old(er).

and some fantastic high water runs down west this autumn.


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Helen M
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Post by Helen M »


all the socials with old paddling friends and meeting stacks of new ones
Feb - Loch Leven
Easter - Sandaig Isles
May - Luing & Skye
Summer - Outer Hebrides
Dec - Loch Etive
Loads of Day trips with friends

Ok - all salty stuff - have been totally drawn over to the dark side.

H - x

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2005 Highlights

Post by Davefr »

After spending the time with kids at swimming pool sessions through the winter- finally getting them to paddle Gr2/3 water in France & on the Dart Loop.


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Post by naefearjustbeer »

1. New baby arriving in october.
2. Still managing to get out paddling after no 1 above!
3. Surfing the biggest waves this year has seen and surviving (just).
4. Several river runs without a swim.
5. Some runs without even capsizing.

Roll on next year and hopefully a new boat if I can save up some pennies. Also hoping to get a few different rivers under my belt next year.

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Post by JamesA »

You guys have certainly done some fine paddling...

My highlights were:

- Picking up kayaking again after a 13 year break
- Buying my first boat & kit
- First trip to Cornwall kayak surfing, getting peak conditions in Polzeath
- Learning whitewater basics at Symonds Yat
- First river run on the Wye
- Hurley on 4

and what I'm hoping for in 2006...

- 2+ days of really clean & big surf in Cornwall / Devon
- A day of Hurley on 3, warm and small queues (haha, yeah right... :)
- Being consistent enough to pass 3 star at HCC
- Getting my WW skills up at Nene/HPP
- Running the Dart Loop for the first time

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Post by Dave Thomas »

Has to be sea again for me - paddling in the Lofoten islands in May/June. 24 hr daylight, and for the scenery think Alps but seen from a seakayak cockpit rather than a river boat!

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Post by cswalker »

Receiving my British Columbia immigration papers enabling me to leave as a citizen of Canada for the rest of my life after nearly a 2.5 year application processing time!

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Post by Zoe Newsam »

Blimey... it's quite difficult to pick out the highlights: I've had a great year's paddling too.

The one downer of the year: Organising a three week trip to the Lofoten Islands in Arctic Norway, doing all the donkey-work, and then discovering I couldn't go. The others went anyway, & had an awesome time. It'll be there another year, I guess.


- Circumnavigating Anglesey at Easter
- Really getting to know the Anglesey / Holy Island coastline (involved several thousand driving miles, but some really awesome days paddling with some amazing people).
- A week on the West Coast of Ireland in May
- Lundy (see Mark's highlights)
- 5* sea training with Nigel Dennis, and running my own '5*' standard trip for NWSK.
- 3 fantastic days sea kayaking in Pembrokeshire
- My First Roll (actually 3 firsts: first one ever- in the PyB pool; 1st in surf- at Polzeath, in Cornwall; 1st on a river- 2 weeks ago at the bottom of Washing Machine on the Dart Loop)
-Starting to paddle rivers. Feeling 'in control' in a short boat for the first time.
- And probably the best of all: Meeting most of what are now my regular paddling buddies: the guys from North West Sea Kayakers, Mark and Heather, CCL, Mark Gawler... the list goes on. Thanks guys- it's been a fantastic year.

Lots of salty stuff, but quite a lot of WW stuff at the back end of this year, too. Apparently I've 'seen the light' ;0)

Happy holidays,

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Post by MikeB »

Lots of them! Being back in full-time, paid employment is nice although I seem to have done less paddling this year - - ! The Skye Symposium was fantastic, some great weekends and day-trips, meeting so many UKSKGB paddlers over the year, big surf somewhere on Anglesey and getting flipped backwards and rolling, (not bad for me) and generally seeing UKSKGB grow and develop.

Interseting to see how many folk "discovered" sea paddling this year and mentioned it here.

For 2006? Objecteives are to go to places I've not been before - and to do more river paddling.

Have a great Christmas and a wonderful New Year - Mike.

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Post by waverley610 »

My first trip to the Alps in July; and
the first trip in my drysuit in November...mmm.

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Post by buck197 »

Doing the Loop without swimming.
A week at PYB on intemediate WW
Helping youngsters/oldsters on 1 star courses
Being on the water
As a newbie, meeting so many damn nice people
Getting my new Diesel 75 and it hasn't rained since I bought it (She's still a virgin).

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Post by Joe L »

Doing my first ever river trip (the upper dart).
Doing my first ever river trip with a peer group rather than a club group.
Taking my new surf boat out in big surf.
The only real downer was breaking my new surf boat the next day.
Cant wait till 2006. White Nile all summmer!

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Post by Kitty »

Doing the upper Dart for the first time- Mark, I finally understand why you love it so much
Quitting my job to become a paddling 'bum' this winter- no excuses to not get on the water now!

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Ed Lefley
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Post by Ed Lefley »

Having a job for most of the yr where i pass on my enthusiasm for paddling (be it Open or Kayak) to young people
Getting more qualis in paddling
Running (and not managing it in both cases) some Grade 3 stuff Bala Mill falls in a kayak and the Strid on the Lune in an Open

But most importantly enjoying every moment of it,

one month left till i go back to being in a boat upto 6 days a week!!!

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Post by Douglas Wilcox »

Blimey, I do not even know where to start! I have only paddled on a river once this year so you will need to excuse some salt, though some of it was white!

Watching the winter sun set down the length of Loch Etive.

Winter surf on the Clyde

A camping trip to Loch Bracadale, Skye in some scary surf.

Crazy arches and caves in the Summer Isles.

Spring sunshine for Staffa and the Treshnish Isles.

The Garvellachs and Scarba via the Cuan Sound and the Grey Dogs.

Loch Roag on Lewis.

The islands to the west of Harris and North Uist

Bottlenose dolphins off Cara and Gigha.

Grey seals off Arisaig.

More surf in the Solway

Better stop now. I hope 2006 is even half as good!

Douglas :o)

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Post by Tom_Laws »

Moving to Bangor Uni, thusly boating far too much to be healthy.

Getting my first run on the Fairy Glen.

Those were both pretty high points.


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Post by ol »

Great year really when I think back on it.

Highlights which produced bursting and 'un-hold-in-able' cries of 'WHOOOO!!!' include,

Febuary- Steep Creeking with Plas y Brenin and running Pont Cyffyng, the Gamlan, Cobdens in big water....

June- French Alps with the boys, getting the heartrate going on Fresquire(sp)

July- Two weeks after the Alps, it was off to Uganda to battle the White Nile. The first time I managed to stay up(and in) on the truly awesome Silverback rapid must have been the clincher...

November - Scotland. Right Angle falls, Wicked!. Pinball and Chasm on the Alt a Chorainn.

December- Getting carried away with spending and accidentally buying a 24seven Dark Angel DH Full suss bike! (which I broke literally within half an hour jumping off the Town Hall steps)

Roll on 2006.

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Post by DaveCC »

Highlight included getting a new boat, that I could actually fit in without losing the circulation in my feet and realising that I enjoy paddling more now (having previously, squeezed myself into small playboats)..

Next year - would love to try and get some photography as good as Douglas Wilcox... and get out more

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