St Abbs: Paddles Scottish test team has a new recruit!^

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Douglas Wilcox
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St Abbs: Paddles Scottish test team has a new recruit!^

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Sat Feb 04, 2006 10:48 pm

Click here to view the complete St Abb's picture set.

Following their recent success in signing Capn' Birdseye,
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the Scottish test squad have been very active on the transfer market and are delighted to announce their latest coup, a paddler who is even more well known than the good Capn'.

Sadly the gentleman in question is rather camera shy but here are his first photos in action for the squad....
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Douglas :o)
Last edited by Douglas Wilcox on Mon Feb 20, 2006 8:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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MikeB
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Post by MikeB » Sat Feb 04, 2006 11:39 pm

JIM! Crikey, he DOES float!

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Pelagic
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Post by Pelagic » Sat Feb 04, 2006 11:57 pm

I guess from the small "deck overflow" this was just a day trip?

Which obviously means Jim is merely carrying the usual compliment of cameras, power kites, batteries, inflatable wot nots, large pasta pan, toilet roll dispenser, assorted pyrotechnics, fearsomely sharp hunting knives and a thing for getting stones out of horses hooves.

I suppose Douglas has recruited him to make the empty vs loaded comparisons more meaningful...................................................

Are you taking that nice boat to Jura Jim?

Phil

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Douglas Wilcox
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New recruit

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Sun Feb 05, 2006 9:39 am

Well spotted Mike and Phil,

Phil you clearly have not paddled with Jim recently, you forgot....
Full sized tripod, large peli case, unidentifiable dry bags, pair of sliding doors and a conveyor belt.

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Jim and I had a great heavyweights testing session on the new Nordkapp LV. It coped admirably with our muscular builds! The only concession was we had to remove the padded seat liner to shoehorn ourselves in.

Douglas :o)

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Post by CaileanMac » Sun Feb 05, 2006 11:07 am

Perhaps we should have a UKSKGB competition along the lines of Bruce Forysth's Generation Game - Conyevor Belt

Guess what's coming out off Jim's boat onto the UKSKGB conyevor belt.....! The first three rounds - front/back/day hatch and the bonus round - deck cargo.....

CaileanMac ;-)

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Jim
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Post by Jim » Sun Feb 05, 2006 10:55 pm

Many thanks to Douglas for inviting me out!

Phil, I know you are well connected, so as long as you can find room for my gear in your boat, or perhaps Al's boat, I'd love to take the NordKapp LV to Jura. Unfortunately Douglas used it first and had filled the hatches with helium, whilst it felt like it was floating nice and high (well you know how I usually go to sea) the photo's seem to suggest not :(

If I had piles of cash lying around I'd buy 3, one for every day of the weekend!

I really can't get enough of that boat, as soon as you launch you know it's a Nordkapp, but it doesn't feel tippy! It just feels lively and responsive and fast (OK it was virtually unladen but still...). Normally when you throw in extra power to accelerate it's like the boat takes 5 or 6 paddle strokes to react and catch on - not this, you paddle harder, it instantly surges forward. It's manouevrable too - I haven't tried a Jubilee yet, but compared to the HM, well you can't! You could maybe compare to a '70's slalom boat? Edge and it turns instantly, so much so that on our short mosey even with a following sea I never felt the need to lower the skeg. In fact I felt I ought to drop it and see how it felt just for completeness - yuck! The boat just goes straight as die (like the HM) but stops responding to edging (unlike the HM) - you can actually feel the lift from the skeg pulling you back on course as hard the edge pulls you off course! I'm sure for a long open crossing I would have to use the skeg but for a short coastal bimble it was much easier to make continual adjustment. It's been so long now since I actually paddled an anas acuta that I couldn't say for sure, but I reckon the Nordkapp LV is more manouevreable, I reckon it could be my dayboat of choice should I ever feel the need for one!

By comparison the Aquanaut was great - rock solid no matter what the swell or passing boats threw at it. It also has more volume for the gear but clearly doen't need loading down for stability. Again the response to edging was fine - I couldn't follow the Nordkapps line exactly through the labyrinth of rocks and gaps but it certainly wasn't difficult to manouevre. I only paddled this one in a head sea (well, and around about the rocks) so I didn't ever feel I needed any skeg down. Very easy to paddle, I reckon it would make a great first boat!

So having identified me (well that is probably the only Lotus BA of that design in the UK, and my hat isn't the most common either) who can identify our location?

JIM

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Post by Douglas Wilcox » Tue Feb 07, 2006 8:56 pm

Jim always comes across as a real gentleman in his posts and meeting and paddling with him was a real pleasure because that is what he is.

Jim, thanks for your thoughtful appraisal of the boats which was of considerable help in the write up of the Paddles test.

You will have noticed over many posts that Jim and I concur about many things. The Nordkapp LV is no exception. The only thing criterion in which the Norkapp Jubilee excelled it, was in carrying capacity. The Nordlapp Jubilee is dead. Long live the Nordkap LV!

So far twelve guest testers have paddled the LV. Three have already ordered theirs and like Jim I want one very, very badly. I have even been dreaming about one and waking up in a sweat. Alison is wondering what's going on. Unlike Jim, I would settle for only one. Unfortunately I already have 4 boats and there are only three of us....

Lastly, has no one twigged where we went? Complex rock channels, cliffs, caves, swell and even a tide race, all close enough to Glasgow to be home again in daylight.

Douglas :o)
Last edited by Douglas Wilcox on Tue Feb 07, 2006 9:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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MikeB
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Post by MikeB » Tue Feb 07, 2006 9:04 pm

Rabbie Burns country, me thinks. Mike.

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Post by Jim » Tue Feb 07, 2006 9:32 pm

Douglas Wilcox wrote:Jim, thanks for your thoughtful appraisal of the boats which was of considerable help in the write up of the Paddles test.
No worries! It was great to take part!

I'm no Burns expert, but I think you have the wrong area Mike!

It is covered in something that is usually considered a river guide with such evocative phrases as:

"Here a mass of volcanic rock juts out into the sea with massive cliffs soaring skywards for several hundred feet. Each is deeply fissured and folded, with every nook and cranny peppered with nesting seabirds. Everwhere the dark igneous rocks are mottled with a pungent whitewash of bird droppings"

(I must admit I thought the rocks were a lovely vibrant red rather than dark).

and

"Far below huge sea stacks and rocky islets lie along the serrated coastline around which the sea sucks and surges, creating powerful eddies and currents on which the more adventurous canoeist can play. Narrow channels and dark foreboding caverns all invite exploration"

And I can confirm that there is at least 1 magical place there for those who explore thoroughly and daringly enough!

JIM

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Post by Douglas Wilcox » Tue Feb 07, 2006 10:40 pm

Jim>
And I can confirm that there is at least 1 magical place there for those who explore thoroughly and daringly enough!
Image

This is the magical place that Jim mentions. You turn a corner round which the swell surges into several channels. If you choose the right one you will round several dog legs, enter a dark cave then round another dog leg into a chamber illuminated by light streaming in from a small hole high above. The water above the sandy bottom is a lovely luminous green and contrasts with the vibrancy of the red rocks. Then, as your eyes adjust to the gloom at the back of the chamber, low tide reveals an enticing little white sand beach.
Douglas.

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seismicscot
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Post by seismicscot » Wed Feb 08, 2006 11:34 am

Douglas, Jim,

I'm not entirely sure whether that is Tertiary or Carboniferous rock - my visual age-dating abilities are not that great! I'll go with the latter and guess the North Berwick coast.

Cheers,

Clark

P.S. Jim, did you ever sing with Blues Traveller? ;o)
Clark Fenton

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Post by MikeB » Wed Feb 08, 2006 11:36 am

Ah - so it could be St Abbs area then?

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Post by Jim » Thu Feb 09, 2006 1:12 pm

Clark was close although it's nearer to the other Berwick, Mike was spot on - St Abbs it was!

The guidebook quoted is of Course Nick Dolls "Canoeists guide to the Northeast" (of England, it does a bit of border raiding with the rivers too).

JIM

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Post by MikeB » Thu Feb 09, 2006 1:16 pm

Hmmm - not been there - yet! Must fix that then - Mike

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Post by Dave Thomas » Thu Feb 09, 2006 3:22 pm

Yes - looks good! Trouble is - its a long way from Gloucestershire for a day trip .....!

Dave Thomas

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Post by seismicscot » Thu Feb 09, 2006 6:39 pm

Jim wrote:Clark was close although it's nearer to the other Berwick, Mike was spot on - St Abbs it was!
Jim,

I wasn't really close. More like 300+ million years (give or take the odd day) out. Those are Devonian and Sliurian rocks, not Tertiary as I suspected! I wasn't even on the correct palaeocontinent! :o(
Yes - looks good! Trouble is - its a long way from Gloucestershire for a day trip .....!

Dave Thomas
Dave, Just set the alarm clock a wee bit earlier than usual and drive home in the dark! ;o)

Cheers,

Clark
Clark Fenton

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Pelagic
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Post by Pelagic » Thu Feb 09, 2006 6:51 pm

Glad you enjoyed the boat Jim, as you know I am a bit of a fan when it comes to Nordcapps, most of your comparisons would also stand between the HM and Jubilee. Less wobbly certainly, skeg largely unecessary in "normal "windspeeds, certainly more manouverable and as far as I can tell (being older, wiser and more easily scared than I used to be) retains fantastic rough water ability and I agree with you about the skeg making edging more problematic in large following seas............Im still playing around with that!
Its certainly a sweet hull form though...........Pretty too!

I have just aquired a Greenlander Pro which I am thinking of using round Jura (Alex is insisting I need to paddle a proper chined boat) so you would be welcome to try out my Jubilee for comparison. Of course with the proviso that you dont let it float away!
Phil you clearly have not paddled with Jim recently, you forgot....
Full sized tripod, large peli case, unidentifiable dry bags, pair of sliding doors and a conveyor belt.
Quite right Douglas, but a list of Jims kit would take up far too much space, as indeed it tends to in his boat. My son is still impressed that not only can Jim carry a seemingly inexaustable supply of Ginger cake but that he can eat a whole one as a snack before cooking something!

Phil

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Post by MikeB » Thu Feb 09, 2006 7:17 pm

Jim wrote: By comparison the Aquanaut was great -
JIM
Jim, how was it's cockpit for you "size wise"? Say, in comparison to a Jubilee? Bigger - same - smaller?

Mike.

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Post by Jim » Thu Feb 09, 2006 8:40 pm

Mike, there is a small problem with asking me about cockpit sizes!

Firstly I haven't paddled a Jubilee yet (do I dare borrow Pelagics? I may need a boat leash), secondly almost all the sea kayaks I have previously paddled, certainly all those I've spent any real time in have had ocean cockpits, and thirdly I paddle river boats that people half my size complain feel tight......

The keyhole sized opening was certainly large enough for getting in and out without any trouble. I was able to get my knees under the deck without undue strain, although it is worth noting that Douglas had already removed the seat padding from the Nordkapp because it was too tight on his thighs with it.

I have to say that for space in the boat, i.e. under the deck, the ocean cockpit actually gives you more, but for ease of getting in and out, the keyhole clearly excels. The issue is that with an ocean cockpit the deck continues to rise towards you and curve up in the middle for you to slide your knees in, and you have choices about paddling knees up in the middle, or out to the side - all with grip under the deck. A Keyhole cockpit cuts off the last few inches of the foredeck rise, and the flat elevation of the spraydeck means you don't have that accomodating curve for your knees, plus the thighbraces take out a little vertical space. Also if you paddle knees up in the middle, you first have to extricate them from under the thigh braces, and then you have nothing solid to brace them against. I actually think that, assuming one is mobile enough for the more balancy, more slide in from the rear method of entry (I am sure it wouldn't suit Douglas and suspect it wouldn't suit Mike), that an ocean cockpit actually gives you more room in the boat.

I have to say that jumping in and out ofthe boat with the keyhole cockpit was very much more easily acheived than it is with my ocean cockpit. I can see why river paddlers like this (we are in and out so much inspecting and portaging) and I understand why some sea paddlers like it, but I have to say that when an average day in a sea boat lasts 4-8 hours and I only have to get in and out twice in all that time (once for lunch, once for arriving), then for me personally, the ocean cockpit wins!

Clark, you may have been way out in geological timescale, but you did get the right coast first time!

JIM

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Post by Douglas Wilcox » Thu Feb 09, 2006 10:36 pm

Mike, the Aquanaut has a much lower cockpit rim than the Quest, personally I find the extra space which allows a knees up position in the Quest is very comfortable.
Douglas

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Post by Jim » Fri Feb 10, 2006 6:25 pm

I may have forgotten which question I was answering in the middle of that!

The Aquanaut had a bit more space than the Nordkapp LV - we both managed OK with the padding in! In fact it was much the same with padding as the LV was without - Douglas' Quest comparison is probably better!

JIM

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Post by mintokames » Fri Feb 10, 2006 7:04 pm

"Hmmm - not been there - yet! Must fix that then - Mike"

Sounds like a candidate for a UKSKGB meet ? What do folk think ? Mike ?

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Post by MikeB » Fri Feb 10, 2006 7:44 pm

Sounds like a great idea! All it needs is an organiser, with local knowlege preferably - - -

Mike.

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Post by Douglas Wilcox » Sun Feb 19, 2006 10:26 am

The Scottish Sea kayaking Photo Gallery has been updated with a new page on St Abbs. It has the full picture set off the trip Jim and I made to this stunning location. At Coldingham beach there is even an outside shower to wash the sand off your gear!!

Souglas :o)

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