Having watched it twice in two days, all I can say is that it's blown me away. It has something for everyone - from the ordinary paddler wanting to get an insight into paddling conditions in locations they may not normally paddle in, to the white water paddler looking for an insight to the sea paddler's mentality and that's not to forget the paddler looking for inspiration for a couple of major expeditions.
(Cover shot: Cackle TV)
Watching an 18ft sea boat being surfed in 18knt flows in Skookum in British Columbia is mind blowing. And not just held on the wave, but rolled, pirouetted, twirled and anything else you can think of.
The big waters off Wales certainly offer some significant fun too, and the section where a mixed bag of paddlers from sea and white water backgrounds go out to play just proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that sea boating is certainly not the wimp option many white water paddlers may think it is.
But it's not all action and fast water - there are moments of gentle reflection, moments where the unique experience of being at one with your chosen environment and at peace with the world are extremely obvious.
Justine brings a novel perspective as well - while she's clearly an extremely competent paddler, she doesn't come across as a hard-girl, know-it-all, macho guru, just as an ordinary person who is doing some extraordinary things with a sea kayak.
We get to see how hard it is to battle a head-wind, share her fear as she and her companions face some seriously big and scary conditions while paddling round Tasmania and get an insight into the sheer joy of achieving what they achieved by doing so. And how many of us get to paddle round Japan?
The camera work is astonishing - you are in the boat with her - being a cynic, I kept looking for the support boat with the camera crew but there isn't one! All the photo work was done from the kayaks using some seriously fancy boat mounted video equipment.
By way of comparison, I've just finished reading the story of a couple of guys who rode round the world on motorcycles - (well, as far as you can taking into account the significant bodies of water to be crossed). That's an amazing and exciting story in itself, but it's necessary to understand that they had a significant support crew with them. While not in any way denigrating what they achieved, they had access to vehicles, local fixers and satellite phones if needed.
While going round Tassie may not be on the same scale, one cannot help but wonder whether the combination of the difficulty, remoteness and sheer self reliance doesn't make it a more significant challenge. Not least because it was just Justine and her two companions. No support, no land crew, no rescue's from a handy RIB.
If you've not seen "This is The Sea 2", you need to. It's 90 mins of superb viewing, inspirational, moving and wonderfully put together. It may well turn out to be one of sea-kayaking's classics. As indeed the original "This is The Sea" has already become.
Oh, and there's hardly a beard in sight. And no evidence of boiled sea-gull either. A great Christmas present. No. Forget that, it's a "must have", irrespective of whether its a present, Christmas or otherwise. Clicking the pic or here will take you to Cackle TV where you can buy, and most of the decent retailers will have it too.
Mike Buckley, November 2005