Archive for the Kayaking Category

My Name is Jim Kennedy and I Own a Creekboat

Posted in Kayaking on April 16, 2008 by Jim Kennedy

Well, it’s been a few years coming but I’ve finally got myself a creekboat. Bigger than my creeking Disco. I concede, officially, that I’m getting old. I’m also getting tired of showing you guys how stuff can be run in small boats, only to have you remember nothing except that I surfed some hole on the way, but that’s by-the-by.

After years of adventures together, the Disco has decided to retire from international kayaking and has chosen to remain in Ireland in future.

Good times together on the Castro Laboreiro in Portugal:

The Disco announced its retirement after recently being inducted into the Mañana Mañana Boathouse of Fame with the accolade ‘Sexiest Boat Alive.’ Its final foreign trip, therefore, was Portugal in January. It intends to concentrate on the after-dinner speaking circuit.

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UCDCC Safety and Rescue Weekend in Wicklow

Posted in Kayaking on April 8, 2008 by Jim Kennedy

In mid-February there was a UCDCC Safety and Rescue Weekend. The title kind of explains it all really – a UCD Canoe Club weekend where the emphasis was on safety and rescue. About a dozen elder lemons of the club, with qualifications up the wazoo, and approximately 16 of the up-and-coming lemons decamped to Wicklow for an intense two-day session of rope-work, scenarios, lectures, and the finest vats of Spaghetti Bolognese ever created.

The morning of the first day was given over to technical skills and kicked off at 10 AM. That is to say, 10 AM at the river in Clara Lara, not ~10 AM at the Texaco deli counter on your way to the Boathouse shure we’ll be grand, nobody will be there yet. Oh no, Benny runs a tight kayak.

Eoin, Sara, and Meabh, all ready for action…

After the briefing, there was a tutorial on defensive swimming, mercifully given by the people who had drysuits, accompanied with lots of rope throwing.

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Portugal – January 5, 2008

Posted in Kayaking on March 12, 2008 by Jim Kennedy

On the final boating day, Kate took some more photos of local flavour…

By now the rain had arrived, just as we were gearing up for the long drive back to Madrid (Ryanair don’t fly into Porto from Dublin that early in the year). Today’s river was the Tamega, the bottom section of which takes in the Beça as a tributary. We forgot that the Tamega is dam-release, and it wasn’t releasing this day.

Ferg and Kate team-talk…

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Portugal – January 4, 2008

Posted in Kayaking on March 12, 2008 by Jim Kennedy

From our new base in the town of Mondim, home of Rabiço and the Tamecanoes canoe club, we loaded up for the Rio Louredo.

Team Nordic-Westgarth had by this point left the building and we were down to just four. The Beardy Brits were also long gone. The club, en masse, loaned us their creekboats. Pete loads up Jorge’s van…

We had suspicions that there wasn’t enough water to be running low-volume steep creeks, but Pires was confident that either Louredo I or II would be running.

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Portugal – January 3, 2008

Posted in Kayaking on March 11, 2008 by Jim Kennedy

Andy and Jac headed off home in the direction of Curragower and the rest of us headed for the Rio Beça. Now this was a bit more like it. Rocks and water.

Pretty damn cold though, although nobody was complaining. We were just glad to get to run some river.

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Portugal – January 2, 2008

Posted in Kayaking on March 11, 2008 by Jim Kennedy

With some water finally arriving, this was a day of two rivers. Some of the team headed to do two sections of the Rio Vez…

Sadly, they neglected to take a camera with them, so the only photos are from the bridge at the put-in. I know what you’re thinking: Worst. Write-up. Ever.

Here’s Andy in his creeking OrbitFish…

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Portugal – January 1, 2008

Posted in Kayaking on March 11, 2008 by Jim Kennedy

Nothing much happened on New Year’s Day, as it doesn’t every year. This is mostly attributable to what happens on New Year’s Eve…

The boats of Simon and crew ended up in the town fountain after late night escapades on New Year’s Eve. They were still there in the morning…

Some of these gentlemen took the blame for that one: Theo, Rob, and Tom…

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Portugal – December 31, 2007

Posted in Kayaking on March 10, 2008 by Jim Kennedy

Finally, we get to Portugal. The town of Melgaço to be precise. Ferg gets on the phone and sorts it all out. Ordering in the water and what not.



And here’s the water, or as much of it as we would see that day. This is the main plaza in the town…



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Portugal – December 30, 2007

Posted in Kayaking on March 7, 2008 by Jim Kennedy

Downtown Santoña has these apartment buildings with interesting gable end murals depicting scenes from local life here. Not exactly King Billy or Padraig Pearse…

We returned to Santoña beach for the second day, as there had been reports of a four-metre swell coming in. Whether it did or not is anyone’s guess, but the surf was certainly mushy and blown out.

The waves were periodically big (he said, mangling everything he ever learned in physics lectures) but it was a lot of work getting out the back.

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Portugal – December 29, 2007

Posted in Kayaking on March 6, 2008 by Jim Kennedy

Nobody had any enthusiasm for exploring Bilbao that evening, so we headed on down the road, eventually stopping in the town of Castro Urdiales on Spain’s northern coast.

The next morning Pete and Andy skipped the ‘standing around at the car’ faffage with an impromptu juggling lesson. I’m not sure who was the teacher and who was the pupil, but with four hands they were really good at juggling two balls…

Upping the ante, and lowering the total number of hands, here’s Andy juggling, count them, three of those juggly things.

As you can imagine, there was still no sign of any rain…

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