Saturday, December 21, 2013
we have great rewards like trips to Sardinia Italy, 3 piece Carbon Greenland Paddles, T shirts and a folding TRAK Kayak, and Hi Fives and any shares to your friends are just as welcome.
The Yak About Blog is also here YAK ABOUT BLOG
Yak About Adventures 2013 kickstarter video from Wandering Wolf Productions on Vimeo.
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Read about the story behind this Photo on my Blog here
Here is also a video from the day
Also in the publication was my first ever published article about our adventure down the Grand Canyon in Sea Kayaks, with Images from Jimmy McDonald and Myself, stoked at this publishing opurtunity.
Read More about the Grand Canyon Project Here
Read More about our Summer Grand Trip Here
Excerpt from Article Below
not just the sea kayaks, and the first swims belonged to the white water
paddlers pushing close to the rocks. A number of times sea kayaks got
caught by big hydraulics in the rapids and would completely disappear.
Ben Doffe owned the first and only sea kayak swim when he and Costain
Leonard got caught by what’s called a sleeper hole: a sticky rapid that is
easy to miss, but has a grip like a giant. After a long beating in the foam and
a Herculean effort of numerous rolls, the exhausted Ben swam.
Another memorable moment had me following Ben into a section that we
were reading on the fly, when halfway through the rapid it suddenly became
clear that there was a huge hydraulic hiding behind a large standing wave.
By that point there was no escape. Ben and I paddled hard for the side and
as I crested the wave behind Ben, I had just enough time to see his kayak
being spun vertically into the air, bow deep in to the foam and water, before
being dropped with speed off the back of the wave into the hydraulic. I
slipped effortlessly beneath the foam pile and disappeared; the world went
dark and quiet. Only a split second later I re-emerged, still upright, some
six metres behind the rapid and face to face with Ben. He was all smiles
with the exhilaration of his ride and at the sight of me appearing from the
depths, like a submarine, before his eyes.
Another interesting learning curve for the group was camping. With the days
being colder and shorter, it took us longer to paddle our daily set distance of 32 km (20 miles) than we expected, often setting up camp only an hour
before dark, deep in the cold shade of the gargantuan cliffs that loomed
During those clear, starry desert nights of winter we were allowed to collect
driftwood for fires, using a folding fire pan with a fire blanket placed beneath
it to meet park regulations. We enjoyed ourselves late into the night.
Due to the freezing desert nights our wet gear was often found solid in the
morning, forcing us to thaw our gear in the river. We quickly learnt that if you
were to hang your drysuit off the ground, the lack of moisture in the desert
air would actually dry it overnight despite the cold. Only neoprene would still
be frozen in the morning.
Another requirement of the park is to carry out all human waste. It was a
new experience for all of us to paddle with a large PVC pipe between our
legs. The PVC ‘poop tubes’ were sealed and fitted with a screw top and had
been made by generous group members. They incorporated doggy bags for
collection and clean storage, with kitty litter for smell reduction, and were
able to store your toilet paper and extra toilet essentials as well. The cold
temperatures helped to keep the aroma down, thankfully."
Thursday, November 21, 2013
buy the whole 20 minute film (for a price you choose) at www.cackletv.com/shop/
Humpback whales inches from your kayak or multiple beat downs at the Walton 'Whopper' - these are some of the contrasting experiences captured on camera in Nova Scotia's Bay of Fundy. Join top sea kayakers taking on the world's largest tidal range; carving it up in the chocolatey rapids of the Shubie river and seeing how long they can hold their breath in the meaty hole at Walton.
Watch the whole 20 minute film at www.cackletv.com/shop/
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
This long weekend the weather was so, so but the flows were awesome. River surfers, Sea Kayakers and play Boaters converged on the legendary tidal rapid in Egmont BC Canada, and I was there amongst it.
Catching the 6.30 am Ferry from Powell river I Rolled into Egmont in the Paddle Wagon and made myself at home at the Back Eddy Camp Ground. This friendly camp and RV park is right on the water 30 minutes paddle (by sea kayak) from the Wave, I was a day late so eagerly geared up and then headed in for the flow. It was a fun few days and so many types of craft where present, I was there of course in the TRAK “Seeker” folding Kayak, though I had also brought my Bliss Stick RAD WWA Play boat, as the wave was due to be a foam pile for a large portion of the time. Also there was Marty Perry from “The Hurricane Riders” who also had his play boat with him.
There was handful of play boaters from the USA, Canada And Australia present the most Notable was local NRS paddler Drew throwing huge air in his composite Play boat. Other notables where Jacob and Neil from Calgary who are River surfers, they were ripping up Skooks. These two run an organisation Called “Surf Anywhere”, promoting River surfing and sustainable Man made waves. It was a lot of fun to get to know these two and about their project. Check it out here.
I had some great Rides in my Play boat and then enjoyed some long green rides in the “Seeker”. I was also trying out Lendal NA’s New sea Kayak blade design “the Storm” and it was a real treat to play boat with in both sea kayak and WW boat. It is light stiff and responsive, and Lendals lock system held it solidly in place at the feather angle I know. The Storm Blade is slightly smaller than Lendal NA’s Kinetic 700 Xrange model that I normally paddle, and has a scalloped front face which gives a surprisingly powerful purchase and response; it is a nice addition to their range and my quiver.
That first night a group of us had a great campfire and beers under the stars of a crisp fall night and shared a few tales. Showing up that night, the Crew from Pygmy Boats in Port Townsend USA; Jon, Freya and Laura had brought with them 3 of their new boat designs, and I was keen to try them all out on the wave especially the Penguino 14, which is a short little Fat boat (145 feet and 25 inch beam). I was intrigued to see how its physics would allow it to surf Skooks, particularly in the Foam pile. the next morning we all paddled of before 8 am to reach the wave as it started to run on the flood tide. it was great to see so many different types of craft on the wave that day, wooden sea kayaks and folding, play boats and surf boards. I hopped into the Penguino and got to know it as the wave built quickly to a foam pile. amazingly this boat ripped it up and I was able to actually work back and forth from the big Foam pile to surfer left and back, getting big drop in carves. The next day I took out the “The Silke” (14 feet and 22 inch beam), and this boat too ripped in the Pile, but needed much more aggression to turn. “The Silke” was a breeze to get pop outs of the pile with.
That last day I was pretty much the only one on the wave, though while it was smaller Freya Fennwood got her Pygmy boat (named after her) out on the glassy wave and really was stoked to be riding the wave at a bigger flow than she had before. Another first was for Laura Prendergast from Pygmy to get her first Rolls in Dynamic water. It was a great weekend for all. That day I ended paddling for 4 hours nonstop, so fun and I got some epic rides, though now I am buggered. I sit in my Van at Back Eddy Campground recovering and doing work on the computer. Next to Vancouver, and if the rains allow, some Creek boating!
I had a great time and made a bunch of new friends and learnt to push my paddling in a new direction with these little wooden boats, which is always super satisfying.
Thanks to all for the Stoke, Inspiration, and Great equipment.
Thursday, October 31, 2013
Episode 7 has been put on the back burner for now due to New projects I have been doing and the needs of TRAK kayaks, though it will be out in the next year.
Friday, October 18, 2013
Recently I had the privilege of being invited out to the Bay of Fundy Sea Kayak Symposium by Christopher Lockyer'. My main duty was to deliver a talk on the Recent Grand Canyon By Sea Kayak trip that we completed on new years day this year (READ ABOUT IT HERE), and to help Coach and the symposium. Though I also got involved in a fun project to paddle about for a week and film/promote some of the highlights of the area. I was to Join Chris, Matt Nelson and Justine Curgenven on this super exciting adventure.
Day 0 had me arriving at Halifax airport and meeting Chris and his Family for the first time, later that night I was re acquainted with Justine and Matt and then driving all the way down to the Southern Bay of Fundy to to stay with Chris parents in there old 400 year old house for the night, it was about 3 am when we arrived. we settled into a short nights sleep.
Day 1 was Brier Island. After thanking Chris’s parents for there wonderful hospitality we headed further south to catch the Tidal Races around Gull Rock that pokes out from the tip of Brier island where the tide pushes over a shelf of rocky reef and creates a long swath of amazing waves to Surf. it was a stunningly beautiful day and we ended up with two TRAK Kayaks out there, Justine and Matt took turns at playing in one TRAK and I had the other. the features got surprisingly big and there was endless fun to be had, however a swim would result in a quick journey into the middle of the Bay of Fundy if you were not able to sort yourself out. after a good 4 hours of playing, we meandered our way back to the car with ear to ear smiles and fond memories of ripping down waves and watching others do the same. That night we headed to Chris’s Parents in Laws house, were we had a great fest of Scallops and lobster Chowder (as they were Lobster Fishers. All I can say is that east cast hospitality is second to none.
Day 3 had us and four boats loaded up in a Lobster Fishing Boat heading out to an offshore reef to find whales, and did we find whales? yes we did. we enjoyed some 3 hours of paddling with and seemingly playing with humpback whales, who were instantly curious about us and the Kayaks. numerous times they would dive only to come up directly under our kayaks, the younger of the two would loll on its back and waving its pectoral fins and and almost asking us to scratch its belly. at one point the larger whale came up between the kayaks and the fishing boat and lifte it’s head straight out of the water to look at every one. what a day.
at the end of the whale encounter we went for a site see on the way home and found a couple of new tide races that seemed to be playable, though unfortunately we had no time to try them out as we had to get back to Chris’s place that night. so again we where back in the car with boats on the roof, and driving 3 hours back north.
Day 4 Had us on the Shubie (Shubenacadie) River, on this river the tide pushes up it causing a tidal bore and reverse rapids, and we were going to have fun today playing and getting a feel for the river before the next two days of coaching clients on it would occur. All I can Say is surfing a chocolate milkshake is good fun and it brought back memories of the Grand Canyon Trip I had just come off a week earlier, Read About It Here. It was tricky to catch these sporadic waves, they would start as a ripple and then suddenly turn into a wave train, and you needed to stay at the very front of this if you wanted to surf for long as the back ones quickly die off. That night other Coaches turned up, Sean Morley, Paul Kuthe, and Rowan Gloag, and we all moved into coaches house down by the put in for the Shubie river.
Day 5 Had us all on the Shubie with Clients, though Justine and I were on the power boat attempting to film, unfortunately the day was not quite as good and there was not to much epic surfing, however the students and coaches got a good feel for it that promised tomorrow would be great.
Day 6 had us all back out in the Chocolate river and man was the surfing epic, I was so tired by only half way down from surfing so hard that it felt like my hands were going to fall off. I had great fun pushing hard with Nick Cunliffe as we where both paddling Gemini Sport Plays from Valley that day, and it seemed to me they where the best boats for the job, though Justine was also getting epic rides in her North Shore Atlantic LV. Despite the exhaustion the waves and the day just didn't seem to last long enough, however the Coaches where in for a surprise.
Chris loaded us all up and took us to the Whopper in Walton.
This feature happens on the outgoing tide, and starts of as a shallow V wave under the bridge, and builds to a double retentive wave, then into a huge boat eating hole. the challenge was to see who could get the gnarliest ride in thick of the nastiest of stages in the Hydraulic (hole). This ended in some amazing ends being thrown and some lumpy rides with very little control being had, but boy what fun and what potential for Sea Kayak Freestyle.
Here is a little Vid Chris put together on the feature.
Off to the Races Episode 1 - Walton Whopper from Christopher Lockyer on Vimeo.
Day 6 had us heading back down south to the Venue for the 1st Annual Bay Of Fundy Sea Kayak Symposium in Lower Argyle, the event was held at an amazing spot right on the water called Ye Old Argyler, from the beach endless coastline and islands were accessible, and via the roads we could find areas to suit all courses and weather conditions, and Idyllic place for a Sea Kayak Symposium. We all settled into our new Coach house and headed down to the venue for Briefing, meet and greet and coach dinner, it was wonderful to see how much of a turn out showed up for this event with more than a hundred people present.
Day 7 8 9 had us all mingling and working in different areas around the southern Bay of Fundy area, and having a great time from Surfing and Rock Gardening intro’s, to extended journeys and dealing with currents workshops. the whole even was a huge success. I hope to get back again next year as I know it will again be awesome, so book your spots now at www.bofsks.com
too soon it was all over and we were all saying good bye and heading back to the Halifax Airport.
Next on too Germany and the KanuMess Expo, then to the UK for the Sea Kayaking Cornwall Symposium.
Jaime “Whoppa” Sharp
MORE PHOTOS HERE
Here are some other Links to Blog posts on the Event
“Fundy Fun” By Justine Curgenven
“Journey to the Bay of Fundy” By Sean Morley
"Bay Of Fundy Sea Kayak Symposium Delivers" By Chris Lockyer on Kokatat Blog
Thursday, October 10, 2013
Why Fear Of Discomfort Might Be Ruining Your Life
Think about the major problems in your life — from anxiety to lack of regular exercise to a bad diet to procrastination and more.
Pretty much every one of these problems is caused by a fear of discomfort.
Discomfort isn’t intense pain, but just the feeling you get when you’re out of your comfort zone. Eating vegetables for many people, for example, brings discomfort. So does sitting in meditation, or sitting with a hard task in front of you, or saying No to people, or exercising. (Of course, different people are uncomfortable with different things, but you get the idea.)
And most people don’t like discomfort. They run from it. It’s not fun, so why do it?
The problem is that when you run from discomfort all the time, you are restricted to a small zone of comfort, and so you miss out on most of life. On most of the best things in life, in fact. And you become unhealthy, because if eating healthy food and exercising is uncomfortable, then you go to comfort foods and not moving much. Being unhealthy, unfortunately, is also uncomfortable, so then you seek distractions from this (and the fact that you have debt and too much clutter, etc.) in food and entertainment and shopping (as if spending will solve our problems!) and this in turn makes things worse.
Amazingly, the simple act of being OK with discomfort can solve all these problems.
This is a discovery I made a few years back, when I was trying to change my life.
I started by trying to quit smoking, but I hated the feeling of having an urge to smoke and not actually smoking. It was uncomfortable to resist that strong urge. My mind resisted, tried to make up all kinds of rationalizations for smoking. My mind tried to run from this discomfort, tried to seek distractions.
I learned to sit and watch the discomfort. And when I did, incredibly, it wasn’t too bad. My world didn’t end, nor did my mind implode. I was just uncomfortable for a bit, and then life moved on.
Then I watched this same process happen with running. I didn’t want to run because it was too hard. My mind made up rationalizations, etc. I found ways to avoid the running. Then I gave in to the discomfort, and it wasn’t hard. I ran, and learned to love it.
I repeated this process for changing my diet (many times, actually, because my diet gradually got healthier over time), for getting out of debt and not spending so much, for beating procrastination, for meditation, and so on.
Becoming OK with discomfort was one of the single biggest discoveries of my newly changed life.
How to Become Good at Discomfort
If you can learn to become good at discomfort, your life will have almost no limits. There’s no better skill to learn.
Here are some tips I’ve learned:
1. Try it in small doses. Sit for 30 seconds in discomfort. If you’re averse to vegetables, try one green veggie. Put it in your mouth, leave it there for 30 seconds. You probably won’t like it much, but that’s OK. You don’t have to have a mouthgasm with every bite. I’ve learned to love veggies.
2. Immerse yourself in discomfort. Are you sad, or angry, or stressed, or frustrated? Instead of avoiding those emotions, immerse yourself in them. Dive into them, accept them, be in them. Same with procrastination — sit with the task you’re running from, and don’t switch to something else. Just be there with that uncomfortable feeling. How does it feel? Are you in deep pain? Are you OK?
3. Seek discomfort. Challenge yourself daily. Find uncomfortable things and do them. Introduce yourself to strangers. Hug a friend. Confess your feelings. Confront someone (with a smile). Say No to people. Go for a run. Try a new healthy dish.
4. Watch yourself run from things. What have you been avoiding because of discomfort? What feelings have you been rejecting? What problems do you have that stem from discomfort? What have you allowed your mind to rationalize? Become aware of this process, and see if you can stop avoiding things, one by one.
5. Learn that discomfort is your friend. It’s not an enemy to fear. It’s actually a good thing — when you’re uncomfortable, you are trying something new, you’re learning, you’re expanding, you’re becoming more than you were before. Discomfort is a sign that you’re growing.
And those might seem to be small realizations, but actually they’re huge.
Discomfort is the reason I decided to undergo my Year of Living Without— I’m facing the things that make me uncomfortable (and so far, finding that it’s not hard at all).
While others stay in their comfort zone, I explore the unknown. And I treasure the experience.
Leo Babauta is a simplicity blogger & author. He created Zen Habits, a Top 25 blog (according to TIME magazine) with 200,000 subscribers, mnmlist.com, and the best-selling books focus, The Power of Less, and Zen To Done. Babauta is a former journalist of 18 years, a husband, father of six children, and in 2010 moved from Guam to San Francisco, where he leads a simple life. He started Zen Habits to chronicle and share what he’s learned while changing a number of habits.