Winter..

The last few weeks since I returned from India have seen a series of storms sweep across Cornwall (well.. not just Cornwall…), seemingly perfectly timed to disrupt the weekends.. every weekend. The one exception being that sunny Sunday a couple of weeks ago. Despite being self-employed and therefore having the freedom to… more »

Sunny metal-flake day

Time for a quick post of a sea kayak flavour while I ease myself into the new week with a large mug of coffee… After what feels like weeks of gale force winds and rain yesterday turned into a perfect winters day.. barely a breath of wind, cold, crisp and… more »

Penwith Colour

Earlier this week I had a friend visiting for a couple of days so of course a day out on the cliffs for a hike was somewhat obligatory, after all the granite cliffs of Penwith are one of Cornwall’s greatest assets. It’s not something I often do in the summer… more »

Kayaks on Pentreath Beach

Pentreath

This is Pentreath beach on the Lizard. Access from the landward side requires a hike followed by a scramble down a steep, broken path cut into the cliff.. so even in peak summer holiday season it is always deserted.. or close to. It produces a steep, dumpy wave at anything other than low water… more »

Saltwater Snaps

A few recent (yesterday in fact) snaps of a kayaking flavour… I’ve been spending a lot of time recently trying to decide what my optimum on-water camera set-up should be. At the moment all I have is an old Lumix GF2 + 14mm lens inside a housing that lives on… more »

For a change…

2 1/2 weeks I’ve been laid up with a bad chest infection.. hence the lack of recent words… so having been somewhat restricted of late it was with relief this weekend that I felt ok to do normal weekend stuff like ride bikes and paddle kayaks. Now, I rarely paddle… more »

West Cornwall Sea Kayak Meet

This past weekend was the West Cornwall Sea Kayak meet.. an informal gathering of sea kayakers from all over the country. It was excellent. Something like 80 paddlers from  far flung corners of the UK showed up which was especially brilliant as we are out on a bit of a… more »

The Manacles

The name is derived from the Cornish words Maen Eglos, meaning Church Rocks… possibly a reference to the spire of St. Keverne church which is visible from the reef, it is quite likely however that it is an allusion to the numerous gravestones of drowned sailors and their would-be rescuers that can be… more »

A perfect mid-winter day

There was quite a thick layer of frost on the sand as I carried my kayak down the beach yesterday morning but with just a light northerly and not a cloud in the sky the sun soon sorted that out as it rose from behind the hills. It turned out… more »

Not entirely disagreeable..

Well… the hoped for, and originally forecast, squally showers and fresh winds that would have made for some interesting conditions failed to materialise.. at least until much later in the day.. but what happened instead wasn’t entirely disagreeable, although significantly less interesting. Mustn’t grumble though eh, January so rarely looks… more »

some boggy West Penwith trails

Cornwall isn’t really known for an abundance of trails but there are some good ones around, the most well known here in the far west being the Poldice Valley, this one however is also rather good and traverses almost the whole of west Penwith, high across the moors with views of… more »

Solstice sea kayaking

I don’t always take my camera with me paddling, as has been the case on recent paddling trips if the light looks flat and uninteresting I generally can’t be bothered. Other times, usually when the weather is bad, there is a great promise of interesting stuff happening.. so I do… more »

An hour to spare..

In general when I’m at home I’m not particularly inspired with regard to street photography… rural Cornwall isn’t a particularly ‘street’ sort of a place as far as a density of interesting stuff going on, and I think because it is home I’m just not as interested as when I’m on… more »

Epic Skies Afloat

I really hammered myself riding in Morocco, promptly picked up a cold on my return and have been feeling rather run down ever since, it always takes time to recover from a particularly hard expedition/ride so paddling with a couple of friends today was deliberately limited to around 16km in easy… more »

A Boatbuilder’s Story – proof

Today was a good day… I got to see the bound proof of A Boatbuilders Story, it looked fantastic – printed on a heavyweight silk finish paper it’s a slightly larger format than the original. My sister, Sally Mitchell, has done a fantastic job with all the text and layouts… more »

a late summer weekend

Now that racing has finished for me for the season making the most of what is left of summer to catch up on some paddling. We weren’t able to get on the water until after lunch on Saturday so stayed local with a quick 17 mile dash west in idyllic… more »

A New Beach

Last winter destruction was visited upon the coast of Cornwall by a series of storms of rare ferocity. The cockpit of a sea kayak is a perfect vantage point from which to appreciate the legacy of those storms.. whole sections of cliff tumbled into the ocean leaving fresh scars and giant boulders with jagged… more »

Darth Kayak rides again…

Dusted off my greenland boat, nicknamed by persons other than myself as Darth Kayak,  at the weekend for the first time in ages.. I’ve been paddling it less and less frequently the last couple of years – it’s ultralight construction means it’s not robust enough for the flavour of paddling that… more »

A very rare day indeed

It is a very rare day indeed when the ocean has not a ripple on the western side of the Lizard Peninsula. Fully exposed to the Atlantic there is usually at least some swell to play with as it surges around and through the various rocks and gullies that characterise… more »

a few swirly bits…

Some lovely light on the ocean yesterday evening. Cornwall was doing that thing where the north coast was dark and murky with fog patches while just 4 or 5 miles away the south coast was enjoying some hazy evening sun. Conditions were mill-pond calm but still with a few swirly bits to play… more »

Summer O’clock

It’s awesome when summer arrives, it always seems to arrive really suddenly… (and sometimes disappear again just as quickly). It is only a few days ago that the weather was still cold and windy. The last couple of days however have been a gift with sunny skies and some fantastic… more »

a new Boost.. amongst other things

Back around Christmas time I ordered a new surf boat from Malcolm at Mega Kayaks. Same hull design as my then current boat – a Boost – but rather than the single-skin carbon kevlar construction of that boat I wanted Malcolm’s top end carbon/foam sandwich vacuum-bagged construction. Not so much for… more »

a bit of a round-up…

Before I start rambling off about the usual stuff I think I’d better say a word or two about a Boatbuilder’s Story for all those patient readers who have been waiting for so long. It’s really close now… it has taken a long time, fitting it in around everything else… more »

some mid-winter sun afloat.

as promised.. a couple of snaps to illustrate a day on the water that ‘wrapped around’ the instance of finding that little model sailing boat in my last post. The weather at the moment seems to be very much ‘all or nothing’.. from gale-force winds and heavy seas to no… more »

a quick December afternoon snap

It’s been a pretty wild ride weather-wise here recently with more 50mph winds and 30ft waves, just do an image search on ‘hercules storm Cornwall’ and you’ll get the idea – I don’t have any pictures, despite the weather I used my spare time to go riding instead. Just like… more »

Winter o’clock in the west

The sun came out yesterday as the remnants of the latest storm blew themselves out on the granite cliffs around here… it was quite a beautiful scene with the ocean in stunning turquoise plumage as a result of being super-aerated by the wave action.. and they were good waves, offshore… more »

winter paddling, again

Yesterday paddled out of Pendower beach (+50° 12′ 19.70″, -4° 56′ 48.20″, going to start including some lat/longs as some folk apparently are interested in looking at the map/google earth…) heading east towards Dodman Point. Some satisfyingly bouncy conditions and a decent surf to play in at Porthluney/Caerhays (+50° 14′… more »

the end of BST

so the UK media has been going stupid over what is being ‘marketed’, for want of a better term, as ” the worst storm to hit the UK in years…” the reality from where I am sitting is that it is certainly no worse than any number of storms to… more »

distractions

With not many days left before I hit the road folk keep asking me if I’m busy getting ready for upcoming bicycle journey.. and it makes me wonder if I should be doing ‘something’ to get ready.. as I’m not. Heck it’s always like this, all I need to do… more »

in between the showers..

August is my least favourite time of year in Cornwall… the roads and beaches are clogged with people.. luckily August can quite often be a rainy month which tends to at least keep the beaches and surf a little quieter.. ;-) Having said that one has to admire (just a… more »

a French ‘bent

I keep meaning to set aside time for a post or two, the list of things to write about is growing all the time, but I keep failing miserably.. business is good, I’m working on a number of projects and the weather has been nice so  posts inevitably get left… more »

a quiet ocean

I’ve been feeling utterly uninspired to write this past few weeks.. something to do with the prolonged spell of proper summer weather so when not busy working just spending all my time on the bike, in the surf (when there is some…) or in the kayak. No real words today,… more »

a couple of days on the moor

Riding buddy and ‘associate expeditioning cyclist’ David, of Painted Roads.. otherwise known as Painted Roads Dave, PRD or ‘purd’ for short, is in country at the moment so we caught up for some riding up on Dartmoor the last couple of days. I like riding with Dave.. unlike when I’m… more »

Summer.. at last!

a fabulously sunny, self-indulgent weekend consisting of lots of miles on my bike Saturday and a terrific day on the water today. Launched out of Sennen for a trip around ‘the end’ with friends. Just enough swell coming in from the Atlantic to make it fun, and admittedly jangle the… more »

a quick post of an evening flavour

I almost never photograph sunsets.. usual adjectives apply such as ‘uninteresting’, ‘clichéd’ etc etc but every so often one comes along that is worth remembering.. and hence worth a quick snap. I was in the waves with friends down at Sennen Cove on Friday evening after a day of thunderstorms….. more »