Friday, 3 December 2010

Moving home........

....dear followers....please accept my apologies, but due to advice from several friends and colleagues I've decided to move all things related to the West Coast Kayak Challenge to its own dedicated site...

I never thought I'd get so much moving so sorry to up sticks and leave.

However the good news is, all links and connections should still work, and you can all contact me regardless.

Thanks for sticking with it....only 94 days to go....jings!

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Sub Zero Training Run - St Andrew's Day

It started with a beautiful walk to the shore, down John Street in Largs, wrapped up cosy treading crisply down the snowy road listening to the crunch of the trolley's wheels behind me.

By the time I got off the top-end of Cumbrae the wind felt exactly as forecast, a gentle 3 out the North (NNW). Brrrrrrrrrrr, Bertie Baltic. I was smiling more when I got out past my mark and turned to run downwind. There was enough sea to get some lift off the waves.

The view around the north end of the Clyde was stunning, with the hills all caked in the last week's snowfall. The only way to keep warm, keep paddling.

However, one important lesson learned for the big journey; the fleecey lined pogies work well when they're on, but get sodden in anything other than flat calm and become too much hassle to take on and off. Next time I'll revert to the foil lined fluorescent pair I've had since 1989........they don't make 'em like they used to!

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Ordnance Survey Bingo

I've just compiled a list of OS Maps I'm going to need for the journey to Stornoway;

63 Firth of Clyde
69 Isle of Arran
68 South Kintyre & Campeltown
62 North Kintyre & Tarbet
55 Lochgilphead & Loch Awe
49 Oban & East Mull
47 Tobermory & East Mull
40 Mallaig & Glenfinnan
39 Rum, Eigg, Muck & Canna
33 Loch Alsh, Glenshiel & Loch Hourn
32 South Skye & Cuillin Hills
23 North Skye
22 Benbecula & Sout Uist
18 Sound of Harris, North Uist, Taransay & St Kilda (don't worry I'm not going there.....this time)
14 Tarbet & Loch Seaforth
08 Stornoway & North Lewis

The greyed out ones I've already got so that just leaves 9 OS Landranger maps. This is purely for detail of the coastline, I also need to tackle the Admiralty Charts to get my nautical info.

I think I'll register online with OS and get printing exactly what I need, otherwise I'll have no room in my kayak for food.

109 days till I leave Largs........

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Its good to walk

In three days of paddling, this constriction on the Lyon in Perthshire is the only thing we've walked. Shame though, the rapid leading up to it looks a lot of fun.

The bit of wood that reappeared periodically in the borehole river left of the constriction reminded me that sometimes, 'it's good to walk'.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Today at Work #1; Electrostatic

The question;

Does rubbing an item of PPE on the jacket underneath create enough static to form a viable ignition source?

We needed an electroscope, but we didn't have one.

Enter 'The Mark I' - The Hair-Brained Electroscope

The Mark 1 Electroscope was created using rubber gloves, a large plastic paper clip and some human hair. I literally put myself into this prototype. We rubbed a well known static creating device (a rubber balloon) on the jacket in question.

It worked.

Mark II - 'The solder coil and foil technique'

The Mark two prototype was created (to be marginally more professional!) using a blank CD cartridge base, a length of solder, some electrical tape and a slice of expensive hi-tech aluminium foil. Same hi-tech static creating device and process.

It also worked.

(and looked better)

The final test was to ascertain whether an outer garment of PPE would generate enough static through rubbing on the underlying jacket to cause ignition through static discharge.

It couldn't even raise a smile!

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Irony is.....

.....alive and well in consumer hell. Branded tape outside brand's own store denying kids use of quarterpipe. Hardcore!
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.3

Monday, 11 October 2010

All aboard the Skylark!

After another day of Arran Adventuring its time to head home on the 'Motor Vessel Caledonian Islessssss' as the camp safety announcement will tell me.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.5.8