Friday, 24 February 2017


So, the starting pistol has been let off and the whitewater training for the Amazon is officially in full swing.  I have say I love it..... no, really really love it! Although its going back to basics and stripping all of the skills back; I am so pleased that my next challenge involves kayaks and water.


(Day 1 - going in a straight line... or attempting to 😀)

As part of setting up my training programme, I have been in contact with a variety of kayaking folks and to date, I have to say, on the whole, the kayaking folks are uber friendly, laid back and really supportive. Of course most will make the judgement that expecting to head down the Amazon so early in my kayaking career  is very ambitious and probably too ambitious in their eyes; but that is thought without knowing me, my history, my drive or knowing what I will be doing between now and the time that I head down it.  Yes, this is very familiar senario, echoed with every adventure that I do. 

Luckily the supportive ones can tell that I will do it anyway so 'its better to help as much as possible so that I am safe as possible rather than the alternative not'. I have to say, I am very relieved that I am not having to self teach myself on the river and rapids on my own .... 

Nonetheless, there are some, of course, that have shut down and closed the door; but thats life and fortunately unlike the rest of the kayaking world whom I am extremely thankful and grateful, their support and help has been truly amazing. I guess that is the reason that it is the fastest growing sport in the country (apart from being the most amazing fun too). 

This last week has been amazing (thank you Dan). I have made myself very comfortable in a canal and a couple of rivers in Wales and have loved breaking down each skill and repeating it again and again until it becomes automated and natural. There is still much to do and develop but at the moment it feels really good and miles away from my blind Bambi on skies moments in Antarctica. 

Today was spent on a river with rapids!! 

First rapid EVER! 😀😀😀 ok its tiny... but it was my first 😀😀. 

But YES, I did actually say RAPIDS.... after just 2.5 days on slow moving water, I was able to head to the RAPIDS 😀 👏👏 although they were little ones (low level grade 2) there were plenty of rocks and tree obstacles that could, if I didn't have control, become a pressing issue.



However, these rapids meant that I could test my learnt skills but also 'play' and push my boundaries and see what the kayak can do such as doing repeated 360 turns in and down the rapids and even go backwards down them: 


(Yes I just reversed down this lip) 


and making sure that I could 'rest' and land in 'eddies' within the rapids. 

Yes, too much fun but also completed with a level of control (thank goodness!).

Of course, the day wouldn't have been so perfect if I didn't 'go in'.... all in the name of testing my 'evacuation drills' !!? Ok, it wasn't planned and yes, it was because I got a wee bit too confident for my own good and yes again, at the point that I lost momentary focus, was the point I had to reach for the eject cord! 

Nonetheless, what was really good as part of my development during the day was (from rapid no 1) - being expected to speak out loud my thoughts of how to approach and execute the rapids by identifying hazards, eddies and route through. I was uber pleased and relieved that my 'judgement and observation skills were strong and sound and each decision and process was right' (especially when I led). I suspect that this skill has been developed/refined by my previous experience of lots of solo time whether on trail and more recently on the ice. But wherever it has been developed - it very much gives a boost, hope and makes the upcoming challenge/goal a more realistic one. 

Yes, more time in the water is needed (what a hardship 😉), more skills and experience needed .... but on track a the moment. 

......And i cant wait 😀

(Loving my new look).

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