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Project kayak #4

Project kayak #4

Now to add the new closed cell buoyancy foam and then the bridges for backrest straps. Luckily I already have templates for the Europa 390 foam block.

Project kayak – #3

Project kayak – #3

Next – seams the ‘dirt and dross’ had got under an in all fittings so – out they come! More cleaning. Hull now cleared of the evil brown stuff – a second pressure wash really worked. So, this is looking all possible!

Drop in the Ocean #2

Drop in the Ocean #2

Day 3 and 4 and 5

With kitchen cleaner cream, Cif, and regular changing of cotton rag the stain was lifted off as a pasty brown mush.
So far, about 6 hours work! I am hoping to finish off with a second pressure wash. Then flatten out the scratches a bit with a hot air gun.

I am keeping a record of the cost of resources so that I can do an audit at the end as to what the true cost of rescue is. Clearly a crazy marathon.

A DROP IN THE OCEAN – OR NOT

A DROP IN THE OCEAN – OR NOT

I picked up an Ace Europa 390 polyethylene kayak from a chap in Devon last week. Seriously stained and with no buoyancy (disintegrated open cell nasty stuff). He had attempted to remove the stain’but it was too attached!

So. my mission is to get this back into service. rather than it go to landfill or into our oceans and eaten by the fish as it disintegrates. Or the equivalent as landfill.

No personal profit to be made. In fact my plan is to give it to a deserving person on a very low budget.

Day 1

Powerful pressure washer…failed.

Day 2

Tried the following – what is this stuff?!!!
White spirit. Petrol. WD40 Turps. Methylated Spirit. Acetone Y10 Organics gunk Cif.
Methylated spirit rubbed very hard had a small effect. Amazed to find that kitchen cleaner cream, Cif worked with a LOT of medium pressure rubbing.

CanoeStore at DORSET BOAT SHOW 12-14 APRIL

CanoeStore at DORSET BOAT SHOW 12-14 APRIL

DORSET BOATSHOW 12-13-14 APRIL.

I HAVE ON A STAND BETWEEN RECEPTION AND THE MAIN MARINA GATE!

JUST A FEW SAMPLES OF MY WARES AND HANDING OUT LEAFLETS, GENERAL PROMOTION AND AVAILABLE FOR PADDLING CHATS.

IF YOU HAVE A LARGER BOAT – KAYAKING FROM YACHTS AND POWERBOATS GIVES MAGICAL OPPORTUNITIES TO EXPLORE AND ARE A LOT QUICKER TO LAUNCH! OR MAYBE YOU JUST WANT TO GET ON THE WATER FOR MUCH LESS TO START YOUR FLOATING ADVENTURES?

MAYBE SEE YOU THERE.

TREVOR MARTIN
SEA KAYAK, INLAND KAYAK, OPEN CANOE COACH.
SEA SURVIVAL INSTRUCTOR ETC

Trossachs – Viking route Day 5 – Loch Venachar

Trossachs – Viking route Day 5 – Loch Venachar

Back ache but press on in glorious sunshine after a brief rest on the north shore, yes, jumping up and down munching a choccy wafer. Paddled down to the Venachar dam at the East end and out on a little ‘beach’ in the southeast corner. Given a lift by some coldwater swimmers to the ‘main’ road. Three cars later a van stopped. Then another 3 cars later, a car from DORSET! – gave me a lift back to my car. Collected Seal. Loosing the light, drove through Callander and headed for the motorways.

That’s it for this year. My back agrees! And the weather is set to deteriorate. (5 days later it was reported as minus 11 degrees and snow!) Venachar dam was an obvious place to stop as it marks the last of the lochs. River from Calander to the Forth Road Bridge. The first bit fio which is twisty with falls, so that I might do my using my creek boat next year (or portage Seal around), but will need to complete the lowland river in Seal due to the distances and lack of out-points and road connections. Hopefully there will be some bus services!

That’s it for 2023.

Trossachs – Viking route Day 5 – the river

Trossachs – Viking route Day 5 – the river

Twisty and little rapids. Decided to go for it. Hadn’t reckoned on so many fallen trees. Some I went under and some over! Many reverse ferry-glides! Half way down I lost my sunglasses to a low hanging branch as I had erroneously nudged them up on top of my head. Wont do that again. Couldn’t see a thing on following rapids on bends and under branches, a real eye strainer. So glad when the river slowed down. Then bendy and out to Loch Venacher. Phew!

Trossachs – Viking route Day 5 – morning

Trossachs – Viking route Day 5 – morning

Sunny morning! Stunning. Breakfast in the very nice bistro, packed up and drove down to Loch Achray car park at the west end. Unlocked Seal from info sign, launched from very boggy ‘slip’-way! Glorious paddle down the Loch. It’s very short!

Trossachs – Viking route Day 4

Trossachs – Viking route Day 4

Cloudy and moody morning. Selected the best hours for the task 11-2 and launched Seal at Trossachs Pier. Paddled to the wharf that I visited the night before so that I could say that I did paddle Seal from Stronachlar to Trossachs Pier, albeit in two legs. And of course, annoyingly that I had to paddle there and back as no ferries and no path on the shorter side. The longer side path was over 15 miles long! So it was that I paddled up AND down. Back ache. Hard to overcome. Not sure about continuing. On return, I trollied Seal down to Loch Achray having been warned about the very rocky steep rapids on the river connecting the lochs. Then strolled back up to Trossachs Pier. Tired. Very snug second night in the log cabin. No photos on the water this day. Too rainy.

Trossachs – Viking route Day3

Trossachs – Viking route Day3

Got out of ‘Inn’ at 0700. Rain. Lots of it. Spent the day on a driving recce of the area, checking bus-routes and access to remaining paddle. Booked a log cabin at Trossachs Pier on the East end of Loch Katrine. In the late afternoon, I dropped off Seal where last finished the night before and trollied it down to Stronachlar at the West end of Loch Katrine. Cafe open but no ferries call in the winter. Launched Seal in the diminishing light and paddled down to a quayside a mile or so and back. Wind and wave picking up. Very glad to get back to Trossachs Pier and the very snug cabin and an evening of tv!

Trossachs – Viking route Day2- More?

After a quick hot chocolate at Tarbet, I judged that there might just be enough daylight to tick off Loch Arklet. So, a very long bumpy route around the south of Lomond got me back up to the Loch Arklet dam. Stashed the car and launched Seal. Didn’t take the camera with me which was a real mistake. The most beautiful and tranquil loch I have paddled, then or since. Stunning. Shame it is so short! Getting out was a tricky rock and bramble climb in the dusk. Walked a mile then a lovely family in a landrover stopped to offer me a lift. Retrieved car, then retrieved Seal and down to the nearest village for an awful night at the local inn. Much like a bad hostel!

Trossachs – Viking route Day2

Trossachs – Viking route Day2

Having researched the route a week earlier and finding that the ferries on Loch Lomond were not running now for winter, so no ferry to and from Inversnaid on the east bank, I had brought with me an old MI380 kayak. I towed the bugger over to Inversnaid, arriving in a very nasty fast wind driven ‘chop’. Stashed the 380, wheels on Seal and hauled it up (VERY UP) the mountain (hill really but it felt like a mountain) – how the hell did the Vikings get up that with a sea boat?!! 150metres. Finally arrived at Loch Arklet dam and stashed Seal. Walked back to Inversnaid and paddled the 380 back to Tarbet to collect the car. Arrived back at 1500.

Trossachs – Viking route Day1 – evening

Trossachs – Viking route Day1 – evening

Trossachs – Viking route Day1 – evening

Hauled (pulled on trolley) Seal from Arrochar, Long Loch to Loch Lomond at Tarbet, ready for the next day. Then walked back to the Village Inn, Arrochar for the night. Pic – outside the Tarbet village ‘shop’ !

X-Scotland through the Trossachs – Viking route!

X-Scotland through the Trossachs – Viking route!

Part 1 of 2. West coast to Calander through the Trossachs.

When I paddled Loch Lomond a few weeks earlier, I read at Tarbet that the Vikings came up the sea lochs and hauled their boats across the Trossachs, loch by loch. Why!? I have yet to find out! So, a plan was hatched to follow their route with my sea kayak which I have named the Old Grey Seal; a Mariner 17 by Northshore. This time with a chunky trolley! Starting at Cove near Helensburgh on the West Coast, first day was a route up Loch Long to Arrochar. The weather gave me it all except snow. Rain, sun, 3 rainbows, seals, cormorants, herons, divers, 2 navy patrol launches and….the worst litter that I have ever seen in one day. I collected 2 bagsful and had to leave three times that and 3 plastic crates and 2 traffic cones. What a shame. Otherwise, glorious.

UNLESS WEATHER CHANGES FOR THE WORSE – I WILL BE AT PORTLAND CAR BOOT SALE WITH KAYAKS AND GEAR 9-1 SUNDAY 1ST OCTOBER

Loch Lomond Day 2 – plus

Loch Lomond Day 2 – plus

With a threatening sky, rain and 10kt wind, I erred on the side of setting off, but might retreat when ‘out there’. South Lomond is very wide (8km) and the winds were not SW/W at all, they were S in my face. First third was increasingly lumpy into wind and wave so i took to sneaking up behind islands rather than follow the West coast which was at times surprisingly shallow and offered no protection at all. Just breaking waves! My assumption at the time was that the last third would be increasingly protected by Balloch and a wider, lower surrounding geography proved correct. So the last 3 miles were grey but quite agreeable. It rained the whole trip and again, visibility very poor. So much so that It was hard to identify the islands from headlands and for 10 minutes or so, I navigated by wave-set as I couldn’t see anything. So, very few photos in those conditions! Must get a compass fitted! I get it now! Even if it is only a lake! Hitched a lift back to Luss. Weather really deteriorating. On the return drive south on the M74/M6 I was forced to drive 40-50mph for hours. Awful conditions (later reported as 75mph winds). By 2200 I gave up and immersed myself in a hotel bath. (Hey, I am feeling my age!)

Loch Lomond – day 2

Loch Lomond – day 2

Weather changing and not in a good way. Forecasted winds SW/W 30 kts with a nasty weather front spiralling across the Irish Sea overnight. Which I spent in very nice pub accommodation at Balloch, south end of the loch. By next morning the front looked to be moving just south of Lomond, by a smidgen, so I decided to paddle the North end of Lomond first which, albeit could have a long wave generated on it from the south (behind me), was much narrower so maybe more protected and a slightly shorter distance. So I waited for a break in the rain at Tarbet, then off to Ardlui at the northernmost end. Visibility was awful most of the time, but winds? 0-5kts, flat calm surface. Rescued a traffic cone and a half-submerged pink inflatable kayak/lilo on the way. Urghhhh, PLASTICS litter in our precious waters! Hitched a lift from Sean and Ingrid to get the car. Thanks guys! Got wetter waiting for a lift than the entire paddle. Bucketing down and winds rising. Then back to Luss to contemplate doing the South end of Lomond which is much more exposed.

Not the Caledonian Canal

Not the Caledonian Canal

With (again) forecasted 50-60 Kt winds on the South Coast in Mid September, I rescheduled my ‘attempt’ on the Caledonian Canal in the Seal (my trusty grey Northshore Mariner 17 sea kayak) and set off to do half of it before I had to be back in Exeter for more dentistry! Fort William forecast was for sunny spells and drizzle with 5-8 kt winds. By the time I arrived, 24hrs later, it was perpetual rain and a 10-15 kt chilly wind. After a recce of the Clyde end, the 6- locks staircase and the day ! and 2 accommodation options (none), the next morning I postponed my plans until better weather and set off back to Loch Lomond which had caught my eye on the way up. 24 miles long, the UK’s biggest lake by area and a 10-20 kt SW wind with light rainy spells forecast. Paddled the middle first from Tarbet to Luss (very pretty) but on the way, over-relaxed, got hit by a katabatic which almost blew my paddle out of my hands and the following waves eased my rather too loose a fit spraydeck up behind me! Wrong spraydeck for the Seal! (pun). In true lake/loch style, conditions were – winds – SW.W.E,N,SE, F1-3, waves flat to moderate, Vis 100yds to 3 miles. Not boring then!

Sailing the ditch

Sailing the ditch

After really unreliable and uninspiring weather this summer, in August I just motor-sailed off to the Solent for five days. Yarmouth, Mercury(Hamble), East Cowes (2 nights) and Yarmouth. In the entire time only just sailed for 90 minutes on day one approaching Hurst Point. The return journey was not the SW promised, so into wave and wind and whilst Anvil and St Albans were well behaved, middle of Weymouth Bay was ‘orrible. A few weeks later Tina and Paul joined me for a trip out to Lulworth and Mupe Bay, overnight at Portland and back to Wetmouth in a F…..1? stifling humid heat and yet again the 2023 sea haze and fog. Still waiting for the Indian Summer!

Caledonian Canal

Caledonian Canal

Planned for September. Encouraged by my Lake District ‘Challenge’, it seems only right that I continue to paddle the places that I wish I had when I first saw them. So, next on bucket-list – The Caledonian Canal. Here we have the newly acquired trolley being tried out on my old grey seal. After the relatively short portages in Cumbria, and a check on a website about paddling the Caledonian, and seeing that there are two 600 metre portages and others….. with camping gear? – Definitely wheels! Maybe even a donkey to pull for me? Paddling West to East with a target of 5 days to include the silly bits each end, just to be purist about it. Coast to coast.

Lakes challenge

Lakes challenge

First week of August I am paddling all the permissible Lakes, Tarns and waters in the Lake District. Biggest lakes first with my trusty Grey Seal sea kayak (a very old Northshore Mariner with a modified cockpit rim). 11 waters to start and 50 miles. Photos to follow. Better than hiding in a sail boat to avoid the rubbish weather. At least I expect rain in Cumbria. Its normal!

Weds 3
Left Weymouth today with 46mph winds, rain and thunderstorms forecast.

Day 1 Coniston + Wastwater
Day 2 Ennerdale
Day 3 Derwent Water + Loweswater
Day 4 Crummock Water + connecting river + Buttermere + Grassmere + up feed river at Ullswater
Day 5 Ullswater + Bassenthwaite Lake
Day 6 Windermere + start of River Leven
(Thirlemere not possible as access roads shut by United Utilities who manage the lake)

First ‘summer’ cruise.  Fowey MOA Rally

First ‘summer’ cruise. Fowey MOA Rally

Wow. Just back from sailing down to Fowey in Cornwall on trusty Joanna (my Moody 36). Rollercoaster ride with Easterlies especially Torquay to Plymouth. Better day (thank goodness) with Annie to Fowey on Friday. Friday-Sunday attended the Moody Owners Association Fowey Rally. Thanks to Susan et al. A smashing time (ate too much!). So good, we stayed another day on the Monday and Tuesday was set to be ‘kinder’ against still the Easterlies! (Been set that way for over 2 weeks now and quite a horrible wave set). Dropped Annie off at Plymouth and set off 0500 next day in theory bound for Brixham. After the bow submerged for the third time, I turned for Salcombe and left the boat there for 4 days! Saturday was forecast to be a change in the weather and wind to the South. Hmmm. Plymouth to Torquay. Easterlies! Then today, Torquay to Weymouth with a slight sea and despite promises and warnings of a heatwave- ruddy chilly, motored all the way with some sails up and nothing else in any forecast was correct! Fog. Got back into Weymouth for the 1800 bridge lift. Fowey was very nice though.

OPENING TIMES

Hi!

In response to suggestions and enquiries, ‘WHEN IS CANOESTORE OPEN?’ –

I am either local, probably at Weymouth Marina or on the water. Or I am in Exeter or anywhere else!

I don’t run Canoestore as a shop with staff, that would just boot the prices up and make the whole thing pointless for you and me. There just isn’t the profit margin to do that at the prices I sell at and that you want to buy at!

Give me a ring or text. I use Facebook Marketplace quite a lot so you could try that too.

If I am at WEYMOUTH, I might already be at Canoestore or with a 10 minute wait – I’ll open up for you.
EXETER, I can meet you at my garage/store – but most stock is at Weymouth – I can bring down an item or two if that works for you.
BRISTOL, I go to Bristol monthly or more. If you have bought and want delivery to BS4 I can do that free.

I AM PUTTING MY ‘NEXT AT CANOESTORE OR NEARBY’ DATES ON MY WEBSITE FRONT PAGE UNDER CANOESTORE HEADING. BUT STILL RING/CONTACT FIRST!

New premises!  Weymouth outlet and workshop

New premises! Weymouth outlet and workshop

Unit 6, Granby Court,
Surrey Close, Granby Estate
Weymouth, DT4 9XB

Just in the process of fitting out the unit. Sharing the unit by kind invitation of Ben Harris of BH Marine. He has provided me with a large space on the ground floor. Goodness knows where this will lead. It may just be my personal workshop or it may be some sales or even training but I am hoping that my TOOLKIT can help fix things for people, mainly small boat projects, starting with used kayak renovations & sales. Which kinda reinvents the used kayak sales thing Annie and I had going from our front garden at Woodbury, before a nice councilman strongly suggested we voluntarily shut down and going back much further, of course it may look similar to my old Canoe store business at Emsworth. But this will not be a dealership of any kind! More a workshop with sales by appointment. Otherwise I will be on my boat or in Exeter!

The store will be open every weekend from the 12th November.
RING FIRST TO ARRANGE A VISIT AS I MAY BE AT THE MARINA ON OR THE WATER.


Stop the dumping!

Stop the dumping!

A bit like the water companies – an untreated discharge at times of flood and any other time we fancy.

Stop dumping raw sewage into our seas and waterways. For more information and to sign the petition click here »

The Bath Challenge

The Bath Challenge

To Sean, my stepson last December. Ten years earlier we had conned him out of his home and dragged him across Chichester harbour, Bosham to Itchenor, us in 2 bespoke sea kayaks and he on his new short sit-on. In a force 5. As a result he got soaked, changed, had lunch and was returned for a surprise 40th birthday party that had been planned over six months earlier. So, for his 50th I sent him this:

 

To celebrate your 50th Birthday!

In a bath*

50 years is traditionally the Balinium year.

*It is a well-established tradition that when the chieftain of the infamous Potts Clan reaches a new decade, they take to the water in increasingly inhospitable conditions, thus maintaining their alpha dominance and leadership of the tribe. (And for the amusement of all witnesses.)

Normally held at midnight in a moonless sky. Due to your birthday falling in chilly December, you are permitted to undertake this homage to your ancestors in daylight  (and ‘cos we are now all softies).

A safety boat will be in attendance as well as hot soup and encouragement from witnesses.

 

As he is a very busy chap, I promised to supply the bath. Inspired by Tim Fitz-Higham’s ‘Channel crossing in a bathtub’ (ref Lilibet II, 2004,) who I saw on his roadshow some years ago, I found a scrap bath, customised it and tried it. It only wanted to roll over or flip back. Research of other attempts suggested that floats were required. Second test on the Exeter Canal proved OK, despite the ripples and breeze.

Sadly (?), on the day, 5th December, at the Emsworth foreshore of Chichester Harbour, it was mighty windy, bitterly cold and wavy. Which shortened the challenge but it was successfully seen out. Well done Sean! Roll on your 60th! Be moderately worried!