Summer Expeditions

The River Crake Canoe Caper

by Paul Kirtley

Post image for The River Crake Canoe Caper

While the Crake is a short river, it’s definitely a worthwhile adventure in canoe. It’s a narrow, and often rocky, creek of a river, never reaching any great width. Three of us headed to Coniston Water in the English Lake District, out of which the Crake flows for a day of adventuring by water, some of which literally became bushwhacking by canoe… Read more >>

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Post image for The Canoe: A Film To Be Savoured

Even as an outsider, as a non-Canadian, this film resonates with me, as a canoeist, as someone who loves wild places and as someone who loves other people who love wild places. Narrator James Raffan’s opening statement is bold, broad and inclusive. It sets the tone for the film ahead, highlighting five stories of people, their relationship with paddling, with the land that gave birth to the canoe and with the country made possible by the canoe, these portraits made all the more vibrant by Goh Iromoto’s lush cinematography… Read more >>

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Post image for Fun In The Swellies: Fighting The Tide In The Menai Strait

With some of the Frontier Bushcraft team, Ray Goodwin and I take our canoes to the tidal water of the Menai Strait, which separates Anglesey from mainland Wales. Here we learn the meaning of differential tide and experience the treacherous Swellies… Read more >>

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Post image for Canoeing The Spey With Kevin, Ray & Justine part 12 – Battle To The Sea

It’s the last day on the epic Spey trip. It’s normally an interesting enough run down to the sea, particularly after Fochabers as the river becomes unconstrained and braided. But with the river rising significantly overnight and a brutal headwind, this final section to the sea becomes a real battle… Read more >>

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Post image for Canoeing The Spey With Kevin, Ray & Justine part 11 – The Final Day Starts With Poignant Reflection

The morning after the night before, Kevin is at first a little bleary eyed and reluctant to emerge from his tent. Besides it’s cold out and has been raining all night. Justine warms herself by the fire as I make proper porridge over it. It’s the last day of the trip and time for some poignant reflection… Read more >>

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Post image for Canoeing The Spey With Kevin, Ray & Justine part 10 – Special Guests Come To Our Wild Camp

Our final wild camping spot on the Spey. We get well set-up with a communal tarp area and plenty of firewood. This serves us well over an increasingly draughty evening, which even included a hail storm. Despite this, it’s a warm and fun evening around the campfire, with some friends joining to surprise Kevin with some special Scottish produce… Read more >>

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Post image for Canoeing The Spey With Kevin, Ray & Justine part 8 – The Washing Machine

After the whisky-fuelled antics of the previous day, this episode sees the gang of four firmly back on the river and tackling some fun, bouncy white water, including the washing machine… Read more >>

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Post image for Canoeing The Spey With Kevin, Ray & Justine part 4 – Setting Camp In The Dark

The Spey saga continues. We take a side trip to walk to some ancient standing stones. Kevin underestimates the haggis but his obsession with filming sheep means we end up paddling the last part of our route virtually in the dark. And then we still have to set up camp… Read more >>

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Post image for Canoeing The Spey With Kevin, Ray & Justine part 3 – River Safety

The adventure continues on the River Spey. In this section the river starts moving, Kevin needs to negotiate some rapids and Ray talks safety and signals so everyone is on the same page… Read more >>

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Post image for Canoeing The Spey With Kevin, Ray & Justine part 2 – A Few Campfire Tricks

The off-the-wall journey down the Spey with Kevin Callan, Ray Goodwin and Justine Curgenven continues with the morning after the night before. Pancakes, bacon and maple syrup are on the menu but the priority is coffee. First, though, I need to get the fire going… Read more >>

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