Training paddle, solo trip from Totnes to Diddisham – against the tide

So another training paddle completed this weekend. Managed to combine a social trip to Devon to meet up with the Hamilton’s who were camping at Beara Farm (Buckfastleigh) with a paddle down the Dart. Paddled from Steamer Quay, Totnes to the Ferry Boat Inn, Dittisham in about 2 hours. A good test of a 12km against the in-coming tide, a bit of an uphill slog at times but got a bit of wind assistance and a little surf towards the end. A lovely paddle, spotted plenty of wildlife and few locals, got some well earned time to think after a pretty horrible week and the kids went crabbing at the quay!

Managed an average 5km/hr, over 12km, not bad speed against a fairly strong in-coming tide, interesting conditions at the end, with a light tail wind whipping up a little surf. Was ready for the pint of cider at the Ferry Boat Inn at the end. Tracked the trip on my new tool, a Suunto Trackpod, see the route here.


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JohnHarcombe’s 2:08 h Kayaking Move #SuuntoPaddle

Oops – IT problems!

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Late blog from last week – great paddle out from Lynmouth, rock-hopping, surf and wildlife

Had a fantastic paddle with Darren and Dom last week along the Bristol Chanel, this time from Lynmouth to Heddon’s Mouth. Was a beautiful day and learnt a lot from Darren and Dom. The weather was kind to us, with little wind and enough swell to make the rock-hopping interesting and the surf fun. Got a few minor scars from the hopping, nothing serious and got some nice surf in with only one swim!

I would have posted this blog at the time, it was a great day, I learnt lots and was very thankful of Darren’s coaching and Dom’s advice and company. However, my life was turned upside down that weekend when one of my best friends, Darren (Foxy) Andrews, was killed in a collision with a drunk driver. He was a great bloke, with a loving family and many friends. Just couldn’t face posting anything uplifting that week, but things a’t quite so raw for me now, so thought I should keep up to date. Looking forward to the next trip.


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Feeling inspired and exited again after meeting Prof Hermon-Taylor

Me and Alex had the unexpected opportunity to meet the Prof Hermon-Taylor and the rest of the team working on the MAP vaccine, at Kings College London, yesterday. What a fantastic man; interesting, caring and very inspirational, made for a pretty emotional day. He gave a very good synopsis of the epidemiology and Cell Biology of MAP infection and it reminded me of a why I was doing this. It’s not just about kayaking or fundraising, it’s about raising awareness of the fantastic work that Prof H-T is doing, to help get the truth about a possible cure out there and to recognise the pain and struggle that lots of the sufferers go through.

Here is a great diagram and information sheet that explains the whole thing to me – please have a read and I will attempt to answer any questions any one has.

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Successful, if shorter trip

A good day’s training with Jo, Dom, Becky and Leon, plan was altered slightly,due to conditions, with the plan to paddle from Watchet to Porlock rather than Minehead to Lynmouth, so avoiding the worst of the tide race and making an easier shuttle. Due to my late night (thanks Hamiltons!) was appreciated. The day started off well, with 2-3 ft swell and a moderate wind from behind added to the interest, but it was lovely and bright and sunny and was pretty warm. Getting out of the harbour into choppy swell and then turning side-on to the wind to head down the coast was challenging, but once I’d settled into the rhythm I relaxed, felt OK and rolled with the swell.

Unfortunately we had to cut the trip short after one of the group took a swim, had a bang on the head and then got cold very quickly. It wasn’t safe to keep going so we stopped just short of Minehead. All in all though a successful day –  was the roughest conditions I’ve been out in and I coped fine, Dom did a fine self rescue then safely rescued our swimmer and everyone returned safe and sound – result! Successful – if shorter trip

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Next training paddle – Minehead to Lynmouth

Getting exited for the next training paddle, this coming Sunday. Going out with Jo and Dom again, this time a longer paddle s planned, the longest so far, from Minehead to Lynmouth. Shoulder is feeling much better, if not quite perfect, but hopefully up to the job, got some nice Celtic paddles to try out and the boat is all all prepped and hopefully watertight now.

Really looking forward to paddling this section of the Bristol Channel coastline. I’ve surfed and played on bits of it before but never paddled the whole stretch in one go. Really looking forward to see some stretches of coastline you can only see from the sea. Another highlight should be the sea race around Foreland point, although I hope it’s not too ‘exiting’!

So bring on some more of this lovely weather and hope the wind doesn’t get up too much.

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On-going physio

Starting the 3rd week of flexibility and strength training on my shoulder, as advised by my physiotherapist Marcus Bill. Feeling a little better but not perfect yet, got an appointment on Friday so with a  little more work, hopefully will see some improvement before I get back into paddling again, am missing the boat-time.

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Blog – training and events

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