Friday, March 4, 2016

Kayaking the Aleutians - A review, sort of

I recently acquired Justine Curgenven's latest kayak video offering.  In the summer of 2014 Justine Curgenven and Sarah traversed the Aleutian Islands from Adak to Homer in Alaska, a distance of 2,500 kiometres in 101 days.  She was asked to accompany Sarah on that leg of her around the world self-propelled journey.  Sarah was an inexperienced kayaker and the pair left on their expedition with Sarah having a scant 5 months of training in Wales under her belt.

The video itself is spectacular with scenes of mountainous seas, wild coastline and soaring perfectly formed volcanoes.  There's a 70 minute director's cut and the 55 minute film festival version plus four other miscellaneous clips.

The DVD is entertaining and also an eye opener.  An eyeopener in the sense, while Sarah completed the journey (and kudos to her) it wasn't without its drama and angst.  I won't say it was reckless to take such an inexperienced paddler but it certainly had its risks which I'm sure I don't need to explain.

It has implications also on a tamer, local level.  Taking inexperienced or fair weather paddlers out carries risk.  The weather and sea state can change for the worse even on a day that starts out flat and calm.  When it does it can have safety issues at the extreme or at least, spoil a good paddle by having to cut it short.

Last weekend it was windy so it was a chance to build stamina paddling into the wind and practice surf rides on the return.  The seas weren't as big as hoped for but even in the moderate waves we had a couple of hours of good fun.  Besides the fun, its building self-confidence and comfort in conditions when the weather goes south.

I recorded some video and posted on YouTube as posting on Blogger just degrades the video beyond worthwhile viewing.

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