July 2012 Newsletter



... many  trip continues long after movement in time and space have ceased... (John Steinbeck)


What's on
As we enter summer, the preparations for this season’s sea kayak voyage are in full swing.
The expedition around Corsica is planning from the 27 July to the 26 August: we will be
missing out on the August Newsletter, but as in previous years, we will update our trip blog

We are happy to announce a novel addition to this year’s circumnavigation: some friends will be paddling with us and there will also be a fundraising aspect, promoting the cause of YMCA Valletta, an NGO that assists the homeless in Malta. Through the contacts made by our friend Albert Gambina, we will be paddling not just to enjoy the sun and sea but also “help to help others”. Details on how to donate will be carried on the blog.

In July, under the guidance of a great maestro, we set off carving out a Greenland-style wooden paddle that is still, as we write, a works-in-progress and we're unsure of whether we will make it in time for our trip...

Our website has been updated with some news and additions: excerpts from the book by the well-known Inuit expert from France, Paul-Emile Victor; in view of future never-ending exams, our recent activities paddling open canoes and lastly, info about the numerous courses available on the lake including a look at the BCU syllabus for the 3 star courses running in November.

Be sure not to forget the Nuotata dell’Eremo on Saturday, 21 July: two distances of 2 and 4 km assisting swimmers across Lake Maggiore.  Of course the beautiful beach at Reno will be the venue for a big party when it’s over and we’re hoping to see you...

Kayaking snippets
The choice of which kayak to paddle in is a very personal affair.
There are however, a few basic rules to follow where measurements are really important.
The kayak has to be proportionate to our height and weight besides leg length, foot size and, for want of a better word, lower backside! Compromise is the key word here as the perfect kayak for all types of paddling conditions does'nt exist. The type of kayak we choose
should also be based in part on our preferences that can range to paddling in surf
to flat-water racing or open sea kayaking. Above all it is important to research
the models on offer carefully and take into account all the pros and cons...

Call of the Inuit
The Qaannat Kattuffiat (“kayak club” in the Inuit language) came into being in the early 1980s to promote and maintain the kayak tradition in Greenland. In order to increase knowledge and diffuse kayak techniques, meetings were held with subjects such as rolling, paddling, rope gymnastics, kayak and tuilik making and all other aspects of the Inuit culture. In addition,
from the year 2000, the association organize the Greenland National Kayaking Championship, that takes place every year in a different place of the western coast. This year's edition will take place between 5 and 11 July in Paamiut, a small town on the south-western coast of Greenland, famous for its beautiful fjord, its soapstone sculptures as well as whale-watching (humpback whales are the ones most commonly sighted). Foreighers can compete and many of those have participated have returned enriched, becoming instructors and passionate ambassadors of the Inuit way of life...

Over the horizon
The circumnavigation of Britain has been done more than just a few times:
Marcus Demuth, himself a successful solo circumnavigator of Blighty in 2011,
enumerated no less than 16 expeditions around the island of Her Majesty. 
At Anglesey last May, I met two brothers who are attempting a counter-clockwise circumnavigation, hence the title of their blog: With Land On Our Left!
Young Stuart and Craig Leslie together with their friend Lee Wilson commenced their trip on 26 May, with the intention of breaking the 80 day record set by Phil Clegg, Harry Whelan and Barry Shaw. Just to think that in 1980, it took Paul Caffyn and Nigel Dennis just 85 days to accomplish... and some days ago John Willacy broke the record with only 72 days!

Thanks to Albert Gambina, we finally have a Newsletter written in English.
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