Thursday, 28 November 2013

Meadfoot, London Bridge and Dolphins

The English Riviera lived up to its reputation as a very nice place to be.

A leisurely paddle around the Torbay area a couple of weekends ago had fun paddling, rougher than expected conditions and a surprising and delighting sighting of a large pod of Dolphins.

Thatchers Rock nearest and the Oar Stone in view as we set off. 

 Max and I took Mitch out for a paddle in what we thought were calm conditions. Launching from the eastern end of Meadfoot beach in Torquay we paddled out towards Thatchers Rock and the Oar Stone. Thatchers rock is about a km from where we launched and the Oar Stone is about another 1.5km again but both are pretty close to shore. Around the back of the Oar stone was a bit more exciting than anticipated, a dropping tide, some pushing swell and a good dose of side wind meant that there was some good size waves and roughness on the seaward side of the Island. " That was a bit more than I was looking for" came from Mitch's mouth as we came out of the rough water and into some calmer stuff. You should get out more Boss.......

Dolphins play in the swell between Thatchers Rock and the shore. 

Paddling back towards Meadfoot from the Oar stone we stopped to play in a small constriction between the rocks where there was a bit of swell running into a nice flat bay area making a bit of a wave to surf in on.
Whilst Max was jumping back in his boat from taking photos I saw a fin poking out of the water. To our delight (and Jemma's dismay when we text afterwards as she didn't come out to play) 

Thursday, 14 November 2013

More Brewer reviews!

We have just had a good and honest product review on the Astral Brewer shoe come in.
Nick Pearce is a raft guide, safety kayaker and expedition paddler who works his summer months in Voss, Norway and had some Brewers off us at the start of the Summer. Like most working river professionals his kit takes a bit of a hammering averaging at least a years worth of us mere mortals use in under 6 months.

Check out what he has to say below.

For the last 3 months I have been using the new Brewer from Astral. Not being some one that is a big fan of their life jackets this is the first Astral product that I have owned but was happy to take the chance on them with the high quality of construction and finish that you see in the rest of their products.

So first up the river shoes look cool you almost feel bad wearing them on the river as they look more like some thing

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Tried and Tested: Astral Brewer Shoe

Our staff are active paddlers, this series of articles is for us to tell you our personal opinion on some of the kit we have been using.

For the most this will be equipment we (personally) have bought for ourselves, which normally means we already think highly of it, but this is our chance to tell you how it's holding up and what we like or don’t like about the product.

River footwear is an underestimated bit of kit in general. I do get annoyed when paddling with people and they're hobbling around on the river bank in neo socks. I want to know they can run over rough ground and wet rock with confidence when I take my next swim or that if we have to walk out, they have kit up to the job. So I have always been an advocate of good footwear on the river

I've been using the Astral Brewers since January. I was guiding out in Ecuador with Small World Adventures last Winter and had to do a lot of walk ins, a lot of running down banks and a lot of white water safety rescue practice. I was stupid enough not to bring a brand new pair of river shoes out and after a while mine died, so I was left with none.