Saturday, 20 October 2007 12:12

Giant Pumpkin Paddling Race

Leo Swinimer of New Ross, Nova Scotia, is one of a growing number of pumpkin paddlers.
Leo Swinimer of New Ross, Nova Scotia, is one of a growing number of pumpkin paddlers. Photo by Nick Timiraos
This past weekend in Windsor, Nova Scotia was the 9th annual Windsor-West Hants Pumpkin Regatta.

This year there were 54 people who entered and tried to paddle their 600 pound pumpkin across the 3/4 mile Lake Pesaquid.
Friday, 19 October 2007 11:48

Homemade Cruise Ship

Homemade Cruise Ship Talk to most paddlers and they all have a dream of building their own canoe or kayak. Not a lot of people actually get around to doing it. Even less get around to building their own cruise ship.

Francois Zanella from France decided to take on the task and has finally finished it. He estimates that it took 25,000 hours to complete.

The 33.5 meter long vessel is a 1/8th scale model of Royal Caribbean International's 1992 cruise ship, Majesty of the Seas and is 4.75 meters wide.

Over the 11 years to took to complete the project, he built it on land beside his house then launched it in June 2005.

Sorry the photo is so bad. There is a clearer one on the wikipedia listing as well.

More info:
International Whitewater Hall of Fame Logo The International Whitewater Hall of Fame Board of Governors has announced the names of the Class of 2007 of the International Whitewater Hall of Fame (IWHOF) honorees.
Thursday, 18 October 2007 06:16

New Suunto Wrist-top Computers

Suunto Core and Lumi ModelsFor many years, Suunto has been building watches (wrist-top computers) for people who love the outdoors. Their most popular model, the Vector has been the standard watch for many years with onboard functions like barometric altimeter, thermometer, barometer, electronic compass, multiple time zones and multiple alarms. It's a great watch with big number making it easy to tell the time when you are surfing down the wave cause that is when I'm thinking, "what time is it?"

With the big numbers comes the biggest complaint of Suunto watches. They are huge, thick and urbanites think they are ugly. Also, it doesn't look good on dainty woman's wrists.

Suunto has just released two new models, the Lumi for woman and the Core for fashionistas.

The Lumi is a thinner model that looks great. It has all the same core features that you would want in a wrist-top computer (they don't like the term watch) including thermometer, storm alarm, and digital compass. They have also released the model as a pendant with no wrist strap allowing you to lose it quicker.

The Core has similar features to the vector but is slightly more precise including a slew of software and user interface upgrades. It also looks fantastic.

I absolutely love my Suunto watch. Those who already own one will agree with me. They have a huge variety of models with different features so you can find the unit with the features you are actually going to use.

Finally, not many people know this but they also have a fantastic warranty program. Like everything else they have a standard replacement warranty which is I believe three-years. If you break your unit after the warranty expires, you can send it in (through your point of purchase) and purchase a replacement watch at a significant discount. That is great for the hard-core users that wear their watch out in 5-6 years like I have.

More info:
Johnson OutdoorsJohnson Outdoors, a global leader in outdoor recreational products, today announced the launch of, the Company's new on-line destination point for outdoor recreation enthusiasts.

The new website reflects the spirit of adventure on which the Company was founded in 1970 by the legendary Sam Johnson, and which flourishes today under the leadership of his daughter, Helen Johnson-Leipold, Chairman and CEO, Johnson Outdoors Inc. Visitors enter recreational sections of the site thru adventure postcards that invite them to explore outdoor recreation pursuits - from paddling to fishing and boating to camping, even scuba diving and waterfront living. seeks to enhance the outdoor experience with useful "how to," "when to" and "where to" tips from experts. The JOHNSON OUTDOORS JOURNAL also provides an on-line portal to connect the website's visitors with the global community of outdoor recreation enthusiasts.
Tuesday, 16 October 2007 11:55

English Channel Crossing Record Smashed

Gertrude Ederle was the first woman to swim the English Channel. Here she is being greased to ward off the cold on her swim across the English Channel, 1926.
Gertrude Ederle was the first woman to swim the English Channel. Here she is being greased to ward off the cold on her swim in 1926.
People have been crossing the English Channel for a long time. At it's narrowest part, the crossing is 31km.

The first person to swim across it was Matthew Webb on August 25, 1875. The crossing took 21 hours, 45 minutes to complete.

The fastest ever verified swim of the channel was by Peter Stoychev on 24 August 2007. He crossed the channel in 6 hours 57 minutes and 50 seconds.

Though I wasn't able to find out who did the first crossing, Andrew Samuel set a very longstanding record of 3 hours 33 minutes and 47 seconds in September of 1976. On May 18th, 2005, Ian Tordoff broke the crossing record by paddling across in a specialty designed Valley Kayak Rapier.

It looks like the record has been broken again. Olympic medallist Ian Wynne smashed the record again by shaving another 22 minutes. He paddled across in 2 hours 59 minutes and 6 seconds.

The 29-year-old won a bronze medal in 2004 at the Athens Olympics in the 500m K1 kayak event.

Wynne said: "It was very different from short distance sprint racing that I have been used to, but I enjoy the challenge."

More info:
A huge congrats goes out to Bryan Smith and the gang over at The Range Life because their film, "Pacific Horizons" was accepted into the 2007 Banff Mountain Film Festival. For those who have their head in the sand, the Banff Mountain Film Festival is considered one of the most prestigious adventure film festivals in the world.

Bryan will be traveling to Alberta to present the film on November 3rd. If it gets chosen to travel the world on the tour then it should be coming to a town near you.

Look for it out on DVD later in November.
Monday, 15 October 2007 18:29

Blog Action Day – Environment

Michipicoten Island, Lake Superior
Michipicoten Island, Lake Superior
We are also taking part in the Blog Action Day for the environment.

Canoeing and Kayaking is filled with dichotomies. On one hand, we have people who love to get out and enjoy nature and would do anything to keep it from getting wrecked. On the other hand, they are burning a pile of gas, wearing synthetic clothing made from spun plastic and paddling boats that will be around for 1000 years before they start to fade in the sun.

I have had this recreation debate with fellow paddlers. We preach about being gentle to the earth but contribute to its destruction by actually going out and participating in the sport we love.

So what do we do? Sitting at home instead of sitting on a river will keep that area clean and wild for another day but it will also cause us to be disconnected and start taking that clean river for granted. When you take it for granted, you won't care when it gets dammed.

The argument that seems to sit well with me is that there is effect to our actions but the more people we can get out on the river, the more people that will fall in love with it and fight for its long term survival.

In this world, if you don't use it you will loose it. It's almost a fact of life sadly.

That's the end of my late night ramble.
Sunday, 14 October 2007 18:21

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Sunday, 14 October 2007 18:21


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