Saturday, August 09, 2014

How far have I paddled?

Over the years I have come in for some ridicule as I have kept a kayaking log book. My first entry was in January 1979 and since that date I have made a record of every time that I have been in a canoe or a kayak.  Sometimes it might just be a brief note whilst at other times it might be a comprehensive record of where we parked the car, what the launch was like, any wildlife seen etc.  Due to the fact that I have kept the log book going for so long it has now become almost impossible to stop.
Earlier this year I was wondering to myself as to whether I paddled the equivalent of the circumference of the earth at the equator?  First of all how far is it around the equator.  Plenty of places will give you the distance in kilometres and statute miles, it was only after a bit of searching that I found the answer in nautical miles, it is 21639nm.  My log book records have always been in nautical miles so this was an important figure to find.
I then sat down with the log books and over a couple of hours completed a table. There were 5 columns, standing for year, sea kayak, sit on top, canoe/general purpose and total.  I passed the magical distance on the 19th May 2012 whilst on a trip out to the Paternosters.
So if you don't already keep a log book think about starting keeping a record of your paddling experiences, in a few years time it will make interesting reading.  I don't have a log book from 1969 to 1979 sadly, as there could be some interesting reading about a number of sea kayaking adventures, including being pulled of the water by Tito's police in the former Yugoslavia, as we naively thought it was alright to paddle on the sea in communist countries.

 The oldest picture I have scanned in.  The first trip to the Ecrehous, August Bank Holiday Sunday 1974.  Is it really 40 years since I first paddled out to the Ecrehous.  Possibly the best one day paddle anywhere.  This was probably the first ever organized paddle by the Jersey Canoe Club, which we had just formed.  This was 5 years before I started keeping a log book but it was a pretty memorable day.
A few months after I started keeping a log book.  An evening surf session in May 1979 at St Brelade's.  We were so proud of our KW7's.  So versatile, one day we would be rock hopping the next heading out to an offshore reef.

 One advantage of keeping a log book is that you are able to track your memorable paddles.  This is dawn on the morning of my 150th paddle to the Ecrehous, we are packing away before returning to Jersey.
The day that I passed the equivalent of the circumnavigation of the earth.  Getting ready to leave the Paternosters.

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