Thursday, May 28, 2015

to all of our supporters

A statement from the Team

We set out our aim to paddle around Ireland, allowing ourselves a month away from family and business commitments to complete it. Weather permitting, we would challenge the record time in a standard sea kayak. We wanted to raise substantial funds for the RNLI in the process.

Our ethos was:
  • self-reliance
  • have adequate training and knowledge to make informed decisions en-route
  • carry food and shelter for the expected duration
This ethos of real risk management forms the backbone of our Adventure Sports Centre on the Isle of Man.

We have forged links with the RNLI on the national water safety forum through Coasteering and the establishment of the National Coasteering Charter, as well as regular local fund raising efforts.  We hold the RNLI’s strategy of incident prevention being the long-term solution in high regard, and have adopted this approach in adventure sports on the Isle of Man. This parallel includes regular training, experience and can do attitude to manage incidents.
It is incidents that require external assistance which attract media focus, and where the vital lifeboats and their dedicated crews come into play. This is where funds are especially required.

Our aim to paddle to and around Ireland, was part of our overall strategy to blend these factors and promote positive risk management, be good ambassadors of the RNLI and inspire others to reach their potential.

As we journeyed along both the East and South coastline of Ireland, making real decisions which involved real risk, we both realised that the sea kayaking trip we had committed to, given the relentless winds we had encountered during this time, allowed for limited options. The impact on our bodies was relentless; recovery time minimal.  The expedition in this format was unlikely to achieve our aim, with the current weather and related sea conditions (May has been one of the coldest and windiest on record), and our associated physical state.

In short, responsible risk management for us was to take a break from paddling.

Our main aim going forward is to increase our options. We aim to increase support and continue to raise funds for the RNLI, carrying its message of real risk management on our journey. We kayaked along the East and South coastline over 2 weeks; we aim to explore more of the the West and North coastline over the forthcoming years…

We are both indebted to our sponsors and really appreciative of the warm Irish hospitality, the boundless support of the RNLI and having plenty of reflection time ourselves.

Catch you on the water soon
Keirron & George

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

A break from paddling

pics from day 12, superb conditions, and great way to round off the South coast

Keirron and George have left the expedition kayaks safely stowed in Baltimore and returned home to the Isle of Man via the Isle of Man Steam Packet sailing today. A real education delivered by the elements, and an even stronger team as a result.

"We're reviewing our options"

Evaluate our objectives and take some time out. It's been an intensive, often brutal few weeks and our bodies are certainly aware. An excellent point to break the trip, both in time and conditions, the 'journey' continues...

"On my tenth major expedition, I believe I've reached a robust rational waypoint..."
Keirron Tastagh

"Remarkable journey, unforgiving weather, rewarding Irish beauty" 
George Shaw


A big shout out to the amazing support we have received, including the RNLI.

The RNLI is the charity that saves lives at sea. Its volunteer lifeboat crews rescue an average of 24 people every day and RNLI lifeguards provide a seasonal lifeguard service on selected beaches. The RNLI is independent from Government and relies on donations from people like you.

Catch you on the water soon


FiveTen Canyoneer 3 - product review

I've used my new Canyoneer 3 boots since receiving them mid-April, Coasteering and Sea Kayaking daily, as well as intensive use on this Ireland Expedition. They are very light, precise and comfortable. If there was any grip to be found on wet or dry rock, the Canyoneer 3 finds it! The new lace up system shows no sign of wear and it is a complete piece of mastery over the original Canyoneer buckles.

These get a 10/10 from me!!


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Day 12: Clonakilty to Baltimore

Keirron and George have now finished paddling south and have reached Baltimore, a fair few nautical miles of paddling since leaving Peel...
Text from Keirron said "Red hot day, great coastline, enjoyed a Guinness at Bush bar, overlooking the quay"
Expecting some further details on progress and a post from the guys themselves tomorrow.


Monday, May 25, 2015

Day 11: Crosshaven to Clonakilty

Keirron and George were off the water today at 6pm, and are camping near Clonakilty. 
I understand they have had great weather and hot sunshine and a nice stretch of coast with countless caves and plenty of headlands, photos in the next day or two...
Keeping watching the weather as it look like it may deteriorate a little to coincide with their arrival on the west coast later this week....


Sunday, May 24, 2015

Day 10: Ardmore to Crosshaven

Just out of Ardmore, we came across a crane originally on route from Liverpool to Malta in 1987, the crane was being towed by a tug when the towline parted in a storm and remains aground to this day...
We met the Youghal lifeboat out on exercise

We're raising funds for the RNLI as we paddle round Ireland and are having amazing support from the crews round the country. The RNLI was founded by Sir William Hillary who came to live on the Isle of Man in 1808,  Being aware of the treacherous nature of the  Irish Sea with many ships being wrecked around the manx coast, he drew up plans for a national lifeboat service manned by trained crews.
At the age of 60, Sir William took part in the rescue, in 1830, of the packet St George, which had foundered on Conister Rock at the entrance to Douglas Harbour on the island.  He commanded the lifeboat and was washed overboard with others of the lifeboat crew, yet finally everyone aboard the St George was rescued with no loss of life. It was this incident which prompted Sir William to set up a scheme to build The Tower of Refuge on Conister Rock – a project completed in 1832 which stands to this day at the entrance to Douglas Harbour.
Conister Rock - Douglas, Isle of Man

Thanks for everyones continued support :)
Keirron & George

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Day 9: Dummore East to Ardmore

 sunrise at Dunmore East harbour (this morning)

 We had our best morning on the circumnavigation so far, exploring sea caves, sea stacks...
A mild breeze, in t-shirts and rolled down drysuits, superb!

 Absolutely stunning, clear visibility and so much to explore!!
Covering lots of distance without trying, relaxed pace, this is sea kayaking : )

 After an early lunch that all changed, got back on the water at midday with a bit of chop running, very soon into a relentless strong headwind, which lasted until we reached Ardmore at 6pm.
Got a lift with Fergus to RNLI Youghal, and everything we possible wanted, found!!!

Looking forward to an early night, and another great day on the water tomorrow.

Keirron & George

'It's not the weather you've got, it's what you do with it'

Friday, May 22, 2015

Day 8: Bastardstown to Dunmore East

What I really like about Ireland is the energy in the people we meet.

What we are enjoying about our journey is discovering the real Irish hospitality...
So many folk have shown such kindness, we are deeply moved.
George tucking into a piece of Katia's special flapjack.
sun setting as we pass colonies of seals on the sand bars
striking camp in the early morning sun 
we pass and chat to a few of the many people enjoying the coastline
George pulling his kayak up for a beach break
Keirron and George 
passing the lighthouse at Hook Point
Arriving at Dunmore East to be met by Ciaran from the RNLI
Why are doing it?
We were asked "is it for some kind of therapy you're doing it?"

Over the last couple of days we too have been asking ourselves the same question, it's been tough going! Staring at the next focal point move slowly closer, estimating time and distances, checking and re-checking maps, pushing wind and tide... Why do we do it?
Because it's there. Because we relish a challenge. Because we too need to move out of our comfort zone, need to take risk (try something which the end result is not certain). Having moved out of the real low point on this kayak trip, some reasoning...

We both have families at home on the Isle of Man, work commitments also... And sometimes it's taking up real challenges that allows us to see things more clearly, from a different perspective.
Journeying by kayak gives a unique perspective on life. Its real! Raw nature can be a relentless unforgiving educator....It makes the paddler feel alive. It makes you appreciate even more those things most dear to you....And occasionally nature gives you a glimpse, an unforgettable wildlife encounter, stunning scenery, memories, life changing moments. 
It really makes us appreciate the immense support we are receiving. Thank you : )
And another motivator, we're doing this in support of the RNLI:

Looking forward to wild coastline ahead.
Keirron and George

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Day 7: Rosslare to Bastardstown

The guys set off from Rosslare just after the Stena ferry at 9am to catch the tide round Carnsore point.
Text from Keirron at 2pm to say they were going to get off the water at Bastardstown. Tough paddling conditions with a Force 5 South westerly and conditions getting worse so with the good weather coming in over the next few days it makes no sense to push on today, but get a rest, explore the local area and get ready for some decent mileage during the next few days...

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Day 6: Wicklow to Rosslare

Just off the phone to Keirron, both the guys seem on very good form, they have had a good day and covered a fair bit of distance with some enjoyable paddling, been a long one though and they were just looking for somewhere to camp just past Rosslare village before the harbour. 
A few people have been asking about their food and have they really taken everything with them for a month?? Well the answer is pretty much yes!
They have taken a less traditional but more intellectual approach to their nutrition (with the help of Sam Murphy - PB Sports Performance). Even when kayaking the strenuous mileage that Keirron & George are covering on a day to day basis their heart rate rarely goes high enough to cause a state that is highly dependant on carbohydrates. Predominantly their energy is coming from fat because of the relative low intensity work over a near continuous expedition pace. Thus it is important to have fat ingested throughout the day while they are paddling. Hence, nuts, cheese & meats take up the predominance of their daily food intake.They finish the day with a single large carbohydrate intake so that this is digested and transported to necessary muscles and organs by the time they wake. This energy system is then only utilised in situations where more effort is required, such as surf landings/ launches, tidal races or points of high wind. On days where they will be battling the wind and surf all day they will also be continually eating small quantities of carbohydrates to maintain their energy levels.

Just 2 examples of their "snack" diet for throughout the day;
They set off from the IOM with dry bags full off mini portions of Cathedral city cheese each for the expedition, they get through a few packs a day (they had 300 to start with).
Also plenty of Clif Bars to allow them to consume at least 3 each throughout the day thanks to some generous support from Bikestyle Isle of Man and not forgetting 2 boxes of flapjacks from Adventurous Experiences very own flapjack maker herself! By taking their own supplies it avoids spending time searching for shops etc...

Will write more on the other meals in a future post, which will occasionally deviate from the plan when they receive the occasional spot of great hospitality!!

Weather looks promising for the next few days

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Day 5: Howth to Wicklow

We arrived at Wicklow RNLI at 4:20pm, after setting off from Howth at 6:20am...
...some delightful conditions battling our way around and across Dublin bay. Gusting F7.
After Dun Laoghaire we had a strong tailwind all the way onwards, with the tide! The usual frequent squalls with mixed hail and rain, and sunny spells.
We've been promised conditions settling down from tomorrow... fingers crossed!!!
Keirron & George

Monday, May 18, 2015

Day 4: Clogherhead to Howth

First a few pics from the last few days...
  weather has been changeable...
...we did get into Carlingford though to sample a fine Guinness...
Thanks so much for your amazing hospitality everyone we've had the fortune to meet so far.
Quite a few squalls and delightful hailstones, made some decent progress along every inch of the coastline! Immediately had mugs of tea put into our hands, and every possible want sorted.
Thank you lads, much appreciated : )

Keirron & George