Saturday, June 20, 2015

The Tower of Refuge

Just posted on the Adventurous Experiences Blog - a paddle to Conister Rock, visiting the mighty Tower of Refuge, and the foundations of the RNLI...

Great to keep things in perspective and remind ourselves how lucky we are.

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'