Saturday, June 1, 2013


About 3 years ago I was wandering through the web and came across a website called Seakayakadventures.
It talked about sea kayak trips in East Greenland led by a fellow called Martin Rickard. I had long wanted to go to Greenland and this seemed like a possibly worthwhile way of doing it.

The images and video on Martin's website certainly looked pretty good! I have a reluctance to join commercial trips as there is always the possibility that it becomes so controlled and regimented that the essence of the location is lost. Not so with Martin's trips.

Martin has extensive experience of travelling by kayak in East Greenland and his knowledge and awareness do two things. Firstly, it makes the experience of kayaking in Greenland as safe as it can possibly be. This is an unforgiving area so there is always a  need to be careful but Martin's experience means that clients can enjoy their surroundings and be gently guided in a safe manner.

Secondly, it means that people that sign up with Martin get as close to true Greenland nature and culture as possible. It does not feel like a commercial trip at all. More like a group of friends being led by another friend that just happens to know that part of Greenland like the back of his hand.

Anyway, after a bit of to'ing and fro'ing of emails we decided that it was worth the 45 hour travelling time to get there!

Martin's leadership style is relaxed and gentle but still firm and competent.  Just the way it should be. The trip with him was unforgettable and inspiring and I would urge any mildly adventurous paddler to seriously consider signing up with his company. You won't regret it.

His prices are extremely reasonable compared to other companies that offer commercial trips in the region and the equipment he supplies is top notch. Good British kayaks, paddles, spraydecks, pfds etc. All good stuff and well maintained.

Sooo, as they say, just do it!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Light and dark

Last time I visited Greenland, sunrise was at 3 am, sunset around 10pm and it didn't really get completely dark.

This time, because I will be there a month later. Sunrise will be 2 hours later and sunset 2 hours earlier so the days are quite a bit shorter and the nights definitely darker.

One advantage of this is that I will have a good opportunity to see the Northern Lights. I can't think of anything better than sitting alone in the middle of the wilderness in Greenland at night watching the lights dance above:-)

A disadvantage is that it will be dark dark at night, particularly as I will be there around the New Moon, not a lot of light from that! So I decided I needed the best headlamp I could get. I bought a Petzl Nao, one of their new Reactive headlamps ( a light sensor in the headlamp adjusts output to requirements) and I have to say it is a fantastic headlamp. Comfortable, well designed and the output compared to other headlamps available is just outstanding. Naturally the trade off is battery life but I also bought some spare lithium ion batteries to go with it. And a feature of the lamp is the ability for the user to adjust the various outputs of the lamp by creating user profiles in Petzl's headlamp software, OS by Petzl. You can vary battery life from less than an hour to 144 hours.
Walking down a country road behind the headlamp is like having the road lit by a pretty reasonable car headlamp. Amazing!

Petzl Nao