Happy New Year, hope you all had a great entry into 2011, I certainly did, headed up to Salcombe with my family to see the New Year in and had a great time; even managed to get some training in - several swims, one in the local pool at Kingsbridge where my son and my wife hammered me for an hour doing 50 metre shuttle sprints, and another swim from North Sands beach, v cold, but the dip was a fantastic cure for a rather large hangover, if I could bottle that cure, I'm sure I wouldn't have to work anymore.
Today I was afloat once more in the Taran, meeting up with a good friend of mine, Rod, we set out from North Sands beach. Rod was in his brand new Carbon Kevlar Nordkapp, which looked very shiny indeed as we set off for Prawle Point, the wind was blowing steadily at between a 3 and 4 from the east and directly across the tide, which was going to make for a fun surf home. But first we set off for a bit of rock hopping, a chunky 3-4' swell made this an interesting couple of hours, partly because of the conditions, but also because of the rudder on the Taran. I've got so used to edging my turns that I'm inadvertently applying the rudder whilst also edging, sometimes with the wrong foot, ( I'll get the hang of it eventually!) so quite often I end up stalling the turn and then have to paddle backwards to re-align. Then I had to work out the rudder in astern, this was a good exercise, especially given the conditions, after the first scratch to the shiny new Gel coat, the learning curve grew a little less steep and I began to relax. I felt I had started to nail it by the time we ran the small channel between Prawle Point and the outer rocks.
We then surfed home, once more the Taran has ticked all of the boxes for me, picking up numerous linked runs, connecting swell after swell, surging and streaming with ease down the faces; the boat is very fast downwind and I had some fantastic runs of several hundred meters.
Once more, happy new year to all - looking forward to seeing you soon in London for some Catholic paddling Harry.