It’s 06:00 on a Saturday and here I am writing this quickly. I know, I’ve been a bit lax lately with my writing and article posting and promise I’ll make up soon. Life has been a bit hectic lately with a lot of other activities and missions needing attention, including the big dreaded word - work. This day out on the Palmiet was done last season and didn’t stand out as anything spectacular but thought I’m mumble a few words and throw up some photos as the photos are really what are important, I think.

After paddling in the Western Cape for this being my 5th season this year I’ve decided the paddling generally sucks - the reason being that the rain is just so fickle. The Palmiet has a larger catchment area and can run for way more than a week after heavy rain, and assuming the dams upstream are full, but the other two main rivers that we paddle, the Witte and the Molenaars, have super short catchment areas and within 2 days after being in full flood, they’ll be too low to paddle. So if it rains on a Monday and Tuesday, by the weekend you’ll either have to hope the swell is good and hit some waves, or mission to the Palmiet. Being a full time weekend warrior now I cannot just paddle during the week anymore, so now I’ve had my gripe session and almost feel marginally better. The Doring is bit of a drive and then it too doesn’t flow at decent levels too often…  But when it does rain, the Witte and Molenaars really are world class, of that there is no doubt. Even if I kayak for another 30 years I’ll never be too good for the Witte, it will always teach, caress, punish, satisfy and reward all kayaking cravings, and for that we are most thankful.

Palmiet_18_June_2011_007_E1_CR copy Palmiet_18_June_2011_020_E1_CR copy Palmiet_18_June_2011_021_E1_CR copy Palmiet_18_June_2011_022_E1 copy Palmiet_18_June_2011_023_E1 copy Palmiet_18_June_2011_024_E1_CR copy Palmiet_18_June_2011_027_E1_CR copy Palmiet_18_June_2011_028_E1_CR copyMe cruising down the rapid called Bubble and Squeak. Photos by Rowan Walpole. Here I was using the Sawyer Copperhead paddle. A carbon neutral bent shaft paddle with wood and carbon laminated blades. A very nice stick indeed. Boat – large Fluid Detox :)

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Stuart MacMillan heading down too. Photos by Rowan Walpole.  Palmiet_18_June_2011_072_E1_CR copy Palmiet_18_June_2011_076_E1_CR copy Palmiet_18_June_2011_077_E1 copy Palmiet_18_June_2011_078_E1_CR copyAbrie Swanepoel having a huge amount of fun with my hand paddles! Photos by Rowan Walpole.

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Greg Walpole charging through.  Photo by Rowan Walpole.Palmiet_18_June_2011_115_E1 copy Palmiet_18_June_2011_122_E1_CR copy

A first timer. He did very well, apart from this pic of course :)  Photos by Rowan Walpole.Palmiet_18_June_2011_141_E1 copy

My memory is hazy right now (it’s too early to think) Pass on the caption..  Photo by Rowan Walpole.Palmiet_18_June_2011_181_E1 copy

Karen van der Westhuizen idling through Waterfall rapid too.  Photo by Rowan Walpole.Palmiet_18_June_2011_199_E1 copyAnd Kieran Tinsley too.  Photo by Rowan Walpole.

Palmiet_18_June_2011_203_E1_CR copy Palmiet_18_June_2011_204_E1_CR copy Palmiet_18_June_2011_205_E1_CR copy Palmiet_18_June_2011_206_E1_CR copy Palmiet_18_June_2011_210_E1_CR copyMe down the same rapid, different line.  Photos by Rowan Walpole.

Palmiet_18_June_2011_235_E1_CR copy Palmiet_18_June_2011_236_E1_CR copy Palmiet_18_June_2011_237_E1_CR copy Palmiet_18_June_2011_238_E1 copyAbrie Swanepoel with a stylish freewheel! Photos by Rowan Walpole.

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Kieran looking for rocks on the river – he got some stitches yes :) Palmiet_18_June_2011_266_E1_CRFrom left: Karen, Rowan (pulling the retard face), and Abrie at a BBQ afterwards.

Because of the dire situation of having had two bad rainy seasons in a row, I’ve decided to head overseas for a little bit of paddling. Of course money was always the factor to paddle overseas and at least I seem to be able to hang onto a few $’s these days. I’ll announce the destination soon :-) My tickets are already bought and paid for, and on Sunday 8th April I fly off, landing back home 30th April. So it should be good – standby. It will not be a 100% kayaking mission and will include some fishing, and one other activity which might give the game away. But all in all it’ll be very different. Possibly not entirely radical (I’m not a very radical kayaker anyway) but it might include a few minor first descents and the adventure aspect always keeps things interesting even if it’s only class 3 and 4!

I’ve included a bunch of other photos to add a little spice to this post, as kayaking is not my only interest. Ocean waves, and windsurfing, I’m fully addicted! Enjoy :-)

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Photography by: Adrian Tregoning. Unless otherwise stated.
Words by: Adrian Tregoning.

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Derde Steen, Cape Town. Dungeons_25_July_2008_093_E99_CR copy

Dungeons, Cape Town. Yes, old photo, but I decided to make it black and white. I like this shot. Kommetjie_4_March_2012_D80_018_E1_CR copy

Kommetjie, last weekend.  Kommetjie_4_March_2012_D7000_254_E1 copy

Long Beach, Kommetjie. Kommetjie_4_March_2012_D7000_337_E1_CR copy

Long Beach, Kommetjie. Kommetjie_4_March_2012_D7000_402_E1 copy

Hout Bay, last weekend. Kommetjie_4_March_2012_D7000_404_E1_CR copy Kommetjie_4_March_2012_D7000_425_E1 copy

Dungeons last weekend. No one out.  Lagoon_23_Feb_2012_001_E1Herman Visagie charging at Lagoon Beach, which is right where I’ll be living in the next month ;-) Screenshot of GoPro HD footage.

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Keurbooms Lagoon, Plettenberg Bay. I drove up there 3 or so weeks ago. Plett_4_5_February_2012_129_E1_CR copy

Robberg Beach, Plett. This is a jellyfish by the way. It’s upside down ----> don’t touch ;-) Plett_4_5_February_2012_171_E1_CR copy

Timberwolf. Interesting – the South African defence force bred wolves with normal dogs to breed the ‘ultimate’ fighting dog. Unfortunately wolves are not aggressive by nature and the program failed, but we still have several wolves in the country and you don’t even need a permit to keep one. Our defence force doesn’t employ the smartest people ;-) Plett_4_5_February_2012_198_E1 copyThe Tradouw River, as it usually looks with zero water. This river is awesome when it runs!

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Myself at Sunset Beach the other day. Waves were small and crap but it was super windy. Nicely powered on my 4.5. Photos by Laurent Orlandini. Sunset_Beach_18_February_2012_153_E1 copy

Looking down (north) from Sunset Beach. A LOT of kiters… Sunset_Beach_18_February_2012_177_E1 copySunset Beach, Cape Town.

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Johan van der Merwe at Tietiesbaai two weekends ago. Tittiesbaai_24_25_26_February_2012_058_E1_CR copy

The mornings catch! I only caught 1 of these, they are hottentots – tasty  Tittiesbaai_24_25_26_February_2012_187_E1_CR copy

A shot for Wild Earth. They make SICK products. Check their website: WILD EARTH

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Tietiesbaai. This place rocks. Vineyards_25_January_2012_015_E1 copyVineyards near to my parents house. Lovely place to run.