Born in 1962, I started paddling in 1978 whilst serving in the Armed Forces. I joined the Grenadier Guards straight from school seeing service in West Germany, France, Northern Ireland, Belize and Cyprus. It was seeing the beautiful lines of a Nordkap lay on the Tarmac in Larnaca (Cyprus) all ready to go on expedition that planted the first seeds of a dream that has now fully occupied my life for the last seven years or so.
Having left the Army in 1987, I moved to Falmouth, Cornwall and have since worked as a commercial Fisherman, Boat Builder, Self defense instructor, Harbour Master’s Assistant and more recently have been instructing Sea Kayaking at the Falmouth Marine School. Having delivered yachts locally and as far a field as Norway, I hold a great deal of respect for the Sea with all its moods and ways.
I currently run a ‘Seakayak Cornwall’ with Simon Osbourne. We run the full range of BCU courses as well as our own tailor made clinics.
- Introduction to sea kayaking.
- Introduction to rough water paddling.
- Incident Management
In 2002 I crossed to the Scilly Isles by kayak and in 2003 I paddled all 300 miles of the Cornish coast in a little over 4 days. These trips showed me what a beautiful location Cornwall is for sea kayaking and I find no greater joy than introducing people to the world of Kayaking or showing them some of the hidden secrets of ancient Kernow. (Celtic for Cornwall)
In 2004 I went on expedition with Hadas Feldman and together we completed a full circumnavigation of the four main Islands of Japan. After 139 paddling days spread over a six month period we completed a journey in excess of 6500 kilometres.
In 2005 I also completed the first circumnavigation of South Georgia by a British team along with Peter Bray, Nigel Dennis and Hadas Feldman.
On all of my expeditions I try to highlight the needs of the Child Growth Foundation and other children’s charities.
I have delivered presentations and am quite adept at public speaking, having talked at various venues around the globe.
I am available for presentations on ‘Paddle Japan’ (On a Wing and a Prayer) and also on the circumnavigation of South Georgia.
I have written numerous publications for the kayaking and outdoor press and I am currently writing a book on the Japan circumnavigation. ‘Karma Waters’ which should be available in spring of 2007.
. . Since you asked:
Best Moment: This has to be when you get a wildlife encounter and there’s been a few of those, I think the one that sticks in my mind most was when I had just set off from my local beach at Maenporth. Having just got out through the surf I relaxed and waited for a group of students to come together when a big Bottle nose Dolphin exploded out of the water. Leaping fully clear, he looked as if he had a big grin on his face. For the next half hour or so we were gifted with an amazing display of Dolphin acrobatics. Also in Hokkaido, during the Japan trip, we saw Grizzlies for the first time, taking Salmon from the river mouths.
Worst Moment: The last few days of the Japan circumnavigation was a lesson in frustration, our visa’s were running out, as had most of our money, the weather had turned really foul, a north easterly gale had held us up on the Chiba coastline, which had kicked up a lot of big surf. When it was suitable to continue, down came the fog!, we paddled on a knife edge for about three days in almost zero visibility, trying to stay just outside the surf zone. Fishing boats were operating beyond the surf zone and with good radar they motor at considerable speed, Hadas was more wary of the Boats than the surf and headed in closer, we got to close, there must have been a lull in the sets which were hard to read due to the poor visibility and we both almost got wiped out, managing to break back out just in time, Japan’s coast is inundated with extremely large concrete defenses and landing anywhere would have been hazardous, we headed out beyond the break and almost got run down by a fishing boat, we decided to paddle at night to finish the last day, just to escape the fog.
What I like best: Going on expedition, I am an expedition junkie, I prefer longer trips where it can become more of a life style than a trip. The freedom a sea kayak gives you is great. I used to be into sailing, it’s so expensive though and now I get far more out of paddling.
Worst habit: Picking my nose!!
BCU Level 4 Coach (sea)
BCU 5 Star (sea)
RYA Yacht Master (shore based)
RYA Powerboat Level 2
NARS Beach life guard
WAS First Aid (in the workplace)
NCFE Drugs Awareness
BIIAB Parts 1&2
Jeff’s Japan expedition is featured in ‘This is the Sea 2′.