Today is my birthday. A little tanked. Feeling a tid bit awkward however, finding myself with a lot of reflections. Since my original blog & only now making it updated. I find myself with great stories to tell.
After participating in the 3rd UK Storm Gathering I was asked to star one in the US & I did. Not being able to get the participants I was hoping to get. My turn out was a total of 11 people. I didn't think it too bad for my first symposium. BCUNA wasn't too happy because I brought over coaches from the UK to assist me in running a successful program. A huge thank you to Mark Tozer & Richard McEvoy. Two of my finest UK friends Whom I proudly call my family. As far as my US friends which I place in the same category whom are Taino Almestica, Orlando Condeso & Larry Burton. Without the help of the five of you. That symposium would not be possible. For those that chose not to show up because you think NYC gets no conditions. Let me know & I'll send you photos that prove otherwise. This took place in 2009 & I'm looking to do another one this upcoming September in 2012 so I hope others will consider coming over. Come over for some good workouts, interesting trips as well as just having a great time paddling & meeting new friends, fellow paddlers. I must thank New York Kayak Compamy for the use of their facility & resources to make it possible. A big thank you top Randall Henricksen (NYKC) & Louis Shing from Certified Emergency Medical Responders for providing what was said to be an amazing CPR \ First Aid course.
In 2010 I decided to got o Gordon Brown of Skyak Adventures for my second 5* assessment. What an amazing experience. For those whom have never journeyed with the man I highly, highly suggest it. What a great time. He & Ken Nicole provided me with experience & knowledge which will stay with me for lifetime & will be passes on to my kids whom have all this year decided it was time to get in the water & party. This includes my 8 y\o daughter who has a heart of steel & presses forward with great determination to conquer kayaking. She desperately wants to travel to Wales & paddle the waters of Anglesey & have a grand ol time.
This year I attempted for a third time to pass my five star but to no avail. All I'm going t say is shit happens & I did not bring my A-game to pass. I'd like to thank Rich McEvoy for your help & support, Mark Tozer for providing another opportunity. Olly Sanders & Howard Jeffs for your honesty and different perspective. Phil Clegg for the use of equipment I should've brought with me. Most of all Katey Cakes for the assistance in the navigation portion which has caused me much grief in the past. My wife Yaz for tolerating another 2 weeks of boredom in the UK & dealing with me being away during the day while you stood somewhat bored in a room. Be warned 2013 will be my year to finally pass. This time I'll be bringing my A+ game. Incorporating what I've learned from Kevin Mansells, Chris Jones, Tom Nelson, James Stevenson, Claire Knifton, Pete Jones, Gordon Brown, Ken Nicole, Olly Sanders & Howard Jeffs. A bit of being a paddling buddy with a touch of being an asshole. Not comfortable with the asshole part. It just seems like it needs to be done for the assessment. Which sucks but, it is what it is.
It's 10:15 EST. I'm tanked & tired. Time for a lil R & R while feeling somewhat good. Pics to follow. Have a great day all & safe journeys!!!