For Sale: Necky Orbitfish ; getting a Pyranha JED :D

So, I’m overweight for the Orbitfish as the recent session on the Gower has proven. As a result of my pearling of the boat’s nose as I was ferrygliding across the entry waves, I can’t get up enough speed to get on the wave properly. Time to move the boat onto someone lighter and better suited to the design of that boat. Anyone want to take it off my hands, it’s for sale for €325.

So I’m upgrading to a large Pyranha Jed, and that is a little bit shorter but faster and it’ll be my playboat / surfboat as well. Really looking forwards to trying that boat out in the pool and on the Gower!

Ulkc visit Wicklow

I managed to get shift coverage with work thanks to Eric. As I needed to be back in Limericks for work on the Sunday evening, I drove myself up. As it turned out, this was a good idea as it allowed a few more people to go.
We arrive to the hostel to find there was a miscommunication with the numbers staying, so the hostel owners spent a little while putting a few more beds together for us. And the evenings entertainment started… Luke found out why it’s a bad idea to fall asleep in the room where everyone is drinking! The black marker will eventually wear off,  we hope!
Next morning the sore heads fixed the tiredness with tea and weetabix, and off to the Avonmore river in Rathdrum for the first river of the day, paddling to the Meeting of the Waters. A nice trip, a few swims here and there but it was a lovely introduction to Wicklow. There are some decent eddylines on the river, and I managed to get the tail down in the Burn on one of them. A long day on the water, or it felt like it was anyway! After we got off the water there we went to Laragh to the carpark behind Lynagh’s hotel. Unfortunately though the Glenmacnass was empty of water so we went to take a look at Jackson’s, and we took a few of the willing newbies down as well with mostly fun consequences, but Luke tried to use his head as a brake with bloody results. Only a few steristrips needed, and with the assistance of a paramedic from the swift-water training also using Jackson’s he was patched up just fine.
Saturday evening involved crashing the party of the European Business group from DCU who were in the other half of the hostel. Very cute girls and the craic was mighty, with my lifting people (plural and simultaneously) up again…
Sunday was the Avonmore from Annamoe to Trooperstown Wood where myself and a few others had to get off to be back in Limerick,  while the group went on to Jackson’s.
Work was long and not the easiest that night with the fatigue from the weekend catching up.
A great fun-filled trip overall! :)
Any videos will be here (link to be updated) and pics will be here (link to be updated)

Lahinch freshers weekend, huge fun!

A fantastic weekend had by all.
Newbies got wet, and got a good taste of why surfing is fun when moving down a wave without having to paddle. Watching the smiles and sheer joy was great!
The nights out were typical of Lahinch kayak trips. Huge craic, lots of jumping around in the nightclubs with some great getting to know each other better, with a little bit of international meetings ;) Everyone helping out, looking out for each other, with no problems of people getting narked living in each other’s pockets for the weekend.
Saturday afternoon after everyone was satisfied with their time on the water, we brought people to the Cliffs, but to Aileen’s instead of the ripoff of the Cliff visitor centre. I got some very pretty pictures with the Canon up on the cliffs,
here . It was brilliant to get to know so many people, some better than others ;)
For my own surfing, the wind blew the tops off the waves enough to make it hard work to get out past the break, and the waves weren’t steep or fast enough to make that effort worthwhile. Add to that the fact that the foam under the seat of the Orbitfish is missing and I’m no longer fitting comfortably as a result, I found it hard to get good surfing. Easy fix once I get a block of foam to carve up. Still worth getting wet for!
Hats off to the hostel staff, they put up with a lot of party animals in full flight, and the complete lack of hassle was brilliant.
A truly great weekend, loads of fun, little hassle, and some fantastic memories. ULKC, we did it again!

Castleconnell beginner trip

A huge number of paddlers on the water today, near 40 paddlers! 10 cumecs volume coming down the river so the flow was the standard low flow.
Lots of swimmers, lots of time taken getting people back in boats. Loads of characters really enjoying their first taster of whitewater, including a American girl that can’t swim but could float well enough. She was stoked, properly stoked, when she got off the river. Definitely a few characters that appear to have prospects for club officers in the future. A few more that I’m looking forwards to causing havoc with on the Lahinch trip, as it’s going to be so much craic!

Castleconnell, non-beginner trip

Last Wed, a small club trip went to the Castleconnell run on the Shannon. Seven of us on the water, with a shortage of Y-chromosomes! Good trip, low levels, hard work trying some surfing on teeny-tiny waves and trying to get stuck in little stoppers. A great recce for the upcoming first beginner trip on the water for the wednesday upcoming. No swims, but an epic capsize by Katie by the castle wall, trapping a paddle in the undercut for a while!
I often forget how short that river can be with a smaller group. Let’s see what it’s like this Wed!

Update, after a busy busy time.

So, it’s November. Wow the time is flying! So much has happened. So little time to play with.

Masters: Week 10 has just ended. Loads of assignments to complete for the next fortnight, then study for the exams that will complete the 5 modules that will constitute the first semester of the Masters of Engineering in “Information and Network Security” that I am currently pursuing in UL. It’s been good so far to get back to UL as a student but this time with an appetite for success that wasn’t really there in the past (for whatever reasons..). There’s a desire now to get through this with good results. I like the subjects, I’ve got a good crew of classmates and the craic is good enough. It’s tough for sure with time management being the hardest part so far. I have no spare time to relax this year. At all. It’s fun learning how to use Maple, MSProject and things like that. Weird having to buy textbooks again, but good to have them to refer to anyway.

Work: I’ve completed probation, and am now a fully fledged employee. The shift is not the easiest to manage but it’s not that bad – I still get to sleep at a somewhat sane time and it’s consistent at least. Some shifts of course I’m up the walls and I mightn’t get back to the house till gone half 2 or 3 o’clock with lectures at 9 or 10 in the morning and another night’s work the following night. Learning a lot, still got so much to learn. Trying not to forget what I learned at the start – that’s kinda hard.

Car: The Audi is paid off. Finally. It’s now just a car, with no intention from me of making it any better. It’s got too much mileage to consider tarting it up any bit, and it’s a useful tool to use instead of a pursuit in its own right. I don’t have the time to do anything really useful to it other than put diesel in every month or so. At least my driving mileage has severely decreased now that I’m back in Limerick full time. Due another tyre change soon, may but top-tier all-season tyres on it to safeguard me through the winter.

Sport: Very little time to get out on the Reign for a cycle. :( No time in a boat in quite a while – no free weekend gets in the way of that, but that is what I’ve signed up for! Put a deposit down for a good road bike for the Bike-to-Work scheme – a 2011 Trek Madone 4.5, secondhand, with uprated lighter Mavic wheels with the blade spokes. I’ll upgrade a few bits and pieces on that bike, including as good tyres as I can get. I will cycle to work on it at least once ;) and I’ll have to cycle home for lunch to get the car to drive home when the shift is over. It’s not good to be physically pumped at 2am trying to get to sleep. It’ll be useful to have that bike for the cycle around northwest France next summer just before Dave’s french wedding.

Other stuff: 5 years since fun and games, so that’s an interesting milestone passed. Nothing else of note there that I’ll put down here ;)

Astro: been out maybe 3 times since the start of the summer. Been pretty crap for astronomers in Ireland recently – and pretty crap for someone that works evenings and has college during the day! Starting to see the utility of a good quality grab and go setup that will give good views without needing to cooldown – maybe a 100mm short refractor on an alt-az mount?

Sarah: She passed her Viva with flying colours, a very positive impression from the examiners and a trivially small number of corrections before final submission of the thesis document. Her hard work and perseverance (and slight craziness) paid off big time. She’ll get the hood in January.


Long day!

It was good to get out on the water on the Castleconnell section of the Shannon, just northeast of Limerick. Myself, Mel, and Damien were on at a low flow level, nice to get some of the old cobwebs out. It was not easy getting up at 07.30 on a Sunday morning to go and get wet..

Then later in the day myself and Damien went to BallyH for a loop of the Brown, and it was tiring and good fun overall, thoguh Damien did find out how slippery the boardwalks can be if you are not smoothly cycling on them..