June 29 Fowey
Rest day and recruiting for a team from the local area to paddle to Mevagissi
Tuesday July 1st Happy Canada Day.
I am presently in Newquay for the day recruiting paddles fro rowing clubs to
help me get the canoe further along the coast to Falmouth, Cadgwith, Lizard,
Mullion and Penzance.
The plan is to move Spirit Dancer to the Isles of Scilly to host the community
with our canoe and also to have some special time away in the most amazing place,
I'm told that the Scillys are a super group of 100's of small islands with onlt
4 or 5 that are lived on so I hope we will have a great time. I hope we are able
to be there for 7 to 10 days.
We will keep you posted on our results of recruiting, many thanks to RNLI for
keeping tabs on us and to Brixom Coastguard that are tracking our progress.
In addition to this report, we would like to mention that next year we will require
much more support financially to have a support Vessel available to us and for
the following reasons firstly, to document the journey, safety and for carrying
our gear and equipment and to support the Canadians that I will choose for the
Scottish coastline from Luing to Orkney from May to end July 2009. This is the
ONLY way that the journey will continue next year.
June 28 Looe to Fowey
Another wild day on the water, Our crew from UBC were off at 11:00 am from Fowey
harbour for another interesting day on the water, in an hour and half we managed
4 N Miles to Porperro a very small village tucked away on the edge of many cliffs,
within an 1.5 hr journey we had light wind, no wind and a squal of 25 knots just
before we reached Porperro, what a tough 20 minutes we had just trying to get
the canoe into the harbour.
There was a very big celebration in the community and we were welcomed to music
of all sorts, we stayed for three hours til 6:20 pm and made a break for Fowey
harbour, relentless seas awaited us and we must have had 2+ meter seas.
Just prior to our departure for Fowey I called Steve who has a Rib ( support
Vessel )for support so he came out to meet us and escorted us for the last 6
miles, the seas continued to be large but very little wind, thank goodness. We
made Fowey within 2hrs 10 minutes, with a team of 10, we were challenged all
the way, this coastline in this area has only one place for us to go ashore in
Atlantic Bay so you are committed.
We arrive Fowey Harbour to a great reception, Gallent Sail club and Mayor Anne
Gifts were exchanged and dinner provided at 10:00pm
We packed up and the group went home for the evening, gear stowed in many areas!
Ashore once again with a forecast of increasing winds to 23 knots and moving
our way so we are off the water again, the streets of Looe are fasinating with
local music and such friendly people many asking of the canoe and where is she.
BBC Radio cornwall called me today and confirmed with me that they would
like to take our offer through our canoe journey to help with a fundraising opportunity
for sick and terminally ill children ' Precious Lives' and cheques to be mailed
to BBC Radio Cornwall, I am very happy that someone has come forward to ask us
to help with a Charity such as this one.
Our group will enjoy another day here and wait for news of a weather change
and hopefully be off to Fowey ( Foy ) tomorrow.
I wish all who following our progress the very best, spirits are very high
with our UBC students, they have had a marvelous time such variety and so welcomed,
they have experienced great hospitality, Royal marines, locals, Mayor and Council,
Harbour Masters, calm seas, sailing Spirit Dancer, very rough seas and very hard
work, team spirit like none I have ever seen before, they are great hosts and
ambassadors for our country Canada, they have played an integral role and very
much a part of Canadian history for future Canadians to get involved in the most
outstanding and challenging canoe journey that have not seen since Don Starkell
and his son Dana traveled to the Amazon River in the early 1980's.
to all readers, Chris G. Cooper Explorer, Adventurer and Photographer.
Our UBC team in Looe Cornwall being welcomed by the Mayor and harbourmaster in the Guildhall (Town Hall).
June 26 Looe
Spirit of Adventure
It was defined yesterday in seas of force 5/6 with south westerlies and
breaking seas of 2.5 meters with wash over the deck on many occasions, it was
the most humbling of sea conditions yet and only made 2 N Miles and went ashore
at the only beach available to us. At this point we were 2 N Miles west of Looe.
On the ebb tide we left Spirit Dancer ashore and 5 of the crew went to
scout ahead on the coast trail to Polperro about 3 miles to a very quaint village
perched on the edge of a cliff which reminded me of Macho Pichu, Peru , South
The seas were very intimidating and there was no way we could continue
so once we arrived back at the canoe we discussed retreating back to Looe
where Wally from the local council asked us to come back and stay with the community
until safe to leave again.
Once back on the water the seas were still breaking and we also had a beam
sea which is not at all friendly, we were tossed around like a cork and I can
say we have not had a sea like this while traveling the BC, Alaska coast.
We are blessed on the BC Coast with 1000's of islands to run for protection
when the weather becomes unmanageable on the outside coast.We do not have this
anywhere on the southcoast or the upcoming northcoast of Cornwall and Devon.
We are completely weather dependant and cannot afford any incident whatsoever.
The hospitality of the Cornish people is truly remarkable, case in point,
when we left the beach where we were kept hostage a local person saw the canoe
traveling back to Looe, called the Harbour Master Geoff in turn called lifeboat
RNLI to come out and escort us to the safety of the harbour. We thank them for
coming out,we arrived back in Looe and were put up in the Town Hall once again,
as Wally said I think we would like to adopt all of us. What friendlyness we
have had. It leaves me speechless.
Plymouth to Looe
We are back on the water after 6 days of not being able to travel,
I put my back out and it has been a real problem for me to travel until today,
we have been treated by the community of Fowey while I have not been able to
The Royal Marines have also been extremely helpful as well in regards to taking
care of the team while having this inconvenience, today the back is much better
and able for the first time to travel to Looe.
We travelled under good sea conditions and took 5 hrs to make 15 N Miles. We
arrived in Looe to a fine reception and were asked to stay in the Town Hall,the
Canoe is moored outside the RNLI station.
This morning the 25th of June we had a very nice meeting in Looe with the Mayor,
Council, Harbour Master and exchanged gifts including a very nice Cornish Flag,
we have been treated like ambassadors for Canada.
We are being hopeful that we will be able to canoe to Fowey which is about 10
miles but the wind is blowing and will have a meeting with the Harbour Master
in regards to sea conditions for the local area.
I am taking up the time on this computer which is in the Mayors office so I will
say cheerio for now and wishing all the best to my followers, our best regards,
Chris Paddles Up !!
Bantham to Newton Ferres/ Plymouth
An early departure to make Plymouth was foiled as winds again came up soon after
we departed from this very tiny village on the Avon River. We are now into westerlies
and to be expected.
The afternoon blew up and we were pressed to make Newton ferries with no where
to stay so the Royal marines came to our aide and moved us by land to the barracks
in Plymouth. Turn Chapel.
The next day it blew to force 7/8 and seas were violent enough to not paddle
again, we moved the canoe in tow by ridged hull Royal marines, two vessles were
used and it was a ride like no other we have had since we departed London, I
won't share any more info on that day as we nearly lost Spirit Dancer in tow
( 4 Miles ) to Plymouth. A very stressful situation.
We are now in Plymouth for the next day, we got Spirit Dancer to Plymouth and
paddled her to the reception area to meet with Mayor and media. We had 6 Royal
marines in the canoe for a short paddle over to Mayflower Steps then returned
to the Barracks.
June 19th we departed for Fowey by land as we were asked to move onto this village
while waiting for the weather to change, we are now hosted in Fowey for the weekend
and will move Paddle Spirit Dancer early next week to Looe and onto Fowey early
Our progress is painfully slow we will be lucky to make Penzance by end June
which is a month behind so there we are, it has been very successful from many
points of view, very very complicated and logistically very intense with our
begginner crews, they are very happy with what has taken place and are having
a great time being looked after by the Brits.
A special thanks to all and to Barry Hunter Inspector Cornwall Police department,
to Lt Col Steve Richards of the Royal Marines Exmouth.
I will try another update early next week and inform all. Best wishes to all,
Chris Paddles Up !!
June 16 Salcombe to Bantham
After a great stay in Salcombe we were sent off with the Harbour Master and the
Mayor ( Paul ) fine hosts they were and really went all out to help our crew
for their first day with me. Bantham is about 10 NM and we had two local ladies
along to experience Spirit Dancer. Ruth and Sue both Gig Rowers.
We departed for Hope cove after a fine sendoff and made our way to Hope Cove,
a lovely small community with much interest by the locals, we gave stickers away
and some small paddles, we departed for Bantham under sail and paddle. The entrance
to the harbour is very tricky with surf all about. we snuck through without too
much trouble and arrived safely. Marsh the harbour master greeted us along with
Peter and we unloaded all gear for our camp which was just up the road.
Later on Marsh came down to suggest to me that I sleep on his boat which
was an all wooden vessel with two bunks, so I'm off to sleep as it is 10:00pm
and I'm tired, I treated the group for dinner at the Sloop Inn where I am at
present. Best wishes to all and again tomorrow will be another most marvelous
welcome in Plymouth.
The group presented two beautiful paddles and pictures of the canoe to our super
hosts. Marsh, Wendy and Peter.
Fellow Rotarians in Salcombe, Devon meet our UBC team in preparation for traveling the south coast of the UK.
June 15 Salcombe
Today we had the most interesting day with this community as there was a Rowing
Gig race and so we witnessed some very competative teams, our canoe was well
received and we carried out tours in it all day and presented a great paddle
to the rowing club. The entire community were trilled by our presence and cheered
us each time we went by. Our UBC team were there all day to help out with our
To all that are following the progress of the Spirit of Adventure Canoe journey,
For the past two weeks the canoe Spirit Dancer has made 25 N Miles with novice
paddlers from Paignton to Salcombe a spectacular part of the coast, Start Point
would have been one of the highlights of this section.
There were no teams planned for this two weeks and I was hoping locals would
get involved which they have and it was great, The Brits have been great hosts
and thanks to Ray and Jan and Andrew and Sylvia for accomodating me while I was
Iker Gomez has now arrived with the UBC team ( University of British Columbia
) and will meet me in Salcombe tomorrow Saturday June 14th, we will be meeting
Rotary for Lunch at the Sailing club and then onto the Harbour Masters office
to meet with them about our departure to Burgh Island and Plymouth.
I had an interview with BBC Radio Cornwall ( Donna Birrell ) yesterday at 4:15
pm and discussed our Canoe journey with the listeners, our UBC team hopefully
will reach Penzance by June 28th as I want to have the canoe shipped to the Isles
of Scilly for 7 to 10 days.
Our next team arrives July 6th and hope they will also have the chance to visit
this paradise by Canoe. I'm sure we will have many locals involved in traveling
in the canoe there.
We don't have astrong crew and we are being very caucious every step of the way,
the Canoe will be shipped by ferry both ways. Please be advised that this will
be the last update til I get my hands on another computer, you never know where
thats going to be!!
Best wishes to all, Regards Chris. Paddles Up !!
June 10 Dartmouth to Salcombe
We are again lucky to find a crew to travel the coast from Dartmouth to Salcombe,
a beautiful section of coast and quite dramatic in places, we were on the water
6.5 hrs and covered 16 NMiles, rounding Start Point was one of the highlights,
plenty of beaches one could camp on.
We arrive at Salcombe in the early evening and the Harbour Masters office took
care of Spirit Dancer and moored it up river til the UBC team arrives Friday.
We hired a taxi to get us back to Newton Abbot where I am staying at the moment.
Planning our next move will most likely happen for Monday for Plymouth and beyond.
It is approximately 95 NMiles to Penzance and with our UBC students should make
I will update where I can and hopefully have an opportunity to find a computer
somewhere on route, best to all and best wishes to all who are following our
A group greets the Spirit Dancer crew on the shingle beach at Torcross, Devon UK.
June 8 Paignton to Dartmouth
Finally we are on the move again and had a crew from Paignton Rowing club and
police officers join me for a 10NM day which was an amazing piece of coast with
rocky islands and headwalls, we paddled up the Dart river to the Brittania Navy
Base ( College ) and moored Spirit Dancer there for security and piece of mind.
I am looking forward to our UBC team joining us on Friday hopefully, Salcombe
is where they need to come to so if you are reviewing the News and Updates please
make sure you can meet me there on Friday the 13th June. We can then depart from
there for Penzance. Please contact me on 07503 444 856 or with Barry Hunter on
his mobile at 07890 015 458. I do have another mobile that you can contact me
on at 07503 448 750. You can leave message with Barry if unable to get me.
Just to update everyone following, we will be departing for Canada July 25th
and will return for Scotland September 1st. Spirit Dancer will be trailered by
Lindsay Williams who is managing Spirit Dancer while I'm back home.
On Friday May 31st From Exmouth to Paignton Lt Col Steve Richards and Police
officer from Cornwall Inspector Barry Hunter and daughter Izzie travelled in
Spirit Dancer canoe this day, a first time for Izzie.
We are still looking for corporate sponsorship to help me with crews for next
year 2009 and hope someone will support this project, I need to have the best
paddlers from Canada to paddle the West and Northcoast of Scotland. Best wishes
for now and we continue to update when and where I can. Best wishes Cheers Chris.
Paignton, Devon Crewless!!
As of June 1st until June 14th Spirit Dancer will be made up of local crews to
continue along the Devon coast.
Our first group is June 8th and will paddle to Dartmouth, it is a crew from the
Paignton area made up of Police, Gig Rowers and private individuals. Lets hope
that some stay on for a few extra days!
It is with regret that I will be making changes to the overall itinerary due
to difficulties with no crews for August from Canada so therefore Legs 5&6
have been postponed to a future date or year.
As of June 15th to July 22nd we hope to get the canoe around Landsend and up
the North coasts of Cornwall and Devon.
Spirit Dancer will be moved to Scotland for September 1st in preparation for
meeting with the Scottish paddlers from SCA and will continue along the coast
from Port Carlisle to Ireland and back to Scotland hopefully finishing on the
Isle of Luing in early October.
Part of our main problem is that we don't have the large corporate sponsor
to help finance the top Canadian paddlers to come over which would be what I
want in order to do the larger mileages and deal with the challenges of this
I do hope that someone will come forward and help with this most marvelous journey
and inspire all that are following us over here.
I will keep all posted as to what is happening til my return to Canada July 25th.
I will then return in early September to join the Scottish paddlers.
Very best wishes to all, Chris G. Cooper