Saturday, October 16, 2010

Upcoming Event: Marvelously mad Marcus Demuth on his 2010 kayak circumnavigation of Great Britain!

Not just in, but just reposted to a couple of the kayaking lists I'm on - this should be lots of fun. I'll be there if there's any way I can manage (work's been insane lately, that's the only question) - Marcus is not just a great paddler but a wonderful human being, warm & with a great sense of humor. Most of us NYC paddlers who know him feel the same way - the following "press release" was written by one of the Pier 66 crew who paddles with him & that same affection is there.

He does these crazy trips out of sheer love of being out on the water, nothing else, and that just shines through when he talks about his trips. Oh, yeah, and he's also no slouch as a photographer!

Should be a fun evening -- and might be one of our last chances to hear him speak before NYC loses him to Wales next year! :(

Right. Enough preamble, here's the announcement:

Kayaking Around Great Britain in 80 Days
One Kayaker’s Search for the Best Fish and Chip Shop West of Germany

-- Marcus Demuth

When: Tuesday October 19th, 7pm to 9pm (presentation will start promptly at 7:30pm).

Where: Pier 66 boathouse, Manhattan (three blocks north of Chelsea Piers, at the intersection of 26th Street and the Hudson River).

What: Expedition presentation, slide show, charts and photos, followed by a smelly neoprene booty ‘Round Britain’ quiz and heckling from the Brits.

In May 2010, Marcus Demuth set out from Skegness, on the East Coast of England, to attempt to circumnavigate Great Britain (GB). Since 2005, all attempts to circumnavigate GB ended unsuccessfully, mainly due to bad weather and unfavorable winds.

After 80 days of paddling and 2,468 miles, Marcus became the 16th kayaker to circumnavigate GB successfully. To put this into context for New York City paddlers, this was the equivalent of paddling 88 times around the 28-mile loop of Manhattan. Marcus took the Mayor's Cup option and paddled clockwise.

The circumnavigation should be the fastest solo circumnavigation of GB, tying the previous 80-day record of the kayaking trio of Barry Shaw, Phil Clegg and Harry Whelan in 2005. Nigel Dennis and Paul Caffyn completed the 2nd fastest circumnavigation of GB in 85 days in 1980.

Please join Marcus at the Pier 66 boathouse on October 19th to hear all about his adventure around the island that many paddlers at Pier 66 used to call home. Intertwined with Marcus' presentation about his expedition planning, logistics and the realities of the kayaking journey itself will be a few stories about the places and the people that make such formidable trips possible, bearable and sometimes a joy. Is weather really the most talked about topic in the pub? Did it actually drizzle every day? Is beer genuinely considered a food group? Do the British
intentionally deep fry chocolate bars in their fish and chip shops? Is the ‘Local Hero’ red telephone box still working up there in remote Scotland? Are you more likely to encounter a sheep than a human in Wales? How did the English cope with the USA tie in the football World Cup? Has the music moved on since The Beatles? Do the Brits really like nothing better than a hot cup of tea?

Great Britain, UK…?
This nice website from a junior school in England provides some simple explanations and maps so you can see where Marcus went.

Here is the important bit:

Great Britain (GB) is an island comprising the two kingdoms of England and Scotland, and the principality of Wales.

Great Britain and the United Kingdom (UK) refer to different geographic areas. The UK includes Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Marcus circumnavigated the whole of Ireland in 2007.

The British Isles includes two large islands, Great Britain and Ireland, and lots of small islands, of which one is Jersey in the Channel Islands! Marcus did not circumnavigate the British Isles -- the slacker -- so perhaps this should be next?

People who are born in England are both English and British. People who are born in Jersey are British, but not English. The Scottish and the Welsh are British, but you had better think twice before you call them British. Definitely don't mix up the Irish in all this.

About Marcus Demuth
Marcus Demuth is a local paddler based at the Pier 66 boathouse in New York City. Over recent years, Marcus has been adding to an impressive resume of international kayaking expeditions, some fully completed as planned and others abandoned at just the right time -- equally impressive in the minds of many. In 2009, Marcus Demuth became the first kayaker to successfully circumnavigate the Falkland Islands, a grueling trip of over 680 Miles in 22 days. In 2007, Marcus circumnavigated
Ireland as a fundraiser for the Royal National Lifeboat Association, a trip of over 1,100 Miles in 42 days. Other expeditions have brought Marcus to Tierra Del Fuego (2010), Iceland (2008), the South and West Coast of Australia (2007) and Patagonia/Chile (2006). When Marcus is not on a kayaking expedition, you will find him tearing up the Hudson River on his surfski, upside down in the Pier 66 embayment reminding himself that swimming is not always a good option for a solo paddler, or
loitering around the boathouse passing on his enthusiasm for kayaking to others as a Manhattan Kayak Company guide. Read about Marcus' kayak adventures, paddling tips and more at:

This kayaking presentation is sponsored by the Manhattan Kayak Company
and New York Kayak Polo:
(where the women are the new 2010 National Kayak Polo Champions -- great

See you all on October 19th!!!

1 comment:

JP said...

Cool - look forward to hearing about that!

And yup to the tea and beer questions - but not deep fried Mars bar which is a Scottish "delicacy"

And no, it doesn't always drizzle - especially if you start in May rather than October.

The Round Britain is a real tough one - challenging conditions all the way round with big tides and storms around Cape Wrath (there is a reason its called that)