owl in front of blue full moon
art of adventure
Thursday 21st October 2010. Shredding finger-tips at Bone Hill. With perfect weather we gave the Dartrock climbing wall a miss having spent many hours there this week already.
James Mitchelmore and I met up with Dave Henderson who showed us how to master Rippled Wall.
Did we get it? Did we f!@£!
But oh how we laughed trying!

The photo on the right shows Dave on Rippled Wall.
(Well there wouldn't be any photos of us on it would there!)

Wednesday 20th October 2010. Dartmoor Search and Rescue Team Ashburton Section members look on at a gruesome crime scene.
Thankfully it was just a regular training night with Officers from the Devon & Cornwall Police Scenes of Crime Unit.
We were being shown how to manage crime scenes to preserve evidence and avoid destroying it.
Potential crime scenes are an unpleasant aspect to our work that we have to deal with but good training helps everyone respond professionally when faced with the real thing.
Thanks go out to the Police team for an interesting though macabre evening.


Wednesday 13th October 2010. Devon Fire Service's Specialist Rescue Teams invited the media to the River Dart Country Park to demonstrate their skills in action.
Mike Roberts and I attended representing Dartmoor Search and Rescue Team Ashburton Section.
The different scenarios included river rescues, rescues from height and large animal recovery.
The different teams put on a great show with slick drills.
Dartmoor Search and Rescue have always enjoyed an excellent working relationship with the Fire Service and look forward to working and training with their Specialist Rescue Teams in the future.


men from the dartmoor search and rescue swift water team ashburtondartmoor search and rescue team ashburtondevon fire service personnel

Sunday 10th October 2010. (10.10.10) Training with my buddies in Dartmoor Search and Rescue Team Ashburton Section.
A large joint training exercise with colleagues from the Devon Fire Service (DFS) and Police TAG units. One of the main purposes of the day was to establish good comms in the Upper Dart Valley between the different services. It was good to see familiar faces from the DFS Specialist Rescue Teams like Ben Weedon (photo right) who worked with us on a difficult job in the Dart Valley last year in much harder conditions compared with the excellent weather we had today. In the shot on the left are some of my team mates, left to right, Paul Bannister, Jim Webster and Dave Close, in their swift water rescue gear.


river crossingman swimming in fast waterSaturday 9th October 2010.
White Water Safety and Rescue session for Totnes Canoe Club.
Rope work, defensive and aggressive swimming and river crossings got the foundations laid for the Advanced White Water Safety and Rescue later in the month.
Mild weather and good flows made it an excellent session.
A real eye opener for some to the importance of a strong stance when holding a swimmer on a rope :-)


people around campfireglow light sticksFriday 8th October 2010. The Fantastic Fire Night Paddle. Every year I organise this for Totnes Canoe Club to see in the Autumn Equinox. It was scheduled for last Friday but the river was in flood then. Tonight we were lucky with the weather. A balmy night saw 22 of us paddle various canoes and kayaks up the river Dart glowing like fireflies with our light sticks. It was a magical sight especially with the kids wearing glow bracelets and necklaces. For those who remember it looked like a scene from the movie Tron.
A fire was lit to celebrate the passing of summer and to welcome in the approaching winter. Toasted marshmallows and hot chocolate, ghost stories and parables were all consumed.
We launched 2 sky lanterns with our wishes before drifting, silent as the spirits, back down the river.
An excellent time shared with a great group of people.
bouldering traversepalming the rockcrossed hand bouldering technique

Monday 4th October 2010. Bouldering at Bone Hill with my buddies James Mitchelmore and Simon Kitchin. The rock was dry. What more can I say...I could say that we used 3 bouldering mats to get started on Rippled Wall but that would be wrong!!
Friday 1st October 2010. River Dart in flood below Totnes weir. The venue for some seriously fun moving water open canoe handling for Olly Creagh.
It was part of his ongoing 3 star open canoe training I was providing for him but the conditions made it more like 5 star training.
He loved it.
The weir looked like a rapid on the Zambezi.
We didn't go in it as it was a good class 6.


solo open canoeistsolo open canoe in big rapids

**UPDATE 04.10.10** - Olly sent me a txt telling me he'd passed his 3 star open canoe assessment and thanking me for my help. Your welcome Olly.**
rolling kayak in pool
Saturday 25th September 2010. Instructing climbing, scrambling and bouldering at Hound Tor with Exeter School who had booked their adventure weekend with the Dartmoor Centres.
I was working with fellow coach Ben Bradford who is training hard for his British Mountain Guides carnet.
The sun shone and the sky was blue but we had to wrap up warm from the biting wind.
The kids were excellent and threw themselves at every challenge, the teachers needed a bit more encouragement :-)
Then straight off to Totnes to coach kayak rolling for Totnes Canoe Club at Totnes Pavillion.
It happens on the last Saturday of every month if you'd like to come along.
Monday 20th to Friday 24th September. Coaching climbing and abseiling to year 6 students, from Stoke Gabriel School and Manor School, Ivybridge, for the Heatree Activity Centre.
The team of instructors at Heatree are a great bunch and I always have an excellent time working with them.
One of the highlights are the incredibly competitive lunchtime volley ball matches.
Taken very seriously as we all have GCSE's in volley ball.
And if you believe that you'll believe anything.
At the end of a day of kids shouting at you "Can I go first, can I go first" we still found the energy to go for some highball bouldering at Hound Tor.
The pictures on the right show 2 staff members, James Sandels and John Evans, busting out some routes.


bouldering at hound torbouldering at hound tor
canoeists performing rescues
Sunday 19th September 2010. I ran a BCU Foundation Safety and Rescue Course for the Totnes Canoe Club coaches.
As all the coaches are very experienced at putting people back into boats we looked at rescues in more depth with more complicated scenarios.
Everybody got a lot out of it and we all had a lot of fun.
A major learning point was the importance of good kayaking clothing and the pros and cons of drysuits.
If you would like a Foundation Safety and Rescue Test for your club feel free to contact me at Art-of-Adventure for more details.


Hound Tor Dartmoor Devon
Saturday 18th September 2010 meant scrambling and climbing for Exeter School's year 7's at Hound Tor on Dartmoor in Devon.
Fellow instructor, Carrie, and I had a great group of kids whose humour and sense of adventure kept us laughing all day.
We were working for the Dartmoor Centres who provide great outdoor learning opportunities for schools from all over the country.

I couldn't let the beautiful day get away as U2 would say so went for a boulder at Bone Hill after work and manged to complete some problems I'd been working on.
Thanks for the bouldering mat Dave!
You always bump into someone you know there and today I saw Jacques who was in Dartmoor Search and Rescue with me up to a few years ago.

As I drove away I looked back to see him silhouetted on top of the rocks with the sun going down behind.


Jeremy van Riemsdyke sea kayaking around Bishop Rock Lighthouse Isles of ScillySea kayakers in Isles of ScillyJeremy, James and Elizabeth on Isles of Scilly

Thursday 9th to Tuesday 14th September 2010 saw my good friend James, his partner Elisabeth and I exploring the magical Isles of Scilly.
This is a yearly thing for Art-of-Adventure since 2004 and always a great treat.
This year I managed to get round the Bishop Rock Lighthouse despite larger-than-I-would-have-liked swell.
A first for me, though I know many have done it.
James and Elisabeth are strong sea kayakers so we were able to go and play in sporty seas amongst the outer islands which provide shelter to the inner lagoon.
Our first day saw us bouncing in the swell and waves around Round Island and Men-a-vaur.
Men-a-vaur is one of my favourite Scillonian Islands with it's brooding and foreboding air, enticing you to make the dash through it's "Symplegades" gap like Jason and the Argonauts.
Not this time.
Surfing through the boiling Kettle we rounded Kettle Point, the northern tip of Tresco and passed Cromwell's Castle heading for Appletree Bay.
Here we stood in the ruins of Medieval houses only exposed at the lowest of the yearly spring tides and watched people doing the yearly walk between the islands.
Thanks to our mate Lee Pooley for the heads up on that one.
The sea around the Northern (Norrard) Rocks gave us a good playground for some rough water boat handling on Saturday with breaking surf around Mincarlo and Maiden Bower increasing everyones heart rate.
Scilly Rock also has a cool Jason and the Argonauts channel but none of us fancied our chances with the white horses stampeding through it.
Bryher's Hell Bay seemed serene after all that as we ran with the swell round Shipman Head and the northern tip of Tresco to the peaceful beach of Northwethel for a stretch.
So much for Sunday being a rest day as we found ourselves thrown around in the confused seas off White Island, north of St Martin's.
Passing Lion Rock and heading out into it we all had a good chuckle.
St Martin's is a stunning island and it's northern coastline felt idylic as we glided on calm waters towards the red and white Day Mark.
A sight for sore eyes for those who have done the Sennen to Scillies crossing, this Day Mark standing on the eastern point of St Martin's was built in 1683.
That's the history lesson over.
We called it the giant pencil.
How I love the Eastern Isles especially the island of Nornour where it's believed there was a shrine to Goddesses representing Mother Earth and Venus in the mid-2nd century AD.
Taking to the water with snorkel and fins we swam with the seals here.
I had one very curious seal chasing me round in circles nose to flippers, of course I didn't have my camera!!
Monday morning and Bishop Rock Lighthouse here we come depsite warnings of gale force 8 "soon" (within next 6 hours).
James and Elisabeth left me to it and went to explore St Agnes and Annet while I surfed the tide races around the lighthouse and back.
There was quite a swell and it was great to be the only person out there with Britain's most Westerly lighthouse, the King of the Lighthouses.
We'd arranged to meet up on St Agnes but hadn't specified where so it was good after so many attempts had resulted in silence to suddenly hear James's callsign coming through on the VHF.
"This is Orca 1, what is your position, over."
"Orca 1 this is Romeo 1, I'm sitting up-right in a sea kayak holding my paddles, over."
Boom, boom.
As I sat on the white sands of The Bar which joins Gugh and St Agnes having lunch with James and Elisabeth I still had the sensation of being lifted up and down by the swell of the Atlantic.
We returned to St Martin's via the east side of St Mary's and watched the Scillonian III cutting a smooth line through the calm sea in what had turned out to be another glorious weather day despite the forecast.
Bang on time the following morning Caroline, who owns the wonderful St Martin's campsite with her husband Ben, picked me up in their old land rover to run me and my baggage (there was a lot of it) to the quay.
As anyone who has been to the Scillies will tell you it's always hard to leave and this time was no exception.

As usual my Nigel Dennis Explorer sea kayak was outstanding.

The zips on my Palm Taupour buoyancy aid were a struggle.
Sam at Palm Customer Services has kindly offered to give it a checkover despite it being over 2 years old so I'll report the outcome.
***UPDATE - Palm sent me a brand new BA with the new zips by return of post. How about that for customer service. - ***

Thanks to the crew of Terry Perkins's St Martin's Boat Service for ferrying all our cargo.

Next years Isles of Scilly Sea Kayak Expedition will be Thursday 15th to Thursday 22nd September 2011 all being well.


Copyright © Jeremy van Riemsdyke
"Imagination is more important than knowledge"
Albert Einstein
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