PADDLE – A long way around Ireland
Jasper Winn is a writer with a passion for ‘slow adventures.’ Early travels include cycling across the Sahara and India, following pilgrimage routes worldwide on foot, kayaking the Danube in East Bloc days and long horse trips on five continents and he lived for a year with nomadic Berbers in North Africa. Experience of working within traditional horse cultures led to him becoming story consultant on the IMAX cowboy film, Ride Around the World (ridearoundtheworld.com
). He has made radio and television documentaries for RTE and the BBC.
Jasper’s illustrated talk: “Paddle – A long way around Ireland” recounts the highs and lows of his three and a half month solo sea-kayak trip around Ireland’s thousand-mile coastline. In the worst summer weather on record, his experiences on land as well as at sea make for a story that goes beyond paddling endurance. Forced ashore for long periods by high winds Jasper took shelter in coastal communities – in Dingle, Clifden, Malin Head – where he talked with fishermen, tourists, farmers, and artists and passed days playing music in local pubs. Brought up in Ireland, Jasper’s knowledge of the country’s culture, history, wildlife, and literature illuminate his voyage but little can prepare him for stranding’s on deserted islands, battles with Atlantic swells far off-shore and his own lack of experience. The adventure is balanced by humour and an ear for a telling story and made joyful by his interaction with the natural world, whether it’s paddling amongst basking sharks, conversing with fulmars or being propositioned by seals.