Travels with Paddles

a sea kayaking journal

Axel Schoevers (Photo: A. de Krook) Name:
Axel Schoevers
Rijswijk, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Rise from the Storm

On the night of the 1st March superstorm Emma hit Anglesey and with winds of 70 knots totally wiping out the entire marina and sinking and destroying over 80 boats along with Playmate and Nigel Dennis' yacht on which he lived with his partner Eila all year around.

Nigel Dennis who is a well-known expedition sea kayaker and sea kayak designer has used the last four years of his spare time working on his dream boat Playmate.

The idea of Playmate was to create super cool expedition support boat which would take sea kayakers to remote places of Scotland and Outer hebrides and show them sea kayaking from completely different perspective. When not on the sea the all carbon kevlar fleet of sea kayaks would be stored on the fly deck of Playmate. If the weather would not be favourable for kayaking all members could enjoy the scenery from the comfort of this expedition super boat with a wee dram of whisky in their hand while cruising along the islands.

After almost four passionate years of spending most of his free time on his dream boat Playmate she was nearly ready for her first season. The moment was was just around the corner with a few bits and bobs to do including finalising her insurance.

Then disaster struck.

What a devastation to lose your home and hobby. All the energy and time spend on Playmate lays at the bottom of the sea.

Through the years Nigel has helped so many kayakers to follow their dreams doing expeditions and motivating people to do their best.

There are stories of paddlers coming to him with very little experience asking for sponsored sea kayaks to go around the UK and he would reply "I will lend you a boat and if you do not make it you will bring it back and if you make it you can keep the kayak." as Eila said "Nigel just wants people to do well."

Now it is up to us the sea kayaking community; to support for once Nigel who has helped and influenced so many people. And see his dream coming through and get Playmate off the bottom of the sea and get Nigels spirit to fly high again. We believe he more than deserves it.

With so many people around the world if we contribute even little we can get the boat afloat for Nigel.

Above was written by Ashley Williams. She has started a Rise from the Storm fundraiser to recover Playmate.

Nigel has been of enormous help throughout all of my sea kayak and coaching development. From the first day I met him at the Anglesey Sea Kayak symposium in 2000 and ever since. I recognize myself in all that Ashley could put into words about the support and opportunities Nigel has given.