I thought it about time to come out from hiding and update you on my life. Perhaps you're not interested? Then why are you reading this?
The last 12 months have been crazy to say the least. Meeting Gina turned my life upside down but answered many questions I had about my future. Leaving Linda was an awful thing to do and I am not proud of what I have done to someone I care deeply about. My only defense is that I truly belive that in the long term she will be better off with someone who will treat her as a priority which I am ashamed to say I never really did.
But 12 months has passed now and whilst I will never ask for forgiveness for what I did, hopefully my friends and family will at least understand why. I have decided to begin this blog as a rather lazy way of keeping you up to date with my new life here in the USA with Gina and our baby daughter, Shea Bella. To say that both of them have changed my life is a cliche but the truth. Gina placed so much faith in me and has shown me so much consideration that I feel loved like never before. We are soul mates and the fact that she is my third wife should not detract from the miracle that we found each other when we lived so far apart. Life has been challenging for sure but as you know, I like a challenge!
We did not plan to start a family so soon, but can you ever really find the perfect time in your life for such a huge change? Shea Bella was conceived in such a passionate and loving way that she will always know that her mother and father love her and love each other. She may look like me now but she certainly has much of her mother in her from the complicated manner of her birth to her long slendour fingers that bend upwards in ecstacy as she breast feeds. Friends kept telling me how the birth of your first child changes your life but it is only when that little human being lies in your hands, completely defenseless, totally reliant on you to love and care for her that you truly understand.
And now I am away, on the road visiting dealers and attending the Puget Sound Sea Kayak Symposium http://www.metroparkstacoma.org/page.php?id=97 as part of my job as a freelance sales representative for Valley Sea Kayaks, KayakPro and Lettmann paddles. I will be giving a slide show presentation about my UK and Ireland Circumnavigation as well as chatting to folk about the range of kayaks and paddles I sell and encouraging them to try them on the water. It is fun but hard work too. At least I have already got a couple of decent paddles in this trip; around Tomahawk Island in the Columbia River that seperates Oregon and Washington States and another on Lake Washington in Seattle. It is ture waht they say about America - everything is bigger here. The mountains, the rivers, the lakes, even the wildlife. I paddled within feet of an Osprey preched on a redwood post at the edge of the Columbia River and even closer to a Bald Eagle perched on a dock belonging to one of the very many fine residences that line the shores of Lake Washington.
I am looking forward to training with the club at Cascade Canoe and Kayak on Lake Washington this evening. I may regret having paddled hard for over two hours yesterday! There is much to learn about paddlesport here on the west coast. There is so much diversity with a fabulous coastline, world class whitewater, consistently good surf and a vibrant race scene. The question is what to focus my limited time on and for the rest of this summer it has to be kayak surfing. I am a proud member of the US West Coast team for the world championships in Spain in October (apparently much to the annoyance of a certain UK surf kayak manufacturer I understand!) Gina will be working hard to get back in shape after giving birth to Shea Bella so she will have priority time on the water whilst I look after the baby. Oh how times have changed! I will snatch a surf whenever I can and try to stay fit by training on flatwater. This will hopefully get me in good shape to get back into racing next year. I have my eye on a couple of events in 2008; the Molokai Ski Race (which actually takes place this weekend) http://www.molokaiworldchampionships.com/index.html
and the Yukon River Quest http://www.yukonriverquest.com/
But that is next year...in the meantime I will continue to try to grow my business, be a good husband and father and hopefully get in some more surfing like this.
Bye for now,