Alone in his tiny kayak, Brian Wilson sets off on an 1800-mile odyssey around Scotland’s grand cliffscapes, unspoiled shorelines, fearsome sea passages and Hebridean islands. He discovers a world of sea-level adventure, and in the process takes a good look at Scottish identity from a unique and fascinating perspective. Sometimes harrowing, frequently philosophical, often hilarious, this book will appeal to all lovers of the coast and its endlessly varied characters, wildlife and lore. Adventure is there aplenty as he battles with whirlpools, heavy seas and hypothermia, streaks naked in front of Lady Diana, and survives a close encounter with a killer whale. The narrative is brim-full of history and folklore, disasters at sea, haunted bothies and the exploits of Celtic Saints, Viking raiders and mermaids. It is inhabited by larger-than-life characters like Tex Geddes the shark hunter, Dr Stan the cave-dweller, and a whole camp of homosexual gold panners. It is also a perceptive commentary on submarines, supertankers, and other issues threatening the Scottish coastline and its unique and fragile wildlife.
To see photographs from Blazing Paddles, please click here.
Praise for Blazing Paddles
'As good a maritime sage as has ever come out of the Scottish seas.’
‘I don’t know whether the adventure itself or the story of it deserves the greater admiration; the combination strikes me as a triumph – which I hope will have many successors.’ BBC RADIO 4 – A Book at Bedtime
‘One of the classic pieces of canoe writing. This is without doubt the best sea canoeing travel book I have ever read.’ CANOEIST Magazine
‘Beautifully illustrated, by a perceptive conservationist … is both topical and entertaining.’ Canoe Focus
About Brian Wilson
Brian Wilson is a highland-based writer and environmentalist, best known for his adventure travel writing. Educated in Aberdeenshire and at Edinburgh University, he graduated with an honours degree in Mental Philosophy in 1984. After working with many of the major Scottish conservation and environmental organisations, he is now a freelance environmental contractor and trainer specialising in traditional stonework and thatching. Currently thatcher to HRH Prince Charles at Birkhall, his company Wildland also won the Association for the Protection of Rural Scotland conservation award in 1996 and 2000. Brian lives near the north-west highland port of Ullapool with his French partner Marie-Pierre and their daughters Malin, Manon and Nellie, and dog Damson.
Brian writes STERN WORDS, a monthly column for OCEAN PADDLER magazine.
See also Brian's Dances with Waves: around Ireland by kayak.
(Photographs from this book will shortly appear on this page.)