books > paddle
336pp Original paperback
“Whilst kayaking the thousand miles around the whole of Ireland I fell in with a shoal - is that the right word - of basking sharks off the Kerry coast...this was one of them.”
paddle: a long way around ireland
“A fantastic voyage. Mad, inspiring, funny and a great read.” NICK CRANE
One summer, writer and musician, Jasper Winn set himself an extraordinary task. He would kayak the whole way round Ireland – a thousand miles – camping on remote headlands and islands, carousing in bars and paddling clockwise until he got back where he started. But in the worst Irish summer in living memory the pleasures of idling among seals, fulmars and fishing boats soon gave way to heroic struggles through storm-tossed seas … and lock-ins playing music in coastal pubs.
Circling the country where he grew up, Jasper reflects on life at the very fringes of Ireland, the nature and lore of its seas, and his own eccentric upbringing – sprung from school at age ten and left free to explore the countryside and its traditional life.
Charming, quietly epic, and with an irresistible undertow of wit, Paddle is a low-tech adventure that captures the sheer joy of a misty morning on Ireland’s coast. As the sun breaks through, you’ll be longing to set off in his wake.
Here’s a terrific review of the book in The Irish Times, by a writer who declares Jasper his ‘new arch enemy’ as the trip was just what he’d been planning himself … and here are a dozen or so articles by Jasper in Wanderlust magazine. And what he’s up to now on Facebook. And here is Jasper talking about his trip, and his relationship with Ireland, on an extended interview with the Outdoors Station.
Jasper Winn grew up in West Cork, where he left school at age ten and educated himself by reading, riding horses, learning rural skills and playing music. It was an upbringing that has shaped a lifetime of travel and writing.
He has journeyed across the Atlas with nomadic Berbers, canoed along the Danube, and often crosses countries on horseback. He was story consultant on the IMAX film, Ride Around the World, about the world’s horse cultures.
Paddle – the story of his solo trip around Ireland by kayak in the worst summer in living memory – is his first book.