I had been thinking for a while I needed a nice graphic for the bow of my boat, but I couldn't really decide exactly what I wanted. I thought about having something like the Turnbull coat of arms, but that idea didn't quite sit right with me. Maybe it was the Viking genes in me (I am sure there must be some), and maybe it was more of a feeling than anything else - my sea kayak should have a dragon on the bow. After all the whole purpose of sea kayaking for me is to undertake expeditions and explore our amazing coast, just as the Vikings did. Now don't get me wrong, I am not about to turn up on some beach and start wielding a great axe and doing a bit of rape and pillage! Nooo, I might however, join the queue at the ice cream van (if there is one) and buy an ice cream, preferably with a flake in it! Anyway having decided on a dragon, the next bit was to decide on what kind of dragon. Well having scoured the web looking at designs, I decided it had to be a dragon with a celtic design. I've always been fascinated by the intricate celtic patterns. I eventually found a dragon I liked and a celtic design I liked, so it was just a case of putting the two ideas together.
Having created my rough image on the pc, the next bit was rather easy. I contacted Leonie of Art & Sea - Custom Kayak Graphics and Decals who suggested that I try printing out my design in different sizes so I could work out what would fit best. Having decided on the size it was just a case of sending the fee to Leonie via paypal and emailing her the design. Leonie was also able to tidy up some of my rough edges on my design as I am not very good with art packages. Within a couple of days of ordering, the vinyl stickers were sitting on my doorstep! Excellent service.
Leonie, by the way, is also a rather good Sea kayak coach who does a bit of work for Seafreedom, a mobile sea kayaking resource based at Connel, near Oban, Scotland. My first ever day in a sea kayak was spent being coached by Leonie. That day I should have paddled the River Moriston as part of the Wet West Paddlefest, but following previous "epic" trips to the Moriston, I bottled it and went sea kayaking instead. We did some basic stroke practice in the morning, paddled to Kerrera for lunch, were chased around by seals, saw two otters and surfed the swell back to Connel. I was well and truly hooked.