Almost six years ago, I took up kayaking as a hobby, and started this blog. And here we are at Post #1000. Until six years ago I had never been in a kayak in my life -- it never even occurred to me that kayaking would be something I'd even want to do. But Paula and Bernie picked up a used playboat from a rental place late in the season, and I thought I'd give it a try.
I sat in the seat of their little red Pamlico, barely longer than I am tall, and pushed off into Elk Lake. "Oh. This is nice. Oh. Oooooooooooooh."
Well, I was hooked.
The blog was originally meant just to be a record of our paddles. I brought my camera with me almost from the very first paddle (except for the infamous time that I forgot all of my cameras at home - d'oh!), and keeping an online visual record of our meagre adventures seemed only natural. However, over time we've expanded a bit to include local and not so local paddling news and features. Just whatever strikes our fancy.
Here's some things about the blog that you may not know:
Most Popular Page
Is the most popular post on the blog a scintillating write-up on a local paddling issue? Or a post featuring terrific nature photography? Or a paddle report report from a wonderful day on the water?
No. It's these guys ambushing the Google Maps car in Norway:
a book review, a commando kayaking report from Toronto, a kayak review, and another kayak review. And, of course, William Shatner.
Top Search Terms
Surprisingly, the most popular search term people use to get to this site is "fireball whisky." This is not entirely off-the-wall as this post featured a picture of a bottle of Dr. Magillicuddy Brand Fireball Whisky Shooter that I had fished out of The Gorge.
The second most popular search term was "kayak," and the explanation of that seems fairly self-evident. Next was "google maps fail" (see the Norwegians in wetsuits above), "golden spruce", and the always popular "jet powered kayak."
Top Ten Visitor Countries
Almost 40% of the blog's readers come from the US, with Canada second at just under 32%. The top ten are rounded out by the UK, Austalia, Germany, France, Sweden, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands. In all, the blog has been visited by readers from 156 different countries, which isn't a bad percentage considering the UN currently recognizes 203 countries.
Top Ten Pictures
What are the blog's most popular pictures, I hear you ask? (Yes, my ears are that powerful.) According to my flickr stats, the most popular picture we've posted is this one...
...of the Fisgard Lighthouse, part of the Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Site, taken from my kayak in Esquimalt Harbour looking back at the Olympic Mountains in Washington State. And if I can be somewhat immodest, it's a great pic. We put in at Esquimalt Lagoon and paddled into the Harbour, and as we passed by the lighthouse, I looked back and saw that it framed perfectly by the snowy peaks. I knew that when we paddled back I would be stopping for a few minutes to take a few pictures. And I did -- until the MPs zoomed up in their Zodiac and told us to move on. (The original post is here.)
The next most popular photo is this one...
...followed by this one...
...then this one...
...well, you get the idea. 10 of my top 11 most popular pictures are of Advanced Elements blow-up kayaks. Somewhere along the way, these pictures were linked to in an Advanced Elements discussion group and they still generate a few hits a week.
Popular pic #12 is my left shoulder and all the hardware it contains.
And you can read all about that here.
Next up in popularity is this one...
..and this one.
And yes, it's the same group of peaks as in the lighthouse photo above. When you've got props as good as these, you might as well keep using them. And thus endeth the picture portion of the post, as the next five photos are more of those Advanced Elements pictures.
Thanks for reading. See you in another 1,000 posts!