Thursday, November 01, 2007

Stornoway lifeboat is in good hands.

Murdo (Murdy) Campbell is not only a member of Stornoway Canoe Club, renowned for his unsupported open crossings to Hebridean outliers such as Sula Sgeir and North Rona, he is also cox of the Stornoway lifeboat. He and his stalwart crew brave some of the most extreme conditions in UK waters to rescue mariners in distress.

At the Stornoway Storm Gathering it was an honour to paddle with Murdy and a pleasure to watch him calmly manoeuvre his Nordkapp HM through the gnarliest white stuff, laced with rock, at the mouth of Loch Roag.

He has a modest, unassuming manner which belies his achievements but which inspires great confidence in those around him. His reputation has even spread to distant seas.

If I needed to be rescued I cannot think of a more welcome sight than to see the likes of Murdy and his crew. As a seafaring group, we sea kayakers should be grateful for and support the charitable work of the RNLI. (Photo by Clark Fenton.)


  1. Douglas,

    Thanks for these photos and the information. I must update the short information I had about Campbell.

    From the first photo that I saw, there seemed to be a natural smartness in the way he sits in a kayak.

    By the way, what was he doing in the last photo where the kayak in on its side?

  2. Thank you Wenley :o)

    Murdy paddles a red Nordkapp HM. That capsised boat is quite unmistakably white with a red stripe. Goodness, it looks like my boat! I am in fact just about to perform a reentry roll after a minor lapse of concentration. However, I must also draw your attention to the the quite horrific conditions in which said lapse occured.


  3. Murdy has had that flippin' Nordi since before the beginning of time & the formation of the stars. He will tell you it is good at going in straight lines.

    Nice one on discovery the L.W.E in suitable sea conditions Douglas - The L.W.E in long form is of course, the Lewissian Weeble Effect.

    I just a managed succession of straight jacket rolls in that nice new black Acuta. Didn't even notice the sandy beach approaching...

  4. Hello Si, I weebled till I got wet! Straight jacket roll? If I get up with a euro paddle I asm pleased :o)


    Have you seen this photo taken by Gordon Brown of Murdie?

    It was Murdie who taught me how to sea kayak and lead me on many adventures on the high seas around Lewis whilst I was growing up there.

  6. Hi Cailean, it's an awesome photo, thanks for the link. I was disappointed not to get to St Kilda in 2006. Maybe someday.....

  7. That is a cracker Cailean. But no roll-up in corner of mouth...hmmm.