Thursday, March 08, 2012

Ocean Paddler #30 and apples are not the only fruit.

Ocean Paddler magazine issue #30 has just been published. It brings a new look to the magazine that has established itself as one of the leading sea kayaking magazines in the World.

OP has been available online for some time now but new this issue is the ability to subscribe through a dedicated iPad app. I have not had a chance to try this yet as my copy arrives through the post on a chopped up tree. 

What I can say is the the existing online (page turning and pdf) versions are superb (when viewed on a PC) and include additional digital content (articles and photos) and buyers' supplements. Unfortunately the page turning version did not work on iPads due to Apple not adopting Adobe Flash. On my iPad2, the online pdf version was not very satisfactory as you could not view double page spreads. I tried the Goodreader pdf app on the iPad2. This did allow viewing of double page spreads but ran slowly with frequent lockups.

One point to note is that existing OP subscribers get access to only the online version accessible through the www. If you want to access OP though the new app on the iPad newstand you need to take out a separate subscription through the iStore. You can also buy individual issues if you want to try before subscribing. Full marks to OP for creating online content for another platform but it does seem ridiculous that iPad and Apple desktop users have to buy a separate subscription so I cannot see this as particularly attractive to people who enjoy reading the print version of the magazine but might want to dip into their electronic copies for reference.

I must say that though the iPad has a slick interface, I find it is all very much style over substance. I find it frustrating that I cannot view Flash internet content and unbelievable that I cannot move photos into specific folders on the iPad, without using iTunes and maintaining an identical set of folders on my desktop computer. A music program to synch but not move photos? Intuitive or what?

So until Apple finally join the real world and enable flash, you will need to buy a separate OP subscription through the Apple iStore, even if you already have a paper subscription!

Back to issue #30 of OP. I wrote an article for this issue called "Close encounters of a marine kind". Some of you may have found this blog through my link in the magazine. Here are some of the photos that inspired me to write this article:

Common seal pup, Coll.

Grey seal, Ailsa Craig.

Basking shark, Coll.

Basking shark, Sound of Gunna.

Bottlenose dolphins, Mull of Oa.

Bottlenose dolphin, Mull of Oa.


  1. Out of interest, what do you think of the new look physical magazine? Am sure I'll get used to it, but this issue just feels cheaper, probably down to the change in paper..

    1. Hi Jone, I like the feel of the new paper but I am not quite sure how it will prove for photos. One of the reasons for using the original glossy white paper was it gave very good photographic reproduction.