Monday, April 26, 2010

We have lost our friend.

Our friend Jim Broadfoot died unexpectedly on Saturday. I can't begin to imagine how his mother Margaret, wife Dorothy and daughters, Pamela, Lorna and Alison are feeling at the moment and I send them my deepest condolences.

Some may think that this blog is about sea kayaking or the Scottish coastline but in truth it is about sharing these things with like minded, kindred spirits. David said you get to know someone better after a few days sea kayaking than after a lifetime of socialising. He is right because everyone's safety is dependent on their fellow paddlers. Jim was the perfect companion at sea. He was totally dependable and always considerate of others. Without his help my paddling would have been much more restricted after my accident on Coll last year.

On the night before we left Coll, I was literally rolling on the ground in agony beside the campfire, it put a real dampener on what should have been a great end to fantastic trip. Jim disappeared for a while then reappeared with a big grin, hotdogs in rolls with ketchup, followed by hot buttered scones, jam and whipped cream, followed by hot chocolate! He was always pulling surprises like that out of his kayak, just when people felt down.

He came to visit me last Wednesday and we reminisced about past adventures and planned our future ones. It was a really pleasant day together and I am grateful that Jim took the time to spend with an invalid.

Primarily Jim was a family man and he was so proud of his three daughters. This photo shows Jim and his youngest daughter Alison on the family's Easter holiday to Loch Leven. He also told me that he and his wife Dorothy had been paddling together on Loch Long last week and that this had meant a great deal to him. Jim and Dorothy spent his last day on a paddle in beautiful Loch Striven and shared a magical picnic together on its shores.

My friends and I feel privileged that we have been able to share great times with a true gentleman.

So thank you Jim....there should have been so many more good times to share with your family and friends...but we will never forget those precious moments in your company.


  1. This is truly tragic news.
    Jim was such a nice considerate human being. Almost every picture you have shown depicts his permanent smile.

    I really enjoyed his company on our paddling trips and I will miss him.
    Deepest condolences to his family.

  2. I remember one night on Bute, Jim and i decided to go for a wee night paddle, we set of from Port Bannantyne and headed for Loch Striven, on the way we paddled through the best illuminescance, either of us had ever seen, it was absolutely amazing, truly fantastic, a trail of light glowing 20 feet behind our kayaks.

    I feel honored to have shared that moment with Jim as well as many others, but deeply saddened that we wont get to share anymore.

    My thoughts are with Dorothy, Pamela, Lorna and Alison


  3. I never met Jim in person but have enjoyed travelling with him on your trips here on this blog. I particularly liked your trips to Coll and Tiree and Mull and as Tony says Jim was always smiling in those photos. Please pass our heartfelt thoughts to his family.

    PS I am having trouble posting this so I have emailed it to you as well.

  4. A very moving tribute in words and images. Thoughts and prayers with you all. Duncan.

  5. Thank you for your tribute Douglas.
    I have been with you in spirit on your voyages with Jim and have felt blessed to have shared the happy times seen through your photographs.
    Thank you. Jim's Mum.

  6. So sorry to hear this news - my thoughts go out to all friends and family.

  7. peace & prayers to the sea kayak photo gang. i am sorry to hear of jim's passing.


  8. Deeply saddened by the news. I spent part of this evening looking through old photographs of Jim. Difficult to explain why but I was pleased to see that Douglas has put some up here.


  9. Douglas, your annus horribilis is reaching epic proportions. I admire the dignity and humanity with which you've coped with it all. Sympathy and condolences to you and all Jim's friends and family.

  10. I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you and your friends family.


  11. I am honoured to have known Jim. He was a first class guy and a great paddling companion. I will miss him.

    My condolences go out to his family.


  12. Truly awful news. In the end, memories of us are just about all we leave behind, so we must hope they're happy ones.

    The tributes here and in Douglas' senstitive post are testament to how Jim touched the lives of many people.

    Deeply sorry for you.

  13. I too am very sorry to hear this news. Jim was one of the first people to help Alan and me as we took tentative steps into the world of kayak rolling at the pool. I didn't know him at all well, but the photos of his energetic presence on your trips has been such a source of inspiration to me, for reasons that I know you'll understand. I always looked out for pics of him. What a sad loss.

    Sincere condolences to all, including you Douglas.

  14. My condolences to Jim's family and also his paddling partners.

    I too had never met Jim in person but have enjoyed travelling with him on your trips here on this blog.

  15. Again a very sad day Douglas!

    It really hurts to read that such a jong man had to leave our world so soon! My thoughts go out to his wife and childeren.
    I hope they had the chance to say goodby to him.
    I'm sure he will watch over them!

    My deepest condolences!


  16. I only met and paddled with Jim once and that was enougth to never forget him and the warmth and passion he had will always remain with me. Jim always looked to have " that inner peace" on the sea and camp trips from your pictures.
    A lovely man
    Wonderful tribute Douglas and thinking of all the family and friends and paddlers at this time


  17. Great selection of photos of a great family man,paddler,coach and friend.
    You,Dorothy,Pamela, Lorna and Alison are in our thoughts

  18. On moving house Jim helped us out by looking after our 8 month old puppy. Now this was harder than you might think as the pup had an aversion to standing on anything but carpet and Jim's house had laminate flooring throughout. Undaunted Jim kept the wee puppy on the fireside rug (I'm sure this made Jim's job more difficult but he rose to the challenge). What a great friend.
    On the eve of our holiday we had a problem with our caravan. On hearing this, Jim came over and we were so glad he did as he informed us that the van was unfit to tow. He was always so willing to help.
    Jim's enthusiasim for kayaking urged my husband to take him up on his offer to go out with him. They had a wonderfull time as they set off from Milarachoy Bay for a nearby isaland and my husband felt completely safe in Jim's capable hands.
    Thinking of you Dorothy, Pamela, Lorna and Alison.

  19. I read this yesterday and was lost for words.

    We journey through life and meet many 'acquaintances' - and for a while may share the same path. In the mountains and voyaging along the coast we share natures raw beauty ; whether it be sharing a magnificent sunset, struggling through adversity to reach safety after the envelope and comfort zone have been pushed a little too far, or simply sharing tall stories and a wee dram around a campfire. In these places, through shared experiences, mere acquaintances become truly deep and lifelong friendships.

    I didn't know Jim, but I'm so sorry to hear this news Douglas. Please pass on my condolences to his family and friends.

  20. So sorry to hear about Jim.
    I have been lucky to have shared some great paddling trips with Jim and will really miss him. He was a very helpful and reliable companion and always a pleasure to be with both, on the water and around the camp fire.
    Deepest condolences to Dorothy, Pamela, Lorna and Alison.


  21. Jim was a great man and will be greatly missed. His enthusiam and infectious smile made paddling in his company all the more enjoyable.
    My thoughts and condolences go out to his family.


  22. Jim was a good friend and fellow coach. I remember spending time in the sea off West Kilbride practising our rolling. Where Jim learned the essence of keeping hold of his kayak when capsizing as wind can take it faster and place it further from you than you can swim. A lesson we both learned and shared. We had our laughs and thats the way I will remember Jim, always smilling. My thoughts go to his wife and daughters.

    Walt FOSTER

  23. Very sorry to read this - sincere condolences to Jim's family and to you and yours Douglas. MikeB

  24. I have just arrived back from St Kilda to hear this news. Along with Dad, Tony & others we shared some great adventures on the water with Jim. Coll, Mull & many more. It's these experiences that open the mind to life. I'm really sad to hear this news and I send my love to the family. He was a lovely man who will be missed.
    Jennifer Wilcox