Sadly Derek Hutchinson passed away today, a truly remarkable character who must be able to lay claim to being the “Father of Modern Sea Kayaking”. I remember purchasing my copy of “Sea Canoeing” as soon as it came out in 1976 and meeting Derek for the first time in 1979 when he had just returned from the Aleutians. He stayed with us on many occasions in Jersey and it was always entertaining.
At one Jersey Sea Kayaking Symposium, the speaker forgot to turn, up Derek stepped in with a spontaneous talk of his North Sea crossing and without any visual aids produced a spell binding talk. You could have heard a pin drop in the crowded room.
In the photograph below Derek, in the kayak, is offering advice in his unique style about the virtues of cliff jumping, as Barry Howell flies through the air at the Paternosters.
A great character it is impossible to measure the impact he has had on modern sea kayaking. I remember fondly an afternoon, in the 1990’s when Derek and myself sat in the warm autumn sunshine on the deck of the ferry between Port Angeles and Victoria just chatting about sea kayaking. Great memories.