Monday, 20 September 2010

North Wales sea kayaking - 3 star sea train/assessment

The first day of the course was spent around the Rhoscolyn area, and we really working on stern rudders, edge and body trim with a following sea, while we moved in and out of the rocky island off the head land. Even the seals were keeping low today! After lunch the winds as forecast started picking up with occasional gusts at f5, we moved back to the bay and worked the channels closer in. Both Gary and Sue were here for training, while Amanda was on Training and assessment, and she can be seen, in the distance looking over her shoulder and keeping visual contact with me, on the first photo. Amanda, finished the day with a couple of rolls and a self rescue.

The 2nd days forecast was f6 gusting f7, so the Staits it was and helpful that we were on a neap tide, so again a couple of feet to work with in sections, which was great. Loads of different tows, ferry glides, eddy turns, deep water rescues and a couple of self rescues wrapped up the day. And the photo sums up the weather !

Sue, Garry and Amanda, from left to right. Congratulations to Amanda, for passing!

Friday, 17 September 2010

North Wales Sea kayaking - paddling the new Delphin by P&H

Paddled the new P&H sea kayak, with a difference ... its called the Delphin ... wow, what a fantastic, solid, responsive, supportive, maneuverable and playful boat ... three words short words sum up my feelings ... " I want one!" Between Olly Sanders (Rock & Sea Adventures and a P&H paddler), Sid Sinfield (PYB) and my self we each did sessions on filming and taking stills, which worked well, while the other two played and had a top work out! Enough wind to make conditions interesting, some fantastic light and some super waves, at Pen rhym mawr, Holyhead and the Isle of Anglesey.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

North Wales Sea Kayaking - magazine article & course dates for 2011, now out!

Ive been catching up on admin and various jobs, as we will be away soon for seven weeks, tough I know ... so its made me sit down!

Just had my trip to Italy, Sicily back in April, published in the October addition and Sonja wrote one re our Turkey trip, along the torquise coast which may be coming out in the November issue : )

The 3 main pages on the website, general courses, expeditions and BCU courses now have separate specfic pages, so less talk on the main page. Buttons have also been added so its easier to get to the calenders to see various dates and also book.

Dates have now been added, from Jan - September, and as always if the dates don't work for you, contact us with what does, as we may be able to add another course or re arrange. Cost also will stay the same : )

We have also had our first review on Trip Advisor, so many thanks to Chris and if you feel like adding your comments, please do!

Monday, 13 September 2010

Paddle around Sicily, Italy - October 2010

Well with two weeks to go before we both fly out to Sicily, I'm finally getting excited! I bought one of those travel shirts today as in the past paddling in hot climates my neck takes a bit of a hit!

Initially we will be involved in the Aeolian islands sea kayak symposium, and then a couple of days to buy supplies and enjoy the grape harvest, then we are due to begin on the 11th October. We then have 35 days to work with, which hopefully will allow for some rest, exploration and any storm bound days. The paddle is around the 1000k mark, and my initial thoughts are to travel in an anti clock wise direction, not sure why, but that feels like the right way. Francesco who runs is our host and is sorting out composite sea kayaks for us, plus he has paddled around the island before, so he is more likely to have an idea of any particular winds for this time of the year.

A good friend of ours, Lizzy will be opening emails and holding the fort a couple of hours a week, so please be patient and kind with her, as she has a real full time job to manage as well!

North Wales Sea Kayaking - Group Adventure

North Wales Sea Kayaking - Menai Straits and Puffin Island

What was initially a Discover sea kayaking course, soon got notched up a level, as it was clear that Dan x2, Andy and Mark were up for an Adventure and ready for some excitement. With wind against tide in the centre of the Menai Straits, making rougher water this was easy to find and provided a super introduction and a great opportunity to introduce crossing channels and ferry gliding.

Our 2nd day was a journey to Puffin Island. With the success of the previous days ferry glides and crossing rough channels, despite winds of f3/4 NW it was worth having a look. The current was flowing in the same direction as the wind, and although the channel was rough we gentle worked up to the central red concrete buoy, were there was about 2ft of swell and short waves. We worked the rough water for a couple of circuits and then crossed the channel. On reaching the most westerly end, we gave some space between the rocks and us, and we were rewarded with a couple seals, swimming out to us and one in particular, a young female was very inquisitive.

The journey back across was rougher due to the tide turning earlier. We now were in the early beginning of wind against tide, although flow was 0.5knt. Once across we took a break around the southern side of Penmon Point, and made our way back to the start. Before getting off we did a few balance games and finished with a self rescue. Ice creams in Beaumaris made a classic finish to adventurous and exciting weekend, which I'm sure the guys will remember for times to come, well done!

Dan G, show how its done!
Mark taking some air, in the Straits!

Initial break before heading out and across to the island.

The 4 of them (honest) getting a feel for the current, swell and wind, just before deciding to cross.
The reward for all of that effort, and she came even closer than this!

Friday, 10 September 2010

North Wales Sea Kayaking - 1:1 Coaching

Our first days sea kayaking was on the Menai Straits, and although Simon had done a couple of days sea kayaking in the past he was also strong and active Open boater. This really helped him to pick up the skills and techniques, which meant by the end of the first day he was paddling in gentle current and managing ferry glides with mixed and more confused current.

Day 2 was now on to the open sea and the North coast of Anglesey, due to a high spring tide it was easy to move in and out of the rocks working on various turning skills and see the current creating eddies and back eddies. We were also close on a number of occasions to a couple of porpoises, who totally ignored our presence. We finished this day with deep water rescues and two self rescues, which both Simon managed first time, to his credit.

One of my favorite trips is, Point Lynas to Ynis Dulas and then back, due to its remote feel, the wild life, more complex currents along the coast, the race at the point and the wild little island itself. The tides and winds were in our favour which allowed us to paddle around the point in the last hour of the flood and then use the back eddies to paddle along the coast and then do a 1k ferry glide out. We kept high to avoid the rougher water flowing over the shallows and due to our arrival and a large spring tide, there was little space to land. the sea was pretty much at the base of the tower!

A short break and then back on, with many seals popping their heads up and following us, as we paddled away. It took us 4o minutes to paddle the 5k back to the point, as we approached 1.5 hours into the ebb, the race was flowing at around 3.5 knots. We took the eddy high had a brief chat and then ran the race through on the inside, fantastic. A paddle back into the bay, another short break and then more self rescues and to keep body temperatures up some stern rudder work between dips! A super few days, nice one Simon.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Improve sea kayaking - North Wales, Anglesey

This weekends Improve saw Douglas and Kath returning and meeting up again with Jon and Sarah. Initially we began with inside & out side edged turns, and then introducing cross deck & bow rudders, to tighten up a turn. We then journeying along, moving in and out of the rocky North coast of Anglesey. After lunch at the brick works we paddled in to the next bay, "Hells Mouth" and worked our way to middle mouse (small island off shore), before returning to Bull Bay.

2nd day was working initially on the use of stern rudders in a following sea and latter deep water rescues, balance and self rescues.

Sarah achieving a self rescue, cowgirl style (over the back deck)

Kath working with "around the world" advanced style, and keeping it together ...just!

Jon, showing what paddling a K1 marathon kayak can do for your balance!

Paddling back towards Menai bridge, after another super weekend.

Anglesey sea kayaking - Discover

This weeks 5 day Discover sea kayaking course got lucky with the weather, and had a super sunny week and only light winds! From left to write, Stuart, Vik, Tim, Nicola and Seema.

Tim, pulling it off well!

Bull bay, with such an amazing sea state and one of the caves below.

Puffin island & Siesta time!

Stuart having ago at a deep water rescue and thanks to Vik for jumping in. Puffin Island in the back ground.

The last day and an A-B trip paddling up the Menai Straits and just entering the Swellies on the above photo, with Britannia bridge in the back ground. Sonja also enjoying the day.