Monday, 28 February 2011

north wales sea kayaking - rapid development xpedition training

This was to be our last training weekend before our paddle around Wales beginning in early April. With a forecast of f5/6 we planned a paddle from Newbrough (on the SW corner of Anglesey) into the Menai Straits and along to Penmon Point. This would give us some surf to work with, current and importantly distance.

Looking out from Newbrough, into the surf.
Sue and Di timing it well through some surf, before turning left and working our way through the sand bars into the Straits.

Passing Caernarfon Castle, Menai Straits.

Nelsons statue on the left, as we approach Britannia bridge and the Swellies.

A super lunch spot on the edge of the Swellies with Sue, Paul and Di, looking towards Menai Bridge.

The journey was finished with an exciting posh into wind and a landing through some dumping surf. Loading the boats on to the trailer and a drive back to Rhoscolyn and our bunkhouse accommodation, for showers and then an early short walk to the White Eagle for a couple of well earned drinks and some super food, wrapped up the evening well.

sea kayaking courses north wales - rapid development xpedition (rdx)

Sunday saw us at Treaddur bay with a good swell running in and a super opportunity to further practice landing through surf and catching those waves. A super blue sky, sunny day although a fresh NW wind f5/6. We kept mainly to the left hand side (looking out) which was smaller.

Paul above heading out.
Sue working her way back through the surf.

Di finishing off her ride.

A super day with lots of useful learning, a couple of swims ...barrr ... and positive attitudes got them back in to reap the rewards. Skills that will be essential for the group in a months time when we set of to paddle around Wales.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Xplore inter-mediate sea kayaking courses

2nd day of our inter mediate sea kayaking course for Sue, Shamim and Gary. East coast Anglesey and Point Lynas for some further rough water. Plan was to head out to Yni's Dulas on the last of the flood and return on the ebb, after the big push of the current had gone through.

Gary warming up with some rock gardening.

Sue heading out across one of the small bays. What was also interesting was that the ebb had begun 1hr earlier than expected, although slight.

As we paddled further along the coast the wind and swell was picking up, with significant back eddy flow out of each of the bays. We turned around and headed back, before the point really pick up.

Sue keeping calm as a wave snarls at her stern!

Back to the start for some lunch and a brief review. We then went back out in the bay to work with the swell and turns, considering the use of the environment to help, such as tops of swell, were is the wind coming from (so trimming boat with body) and if one way seems more logical but difficult have a go turning the other way.

A walk up to the head land, 4 hours into the ebb, provided a useful perspective, before hot chocolates and a brief reflection on the day, at Moelfre.

Sea kayak courses - Xplore inter-mediate sea kayaking

This weekends sea kayaking course was our Xplore, and the first for the year. Mixed conditions were found which provided a lot to work with and good variety. Ive got the photos back to front again, so what you see next are the end of the day photos leading to the start of the day!

There was a big swell running in Treadour bay when we drove past, so the plan was changed and we got on , paddling to Porth Diana for some turning work and putting this into context around the rocky inlets, reading conditions, positioning and timing. We then headed beyond Ravens Point were we turned and work back for 200 mts using stern rudders and getting a feel for it, before turning around again.

We paddled on further to a small bay to land and had some lunch before returning to Treadour. The wind over lunch had drooped and back at Treadour we were left with small, well formed gentle swell, which was perfect for surfing and experimenting with stern rudders. Low and high, push and pull and subtle emerged blade angle. I ended with over 200 shots so choosing what to put on was difficult!

Shimim taking a super turn, with good support, having enjoyed a surf in.

Gary experimenting with a low angle stern rudder.

Jon really throwing some good off side edge, good body rotation and a high angle stern rudder.

Jon enjoying the shorter boat, coming down and planning to leave the wave.

Pat earlier in the day getting some air on the way out of a slot.

Ravens point with a big swell and the back eddy with wind against tide, (five people in the picture)

Heading out at the start of the day.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

4 star sea leader training plus coastal navigation

Sea kayaking courses North Wales

March 7-11th we have a few places left on a 5 day 4 star sea leader training, which will cover the syllabus and much more, allowing us to use the conditions to get the best from the week. The coastal navigation and tidal planning (cntp)will be integrated into each day in a practical and enjoyable way.

Not able to do 5 days then consider 3 days (minimum as this includes cntp award). Have a look at our website and the BCU performance pages for more details or email us.

Sea kayaking courses & holidays - Winter skills programme

North wales sea kayaking, Isle of Anglesey

The weather this weekend for the course, has been very varied. From the sunny and blue skies of Saturday, a stormy and windy night, to a grey, but calm Sunday. Iv e loaded the photos back to front so you see Sundays 1st!

So today was a journey from Point Lynas, on to Yni's Dullas and then Moelfre (east coast Anglesey). Tides worked perfectly, following a shuttle and paddling around the headland at slack, there was some swell, smaller than expected, which was a good thing! A peregrine was spotted on the small cliffs at the back of one of the bays. Very little was happening on the crossing to Yni's Dullas and the wind was behaving and following the forecast. A welcome from a number of seals and then lunch on the island, before making the crossing to Moelfre, in 30 minutes!

Grey seals watching us nervously, we gave them a wide birth and slowly some came closer, but they were very shy!

Saturday was one of the reasons its great to get out sea kayaking this time of year. Fantastic blue skies!

With some good initial planning by the group, over an initial coffee, the venue was to be Cemais to Bull Bay, taking in middle mouse on the way (north coast). Some initial rougher water as e came out of the bay and as we approached middle mouse, we did a ferry glide out to the island. It was great to see so many Razorbills. A brief pause and then back towards hells mouth! Some rock gardening and different turns, until we reached Porth Wen and the brick works for lunch and a real sun trap. Some more rock gardening and then on to bull bay to finish and a pint in the local pub, before driving back to Menai bridge. Not bad.

A Great weekends sea kayaking with Jon, Keith, Douglas, Simon, Abby and Di, plus it was lovely to feel the sun on my face again! Thanks to Di for helping with the shuttle.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Paddle around Wales 2011

View Paddle Around Wales 2011 in a larger map

To see the complete map click on the underlined link above. Sorry if you get this twice, just testing and setting things up!

There will be a team of 5 of us in total. Di Lee, Sue Bainbridge, Paul Barrett, Sonja Ezergailis as Coastal Spirit land support and back up, plus my self. Aim is to begin on the 2nd of April, Friday the 1st would have just been to much! Paddle from Anglesey, clock wise into the Dee estuary and pick up the Shropshire & Union canal around Chester and work our way out and down towards the Severn, then back up the coast.

Sonja will be keeping the blog and markers up to date so you can see our hopeful progress!