Monday, 30 May 2011

sea kayaking puffin island ...not a course!

Well it was just so refreshing to look at the forecast and the wind is f2/3! Had a private group for the day move there booking so what a novelty a day off on a bank holiday ... went to Puffin island with Sonja and Baggy, one of my top places, due to it being an island, current, changing environment, bird life, seals and its a short paddle ... plus, ice creams at the end!

Sonja enjoying being back in her boat.

Baggy remembering it all!

Sonja leading back across.

Seals were a little shy today, but there was a couple of porpoises before we got on, and although Beaumaris was busy we managed to park up and get an ice cream!

Office and prep Tuesday for a large group from Switzerland, who arrive on Wednesday.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

North Wales sea kayaking - Bespoke


The originally plan was to have a wild camp, but with some windy weather two days sea kayaking, with a public camp site was realistic. Moelfre beach and the East coast of Anglesey, saw us out of the F5 gusts of wind and gave us something to work with. the course was aimed at Discover, our introductory sea kayaking course due mixed abilities.

Tom, Chloe, Brendan, John, Chris, Dan, Becky, John and Bella, make up the team (from left to right)

We paddled down to Benlech for mugs of tea and ice creams and below we on our return journey, with a gentle following wind, for assistance.

A short break and then after landing, the next level was presented as an option, which was going to be rougher and with current. A few decided that they were pleased with their achievements and went for a drink in the pub ... while the remaining paddled on to Yni's Molefre, a small island off the headland. It provide a super exciting finish with some wind against tide, loads of sea birds and a great finish.
The next day the wind had been rough over night, and with the raft race on the Straits time on the lake made sense. A gloomy start which soon cleared, some draw strokes and then refreshing our stern rudders, on our journey up the lake.

A break for some food before crossing back over and the start of further challenges of the day!

Brendan half way across the lake

Fun and balance, between Barry and my self and a few demos and fair play to Barry for the attempt at a head stand. One of the best sessions Ive been involved with ...every one got involved with a couple really pushing it out ...

Chris on his 2nd level of around the world ..


There was many of these, but only a few caught on the camera ... Dan and Tom remain steadfast despite distractions!

John, with Jedi skills floating on the water ... or just about to do a succesful bow dip!


Lots going on and Becky hits the spot

Bella having just completed, and now considering the return journey, with a super 360 pivot!

Chloe, completing what seemed a long journey and a successful return!

Tom and Becky creating a super attempt of a joint fun and balance and its all at normal speed ...enjoy!
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Thanks for a super fun weekend, great attitudes, easy going and such a giggle ... i haven't laughed so much ... bring on July!

Discover North Wales sea kayaking

Stella had contacted us a few months back about running a two day discover during the week and then Claudia, from Germany booked on, so we had a course. It was another windy start, but llyn Padarn, served us well and allowed good opportunity to work on turning skills and use of BODY, as we explored the small bays that make up the lagoons.

Day was finished and somewhat busier than the stare and a super view of Snowdon ( the lower pinnated peak on the right). The highest mountain in Wales and the 2nd in the UK.


2nd day saw us afloat on the Straits considering moving water, observation, ferry glides and some stern rudders. We had a few squalls push through, but otherwise an ok day.
Stella leading as we approach Britannia bridge. All in all despite a poor forecast we made the mossy and got on the salty sea, and if smiles are a good indicator of a good day, then happy days!


Monday, 23 May 2011

Improve sea kayaking - courses North Wales, Anglesey

Today was due to be the 2nd day of the Discover, but with strong winds still forecast I gave an option to transfer the day to another date. Zoe and Richard chose to stay and so we paddled on the Menai Straits. It was just after low water so we had some useful rocks and formation so shelter behind, but it was to windy to enter the Swellies.

After a couple of eddy turns we focused on ferry glides, below both can be seen making good progress.

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We then focused on vertical strokes, such as bow rudders and cross deck bow rudders. Richard below demonstrating a good bowie rudder.

We used the shelter of the islands to practise technical strokes and then moved out into the wind and swell, to vary practice.

Zoe leading out of the bay.

As the wind and the tide began to slow down, we were able to progress into the Swellies, with Menai Bridge in the foreground.

Richard leading back to the start, having nearly completed a ferry glide and some super stern rudders and boat control from both of them.


A short walk to one of the cafes, and a chat with a drink wrapped up the day, with two happy people, wanting more!

north wales sea kayaking - discover

Saturday morning arrived and so did the wind! After meeting the group over a coffee, a chat and a plan. The plan had to change and adapt with us air vine inland to paddle on Llyn Padarn. Outside turns and the use of edging and body position/pressure was explored to further assist turning and also inside turns, with more of a lean.

Frank below pondering and thinking it over

Sally in the green kayak, leading us through the lagoons and Richard in the foreground.

Following a break with individuals picking up the strokes and with some gentle swell on the lake we progressed to working with a following sea and managing swell, using a stern rudder and the keg on the kayak. Zoe below keeping her kayak on line.

Smiles were amongst the group and a number of goes were experienced, with further tips added to get the best out of the run. The distance was gently increased until a run of around 200-250mt was achieved.

Sally leading the way into the wind, with Frank following.

On one of the runs back down the lake being assisted by the wind and the swell. Adrian in the foreground and your guess is as good as mine, who's up front!


All had done amazingly well, and had begun to learn to manage a following sea. This can be difficult to work with, as both wind and swell changes so when it pushes from behind, it can be unnerving, but super satisfying and exciting as you begin to channel the wind and the swells energy in catching a ride.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Bespoke Sea Kayaking - North Wales, Anglesey


Bespoke is our sea kayaking course were you create the programme, specific to you and at your pace. Today saw Tracy & Andy on a days Bespoke and following a coffee and a discussion of what they wanted, to work in swell and wind. Treadour Bay was our choice as the wind was SW F5 gusting F6, so we would get enough shelter and would be able to slowly get used to the conditions. We worked across the bay and created circuits, getting used to the swell and wind.

Andy leading into the bay, in some good swell.
Tracy leading out after a good surf in.

We finished of the day with some surfing, working with body position, timing, high stern rudder, low braces and eyes up. A couple of swims later and then some good runs in, finished the day an whats more the sun came out!

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Improve sea kayaking - courses North Wales, Anglesey

Our Improve sea kayaking course, or also known as an intro mediate course introduces swell, current, and rougher water. Ruth was having 1:2:1 coaching and had a clear idea of what she waited to develop further and that was understanding better what effect the conditions she was seeing ahead would have and what did she need to do to be ready.

The Straits was a super spot for eddies, back eddies, current, wind and all creating different affects. Following a coffee, and a short walk across from the boat yard and we were afloat.


A couple of Shell ducks, which we saw a lot of during the day, and hundreds of oyster catchers.

Ruth on our return journey and working with wind against tide.

The 2nd day saw lighter winds and following a successful previous day and theme, we began with some tidal planning, so we had a bigger picture of what was going on. The location was Bull Bay, North Coast Anglesey, which also had a number of gentle current and back eddies close into the shore.


Ruth paddling through the current which empties out of the bay two hours after high water.

Into wind and the brick works on the right.
Hells mouth, working our way back and with a porpoise sighting!

Some manoeuvring close in and a Hearing gull on her nest, before returning to our start. We found a comfortable pub, for a pot of tea and an opportunity to reflect back over the days paddles and to look back at the photos.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

xplore - sea kayaking courses North Wales

Xplore is our intermediate sea kayaking course, and this weekend the course was aimed as an introduction to rough water. With a forecast of F5/6 this could be interesting, so the Straits was the choice for our 1st day.

May has been a windier month, and wetter ... I guess making up for the lack of April Showers ... as we got hailed on a couple of times today and it stung!


Jill paddling below, through some quick water, approaching Menai Bridge. Day was focused on ferry glides & using transits, anticipating conditions, eyes up looking forward, for wind and current. Eddy turns and effective forward paddling.


Sunday was Treadour Bay, F4 winds, with some swell and surf. Looking at turns in swell and working with a following sea and surfing.

Paul taking the swell in his stroke! Treadour Bay

John, enjoying a surf in
Keith setting him self up, for a good ride in.

Vicky, with the last run of the day, in some good surf, and ...


a super controlled finish and even time for a smile ... happy days!

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Sea kayaking courses, bespoke - North Wales, Anglesey.

This weekends sea kayaking course was a Bespoke, organised by Gary and for some guys from a kayak club he belongs to. With a mix of previous inland kayaking experience my aim was to provide an xplore, our 3rd level course with a a gentle intro to the fundamentals of sea kayaks and their differences and then to put it all into an exciting context, wit some rough water and a journey out to a small island

Below we see the group paddling through Point Lynas tide race on the last hour of flood.

Jason below taking a 2nd run through the race.

Gary taking some air!
Olly passing Point Lynas light house.


The wind disappeared, some super light and something was really happening inland!

Mike in the foreground and Tom, as we approach Ynis Dulas island.

Dave leading through the race on our return journey.

Owain crossing out into the race.


The day was finished with some balance tasks and a couple of the guys doing some rolls, in the sunshine!

Forecast F5 gusting F6 increasing to F7... the Straits was a super option, working on ferry glides and eddy turns.

Owain with Britania Bridge in the background.

Jason leading back, paddling through early stages of wind against tide.

With smiling faces the day finished, back at our start with the current increasing against the wind, enjoying the last of our lunch and reflecting on the weekends adventures. Big thanks to Garry for organising the weekend.

For other information on sea kayaking courses visit, our web site www.coastalspirit.com