Tuesday, 21 June 2011

A day on the Llyn & Surfing at Treadour Bay - North Wales sea kayaking courses

Bespoke sea kayaking, this time a private two day course for Keith, building on the weekends experience and in particular 3 star skills and paddling other sea kayaks. Keith had mentioned that he was keen to paddle on the Llyn and with a super blue sky forecast, Trevor was our destination. From my experience leaving Trevor and returning is a much easier trip, as there is big car park, toilets and means no shuttle saves about 1 hour! Similar distance from Menai Bridge, to Church Bay on Anglesey.

Keith below and what a stunning start ... even more so as we paddled round the corner at 1000 in the morning, to meet an otter ... my 1st in Wales!

The coastline is very varied with short cliffs, small spires and the occasional cave, as you round the corner your soon into it.

The coastline soon begins to increase in scale and has a remote feeling to it.

One of the big beaches with the National Welsh Language Centre, Nant Gwrtheyrn behind me, with a path down to this beach, a a lovely cafe, with super views. Penrhyn Glas the steep headland at the end of the beach has a large sea bird nesting colony, so its worth going when the birds are about, but keep out so as not to spook them. Porth Dinllaen in the back ground.

We paddle around the far headland watching the birds and then turned and cut back across the bay, making our way back to the start.

One of the coastlines other inhabitants!

The 2nd day was working on swell, surf and paddling 3 different sea kayaks ... the Delphin and Scorpio form P&H and the Romany S from NDK. 1st up was the Scorpio and Keith with a solid low brace.

Riding in the Delphin and managing to harness some of its playfulness!

The Romany S, with further good reddening and low braces.

and a super last run in, from a steeper wave and as straight as a die, with a great stern rudder and body rotation.

Overall Keith felt the p&h seating layout was more comfortable, but the foot room some what more restrictive, favouring smaller feet & wetsuit boots. Both the Scorpio and Romany S otherwise scored similar for handling. Thanks to Pete Barrs, www.summittosea.co.uk for the demo kayaks.

Lovely contrast of days and a well done to Keith. Its great when you see and feel the results of time in your boat, in a dynamic environment such as surf!

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Intermediate sea kayaking course - North Wales, Anglesey

Super day at Treadour Bay on the west coast of Anglesey, with a journey up to Porth Dafach and back. Forecast was F4 gusting F5 and then dropping, which ended up being a F3, so some good swell was about, but little wind : )

We begun with some work in the swell and crossing the bay, running down wind and turning, then a run towards the beach and some super surf landings. Tracy on the way out, with great active paddling, after a great run in.

Tracy at the end of another run

Andy with some good edge and a run in.

John, getting caught side ways, after a run in and demonstrating great support!

Keith on his way into Porth Dafach, which had good swell and quite an atmosphere, although little surf.

John on his way in.
We paddled back to Treadour Bay, and finished off with self rescues, deep water rescues and a couple of more runs in ... happy days!

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Xplore sea kayaking - North Wales, Anglesey

Xplore sea kayaking is our intermediate sea kayaking course and Tracey, Andy, Keith and John were up for their first journey to the Skerries. With a light F3 SW wind, conditions seemed good and a start from Cemlyn, made sense.

Last cardinal mark, with the Skerries in the back ground.

After an exciting arrival, a welcomed break in the sun.

The terns were amazing and with some of the first chicks hatched, little bundles of fluff.

Leaving the island, with some good swell and a confused sea.

Enjoying the sun and a gentler sea!

North Wales sea kayaking courses- Bespoke

Friday was forecast as a windier day so a paddle on the Straits and some technical skills was the plan. Dani and Pat having a go with some vertical strokes, cross deck bow rudders

Cross back to Anglesey, using a ferry glide and with some wind against tide.

Bangor pier, with the Great Orme in the distance.

Some super colour and clouds spilling of Snowdonia.

I then took Pat on and down into the Swellies, for some faster water.

Pat shown some super balance, as we worked a number of eddies and then made our way back up to Menai Bridge, were Dani had brought back a couple of take outs.

Super couple of days, happy travelling in Ireland and all the best, with your new job!

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Bespoke sea kayaking - North Wales, Anglesey

Dani and Pat were on a 2 day Bespoke sea kayaking course, and over from Australia and first clients from down under! We had some super sunshine and although the wind was there it didn't come in strong until later. Both had mixed previous experience, although it sounded like Dani experience was more of an epic in 1.5mt Australian surf with salt water crocs and deadly jelly fish ... I just love the uk!

So I as keen to offer some excitement with LOW consequences ... so we began with getting a feel for edge and body transfer, this really helps the boat to turn, yet can feel committing! Pat showing us how ...

We were at Bull Bay and just after high water so we explored the small caves at the back of the bay and then moved into and out of the flow, as we journeyed along, the shore and clifs.

As we moved along we did some rock gardening, moving in and out of the channels, further enhancing our turning skills.

Dani, following on in good style.

Our destination was the brick works and the wind was blowing out of the bay so we took the longer way round and had a good break on the beach, before returning with some work on following seas, with the use of skegs and stern runners.

North Wales sea kayaking - demo session - sea kayaks for sale!

We have 3 sea kayaks for sale, Romany, Romany S and an Explorer and Becky was down to demo the Romany and the Explorer and see if it was a boat for her. Each boat is 2.5 years old and for sale at £1200 so a super buy when you think the retail is £2000. All the boats have the usual scratches, and wear but otherwise are in good condition.

Treadour Bay and some swell and wind seemed like a good testing location.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Sea kayaking courses - 4 star leader training ... Pembroke

At the weekend I was down to Pembrokeshire working for www.seakayakguides.co.uk providing a 4 star leader sea training course. The last time i was down, was back in April, when I guided a Coastal Spirt expedition to paddle round Wales. So I was keen when invited to see more of the coastline and at a more leisurely pace!

Saturday was what you expect from June with some super sunny weather, although we could have done with some wind .. we had current and rough water, to choose from. Plan was to paddle from Porth Clais through Ramsey Sound, around St Davids head and on to Aberridy, a total distance of around 20k. This was also largely down to the fact Sunday was forecast to be F5-7 and lots of rain, so to make the most of Sats forecast and stay out longer.

Navigation, leadership, CLAP in action, top tips, towing and personal skills, were the focus of the day. Photo below is looking back up to the southern end of Ramsey Island.

Just after St Davids Head.

Fishguard harbour it was as the wind howled and the rain poured and followed the forecast! We had kept all the wet stuff until today, and although we had no rough water we went through the motions, of deep water and self rescues, wind ferry gliding to cross windy sections and incident management.

Photo from the van looking out from the harbour ...more like October!

3rd team member waiting by, ready to anchor tow or give support to the rescuers kayak.

Around the world balance and self rescue back in.

Back into the vans and back up to Niges, for a brew and a final look at tidal planning and final questions before working on individual action plans and wrapping up the course.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

North Wales sea kayaking courses - Bespoke - Puffin Island

After a coffee and some planning Puffin Island was our destination, for some wildlife viewing and the whole island experience. We were also going to build on the use of stern rudders and introduce the use of the keg. There was a fair swell running, so launching on the North shore was exciting, even more so as Tom was in his feather craft (folding and pack away canvas sea kayak), so keeping well off the rocks!

The birds were super, with some razorbills below, also know as our Northern hemisphere penguins...

Beatrice enjoying the run down the northern side of the island.

The seals were making the most of lower water on the far end of the island and we kept our distance, letting them come to us.

Which didn't take that long!

We landed on the Southern side, and had a welcomed break, although with the wind it was pretty cool, and we stayed wrapped up.

Ferry glide back across, towards the light house and then some shorter runs through the faster water.
Tom leading out and into the welcomed sunshine!

One final run through the end of the race with some wind against tide wrapped up the day ... the island never disappoints!

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

North Wales sea kayaking - Bespoke 2 day (Anglesey, Bull Bay)

Our bespoke sea kayaking focuses on what you want and delivers at your pace and Bull Bay was the destination, with Beatrice and Tom, from Switzerland. After a coffee and a discussion about what they both wanted, we looked at the weather forecast and did some tidal planning. Overall what they both wanted was a gentle introduction to swell and rough water and an opportunity to focus on strokes and skills and any wildlife was a bonus.

Lots of outside and inside turns and the use of stern rudders were the main focus and some rock gardening (moving in and out the rocks).

One of our breaks on a small sandy beach.

Tom with the brick works in the back ground.

Beatrice showing good body rotation with her stern rudder.

Tom setting up on one of the narrow shoots.

Beatrice keeping focused, with some swell pushing through!

Thursday will depend on the weather if we have the winds as forecast F5/6 overnight then may be some surf at Treadour, we will have to wait and see!