Wednesday, 31 August 2011

North & South Stack plus two sessions on Swelly wave!

With two days to do some admin and take time off , I was keen to make the most of my time and be efficient. Timing also coincided well as Olly was free for the Stacks and Barry & Justine were about for the eve, fantastic a plan!

I now have a P&H Delphin in the fleet, and having spent little time in the boat, this was a good opportunity to make the most of it. A leisurely start, assisted with a bacon roll and a cappuccino, soon saw us on the water at North Stack. The winds had been NW and although now light, the race was a little messy and confused. The Delphin felt really solid, and having played around with the fittings more comfortable than last time.

Thanks Olly for the photo, at North Stack ...

We then pushed on to South Stack, which at the time wasn't running, although in theory it should have been (bigger tides, more water?!?) except for a strong back eddy, so we paddled back in and did some rock hoping. A short break at parliament house cave and some of Sonjas super lemon drizzle cake and then we were back at North stack to work our way back up.

The one thing that is noticeable about the Delphin is its lack of forward speed, when attempting to paddle up against flow...! tired but satisfied, a hot chocolate soon toped the day. A brief call into summit to sea, Angleseys new shop, for Olly to drop some videos off and a welcomed cup of tea, thanks Pete, before returning to Menai Bridge.

1.5 hours later I was back out on the water, texting Barry that id meet them on the water, this time on the Straits, for the Swelly wave and what a super evening. It was quite amazing seeing the difference at low water and I made my way up to the Island, crossing the gentle flow watching the sea gulls hunting for crabs or star fish. The wave was busy, with around 8-10 people, despite this it was a good evening and I had enough runs, with a couple that I was really pleased with. I finished off the day with some fish & chips and was home for 2100!

By 0700 the next morning I was back on the water and the wave was beginning to work, quite different from the previous evening and there was just the two of us ... the Delphin felt good and solid again, certainly slower acceleration in positioning the boat, but very nimble once on the wave.

Back at Menai Bridge, changed and dry, it was now time for breakfast and a short walk to the local cafe, before further admin!

sea kayaking courses.
sea kayak Anglesey - North Wales.

Bespoke sea kayaking- North Wales, Anglesey

Gary was back and this time wife Viv and Christian, for a private days sea kayaking. With a NW F4 forecast and for the variety, the Straits was the venue for the day, exploring the inlets, spotting many Oyster Catchers, Terns, Herons and Egrets and a gentle intro to tidal flow, with some fun and balance at the end of the session.

After some super balances, with Christian setting us all a super example and a few capsizes, Gary suggested going through a more formal capsize, with decks on. All 3 did text book style exits and were well controlled.

Another one of those days when I really love my job!

Discover to Improve sea kayaking courses, Anglesey

Richard, Gary and Shaun, were now on to there 2nd day and a journey down the Straits was planned, from Gallows Point to Britannia Bridge, so more flow could be experienced and based on the 3 of them were picking up skills effectively, the previous day.

Practising taking legs out of the cockpit, for a storm landing to protect the kayak.

Practising a eddy turn, with commitment to the blade.

The boys after a super day paddling and lots of learning.

North Wales Sea Kayaking

Discover sea kayaking, an intro course

With a f4/5 W forecast with a cloudy day and showers, the Menai Straits, the Southern end of Anglesey was the choice. Left out of the slip way, with its little islands and bird life, can provide a lot of shelter and a number of options, of routes, with minimal current.

Viv and Steve were out for the day and Richard, Gary and Shaun were on for two days.

The boys finished off with 40 minutes into the Swellies, the area between the bridges and close to slack water to experience the feeling of current, introduce eddy turns and ferry glides (crossing current)

The sunshine arrived and allowed a comfortable change and the end of the first day.
Roger Chandler
L5 Coach sea

Friday, 26 August 2011

Discover sea kayaking, Anglesey, North Wales

Discover sea kayaking is our introductory course, although previous experience of inland kayaking or canoeing is highly recommended, as the sea is a constant changing environment.

Treadour Bay was our destination and the rest of the world must have thought the same! Liz, Steve, Emma and James were out on the water and going through the core principles and use of edging. As we moved out of the bay some small swell, left over from the previous day, and a gentle off shore breeze could be experienced and enabled each person to have a go with the previous skills now in a new context.

The day was finished off with ice creams!
sea kayaking courses

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Sea kayaking in current- The Swellies, Menai Straits

With a forecast of f4 and occasional gust of f5, the Menai Straits was the plan and particularly because work on flow and current was wanted. Its one of the super points about the Straits, as you are often out of any swell, so the current is clearer, more visible and easier to feel.

It also worked well for us, so we could get on at Menai Bridge and paddle with current up to Britannia and then back to Menai Bridge, which meant more time on the water and less driving!

We worked on ferry glides and eddy turns, really aiming to use BODY, to effect the shape of the Boat and minimise use of blade, so as to be more efficient. It was a great afternoon, with some super boat control from Tracy and Andy.

Overall it was much calmer than expected in the Straits ... until just after this really black cloud passed through and a very windy front!

We finished off in one of the lower channels, as the rain arrived and slowly paddled back to our start point, and were soon drinking hot chocolates and reflecting on the day.

Sea kayaking courses, Bespoke - paddling in current

Monday, 22 August 2011

improve and Improve + sea kayaking Anglesey, day 1

Gary had organised another weekend with friends, and he was getting the most from his week after his paddle around Anglesey, one day off then on for two days further sea kayaking!

In two small groups we began at two different locations, although on the same stretch of water so each group could get the most out of the day. This was The Menai Straits and the area know as the Swellies. I began above Britania bridge, going over new skills and strokes for some and refreshing these for others, in some gentle flow and wind.

We then paddled under the bridge and did some eddy turns before finding the other 4, and having some lunch.

In pairs as the current moved towards slack water, short course to paddle were given.

At Menai Bridge the ebb current had just began and provided us with a great opportunity to feel the flow and build on skills further

It was really quite wet!
Ferry glides between the bridge arches, before paddling on towards the slip way and finishing the day.
north wales sea kayaking course

Improve and Improve + sea kayaking Anglesey, day 2

The 2nd day, was at Treadour Bay after a f6/7 had blown through the night some swell was left over and gave us a useful environment to work with, paddling in and out of the rocky channels, keeping vision wide and putting what we had done in the calmer bays into a new context.

We then moved on to surfing a sea kayak, having used our stern rudders earlier in the day, working with a good rotated body to get a paddle that runs parole with the keel line of the kayak. Andy having a good run in, with a gentle out side edge.

Phil going for an on side edge and getting to grips with it all ... he wins the days stamina award for just keeping on going!

Carl getting a ride in ..
Julie just about to, after getting the kayak up to speed.

Clive with a good on side lean, and showing we guys can multi task!

Steve generating some speed ...

Gary and Steve in the back ground, with a few of the many dingoes that were out in the bay and Phil beginning a run in.

It was a super end to the week end and despite some very mixed and windy weather ...which mainly happened over night, which was topped off with hot drinks in Treadour Bay hotel before departing and journeys home.

Big thanks to Gary for organising the weekend and to Barry who worked with me on the weekend .
roger chandler
L5 coach sea

Around Anglesey Sea Kayak Expedition - North Wales

The time had come for John and Gary to pack there kayaks, on an attempt to paddle around Anglesey on our intermediate sea kayaking course and expedition and we had reasonable weather forecast!

Day One

After a drop off from Sonja (thanx) I was keen to get as far as we could along the west coast as this was one the best days forecast. Kayaks packed, we paddled out from Cemaes bay, on the last of the flood, using the back eddies to assist.

Rounding Carmell head with a reasonable swell running and just 40 minutes into the ebb and a gentle f3, with wind against tide ...north stack could be interesting!

Paddling along the edge of North Stack race and at full bore was going like a train ... we snuck inside and paddled ...

into a few of the caves and arches, watching climbers on the first pitch of "Dream of white Horses"

South Stack lighthouse and the super folding of the rock formations.

Slack at Rhoscolyn head and loads of small sailing dinghies

after a strong front pushing through and a sudden increase in winds with amazing light we called it a day and paddled in looking for a camp, and about 45k completed.

Day Two

The day started windier f4/5 and was due to drop to f3/4, my concern was if we waited to long we would have wind against tide, so we paddle out 45 minutes before slack water.

It was a super day, bright and a gentle breeze as we paddled towards Llanddwyn Island.

After a break we then crossed to Abermeanai Point, which was our camp for the night as a f6/7 was due we wanted a good spot and the tide wasn't due to turn for a few hours yet. About 20k today.

John looking after his back (?) with a serious air bed.

It wasn't long before rain and strong winds arrived, we spent the evening talking from one tent to the next ... and getting some calories in.

Day Three

Up early to check out the Straits we soon decided to wait for an hour or so, for the winds to settle and by 6am all was looking better for a 7am departure. At Britania bridge and then a short paddle to Menai Bridge and as it was just after 10am and welsh breakfast at one of the local cafes just seemed right!

Some more supplies for John ... Gary was all ready well stocked on this one!

We paddled on to Penmon Point, with around 30-40minutes of pushing the tide before it was fully with us and then on to the East coast. This probably was the hardest 3 or so hours as a strong nw front hit us right on the nose, with lots of rain as we paddled across the bay towards Moelfre and then on to Dulas ... it was a real three seasons in one day!

We were rewarded with a super camp and a settled evening with some sun shine, to dry paddle kit out, and enjoy a can of Guiness, with 48k in the bag!

The light beginning to fade ...

Day Four
Next morning was a leisurely start, as Point Lynas wasn't due to ebb for a few hours yet, John led us out to Ynis Dulas and we were greeted by some curious seals.

19k latter we were back on the beach at Cemais Bay, in glorious sunshine ...and lots of people. Sonja was there to greet us and after a mug of tea, boats un packed and van loaded we drove off satisfied in a successful trip. Well done to both John and Gary, who completed the Coastal Navigation & Tidal Planning Award (CNTP) while undertaking a classic sea kayaking expedition.
Sea kayaking courses and programmes, Anglesey - North Wales