Monday, 14 November 2011

Bespoke - winter ... sunny sea kayaking ..and so many seals!!

Richard was back and this time for a days private bespoke sea kayaking course, before Zoe joined him on the Friday. Thursday morning arrived bright and sunny and after a coffee and a discussion, the plan was to go to Puffin Island. Allot of the birds have flown their nest, this time of the year but with the resident population of grey seals, its all ways a memorable place. Puffin Island is on the SE corner of Anglesey, North Wales and has a 1k channel which can reach 4/5 knots at peak and on a spring tide.

Day 1
Getting on 2/3k along the Menai Straits, which gives more of a journey as you approach the island and a gentle introduction.

On arrival it was great to see a large number (30 or so seals) on the main beach enjoying the sunshine. We kept a distance, no wanting to startle them ... and few soon slowly joined us to great the new comers!!

Around the far end there was another large group enjoy more sunshine and this time a couple came really close ... it was one of my best seal encounters ... it was almost as if they were waiting to play and meet people, bored with the lazing around in the sunshine. This one above, just hung around for ages.

Not that id recognise here but theres one called Lucy, who tends to be really inquisitive, and tried on a few occasions to get on the back of my kayak ... i think if it had been plastic there may have been more grip, so she just kept sliding off!

We went into one of the caves and she was soon with us ...

Back at the sound, the current had picked up, we crossed to the main land and landed for a break and some lunch, before coming back into the channel to work on rough water skills

Penmon Point light house which has a regular clanging bell, which on a really grey day makes it all the more an intense experience!!

We finished off the day moving up against now a gentler flow working our way back to the van, totally satisfied and feeling the benefits of some Winter sunshine!!

Day 2
Into Treadour Bay on the west coast of Anglesey and today was focused on developing 3 star skills, in swell and wind ...

which we had and then some rain, although briefly. We also worked on some incident management scenarios and towing and rock hoping (close quartering - moving in and out of rocks ... in-fact no physical jumping from rock to rock!!)

The weather then took a lovely turn for the best with a brief sunny and bright sky moment and we were able to soak this up for a moment, as the day came to an end.

A super few days with varied conditions, with both Richard and Zoe, moving on and paddling in faster and bigger water and looking more comfortable.
roger chandler

bespoke winter sea kayaking courses

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