Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Bespoke .. sea kayaking as you want it

Peter and Helen had booked two days bespoke sea kayaking, with the aim of assisting Helen who had only been in one once before, to cover rescues form towing, deep water assisted and self rescue, tidal planning and to ensure what Peter was doing was right as he had mainly been self taught.  He had a strong white water back ground, while Helen had dived for many years, was an adventure racer and rock climber.

After meeting, chatting over a coffee and some tidal planning we set off for Llyn Padarn, my local lake, in stunning settings, so that we had a gentler introduction as the west coast of Anglesey was forecast blowing at f6-8 ... while the lake was f4/5

Both were soon picking up the skills, and Helen was doing remarkable well.  So I started setting them courses, so Peter could think off positioning and provide Helen with clear instructions ...

We did a lot of work on forward paddling and I used the analogy of plate spinning ... we have many elements that make up an effective forward stroke and these can be difficult to manage all at the same time ... focus on one element and work it... then another ...

I love this photo ...yep it was just like that ... using edge, skeg sweeps and stern rudders, while paddling across the wind and using the wind to assist in turning down wind ...

In one of the lagoons, which was much calmer Peter did some fun and balance, so he could get a feel for the kayak and so we could go through assisted rescues.  I also jumped in the windier stuff so both could practise their newly learnt skills in a realistic context.  Both did exceptionally well and we finished off the day with a couple of good down wind rides, with the sea kayaks almost surfing.  Despite the rain it had been a top day!

Tuesday was looking much better and after going through some tidal planning home work we were off on to the Menai Straits, to work on flow.

After setting both different circuits, with varying difficulty with ferry gliding the flow, we moved off towards The Swellies (the area between the two bridges), to work on eddy turns.

We were enjoying the sunshine ....

Britannia Bridge provided a useful circuit of crossing flow and some wind against tide ...

As slack water approached I went through the fun and balance ... nice one Helen ... and the three self rescues, back deck crawl/cowboy, paddle float and re-entry and roll.  Both had a go at the back deck crawl self rescue with great success ....

And while Peter was having a go at the re entry and roll Helen had a go at the paddle float self rescue.  Both again had great success.

To warm up we then spent 30 minutes paddling up and out of small eddies, against the new flood and a couple of ferry glides before turning and catching the tide back to our start point.

Boats back in the boat yard and then into Dylan's for hot chocolates, a reflection on the two days and then whats next.

roger chandler

sea kayaking north wales
+ bespoke sea kayak courses

No comments:

Post a Comment