Monday, 13 August 2012

Fog, flow and sunshine

Tom and Beatrice form Switzerland were back for a weeks bespoke sea kayaking, and this time with her nephew, Alain from Italy. I was aiming the course initially at introductory level as Alain had done very little before but did many other sports, such as snow boarding to a high level so i was hoping his balance and body awareness would transfer well.  The first part of the day was learning and refreshing core skills and as these were soon picked up, i moved into gentle flow.  I had chosen the Straits, so it allowed more opportunity to increase the level of difficulty, if all was going well.

Alain was picking up skills quickly so we moved into the area of the Swellies, on the last of the tide .... focussing on speed and angle, with eddy turns and ferry glides.  A great first day!

After such a successful first day and with a good forecast ... well light winds anyway, Puffin Island was our destination as the course now moved into sea kayaking intro-mediate .. Beatrice in her feathercraft, above.

Alain crossing the sound ...

A good welcome from one of the locals ...

Tom in his feathercraft and a snoozing seal ... it was another top day.

With the winds now drooping, sunshine forecast, day three was from Porth Dafach, to South Stack and back.  We went out on the last of the flood and work the area called the fort, which had some good swell and confused water.  Positive, active strokes and driving your kayak was the focus of the initial session ...  With 2 hours before slack water Pen rhyn mawr was still looking big, so we landed for a break and some lunch, to allow things to settle.

We did some exploring and close quartering ... and then with only 45 minutes to go before slack water, a run through the inner race ...

Alain was first through behind me and really pleased ... well done!

Then followed Beatrice and Tom ... we carried on in the flow, briefly looking back, leaving the tide race behind.

As we began to cross Abrahams Bosom, a bank of fog rolled in making conditions very atmospheric .... keep the wind on my cheek we carried on across the bay, briefly loosing sight of land and then paddling in close as we moved through various narrow and rocky channels ...

Day four saw us at Rhoscolyn (it was a nightmare to park up) and we worked on assisted rescues and recognising current and eddies ...

It was a super view ....

Super turn from Tom, with reasonable edge and improving body position/looking where he wants the boat to go ...

Day five saw us back at The Stacks and this time out past North Stack, to South Stack and back, for a mellow day, exploring the zawns, caves and gullies.  It was great to be able to allow them all to explore were they wanted to go and at their pace.

A short run through South stack race, had to be done and despite being at max (np) flow, due to light winds and little swell, speed was there but no rough water.  We remained on this flow and allowed it to transport us part way back and then paddled into parliament house cave for some lunch.

It had been a great week, lovely seeing all progress and super that the sunshine came out!


roger chandler
north wales sea kayaking
sea kayak courses

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