Monday, 24 September 2012

Sunny seas sea kayaking

This weekends course had been organised by Sarah back in February, and it was mainly a social gathering were previous sea kayaking experience was limited. The plan was to run a Discover sea kayaking course, as an introduction and then modify and adapt as appropriate.  We meet at Waitrose, Meani Bridge to grab a coffee and talk through the day, before driving over to the west coast to access Trearddur Bay.  On the beach I went through a land based assisted rescue, so this was clear in peoples minds, and they could have a go and then ....

Foot peg adjustment ....

Allen and Karen above ....

It was a magic, sunny day and just what you want for a first day ... and even got a cave, but the swell was a little confused from time to time, so one at a time to the entrance.

On the way back we came across a group of lads that i think were as just as surprised to see us ....

The following day was colder and the winds were due to increase, so Cemais bay on the North coast of Anglesey was the destination and putting the previous days skills into a new context ...

Sam focused after swopping into a different sea kayak ....

We paddled on towards the left hand side of the headland, picking up more swell as we did ...

At the main break and all wrapped up .... and from left to right ... Allen, Karen, Julie (who was observing/assisting), Laura, Sarah, Sam and Tom.

Sarah and Tom as we head back after a variety of weather and good spirited people.  My thanks to Julie for helping out and I wish you all the best with your future assessment.

A couple of hours after saying good buy I got a great text of Sarah - Just wanted to say thank you so much for a great weekend. We've all really enjoyed it and learnt loads, and fingers crossed will be back next year! 

Happy days ....

roger chandler

discover sea kayaking
and introduction to sea kayaking

IntroMediate sea kayaking - Improve

5 days IntroMediate sea kayaking had Mark, Martin, Katherine and joining for two days at the start, Graham and then John for two days at the end. The course aims to introduce swell, current, surf and wind and techniques and skills to work effectively in theses environments ...

The only problem was on Sunday night before the courses I had a high temperature with shivers and coughing morning it was a call to Barry Shaw, to see if he could work the day (how naive I was, to think id be better after a day!!).  Barry kindly stepped up with 2 hours notice and took the following photos .... over the 5 days

It had been a windy week, but with a few sunny spells and a good mix of conditions to allow individuals to progress one of the group expressed below:

I really enjoyed myself ... Barry who was instructing the group was great, his explanations and demonstrations were clear. I have improved my understanding of how various strokes can tie together. I had been by the suspension bridge before, breaking in and out but no real control  of what I was doing. I was apprehensive of going back there but Barry gave me the confidence to break in and out here. Unfortunately  I wasn't able to continue with the rest of the week, but I will be looking forward to attend another course in the near future..... 

Thank you and especially Barry for making the course highly enjoyable, I really enjoyed my self and it has given me the confidence to improve the skills I already have and  those I learnt on the course.

BIG thanks to Barry for working the week and 10 days later I'm closer to getting my full lung capacity back!!

roger chandler

sea kayaking north wales
intromediate sea kayaking

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Just as you like it ...bespoke sea kayaking

It was great to see Tracy and Andy again and following a coffee and some planning, working in wind and some surf would hit the mark.  Tracy was also had a Tiderace sea kayak on demo so was keen to take it through its paces. 

With a F4-6 and gusting F7 latter Treaddour Bay made so much sense!! 

It was s super day, working the surf and getting clean landings, choose which way and controlling the kayak to go that way through body positioning and wait transfer.

We did a few runs across the bay and worked with increasing cadence, with a shorter stroke, skeg and keeping head up and vision wide.  We finished off with a couple of runs from the swell being forced through a narrow channel .... Andy above, getting a feel for his new Tiderace!!

We wrapped up the day with me loading a load of photos on to my lap top, and looking back through the day.  Highlighting areas to improve and what was going well, so as to continue ...


roger chandler

Bespoke sea kayaking
North wales sea kayak

Surfs up ...Xplore sea kayaking

Xplore sea kayaking is our Intermediate sea kayaking course and we had a windy forecast for Monday so back into the Straits and as we were neaps, some eddy hoping to work our way up to Britannia Bridge was the goal.

Andy above with Britannia Bridge and misty rainy stuff .. it was quite cold ....

Glenn, was in for polishing up those skills and was clearly comfortable in his sea kayak ...

A short break on some comfortable bubbles of sea weed ...

Rolls and self rescue and some fun and balance, with Rob showing how its done ....

It could have been Feb..!!

Day 2 had a windy but brighter outlook and Treaddour Bay on the West coast after some coffee and planning was our destination ...

Rob got really stuck into the surf, which was occasionally just under 2mts and sunny ...whoop, whoop!!

Rob above ...circuits were set ...after a couple of demos and then my job was to get the shots!!


It had been a fantastic day with everyone catch a ride and more ...

Day 3 and with lots of swell moving about I was keen to mix current, swell and wind ... so Puffin Island was our destination ...

Andy Glen and Rob from left to right and Anglesey and Penmon Point in the back ground.

Caves I love them, so at least on an intermediate course we got one and a light house one the same trip!!

For some reason i cant get to the bottom of this page was a windy few days, but well done to one and all, it was great to see progression and enthusiasm.


Discover sea kayaking

Well for our sea Kayaking Taster day, you couldn't have asked for better weather.  Bags of sunshine and gentle breeze and good company ... we headed off to the East coast of the Island and worked on core skills ... Pam and Mike were on the one day Taster as a birthday gift for Pam, from one of their daughters, Tom and Hannah and Steve. 

Birthday girl Pam and Mike, in his don't lose me hat!!

Tom and Hannah ...worth mentioning Hannah is getting over a nasty compound fracture to her ankle and stored her walking crutches in the rear of the kayak...  fantastic!!

Steve pleased with the moment ...

Pam finding enough time to also smile!!

Being happy in your kayak and realising that its a fairly stable craft, is essential to effective learning and progression, so we finished the day with some fun and balance ... oh and then ice creams!!

Day 2 wasn't quite the same and with an increasing windy day forecast we took shelter in the Menai Straits, to consider eddy turns and crossing flow.

We finished off with stern rudders allowing the wind to push us back to the start ....


roger chandler

discover sea kayaking
sea kayak taster day

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Profesional Coach of the Year - Highly Commended ...what a super surprise!

Imagine the situation.  having work a block of days Im catching up on admin etc and I get a phone call from a friend, Justine Curgenven (this is the sea and roll fame) ... Have you seen Canoe & Kayak magazine, because you have been recognised in their Professional Coach of the Year category ... No, I said and could you say that all again ... Moments latter I got my copy of the magazine and quickly flicked through the pages, What a great start to three days off!

Extract from the magazine below and a big thanks to the guys at Canoe & Kayak!

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Designed for you ... bespoke sea kayaking

It was great to see Sue and Neil back and this time for some Bespoke sea kayaking, 4 days based around what they wanted, to fast track them on their journey.

After coffees, planning and chats the main aim was for them to have more ownership, so they could gain more skills and confidence to do their own trips.  Each morning a detailed planning for the day with looking at a couple of different wind/swell forecasts  was the essential element, with consideration to crux points and options along the way.  

Bull Bay to the Brick works with a F4/5 SW forecast, was the perfect choice with a good tide running, looking at eddy streams, indicated by texture and colour and in many cases just looks different to what were on at the time.

Neil enjoying the view, above.

Day 2 and a more settled F2/3 saw us heading of to the South Lleyn and the Tudwal Islands, which has become one of my favourite paddles.  Neil above in the ebb stream running off the side of the island as we paddle up and surf the small waves, to the top of the island.

One of the locals, just happy enjoying the sunshine and a lazy day ...

Sue and some super sunny light ...

The main sound had a good swell running which at times was 2 mts and just magic ... the swell was opposing the current and we were at the end of the first 90, so it was likely to get bigger!!

We paddled into Porth Ceiriad, had a good lunch break and then paddled back out to work on some surfing skills.  I was also keen to allow more of the ebb to push on out, so reducing the swell in the main sound, as we were going to paddle back ...

Looking back and quite a different place, to earlier ....

Point Lynas to Ynis Dulas, is one of my top paddles .. I love the race on the flood, the remote feeling, the island and the seals and the many porpoises that can be seen here.  Its another area that has lots of eddy streams ...

The wind was due to pick up to a gusting F5 and it had already began to funnel out of Dulas Bay, we paddled round the island and headed back to the shore for some lunch, before heading on to Point to play in the race.

Rhoscolyn and the last three hours of flood, some wind against tide and swell, provide just what we wanted, and as it became more comfortable, we could get closer to the outer race ... Neil above on the inner channel, close to the main land.

Sue on the inner channel, closer to the islands and running down through the flow ...main work was emphasising ... speed and angle to help achieve the required result.

With 1 hour before slack a run down and through the outer race, with Neil leading ...that's the top of his paddle on the right!

And then both working together, leading me back across to a suitable landing place for lunch ... there was loads of these butterflies about also enjoying the sunshine ...

We finished the day with a good paddle towards the headland, into my favourite cave, before returning to the beach for self rescues and some messing about in boats ... what a great few days ...


roger chandler

bespoke sea kayaking
sea kayaking wales