Sunday, 28 October 2012

Advanced sea kayaking - 5 star sea leader assessment

Firstly a BIG thanks to Sid who was directing this 5 star assessment, for sharing his thought process and making elements transparent and PYB for the opportunity in the first place.

I'm not going to be specific, cause its been a long week ...  1.5 hour open water navigation and tidal planning exercise, then to the coast, for short nav legs, leadership, rocky landings, rolling, self rescue, towing, surfing and assisted rescues in advanced conditions ...all made up the first day

Then it was 2-3 hours night navigation and leadership ...looking back at Penrhyn Mawr

Sunday was the navigation and group leadership day, and Olly Sanders was the 2nd assessor. With a F5-7 W (NW-SW) forecast the north coast was chosen, with a journey from Bull Bay round point Lynas while it was on the ebb and then back round into Porth Eilean.

This was in two small groups with unknown paddlers to be led (4 star ability +) ... a short shuttle and we were all soon on the water ...

East Mouse and some confused water ...

Rachel getting some action ....

First time in a tide race ...  + loving it ...

roger chandler

advanced sea kayaking
5 star sea kayak assessment/training 

Friday, 26 October 2012

Essentials Kayak Festival + 4* Leader Training Sea

What an impressive, well organised event and stunning weather to match.  With over 130 any thing could happen but from my perspective, as a coach and leader working on the event all was smooth and flowed well.

Personally I feel having the potential to book and chose work shops before the event was a great way to  ensure wants and needs were met and no frantic activity, with people trying to get their name down on the trip/session they want.  The preparation before hand seemed to be well worth it.

So on the Saturday I had a group of 3/4 star paddlers on boat handling.   My aim was to increase awareness about the BODY, through trimming, pressure transfer and rotation (looking were your wanting to go, with your shoulders).  Rhoscolyn was my location.

That night saw Justine present about Barry and her paddle round Tierra del Fuego.  A super and raw account of the journeys highs, lows and successful conclusion.

Sunday I was delivering Incident Management for 4/5 star paddlers and it was sunny ... wow, how good was that!   Carmell head had a chunky swell, and gave us all something to keep an eye on ...

Sunday eve Marcus retold us about various paddling adventures and again highs, lows, epics and survival.  Another super insight into wild places, risk and the rawness of it all.

Monday I was delivering an Intro to Surfing and after working on progressions in Rhoscolyn Bay, we headed out to the beacon ... not much to surf ...Silver Bay, what was there was small and dumping ... Cymram Bay, whoop, whoop 2ft!!  

Tuesday saw the start of BCU courses and I was delivering the Coastal Navigation and Tidal Planning (CNTP) course.  Eight people, from Norway, Denmark, South America and UK.  Which proved to be the biggest group i have work up to now and with the biggest breath of language ...

Wednesday saw the start of the 4 star leader training -sea, with Mark and my self.  We set out the scene and headed off, in our two groups with a good forecast of F4/5 NE and ideal for the personal skills day.
North coast for me, with some flow close in, but more swell and confused seas.  Loads of rescues, towing, more towing and even more towing .... 

I also talked through and demonstrated leadership and  effective positioning ....

The last day was focused on navigation, leadership and scenarios.  I think of this like spinning 5 plates on canes and having to attend to them all at various times.  looked at kit and equipment and its suitability, before heading back to reflect on the course and individual action planning, over a coffee.

My thanks to the Essentials Kayak Festival Team for their hard work, enthusiasm and commitment to making it a top event ... and hoping it will be back next year!!


sea kayak festival
4 star leader training sea

Friday, 19 October 2012

Advanced sea kayaking and the Euro Paddle Pass

Monday to Thursday Ive been working with Olly Sanders who runs Rock and Sea Adventures and helping to deliver the Euro Paddle Pass, black paddle 5 training course, their advanced award.  Details can be found on this website and at the end of the day it resembles our advanced 5 Star Leadership award.

Five Danes were across for the week and seemed well prepared.  Following Ollys intro and outline for the day I followed on with tidal planing for the Stacks, as the guys were also working on the BCU Open Water award.  A few sore heads latter and we had a plan, to paddle from Soldiers point to South Stack and back.  The only down or upside was that we would hit North Stack at max flow and on a big spring tide, with a NW swell and now a F3 wind ...yep it was going to be exciting and some!!

We took the top eddy and did some eddy turns, before running down the main race.  It was fairly confused and the guys did super well ...

The main race was great, with some big smooth rollers and then steeper snarling curling ones ....

I then led a session exploring the caves, consider good leader positioning and

Seals were on the beach at Parliament House cave and as its  near to pupping time we decided to paddle on towards South Stack ....

It was a fast ride and we were soon there ...almost to soon and driving down into a ferry glide to miss the steep middle section ... with Chris suddenly getting caught and riding side surf before being left to continue his journey ...

We had 10 mins at South Stack and then found a rocky cove for some lunch before paddling back round to North Stack.  It still had an hour or so but we easily paddled up through and what a super start to a week!

2nd day was on the Straits and for some reasons my photos have migrated ... needless to say ..."it was going like a train"  Lots of personal skills with eddy turns, ferry glides and reading water to use features to move out on to waves.  Only one capsize which the group managed and provide lots of useful learning with a number of small mistakes, that had large impact!

Lots of initial chart work to begin with  and then tidal planning for Point Lynas.  F4-6 S and the tide changing just after mid day, put us in a good place and today we worked in two small groups, with lots of leadership, positioning, rescues, towing, rocky landings, surfing, rolling, self rescues and scenarios ...

Rolling in some flow, while one of the group covers him ...

Day 4 and with a swell forecast of 3 metres Treaddur Bay, with swell and surf was our destination.  That is after a couple of hours on open crossings. This helped in delaying and allowing a cold front to pass, with its heavy rain and as it was due to ebb round 1230, allow us some beach ... well we needed more for the 7 of us than the above!!

Lunch and 45 minutes latter and we were on, working on the entrance of the bay doing circuits and a couple of rescues, that needed to be quick due to the wind blowing towards the rocks.

And then into leading a group back through surf ...and some personal surfing ....

The guys worked really hard and as Ive experienced before, Europeans tend to be strong when it comes to surfing as this is their main form of sport, what with the small tides.  So when the wind blows there out ..."surfs up"

For me, being my last day it was a great way to finish and I'm sure ill be seeing some of these guys again in the near future ...

roger chandler

sea kayak north wales
advanced sea kayak courses

Sunday, 14 October 2012

4 star personal skills ... rough water handling

The day was focused on increasing Rebecca's personal skills, rough water handling, leadership positioning, rescues and confidence.  After a good chat, planning and coffee we headed off to Cemylm to look for some rough water.  It was a f3 NW forecast and we were approaching springs, so i was keen for some wind against time as we were on the ebb, to provide the appropriate conditions

It was a cold day to begin with, so be both wrapped up.  loads of eddy turns, looking around, dropping gears so as to accelerate through an area and me emphasising my position and why.

The venue was great and as one channel got slower, another outer channel became spot on and usable. Working with ferry glides, adjusting position and using transits.  As we crossed the channel for a 4th time we then did a rocky landing on the far side, which had more swell kicking in.

After lunch, rolling, assisted rescues like the ladder rescue and use of the towline. Contact tows and use of a short line.  We discussed use of the group, and the essential element and ideal of the leader keeping an overview, not being drawn in.  We then headed up the flow, were Rebecca, clipped a line on me to keep me into flow as we moved back into the bay.   Some fun and balance and the eventful self rescue, finished the practical work, before heading of for a table, drink, refection and the creation of a workable action plan.  A great day ... with some welcomed Autumn sunshine ....

roger chandler

4 star leader personal skills
sea kayak north wales

Thursday, 11 October 2012

All in one day .... the Skerries

Zoe had a booked a Bespoke days sea kayaking and was arriving by train.  After picking her up we collected two sea kayaks and then went looking for some breakfast.  Zoe was keen to work her edge in rougher water and really get a feel for what was going on, while having a good day out.  The Skerries with a f3 NE forecast, which was due to drop and the current ebbing from 1100, it was almost perfect.

We got on at Church Bay and after some carrying, we were soon on the water ....

.... and heading straight out of the bay, with 30 minutes before the tide was due to turn ... Zoe was looking comfortable and was soon working to a rhythm ...

As it was just after low water when we arrived, there was a lot of grey seals hauled out, and this girl looked close to pupping ...

We took up prime position to rest up for an hour, out of the breeze it was feeling warm and what a view we had to enjoy our lunch ...

Back on the water, the wind had drooped and we worked on the top of the race, having a couple of great surf runs, keeping head up and eyes forward ...

Conditions were gentle, silky and just steep enough ....

We then headed back to Carmell Head on a ferry glide and using the eddies close inshore to move back up against the flow.  It had a been a super day and the last time I had been out there had been May, partly down to weather and/or group/individual ability, so it was great to have been back.

We were soon back, loading kit and on our way, keen for some chips, before I dropped Zoe back at Bangor train station, for her journey home.  It had been a long day but what a top one it had been and all in one day!

roger chandler

advanced sea kayaking
north wales sea kayaking

Discover Autumn sunshine - sea kayaking course

With four people continuing on with the 2nd day and a further calm and even better blue sky promised, Treaddour Bay was our destination, with the plan of paddling to Rhoscolyn head and exploring arches, gullies and caves, using outside/inside turns and draw strokes  as we made our way along the coast.

At the white arch their was a fair swell, with an occasional big set, which bounced off the back wall, so only the arch way was used and provided a good introduction to the rise and fall of the sea ...

I looked at the black arch and a couple of other gullies but it was more like playing Russian roulette, with timing so we paddled on and round Rhoscolyn Head.

The cave was great and with enough swell to make it exciting, but not to much to make it risky ...

Sadly at one of the small beaches a Guilimot had come to a horrid end, with a 4 beer can  plastic holder stuck round what was left of its neck ... another good reason to ensure these rings are cut when thrown away and odd bits of fishing line and plastic are picked up as we come across them.  This has also been the push I need as over the winter I will be writing an environmental policy for Coastal Spirit.

As we paddled back round enjoying the swell, we saw this fella, on a giant hamster wheel, with a safety boat near by on his way to Ireland.  He was unfortunate and his wheel sunk at 0300 in the morning but he was ok and picked up by his safety boat.

We finished the day with some fun and balance, and general messing about in boats ...Mark above working with doing a 360 on his kayak!!

Super weekend made by the people and the lovely sunny and calm weather ... Discover and Introductory sea kayaking courses will begin again towards the end of April 2013.

Happy paddling ...

roger chandler
discover sea kayaking
sea kayak courses

A taste of Autumn sunshine

With the last sea kayaking Taster day and Discover sea kayaking weekend of the year, it was so great to have a magic forecast of light winds and sunshine.  After meeting the six people, having a coffee and a chat, we headed off to Moelfre on the East coast of Anglesey.

Paul on the left, and then Sarah and Jess going through a dry land assisted rescue.

The light was great and the surface super. We focused on the key skills of turning and controlling the kayak using outside edge. We explored the use of BODY, with posture change, pressure, squeezing and tension, considering how this in turn effects the Boat and the use of the paddle.  The emphasis needs to begin with the BODY, Boat and then the blade.

We then started to put these skills into a journey and paddled off down the coast, for a new venue -Daniel  above.

At our 2nd break and soaking up the sunshine, before our return paddle were I covered effective forward paddling, emphasising rotating round your spine, while keeping your paddle forward and out front.

roger chandler

sea kayak taster
north wales sea kayaking