Friday, 20 December 2013

UKCC BCU 3, 4 and 5* Leader Courses early 2014

Currently I have a few spaces on the following course's:

5 Star Leader Training 15/16th March 2014 - £160
Open Water Navigation and Tidal Planning (OWNTP) on the 17/3 - £90
Development days 18/19th March - 5 day package - £380

3 places left on the training and 6 on the OWNTP course.

4 Star Leader Training - 29/30th March 2014 - £160
Coastal Nav and Tidal Planning (CNTP) on the 31st - £90
Development days 1/2nd April - 5 day package  - £380

2 places on the training course and 6 on the CNTP.

3 Star Training and Assessment - 26/27th April 2014 - £140

2 places left

Have a super Christmas and a great New Year to all.


sea kayaking north wales
Anglesey sea kayak courses

Monday, 18 November 2013

Advanced Winter sea kayaking North Wales

This weekends advanced course saw, Tavi, Zoe, Mark and Amanda. The course aims at supporting those who have completed the 4 star leader training in further developing their skills, ability and decision making.  Both Tavi and Zoe have had a couple of cancelled assessments, recently due to forecasted strong winds, so it was a good opportunity to have  a weekend away and catch a few waves.  Mark and Amanda were keen to develop further their rough water handling.

After a coffee and a chat re the weather, Cemlyn Bay was our destination with  Harry Furlongs rocks being our rough water venue.  It was about 2 hours into the ebb, when we got there with bigger channels of flow.  Pretty perfect actually and soon I had them buddied up shadowing each other, rolls in rough water, for Tavi and Zoe and a few balance games while crossing between eddies ...

And lots of surfing up through the race ...

The end of the day the winds dropped off and we were left with super light ... just about to have a debrief of the day ...

Sunday we stepped it up and headed off to North Stack race and did more surfing and eddy turn work before dividing into new buddies and work on contact tows, tow line work, and rescues.

The bottom of North Stack race was more confused and messy ...

Lunch time and a rocky landing ... before heading out to South Stack race.  The front edge of South Stack was big and explosive, so we paddled for a short time here and then feery glided back into South tack eddy.

As we worked back to North Stack, now in its last hour of ebb, we were treated to the best waves of the weekend just steep enough and slower ...

Tired but smiling we headed off to a local cafe to reflect on the day and weekend ...

For more details on this course have a look here  and if you have any questions just contact me at


sea kayaking anglesey
rough water north wales

Friday, 15 November 2013

Course update for 2014 and those once in a while courses ...

Looking towards to 2014 I currently have places available on a few different courses, that run once or twice a year ...

March 29-31st -  4 star leader training sea and Coastal Navigation & Tidal Planning (CNTP) @ £230 or £350 for the 5 day option 29th March - 2nd April. Four places currently available.

5 Star leader training, night navigation practical and open water nav, theory. 15-17th March @ £250 or 5 day option 15 - 19th March @ £380.  Three places currently available.

Skye self catering 5 star accommodation sea kayaking holiday, for Intermediate to Advanced paddlers.  10- 17th May 2014 - £700 and only 3 places left, more details can be found here

Isle of Mull sea kayaking holiday from 5 star self catering accommodation, only 6 places available for IntroMediate to Intermediate paddlers and from 6-13th September 2014.  More details about this super experience can be found here.

Keeping you active over the Winter, so you start the summer in good form and shape, ready for your own paddling adventures ...  Three levels are available, with a few places are left on the following Winter sea kayaking courses:

Advanced - 18/19th January - 2 places
Advanced - 25/26th Jan - 1 place.
InterMediate - 1/2nd Feb - 3 places
Intermediate Plus - 8/9th Feb - 3 places
Advanced - 15/16th Feb - 4 places
InterMediate - 1/2nd March - 5 places
InterMediate Plus - 8/9th March - 3 places
Advanced - 22/23rd March - 1 place left

Details of each course can be found here

Interested or do you have further questions? Just email me and ....  give your self a focus for 2014 ....


north wales sea kayaking
Sea kayaking anglesey

Monday, 11 November 2013

4 star leader training sea - North Wales, Anglesey

What super conditions at the weekend with a windy and blowy Saturday and a blue sky Sunday.   Judith, Katy, Tracy and Gareth were booked on the 4 star leader training and with the new syllabus it took me longer than expected, to work through.  

Moving and positioning in wind, contact tows and trimming the casualty to assist with direction, assisted rescues, towing, a short surf session and self rescues kept me busy and before i new it we were driving away in the dark!!   

On Sunday after reviewing pre prepared tidal and route plans, we headed out to Rhoscolyn to work in some current and swell, with leadership positioning based round the principles of CLAP - Communication, Line of Sight, Avoid/awareness/Anticipate and Position of max use.  An opportunity to lead the other 3, deal with a scenario, incident manage and then gain feedback then followed.  We finished back in the bay breaking down self rescues ...

Today (Monday) was Coastal Navigation & Tidal Planning (CNTP) the theory element of the course and due to the wind and rain I was pleased to be inside ...

Next 4 star leader training is 29/30th March, CNTP 31st March and additional two days possible on the 1/2nd April to make it a 5 day course with the potential of allowing the techniques to be well practised and experience a mixture of sew states, wind and venues.  See here for more details


Friday, 8 November 2013

The first South Pacific International Sea Kayak Symposium, Valdivia, Chile.

The time had arrived and all the International coaches had arrived, well almost Tom form Alaska, we caught up with later and Geoff took the photo ... We were set for the journey to the symposium venue, at Playa Chihuin, which was about an hour away.  The main organisers Pueblito Expediciones had done at top job and really had made us feel welcome.

One of the early striking elements about the area was the wild dogs, and just how mellow and friendly they were.  Here Roni, who I met last October is listening to a briefing while his new friend enjoys the warmth of the morning. 

And this fella, just wanted to be involved at what ever chance was possible ... (Thanks Recardo for the photo)

The first day Tom and my self worked closely together as Tom spoke very good Spanish and many had very little English - although at the end of the week I had managed, as one or two people in a group had some inderstanding. Our focus was from an introductory level and increasing awareness and ability ... we paddle in the protected in land sea and up river during the day ...

Day two and I was working with Nick, he spoke french, but was getting a good grasp and trying out Spanish phrases.  It was a windy and on occasion, a wet day.  We moved up stream to work on awareness and control of Body, boat and blade.  The conditions provide a super day, with just enough challenge ...

Working under the bridge funnelled the wind and with the ebbing tide, we had some rougher conditions ...

Yep and the rain was heavy at times ...

The 3rd day and i was working with Gini, who spoke good Spanish, specific boat control skills, contact tows, assisted rescues and self rescues were the focus of the day and the sun was out!!

At the end of the day Gini, Roni, Christian and myself managed to get out for an hour in the surf ...

Two shots of Christian, below ..... the ebb from the inland sea flows out of a 5mt wide channel into the incoming swell, which was 2-3mts and then this  makes the wave steeper  ...

Christian got the photo of me below ....

A happy team having made the most of the day ....

 On the final day there was a large group for the rolling so I worked alongside Simon in the morning and then in the afternoon we split as some wanted to work further with the rolling while others wanted to get out on the open sea.  We had a short drive to a protected area, which was perfect as out of the group of 5 only two had been on the open sea before.  It was great to get out and put skills each person had been learning during the week into a new context.  One of the group who had learnt to roll in the morning, asked to have a go on the open sea ... magic and so smooth.

Thanks to Eduardo for the photo below (I think)  ... although I cant remember what or when this was!!

The morning after the symposium we were all treated to  a drive and a walk into the local reserve, where there was a couple of 1'500. year old tress and this super 2'500 year old tree ...  It was a super end to the week.

I had two more days back in Valdivia and then began my long journey home ... was it worth it and would I go again? Oh YES, and next time i'd seriously make a big effort to learn Spanish before hand ...


International sea kayaking
north wales sea kayaking

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Getting to the Pacific ...

Today my aim was to get a bus to the Pacific Ocean and a small village called Niebla about 17k away and for 500 peso what a bargain (about 60p). I don't tend to do public transport as I've often got a kayak on the roof or a mtb in the back of the van, so my comfort zone was feeling stretched.

A walk down a short track and I was treated to this stunning view ... There was also a few pelicans drifting about to the right so I headed across. 

I sat and watched them for a hour or so, layer out on some flat rocks .. It's all about acclimatisation, isn't it?

Then headed on to the next beach round another small headland and I was treated to a small arch in a rock pillar ...

It was early afternoon and I was getting hungry and I fancied my chances of improving on the previous days food ordering and at the same time making sure I ordered no shellfish (due to reaction I had in Ireland, which I think was down do eating a fish chowder).  So Salmon with spicy mash potato and a beer ... Whoop, whoop happy days and it was all delicious. 


I wandered back to the road and where I had walked on to the beach at the start of the day. It was now busier than before, It was hot and a swell was running which was dumping from time to time ...

I got a bottle of water and a ice cream, an essential element of acclimatisation and looked for the likely location that the number 20 would stop at for my return journey. 10 mins and I was back on a bus heading for Valdiva and happy with my days exploration. 

James Manke from Vancouver Island, Canada has just arrived at the hostel after a 16 hour or so flight. I'm sure it's just about to busier here ...

I came across a really interesting Blog which ringed true for me and it was about discomfort. Traveling to a Country where I speak very little to no Spanish, has felt uncomfortable at times, a different sort of challenge and also exciting. Having time and no schedule I feel has helped me to set the pace and adjust. Ordering the wrong meal  was ok, in fact I smiled and Iaughed. 

North Wales sea kayaking 

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Sunny Valdiva, Chile

It's been beautiful here since I've arrived in Valdiva, the areas capital city on Thursday evening. The mornings here are cool, but as soon as the sun comes out the day really heats up and I'm soon down to my t shirt. It's really got the feeling of spring here.

It was my second day that I was back to the fishmongers quay and to watch the sea lions, and the various birds ... It has a real draw to me, with wildlife so close.

The sea lions move between this pontoon, the wall of the market and wooden platforms, which you will see later. 

One of two types of vultures (the other has a black head) and they are truly amazing how the strip a fish downtown it's skelton.


The fishmongers stalls are full of different types of fish and shellfish. Once a fish has been identified the fishmonger guts and fillets the fish, the guts and skeleton get thrown over the fence for the waiting sea lions, vultures, pelicans, various gulls and cormorants ...


All the commotion is happening at a lower level and this hawk caught my eye.  It was just 1mt away waiting for an opportunity to be grabbed, which he found!


The pelican shot I'd been waiting of as they occasionally fly off to get a catch and then return. The roof of the market provides a good sanctuary and resting place for the birds.



These guys are 200mt along the shore and this would seem to be the resting up area.  There was a fair amount of posturing going on underneath the structure. It would seem that there is an order to who is allowed up ...


I decided to push my brief Spanish today and order some food. Well I got the beer and chips right, but I realise now ensalada is salad, rather than a Mexican dish!!

It's been a good few days resting up and I'm looking forward to Tuesday evening and the start of the first sea kayak south pacfic synposium. Although it's now 1900 here and due to a 5 hour time difference is 0100 in the morning, back in the UK. I'll be lucky if I make 2000 at this rate!! 

roger chandler