Thursday, 8 August 2013

Bespoke Sea Kayaking ... Just as you want it

Its been a great week of Bespoke sea kayaking courses, were you set the pace, the focus is you and I consider the best venue to achieve what you want and need.

Earlier in the week Tavi, who had been on the advanced sea kayaking weekend, wanted to transfer her roll into rough water and work on some rough water handling skills.  After a coffee and a discussion, the North coast, Cemais Bay and out to Middle Mouse and back looked like it would fit with a forecast.  Mid day it was going N f5/6, and with the tide on the ebb we could eddy hop and then ferry glide out, have a play and catch the tide back to the bay.

First photo is looking down the early stages of Middle Mouse race ... Tavi pulled off a good dynamic roll, and as the wind was increasing we headed back to the bay.  A couple of down wind circuits, before we reached the edge of the bay ...

Here it tends to create a strong eddy stream, which was flowing into the wind and provided some further rough water ...

By now we had some small surf running on to the beach so we took advantage of this and I got a video, to share latter and provide some feedback.

In the shelter of a cove we worked on a couple of self rescues, the paddle float one Tavi could do in under 30 seconds ... time to put it into the rougher stuff.  It was blowing top end F4 in the bay and Tavi again was in her boat under 30 sec!!

Top tips are : 1) start with the stern into wind - if the bow is then as soon as you get on the rear deck it blows off the wind and the paddler tends to fall off!  2) if an air bag paddle float consider how many breaths are needed - Tavi only needed five. 3) consider storing the air bag paddle float behind your seat already inflated, and then its ready to be fitted. 4) generally a great self rescue for light and agile paddlers.

We then headed to a cafe to look over a number of video clips on my mini tablet, while Tavi worked through and created an action plan.  Great productive day.

Wednesday and Thursday saw Kath and Sedge returning and Jon was along to assist and observe.

Rhoscolyn and much calmer weather and an opportunity to have a good paddle ...with caves, a couple of seals, eddy turns and moving in and out of the rocky channels ...

The day finished off with Kath saying she would like to have a go at a roll, which she has been practising on and off for a few years.  It was great to hear her positive attitude, and just the day before I had put a face mask in the van ... after about 20+ attempts Kath pulled off a half roll ... Happy days!!

The following day we were off to Puffin Island, as the wind was SW and Sedge had never been there ... honest!!

It probably was one of the best days of wild life, certainly by what I caught on camera ... with our classic seals, porpoises and a few oyster catchers ....

With the photo below you can just see a Porpoise in the distance just below the motor boat ... ;)

Its a great section of coastline at high water as you can really get in close .... and this exploration had allowed the ebb tide to reach its first 90% flow, which provided some good sport to finish the day off with ...

Clouds were just beginning to build as we headed back to the mainland after another super day ...  time for hot chocolates and a refection on the last two days ...

Friday saw me on the water with Zoe, on another Bespoke sea kayaking day. Zoe was keen to work on rough water handling and specifically surfing and self rescues.

Morning was spent catching waves and working dynamically in them, while the afternoon was putting self rescues into rough water and fair-play, Zoe could do the cowboy, paddle float and re entry and roll paddle float all under 30 sec!!

It was a good sunny day, so the air felt warm, despite the wind.  At lunch time we had a visitor from this fella ...  end of day we found some wear for a drink to reflect on the productive day, looking back over the photos and video clips.

Top week with great people and all progressing their skills, abilities and confidence.  Remember, Bespoke sea kayaking is specifically for you, at your pace and just as you want it ...

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