Monday, 30 September 2013

Intermediate plus sea kayaking - North Wales, Anglesey

Tracy, Andy, Douglas, Rich and Gareth were this weekends Intermediate Plus sea kayak course, and the winds and swell made for some exciting conditions.  

After coffee's and planning we headed off to Rhoscolyn as the wind was due to pick up from the east to F5 and swell was forecast at about 0.6/7 mt.  Focus was on Body and being efficient with strokes  ...

The beacon had a lot of big chunky swell, but small amount of current so we headed to Silver Bay, looking for some surf ... we found it and due to its angle (looking in) the left hand side was smaller while centre was medium and right was ugly!!

We finished with some work in the current channel speed through a leaned turn and a couple of exciting paddles through rocky channels ....

Sunday and with a F5/6 wind forecast at Amlych we headed for the Straits, for eddy turns, ferry glides, contact tows and possible surfing ...  It was much gentler than expected and on a neap time, we had just enough to work with ...

After lunch either the wind picked up or more likely, changed direction  ... which would mean some wind against tide and a rougher  sea state :))

We headed back to the slipway at Menai Bridge and the main channel had a super wave chain .... which we ran a few times and with Douglas and Andy, choosing  to go for a roll.

Olly Sanders was also working in the area with a couple of clients ....  It was a top finish and what id been looking for.

Drinks at Dylan's and a reflection over the weekend wrapped up another super day. Smiling faces and tired bodies, said it all ...


sea kayak north wales
north wales sea kayaking

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Private and Individualised Sea Kayaking

The last week has been busy with individual Bespoke sea kayaking days and below is a brief insight on three different days.

Kamala is in the first two photos and as it was a windy day we launched from Menai Bridge slipway.  Kamala has been marathon racing for 15 years or so and it was clear from her forward paddling, she had carried this across into her sea kayaking. Yep I had to work to keep up with her .... 

A journey with elements of coaching interspersed throughout the day and with a brief time in the Swellies, working on eddy turns made up the day.  This also provided Kamala with some home work with flat water out side and inside turns.  Committing more to edge and maintaining it ... and as Kamala mentioned she had also found two new locations for hot chocolate!

I hadn't seen Erin for a year, so it was good to catch up. Some rough water and a journey was on the wish list.  Point lynas looked like it could provide us with some exciting and gentle tidal flow, due to less swell and we were getting close to high water slack.  Plus a journey to Ynis Dulas and the seals ....

We headed out during the last two hours of the flood, and there was enough to have a gentle play and as the current slowed 4 porpoises showed them selves .... happy days ...

Ynis Dulas was great and a few seals came out and greeted us.  We choose not to land as we were close to high water and its close to the seals having there pups ...  We headed back across to Anglesey for some lunch and to allow the ebb to build.

Sue was over from Ireland and was very clear about what she wanted. Sue had been over in March on a mid week group Bespoke with 3 other friends and when I paddled around Ireland she invited us for a meal.

Sue wanted to be able to cross eddy lines and in particular ferry glides, without a wobble.  The day was very atmospheric, with thick fog and then bright patches of sunshine.

We started on out side edged turns and then inside and Sue's commitment to edge was great and a big improvement on March.  Time in her boat with purposeful practise had paid off.  She was soon doing eddy turns and it all began to make sense to her ... keeping the low brace out for 7-10 seconds, meant she held her edge for longer, speed meant she could carry this through the turn ....

We moved from eddy to eddy and soon Sue was leading.  Menai Bridge provided the best smooth flow i'd seen for along time .. it was perfect.  With specific tasks set  Sues confidence and belief was clearly growing ... now to move it up a notch ... now do it with your eyes closed.  With understandable hesitancy Sue paddled out of the eddy into the flow, eyes closed and with a couple of strokes, she was in the opposite eddy with a beaming smile ....

We had some lunch and reflected on the morning and about 30 mins into the ebb we paddle back on through the arches with Sue leading all the way back to the van on the far side of Britannia Bridge.  We headed off to a cafe to reflect further on the video clips I had taken and capture her learning from the day.  Before she headed off to Holyhead for the fast ferry back home.  Sues account of her day can be seen here.

Bespoke and private sea kayaking can move a person on leaps and bounds.  There's no hiding and its all about you.  My job is to pace the day with progressions, find the best venue for you to work in and set you tasks for when you go away.  The more you know what you want, the easier it will be for me to consider what you may also need and get the best from you. Individualised coaching is just like that tailored suit or designer dress, made to measure and individualised.  Available during the week at £170 per day.


individual coaching
north wale sea kayaking

Monday, 23 September 2013

Girls weekend away sea kayaking

Clare had been on an introduction to sea kayaking course a couple of years ago and now was back with four of her friends.  All are mums so time for them selves is a rare opportunity and with a mixed forecast of F4 and with two in the group having never been sea kayaking before Lleyn Padarn was chosen as our first paddle location.  It was a stunning evening for a paddle and an introduction ...

Next morning we were back and with a yoga start ... and the day although still breezy was looking promising.  The sun was soon out ...

I was keen to get these girls really exploring what they could really do.  They were keen, the sun was out, perfect.  Time for some "fun and balance" ...

The following day and the winds had dropped to a F3/4 and Bull Bay to the brick works looked like a good option ... we soon saw a couple of porpoises and a seal ....

Over lunch all five went for a swim, without their wetsuits!  Fair-play and a first for me with all going in for a swim ...

The day was finished off with either a paddle to explore another cave or an introduction to moving water and the edge of Bull Bay provided super conditions, for running down and through, eddy turns, ferry glides and moving up through the flow.

We sat in the sun out side the Bull Bay hotel, looking back over the weekends photos and video clips, I had taken.  It had been a super weekend and one that I had also really enjoyed, with an inspirational group of young women.  Im already looking forward to 2014 and meeting them all again.


women's sea kayaking
private group sea kayaking

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Mull sea kayaking course and holiday - days 3-5

The roads on Mull, take time and travelling from the North to the South and in particularly to Carsaig Bay, took a solid 2 hours ... :(

We were greeted by a sea eagle, in the distance and looking along this coast brought back a mix of memories, mainly good!  Its a stunning coastline and an eagles dream ...

The plan was to have a shorter day out to Carsaig Arch, about 15k total and work as one group, with a there and back route.  The winds were F4/5 NW so we were hoping for some shelter from the cliffs but also expecting some down draughts.

The Carsaig Arch 2nd photo above from the sea and a lunch spot on the rocks before returning with a good wind on our backs and a Golden eagle sighting high up, soaring off the cliffs ..

And a super 3 course meal served up from Sedge, front left and Kath on the right.

Wednesday saw us out of Tobermory in two small teams, with a shorter route and a longer route on to the north coast.  Again we saw a close sea eagle and otter magnet Jon had a close encounter only a metre or so away ...

Thursday was our rest day and a few took boats down on to the beach as the wind blew in and surfed while other walked, drank coffee, read books and used the saunas that each house had.  We had also booked in at Am Birlinn and they offered a mini bus shuttle.  Happy days for one and all.  Great service and top food.

Friday in two small groups saw a shorter journey from Dervaig and back and a longer one form Calgary to Dervaig.  The first part of the journey had 2 -3ft swell left over from the previous day and with low lying reefs it provided some excitement.  Otters were seen at Dervaig and a sea eagle at the west side at the entrance of the Loch.


On the return back to our accommodation, showers, packing and the stages of preparing a joint buffet finish went into action and what a top meal it was.

Its been our first quality accommodation sea kayaking holiday and what feels like a great start. So thanks for your initial feedback.  Watch out for a repeat of Mull 2014 as well as the new additions of Sicily the full package and Skye 2014.


Mull sea kayaking holiday
IntroMediate to Intermediate sea kayaking courses