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

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Sea Kayaking Courses North Wales - IntroMediate + Bespoke

The last few weeks have been pretty busy and I'm just about up to date with admin and Blog.  Glynis was up for a Bespoke 1 to 1 day and with a windy forecast we set out from Moel y don, on the Menai Straits after coffees and a chat.  It was straight into a head wind, the bonus was it would help us back.  It had the feeling of winter as the day was bitter, but the light was great.  Just before slack water we paddled up into the Swellies, and worked on eddy turns.  Efficiency was the aim of the day, and we set off reducing the amount of reverse strokes to correct the kayak.  Hot chocolates to finish over a reflection on the day and looking back at the video clips ...   Great progress

The weekend saw John, Keith and Jeremy on the IntroMediate sea kayaking course and again it was windy, but we found appropriate conditions on the Straits, and we spent the day refreshing skills, with the main focus on managing a following sea, through the use of forward power, stern rudder, sweep strokes and edging (skeg was introduced right at the end)  Sunday was from Trearddur Bay to Rhoscolyn and back and we made the most of the rocky channels and gullies, working hard with various turns.  These turns we then moved into the flow and made our way out to the Beacon and its small islands, soon discovering a seal or two.

Paul had A Bespoke sea kayaking day and put a lot of preparation in prior to the day.  Considering he has just been paddling for a year Paul has progressed very well.  He wanted a challenge and with us being on a Spring tide and The Swellies so close to us, we were soon paddling our way to Menai Bridge, after a warm up.  Throughout the day Paul hit the turns well, maintaining a good constant lean. As the current slowed we gently made our way back up the eddies, to Menai Bridge.  Paul clearly chuffed by his achievements, and rightly so.

Tavi was up for a Bespoke sea kayaking day and it was a mixture of some rough water handling and trying new kit.  A ferry glide out to Harry Furlongs buoy, using transits and then back into the race.  A couple of points to locate on her new map and then back up to the race for a roll.  Great day and super to see Tavi's progress.


roger chandler

North Wales Sea Kayaking

Friday, 4 October 2013

Bespoke Sea Kayaking Anglesey - Introductory to Advanced

Monday and Tuesday saw me out with Christine and John, who had only done a couple of days sea kayaking before but had done a fair amount of cycling.  The forecast was from the SE so we headed to Trearddur Bay and paddle to Porh Dafach and back.  There still was some swell about and misty drizzle start to the day, but otherwise calm and smooth ... 

Day two:  Having bagged an entrance to a cave and a couple of gullies, it was now time to see if i could get them some seals!!  Newbrough and out to Llanddwyn Island was a possible  option and one of the calmer locations, and with the wind from the SE all looked good ..

The wind picked up after lunch so we had a section of aqua rambling, before we could go through an introduction to surfing ... a big well done ...

Wednesday and Thursday was a 5 star leader sea refresher course.  With The Stacks looking good and building towards a spring tide we headed off to North Stack ... Steve, Bent and Michael from Denmark ...made up the first day and it was mainly directed by what they wanted to go through ... so rescues, leadership sections, rolling and self rescues ....

Lunch time with so many seals hauled out, we decided to look for a rocky landing ...

And then out to South stack race ....

Thursday and Nigel joined the group and incident management with rock hoping was worked on.  A fab location just close to the get in was working really well.

Then out to North Stack, to work the race again ...

A great week of variety ....


north wales sea kayaking
sea kayak anglesey