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


  1. Roger, nice to meet you.
    I Hope you come back next year.


  2. Hi Roger, thank for share with us all your knowledge and "buena onda". It's always a pleasure learn with a master!