Friday, 15 August 2014

InterMediate Plus Sea Kayaking Course - Anglesey, North Wales, UK

A week back now As I considered packing my kit for the Expedition around Anglesey. Bertha was on the way, with very strong winds and lots of rain, forecasted.   It just made sense to cancel the expedition, but continue with the course.  Anita was joining form Switzerland, with Richard joining on day 2 and then Craig for a couple of days.

Over a coffee I talked through with Anita what she wanted from her day and considered the forecast, which was NE and then NW F6-7!  The north coast and Point Lynas would provide some chunky conditions ... we were not disappointed!!

We did a couple of runs down through the race getting a feel for it, working on eddy turns and acceleration ... then moved into the race to catch some waves .. 

It had been a top day and Anita had done really well and also had pulled off seven rolls each.  Why seven, well it was all part of making it fun.  At the start of the day I'd written one number on four pieces of paper, screwed them up and then asked Anita to chose a piece of paper.  The one she chose had the number 7 on.  So seven rolls we both had to do!   This started a conversation about rolling in rough water ...  We practise all of our other strokes and rescues in various conditions, yet rarely our roll.  And when we do it tends to be back in the calm bay we started from.  Why are we then surprised if we are worried about our roll not working! This ended up being a theme for the week.

Rich joined us on day 2 and we headed out to Trearddur Bay for some work in swell, wind and surf.  It was a W F5/6 and there was super conditions in the bay, with enough shelter to return to.  Although with a solid 9.5+ tide there was little beach left as high water approached.  So we set about turning in the wind and down wind runs ...  The glorious sunshine, really added to the day ....

Below is a short video clip taken from my compact water proof camera of a down wind run, which gives a better perspective ...

As more beach began to expose its self we headed in to catch some waves ...

Craig joined us today and we went for a down wind run from the Mermaid Inn, area to Menai Bridge ... working on stern rudders and maintaining speed.

Lunch at Menai Bridge then back, on a fast ebbing tide ...

Day 4 and a F4-5 NW and Puffin Island was our location.  On the way out it was lovely to see 4 egrets on the shore.  We had the calm of the Straits and then the chunky swell in the sound.  Rich was demoing a Gemini (thanks Barry), and was really getting to grips with it.  Rolls, assisted rescue and an impressive scramble aboard self-rescue form Anita, in good swell.

Then time to work on catching those waves ... ;)

We paddled back close to the shore and watched a flock of Oyster catchers ...

The last day of the course and Craig was back out with us - F4 NW forecast, Rhoscolyn was our destination and the outer tide race ... Craig and Rich running through a messy race ...

Both Rich and Anita carried out a rescue on each other, returning the favour!!

Craig did a super re entry and roll after a surfing capsize and all took some top waves ... we headed back in as the current eased and did some rock hoping and close quartering, before heading back into the bay, tired but with BIG smiles.

InterMediate Plus is for those who hold the BCU 3 star performance award and paddle independently and as with each course, there's a bespoke element where Roger shapes the courses around what you want and need, so as to be able to get there.  The longer the course the greater chance of increasing conditions.  The above is a good example of what both Anita and Rich achieved during the week.

The next InterMediate course (the course below this one), is 25-29th August and 20/21st September, while InterMediate Plus is 29/30th November.


north wales sea kayaking
sea kayaking rough water  

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