Monday, 8 December 2014

One BIG Adventure - The Roof of Britain 2015

Doing Big trips can be difficult to make happen.  Finding the time, people and similar motivation, is one of the reasons RDX was created.  After Roger had experienced similar difficulties, he then wondered if there was others out there that would be interested in a Big sea kayaking adventure

The Rapid Development Sea Kayaking eXpedition aims to fast track individuals in an active and practical way towards achieving something really BIG.  Roger's hope is that  individuals then use the experience and learning, as a spring board towards planning their own adventures, in the future.

In 2015 One Big Adventure begins mid April through to mid May, and the plan to paddle the Roof of Britain, 400nm and covering some of Britain's most spectacular coastline.  More can be read here

The team is made up of Sarah who runs her own sea kayaking company in Switzerland,  and Anita who is also from Switzerland.  Plus Tavi and Damien form South Wales.  The four days training was an opportunity for us all to meet and work with each other, share food, learn new and practise familiar skills. 

We were based at the super Anglesey Outdoors, run by Penny and Roger (another one!) and meeting up on the Sunday night.  With food at the paddlers return and then an informal presentation from Zoe Robinson, on her learning and experience of paddling the roof during the month of August, this last year.  Thanks Zoe.  

Monday and the plan was to go and paddle the Stacks and do lots of rescues assisted and self, rolling, surfing and various circuits.  I was keen to work on moving up against flow, because its highly likely that we will have to do that to get to significant headlands at slack water, as well as making best use of the day.

Its highly likely at times we wont be able to easily land, or landing may take us further into a bay, that we don't really want to go into (extra distance), plus landing adds on more time.  Its all about finding the right balance ... and in this case literally, as Tavi demonstrates a confident standing pose.  Yep, you've got it, peeing form a sea kayak for girls ...  A task each buddy pair has now got 4 months to further practise!

It had been a great day achieving what i had hoped for and the feeling that we had made the most of conditions.

Day two - after calling into Summit to Sea and seeing Pete, we headed off to Point Lynas with the hopeful plan of a down wind run to Moelfre.  I say hopeful as it was forecast F6-7 from the North and over 2mt.

It was a chunky swell but the winds were in out favour, blowing a lighter f4-5.  We set up the shuttle with the vehicles and after a short snacking lunch set about a few circuits into wind, down wind and checking all were ok with the conditions.  The flood had begun, so we had to make a decision on to go or not.  We went for go.  The flood had pushed up the incoming swell and increased the wave height to 3-4 meters.  It was exciting and as we paddled level to the headed land the east was looking calmer and smaller, we turned and headed around the headland, whooping as we went ... ;)

Tavi and Damien above, and me trying to capture and provide a feeling of the swell ...  Sarah in Orange and Anita in blue, below ...

I had been really chuffed with the whole team and how they had managed the day in super conditions and a day I feel that has put a good credit on the tab!  To further add to the day Diane Lee, provided a presentation on her paddle around Wales, which was the first big expedition provided by Coastal Spirit.  And provided a super gift to further help with our training ... a bottle of single malt whisky.  Big thanks Di!  

Day three - the winds were due to settle and our plan was to head off towards Bardsey Island - island in the tides ... and paddle from Aberdaron, cross the sound and paddle clockwise around Bardsey, then back across and on to Porth Oer.

It was a super calm (despite the previous days storm) and amazing light, throughout the day.

Above Tavi and Damien paddling around the Western end of the island ...

Looking back at Bardsey Island and my calmest paddle out and back ever!!  Big Thanks to Steve, Jo and Ben for the good mugs of tea.

The forth day was Holy Island and after discussions the plan was to be up at early and on the water for 0800 at Soldier's Point, going clockwise across Holyhead harbour and towards the inland sea.  A another classic trip and a super calm forecast.

It was a cold start to the day, but a super sunrise, just peaking through the clouds ....

We were early, so we held back for 30 minutes and landed.  With 20 - 30 minutes before slack water (yep hard to believe this is just before slack water!!) ... Tavi led the team through Stanley Embankment ... and we all got fired out the other side.

On to 4 Mile Bridge ...

We crossed slowly and landed at Porth Ruffydd, for some lunch and to allow the first of the flood at Penrhyn Mawr to pick up.  Back on the water it was so gentle and we hung about for another 30 mins, exploring the flow ...

Then headed on back to Soldier's Point and Anglesey Outdoors, for mugs of tea and action plans and reflections on a super few days.



  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Mark. The low light, colours and reflections were stunning ....