Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Skye’s the limit! Expedition prep time again… by Tavi Murray

Skye’s the limit! Expedition prep time again…                 

The last few weeks have been jam packed – it’s now just days before we head north to circumnavigate Skye. The Isle of Skye has some 280 km of the most amazing and committing coastline in Britain. We’re paddling in aid of Alzheimer’s Research UK as two of us have parents with dementia.

I’d been planning to circumnavigate Skye since last summer, but unfortunately the person I was hoping to paddle with had an accident in December that meant she could no longer commit to the trip. So at that point I set about assembling a new team with the aid of facebook … “Team Skye” now consists of a friend, the friend of a friend and a responder to a Facebook advert! Hopefully at the end of the trip we’ll all just be friends!

Introducing Team Skye: Kevin Brown, Fiona Buttrey, Anita Daimond, Tavi Murray.

Over Easter we all met for the first time on Anglesey to paddle together. We spent a day planning (big thanks to Penny and Stan at Anglesey Outdoors for the loan of the dining room) and 2 days paddling, getting some distance in as well as practising rescues etc. We even managed a forward paddling clinic!

Since then our nights and weekends have been busy with expedition preparation. We’ve been getting in some fitness paddles, pounding the canals as well as on the coastline round Anglesey and south Wales. Kevin described the Manchester canal as feeling like a Scalextric track! I’ve managed two 40km paddles on the canal as well as some evening paddles, fewer long paddles than last year but I hope I’ve regained some of my fitness! We’ve all been to the pool practising our rolls and self-rescues too.

We’re a group with complex food needs … Various allergies and a vegetarian and a vegan team member means we need to take our own food and not rely on the small shops on Skye. We’ve arranged resupply so we don’t have to carry it all at once, and now our food has been purchased and packed. Maps have been made and we’ve all practised packing our boats. My new boat gives a bit of extra space but has needed lots of small jobs doing to get it ready from drilling the skeg to installing new deck elastics.

I think we’re ready for the off! We’re travelling north to Skye this Friday 22nd April and hope to start paddling on Sunday. Fingers crossed for some settled weather – we’d like to get some of the committing west and north coast done as soon as possible. As yet though both our start point and the direction we’ll go is weather dependent!

I’m so much looking forward to the stacks and caves and reputedly amazing coastline … we’ll post on facebook as much as we can as we make progress– send Tavi Murray a friend request if you’d like to follow us!

If you’d like to make a donation to Alzheimer’s Research UK we have a justgiving page:

By Tavi Murray

This is an independent trip that Tavi has organised separate from Coastal Spirit and Roger wishes Team Skye a successful and rewarding experience.  Paddle safe and enjoy the journey.

I look forward to hearing about your adventures on your return.

Thanks Roger.

PS: Tavi is on Coastal Spirit's mentoring programme.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Springing Forwards with Coastal Spirit

Its been a great start to 2016, with a number of Advanced sea kayaking courses, InterMediate, 3 star
training/assessment courses and InterMediate Plus.  A few Bespoke private courses, during the week and with a near full callender up until late May.

With Summer just around the corner its a good time to start focusing on what you want from 2016 and those early wishes you may have made in January, to actually action!

Here is a list below of what is available currently.

  • Introduction to sea kayaking private and unique.  Available during the week, with details available here
  • IntroMediate aimed at those who want to progress their sea kayaking skills with a gentle introduction to swell, current, wind and waves - 11/12th June, 9/10th July at £160.  Have a look here
  • InterMediate working towards 3 * performance skills - 28/29th May, 2/3rd July, 30/31st July at £160 p/p and during the week 19-22nd July at £270.  Have a look here
  • InterMediate Plus, is aimed at 4 star leader and performance skills, while working in moderate conditions - 18/19th June, 6/7th August at £160.  Have a look here.
  • Advanced sea kayaking is aimed at 5 star Leader and performance skills and at a ratio of 1:4 - 25/26th June, 23/24th July and 20/21st August at £160.  Have a look here
  • Coaching the Mind - for leaders, coaches and paddlers who want to increase their understanding, confidence and performance.  Sports Psychology in action, with the first day of theory and work shops, which also can be used as a coaching up date and the 2nd day on the water putting theory into practice.  Ratio of 1:4 and delivered by Lee Pooley and Roger Chandler.  At £180 - have a look here for more information 
  • 4 star leader training with coastal navigation and tidal planning - 25-28th July at £270.  Have a look here
  • Orkney sea kayaking for top end Intermediate paddlers 8-16th August at £655.  Have a look here
  • 5 star leader training with open water navigation and tidal planning 17-21st September at £330 and only one place left.  Have a look here

Bespoke opportunities are available form early June.  A day is set at your pace, based on what you want and need.  A great way to progress further and gain more form your time on the water.  More information can be found here

For further information on the above either follow the links or email me direct at

I hope to see you on the water