Friday, 1 July 2011

4 star Isle of Wight

Off to the Isle of wight again for more 4 star sea action!
One important aspect of this award is knowing your buoyage, for example although this looks like a bucket on a stick, it's actually a Port Channel Marker

And this one, which looks very much like two plastic funnels, painted black is a North Cardinal

It's very civilised on the IoW - yep, that's ac ice cream boat! Here's Owen from IoW Sea Kayaking, And Kim Bull, with my friend Lindsey from NY stateThere's always loads of first aid to be administered on 4 star assessments!Someone is happy in his work!

Teme at Ludlow

I got asked to go do some work with a couple of guys working towards their L2, we decided to go paddle on the Teme at Ludlow with their students.
On the way there I was reminded why I love living in England- I love travelling around the world but seeing this sight 20 minutes from my house is awsome! Puts me in a good mood for the rest of the day

I watched Steve and Alex coaching kayak and canoe over two days

This is Kari from the USA - she loves canoes and castles, cos there aint many castles in Oregon!Nice braces - we learn these to prevent a capsizeIt don't always work!

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Kayaking in the Solent

From the Isle of Man, to the Isle of Wight - well not quite, but very close! As soon as I got back from Man, I was heading south to Southampton to run a Coaching Processes course for these guys

Seems a shame to be so close to sea and not go for a paddle so the first evening a gang of us set off for a gentle paddle from Warsash, out of Southampton Water and round to Lee on the Solent

It was very bright and sunny when we set off
As we got into the Solent the wind was picking up the sea a little, we had great fun surfing a few waves

Those ferries, container ships and warships seem very close at times, they certainly make sure you keep your wits about you!

It got a little cooler as the sun got lower, but even with the industrial backdrop, still a cool place to go for a paddle!

I was holding the camera while paddling and accidently took this photo!

Plenty of navigation bouys to practise nav skills

Not easy to get lost in the Solent

Thanks to the boys and girls at Woodmill for a very pleasant evening paddle!

Isle of Man

Just got back from a very enjoyable couple of days on the Isle of Man doing some sea kayak coaching. Quick chat on the car park.Then a warm up on the beachAnd we're off! It was quite winds but there was plenty of shelter near the rocksEven when we went into more open water there was still shelter because of the high ground surrounding the bayOne or two inquisitve seals popped up occassionally to check us out.I wonder if this one was planning to hang around until the next high tide to get off this sea stack!

Some cool stuff to see around the coasts of IoM - the little hole you can see just below and to the right of the stone wall is the entrance to an old tin mine.
It's a 35 minute flight from Birmingham, I can be on Man faster than getting to North Wales - fancy something different for a sea kayaking adventure, go to the Isle of Man!

Reptiles in Worcestershire

So I turned up to run an FSRT at a small lake in Worcestershire and had to shoo a grasssnake off the decking so that we could launch.

Then we came across this fella sunning himself on a log - not bad for April in England!No-one seemed to mind the reptiles in the lake though and were quite happy to repeatedly fall in the water!

Another trip to Baja!

So after the South West Symposium in San Diego it was time for another coaches trip to Baja Mexico.

We set up camp at La Bufadora, just south of Ensenada - this is the site of the biggest blow hole in the world! (alegedly!)

Someimes the sea is very calm

But most times the Pacific swells make it a rock gardening heaven!

Here's Eila playing in her Pilgrim

Russell Farrow reporting for action!Russell Farrow - in action! Some cool pour overs!

You do need to get the timing right though, I won't be naming this hapless paddler, to protect their dignity!

Here's a photo of me getting the weeks first wash in the 'little' blowhole - first the big breath

Then the big rinse!

Oh dear - perhaps one of us should have pulled their boat a little higher up the beach! I saw some lovely starfish and risked life and limb in the swells to get close to them.

After a quick photo shoot I put him back on the rock where he came from!

Some of the wildlife wasn't quite so friendly - we found this little fella under Eila's tent!Eila taking it easy after a day on the water!The best tachos in Baja!
Nigel and Eila buying Tequila for the collection

What a magic place, contact to organise your paddling trip in paradise!