Thursday, 21 January 2010

Skye 2010 With Gordon Brown

My dear friend Dave has booked us on again for the 12th, 13th and 14th of May, several days tuition and a couple of days paddling with good friends - it couldn't be better. There is light at the end of this horrible dark and cold winter tunnel after all . . . .

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Tuesday, 19 January 2010

A Season of Learning

Having re-kindled a passion in sea kayaking I only thought it right this time around to get the correct training. Hopefully so as to stay safe, help others and to get as much pleasure out of the discipline as possible.

I had gained my old BCU two star many moons ago and had taken it no further. So it all kicked off again by taking a Foundation Safety & Rescue Training Course (FSRT) and new Two Star award with Matt & Paul of After Adventures http://www.afteradventures.com/ over in Pugney Country park near Wakefield, I dragged my good friend Dave along for the ride too.  Of course the new Two Star syllabus now contains aspects on open canoes, a first for both of us but very good fun and not too difficult to pick up as many of the strokes cross over to this discipline very well.

Dave recovering a second open boat

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I have been training reasonably hard towards the Three Star Sea Assessment and finally booked with Nigel Hughes of H2GO http://www.h2gocoaching.co.uk/ down in Poole, a long way but I was already down that way to see fishing friends at the 'Flounder Meet'. On a very blustery sunday I took the assessment and again it went very well. Suprisingly the water was VERY cold, much colder than I expected but then this was probably due to all the fresh water entering Poole Harbour from recent flooding.

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Having completed the above I then started to turn my attention to both the Four Star Sea Leader award and Level One Coaching, it would be great to be able to give a bit back to the sport in the way of helping with club nights and events. I started to look at the pre-requisites I would have to undertake prior to these.

First up I thought it would be prudent to get my 1st Aid Certificate back up to date. I approached Ian Dallaway whom had advertised an Aquatic First Aid course on UKRG and promptly booked on.

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It was an excellent day refreshing old knowledge and learning new methods and practices.

Next up and one I had really been looking forward to achieving was a Sea Navigation and Tidal Planning Course. For this I approached Dave Brown from up in North Wales. I spent an excellent day with other sea paddlers learning how to read charts, calculating tides and planning voyages.

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Brilliant fun, I had done much groundwork prior to this course but still learnt so much on the day.

What is so very evident is the quality of BCU coaching on offer from all the providers out there, professional, experienced and knowledgable.

Next weekend is the start of the Level One Coaching with Matt and Paul, I had better get my head stuck into the BCU Coaching bible and candidate pack. Also fingers crossed the lake defrosts rather quickly too.........

Paddling the Humber, Christmas Break 2009

Took my first tentative strokes onto the Humber just after Christmas, small tides and no wind made for a lovely paddle. Launched from Country park near the Humber Bridge and paddled up to Brough on the last of the flood and then came back on the early ebb. A lovely paddle.



Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Pike fishing on Rutland

Not a kayak in sight but a brilliant couple of days at the beginning of the pike season on Rutland. Sam, Simon, Rupert and myself booked a pair of tenders for a fun filled couple of days. Fish for both Rupert and myself, a new pb for Sam and plenty of pike for Simon on the fly.

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A Golden Autumn Day on Windermere

I met good friend Simon at the south end of Windermere early one October morning, he had brought the full fleet of Kazkazi kayaks with him to loan to a youth group. While they were paddling the length of the lake we had the chance of a much more relaxed paddle with the bonus of chucking a lure at Windermeres predators. No pike but an amazing day.

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Boxing Day paddle under Bempton cliffs

To blow the cobwebs away both Dave and myself had a good paddle to Staple Nook and back. There was a bit of sea on so we had to keep our distance from the cliffs and no chance of getting through the arch but a pleasant paddle non the less....

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