Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Four Star Canoe Training with Ray Goodwin

Last weekend saw me travelling across to North Wales to further my development and experience in Canoeing (Open Boating) with Ray. The course was run over two days, one day on open water and one day on moving water.

Saturday dawned and after a short briefing in a cafe we headed to the shores of Llyn Tegid. Many open water skills were covered and much fun & learning was had by all, the squally showers were all but forgotten.

It was an excellent gathering with a vast amount of experience and skills being pooled. Before we knew it, the light was fading and we were heading back towards the car park.

Sunday dawned another breezy yet bright day, I took myself off to the town bridge, River Dee, to capture a couple of images in the warm morning light.

It was soon time to meet the rest of the group further up stream. A quick shuttle of cars and we were ready for our day on the river. Having done very little white water I was very much on the edge of my comfort zone for most of the day. Never the less it was an amazing day with much learnt and personal paddle and leadership skills advanced. 

It was a real pleasure watching some other members of the group perform. Beth was an extremely capable paddler and very much at home on the river.

Of course none of this would have been possible without Ray Goodwin's commitment in giving us the best experience and the greatest learning opportunities possible - he's quite handy in a boat too..

An excellent two days, we have some amazingly talented and experienced course providers in the UK. For those taking the same pathway I would strongly recommend seeking out and working with several of these instructors. Your own development will be enhanced and skills reinforced. 

On a personal level and with some exceptional feedback I have identified some areas which I need to work on to obtain the required standard of a 4* canoe paddler. Leaderships skills transfer very well from a sea environment but I need to spend more time in moving water. With a little commitment and work, this will happen.

Many thanks to both Ray Goodwin and Lizzie Harrington for the excellent images.

Monday, 20 October 2014

BCU Kayak Angling Safety Course - October 2014

We were getting several more enquiries regarding the running of another one of these popular days. A date and venue was set and again this module was well received by all that attended. Delivered by Kim Bull and assisted by myself a good day was had by all, some really good skills learnt and confidence boosted. Feedback was very positive and I'm sure we will be running more next year. Some great photos by our friend Andy Money.

Driffield Lock Gate Grand Official Opening

Something a little different. The Driffield Navigational Trust were hosting the Grand Opening of the new lock gates in the town and asked for paddlers to be present. I organised a small trip for club members and guided them down from Driffield to Brigham. A simple and fun event.

This is a great piece of local water and it is nice to see the Trust promoting paddle sport.

Alex a new member of the club and his first proper journey. He did very well and even when tired would not take a tow..

Friday, 17 October 2014

A Simple Canoe Trip

Sometimes the best days are those simple un-complicated days were you just mess about on the river . A lovely day with some amazing warm October sunshine and wonderful company.

Anthony Kayaks under the Huge Cliffs of Bempton

A quick blast under Bempton cliffs with Anthony, Roger and Stuart. A long, lazy swell made getting in close a little difficult. A big well done to all the gang, Stuart 's first time on the sea, Ants longest UK journey and Roger 's first time under Bempton. We nearly finished them all off on the climb out of North Landing.

Ailsa Craig

September and I took myself off for a mini-adventure to this lump of granite. Its not the first time I've made the 14km crossing but its the first time I've journeyed across alone and the first time wild camping on the island. The forecast was excellent and improving, a great time to do the trip and explore..

On my return the following day a lovely old couple came out to greet me, they were concerned with my welfare as they had witnessed me leave on the previous day. 

Sea Kayak Brittany - August 2014

One trip to Brittany just wasn't enough this year and feeling quite awful as we never took Anthony on the first visit we made the journey across again, bringing the boy of course. Our destination this time was the south coast of Brittany, the weather was glorious and the following week turned out to be amazing with memories that will last a lifetime.

I hope you enjoy this small video we put together..

Sea Kayak Brittany from Ken Oliver on Vimeo.

KKC Sea Trip

I arranged and lead a short sea trip for some of the members of Kingston Kayak Club. It was a day of learning and I delivered several sessions on fundamental sea skills. An enjoyable day non-the-less.

Always time for ice-cream..

KKC Summer Trip to the Lake District

I was delighted to guide and coach on this years summer trip. We had some nice weather and the weekend was enjoyed by all.