Last week I headed down south for a few days paddling with friends Gaz, Streaky and Dave. For months we had a few days booked off with a plan to paddle out to Lundy to climb on the Devils Slide. Lundy is somewhere I have wanted to paddle to for years but have always missed out, unfortunately it wasn’t to happen this time round either. Sunday evening we sat down to look at the forecast, Monday looked fantastic, light winds, 1m swell, awesome. Tuesday didn’t look so great – Westerly F6 gusting 7 with a 3m swell at 15 seconds, sounded exciting to say the least. After alot of talk about manning up and discussions that the it will be wind with tide etc we decided that a comitting 15 mile crossing in these conditions wouldn’t happen.
Our contingency was to try and do a trip on the Isle of Wight. The plan was to leave Stokes Bay on the mainland at the start of the EBB and use the tide to takes all the way to the needles in time for the start of the Flood. We would then use the Flood to take us all the way along the south coast of the IOW and get around St Catherines Point and onwards to Shanklin. Shanklin would put us in the Lee of Tuesdays strong winds and we hoped we could then sneak around to Ryde and Nip back accross the solent. Monday was going to be a big day, about 75km.
Early start Monday morning enroute to Stokes Bay, Roadworks, missed turning, got a bit lost, result – on the water later than hoped. We had a fantastic paddle throught the solent dodging tankers in and out of Southampton and the tide flying us along at about 6-7kn. By the time we got to Yarmouth the wind had picked up to a steady F 3 on the nose and it became apparent the tide wasn’t going to be helping us for much longer, due to our late start.
By the time we got to the needles the tide was fully against us and hammering through on the Flood. The wind had picked up a bit and the sea state on the south coast was a bit confused. We had hoped that the wind would stay westerly and would help up us along with the tide to St Catherines Point (still another 25km). The wind was coming from the south and would make for an awkward few hours. We decided to press on to freshwater bay and see how things looked. The coastguard had issued warnings of the wind picking up to southerly force 6 to gale 8 but weren’t giving a timescale. It was 5.30pm, if we pressed on we would be lucky to be off the water before 8.30 – 9. Group dymanics were interesting here, 4 blokes who all work in the industry and would all class themselves as pretty confident paddlers, we struggled to make a decision as, I suspect, nobody wanted to be the one to say ‘lets call it a day’. In freshwater bay we could see a pub and it didn’t take long before the thought of a pint in the sun and a big steak convinced us to stop.
We needed to get back to the solent side of the island in the morning as the wind was due to really blow up over night and there would be know way of getting out of freshwater. Luckly we had pulled into the beach where Owen Burson for IOW sea kayaking operates from and he very kindly sorted us out with a lift in the morning. Streaky made a few phone calls and manged to sort us with a fantastic nights accomodation in a distant relative to his girlfriends dads house, thanks to Mark for putting us up in his amazing pad.
Owen dropped us at Wooton Bridege and we had an exciting paddle back accross the solent in the morning in great wind over tide conditions with some great surfing. Great few days with the boys even though we didn’t make it around.
A great start to spring with some amazing weather for our sea kayaking courses. We even managed to do a few overnighters with a couple of groups from the Navy. This week we have one of our D of E expeditions out completing a 4 day trip on Anglesey (fingers crossed the weather holds). Sunday I am heading down south for a paddle/climb combo out to Lundy Ireland. The following weekend is our ecology for sea kayakers weekend where Jim from Natures work will be educating us about our paddling environment.
We still have a few spaces for private courses available through the summer and are offering 15% off the price if people book before the end of April. Also don’t forget the 2 nd Anglesey Ocean Kayak Race on the 20th of May – http://www.oceankayakrace.com/ .
Lots of new courses and expeditions for 2012 including – Ecology for sea kayakers, a guide to the marine environment by sea kayaks. Family sea kayak expeditions, an overnight sea kayak adventure for budding ocean explorers. 4 star training weeks, with the opportunity to work with mock students. Going it alone courses, aimed to help people make a safe next step from paddling with a group, club or instructor to getting out exploring under their own steam. We also have a fantastic expedition to the east coast of Greenland. Also we have launched our schools adventure elements website http://schools.adventureelements.com/ .
See you all on the water soon.
Well its been a very busy summer so far for us. Lots of great folk on our Discover sea kayaking courses aswell as a some fantastic overnight trips on our Introduction to expedition paddling course. Our new base is proving to be a real success with people enjoy the benefits of our lovely drying room.
Got a busy month ahead. We are just heading to whitehaven to provide safety support and advice for the adidas terrex coast 2 coast race, back from there then up to Scotland for our Outer Hebrides expedition with George, Phil, Steve, Mike, Gill and Jim (fingers crossed for good weather). Back from Scotland then off to Iceland for a week to run some 4 star trainings and assessments with Simon from Sea Kayaking Cornwall then straight down to Weymouth for our D of E gold Jurrasic coast sea kayak Expedition.
In between all that we stil have a few of our Discover and Improver Sea kayak courses running some still with places available.
To keep up with the action on the water visit and LIKE our face book page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Adventure-Elements/130402297014022
Sunday the 22nd of May saw Adventure Elements Sea Kayaking and Open Adventure host the first Anglesey Ocean Kayak Race. The race, which had disciplines for single sea kayaks, double sea kayaks as well as skis, turned out to be a great event for all that entered and for those who came down to spectate. With high winds forecast the days before it was decided that the Menai Straits would be the venue. Racers completed an exciting downwind, down tide, 20km paddle from the Anglesey Sea Zoo too Gallows point near Beaumaris. The race took paddlers through the Swellies where competitors could avoid time penalties by completing a buoyed course which had racers eddy hoping back up through the Swellies to check points. Great atmosphere with lots of big smiles at the finish.
Big thanks to all that entered and helped on the day.
For full results and details of this years and next years race have a look at www.oceankayakrace.com
For more photos go to our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Adventure-Elements/130402297014022
1st Place Male Sea Kayak – John Willacy
1st Place Women’s Sea Kayak – Justine Curgenven
1st Place Male Ski – Nigel Jones
1st Place Double Sea Kayak – Stuart Lynch/Fiona McBryde
It feels like spring is offically here, lots of nice sunny weather and great conditions on the sea around Anglesey. March has been really busy, the nice weather gets everybody outside. We started off with a few days advanced coaching with Jamie and Matt looking at advanced boat handling skills, we had great force 4-5 conditions at Rhoscolyn for the guys to get stuck into. We have also had 5 days working with Grant and some of his staff at Anglesey Adventures looking at 3 star skills and then 4 star leadership training. Beautiful weather for the whole 5 days with the wind barely blowing above a 3 all week, fantastic paddling conditions but unfortunately not so great for teaching leadership in rougher water.
Quite a few private courses in March aswell with a couple of groups spending some time brushing up on rescues and incident managment. Nice sunny days but the sea is still very cold. Also a fantastic paddle out to Ynys Dulas with Matt on a private course, the seals were on good form getting really close to our boats.
Myself and Phil Clegg have just finished running a 2 star and 3 star training weekend for a group of adventure racers. Really great crowd with a fantastic wind over tide surf session on Sunday morining in the menai straits.
Just getting ready to get on the water again, another great forecast, light winds and sunny skies. The group have planned an afternoon trip out to the skerries, fantastic.
Having trouble uploading photos at the moment but will get some images up as soon as possible.
Private days coaching with Matt today. Windy day but found nice sheltered conditions to work on basic boat handling skills in Bull Bay on the North Coast. Matt was doing well getting to grips with edging, support strokes and some rescue practice!! Nice day out on the water allthough the sea is still blooming cold!!
Matt took some awesome video footage of us paddling using his GO Pro camera mounted to the deck. Once he has edited it all we will get a clip on here.
Coastal Navigation and theory course for Graham, Jen, Rich and Athol tomorrow and then 4 star training at the weekend (hope the sea warms up a bit).
Over the last few days we have been out with Jamie, Matt, Gill and Keith running a 4 star sea leaders training course. The first day was spent in the classroom covering the coastal navigation and theory element of the course where the group got to grips with trip planning, tides, interpretting the weather and more.
For the second day we got out in Treardaur Bay in some great Force 4 conditions to look at rescues, towing, rolling and self rescues. Great day where the group got stuck in with some exciting rescues in the rough stuff.
The wind blew up on the last day so the group stayed to the Menai Straits where they looked at leadership and on the water navigation.