Tuesday, April 17, 2007

All sorts

North West Sea Kayakers Circumnavigation of the Isle of Man Easter Weekend. Great to see you guys, many thanks for the single malt, and hope to see you again soon....

With so much going on, not much time to update the blog, so rather than a lenghtly writeup, heres a few pics from the last few days...Enjoy!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Porridge or Pasta?

As The culmination of nearly a year's training, the Vancouver Island 07 Youth Expedition team completed their training expedition (a four day circumnavigation of the Isle of Man) this week, and what fantastic comradeship and tremendous effort they displayed!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Introduction to Sea Kayaking..

Today began the first beginners Sea Kayaking courses, and a change from Peel to Port St Mary meant a millpond bay was available to get familiar with the kayaks, before heading off on a trip along the coast. One group paddled North, one went South!

All looked extremely happy and looking forward to the next session, next week we'll be progressing the core skills.

The Intermediates had to be challenged with it being so hot and delightfully calm conditions, so all manner of skills were practiced, ending in endless tomfoolery at the Sound!

Friday, April 06, 2007

To Scotland for Shortbread!

In order to stay and feel young, its important to do something ridiculous as often as possible..
If you can make these experiences physically taxing as well, so much the better!
With such fantastic weather here, Joe thought it would be a nice idea to paddle over and get his mother some shortbread, from Scotland... I thought i'd join him, what a tremendous trip!
We had the last session of the kids pool course running till 9am, then pack up quick and head for the Point of Ayre. On the water at 10:30, cheers to Nigel for seeing us off, and you good wishes paid off, an hour later a single Porpoise rose just beside my kayak, disappeared and then surfaced right beside Joe, letting off a little jet of air and the dived out of sight. What a start to the trip.
We were paddling into a small headwind and against the tide, till near Burrow Head, then swing East and pushed against a strong ebb tide till we arrived at the Isle of Whithorn. After refueling on pasta, a leasurely stroll about the fishing village and calling into the Steam Packet public house ... to get some of the finest shortbread in Scotland!
The tide was with us to set off, and then one big ferry glide put us in position ready to use the fast inshore current to the Point, to finish the last hour and a half in darkness...
A fine couple of pics before the sun disappeared, and a little bit of adrenaline in the final paddle to land! Just to round off the perfect day, Butler and Alice met us as we carried the kayks back to the Navara, with hot bacon sandwiches and the traditional Hot chocolate... Awesome!
Joe and Mike giving a 'high five' at the end of fairly taxing day...

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Puffins are here!

Though all the trips and sessions ran are not put on the Blog, todays trip definitely deserves its place! The Fisher family are over visiting the Island for a week, and decided to view its stunning coastline from a different angle...
After some gentle paddling around the bay at Fenella, beneith the Castle, the group set off along the coast, heading South towards Ny Arbyll.
Spotted numerous Guillimots, a few Razorbills and 4 pairs of Puffins! First of the season, a truly joyous occasion.

Checking out the caves, seals, sea birds and spectacular rock formations along the way, a favourite part is rounding Contrary head and being hit by the classic view down the West Coast, the rise and fall of the hills, those closest displaying vivid colours and shapes and finishing with the furthest 'hump' of the Calf of man, hazy in the distance.

Then there's time to explore a few more inlets and caves before turning and heading back. Past the scenery experienced on the way, but with the sun hitting it from another angle, many elements have changed. That feeling of "we're nearly there" is reached when rounding Thistle Head and the outlying intertidal rocks, and Peel Castle slips into view!
Without fail, as I feel the rhythm of the kayak through the water, the movement imitated by the Castle as it rises and falls, creeping closer to my bow, I imagine how the Vikings must have felt, when this same spectacle came into view, many years ago..

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Easter Hols begin!

Cracking start to the Easter holidays with a beautiful sunny day, and plenty of kayaks on the water!
The Beginners trip headed South along the coastline from Port Erin, then turned and crossed the bay to Bradda head and caves, and returned to the Beach from there, meandering around the shoreline.

The Intermediates paddled out through the Sound past South Harbour and out to Chicken Rock!

A quick break and a backflip later, cruised across to The Stack beneith the three lighthouses on the Calf, and onto Cow harbour.

Plenty of delicious sandwivches, a choice of cakes and a lashings of hot chocolate... Sounds like a scene from Enid Blighten!

Then return to Port Erin Beach as the sun became a brilliant Red over our left shoulder and the big full moon away to our right. Fantastic day, think a few people will feel that tomorrow:)