Monday, September 29, 2008

'the drunken dragon'

A grand climax to the September 'Introduction to Sea Kayaking' course - paddling out from Port St Mary, across the sound and calling in for a break at South Harbour, on the awesome Calf of Man! Time for cake and drinks and even a quick sunbathe...

Then get back on and paddle the coastline in reverse, past the climbers ascending Sugarloaf Stack, avoiding the divers swimming the caves and underwater rock shelves, and finish at the slipway. This group are now joining the October Pool Kayak Safety course, combining the wet skills with time on the water! The last session of the Sept Pool course is this Tuesday, with those guys now getting on the sea in October... With the summer holidays behind us, and the coaching season in full swing, its an ideal time for those wishing to try or take up the sport as the sea is at its warmest and you start to get a little more free time :)
Nice to see a good mix of the Adventure Club on the afternoon sessions. Well done to the group who paddled right round the Calf, beneith the Dragon shaped rock (stooping to drink from the surging waters beneith - or alternatively, having had a few too many..) and meeting up with the others at our favourite spot! We look forward to welcoming our new members at the October social...
Lastly, a big congratulations to Emma and Jenny for achieving members of the month this September!!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Late Summer Evening Paddles...

Making the most of the recent evenings of splendid conditions off Peel...
Kitting up novices in cosy fleeces and dry tops, and paddling out as the sun begins to set, casting a phenomenal array of colours over the water and Mountains of Mourne on the horizon.

Stillness and calm, with only the occasional sound of the curious seal swimming along behind, diving gracefully beneith the surface. As evening turns to night, we paddle back towards the 'sunset city', round the Castle and back to the beach.

Apart from glowsticks and headlamps (to let other waters users know of our presence) we use little artificial illumination - the natural soft evening light is plenty to see by. A Relaxed and very pleasant way to spend an evening with a few friends..

Lastly, a couple of shots from the 2008 Sea Kayaking UK (SKUK) International Dealers Meet

held at Holyhead (base of Nigel Dennis's Sea Kayak School and the SKUK Kayak Manufactuing). Some delightful sunsets off Treaddur Bay and interesting topics for discussion, including the new Romany RM (plastic) put through its paces by Karin, with a variety of Inuit paddle and hand rolls.

With enough talk of Skegs endured, it was time for a trip out the offshore islands - the Scerries! The rock forms a very sheltered lagooon, and provides the perfect habitat for the local seal colony as well as bird reserve. A fabulous place for lunch and a quick dose...

Rene has a put a host of images he took up on his site

Monday, September 22, 2008

Introducing Sea Kayaking... on the Isle of Man

A few pics from the September 'Intro to Sea Kayaking' course, where students have started straight on the sea with us.

Other have preferred to begin with our indoor pool 'Kayak Safety' courses, covering rescues and core paddling skills.
Spaces are available on the October 'Kayak Safety' indoor pool courses running Tuesady evenings at Peel, as well as the 'Intro' and 'Improvers' courses running on Sunday's beginning 05th October.
Conditions have been perfect for reaching the Calf of Man, as well as observing the abundant bird life and seal colonies on route. Even for those who would just like to tell the difference between a Cormorant and a Shag, a Chough and a Crow... Viewing the Island's spectacular coastline from a different angle, learning new skills and meeting personal challenges and like minded people.
All sorts of experiences's a few of them.

There is only room for a few pics here, so if your's is not one of them, drop me an email and i'll get them to you if possible.

Congratulations to the lucky 11 year old winner of the Sea Kayak Trip from the Sulby School Raffle, who made best use of her prize with a trip to the Calf with us, well done!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

secret places... exploration by sea kayak!

Today's forecast was for winds increasing from the South East, veering SW and reaching F8 by late afternoon / early evening... This was what our two students (already completed preliminary leadership and instructional training in their local club in Israel) had come to the Isle of Man to experience. Like all our clients; including visitors from the UK and further afield, they have grown to expect the high degree of customer service and professionalism Adventurous Experiences provide, and feel safe under the guidance of our competant local and experienced staff.

As the introductory day, we chose a sheltered location where we could complete a safe yet challenging trip, rock hopping along the way, keeping in close and using the coastline's natural rock obstacle course to practice edging and manoeuvering. Seals swam about us or slumbered in the intermittant caves, the screeching of Peregrine Falcons from their nest overhead, and still large numbers of Cormorants clustered on the steep angular rocks close by. Then it was time to head out and run with the wind, stopping at a well hidden cave to explore the caverns with Stalactites and waterfall, and have lunch:) Nice place for a few pics, before swimming the kayaks back out and testing some more skills. Off the water by early afternoon as the wind strengthened and gusts whipped the sea into a frenzy... Back to the lecture room and planning for tomorrow's paddle! Even with the less predictable and often changable weather, we continue to run safe, fun, learning (and unforgettable) adventurous experiences!
Our 5 - 6 day packages, using high quality local B&B's, giving an active, adventurous day combined with home cooking and luxury accommodation are proving very popular during the 'training season' (running September to May) when we book in many smaller groups and individuals, on beginner, improver, intermediate and advanced sea kayak courses, those who wish to really progress. Some find it more convenient to do this through an intensive block course, (such as the one described) and we cater for these as well as regular weekely sessions for those who live locally, and can only spare a few hours at a time!
We're just back in from the evening pool session at the Western Swimming Pool, Peel - where the weather was very mild :)
Kayak safety and rescue indoor pool courses begin monthly; alongside certificated Coastal Navigation and Tidal Planning courses - skills necessary for the recreational kayaker and small craft user alike.

Corporate Training days and courses give unparalleled experiences to work groups, through shared experiences, building trust and long term working relationships, nurturing leadership and communication; increasingly effective at integrating new staff and solving issues within a existing team. Coasteering and Gorge Scrambling are especially popular in this field, and unless we get water on the lens... we generally get you some terrific pics of your day as well! Training days are designed using combinations of any of the adventures we offer - locating theory to practice, with the flexibility to make use of our facilitated modern lecture as much or as little as required...

All sorts of excitement over the past few weeks, with never a dull (or free) moment!

The first Finnish Sea Kayak Symposium took place at Hanko - weekend August 23/24, where I met so many fantastic, and down to earth people, including the 'celebrity' to the NIL festival visit by Johanna - one of the two Scandinavians students, who began at either end of the Blue Ribbon (combined Finnish and Swedish coastline) competing against each other to finish the 3600km paddle. A terrific event - I look forward to the next one...
Prior to this the combined new BCU 2* and 3* training and tests organised by Jukka Linnomaa - Sea Kayaking Finland, was great fun and local conditions were ideal for the purpose.
Thanks as always to the Linnonmaa's for their great hospitality.

Back on the Isle of Man, the Cancun Crew have two more dives left to complete our PADI Open Water Diver certificates, and there was enough dry and sunshine hours to fit in some delightful rock climbing at the chasms, cuminating in a traverse across the roof of Sugarloaf cave and then ascenting Sugarloaf Stack - twice :) A pod of dolphins feeding in bay beside us (looked like Atlantic White Sided) and a 'small' Basking Shark swimming past a few feet away as we completed the decent...

Congratulations to Gordin Warner completed his circumnavigation of the island in aid of cancer research, and many thanks for the bottle of single malt which appeared in my room :)
To top this, a big congratulations to the two Adventure Club members who progressed their eskimo rolls from the pool to the sea, and are now looking very solid. we're all really happy for you!!

Life on the Isle of Man is simply phenomenal!!