Liquid Logistics Open Day
Saturday was spent with the folks at Liquid Logistics on their first Open Day. The event was run from Bucklers Hard and included various taster and training sessions, demonstrations, ergo machine competitions and the Woodmill Mobile Shop with a fleet of demo boats.
There was a superb atmosphere around the site with folks getting stuck into activities on and off the water. I ran three Sea Kayaking Intro/Taster sessions pretty much back to back and really enjoyed working with the folks who came along. Everything from complete novice to more experienced paddlers looking for some sea kayak specific tips.
Huge congratulations to the Liquid Logistics team for running a really good event, in particular Tom Foster (newly nicknamed TBM) who organised and ran the day. It would be great to see this event become a permanent fixture on the calendar.
Intro To Sea Kayaking – Isle of Wight Sea Kayaking
Sunday comprised of an early start, picking up Rich Pearsall and catching the 6:45 ferry from Lymington to Yarmouth and making our way over to Isle of Wight Sea Kayaking in Freshwater Bay. Rich had been working with Owen Burson on a UKCC Level 2 coach course with Sunday being the final day of the course. I was over to run an Intro To Sea Kayaking day.
My group of four clients had a range of experience from complete beginner to an experienced Open Canoe Paddler looking to build sea kayak specific skills.
The forecast was for SW winds building from F1 in the early hours to F4 much later in the day. Combined with an incoming tide from 10:00am to 7pm the aim was to work our way out of Freshwater Bay and along the cliffs towards the Needles.
After some basic skills work in the bay ensuring folks were in suitable boats for their experience we headed out in some beautiful conditions along the cliffs. Unfortunately the wind picked up strength earlier than forecast and seeing the wind shadow in the distance we made the decision to turn back earlier than planned and take our lunch break back at the Freshwater Base.
After some much needed food we headed out onto the water again. Two of the clients were interested in sit on top kayaks as an entry route into paddling so spent time swapping between short and longer, touring sit on tops, playing in the small swell/surf that was now rolling into the bay. Meanwhile the other clients played in the slightly rougher conditions in sea kayaks working on balance and turning in rougher water as well as stern rudders. Lots of laughter later and a few rescues (some planned, some not so planned) later and it was time to draw the day to a close and debrief the group and say goodbye to some seemingly very happy clients.
The end of my course coincided with the end of Owen and Rich’s Level 2 coach course and we couldn’t resist heading out for an hours coasteering in the bay before Rich and I headed for the ferry home. All in all a cracking weekend.
Note: Thanks to Steve Mead for the use of photos from the Open Day.