The ocean is beautiful and mysterious but despite its splish splashiness it really isn't very forgiving. The big blue has a heck of an attitude so any trip worth its salt takes planning and preparation. When on holiday we quite like to know we are going to be back in time for the team BBQ rather than half way to Ireland so when we were on Anglesey last weekend we spent a day with Outdoor Alternative who know the waters around the island intimately.
We were lucky to be paddling a mix of Venture kayak Delphins and Scorpios along with a couple of elegant P&H Capella and Cetus sea kayaks. Part of the fun is packing the deck pods, dry clothes in the back, helmet in the front with food, water and suncream in the little hatch just in front of the cockpit. Some split paddles went under the deck bungees and our instructor Giles had a bilge pump in case of any little accidents. Our tour from South Stack to North Stack gave us an entirely new perspective of the Gogarth cliffs as well as an appreciation of tides, swell, wind, tidal races and rock hoping.
The Peak District is not known for its craggy coastline so what has this story got to do with the Big Shakeout? We didn't want that to stop us being able to introduce people to at least a little of the kayak touring experience which is why we have the Venture kayaks intro to river touring will introduce you to the skills and techniques of paddling a touring kayak. This differs in many respects from an open canoe, you will use twin blade paddles and sit within a cockpit. The kayak shape is very similar to a sea kayak with storage in one or more deck pods and a skeg to keep you flowing in a straight line.
Once you get this wired we hope we will have planted a seed to get you exploring our beautiful coastline with some multiday adventures. Fortunately a lot of your lightweight camping skills will cross over nicely, the same principles of packing light and compact are still valid, and the possibility of a bivvy on a secluded beach under the stars has to be appealing.
Saturday morning is already booked out but we still have places Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning so book yourself on the Intro to river touring course now.