The aim of this course was to offer support and opportunities to assist individuals in working towards addressing their action plans following their 4 star leader training courses. There was only 4 places, and the course was full. The first day was personal skills and what ever supported their action plans and with light winds forecast the Stacks was our destination. So after some tidal planning we drove across the island to Porth Dafarch, with the aim of catching the last of the flood at Penryhn Mawr and then on to Parliament House cave, before returning on the ebb, making it a 20k day.
I some time feel this element is often missed out, which is clearly stated on the 4 star leader assessment syllabus - "capable of paddling 15 to 20 miles" which equates to 30 to 40 kilometres and at the end of the day is as a leader one of our main and essential skills ...effective forward paddling. If you need to stick a towline on someone you still need to be able to keep a reasonable pace, while guiding the group.
All were pleased with our location for the day, and it was magic out there, with a good spring tide, arrival at the end of the flood still provided some useful initial conditions.
Andy above crossing the flood ...
We paddled up through Annie's arch (the narrow channel between South stack and Holy Island) and use eddy streams to get to parliament house cave, paddling into the occasional zawn (Steve in the foreground above), exploring as we went .... after some lunch and meeting both Nick Cunliffe and Barry Shaw and their teams, we headed up towards North Stack race, now in the 4th hour of the ebb.
I set various short tasks in the flow ... Gary above and then moved on to rescues and options we had ...
Andy on the right making contact with Gary ....
Tavi having towed Steve out of the main flow, set up a ladder rescue (Steve self rescues and climbs up his back deck), which she found easy to manage.
We then got the great conveyor belt of time to push us back to South Stack. We turned into the current above the race, which was well formed and had a couple of surfs before natural capsizes, which provided real opportunities for rescue.
The following day was F5-7 SW so we headed for the Straits and Y Felinheli to use the flood and then the ebb to return to our start, allowing a lot of variety of conditions. Today I also had Nick Cunliffe joining me who was going to work with two of the group in the morning, on what each person wanted, while I had the other two, working on leading Zoe, Tracy and Simon. We would then swap in the afternoon.
Zoe heading out with Y Felinheli in the back ground ...
From left to right, Simon, Tracy Steve and Zoe. We had some super conditions which provide great training and useful opportunities for reflection, while we sipped a drink on the lawn opposite the Garddffon inn. Another great end to a weekend.
sea kayaking course
north wales sea kayaking