I was begging to try sea kayaking for such a long time! I have been in sea kayaks and I've kayaked on the sea, but I'd never put them together before. So, my Mum and I (my Dad couldn't join us as he needed to look after my sisters who are too young to paddle) booked a session with Sea Kayak Plockton. I was very excited but on the day it was very windy and rainy so we weren't sure that we'd go. But, after meeting the other person on the course and the instructor, we decided to go. So we hauled on our kit (and I got into the Tempest165, a really nice small but long boat with an adjustable seat) and paddled out into the gray sea...
We paddled around a bit and at first I found the wind quite scary because it snatched at my paddles and made me feel quite unstable, especially in an unfamiliar boat. But, after a while, I got used to the boat and felt a bit more confident. We (well I, because my Mum and the other guy on the course were both quite experienced) did some work on efficient forwards paddling and edging. Finally, the skies started to clear. It went from this:
Ignore my awful posture. After the wind had calmed down a bit, we stopped for lunch.
The beach was actually made out of tiny pieces of coral-like algae which was so pretty. Here's a photo of one:
We then paddled out to sea a bit more, picking up the swell which made it a lot more choppy. I was starting to go into "rapid mode" aka when I start feeling out of my comfort zone. After looking at some seal on a rock, I learned how to do a high wind turn where you put down the skeg and reversed backwards before finished it off with some sweep strokes. Then we tucked back into shelter for the way back.
Once we were back on dry land, it was time for the dreaded boat carry (or at least I dread it, because I'm weak). Before I got to tell my sisters all about the day!
Thank you Sea Kayak Plockton for the great day and thank you Mum for booking (and paying) for it!
Last weekend my canoe club had a trip going down the River Thames. I think it was from Whitney on Wye to Hereford. After we were all changed into our kit (you can see me in my bright green, purple and green gear to the left, I look great, I know, I know), we messed around while waiting for the adults to sort out the shuttle. This mostly meant saving the fish and sliding down a rail because why not?
Finally, we got onto the river. My Mum and I were back in our dream team - sharing a canoe. You'll probably see us swapping paddles a bit as I started with my whitewater paddle which made my arms SO tired because it's BIG so then I stole my Mum's flat water one when my flat water one was just chilling under the seat - but oh well.
As you can see, the weather wasn't great so everyone was very happy when we arrived at the lunch stop and it had finally stopped raining. My Mum and Dad seem to have purchased these snazzy new chairs so while we sat on the wet ground, they just sat smugly on them, telling us we could always buy our own!
We set off again down the river. Lots of people were getting tired and although I was VERY happy to see the campsite, I didn't actually feel that bad. In this photo you can see I've stolen my Mum's paddle.
At last, we turned the corner and boom, the campsite was there. After a big scurry to get the canoes out the water, we set up our tents and got out of our kit.
We had dinner (and lots of other snacks - canoeing makes you hungry) and read a bit in the tents.
Then the most intense game of man hunt started. I'm going to give you a play by play of what happened and it literally ended up with my heard beating so fast because it got so intense.
First, my sisters, my friend and myself ran down a long field and hit behind a bush. We were there for ages but then the tagger came. The field was so long that we didn't even have to run but it was thin so there wasn't really a way to get around him. I went up the field but my friend just ran for it - which worked and she got out. After a lot of dodging and waiting, my sister and I decided just to run for it. I kept running like hell and made it out of the field but my sisters were caught and never made it. I ran down to my friend's tent and we hung around there until the attackers came. I went left down towards the river and she went right - she survived a bit but most of the attackers followed her so she was caught. I hid down by the river and, then my sisters found me. Even though they were caught they were on my team so we ran up and hid in the ladies toilets BECAUSE THE BOYS COULDN'T GO THERE! However, we could hide there forever so we all ran up to our car and hid in there but then the boys found us. The other boy who wasn't yet caught was in the car as well and when we all ran out of it, I think he got caught. But I ran across the field and hid in the long grass and then that was pretty much the end of the game. SO MUCH FUN.
We then sat around a fire and messed around the field (which was getting misty). We went to bed very late (and I was reading fan fiction on my phone until later) so when we got up the next morning, I didn't look very awake...at all...
But it was back into the paddling kit and getting the canoes set up before a mad hassle to get everyone on the water.
It was time for Monnington falls. Sounds scary? Well it wasn't. Basically, it was just a tight bend and a little wave train. In higher water making the bend could be a lot harder so you would be swept into the trees but we didn't have that issue so it was easy as pie. All good!
It was nice and raining, just in time for lunch. After lunch, I swapped boats and if you think it looks still in that photo, the one below shows as bad as it got, not very. It was only grade 1 which means it's just "riffles with small waves with few obstructions that can be easily missed with little training". But I wasn't there for the whitewater (if you're wondering why I have a helmet then, it's there to see the rain off).
There might not have been much whitewater to see, but there was some cute bird things (I've forgotten the name - like a pro).
FINALLY, we reached the end it was time to get back to civilization and internet. It was fun though!
Over the weekend, my family and I, with our club, did a 23 mile paddle down the River Wye, just for two days. It wasn't that far but it was quite fun and relaxing. I was in a boat, mostly, with my Mum and while paddling we started joking about all of the different boats that kayakers/ canoeists need. So here in the incomplete (and most likely inaccurate) list of boats required by every paddler!
(This is a complete joke and I doubt anyone actually has all of the following boats. Although, wouldn't it be the dream!)
That's all I can think of right now. I'm sure that some of those cross over but I don't know a lot about them. For example, I'm not sure how similar a boat you use for slalom and wild water racing because I don't know a lot about them. I also didn't include anything about sea racing besides the sea kayak. This is mostly because I know nothing about racing in kayaks or canoes.
Anyways, so once you've got all of the needed kayaks, you just need to find somewhere to keep them!
Good luck xx
Last weekend, my mum, my dad and I, went out kayaking around South Wales. It was quite an overcast day but the rain had stopped by the time we arrived. I haven't kayaked in somewhere so busy for a while and I forgot how many stares you get and how many little children go "Mummy, Mummy, look it's a ship". It's all quite amusing. But you just get on with it and try your best to get gracefully into your boat (a feat I fail at every time) before you paddle off and leave behind the noise and the chatter of the city as the sea takes your attention.
Of course, I am the youngest by quite a way with my parents (although I am not the smallest). This means that I would probably be at a disadvantage anyway when it comes to speed. However, this is not helped by the fact that Dad was paddling his touring boat (quite long) and Mum her "small" sea kayaking (very long). Look at the size difference!
After paddling around the head, it was time to put on our helmets and do a bit of rock hopping. I love the sea. It's so relaxing unlike the constant thrill of WW (white water). Plus, I love exploring all the different little nooks and secret places in the rocks. That only you will be able to get to via the water.
Time for a bit of exploring!
Sadly, on the sea you are constantly checking the time to stay in keeping with the tide. And so, it was time to head back. We were already a bit late and ended up confronting my first ever race! (A race is a natural occurrence where a fast moving tide passes through a constriction resulting in the formation of waves, eddies and hazardous current - thank you Wiki for the definition.) It was really small, just some more pronounced waves and confused water really as we headed through the channel between two islands. But still - it was awesome.
On my birthday weekend, my friend Siân and I went to the lake do have a bit of fun (well I hope that it was fun anyway). It was quite a grey day but I think that in the end, when you are in the water, the colour of the sky doesn't bother you so much.
There were two team crafts out at the lake. The first team was my sisters on a SUP board (yes, they paddle it duo).
And the second team is myself and Siân in a canoe. I'm the one in green at the back and Siân is the one in yellow at the front. We were paddling partners in the Ardeche (a river in France) so we got into the routine quite quickly.
It was time to stop being nice to each other and get out the water pistols!
Little bit of a disagreement there.... Oh well, the team is back and working together to shoot at the camera man (aka my dad)!
After my Dad was wet, we moved on to firing at my sisters but it turns out that we didn't need to fire at them to get them soaked as they managed to do that themselves...
It was time for a tactical operation: get on the SUP!
Siân boarded first while I sorted out the canoe (well you can't just leave it floating in the middle of the lake so my mum tied it into her boat with a tow line). But I soon joined in the fun!
Although it looks like my time on the SUP board might be short lived...
Finally, it was time to head into the edge. Either we got fatter or the boat got filled with water...
After Siân got out, I was going to do a bit of rolling but the water was too cold really and it was a bit of a shock to have my head under there for any length of time. I was a bit worried that I'd lost my roll because of the way I panicked in the cold water but at the pool session I rolled up first time so I'm a happy bunny as it was just the cold water!
Hi, I'm Zoe
I'm a teenager and this is my blog. I update it roughly every other day (I'm a lazy teenager, sometimes I'm too busy wasting my life on YouTube or with fan fiction).