Welcome To Go Sea Kayak

Welcome To The Go Sea Kayak Blog...
This Blog is A Record Of My Personal Adventures And Wonderful Kayaking Lifestyle. It Is Also A Taster Of What You Can Expect If You're Adventurous Enough To Tag Along. Why Not Get In Touch And Join One Of Go Sea Kayaks Guided Trips On The Beautiful Mediterranean Island Of Sardinia, You Won't Regret it!

Tuesday 30 August 2011

Three Little Pigs...

Three Little Pigs, Guinea Pigs that is. After failing miserably to drown Peter on Sunday I thought I'd try again with Scott & Haydon this time :)

Both Scott & Haydon had yet to have done a proper sea trip & I wanted to do something special to (Ermm) break them in??? if thats an appropriate term (LOL).

The forecast was for North Westerly 3-4 & I was planning on going one way from Ogmore to the Knap if Stuart was available to be my second should things get a bit hairy as the tide was huge & the area in question a little dodgy at times.
Stuart was free & suggested Llantwit Major to the Knap. Sounded good so with the car portage arranged it was game on.
It was quite bumpy with some surf at Llantwit, not as much as I was hoping for though.

The tide was shoving us along nicely & we had the wind on our backs too. I was really enjoying this & looking forward to the white water at Aberthaw Tower. I decided not to mention this too Scott & Haydon till we were almost there, He He He, naughty Taran ;D
I wish I'd set the video up for the far side of the tower now as it was literally like a white water river. We were on a 14 metre tide at full flow & it just goes a little nuts as it wraps around the tower. Scott, Haydon & Stuart all went wide at this point but after my 4 star training I was feeling confident & ploughed straight through the middle, YEEHAA!!!
I evan practiced a roll in the dying embers of the white water with Stuart keeping an eye on me. Twice a wave pushed me back under but was third time lucky as I kept my head well low (Phew).
It all went very calm after the tower, evan Rhoose point only had tiny waves to play on. Me Scott & Haydon stayed out wide while Stuart went in to explore the shore. I'm used to Stuart wondering off so thought nothing of it as he lagged way behind. Turned out he was pushing against a big back eddy (LOL). Looked knackered when he finally caught up :)
After a few rolls & a fab seal launch, (couldn't resist) it was time to head back to my van in Llantwit.
Found a fab spot to camp for the night & an awesome sunset too. What a fab day...

Sunday 28 August 2011

In At The Deep End...

Today I decided to take Peter from the Glam Boaters to Flat Holm. Although he's a decent kayaker with a good roll it would only be his second trip on the sea.
The forecast was for North to Northwesterly F3-4 becoming F4 with a slight sea. I considered changing the route to one following the coast but I reckoned he'd be OK in this & it was calm at Penarth when we left.

 All calm to start with.

 Getting bumpier as we near our destination.
Things started to really pick up about 1 nautical mile from Flat Holm with some decent standing waves in places as the last of the ebb pushed against the wind.

Time for a rest & explore. I do my tour guide bit knowing quite a bit about the island after so many trips there.

Things were quite bumpy leaving the island & just got worse for most of the trip back.
The predicted slight sea was now a moderate sea state with swells reaching about 2 metres. The swells were messy, breaking and hitting us side on as we battled into a force 4 headwind, this ain't the introduction I had in mind for Peter.

We were drifting on the tide as Peter struggled to to keep pace so I popped him on a tow line to give some assistance though told him to keep paddling. This worked a treat as we were now up to pace.
I was pushing hard to try to pass the left side of South Cardiff Buoy, it was touch & go & I couldn't cut it too tight as Peter was on a tow.
I didn't get a chance to see if we'd make it, the line went tight, Peter was over.
Fair play to him though as he'd made a few attempts at his roll but eventually took a swim. The waves were over a metre at this point so its easy to see how his roll failed.
I did a quick X-rescue to get him back into his boat & we were back underway. We'd drifted past South Cardiff Buoy by now & still had a long hard paddle to Penarth with Peter still under tow. Despite lots of heavy breathing & burning muscles we eventually reached Penarth without further incident.
Back at Penarth you'd never know how rough it was further out? I took off the tow in the calmer water & let Peter make his way in without assistance though I think he was paddling hard under tow as the line rarely went tight.
It turned out to be quite an epic this trip & the thought was always in the back of my mind that a Pan Pan call might have to be put out but luckily Peter did great & coped well with the conditions.

We'll make a sea paddler out of him yet (LOL)...

Thursday 25 August 2011

A Very, Very, Busy Boy! (Club Trips & 4 Star Training)...

Hmmm, 9PM Thursday night I get a call asking me If I can video a wedding the following day? Sounded fun so I did. 
It was a rather spectacular wedding & they had Stavros Flatley & Paul Pot performing in the evening.
 I left the wedding around 11PM & got to Pembrokeshire for 1:30AM ready to meet the Glam Boaters the following day.
I wasn't sure whether to do the Pembroke weekend as I was due in Cornwall for 4 star training on Monday morning, but there were a few novices so a helping hand might be needed.
Day 1 ~ We all met up at Newgale Saturday morning & due to weather conditions decided to head to Parrog near Newport Sands.
Some of the club members had never been on the sea before so we needed somewhere sheltered so they could enjoy their first salty paddle.
Carol & Gareth rockhopping.

Andy the club coach watching them through.

We didn't go far & ended the day with some surfing practice with some good clean waves coming in. I think we all enjoyed the surfing & with little incident :)
Day 2 ~ Solva today, we were hoping to get everyone out to Green Scar rocks & do some rockhopping outside of the harbor. It was clear once we were there though that we would probably have some swimmers so we played it safe & explored the harbor instead.
We did give them some excitement in the bumpy stuff by paddling out to Black Rock. I saw Peter do a good low brace, all good learning :)
I left Newgale about 3PM & started the bloody long drive to Falmouth for my 4 star training with Sea Kayaking Cornwall. After a quick shower in Cardiff on the way through I finally arrived at the Sea Kayaking Cornwall HQ at 10:05PM & camped in their car park for the night.
I chose to do some 4 star training with Sea Kayak Cornwall as I wanted to some surf training & I wasn't to be disappointed.

Day 1

After a quick rescues session at Swan Pool, (in the sea not the lake) we then made our way to the North of Cornwall to find more testing conditions.
Before we launched from Godrevy Jeff gave a briefing & also explained that briefings should be given away from an area that could cause an adrenal reaction. I think he's got a great sense of humour as we were all stood on the cliff top looking wide eyed at the bloody big surf, (Nice).

I was given the task of getting everyone on the water & landing them all in the surf a little further along the beach. I think I demonstrated how not to land as I took a tumble & swam in after my boat (LOL).
Once we were all ashore we all went back out for some surfing practice. The waves were pretty big & had a lot of power, certainly the biggest I've been in :)
I was doing OK, catching some waves, shooting forwards & finishing on a bongo slide that I was sure would have me swimming???
I finally finished with a spectacular capsize & got spun around a few times before I could get out of the kayak. A fab learning curve & I'm definately not going to shy away from surf in future.
Everyone did great & steve, one of the students evan manage a couple of rolls in the surf. Jeff was doing pirouettes on the waves & looked quite at home, I definately need a lot more practice.
It was all grins after the surf as we headed back to the vans. you can just see the surf we were in at the back of the image.

Day 2

Again on the North Shore, we launched from Portreath. Rockhopping & leadership were the goals today.

Jeff suggested stopping for lunch right by a beautiful secluded beach, should of known he'd get us swimming our boats onto a small rock in the bay instead.
Finished the day with some Surf rescues at Portreath & caught a good wave too.

Day 3 
Classroom day for the coastal navigation & tidal planning training. This is a requirement for the 4 star leader assessment & no paddling was required. I did learn a few things though it was quite basic & I think most of us already knew the main bits. We were with Simon for this lesson & he did a fab job explaining things & evan managed to make me understand vectors where so many books have failed.

I did get out for an evening paddle though. They had a large group of people hiring kayaks for a Wednesday evening paddle & Sam & Tim, (two of the 4 star students) & myself volunteered to help out. I was quite surprised to be given a group & told to be back for 8:30PM. Hmmm OK, should be fun. At least my group all had some river experience & weren't novices.

To warm up I set them too edging & soon had my first x-rescue to perform. Jeffs training was coming in useful. I think its good to see people capsize on edging practice as their really trying.
We made our way along the coast from Swan Pool to Pendennis Head before heading back in the dusky light.
Back a little early I threw them in the deep end a bit with some cross bow rudder practice :) after one capsize who rolled up, (forgot your name but well done:) I then set them some stern rudder practice.
Before getting of the water my group wanted to practice their rolls, wasn't expecting that & well done to all for trying. Thought I'd better get them off the water before the coastguard turned up, a great night out.
I had planned to paddle around the Lizard on Thursday but with a South Westerly force 4-5 occasionally 6 with a moderate sea I decided against it & after 5 busy days of kayaking I think I needed a rest...

Oh, and Jeff & Simon from Sea Kayak Cornwall were fab & I would definately recommend them.

I think I got what I need to go for my assessment though I will have to work hard on my skills & practice my leadership too. Time to rope in a few guinea pigs from the club ;D

Thursday 18 August 2011

New Website Ideas...

Heres a couple of designs I've been working on for the new 'Sea Kayaking Adventures' website.
What do you think? Would love some feedback. Cheers, Taran...


Tuesday 16 August 2011

Testing Times In Cardiff Bay...

Monday club at Up & Under & I blag a test in a Valley Aquanaut as its on my shortlist as a fleet boat when I start running tours. I'm also looking at North Shore Atlantic RM & am looking forward to getting a demo to test.

Overall I was well pleased with the handling of the Aquanaut. I know the bay is to calm for a proper test but I was impressed with the easy edging ability, not dissimilar to my Nordkapp & I found the Aquanaut easy to roll too. Definately a contender.

Cheers to Scott for the images :)

Not Strictly Necessary To Test Seal Launching :)

Cheesy Does It... 

A good Turn Out Tonight...

Saturday 13 August 2011


With a windy forecast & low water in the middle of the day I settled for a skills practice in the bay with Stuart.
A few rolls & a visit to Up & Under to blag a cup of tea & discuss my new fleet of kayaks. Whilst there Elan persuaded me to launch from the ramp which was bloody good fun, just need to find a bigger ramp now :)

Sunday 7 August 2011

Who Moved Anglesey?

So there I was, in Cardiff, The van was fueled, loaded. I'd done my sleepless nights worrying about Penrhyn Mawr & the Stacks. I was al set & ready to leave for a solo expedition around Anglesey. I had hoped it to be a bloggers meet with a few of us going but the logistics of co-ordinating free days was proving troublesome.
I'd enquired with Canoe Wales the day previously about a level 1 coaching course & they got back to me the day I was due to leave on my exped with a message saying that there was a level 1 course running next week, (Monday to Thursday). As I really need to do the course for my new kayaking business I booked the course & reluctantly put Anglesey on hold :(

Hmmm, bit of a loose end now for the weekend so I text Stuart to see what he's got planned? He was meeting Stoney, (Martin) & may be Richard in Pembroke. Game on, that'll do :)

I picked Stuart up about 5PM in the van & off we go.

Friday Night, (Solva & Scar Rocks)...
As there was going to be a few hours light left when we got to Pembroke a paddle was definately on the cards, but where? Solva to Green Scar seemed perfect.

Perfect conditions & just a little swell to make the rock-hopping fun. I'd forgot my helmet in the rush to get on the water though so I didn't take many risks. Will make sure I got my lid tomorrow.

 I was feeling really chilled out & loving the late evening light.
We played in the rocks with the swell breaking until darkness hinted we should head back...

Saturday, (Solva to Porthselau)

After the paddle last night we went to the pub & met up with Martin to discuss Saturdays plans. Solva, (conveniently) to Ramsey was agreed & plans made.
 Conditions looked good within the shelter of Solva Harbor.
 Myvanwy was looking good with her new sign writing.
 And Devils horns ;D
 Gay Boy brought a suitcase camping???
 I think Stuarts really looking forward to doing a proper trip in his new boat.
 We meet up with Martin & his Dad, (I'm crap at remembering names) & head off.

 Green scar first.
 Then Black Scar.
Stuarts amused by my square head, (a big waterproof SLR case). See his blog for images.
We head for this fab arch as it was too dark for images last night. The coastline around here really is amazing.

I spot a gnarly run between some rocks that were getting swamped by the swell. I reckoned if I was quick I could get through unscathed?
It started OK till I saw a big swell heading my way. Hmmm, may need to low brace.
 I get flushed towards the rocks.
Luckily I miss them & nail it for the finishing line. Fab adrenaline rush ;)
Cheers to Stuart for the pics.

 A quick break at Porth Clais.

 Amazing rock-hopping at Carreg Yr Esgob.
 Martin shooting a gap.
 A quick rescue as one of us went over as a wave pushed through a narrow gap.

 Crossing to Ramsey, getting excited now :)
WOW, AMAZING. I didn't take many pics but instead put a short video on this post.

 Synchronized paddles as we approach the Bitches.

 A fab tunnel that went right through the headland.
And finally landing at Porthselau. A bugger of a portage to the campsight though I have had worse. Martin & his Dad were kind enough to give us both a lift back to the van in a tiny little car. Looked quite a sight with two 18 foot kayaks on the roof.
Back at Solva & attacking the coffee supplies with vengeance & enjoying the changable weather...

A short video of Ramsey Island...


Its turning out to be a great weekend though Sunday is forecast force 4-7, moderate to rough. Probably should go somewhere sheltered like Dale?
I suggest Skokholm & Skomer. Hmmm, maybe a little ambitious?
 It a wet start as me & Stuart get ready to leave Martins Haven.
 Very wet.
 And pretty windy. Maybe this is a bad idea?

 We head for Midland Gap after deciding Skokholm a bit too challenging.

 Then paddle through the swell to South Haven.
We decide against going around Skomer as the conditions ain't great & the tide hasn't started to flood yet so it can only get worse?
 On the North side its a different story, maybe its getting calmer?
 We chill in North Haven for a bit.
Hmmm, wonder what jack sound is going to be like? Turned out it was quite lively & certainly held our concentration.

A few rolls to finish the day & also the fab weekend. I'll have to try & get to Anglesey soon as I'm definately wanting to do it this year.