Welcome To My World of Pedals and Paddles

An account of my Sea Kayaking and Mountain Biking exploits

Monday, 20 September 2010

Summer & Autumn Round Up 2010

After a good start last April and May my blog went quiet mainly due to facebook.
To bring the blog up to date I thought it may be a good idea to show off a few of my escapades.

The summer was actually very busy with lots of variety, although some of the activities may not appear particularly newsworthy to others so apologies for that

At the end of May we decided to change our motorhome, the old one was getting on a bit and causing us a few headaches.

Of course if you have a new toy you have to use it so we spent three weekends in a row at Newgale.

We really love this place, it is not too far from home so very convenient for a weekend.

The campsite is just over the road from the beach, just a shame it does not take dogs. There is a pub next door and Solva is just down the road where there are some great places to eat out. St Davids is a little further on up the road and is home to the famous Cathedral as well as Ma Simes's Surf Shack. You can probably guess which one I prefer to visit.

The long sandy beach is huge and ideal for kayaks as there is plenty of room to keep out of the way of the boardies and their attitude problems.

I surfed my Axiom.

Em surfed her sit on top.

We then received an invite to visit Barmouth and RV with the girls and Neil.This was to be a biking weekend so we rode the MBR at Coed y brenin.

This trail was a lot more gnarly than I remembered. H had a nasty off and I confess to walking a couple of bits. Mainly where the Rangers had put up 'skull and cross bones' signs which had the effect of pysching me out. The new visitors centre was quite immpressive and a big improvement on the old one.

I then rediscovered Cardiff International White Water. I had paddled it on the day that it opened. The course is quite tricky so the best time to get used to it is during the warm summer months.

With August came a lull in work so we headed over the channel to France for a couple of weeks.

We then chased sun down the west coast to within twenty minutes of Spain. John our surfing Guru has a very nice place and he and is family made us very welcome for a week.

We then cruised back up to Carnac via Archachon.

We managed a couple of rides along the Archachon Basin. I did not try the sea kayak because apparently the tide goes out 5KM and without local knowledge I did not want to get stranded.

At Carnac we booked a trip with Eric from Sillages. The wind was too strong for a scenic paddle along the Cote ge Sauvage so we took a spin down the coast from the French National Sailing Centre.

This gave Em a chance to try a real sea kayak.

The week after I returned from France I managed to get a last minute place on the South West Sea Kayak meet in Devon.

This event was organised by Mark Rainsely off the UKRGB and invloved paddling on the Saturday, drinks in the Pigs Nose, the local pub combined with talks on sea kayaking trips. The talks were very interesting and gave a great in sight into paddling in places I have never visited.

On Sunday the weather was due to pick up so we paddled out of Salcombe and indulged in a bit of rock hopping.

A few weekends later and it was off to Cardiff for a full on trip to CIWW.

Saturday morning Kath and I gave the course a go in kayaks.

In the afternoon we teamed up with H and Em for a hot dog session.
These sessions are aimed at complete beginners so we commenced with all the health and safety stuff and capsize drills.

Followed by defensive swimming and getting used to the bottom section of the course where any mishaps result in you washing out into the main lagoon.

This is a brilliant way to introduce people to white water and we had a great laugh.

Then we had a couple of spins down the course.

October came and with it the sound of wedding bells, but first the stag do.

For this we headed over the channel (the Bristol on this time) to Woolacombe.

After a Friday night warm up it hangovers and paintballing. This was great fun and the final result was Welsh Guards nil Royal Marines one.

Saturday afternoon saw some of the boys go surfing. The swell was huge so I did not have a problem letting Matt borrow my kit. He gave a lesson in how it should be done.

Soon it was November and Rich from southwales seakayaking kindly agreed to take me through my 3 star sea assessment which I passed. This leaves me sufficiently qualified to take part in some adventure racing next year. Looking forward to that!

We launched from Llantwit Major and paddled down the coast passed Nash Point returning with the tide. Then we had to roll and perform rescues, seeing as this was November I was glad to get that bit over with.

Now we have the cold weather which looks set to continue so this is probably it as far as Kayaking goes for 2010 - A very good year!

I wonder what is round the corner?


Kathel said...

A good round up Jim! Let's hope 2011 is just as exciting!!

Richard said...

Good to see you kept your self busy during the Summer and Autumn, look forward to reading oh this year's exploits.