Saturday, 23 April 2011

Mad river women

John Rae, Erlend and Einar look on.

Taking advantage of a calm evening we wrestled the heavy craft to the water - it never looked so low and far down the slip. Northern Kayaker passed on some helpful hints gleaned from a Glenmore Lodge weekend.

Squeezing through between the tugs takes strength and a lot of nerve!

This is how you do it!

OK, so there were no rivers!

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Location, location, location

Orkney's landscape is treeless. There are no rivers. The low hills allow the almost constant summer F3 or F4 breeze to proceed uninhibited across the exposed lochs. Orkney is made for sea kayaking rather than canoeing, but a-canoeing we must go if four of us local coaches are to fulfill the criteria for the L2 coach assessment in June.
Kristian coaches single blade skills.
Canoeing brings to mind mountains, lakes, rivers and forests; camping and bushcraft skills, not street lights and ferry terminals. However finding a bit of flat water in a sheltered spot in our windswept islands can be a big problem  Boat, body, blade and WIND can be a discouraging combination. So off we go to Kirkwall Marina, though it is still pretty exposed, on a good day the water is relatively flat.

Peter coaches sea kayak skills.
We miss having access to a local quarry which is sheltered from most wind directions - a rare reliability which rewards the efforts we put in to our endeavours and allows us to make real gains in skills.

A year ago in the marina.

Hopefully Northern Kayaker has returned from the Coach Development weekend at Glenmore Lodge with lots of hints and tips!