Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Essentials Sea Kayak Festival

Having been invited by the festival organisers to do some guiding and show some films, I had been looking forward to this event for a while. As soon as I arrived at the Anglesey Outdoors centre on the Friday evening I realised that this was going to be a wonderful get together. The Paddlers Return Bar was buzzing to the sound of excited voices in an eclectic mix of accents from around the UK and Europe. Hearty handshakes, big bear hugs and chinking pint pots went on late into the night.

On Saturday morning I teamed up with Justine Curgenven to lead a group of intermediate paddlers from Rhoscolyn to Trearrdur Bay and back again. The gentle westerly breeze kicked up the race at Rhoscolyn into a challenging roller coaster ride so we didn't stay there for long. Instead we rummaged our way between, beneath and behind some unlikely parts of the Anglesey coastline.

Justine's talk in the evening was about her adventures with Barry Shaw in Tierra Del Fuego. Amazing photos, film clips and stories from two years of expeditions showed that even the best plans can leave unforeseen challenges.

Sunday was sunny and calm. Olly Jay and I teamed up to lead a group along the west side of Anglesey.

The rockhopping there was excellent and the sporadic swell added some extra challenges.

Later on Marcus Demuth gave a talk which was an amusing yet candid insight into how his steep learning curve led to some unexpected challenges on some of his expeditions.

On Monday, the final guided trip was at Rhoscolyn with Mike Maybury.

At first we found some excellent conditions for rockhopping but later the increasing swell made conditions difficult. We found ourselves staying away from the classic arches and gullies.

Since the weekend I have remained on Anglesey to join some of the BCU courses and enjoy the blustery conditions that Autumnal Anglesey has to offer.

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