Sea Kayaking Wales – How it all started… By Geth Roberts
Eleven years ago I started paddling with Rich and Paul. This was the start of a weekly kayaking get together that would grow and later become known as the Saturday gang. At some point Rich started suggesting that we work on a kayaking business together. This business started forming in 2015 as Sea Kayaking Wales and properly became established in 2018 when I finished secondary school teaching. We were all proud, me especially so, during the first SKW Open Day to be coaching together as a team of three, our first time doing so with SKW. A lot has happened since 2008 and a pipe dream has been realised… We thank all of the Open Day participants for sharing this day with us!
When 13 is a lucky number… By Rich Janes
At SKW we are not usually superstitious but today was the first SKW open day and we truly wanted everyone to have a good time. We met thirteen paddlers in the cafe this morning.Now, the (probably unverifiable) hypothesis holds that 13 is an unlucky number because it reflects the human fear of the unknown, since it is the first number that cannot be enumerated using our available digits.Within minutes of our meeting, everyone was chatting like old friends! Past trips, planned trips, courses and oh, … Today! Thirteen interesting, talented and great people joined us for our first SKW ‘Open Day’ and what an excellent day it was…..
The purpose of the day was to give folk a ‘flavour’ of what we do and an SKW requisite, have a fun day.
The plan was for Geth, Paul and Rich to Guide and facilitate our groups to enjoy the fabulous coastline around Rhoscolyn. We split into three groups. A minor mathematical challenge dividing thirteen by three but hey, we’re clever!
The forecast for the day was light, Northerly wind. Little swell and a generally ebbing Spring tide. Beauty of Spring tides hereabouts is that high water (Local, 0845) is in the morning and not too far to carry boats. Hard work at the end of the day, though.Formalities of ‘briefing’ and not so formalities out of the way, we paddled out of the bay, heading generally North. ‘Generally’ meaning the beautiful conditions allowed us to explore every ‘nook and cranny’, adrenaline fixes satiated between gaps and …. Er,. On rocks. So much fun, so many laughs! Narrow slots, gullys and the Arches appeared all too soon. We had planned to meet at 1300 for lunch in Porth y Corwgl. We had over spent our time! So, we headed out to sea to enjoy the ebbing tide escalator to take us back to Rhoscolyn Beacon.
We would have loved to have been able to offer time in the tide races for which these parts are well known. But light winds had created a beautiful mirror sea and the scenery was simply wonderful. The sun now picking out colours in ancient cliffs, snowy mountain backdrop and the Beacon in the foreground. I think everyone was captured by the very special environment. The tide had now carried us down to the Beacon. No (playable) tide race today and the group tested their skills squeezing through impossibly narrow gaps.
The continuos chatter and laughing continued over lunch. Even the sun put in an appearance and felt warm! Well, for a bit, then we were cold so we headed South towards Silver Bay with more spirited rock hopping before our turnaround time, carefully calculated using British Canoeing 9 ‘star’ techniques to best balance getting off the water with time for a quick visit to the pub before home time.
More chatting, laughing and making plans.One day with such good people and it feels we have been paddling together for years.
Very lucky number, thirteen!