Northumberland Sea Kayaking: Skills Coaching
I met Chris and Mark at Amble Marina on a bright sunny morning in June. They were ready for two days of sea kayak skills coaching. Chris has been paddling for some time while this was completely new for Mark. After some foundation skills work in the harbour, we headed out through the piers and worked on forward paddling technique as we paddled out and around Coquet Island, about 1Nm offshore.After lunch, it was time to get wet. We covered bracing and practiced in the small surf break along the beach. And then to self rescues. Starting with some balance games, we were soon clambering all over our boats – forwards, sideways, backwards, spinning around and even standing up!Careful…..which quite naturally led to plenty of self rescues….We finished the day with deep water rescues and even more capsizes before sitting down to plan our second day together.
Day two was a bit breezy, with a forecast of F3/4. However, skills had really come on on day one so we headed to Bamburgh for a trip out to the Inner Farne Islands. We had a 2Nm crossing to Megstone where we rested and watched the seals.Although it was bright, the wind was up and against the tide, so we had a wet paddle down to Inner Farne, and a spectacular circumnavigation of the island before landing on the rocky shoreline for lunch. When we got back on the water the tide was streaming through, so we practiced breaking in and out, ferry glides and then rough water boat handling.We worked hard, and developed some great skills!Then it was time to explore again. It’s the peak time of year for nesting birds, and the variety and numbers were amazing.And the rocky shore line allowed us to practice our rock hopping close quarter skills too.Soon it was time to head back. The swell had picked up during the day, which gave us the chance to practice our surf landing technique back at Bamburgh beach. A great couple of days on the water, and it’s fantastic to see skill levels and confidence increase so much.