Shetland Sea Kayak trip

Steve is just back from a fabulous sea kayak trip to Shetland which was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone.  The sun shone most of the time and we were able to paddle ten different pieces of coastline including spectacular highlights at Eshaness, Hillswick, Ronas Voe, Sand Voe and, as a grand finale, a stunning day out with a view over Muckle Flugga.  As ever, Shetland supplements such excursions with fabulous wildlife: we had wonderful, up-close views of many species of flora and fauna rare or absent on mainland UK both from our kayaks and whilst exploring on land.

We met lots of friendly and helpful folk during our time in the islands, in particular, Claire at Braewick did a great job of looking after our camping needs, whilst George at Noonsbrough was very kind and helpful as we tried to find a suitable parking and launching point- even making a dovetailed wooden momento which he gave to Steve after our paddle.

If you’d like to get a flavour of our Northern adventures click through the images on the left, all taken on the trip.  If you are interested in future trips to Shetland, sea kayak trips in general or any of the other adventure excursions Steve offers, please get in touch and he’ll do his best to help you.

By |June 28th, 2021|Sea Kayak|Comments Off on Shetland Sea Kayak trip

Where Eagles Dare

We are just returned from a spectacular, remote and committing trip to the Hebrides where Steve ran a six day canoe journey into the loch-ridden interior of Lewis.  For five straight days we did not encounter another human being – that’s difficult to do even on our Canadian trips – and provides an insight into just how little visited an area it is.  There are reasons for this of course: it’s challenging with long paddling days on exposed open water; variable and rapidly changing weather; difficult ground for camping and, of course, it’s not without its portages.   Notwithstanding this, and bearing in mind the famous Canadian canoeist Bill Mason and his quote “… you get a better class of paddler after the first portage”, we endeavoured to live up to his ideals ensuring we left no trace of our passing through, save for a few footprints in the sand.  Our reward was a unique trip in a fantastic landscape full of wonderful views and amazing wildlife: we had regular encounters with sandpipers, cuckoos, grouse, snipe and divers, though these were upstaged by the almost constant presence of eagles above our tents – at one point we had four circling overhead, then landing and taking off again close by to soar with a backdrop of the snow capped peaks of Harris’s mountains.

This trip will live long in the memory.  Thank you to everyone who came to join us on the journey.

By |May 26th, 2021|Canoe|Comments Off on Where Eagles Dare

Cumbria Sea Kayaking

Steve’s first paddling course since the easing of Covid restrictions was a three day Sea Kayak Leader training course using St Bees, Walney Island and Roa Island.  The course culminated with a great day for everyone at Roa Island, starting with a launch into a flooding 10m spring tide flow and surfing on the wave crossing the jetty by the lifeboat station.

A serendipitous encounter with Mark Tomlinson of MT Headspace led to him filming us with his drone and the production of the adjoining video clip.  Depending on your screen resolution it can be played picture in picture or full screen in HD.

Steve’s next Sea Kayak Leader course is the 11th & 12th May on the Cumbrian coast.  If you’re interested in this course or sea kayaking at any level please get in touch with us and we’ll do our best to help.

By |April 30th, 2021|Sea Kayak|Comments Off on Cumbria Sea Kayaking

Going Underground

Cave Leader assessment

Not quite as intended by The Jam – and we certainly weren’t in a jam, but last week we did manage to run our first caving course for 15 months.  Perfect dry and warm conditions, coupled to new freedoms, enabled us to provide a Cave Leader assessment in the Ingleborough area of the Yorkshire Dales.  Whilst we adhered tightly to Covid-19 rules, this didn’t prevent the candidate and their group having an excellent day out.  We later also learned that this was the first such course to be run nationally since the easing of lockdown, so we’re pleased to be at the vanguard of what we hope to be more exciting but safe adventures going underground.

If you’re interested in trying caving, or in progressing your caving qualifications, please get in touch with Steve who’ll be pleased to help you.

By |April 20th, 2021|Cave|Comments Off on Going Underground

Shetland sea kayaking

Shetland sea kayaking

If you’re already a sea kayaker and are looking for your next adventure with support, Steve has put on two weeks of sea kayaking in Shetland in mid-June.  Shetland is Steve’s favourite place to go sea kayaking as the combination of its geology and position in the North Atlantic has led to a intricate coastline with countless caves, arches, stacks, tunnels and cliffs.  To add to this is the sense of remoteness and the stunning wildlife: you’re guaranteed to see amazing sea birds with the chance to spot some very rare species.  Otters and seals are common and porpoises, dolphins, minke whales and orcas may come our way.  These weeks are suitable for competent sea kayakers; if you’re interested please get in touch with Steve.  Further sea kayak weeks will be advertised shortly for the early Autumn.

By |March 29th, 2021|Sea Kayak|Comments Off on Shetland sea kayaking

Hebridean canoe trip May 2021

Hebrides canoe trip

Steve’s Hebridean canoe trip is definitely running, barring a reversal in the easing of lockdown.  This adventure canoeing holiday is from the 17th to 21st May and is a wild camping, self-sufficient journey in the spectacular wild lands of Harris and Lewis.  As with Steve’s Assynt expedition, we will build in a day to explore the surrounding mountains and abundant local wildlife, or to just laze in camp reading or absorbing the experience.  The exact itinerary will be kept flexible to fit in with client needs and the weather and conditions at the time.

The ferries are filling up fast but there are a few places remaining on this trip, so if you’re interested in coming along please get in touch as soon as possible.

By |March 20th, 2021|Canoe|Comments Off on Hebridean canoe trip May 2021

The tides of March

The tides of March

The government is indicating that professional, organised outdoor sport and activity may be able to recommence from March 29th.  Clearly, any such activity will need to be very mindful of the ongoing Covid-19 situation.  Steve is listing courses from this date starting with a Sea Kayak Leader training course as it coincides with spring tides.  However, he does realise that we are all out of practice so has put on further Sea Leader training courses in April and May as well as the attendant Coastal Navigation course.  As per the earlier post the assessment for this award is now significantly changed; Steve has highlighted dates on which he can run assessments, though encourages anyone needing an alternative date to get in touch so he can help.  All Steve’s provision will strictly adhere to Covid-19 rules and procedures to ensure everyone’s wellbeing.

By |March 7th, 2021|Sea Kayak|Comments Off on The tides of March

BC Canoe Leader award changes

British Canoeing Leadership & Safety courses

In addition to the BC leadership award assessment changes listed in the previous post, their Canoe Leader and Advanced Canoe leader awards will now be divided into open water and white water.  This means that individuals wishing to specialise in only one environment will be able to gain the specific award they require following a single day assessment – or single day plus night exercise for advanced candidates on open water.  Anyone wishing to lead on white water and open water will need to take both assessments, though they do not need to be done on consecutive days as was previously the case.  It will also be possible to mix and match levels so, for example, an advanced open water test could be matched with a moderate water WW assessment.

Steve is able to run all these courses and will continue to offer training courses for canoeing leadership awards.  Please contact him to discuss your requirements.

By |February 19th, 2021|Canoe|Comments Off on BC Canoe Leader award changes

British Canoeing leadership assessment courses

Advanced Sea Kayak Leader Training

From January 4th 2021 British Canoeing have changed the format of their professional paddlesport leadership assessments to reduce the assessment time, though they have also reduced the ratio so that only 2 people maximum may be assessed at once – and they are encouraging 1:1. The new system allows a more bespoke approach so that assessments can be arranged with and tailored to candidate’s requirements and diaries. Whilst Steve will advertise available dates for moderate water and advanced water assessments in canoeing, sea kayaking and white water kayaking, you can also contact him for alternatives that are more suitable for you.

Most courses can be run anywhere there are suitable conditions, though travel and necessary accommodation outside of Steve’s local area is likely to incur extra cost unless he advertises assessments at specific non-local venues e.g. for Advanced Sea Leader the assessment may be available immediately after a training course run further afield where conditions are more consistently available.  Advanced canoe and sea leader assessments will still include a night exercise, advanced sea will further require a theory examination.

By |February 19th, 2021|Canoe, Sea Kayak, White Water Kayak|Comments Off on British Canoeing leadership assessment courses

Skill Acquisition course

Skill Acquisition 2

Following on from the publication of his latest paper Steve ran a two day Skill Acquisition course online.  This was a first for Steve but did allow participants to join from the Far East as well as from the length and breadth of the UK.  A stimulating and interesting two days were had with many engaging debates around the topics Steve introduced.

If you are interested in Skill Acquisition in any field and would like to better understand the latest research and its implications for learning and teaching then get in touch with Steve.  He’ll be pleased to hear from you and happy to help.

By |December 23rd, 2020|Skill Acquisition|Comments Off on Skill Acquisition course
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