Canoe Leader Award

Canoe Leader Open Water

With the new BC Canoe Leader Award structure now implemented candidates are coming forward for the newly separated open water and white water elements.  Steve ran an Open Water assessment last week in the Lakes which went very well.  It’s become quickly apparent that the majority of individuals seeking these awards are predominantly interested in the Open Water award as it tends to fit best with situations in which they will be leading e.g. outdoor centres and clubs.  The training and assessment for both elements now permit greater coverage of the required skills and knowledge to be an effective leader in these environments – this is a clear benefit of the new system.

The ability to focus on either discipline in isolation is proving popular, as the numbers enrolling on the specific training days has increased significantly.  If you are keen to further your qualifications to lead in either moderate or advanced open or white water in canoe Steve will be pleased to help you: his next Canoe Leader training courses are Oct 16th & 17th for open water and white water respectively, with further courses on the 6th & 7th Nov.  Get in touch for a discussion at

By |September 22nd, 2021|Canoe|Comments Off on Canoe Leader Award

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

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

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

Canoe Leader assessment

Canoe Leader assessment 2

We managed to run the Canoe Leader assessment for three candidates last weekend and, thanks to high water levels and some windy conditions, found excellent venues at the top of the remit.  This will be the last moderate or advanced water leader assessment run in this format as, from January 4th, British Canoeing are splitting canoeing into white water and open water disciplines.  BC are also moving to single day assessments with 2 candidates maximum.  For those specifically interested in canoeing, this will enable candidates to work on only the discipline they need or prefer, or to work towards both separately.  I’ll publish a further post in the New Year when the scheme is up and running, I’ll also put up information on the various updated courses.

If anyone has any questions about the upcoming changes please get in touch and I’ll do my best to assist.

By |December 23rd, 2020|Canoe|Comments Off on Canoe Leader assessment

Canoe Leader assessment

British Canoeing Personal Performance Awards

We are still aiming to run our Canoe Leader assessment on the 19th & 20th December in Cumbria with all required Covid-19 precautions in place.  There is currently one place available for anyone interested in joining the course – possibly the last one to be run in the UK under the present BC scheme.  Please get in touch if you’re looking for this assessment and we’ll do our best to help.

By |December 4th, 2020|Canoe|Comments Off on Canoe Leader assessment

Canoe Leader assessment

Canoe Leader Training

Steve has put on an additional British Canoeing Canoe Leader assessment for the 19th & 20th December.  The course has plenty of interest but some spaces are still available if anyone is in need of this course.  As with all assessments, Steve will be very happy to discuss the course with candidates in advance so they know what will be expected and how the two days will be run.  The assessment will be based in Cumbria; the exact venues will be based on the weather and conditions at the time, though Steve will be able to give you an idea of potential venues.

By |November 1st, 2020|Canoe|Comments Off on Canoe Leader assessment

Yukon canoe expedition

Wind River Canoe Expedition 2022

Due to the ongoing coronavirus situation, we’ve decided to postpone our canoe expedition down the Wind River in the Canadian Yukon until the summer of 2022.  Whilst we have sufficient interest, both we and our potential clients are still concerned about committing to the trip due to the lack of a resolution to the pandemic in the short term.  We are hopeful we’ll have both a vaccine with a high effectiveness coupled to high takeup of it by 2022 which will permit us to travel more safely.  To replace this trip in 2021 Steve is going to run his Assynt canoe trip in May, as well as an additional week-long canoe expedition in the Outer Hebrides in the subsequent week.  Details are posted on the canoe expeditions page – please get in touch if you are interested in these amazing, remote canoe journeys.

By |October 24th, 2020|Canoe|Comments Off on Yukon canoe expedition
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