I recently had the privilege of attending two evening starter sea-kayaking sessions on Killington Lake on 4th and 11th of May.
I had only been in a sea-kayak once before, and I had a sense of trepidation as I made my way from work in heavy rain to attend the first session. As I joined the rest of the group, it appeared I was not alone in feeling nervous. Mike and Mac did their best to set us at ease, giving us some general information before getting us kitted up and out on the water.
The rain eased, and we began to receive instruction on the basics of sea-kayaking. Before long we were all moving well on the water, and the nerves began to settle. In addition to focusing on the practical and technical aspects, Mike and Mac successfully shared their passion for sea-kayaking and let us know the pathways available to us if we wished to develop in the future.
As the evening progressed, the weather continued to improve. We saw some wildlife including large numbers of nesting cormorants on a nearby island. Our technique and confidence increased at a rate I had not expected for the first session. By the end of the evening the wind had completely dropped, there was a coating of snow on the Howgills, and we had also been treated to a double rainbow. A satisfied group of participants went their separate ways, looking forward to the next session.
The following week we met again. This time there were enough people for two groups. I was with the same group who had attended the previous week and we started where we left off, practicing what we had learned. It was surprising how much we had remembered and progressed after only one session. I clearly hadn’t remembered everything, as I inadvertently demonstrated how to capsize to the group. I was well supported to get back in the kayak that had thrown me, and continued for the rest of the session. Once again the weather smiled on us and we were treated to a calm, sunny evening on the lake. We were fortunate to have good views of both Canadian and Greylag geese and goslings. After working us through the different techniques of paddling, Mike got us all to slow down and savour being out on the water in glorious conditions, taking in the sights, sounds and wildlife. We had spent a good while out on the water this evening. Mike also told us about other events open to us over the summer and beyond for anyone who wishes to follow up these taster sessions.
Two sessions in and I’m hooked and have joined a club. I’m already booked on another session and I plan to attend more over the rest of the year. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mike and Mac for these wonderful starter sessions. They were really well tailored to the needs of the participants, helping us to gradually build confidence and setting the tone about the aim to develop new sea-kayakers from beginner level.
This time from Gavin Smallbone who ran a WW session on the Eden.
"A wonderful day on the Eden with Tom and Steve, for a day's coaching they have assured me they learnt lots and even got a tan. Really engaging team, keen to learn and develop their skills."
“I was able to thank Mac yesterday, but had to shoot off before you came off the water. Thank you for a great evening. My first time in a sea kayak - but won't be my last!”
Just a quick e-mail to say thank-you for the excellent sea-kayak taster session on Tuesday 4.5.21.
You and Mac did a brilliant job of helping everyone to feel at ease.
This was really important as it was clear several of us (including myself) were a bit nervous.
The session was really well tailored to the needs of the participants, helping us to gradually build confidence.
We were all amazed by how much we had learned by the end of one taster session.
I also liked how you set the tone about the aim to develop new sea-kayakers from beginner level.
Everyone seemed really keen to attend further sessions.
Thanks again, and see you at the next session.
CPD with Wild River on Ullswater
Last Friday saw the latest of Cumbria Canoeists CPD session being run. This one was about body focused coaching for coaches and leaders and was very well received. Massive thanks to Wild River for running this one.
Here are a couple of statements from participants:
"Just a quick note to let you know how well today's session with Sean at Glenridding went. It was a great day of well-delivered thought-provoking material, relaxed, informative and fun.
A big thank you to Sean for delivering and to you for providing the drive, inspiration and coordination that made it all possible."
"Can I just express my thanks for Friday's CPD session with Sean.
I had an awesome update day, I loved the freedom to spend some time exploring body, boat, blade with others of a similar level and mindset in a lovely supportive environment."
Below are a few pictures taken on the day.