4 Star Sea Kayak Training

Sea Kayaking is one of those things I don’t often get the chance to do much of, but has been the source of some great experiences over the years. The amazing places you can access by boat, that very few people get to see, are a real treat. Yes, the weather can throw all sorts at you, and you need to be properly prepared before venturing onto the sea, but the opportunity for rewarding and memorable trips is immense.

Last year, I had the chance to do my 3 Star Training and Assessment around Anglesey. I felt like I was on a steep learning curve, but thoroughly enjoyed and benefited from it. This weekend, I’ve been fortunate enough to enjoy a 2 day 4 Star Leader Training course with Nick Cunliffe – again on Anglesey.

The first day was based from Cemaes Bay, looking at boat handling, basic navigation, leadership and coping with tidal flow as we headed off to Middlemass Island. If anything, the conditions were too nice for this level of course, but Nick certainly knew how to get the best from the tides to make a valuable day.

We based ourselves from Port Dafarch for the second day. Again, we spent some time looking at boat handling, but in very different conditions from day 1. This time the wind (force 4) was producing much more swell, making things harder and it took a little while to feel comfortable and stable in the boat. We then moved on for a bit of a journey, again practicing leadership principles. After lunch we started to get a bit wet, practicing various rescue techniques and tows before putting our rolls to the test.

It was a fantastic weekend – both enjoyable and informative. I’d like to prepare for the assessment at some point, but expect that it’s likely to be at least Easter before I feel ready to be scrutinised!

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