Sea Kayak Expedition Gathering

Calling all sea kayakers. A great symposium happening down the East Coast this summer.  Martyn from East Lothian Outdoor Learning  will be delivering one of the workshops and the Yorkshire coast is a fantastic place to paddle – accommodation at East Barnby is superb and the staff at the centre (Martyn’s former colleagues) are extremely welcoming. Come along for a great weekend – it’s closer than you think.

Click here for the SKEG blog.

Coastal Navigation and Tidal Planning

25th June 2011 0900 – 1600


 BCU Coastal Navigation and Tidal Planning for Sea Kayakers




Which way now?


A course open to all – please book by clicking here

Course Aims

The aim of this course is to give the student the tools to enable them to plan and navigate effectively on coastal journeys in moderate sea conditions. This will include the following aspects:

  • To interpret sources of information including maps, charts, coastal pilots and tide tables.
  • To navigate on the water using visual references and simple pilotage techniques e.g. transits, dead reckoning and a compass.
  • To be able to source, interpret and apply a weather forecast to the marine environment.
  • By the end of the course each student should have planned at least 2 coastal journeys that they can take home as references for further trip planning.
  • Students should also be aware of the range of resources they require to plan trips in the coastal environment.

Sea Kayak Adventures

Take your paddling further with a trip with your Outdoor Learning Service. Two sea kayaking opportunities are available for this next academic year. These trips would be particularly suitable for those who work with young people in a paddling capacity and wish to extend their own experience of paddlesport.

Monday 17 Oct to Fri 21 Oct 2011 – Sea Kayak Expedition – 6max – £250per person
West Coast Scotland – accommodation wild camping
Sat/Sun 21/22 April 2012 – Northumberland weekend sea kayak – 6max – £76per person
Investigating tidal races and surf landings. Accommodation by campsite on Northumberland coast – campsite fees extra.


Please note that for either trip previous sea kayaking and camping experience is required. On both of these trips challenging conditions may be encountered.

In the first instance for both of these courses please send an e-mail clearly marked in subject box either Sea Kayak West Coast or Sea Kayak Northumberland to Martyn  ( giving a very brief overview of your kayaking experience. As these courses are very likely to be oversubscribed allocation will take place by random draw on Friday 24th June 2011. Payment for the course will then be required within 7 days otherwise your place will be offered to someone else.

Come along for a trip of a lifetime.

Of paddles and paperwork …

Turn on your speakers and click on the above to play, or click here to view and download the slides and video clips stored in Picasa

Last week I attended the UK CC L2 Canoe and Kayak Coach Training at Glenmore Lodge. As always we were well looked after – in fact I’m sure I’ve returned a couple of pounds heavier.

The course was delivered by Ian Sherington and Shaun Roberts of the Lodge, observed and often ably assisted by the George Fell. The instruction was excellent, they even managed to lay on a whole week of no wind and lots of sun. The Level 2 Coaching Award is up a notch from the Level 1 in terms of the slickness and variety of coaching styles expected, the higher standard you can coach and assess paddlers to (up to the 2 Star Award) – and most importantly it demands that you are able to design and deliver a progressive set of sessions to your students.

So why the post title ‘Of paddles and paperwork …‘ ? Yes, it was a good course we had a lot of time out on the water in excellent conditions … but unfortunately too many valuable course hours were required to be taken up with helping us candidates to navigate our way through the labyrinth of UKCC / BCU paperwork, evidence gathering and down-right bureaucracy that is required to be collated for our assessment. I believe that moves are afoot to simplify this process and this really can’t come too soon. It’s one thing asking those of us who need these awards for their jobs to do this – it’s quite another to expect those who volunteer to go through this torture.

Anyway I’ll try and put that out of my mind for now and just get on with enjoying my paddling … as with these courses there were lots of laughs to relieve the stress of delivering sessions to your peers, so thanks to Lesley, Andrew, Imogen, Ian, Mark and John for some great banter. And also see Lesley’s Blog for more chat and pictures…

Click on following for a slide-show, or click here to view and download the slides and video clips stored in Picasa

Wallaby hunting

Ross High School Duke of Edinburgh Silver Award practice expedition took place this last week over three days. As a group paddling sea kayaks they went exploring Loch Lomond. In some particularly tricky weather conditions all pupils equipped themselves very well.

On this expedition the Outdoor Learning Service were fortunate to have the support of two staff members of Preston Lodge High School – Brian and Anne. The pupils marvelled at how well they packed their boats and realised how important all those little luxuries that can be taken sea kayaking are.

No trip to Loch Lomond is complete without a visit tro Inchconnachan where a fair few Wallabies live and thrive. There were some unbelievers amongst the group initially until we went Wallaby spotting on one of our evening camps.

Well sone to all pupils and they now have time to plan and prepare for their assessed expedition in June 2011