Posts Tagged ‘Portrush’

Whiterocks skive 2, 9/9/09

September 9, 2009

Now its hard for me to rise out of bed on a day off but, when there is a paddle on offer well thats a different story!!!

I met up with Andy at the whiterocks, portrush for 9am and I will admit i was a bit scared and questioned my reasoning.  Lots and lots of beautiful waves, big waves that is and bigger than i  had ever been out in.


Andy was first off the beach and was straight out through the white stuff and caught a lovely wave on the way in. Jealous, yes! Alot to aspire too – yes!


So attempt one at getting out, fail, on beach.  The waves were well powerful.  I loved to see if there was some way of getting out but it was just a tumble drier session for me.  After a few tries to get to the green I decided to play about in the mosh pit at the beach.    Managed a few nice slides back to the shore with minimal spillage.

I retired to the shore to watch Andy and realised that my lack of strength, heavy paddle, tiring arms and my fear were limiting me.  Surveying Andy I watched him perform an amazing sommersault nose over tail.  I’m not sure how intentional this was but I hope someone caught it on camera!!!


Andy gave me a go in his nice little valley surf kayak with an equally beautiful (light and short) Robson paddle.  Totally different boat in the surf!! Nice  bit scarey for me punched though the waves well and I was able to edge it a lot better than the wee uni boat I was in.  I want one of them paddles – so easy to get speed up compared to the log I was using.


I am totally exhausted now!  Ready for a big soak and to scrub the sand outta the mop!!


NI Surf Kayak Hosts the NI Open, 12th Sept 2009

September 8, 2009

Foundation Safety Training

May 20, 2009

How many ways is there to rescue a kayak? 1 basic principle and as many ways as there are kayaks!

Despite the seriousness of the training the craic was mighty as usual with Robin and Rab! Its apparent I can’t throw so I guess that’s something I need to work on. I really enjoyed being out in albert tonight, we must be bonding well!

Getting Rab lumped onto the back of my boat to rescue him worked well, trailing him along however wasn’t (he must have had too much dinner this evening!). The most important thing I picked up tonight was never ever approach a panicking swimmer- otherwise you will more than likely end up swimming too!!

The “all out” rescue gave the group a great opportunity to work as a team to get back into the boats. It was my favourite part of the evening (despite it being freezing). I never realised that righting a sea kayak was as easy. I managed to right alberty myself and with the help of Martin bailed back in. Using a sling to get people back into a kayak is very a very useful too and I see potential for using it for loads of other things.


Below is a link to the trainers notes for this course- I highly recommend it for everyone regardless of whether they plan to coach or not. It really gives you a greater appreciation of how to perform a rescue on a variety of different crafts.

The Craic…

May 18, 2009

Well its been a while since I have posted anything of interest- the last few weeks have been manic to be honest! Dissertation handed in, impromptu trip to lower lough erne, exams, and now freedom to paddle every day. I don’t know myself now!

The Lower Lough Erne trip was fantastic, my first real trip out in albert! We paddled to Devenish first and had a wee look arounf before heading up to Castle Archdale, checking off all the wee islands on the way up. One of the islands was in full bloom of bluebells which was so beautiful. Passing the Manor hotel we were entertained by a sailing regatta. Definately a trip to do again.

Just last week I was out again with CCKA paddling from Portballintrae to Portrush, via the Skerries. It wasn’t really off to a good start when I decided to follow the more proficient for a bit of rock hopping and managed to go for a swim (thanks Steve, for fishing me out). The rest of the trip was amazing. I have never seen such beautiful coastline and I never ever realised that it would be right on my door step. Dunluce castle from the sea- outstanding, whiterocks- equally, if not more outstandig. I was a bit apprehensive paddling out the Skerries, I had never ever been that far away from the coast (or the harbour before). The Skerries were beautiful, a seal and a million or so birds came to great (and poo) on us.

On Sunday I took my two sisters to the have a go day in Portstewart. They had a great day orienteering and shooting arrows at targets. Their day was made when Steve (from xplore outdoors and fisher of Michelle fish!) took the pair of them out sea kayaking. Its great now to have two sisters so very keen to kayak however I apparently have to purchase 2 more sea kayaks and gear to take them out!!

My mission this week is too work out how best to fish from my kayak without swiming and without having to drill big ignorant brackets onto my boat.!!

Group picture

More Surf courses!!

April 16, 2009

Taken from irish sea kayaking

Deep Blue are running a surf course on the North coast (Portrush) on the weekend of 18th and 19th of April. It’s aimed at people who are L4/L5 Sea kayakers but who don’t have a lot of surf experience. You do need to be able to roll. The boats will be provided (Necky Jives) so you won’t even need to bring your sea boat.
The instructor is Keith Fitzsimons (BCU L5 Sea Coach). Keith is an experienced surf coach and has run very successful sessions at the 2007 ISKA symposium in Streedagh. He will include video analysis as part of the course.
The cost is €195 for the weekend and this includes use of the boat and accommodation in the Sheep Island View Hostel in Ballintoy for the Friday and Saturday nights (
There are a limited number of places available so do let me know as soon as you can if you’re interested.
Des Keaney
des at deepblueseakayaking dot com

Kayak surfing, Easter Sunday 2009

April 12, 2009

What a day! Was at Whiterocks in Portrush today with the hangover from hell- lesson learnt. The CCKA gang were already there and took delight in my suffering.

After a quick briefing from Matt about getting out through the waves and avoiding going through as the wave breaks I was off. Cleary Matt felt that I was spending too much time dry and introduced the concept of catching waves and the importance of the stern rudder. Stern rudder in the side that you want to go- but it’s best not to turn the boat back into the wave again- woops, out of the boat and a smug look on Matt’s face. It wasn’t the first and wasn’t the last of the day.


I spent the remainder of the day in the breaking surf and tried to catch a few of the smaller waves. I think that surfing will be good for me, especially the rolling and being under water. I guess the next time I will be a bit more adventurous and head out a bit further. I am really looking forward to my next day out but I appear to have wrecked my wrist, no doubt from some of the tumbles I took out of the boat. Perhaps I will get my dissertation finished now if I can’t go and play boat!


Oh and I have purchased a roof rack J the rubbish thing is that the seller doesn’t appear to know that if you advertise a postage price to the UK that Northern Ireland is included in that! To be continued….

Julie sees stars!!

April 9, 2009

I am so glad there is no KFC anywhere near Ballycastle. I did contemplate a Chinese on way home but the “nutritionist” I am to become kicked in so I cooked instead.

Talk about ready to eat my arms and legs off!!


So enough about the feed me monster, today is all about Julie, who trailed me kicking and screaming away from my revision so she could have a swimmer for her two star award assessment with Robin. 7pm is a cold time to start paddling, especially when it was as windy as tonight. High tide made the harbour look a little scary but there was no need for any unintentional wetting of the wet suit before we hit the water. I was in the wee blue boat again which Robin attached pretty deck lines to, a wee paddle park and some nice foot fests for shorty. I love that wee boat, it kind of feels wobbly but you just have to use your hips more. I can’t remember name of Julies boat (leave in comment Jules?) but it looked like it was unsinkable.


It was great going over all the stuff from the assessment again without having to panic about “did I pass”, I could see the terror in Julie’s throughout it. Reversing today was a million times better, even with the wind; I guess you have to use the wind in conjunction with your strokes to move. It’s also a million times easier to steer if you have a bit of momentum up, and then correct using sweep strokes if you go off course a bit.

The rescue section of the assessment was interesting from my point of view although I have to say Julie did a sterling job. Communication is key. First off I thought I was being rescued by Eskimo method first, not deep sea from boat. So I waited, ran my hands up boat etc then thought, poo something has happened, better bail out….. This would have been ok but the spray deck was mega tight and fun to get off. Once I had that drama by I realised that my big arse was having fun getting out of the ickle cockpit of the boat, cue the “somersault move” out of boat.

It’s quite amazing the stuff that goes through your head when you are under there, it’s quite warm too, nearly homely if you had a cup of tea.

Anywho, Julie got me hauled into my boat then it was Julie splashing time J Bad me firstly tried to impale Julie’s hand with the bow of my boat (thanks bob for Robin adding the tennis balls to the end of the boat) then once we nearly had her in her boat she plonked back in again oops second time lucky! I really seen the importance of a quick rescue tonight, we drifted very far across the harbour.

Before returning to the slip it was a wee tour of the harbour, around the life boat. Omg was it choppy, I loved it, well after the initial omg, don’t fall in again. I was laughing like something demented. I seen Robin look around at me a few times, I guess he thought I was screaming.


What a fantastic night J Well done Julie on achieving your 2 star, and thank you and Robin both for having me along tonight, it really helped consolidate a lot of things for me.

Thanks to Paul for taking the pictures (More Pictures to follow soon…)


Grrrr get out of my harbour

Grrrr get out of my harbour

Huh? What do you mean we have to get in a kayak?

Reverend Julie gives the pre- 2star blessing?

3* Surf kayaking Course 13/14 April ’09 with Steve Bowens

April 7, 2009

It appears I am caught in a whirlpool and can’t get out, deeper and deeper I am getting!! 

ok less of the dramatics in short Steve is doing a course Easter Monday and Tuesday and I need 5 more people to go, cost TBC but if there is 6 in total it will be cheaper so….

Day 1
0930 – meet at the watersports center (East Strand Portrush)
1030 – on water session 1
1200 – lunch
1230 – surf forecasting and equipment
1330 – on water session 2
1500 – safety & rescue skills and techniques
1600 – review and finish

Day 2
0930 – meet at (East Strand Portrush)
1030 – on water session 3
1200 – lunch
1230 – rules of the road, safety and equipment
1330 – on waters session 4 (practical skills 3* assessment)
1500 – goal setting and future surf development
1600 – review course


Rolling isnt essentail but I am told it is less exhausting if you can ( i need to learn to roll urgently then!)

so yeah leave me a comment on here and I will get back to you.

Sea Kayaking 1

March 7, 2009

Today was my first day out in the “real world” – sea!!! Totally different experience to paddling in the pool I was a bit unsteady and managed to take a couple of plunges eep (thanks to Rob for fishing me out twice in 5 mins!). What a fun couple of hours!!

Things covered today
* falling in! capsizing and rescue
* sweep strokes for turning (wide strokes, face direction you want to go)
* Edging, to help with turning (knee up opposite to sweeping side)

I think my most important lesson today was that foot rests are adjustable and should be adjusted before going out!! I forgot when i was swimming about banging the bottom of my boat and waiting to see if i would be rescued!! I was more excited about getting into the sea and popped out twice!! Maybe next time I will wait in the kayak for long enough to be rescued!!