Van Mourik Paddle


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Gairloch Harbour this afternoon as well. This time with Wico, Christine, Irene, John, Cathy and Mathew.

We spent some time learning and practising skills in the harbour before having a paddle out into the bay a little. Those piranhas joined us again for some fun splashing around.

Smith Kayak

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The sun kept shining for a while, but dark clouds gathered as we got ready. Helen and Jessica wanted to come out in the kayaks for a paddle from Gairloch Harbour. Helen’s son had brought along a sit on top boat after deciding that he was too good to paddle with us.

 

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They both picked up the skills to turn the boat left and right very quickly – but they did seem to keep practising those turns a lot during the session! Helen decided to overcome her fear of capsizing by, well… capsizing. She did it very well, and worked out how to get back into her boat without too much effort.

We went for a good long paddle, with heavy rain at times making the sea feel nice and warm. The rain made me envious of Helen and Jessica in their wetsuits – maybe I should have put one on too!

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Jessica’s brother (sorry, can’t think of your name – it’s not on my piece of paper!) on the sit on top kayak joined us for a game, trying to win by jumping off his kayak – cheat! The session ended with everyone soaked – either from falling in or the rain.

Morris Paddle

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Back over to Gairloch today do canoe and kayak. The Morris family had such a great report from the Wood family (all part of the same family group up here) they wanted to get out with me too. We set out initially in canoes, testing our communication and teamwork skills. After practising our skills we got straight into a good game of ‘Piranhas’, followed by some fun testing rafted games.

 

After that it was time to stretch the legs and swap to kayaks. We paddled about, leaning just how easy it is to turn the kayaks (often when not wanted!). We played some attack & defend games, then in my pursuit of getting them all soaked we played some rafted games where they had to swam boats along with a host of other challenges. Sadly they where all a bit too good and I had to resort to splashing them with my paddle!

Wood Kayak

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Gairloch Harbour was the spot for today’s paddling. The Wood family had seen me out the day before having fun with a group on the water so they wanted to get out and splash about as well.

 

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We headed out in the kayaks, some of the boats seemed to go in a straighter line than others – maybe some of the boats where broken? Everyone managed to get to where they wanted to, even if it did take some longer than others.

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Christine took it upon herself to show everyone how easy it was to fall out of your boat when you capsize, having her shoes float away in the process. It wasn’t long before everyone else – Calum, Frazer, Cara and Iain –  had a go at falling out themselves. Again and again.

 

 

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This session turned out to be a very wet session! No body minded since it was another glorious day.

 

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Young Kayak

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It’s been ages since I paddled from Gairloch Harbour so since we where due a nice high tide I thought it would be a great spot to take the Young family. They nearly missed out on paddling with me because they where due to be heading home today, but because the weather was just too good to be going home in they opted to hang around.

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We headed off in kayaks, quickly getting used to their spinny nature. Being a hot sunny day no body minded getting sodden piranhas in the face (well, not too much). We paddled a good distance before stopping for a biscuit snack and stretch of the legs, after that it was time to paddle back into the harbour. We where able to head up the river slightly, under the new and old bridges, and alongside the Old Inn.

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Jacqui, Mike, Olivia and Douglas left me after a good session to get some fish and chips and hopefully find a B&B for the night.

 

Self Rescue Paddle Session

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We had a self rescue session in Gairloch Harbour for all the local paddlers to come along and practice their skills. The morning went well with everyone bobbing about in the water happily.

 

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It was a great opportunity for folk to remember their skills and learn new ones. Everyone was able to share their experiences and techniques, helping each other out.

 

Thank you to everyone who came along, especially Andrew Johnston and Miles Wood who are two other paddle-sport coaches in the local area.

 

self rescue day 7   self rescue day 6

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