Paddling along the cliffs to the west of Xlendi, on Gozo. Looking forward to exploring this coastline by sea kayak again, in 3 weeks time.
Thursday, March 12, 2015
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
A visit to St Catherine's to collect some kayaking equipment from the Jersey Canoe Club premises made me realize how few times I had ventured to the east of the Island so far this year.
The breakwater was part of a plan to build a significant naval harbour, work commenced in 1847 but had been abandoned by the mid-1850's. Never seeing using as a naval harbour it was given to the States of Jersey in 1876. Today is see's plenty use by a wide range of recreational activities such as fishing, sailing and kayaking.
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
Quite a pleasant cycle ride today out to Corbiere, followed by a walk across the causeway. This is the classic location for a picture, with the reflection in the rock pool unfortunately today the weather conditions weren't ideal from a photographic perspective.
The lighthouse was first lit on the 24th April 1874 and it was automated in 1974. It cost £8,001 to build and is possibly the most photographed location on Jersey. What I do know is that for the sea kayaker it is a truly iconc landmark.
Monday, March 09, 2015
A quick walk along the cliffs of the south west of the Island this afternoon. This section of coast is one of my favourites for coasteering but I have to admit that this afternoon the water didn't look that appealing.
Hopefully though it won't be too long before we are swimming and jumping our way along the base of these cliffs.
Sunday, March 08, 2015
A rather pleasant Sunday morning out from St Brelade. We headed around to Noirmont to play in the tide race formed on the ebbing tide. Conditions were made more interesting due to the rather large swell running in from the west. Just offshore it was probably peaking in the region of 8 feet with a swell period of about 14 seconds.
Derek is taking quite a wide route around Point Le Fret, to avoid the breaks in the region of the reefs. A good way to spend a Sunday morning.
Saturday, March 07, 2015
On a day when the temperature reached 15 degrees, we headed from St Catherines along the north coast as far as Egypt, where the Canoe Club has a small cottage. Here we are approaching the headland just to the east of Rozel, with the aptly named teddy bear rock clearly visible on the right.
A great day on the water with hopefully many more to follow in the coming weeks and months.
Friday, March 06, 2015
I was going to post a picture of St Ouen's Bay this evening, looking great in the late evening sunshine until I came across the news that Audrey Sutherland, author of "Paddling Hawaii" and "Paddling My Own Canoe" had sadly passed away on the 23rd February at the age of 93.
She embarked on wilderness journeys starting in 1962, when she swam along the northern shore of Molokai. She moved up market a few years later when she started to explore the coasts of Hawaii, British Columbia and Alaska in a small inflatable kayak. Paddling thousands of miles on exploratory journeys. Her most recent book, describing her travels in Alaska is "Paddling North".
She was a truly amazing paddler, pushing the boundaries of exploratory kayaking, defining the limits of what is possible with a minimum of equipment but a major sense of adventure.
As sea kayakers we often dream of where we would like to paddle but Audrey was living proof of what was possible if you had the vision and the enthusiasm.
A day of superb weather was followed by a night on the water. I have been running an Open Water Navigation and Tidal Planning Course over the last couple of weeks so this evening rather than another classroom session we decided to put the theory into practice and spend a couple of hours plotting a course around the navigation poles close to St Aubin's.
We are just getting ready to launch from Belcroute.
Wednesday, March 04, 2015
Beautiful day at St Brelades. Plenty of people on the beach, with small surf rolling in at low water.
St Brelade's Church is probably in the finest location of any of the Islands churches and has been serving the local community for over a thousand years.
With lighter winds and rising temperatures there is the likelihood of some good sea kayaking over the next few days.
Bot the most inspiring photograph but behind this pile of vegetation lies a story. This is hottentot fig, which is a highly invasive plant species introduced into gardens in Jersey from South Africa, in about the middle of the 19th Century. The plant spreads and regenerates very quickly smothering the native vegetation along large sections of the south west coast. A consequence is that it destroys the habitat of a number of native spevies such as the Green Lizard and the Dartford Warbler.
The only effective means of getting rid of the plant is to pull it out by hand, which is obviously time consuming and then ideally it is burnt. At the moment I am working with a couple of local primary schools, with the children working towards their John Muir Award, a nationally recognized environmental award. Over the next few weeks we will be exploring this area in some detail including removing some hottentot fig, this was today's contribution.
Very satisfying and showing that people can make a difference.
Monday, March 02, 2015
Great view of a squall approaching St Ouen's around lunch time today. Surprisingly where we were standing there wasn't much rain but the winds did gust up to about 55 knots. It has been a day of fast changing weather but optimistically as the weekend approaches things are looking like they will calm down and warm up. Could even be an Ecrehous day on Saturday, fingers crossed.
Sunday, March 01, 2015
It was another Sunday morning with strong westerly winds forecast so the options for our weekly paddle were limited. It was another visit to Belcroute, which is sheltered from the strong winds from the west. The winds on the day didn't appear to be quite as strong as forecast so we were able to head across St Aubin's Bay towards Elizabeth Castle, using the wind for quite an entertaining ride.
One advantage of living on an island is that whatever the wind direction it is always possible to find somewhere to paddle and as result of this the Jersey Canoe Club has managed to get on the water, on a Sunday morning pretty much every week since the mid-1970's.
Jason preparing to launch at Belcroute, sheltered from the strong westerly wind which was blowing at the time.
Looking back up the beach at Belcroute. With winds like those forecast for this morning the kayaking options were limited. The Jersey Canoe Club were not the only group paddling from there today. The faster group who paddle Taran's had also chosen this location to leave from.
Pete just before Noirmont. The relatively calm seas don't indicate the true wind speed as we were sheltered by Noirmont headland.
Crossing St Aubin's Bay. The further we moved away from Noirmont the greater the impact of the wind.
Elizabeth Castle lies ahead. One of the finest military fortifications of Jesrey.
You don't see too many of these navigation marks around, an Isolated Danger Mark, just to the south of West Park Pool.