******************Having eventually got the house sort of emptied and the car all packed, we were off!
After a long, long drive, we eventually arrived in Poole, parked up in the ferry carpark and closed our eyes. When we surfaced a couple of hours later, another 2 cars had appeared, obviously having the same idea as us, driving down overnight. It was Lori and Antje, Anne and Alan all down from Scotland as well.
|Where's the sun?|
Thankfully the ferry crossing this year was less eventful than 2 years ago. They were a bit surprised and unprepared for so many kayaks boarding and not desperately helpful with it!
Our first paddle of the symposium was a day trip round the north of the island with Natalie, Mikeal and Eric. It was also great meeting up with Doris and Felix again. We were putting in at St Catherine's with it's massive breakwater, then heading round the coast to Greve de Lecq for lunch. We had the chance to explore lots of caves, cuts, a waterfall and a gloup.
|In the gloupe|
After lunch we were now heading round the west side of Jersey, past my "incident gap", past Stinky bay along the long bay at L'Etacq and Le Braye then round to Corbierre, our get out. A lovely paddle covering some of the island we missed the last time.
Cliffs and Caves! We made our way over to the next bay at St Brelade where we were kitted out with wetsuits, helmets and double sit on tops. A sit on top is bad enough, a double is worse, a double shared with Ken is worse yet! However off we went, across to the cliffs, where we jumped off the boats, clambered up the rocks and looked over the edge. Now I realise we were starting small, but to me this was big! Kevin gave us our instructions on how to jump, then proceeded to do a demo making it look so easy! When it came to my turn, I realised, I don't mind swimming around in swooshy, frothy water, I don't mind clambering up all sorts of rocks, but it's that bit, where your feet leave solid ground that I'm not happy doing! I did do a couple, but other than that, I would clamber up for a look, but that was enough. I was full of admiration to those who could just "take that step!" As for the caves part of the trip, the tide was out too far, so really it was just cliffs! Having chickened out of some of the jumps, I did still have a great day!
Day three, we were out Rock Gardening. This is likely to be the only type of gardening Ken is ever likely to do! Once again we were down at Corbierre Lighthouse. It really is a stunning location for paddling! This time Gordon split us up into smaller groups, my one being led by fellow Scot, Callum. We were practising timing - not my strong point!, then taking turns leading our wee groups round the rocks.
What was really surprising here was how many daft folks listen to the siren, the warning that the tide is about to cover the causeway, yet they still risk running across so they don't get wet feet!
|Lots of good wet fun!|
|A SUP chain|
This sunny afternoon was rounded off in the best way possible. Sitting on the beach eating icecream, before heading back to the hotel for a lovely cold beer!
|One more go!|
Day 4, surf's up! down at Le Braye. What a great time, always do with the surf. Don't know if I'll ever be really good at it, but who cares, it's fun! After that, we all piled into El Tico for eats.
Time for Tour de Rozel, the tiderace, next. This is a very fast bit of water zooming through between the headland and a rock. There just seemed to be kayaks going in all sorts of directions, all at great speed. Getting out was exhilarating, just don't like so many boats close together. After an exhausting morning, we had pleasant, dry afternoon at the Orchid foundation.
Unfortunately, we were now on our last day. There was a walk organised, however Ken, Julie and I went for a wee paddle out from St Brelade, round to Corbierre and back again.
A nice gentle paddle finished off a fantastic week, out with good friends, just fine!