Thursday, 30 June 2011

Beadnell Beach and Seahouses - 25th June 2011

First day of a weekend trip up to Northumberland. Met up with Dave Brook and Jim Krawiecki from the NWSKers.

Ollie Jay from active4seasons arranged a kayak taster session at Beadnell beach with various boats from tiderace, valley, north shore, prijon and P&H. So a number of paddlers were trying out the different boats in the small surf on the beach. I initially had a surf in my XploreS but was tempted to have a go in the P&H Aries that Jim had brought up with him.

The Aries is designed as a sea play boat and seems to perform as designed. Main advantage surfing is that you can spin it around quickly to catch a wave. It spins in a couple of sweep strokes which is great. On the wave it was definitely a lot more manoeuverable than the Xplore, but you would expect that. Wasn't so sure about the cockpit fit initially, but once I shortened the foot pegs I seemed to be fairly well secure in the boat - good job because I capsized a couple of times in the shallow water and managed to roll/push up off the bottom OK without falling out of the boat.

After the surfing sessions I paddled along the short N to St. Aiden's beach just past Seahouses. Some swell and breakers on the reefs to watch out for, and nice 2-3ft surf on St. Aiden's itself. Main attraction though was the bird life - as you get nearer to the Farne Islands the number of birds just increases dramatically - Puffins being my favourite and they were frequently on the water just a few metres from me.

On the water for a couple of hours surfing, then a couple of hours for the round trip to Seahouses.

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