Sea Kayaking in the Scillies

3 Edge members have just returned from an Intermediate Sea Kayaking course in the scenic Scilly Isles.  We had a really great time, had excellent coaching (by Jeff and his daughter Chantal), overcame our insecurities (well, the kayaking ones anyway), improved our skills and made friends with the seals.

The course was run by Sea Kayaking Cornwall who although Falmouth based, run courses in the Scillies for all levels of sea kayaker.  The week following our trip there was an Advanced course which culminated in a paddle back to the mainland (prevailing winds and tides permitting).

The basic outline for the week is arrival at St Mary’s on the Saturday ferry, walk up to the campsite (your labelled luggage will be driven to the site), set up your tent, then get on the water for a couple of hours paddling in the late afternoon.  During the course of the week we then paddled to and around most of the islands (and rocks), through tidal races, standing waves and swells.  Several people in the group (of 9) gained their BCU 3* in Sea Kayaking during the week, but it is structured around what each individual wants to get out of the course.

Yours truly started the week feeling quite daunted by swells and choppy water (after an introduction to sea kayaking on the Isle of Man), but felt completely safe in the hands of Jeff and Chantal, and my confidence increased hugely over the course of the week.  The water is turquoise and really clear and the islands are beautiful and unspoilt.  We only managed one cream tea, but for me the gastronomic highlight of the week was one evening on the beach dining on the barbequed mackerel that we (well mainly Jeff!) had caught that day.  I can’t wait to go back next year.

Contributed by Sarah Hanson, a new Edge member

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