News, events, trips and info for sea kayaking and canoeing in Shetland

Month: July 2013

Club trips – why not volunteer to help organise!

We all want trips to happen, be well run and enjoyable. However, it’s a lot of work for one person to take on, especially when they don’t always need to.

Every trip needs a trip leader, but it doesn’t mean the leader needs to organise it all.  Often they have all their own boats and gear, so everything about organising the preferred boats/ paddles/ spraydecks/ buoyancy aids  and assorted kit onto trailers, arranging lifts and so on is really being done for you at a the cost of the trip leader’s time.

You can help. You don’t need to be 4* to start organising a trip, you just need to have an idea for a paddle you’d like to do and be prepared to put a little of your own time in to make it happen.

If you’re interested let one of the Committee know.

The other thing about trips – it depends on the weather and who’s available. Use the forum to keep up with possible trips, make suggestions for locations, get involved.

Thursday 18th – an evening of fog and paddling

A much quieter night than the last few weeks, only nine paddlers on the water but it was VERY foggy on what looked like the calmest waters so far this season!

A good discussion about  moving between 1* and 2* paddling started the evening off before all headed on to the water at Bridge End to tidy up the final bits of 1* and encounter the odds and ends that make up the 2* paddling skills.  It was great to see beginners confidently reversing into the mist as the fog closed in.

Anyone wanting to complete their 1* don’t worry, I’m sure there will be more opportunities for you to complete too.

Thursday 18th July – finishing the 1*

Talking with a few folks, we’re looking at a ‘tidy up’ session this week at Bridge End. Even if it’s a beautiful evening we’re going to try and get everyone to the point of 1* certification, though it won’t stop us doing some paddling if conditions are good.

Additional details on the Forum

Thursday 11th July – Beginners trip Quarff to Gulberwick

It might have been a foggy evening, it might have been a bit breezy at the put in point down at Quarff. It didn’t stop 16 paddlers taking to the water on another Thursday night club beginners trip!

The individual organisational aspect of going on a trip were tested as cars drew up at Quarff, boats came off trailers and gear out of boots, cags pulled on and the multiple portages down to the sea commenced. The put-in itself proved trickier than many had encountered before – rocks, seaweed, mud, a low tide and a heavy boat aren’t a great combination. However, everyone made it safely onto the water without incident, and once round the corner we were in the lee for the rest of the trip.

While the cloud was down on the hills and almost to the road, we had a lovely evening paddle in very atmospheric lighting conditions and the sea seemed to get calmer and calmer the further we went. Caves were entered, gullies paddled through, cliffs passed under as we made our way north into almost still conditions at Gulberwick.

A classic easy trip in some of the best conditions encountered this year (so far), much nicer afloat than ashore.

Trip tonight NOT Bridge End

There isn’t training tonight at Bridge End, there will be a trip from Quarff instead. If you want to come you have to let Chris/ Angus know as there is a limit to the numbers of boats available.

Chris Watt 07795 465120

Angus Nicol 01595 840272

Lerwick Lifeboat exercise – a successful evening afloat

Monday evening saw the planned exercise with the Lerwick Lifeboat kick off in Gulberwick bay.

Club members started running the first scenario, a heart attack victim, while the lifeboat made it’s way out from the harbour. After less than five minutes, the lifeboat flew across the mouth of the bay and the rafted paddlers (with victim)  could see help was well on it’s way! Watching the bow approaching at speed was quite a sight.  The small boat was dropped over the side and the recovery of various victims ensued. It must rate as one of the most accident-prone trips ever conducted in Shetland by the club with heart problems, dislocated shoulders, lone paddlers in difficulties, swimmers and exhaustion-overcome bodies appearing as if from no-where.

No problems for the lifeboat crew, each scenario dealt with with calm professionalism.

By this point conditions had gone from a bit blustery up to “interesting” as the wind came up, it was almost 8.45pm  and paddlers started to head back to dry land. Once ashore there was the odd tired individual, a lot of discussion, and a bit of a buzz from all those involved.

General consensus – a great learning exercise for the club.

A big thank you must go to all the members of the  Lerwick Lifeboat crew, and to Iain Derbyshire for arranging the evening.

Monday 8th – Night out with Lerwick Lifeboat confirmed!

Iain D has now confirmed, an evening out with the lifeboat crew will take place on Monday 8th July

If you’re at all interested please please please get in contact so we can arrange boats and trailers for everyone!


Thursday 4th – another bright and blustery evening beginners paddle!

Despite it being another evening of strong winds with Force 6 plus gusts, last night saw thirteen paddlers on the water at Bridge End. Heading into wind, they set off to Banamin and, to quote one of the coaches, took the opportunity to “focus on their forward paddling technique” before turning for the ride home.

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