IOPCC Trip Report

Intermediate Sea Kayaking Training
with Sea Kayaking South West

16th - 17th March 2013


Paddlers Coach
John Christmas Rob McIntyre
Sea Kayaking South West
Cate Bargh
Jill Franks  
John Miller  
Michelle Price  
Jackie Jones (assistant coach)  
David Cotgrove  

As a late replacement for Hugh de Iongh who had to drop out, I wasn't quite sure what to expect, except a probability of a cold weekend. It certainly turned out cold and wet and windy at various times but everyone enjoyed it, I think, and took something away from the weekend's paddling. The trip was made a lot more comfortable by the use of a farmhouse adjoining Rob's residence and with central heating and all mod cons.

We arrived in fits and starts on Friday evening from all points of the compass, Jill claiming the prize for longest trip having driven from Aberdeen via Marlow, John Miller from Reading and the rest of us more local. Most of us went off to the pub for food, I can recommend the Kings Arms in Georgeham, good food and even live music.

Saturday arrived cold as expected and we set off for an early start to launch at Watermouth with an easy carry to the beach. We practiced some edging and turning, watched the wildlife and had a variety of weather- wet and windy, wet and cold and sometimes just a bit wet. Good test for gloves and pogies. Rob was very good at sizing up peoples abilities and giving clear instructions on what to do. We rounded off with a bit of mild surfing and some useful practice at launching and landing. Apparently the usual technique of waiting with camera ready for the inevitable swim is not the only way! Some of us rounded off the day with a return visit to the pub while others opted for a quiet night in although unfortunately too late to catch the rugby.

Sunday was probably colder but after a heavy squall with hail and sleet the day improved greatly and the sun shone. John M forgot his BA which forced him to go and rest up with a coffee for the morning, maybe not a bad idea. Rob took us to a tide race just out of Combe Martin which was good practice at breaking in and out and doing 360's in the rough water. Everyone overestimated the speed of the tide, it was only 2 knots apparently but was enough to get the adrenalin going. John joined us after lunch and some rock-hopping with towing and rescue practice rounded off the session followed by some more landing and launching practice and a final bit of proper wet rescue practice. We had time to stretch our legs in Ilfracombe and take in the Damien Hirst artwork-a bit weird as expected.

We had two pretty full days on the water on a part of the coast we don't often paddle but I think we will return. The site was good, coaching from Rob assisted by Jackie was excellent and the company impeccable as usual. Thanks to all for a great weekend.



Pictures of the paddle are on the
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