Seals at Lundy





Today I was diving at Lundy Island on Obsession II organised by Polar Bear Diving. The aim of the day was to dive with seals and I had plenty of seal time on both dives. I had a very close interaction with one particular seal so many thanks to Dave from Somerset Divers who managed to pull it off me. I think it was being friendly rather than aggressive but who knows. We also saw a very large Barrel Jellyfish from the boat.

Hammer - 2nd Review



So I have owned the Hammer for a few weeks now and to be honest, I have yet to set up the foam padding kit etc in my boat (mainly due to laziness) but it is plenty comfortable as it is so so worries there. Following on from my initial review, I have used it for the a week on Mull for my own personal paddling and work.

I completed a 21km lap of Iona in around 3hrs so the boat is no slouch though does need more effort to keep it cruising. The first half into wind an waves was an effort (as it would be with most boats) but it was head down, skeg down and get onto it. Around the west side of the island I eventually got wind and waves behind me and had some surfing action. It is possible to surf with the skeg down and this means the Hammer is not so loose on the waves and keeps tracking with less effort. Or, skeg up and play the wave with great manoeuvrability. Personally I prefer skeg up and to use weight and edge as my methods of steering.

Later in the week I used the boat to support a coasteering expedition and it was so easy to get in and out of caves, geos and tight sports with no worries of damage if I had to drag it over rocks.

I have also used it recently in North Wales to coach from and put the students in. It is great as you can drop the skeg if they are having problems going straight. Conditions on Llyn Padarn were quite windy and I managed to surf it on waves out in the middle of the lake.

This is a specialized sea playboat with both pros and cons. The robustness and manoeuvrability are great but with this comes weight and less top end speed. I could not have this as my only boat and if you want an all rounder that can play and tour, the PH Delphin would be a better choice. As a second boat in the fleet however it is great however.

My first plastic boat was a Perception Dancer marketed as a General Purpose do it all boat. It could do it all but was not very good at any of it. The Hammer on the other hand seems to perform well in whatever role I use it for. It makes a stable teaching platform, a great handling rock hopper, a brilliant work horse. I have a feeling this will become my go to boat for playing the sea, coaching and general purpose use.

I am desperate for some water to come into the Dart so I can take it for a blast down The Loop.

ML Refresher Day 2





Back out with John today and what a different day. Blue sky and excellent visibility. John and I went out for 2 hours last night for some night navigation so a shorter day was called for today. We ascended Carnedd Llewellyn via Pen Yr Helgi Du switching between 1:50000, 1:40000 and 1:25000 maps

This has been a great weather week up here in North Wales. Heading back down south tomorrow for a couple of weeks.

ML Refresher Day 1






Today my client was John who is preparing for his Summer ML Assessment in October. We decided to take on the classic Bochclwyd Horseshoe which includes Tryfan North Ridge, Bristley Ridge onto Glyder Fach and Y Gribin descent. We were able to look at navigation (as it was very misty), security on steep ground and environmental issues.

A few slate routes after work





After a day of teaching climbing, I met with Jez for a couple of Slate Routes. I led Equinox VS 4c and seconded Solstice HVS 5a before the sun set and it was time for some grub.

I have been criticised heavily over my usual drab clothing so I have dressed to impress today and I have to admit that Andy Spink is correct and the photos do look better.

Thanks Jez for the pictures

Sunny Climbing





Today Vicky and I headed to Dinas Bach in Llanberis Pass to find some rock. We climbed a 2 pitch Diff called Flake Crack that required a number of thrutches, wedges and general body jams to get up. After this we headed round to Tryfan Bach where we climbed 3 of the Diffs there with Vicky leading a pitch on all of them. The last route was done with bags so we could walk off.

Transferable Paddle Skills





Out with Vicky and Heather on Llyn Padarn continuing to consolidate on paddle skills. Just to mix things up we even hired a SUP from Surf Lines for a couple of hours to see how we managed with that. A lot windier today meaning that we even managed some surfing as well as wind ferry gliding and tandem canoe work. Sun all day and warm enough in the water in just shorts and cag.

Coaching climbing at Tryfan Bach





Back out with Vicky and joined by Heather looking at multi-pitch climbing on Tryfan Bach (Little Tryfan). We climbed a number of the crack routes and finished the day with some footwork exrcises and challenges. What a great weather day and had a nice fly by from a couple of fighter jets and a Herc.

Paddlesport on Llyn Padarn





Day 1 of 4 with Vicky, who is on my Instructor Development Scheme out on Llyn Padarn today in a variety of canoes and kayaks. It was a refresher and tidying up of skills session as it has been a while since Vicky last paddled.

Coaching Symposium Day 2


Today we were at The Beacon Climbing Centre looking at drills for training, injury prevention and dealing with anxiety under pressure. Not quite as much practical as I hoped for but some time on the wall to put some things into practice.

All in all a good weekend with a few new ideas but mainly enforcing what I already knew.

BMC Coaching Symposium

 Llyn Padarn

Trying to dry kit

Today I was at Plas Y Brenin for the BMC Coaching Symposium. A lot of theory today but some of it was useful. Tomorrow is mainly practical so we will be able to put it into practice. After finishing such a classroom orientated day I was desperate to do something so managed to grab a swim in Llyn Padarn at Llanberis, but not feeling my usual brave self I wore a 2mm wetsuit.

A quick blast on the Tryweryn




Both myself and Paul are working in North Wales this week and decided to meet up at the Upper Tryweryn for a quick blast this afternoon before we go our separate ways for work. It is always nice to paddle with people better than you and so I got a bit of 1:1 coaching from Paul .

A day afloat





After spending 3 days last week sitting through Driver CPC - the most boring and pointless set of days I have ever done in my life (still got 2 more to do) it was great to be able to get out on the yacht today with Deb and Carol. Fantastic weather even if the wind was somewhat light.