I met Roger for a coffee and a chat about what I needed help on and then we decided where to go. The weather was a little unsettled with snow on the hills of Snowdonia, but Roger knew a good sheltered spot to be able to practice. So we headed off to Rhoscolyn – Borthwen.
In Rhoscolyn I practiced lots of forward paddling and turning the boat. My paddling background is mostly paddling as a playboater and is has been said, many a time, that I paddle like a playboater. So forward paddling technique is something I am very conscious I need to work on. Even now, when I get tired, I can find myself slipping into playboater paddle mode. Under Rogers excellent supervision, he was able to help me with my forward paddling technique, which I have to say felt slightly odd to start with.
As a playboater I don’t have too much difficulty edging the boat, so I can turn the boat reasonably well. But Roger was able to help me improve this, in lots of subtle ways, such as stroke timing, body position, head position and soon had me turning the boat in ever decreasing circles.
After an hour or so of this (doesn’t time fly when you are having fun) we left Borthwen and headed out to the tidal races around the beacon. Playing on the Tidal races was at first very intimidating, but I soon gained in confidence and was able to turn down the “Alert” sensors slightly. My Etain at 17ft 7inches still seemed incredibly long, especially compared to my 6ft long playboat and getting use to handling it in the chop was still taking time. But having played around in the races for a while, we set off and explored the coast and a couple of caves, stopping for some lunch before heading back.
On the way back we hit a squall that made us paddle hard for a while before finding shelter in the bay at Borthwen.
All in all it was a thoroughly good days paddling with excellent coaching. I learnt a huge amount. Thanks to Roger.
Total Mileage: 8.15