Of the three disciplines that comprise Dove Step 2 kayaking presents the biggest challenge.
It’s not that cycling 500+ miles in 5 days isn’t challenging! Or that 6 consecutive 25 mile walking days wont take their toll. It’s just that the raw power of the sea and the effects of weather, tide, water temperature and capsizing can add up very quickly!
All Dove Step team members come from a cycling background and have dabbled in long-distance walking. The kayaking presents a new challenge to us all – a challenge with very specific requirements if we are to show the sea the respect it deserves.
Individually we all got out in kayaks over the summer, on local rivers and estuaries and to establish the very basics of the sport. Like how to get into a kayak and paddle! However, we were conscious we needed to massively up our skill sets if we are going to cover 20+ nautical miles offshore. To this end we approached Nomad Sea Kayaking.
Nomad Sea Kayaking couldn’t be a better match for our requirements, as well as offering two-day ‘Sea kayaking for improvers’ courses they are fully behind the Dove Step campaign. Their commitment to conservation is demonstrated by the Environment section of their website:
We leave nothing but our footprints on the beaches and our wake on the waters and we add value by cleaning the areas we visit of both jetsam & flotsam, with the emphasis on plastics. NOMAD Sea Kayaking supports the environment in the following ways;
Adopting both Stony Point Beach (Walton) & St. Osyth beach (Clacton) for official beach clearing operations at least 4 times every year. We conduct detailed surveys of all the refuse we collect at all of our official beach clearings & reporting this data to the Marine Conservation Society.
As a standard, we do a beach clean at every beach we land on & dispose of the bags at the nearest port or village. We also work closely with the local Wildlife Wardens prior to every trip to keep up to date on breeding birds, seals and other wildlife in the area we’re visiting. Reporting any marine finds to the Marine Conservation Society.
NOMAD Sea Kayaking is an official fund-raiser for CONNECT, supporting conservation projects in the heaths & estuaries & Areas of Outstanding Beauty in Suffolk.
NOMAD Sea Kayaking also supports the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. £1 from every booking and sale throughout the year is donated to this worldwide conservation society to support their important work to protect and fight for seal, shark and whale populations worldwide.
As well as sharing the Dove Step dedication to conservation, our coach Kurt Finch superbly complements the team – safely pushing us whilst drilling us in the basics. From strokes, edging techniques and how to safely recover each other when we inevitably capsize! All in a no-nonsense and effective manner.
Over the last weekend we have had a crash-course in all things sea kayak – literally with both of us capsizing on the first morning! From the basics of seamanship, weather and tides through to how best to deal with total disaster!
We have much more to learn and more importantly practice but we couldn’t be more pleased we’ve connected with Nomad Sea Kayaking. Roll on next months paddle time!
You can re-live Dove Step 1 here; http://dovestep.wordpress.com
Be sure to check out Operation Turtle Dove here; http://operationturtledove.org
Buy your Dove Step beer here; http://blackbar.co.uk
Check out Dove Step sponsor Bridgedale Socks here; http://www.bridgedale.com
Check out Dove Step sponsor Wild Frontier Ecology here; http://www.wildfrontier-ecology.co.uk
Check out Dove Step partner Nomad Sea kayaking here; http://www.nomadseakayaking.co.uk
… and of course please keep checking back here for updates!