Thursday, 14 August 2008
What a day - It had been so warm I had barely noticed I'd jumped into the Anas in my jeans, day boots & socks, wallet & phone in pocket, flung the Akullisaq on & readied my throat with a formal yet light instructive tone. I spent the day drifting up & down against chop & slight wind on Loch Mór Bharabhais, voicing do's & dont's, holding the occasional coaming, & demonstrating the shere amount of dynamic rotation, deep edge & passive sculling action a kayaker can pull from the drag & flick of a Norsaq. It's interesting to see how each individual, independently of another, deals with the grey area so often found & left untaught in the Euro approach to capsizing, rolling & straight paddling technique.
Today became a confidence class, exploring the Greenlandic artistry of kayaking halfway between being upright & capsized, finding the balance, feeling out the physical positions & without becoming rigid when it deserts, bending to neither panic or coercive action. It's great to see people progress, on any level, see them feel their natural technique & buoyancy discovery grow without p.f.d's or those ridiculous paddle float devices. To sit back & see a class group up & gauge it's own advantages & limitations of progressive scenarios, bare boned & alive, to see that Oh My God!! of self discovery spark in their eyes & Rolling is fun written in their faces..or as in today's case - Not rolling but floating half way over on my own without drowning is fun...

The collie of course was totally uninterested in the days proceedings apart from an instance of trying to swim the width of the entire loch in an attempt to keep me in visual contact. We took a break & dug out some whale bones. He soon returned to the r.v & continued his furious Great Escape dig in the sandy banking of the loch eventually widening its entire surface area by an unprecedented foot & a half...

Dem Bones

Loch Mór Bharabhais* in itself is an accessible & excellent venue for teaching confidence classes, practicing rolls you can't do, as well as doubling as a paddling haven for beginners when giant offshore surf unsettles their minds. Situated 10 minutes North of Stornoway & separated from the wild ocean by a gentle shingle levee, it has clean water, sandy launches & open camping machair. A future venue for a Hebridean rolling meet? I need another loch of this caliber on Skye other than Gedintailor & Camastianavaig...Still, there's always throwing them in directly at Rubha Hunish :o) The loch also makes a great tactical base camp, with Dail Beag & the Bearnaraigh peninsula directly South & the exposed Western edges of Rubha Robhanais to the North.
Anyways, tomorrow it's a wee trip to the vet, for they collie no me, then face down Norsaq sculling & Norsaq rolls & maybe set up the Qajaasaarneq ropes if I can get two cows to stand still.

The Barvas levee

* The small loch S.W of here at Brú, Loch Eirearaigh, is currently carrying a
Cyanobacteria hepatotoxins bloom warning & should be avoided.
posted by •≈ Sgian Dubh at 21:30:00 |

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