Monday 9 August 2010

Beginners Kayaking session for two. Ullswater, The Lake District, 5th August 2010.

Pictured here are Anne Maria Fallon & her son Ian who, whilst staying in the Lake District, fancied trying out a kayaking session and booked theirs with Kendal Mountaineering Services.
As with the recent session Iain posted about at the end of July, we chose the head of Ullswater as the venue and spent the morning learning the basic kayaking strokes before going on a journey up the lake as far as Wall Holme - the Lakes 3rd largest (out of four) island. We then returned to the head of the lake for some lunch.

Ian had been kayaking only once before, but showed considerable enthusiuasm for learing new skills. After lunch, having mastered the basics, it was time to show the pair some more advanced strokes and here - Ian is practising a support stroke called a scull in which the paddle blade is swept backwards & forwards across the surface of the lake with the leading edge always angled uppermost to keep the blade on the surface. As can be seen - Ian had the kayak off balance and was balancing his weight on to the paddle - he certainly would have capsized otherwise. Learning to "scull" is a pre-requisite for other advanced support strokes such as the "high brace" and for when it all fails - the "eskimo roll"!

The pair wanted to get some moving water practice done too, so we headed up Goldril Beck - Ullswater's main feeder only to find it was very low indeed - surprising after the recent rains. Anyway, in photo 3 we had all gotten fed up of climbing in & out of our kayaks when it got too shallow to paddle and it was easier to sit on top - if a little less stable! We paddled & dragged our boats a mile up Goldril Beck before arriving at a deep pool where photo 4 was taken.

Finally, a great shot of Ian preparing to go "all the way" with the "eskimo rescue". In this technique - having capsized your kayak - you then feel for the nose of someone else's kayak and then roll yourself back upright. This is quite challenging for the beginner, but you just need to remain calm and remember that you can actually hold your breath for quite a long time underwater. Anyway, after a long day out with plenty of variety, fun and a bit of adrenaline, Anne Marie & Ian were happy to call it a day - having thoroughly enjoyed their beginners kayaking session with Kendal mountaineering Services here in the Ullswater valley of the Lake District - bravo!

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