Jersey Sea Kayaking Symposium
The Eighth European Sea Kayaking Symposium was held from 27 May until 11 June in Jersey. Hosted by the Jersey Canoe Club, 100+ paddlers attended skills classes, lectures and day trips.
Small towns that have names that can be pronounced both in English and in French. Street names that are definitively French spelling. Crossing over by fast ferry from St. Malo.
Brittany to Britain, my first visit to Jersey and the Channel Islands.
Jersey, and the other Channel Islands offer a great variety of sea kayaking opportunities. Some highlights of my visit? Paddling tidal-races off Tour de Rozel and Belle Hougue. Day trips to the Paternosters rocks and to Les Écrehou islands. Barbeques and evening meals in the gorgeous settings of Corbière and Grève de Lecq. Cliff jumping at Plemont Pt. An overnight trip to the Island of Sark. And topping it off with a one-day circumnavigation of Jersey, enjoying, and photographing, all the high lights again. Thank you Kevin and all at the Jersey Canoe Club!
Something other noteworthy is the fact that the Jersey Canoe Club is probably THE world's stronghold for the Valley Nordkapp sea kayak. I have never seen so many Nordkapps together! From the latest models to the most original ones: the HM 'fixed skeg' types. Peter Orton of Valley Canoe Products brought along the first roto-moulded (plastic) skegged Nordkapp; very, very close to the original beautiful lines by which many consider the original Nordkapp to be the most beautifully shaped sea kayak. Almost apologetically, Peter asked me if it would be considered 'sacrilege' to bring a 'plastic' Nordkapp on the market. I cannot comment on that, never having owned a Nordkapp, other than that it is probably the most beautifully shaped plastic sea kayak in the world.
The Jersey sea kayaking symposium is a bi-annual event on the end-of-May Bank Holiday weekend, alternating with the Scottish Sea Kayaking Symposium on the Isle of Skye. If you want to attend either the next Jersey symposium (2008) or the Scottish symposium (2007), than make sure you make your reservations early. This year all symposium spaces filled up by March.
Saturday 27 May 2006 (St. Catherine's - Tour de Rozel)
Sunday 28 May (Bouley Bay - Belle Hougue)
Monday 29 May (Bouley Bay - Belle Hougue)
Tuesday 30 May (Grève de Lecq - Paternosters)
Wednesday 31 May (St. Catherine's - Les Écrehous)
Thursday 1 June (L'Etacq - Sark)
Friday 2 June (Sark - L'Etacq)
Saturday 3 June (Jersey Circumnavigation)
© A.M. Schoevers