We had a wonderful day at Llyn Padarn, under the gaze of Mount Snowdon with mild weather, a light breeze and a few clouds overhead. 11 of us were on the water in our sea kayaks at 10.45am (someone forgot to book their kayak (me), same someone couldn’t find the carpark – thankfully Vic, Dave and Clare saved the day finding parking spaces for everyone). We took a paddle the length of the lake and back before heading upriver where Roger spotted some wild yellow irises and we enjoyed the peacefulness of the surroundings. The smooth water gave a clear view of the brown and pale stones on the river bed whilst birds flew overhead and a small weir provided a gentle introduction to moving water for a few of us.
We then paddled under a narrow, low bridge to our picnic spot. There was some confusion as to how to get a paddle through the narrow gap and more than one person had a close shave/prang.
Lunch was much needed at this point and we found a spot on shore to enjoy Vic’s flapjack provision. Fed and watered we made our way back to open water where Phil led some skills exercises focusing on wind direction, how this impacts the movement of the kayak and how to correct for this. The highlight, however, was a magnificent game of catch showcasing Marty’s paddle interceptions, Vic’s chants to intimidate the opposition, Cath and Clare’s on target and ambitious throws and my facial expressions on almost capsizing in the excitement. I think Roger’s Renegades just about won. Alison and Ian were an oasis of calm, imparting advice and sharing stories of Alaska to inspire us to improve our fitness and skills. The clouds came down over the surrounding hills as we made it back to shore and practiced wet exits, rolling and rescuing according to ability and a short swim for some before having a cuppa at the cars and making our way home, tired and happy. Naomi wins the length-of—journey-home competition after needing to call the AA and being delayed by 4 hours… despite this she is up for future adventures!
It’s the first time Naomi and I had been out of the docks and we had a fabulous time. The more experienced paddlers were gracious in helping us to get organised; Dave and Roger transported kayaks and showed me how to get mine on the roof and strap it down safely. On the water, advice and stories were shared and we felt safe, relaxed and benefitted from coaching from more experienced paddlers. If anyone is considering joining an outing for the first time – you’ll love it.