Sea kayaking in Cornwall

OK, it’s not photography, and it’s not diving, but if you want to have fun at the seaside above water, I can thoroughly recommend going on a sea kayaking course.

We did a two day beginner’s course with Sea Kayaking Cornwall.

They provide everything you need – wetsuits, life jackets, kayaks etc – and our instructor, Jeff Allen, got us out on the water pretty much straight away. He taught us basic skills as we paddled around the rocky coast from Swanpool Beach in Falmouth. Lunchtime was spent at a local nudist beach (not a pretty sight), and in the afternoon we tackled some balancing skills including shinning down your kayak to kiss it on the nose in traditional Innuit fashion. Kayaks are ridiculously wobbly things and I didn’t have a hope of getting anywhere near kissing mine, but I did spend a lot of time getting up close and personal with its hull every time I toppled over. It was a fun day, and unseasonally warm and sunny for mid October.

Day two was cold and grey. We were going to paddle around the coast to the Helford Estuary but a strong wind made us turn back. Even so, it was a real taster for how peaceful and enjoyable kayaking can be. With no engine noise we could get really close to large flocks of cormorants (or were they shags?). With a snorkel and underwater camera I reckon it has potential for photographing shy wildlife such as seabirds and seals. Jeff, our instructor has been all over the world kayaking, and I can imagine it is a unique and very special way to see the coast.

Thanks to Ingrid Kvale for organising the course and accommodation.