Jersey Kayak Adventures

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Les Ecrehous & les Minquiers Sea Kayaking Tours

June 19th, 2015

2015 dates for our offshore kayak tours on les Ecrehous and les Minquers are listed here. travel across by charter boat and then explore these superb reefs by sea kayak.

Channel Islands Sea Kayaking Guide Book

June 1st, 2015

The South East England & Channel islands sea kayaking guide book is due out on 1 July. Pre order a signed copy from the author for £20 here.

Next Introduction to Kayaking Course

May 28th, 2015

Our next introduction to sea kayaking course starts on Sunday 14 June at 0930. 6 Classes. More information.

Sea Kayaking in Fog. Be Prepared

May 12th, 2015
Derek hairon. Les Ecrehous sea kayaking P1110887

Derek at les Ecrehous, Jersey

Yesterday was a great day to get out sea kayaking in Jersey. A 5 nautical mile offshore trip to les Écréhous off the north east coast of Jersey in our fast sea kayaks looked a good idea. We set out from Archirondel off the east coast with a calm sea, good visibility with barely any wind.

“I can see some grey shadows over there” said Mick. The “shadows” turned out to be a small pod of Dolphin feeding about 1 mile south east of les Écréhous.

It felt cooler once we’d stopped paddling so the extra bits of clothing and paddle jackets we’d packed proved to be a good idea. I later learned that two kayakers dressed in light clothing had been rescued off the south east coast of Jersey after one had fallen in and could not get back into the kayak. On May 11th the sea temperature was 11.5 degrees. Without extra clothing you soon lose your ability to perform a rescue so dress -or be prepared- for immersion.

sea kayaks at les ecrehous, jersey. Rockpool Taran

Mick at les Ecrehous, jersey

An evening snack while sitting on a bench looking back towards Jersey was a chance to enjoy the peacefulness of this wonderful place. We were the only people on the les Écréhous apart from a couple of yachts on the moorings.

As we sat on the bench Mick spotted another shadow. This time it seemed to be forming along the north coast of Jersey. Just a bit of haze we thought at first but as we watched it gradually crept eastwards.

After 20 minuted paddling the “shadow” had changed into a fog bank and visibility was less than 100m. At times Mick was starting to look a bit hazy so it must have been even less visibility. The last time I’ paddled in these conditions I was on a 5 hour crossing when the had been due to lift but instead remained around us for almost the entire trip. We could hear aircraft on their approach into Jersey airport repeatedly trying to land.

Sea kayaking in the fog back to Jersey

Sea kayaking in the fog back to Jersey

For the next hour we cruised across a mirror like sea on a compass bearing of 240 degrees which we’d calculated would allow for the south east running stream. Sounds of vehicles and aircraft drifted through the fog but they seemed to come from all directions. If you stopped for a moment our kayaks ended up pointing in all directions. Without a compass and a bearing to steer we’d have been in trouble.

We had a GPS was on board. However, we had a compass bearing, and knew our speed was about the same as usual. Some kayakers find there speed drops when they enter fog or head offshore so this is something which might alter the route plan and timings. In our case paddling in fog just added a nice dimension in what was still excellent sea conditions. There seemed little need to use the GPS until we were around or just past our estimated time of arrival. Jersey is also quite a large island to miss -though I know a few who have ended up well off course due to the tide streams and by not trusting a small bit of magnetised metal.

Fog lifting over Jersey at sunset

Fog lifting over Jersey at sunset

Finally the fog lifted 1 hour 20mins after it enveloped us. Directly ahead of us was our target, St Catherine’s breakwater.

Elsewhere around Jersey the fog was very thick while in other areas visibility was very good.

A superb trip which shows how important it is to carry a few basic bits of kit especially when heading away from shore. In these conditions even crossing a bay would have been a challenge without a compass. A compass was an essential item along with a spot of trip planing with a chart. A GPS was just an extra aid but with lots of previous paddling practice at night and in poor visibility it was just an extra safety device.

We had a VHF but were in the strange VHF marine radio “blackspot” that seems to be around St Catherine’s bay and missed a call from the Coastguard which we only learned about when we called in by mobile phone after landing. A good reason to carry a couple methods of communication.

A great trip so long as you have a compass and the right gear.

We run a range of intromediate and advanced sea kayak courses in Jersey

Derek Hairon

South East England & Channel Islands Guide Book

April 21st, 2015
Routes included in the South East England & Channel Islands sea kayaking guide book

Routes included in the South East England & Channel Islands sea kayaking guide book

I’m busy proofing the Channel Islands section of the South East England and Channel Islands Guide book.

Pre order your copy for £20 here.

More details about the book is here.

Author: Derek Hairon et al

ISBN: 978-1-906095-50-5

Format: 272 pages

Published: 1 July 2015 by Pesda Press

Pre order you copy. Buy online for £20

Note: Copies will be distributed as soon as they arrive. The estimated publication date may be subject to revision.

New Introduction to Kayaking Course

April 21st, 2015

Our next course starts on Sunday 26 April at 0930-1200. 6 classes with all kit supplied. £247. More details.

Free Essential Kayak Skills Safety Class

April 7th, 2015

Saturday 11 April 1400-1630. Details

Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney & Sark Sea Kayaking Guidebook

March 6th, 2015

South East England & Channel Islands Sea Kayaking Guidebook (Pub: Pesda Press)

Jersey,Guernsey & Channel islands sea kayaking guidebook

South East & Channel Islands Sea Kayaking Guidebook

Jersey, Guernsey and the other Channel Islands form over 130 pages in this sea kayaking guidebook.

The Channel Islands section is written by Derek Hairon. He has sea kayaked throughout the Channel Islands for over 42 years and passes on his knowledge and passion about this superb sea kayaking destination.

The two areas covered in this guide are as different in character as it is possible to conceive.

For many sea kayakers living in London and the South East of England the Channel Islands are easy to reach from regional airports and by fast ferry. It therefore seemed logical to combine these two areas into a single guidebook.

Routes included in the South East England & Channel Islands sea kayaking guide book

Routes included in the South East England & Channel Islands sea kayaking guide book

The larger Channel Islands of Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney and Sark also consist of a vast number of islets and reefs. Here we are talking pink granite, white sandy beaches and very strong tidal streams. Closer to France than to England (a mere 12km between Les Écréhous reef and Normandy) they are all that remains of the ancient Duchy of Normandy. The French eventually recovered mainland Normandy but the Islands retained their independence and their links with the UK.

Most Channel Islanders speak English as their mother tongue but you will still see French and Norman French place names everywhere. Many of the routes here are very committing but there are also a good number of gentler paddles.

South East England & Channel Islands Sea Kayaking Guide book Contents

South East England & Channel Islands Sea Kayaking Guide book Contents

The South East of England has a varied landscape of chalk cliffs, pebble beaches, vast expanses of sand, mudflats, and river estuaries. At one extreme the Tidal Thames runs through the densely populated City of London and at the other the deserted North Norfolk coast. It is true that some parts of this region are more attractive to sea kayakers than others, but we have been selective. All of the routes in the guide are worthwhile and many of them are real gems.

As well as providing essential information on where to start and finish, distances, times and tidal information, the book does much to stimulate and inform our interest in the environment we are passing through. It is full of facts and anecdotes about local history,geology, scenery, seabirds and sea mammals.

Author: Derek Hairon et al

ISBN: 978-1-906095-50-5

Format: 272 pages

Published: 1 July 2015*

Pre order you copy. Buy online for £20

*Note: Copies will be distributed as soon as they arrive. The estimated publication date may be subject to revision.

BCU 4 Star Sea Kayak Assessment

January 26th, 2015

Our next BCU 4 star sea kayak assessment is on March 21/22.

Christmas Kayak Gift Voucher Offer

December 3rd, 2014

Paddle away with a 33% saving.

Buy Christmas gift vouchers to give as festive presents, or treat yourself.

Click to view JKA certifications and organisations we support