Jersey Kayak Adventures

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Jersey Kayak Adventures win Jersey Enterprise Environmental Credentials Award

June 8th, 2013
Jersey Enterprise awards 2013

Derek and Trudie collecting the Jersey Enterprise Environmental award

We have just been awarded the 2013 Jersey Enterprise Environmental Credentials Award sponsored by Jersey Electricity Company.

The awards night which was attended by over 600 people with 90 entrants.

We are just one of 4 Green Tourism Gold standard businesses in Jersey.

The judge’s commented:

“Jersey Kayak Adventures are ambassadors for the environment in which they operate. Their environmental credentials and sustainable business plan were fully endorsed last year when Jersey Kayak Adventures became only the fourth Jersey business to be awarded the UK’s Green Tourism Scheme Gold standard.”

Here is an edited synopsis of our ward winning entry which gives a little more insight into our eco-tourism and environmental approach.

Jersey Enterprise Environmental award. Jersey Kayak and Walk Adventures entry

Environmental Excellence

GTBS logoJersey Kayak Adventures was awarded Green Tourism Business Scheme GOLD in 2012.

We encourage eco-friendly transport by offering eco-discounts to clients who use the bus, walk or cycle to get to our venues.

Developed a supplier screening questionnaire to ensure we are using the most environmentally friendly suppliers when possible.

Staff pick up litter found on beaches/sea and encourage clients to assist.

Bird counts on north coast of Jersey. Organised Societe Jersiaise Marine Biology section overnight at Seymour tower to conduct research in Ramsar wetlands site. Our discovery of unusual bioluminescent creatures on the seabed is generating new research data and presents an exciting market opportunity.

Jersey enterprise award winners logo 2013

Jersey Enterprise Environmental Award winners 2013

Supported the Genuine Jersey Food Festival.

Introduction of an Oyster Trail, which culminates in tasting local oysters at Seymour Inn to encourage buying local seafood. Individuals, who otherwise wouldn’t buy oysters, are motivated to try local produce.

Edible seaweed walk developed for the Genuine Jersey Food Festival 2012/3 We linked up with local restaurants who are producing a seaweed themed menu.

Our Director Derek Hairon is a member of the Chamber of Commerce Sustainable Business Forum.

Customer surveys reveal that for 53% of clients our Eco-awards are a factor when booking.

Changed design and contents of brochures to enhance longevity and reduce the disposal of costly brochures e.g. if prices or dates change each year. Use paper from sustainably managed forests.

Recycling of ink cartridges and use of recycled paper.

Jersey Kayak Adventures. Winner of the Jersey Enterprise Environment award for Eco and Green Tourism in Jersey. 2013Participated in Jersey College for Girls School Eco Day. Produced games and competitions for the children to learn about the local marine ecosystem.

Discounted rates for schools and youth groups.

Jersey Kayak Adventures is the Seymour Tower guide trainer for Jersey Heritage Trust.

Water consumption in 2012 reduced.

Electricity kept to similar levels to 2011

Vehicles fuel costs held to similar levels in spite of fuel increases.

Leadership

Regular meetings with staff and involvement in the development of operating procedures ensure that quality is maintained.

Rewarding staff commitment by funding further training e.g. first aid courses, Jersey Tourism Bronze Badge guide course.

Our instructors’ deep knowledge of local history and nature is regularly praised by clients.

Strategy

We meet National Standards for our activities. British Canoe Union Approved centre, Adventuremark, Learning Outside the Classroom. Annual inspections by UK based national governing bodies (NGBs) ensure our processes meet current good practice and also enable us to learn of new ideas and developments.

We support staff to undertake further training e.g. Jersey Tourism Bronze Badge award and BCU Coaching qualifications. This has resulted in an increase in staff motivation and commitment.

People & Process

Apart from selecting and maintaining high quality equipment and the promotion of Jersey’s natural beauty, the quality of our staff is the key to our success. The company stands on good communication with our customers as well as within the company to guarantee best performance. Staff meetings at the beginning and end of the season take place and staff receive direct feed back during the season. Compliments are passed on to staff along with our customer service feedback survey.

We fund staff participation in conferences and courses, not only to keep their currant instructor qualification valid (British Canoe Union courses; First Aid; Wild Life Safe training).

New ideas for specialised walks were developed by staff, which generated increased income.

With customers leaving booking more and more to the last minute in 2012 we invested in an office manager to facilitate a more efficient customer service. The introduction of an online credit card payment system frees up staff time.

Product, Pricing and Marketing

New products developed/introduced/or planned in 2013:
Shorter taster style sunset paddles
Kayak fishing courses
Family kayaking tours
Special walks for families with young children,
Food walks with the focus on oysters and seaweed
Participation in the Jersey Food Festival
Guided fungi forays.

Oysters and seaweed walks combined with dinner events promote and support local businesses, e.g. members of Genuine Jersey, from where Jersey Walk Adventures now also receives marketing support. The food walks raised considerable media interest at a local, national and international level and helps to promote Jersey.

To add value to our products and attract new customers we invested in Wellington boots and neoprene aqua shoes. This service has created extra income stimulating the booking of walks in winter and at night with visitors and locals alike (who might have been deterred from booking because they lacked suitable footwear). Walks bookings have increased.

To break ground in the British kayaking market, director Derek Hairon writes for specialist kayaking magazines. Derek has co-authored the Channel Islands and SE England Sea Kayaking guide (published by Pesda Press late 2013).

New business opportunities off island: Links developed with a Finnish outdoor company to offer kayak courses in the shoulder months. Creation of an island walking program with a Swiss personal development and team building company.

Customer Focus

Customer satisfaction is vital for the business, as in the small community of Jersey word of mouth is the best recommendation – proven by our annual customer survey.

Customer retention is assisted by post course kayaking trips at reduced rates. Our kayak club for our regulars also offers low cost Third Party Accident Insurance, so our kayakers comply with recent changes to Jersey Coastguard regulations for kayak registration and insurance.

German speaking staff are able to target the developing German market.

Video clip shown at the Jersey Enterprise awards event.

Derek Hairon

Custom sea kayak guide and leadership training courses in Jersey

April 10th, 2013
sea kayak on 4 star training course.Developing paddle skills near rocks

Develop essential paddle skills

We now offer custom sea kayak guide, leadership and skills courses, often in the shoulder months, for sea kayakers to develop their sea kayak skills within a personally designed training program.

Sea kayakers from Finland, Switzerland, the UK and Mauritius have chosen Jersey as their base to develop leadership and sea kayak guiding skills due to the range of different sea kayaking opportunities around the coast.

Sea kayak guiding and skills training courses

Sea kayaking and sea kayak guiding is a growth area In many countries but there is often a lack of a local national standard for paddlers and kayak guides to benchmark themselves against, especially if they plan to lead or guide sea kayak tours. Increasingly paddlers look to the BCU awards for internationally recognised sea kayaking qualifications.

Individual courses can be tailor made to suit a paddlers needs depending on the amount of time available, the level they wish to attain and budget. This is based on a personal performance profile. Internship style options during the main season are also possible.

Why sea kayak in Jersey?

Sea kayak leadership courses.BCU 4 star training.Blow holes and kayaks

Blow holes near Bonne Nuit Bay

Though Jersey might seem small, the island has superb sea kayaking. On the west coast there are excellent surf beaches, which have produced a couple of surf kayak world champions, while the north coast cliffs are riddled with caves and rock gardens.

Just to add an extra bit of flavour, there are a few “interesting” tide races – a result of the huge 12m tide range. This is an island where the sea really can rise and fall by up to 3 inches per minute.

If that is not enough, the offshore reefs of Les Minquiers and Les Écréhous and the other Channel Islands provide a range of offshore sea kayaking opportunities.

At the same time stunningly calm and clear waters can still be found even in mid winter. Drysuits and all equipment can be supplied.

Good transport links and infra structure on Jersey

BCU 4 star leader training and assessment courses.Sea kayaking in overfalls

Overfalls training and rock gardens at La Tour de Rozel

Unlike some locations Jersey has excellent transport links and there is also plenty of other things to do. This makes it feasible for partners and even families to stay on the island.

At times the needs of students cover more than just sea kayaking. Our most most recent students from Kola Kayaking in Finland realised that they lacked skills in preparing lobster and flatfish.

The upshot was that we arranged a master class on preparing lobster and flatfish with Daniel the proprietor and chef at Bracewells restaurant, St Aubin. This included sending Peter and Sanna off to buy a live lobster from Faulkner Fisheries.

Fortunately the live lobster did not escape on their bus  journey to the restaurant.

Listen to Peter Forsstrom of Kola Kayaking in Finland talk about his sea kayaking experiences in Jersey.

How to Prepare Jersey Lobster and Brill – a Master-Class

March 27th, 2013
Learning to fillet Brill

Daniel makes it look very easy

Peter and Sanna have been visiting Jersey from Finland to complete an intensive sea kayak training course. Along with the great sea kayaking in Jersey they have been blown away by the quality of Jersey seafood.

They asked us to show them, how to prepare Jersey lobster. In Finland lobster is an expensive dish, so it’s important to get it right. They were also keen to learn how to prepare fish.

Knowing just how passionate Daniel and Mary at Bracewell’s Restaurant, St Aubin, are about using fresh Jersey produce to produce their excellent meals, it seemed a good idea to ask a professional chef to show them.

Sanna’s homework was to go to Faulkner fisheries at L’Etac to buy a live Jersey lobster and four brill. The lobster was popped into a plastic bag with a couple of elastic bands around its claws and she boarded the bus with her ‘catch of the day’. Fortunately the lobster didn’t try to make an escape attempt on the number 12a bus.

At Bracewell’s Daniel set about preparing the lobster and brill at a rapid rate and armed with a razor sharp knife, which he tested for sharpness by cutting pieces of paper with. “Tell me to go slower, if you can’t keep up” Daniel reminded us with a smile.

Learning to fillet Brill

Trickier than it looks!

Having watched the expert prepare a lobster and then fillet the brill, Peter had to prove his skills. No question, he took far longer. What looked so easy with Daniel proved to be much harder for a novice – be it taking off the skin of the flatfish or getting the meat off the bones.

With some professional tips from Daniel, Peter was soon starting to get the hang of filleting fish.

By the end of the class the family had a lobster and a selection of fillets to take back to their apartment with. As might be expected the lobster and fish were eaten that night, and Peter is already planning to head out to buy more Jersey seafood to practice his preparation skills.

There is more than just some great sea kayaking in Jersey!

A big thanks to Daniel and Mary at Bracewell’s Restaurant, St Aubin, www.bracewells.je, tel. 01534-747014.

12m high tide today in Jersey is higher than predicted

October 17th, 2012

12m high tide by our house

High water (17/10/2012) at 0814 was predicted at 11.67m.

With low pressure of 998mb and a Force 6 SW wind the actual height of the tide was pushed up to 12m.

The National Oceanography centre tidal gauge for St Helier shows the increase as around .5m.

Previmer surface sea levels data also shows how the wind and low pressure led to the storm surge.

Sea levels remained higher well after the high tide had passed.

Downside is that the low tides are not likely to pull down so far as a result.

Surface sea levels around Jersey

Sea levels remaining above average due to storm surge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tide gauge at St Helier above predictions by .5m

 

 

 

 

 

 

Derek Hairon on Google+

Jersey’s outdoor riches sampled by Britain’s leading outdoor writers and photographers

October 15th, 2012
kayaking at Beauport

After the rain had passed

This weekend we joined forces with Jersey Tourism and other local activity providers to lay on a feast of outdoor adventure activities for the Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild (OWPG) 32nd annual conference.

As well as attending the annual conference around 50 delegates explored the vast range of outdoor pursuits offered by local activity providers, from bush walking, blo-karting and mountain biking to coasteering, walking, climbing and sea kayaking.

“Jersey is an intriguing place for this gathering of many of the country’s leading outdoor writers with its combination of sunshine, history and wide range of outdoor activities.” Said OWPG chairman Jonathan Williams.

And OWPG conference organiser Dennis Kelsall added: “The island is packed with outdoor things to do and see. I’m sure our delegates will be inspired by what they experience and will want to write about this wonderful outdoor island.”

kayak photography

An opportunity to try and get a good photo

The Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild, founded in 1980, represents the cream of the UK’s media professionals working largely or entirely on outdoor subjects. Its membership includes writers, journalists, photographers, illustrators, broadcasters, film-makers, artists, publishers and editors, all of whom share a passionate interest in the outdoors.

Feedback already suggests that many delegates were impressed with the range of adventure activities in Jersey on offer. At least one photo journalist is already planning an article on the island.

As part of the conference programme we organised both novice and intermediate sea kayak tours to explore the coastline.

Derek Hairon on Google+
Google

Not a good day to travel by ferry in the Channel islands

August 25th, 2012

Routes of the Condor Rapide with detours

It’s not been a good day to be travelling on the ferries.

Strong winds caused the Condor Rapide to turn back to St Malo when just off les Minquiers this morning.

The sailing from Guernsey to St Malo went via the east coast of Jersey to get some shelter during the afternoon. Normally it heads west of Jersey and les Minquiers.

This evenings sailing from St Malo to Jersey looks like it had to make a larger course change to reduce the effects of the wind and swell north of les Minquiers.

The Condor Express from Poole headed directly to Jersey instead of first stopping at Guernsey while the Clipper waits of the south west coast so both high speed ferries can dock.

Note how the islands provide protection from the swell

People often say the roughest part of the crossing is between Jersey and les Minquiers.

3.2m wave heights reported this afternoon and perhaps higher elsewhere offshore.

The Previmer chart shows how Guernsey, Jersey and les Minquiers provide shelter from the ocean swells.

Eco Gold awarded to Jersey Kayak Adventures by Green Tourism Business scheme

August 15th, 2012

GTBS logoSea kayaking is a superb adventure sport to experience the beauty of Jersey’s coastline and observe wildlife . It is also an opportunity to raise awareness about the environment and Green issues in Jersey.

Jersey Kayak Adventures has gone further by gaining the Green Tourism Business Scheme (GTBS) Gold award and, is just one of five tourism related businesses in the Channel Islands to reach the Gold standard.

The Green Tourism Business Scheme is the most successful environmental accreditation scheme for tourism businesses of its type in the world, with approximately 2,500 members in the UK. Originally developed in 1997, the scheme assesses tourism businesses across of a range of measures (including energy, waste, water, purchasing, transport, communication etc.) with three levels of award: Gold, Silver or Bronze.

Kayak adventures in jersey to explore geology

Guided tours to explore the coastal Geology of Jersey

For a small company like ours meeting Green Tourism Business Gold standards may seem like yet another distraction from the daily task of running a business. In a recession some might argue that Eco credentials are considered less important by consumers.

Yet, when we looked at customer feedback we discovered that Green awards were a positive factor influencing bookings. Many customers reported that Eco awards encouraged them to book a sea kayak tour or course in Jersey.

We were assessed on a range of environmental indicators and customer service. A few of our approaches scored highly:

  • Offering a discount to clients if they use public transport, cycle or walk to launching points.
  • Collecting sea junk by kayak

    Try not to get carried away collecting sea junk

    Encouraging staff and clients to pick up discarded and old bits of fishing gear from remote beaches. Some clients have even treated this as a competition to see who can bring back the most detritus. The current record is a large wooded cable drum which ended up being recycled into a coffee table.

In the case of Jersey Kayak Adventures, the business is very green and low impact. Director, Derek Hairon and his team are well qualified with a high environmental awareness, good networking, and a strong green marketing profile. The business has excellent green information for customers, including the website, along with good educational aspects on sustainability and community involvement/support. There is also a strong support of local heritage and culture.” Said GTBS assessor Paul Jeffries.

Exploring Jerseys history from the sea

Discover the maritime history of Jersey from the sea

Our staff are often the first “locals” visitors have a chance to talk with; so during 2012 we enrolled staff in the Jersey Tourism Bronze Badge tour guide award to ensure they have an in-depth knowledge of not just kayaking but also the history of Jersey.

 

Sea kayaking course in Jersey.New date added

July 2nd, 2012

Our 6 week kayak course starts on Sunday 29 July 0930-1200

£235 with manual.

Kayak course details

BCU 4 star leader sea kayak training in Jersey

June 30th, 2012
sea kayak in a blow hole jersey

Ensure the others in the group can rescue you before you head into tricky places

I’ve just had a great bunch of sea kayakers kayaking in Jersey as part of their BCU 4 star leader sea kayak training.

The calm conditions on Monday allowed us time to work on a few skills followed by towing in the tide race at Belle Hougue. and on the water navigation exercises.

Practice your navigation skills

A simple method to get used to kayak based navigation is to always carry a map/chart on board so you get used to assessing your position. Even if you know an area well, reading a map/chart afloat is a skill and is best learned before you head out on a trip along unfamiliar coastline.

Sea kayaking in Jersey caves

sea kayak in a jersey cave

A whistle is a good way to communicate in caves and noisy places

Tuesday was a caving day at Greve de Lecq. This gave us lots of opportunity to look at leading skills and the issues that can arise if you start leading groups into more tricky spots.

Once in a cave (or any spot with a lot of crashing waves) voice communication is very difficult. Sort out some basic whistle signals so the group know when to enter -or not enter- the cave or gully. We carried out a few tests using voice and whistles. The whistles worked best -especially a referees pea whistle-. Just ensure the group know what each blast means.

Future water

Think future water. Observe swells before you charge in and plan ahead. That calm spot may be the only moment of the day when it’s calm so take your time and “look before you leap”! Around Jersey e have 12m tides so you also need to consider how the conditions and water depth are changing minute by minute.

4 star sea kayak cave landings

4 star involves landing in difficult spots

Watch this video to see how fast the tide rises in Jersey.

Protection

Consider how you are going to stop people ending up in in places you do not want them to be in. There are times when leading may involve putting yourself in places so you can quickly sort out problems.

Know the limits of your group

It may be fun for you paddling into some tricky places but if there is no-one in the group who can get you out of trouble stay out.

Derek Hairon

BCU Foundation safety and rescue training (FSRT) 16 June

June 8th, 2012

Key safety, rescue skills and training to deal with common paddlesport emergencies.

FSRT course details

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