Now that autumn has taken its cold hold in England, there are lots of cheap holidays to be had in the still warm climates of Europe. Holidays in Spain and particularly holidays to Gran Canaria are a superb option for those looking for a quick but exotic watersports getaway.
This sensational island is packed full of activities and stunning scenery, making it a brilliant choice for kayaking enthusiasts and families alike.
What makes Gran Canaria particularly extraordinary as a kayaking destination is that the island has a rich variety of microclimates.
After discussing with a friend about whether winter kayaking was a wise way of checking new craft, I lent him one of of my handmade boats (a prototype) to test, and we decided to get paddling. Dorset at West Bay would give us plenty of options to deal with everything the weather could throw at us. But all good plans…
We met up on a very cold and frosty Saturday morning and after a kit check and introducing Mark to his boat we headed to West Bay near Bridport to lay eyes on the sea conditions and plan according to the forecasts for the day.
I recently got my hands on an Overboard dry daysack. So, to see just what it was made of, I tested it walking and kayaking – it is a rucksack after all, so let’s see if it did what it said on the tin/ lid.
The route a friend and I chose was from Shaugh Bridge to Hexworthy – about 11 miles in total with a few detours for the tors and old tin works of Dartmouth.
With the steep start out of the way, and us up onto the moor and out of the forest, we opened up the pace a little and I found that the day sack was both comfortable and easy to carry, although it was a little small to hold all the kit I’d normally be carrying for a days walking.
Winter’s crap isn’t it? And as I build both kayaks and canoes of varying designs I like to keep paddling as long as possible in the year. But why mothball the boats at all when you can carry on kayaking and canoeing at night or just long into the evening?
So long as you follow some simple safety advice and use the right kit, you should never get into bother – and you’ll pretty much have the water to yourself!
Here’s 10 safety tips for kayaking and canoeing at night, read them and get hours more paddling time.
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