During his lively and thoroughly enjoyable talk Rob McIntyre of Sea Kayaking South West took us to sea, along the coast eastwards from Lee, to Porlock Bay, and to Lundy and back. We travelled in the company of his friends and clients and plenty of wildlife either completely unfazed, or really fascinated and curious, by the kayakers.
He demonstrated that the kayak, a canoe with a not-too-tight opening for you to sit in, is one that almost anyone can safely go to sea in with a little tuition. Developed from the Inuit’s seal skin craft to today’s fibre glass, it is ideal for seeing otherwise inaccessible places.
Whether hugging the coast, winding through caves and fissures, or crossing seas to and from Lundy, North Devon can provide conditions suited to beginners and experts, ranging from glassy seas to turbulent waters, depending on the weather. This judging from Rob’s super photos somehow taken on the go is usually sunny.
As for wildlife, we were shown kittiwakes on cliffs, low flying auks, manxies wheeling above the waves and puffins bobbing alongside. Seals lurked to the rear, dolphins splashed nearby, and whales logged. Most photogenic of all was the lone Bottlenose Dolphin in Combe Martin Bay that allowed Rob, just a few boat lengths away, to take some wonderful shots during several minutes of continuous breaching.
Rob left us wanting more, wanting to join him in a kayak pushing off from Lee Beach for one of North Devon’s great experiences. We may not get further than looking at the website www.seakayakingsouthwest.co.uk, at least not before next summer.