Once again, I was privileged enough to be asked to be a tutor for the 27th Anglesey Symposium held over May bank holiday weekend at Anglesey Outdoors, hosted and co-ordinated by the indomitable Nigel Dennis. Day one for me was spent in and around Trearddur Bay putting attendees through their paces with open water rolling and rescues. Despite it being May, and for the most part sunny, the spring temperatures felt unseasonably low and I was very grateful to be wearing my Kokatat expedition drysuit. That evening saw the formidable Freya Hoffmeister talk about her amazing achievement of circumnavigating Australia, a distance of 13790 in 332 days.
Day two had me heading out to Penrhyn Mawr in the company of Phil Clegg, aspirant Level 5, with a group of paddlers keen to improve their rough water handling skills. While the tiderace wasn't on epic form, after warming up between the Fangs, everyone found several good waves to surf in the outer races. Lots of smiling face at the end of the day. Day three was more formal with a number of participants wanting to be assessed for their 3*, and all of whom were successful.
As with all such events, its a mixture of work, play and networking. A chance to snatch rare moments with sea kayaking friends who have been in your life for a long as memory serves but whose paths you cross more and more infrequently. There are also newly formed friendships which may become the foundation of adventures to come. Either way, an annual visit to Anglesey to pay homage to the great and the good of sea kayaking is one of those rituals that needs to be performed. Almost as if without it, the season ahead on the water, either coaching or personal expeditions, goes unblessed.