Three days of sea kayaking under the instruction and guidance of Alison French with her kayaking skills, knowledge of the lochs, islands / area generally, charming character, wit, gentle approach, confidence building and above all home-made flap jacks (!) just wasn't enough !!
As you can probably tell I (and the four friends I was with) had a fantastic time.
Sea Kayak Plockton is solely owned and run by Alison and whilst the business is still in its relative infancy (started in 2010) you'd honestly believe that she had been doing it all her working life. For my part, having gone to Plockton for a weeks holiday with no experience of sea kayaking before...or that part of Scotland for that matter... I can honestly say that it was one of the best holidays I have ever had.
Our week was to have been split with three days (Monday/Wednesday) booked with Alison, kayaking and two/three days walking/sight seeing. On the Monday we had our first taste in the kayaks. Alison introduced herself to us and explained how the day would progress. She was fully prepared with knowledge of the weather conditions, tides and winds and suggested what sort of route she would be taking us on around the coast and islands around Plockton to suit our abilities and to take advantage of how the tides and winds would be able to assist us.... at the same time take in the wonderful scenery, both landscape and wildlife. The day went exceptionally well and although we experienced an assortment of sea conditions, with Alisons expert, unflappable teaching skills we all arrived home safely...and dry !
However, Tuesday was possibly going to be a different story. The weather conditions (mainly wind) were due to deteriorate and Alison decided that it would be best for all concerned not to go out that day (a very good decision as it turned out !!).
So as not to lose out on our full 'three' days of kayaking Alison, in her, as we now know it to be, inimitable way, offered to change her week around a bit and said that we could still do the Wednesday (forecast looked good) and then mix in with another couple of clients on the Friday. That turned out to be the best thing she could have done for us.
To cut a long story short, the Wednesday took us to a different part of the area experiencing different kayak skills including one where Alison had to perform a 'rescue' when one of our party capsized in relatively rough seas (well I thought they were rough anyway!)...all of which she did in an unnaturally calm and efficient way.
The Friday was the best day of all. with wonderfully calm waters, lunch on a coral beached island (where the two other clients got engaged !), great fun and banter..(including the dry suit episode ! ) and more kayaking skills including two different types of rescue and towing techniques (even though a couple of us tried to make it harder than it should have been).
All in all,as I said at the beginning...three days of kayaking just wasn't enough.
I for one will very definitely be going back for another 'experience'
Value for money ?....without a doubt.....(All the gear you will need for your trip can be provided and it's all of excellent quality)
Value for fun ? Absolutely no question.
Would I recommend it to others?....without hesitation.
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