EXPEDITION SKILLS WEEK WITH LEE J. WATERS, ÎLE DE BRÉHAT


FACTS

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++ A really enjoyable, unforgettable week, full of sea kayak camping, foraging and fishing ++
++ Besides learning everything you need to know about surviving in a marine environment, you’ll also learn loads of invaluable skills, such as how to make fire, build shelter, choose a camp location, manage a camp, and everything to do with wildlife & ecology, packing, food-hygiene and planning trips ++
++ Learn from the best: This course will be led by English ISKGA coach and survival expert Lee John Waters ++
++ An officially endorsed ISKGA course and generic module of the ISKGA guide training framework (“Expedition Skills”) ++
++ The best way to prepare yourself for pretty much any adventure you could conceive of… ++
++ Course Language: English ++


COST: 1330 CHF
Excluding travel to and from the destination, accommodation and food. Surcharge if fewer than 4 people attend: CHF 100


LEVEL: RED
What is my level?

12.–19.06.2021

DETAILS

    • Intro
      Sea kayaking is so much more than just a “sport”; more than just a physical activity which happens to take place out on the water. Sea kayaking is pure adventure, a complete immersion in nature and the perennial striving for a deeper understanding of things – out on the water as well as on dry land.

      This course, which is incorporated into a moderate sea kayaking tour along the Atlantic coast of France, is not about paddling technique, rescues, or safety on the water. It’s actually about everything else – those things that make our hobby so unique. This is where you will learn what you need in order to prepare for your future sea kayaking expeditions and adventures: camp skills like building shelters, fire techniques, survival skills – all of which will be carefully adjusted to marine environments and – perhaps most exciting of all – gathering, fishing, and setting fish traps. We will in fact be spending much of the week gathering fantastic food to the rhythm set by the tide, gaining a deeper insight into the fascinating world of the edible plants which grow along the shoreline and under the sea. So, this is the ideal course for all adventurers, camping and bivouacking freaks, lovers of nature and wilderness, hunters and gatherers, fish and seafood junkies, and all those amongst you who have never stopped being curious!

      For this course, it doesn’t matter what knowledge you already have: whether you normally start your fire with a gas stove or a bow drill, this week will provide a unique opportunity for us to immerse ourselves in the subject matter, as we have managed to get hold of an absolute master of all things related to wilderness, survival and expedition skills: top British coach Lee John Waters, freelance trainer for the International Sea Kayak Guide Association (ISKGA) and long-time instructor for the Royal Marines.

      Our course location will be Île de Bréhat and the surrounding Côtes-d’Armor, in the bay of Saint Malo. Here, the plan will be to gently paddle our way from bivouac to bivouac – without having to stick to a specific plan or cover huge distances. The tide alone will determine our schedule. During the week we have selected for this trip, we’ll have tidal ranges of 5m to 7m and moderate currents between the islands, which is why the tour is not suitable for inexperienced newcomers to sea kayaking.

      Important to know: This one-week course includes the ISKGA “Expedition Skills” module, which is normally organised as a three-day course. However, we prefer to offer the module in the context of a week-long course because a) we are convinced that it is far more effective to have the time to be able to really practise what has been learnt and b) we want you to really be able to enjoy this time out in nature. Gathering, fishing, making fire, being outside – THIS IS WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT! We want to have a go at everything and enjoy everything to the full. This isn’t just about learning new skills. It’s also about slowing right down and enjoying real nature. And since that’s what we are aiming for, a week is the absolute minimum!

      This premium course will be led by two Moryak guides (Lee and Sharon) and is limited to a maximum of six participants. Make sure you get your spot while places are still available!
    • Day 1
      Day 1, Saturday (arrival)
      Individually-organised arrival. We’ll meet up at the “Eden Villages Cap de Bréhat” campsite over the course of the afternoon of 12 June. We'll work out the details as a group.
    • Day 2–7
      Day 2 to day 7
      At 09:30 on the 13th of June it will be high tide in the shallow bay of Paimpol. We'll use this opportunity to set off northward, in the direction of Île de Bréhat. However, because we are making a point of keeping all our options open on this kayaking tour, our advance planning won’t extend beyond this. Depending on the weather, we’ll be able to choose from more exposed routes, e.g. around Cap de Bréhat or to the rocky islands of Les Héaux, and more sheltered tours on the delta of the Trieux.

      As already mentioned, what’s more important than the route we take is the course content:

      Camp craft and organisation:
      Group dynamics on expeditions
      Choosing the right camp
      Camp organisation in accordance with the "Please Remember What Comes First" rule
      Building shelters, improvisation, rescue
      Camp and food hygiene
      Leave No Trace

      Planning and preparation:
      Planning food and drinking water
      Sourcing and preparing drinking water on the coast: there are more possibilities than you might think
      Equipment and packing: What must we take with us? What can we take with us? What really makes sense? How do I get organised and how do I pack?

      Fire and bushcraft:
      Flint and steel and other methods – up to and including the bow drill
      Survival and making fire in every situation, using whatever you can find
      Safety and Leave No Trace
      Minimal equipment and the bail out bag

      Hunting and gathering:
      Kayak fishing
      Setting crab traps
      The intertidal zone: mussels and other seafood
      Seaweed and algae
      Food from the intertidal zone

      Wildlife and ecology:
      Start to really get to know the fascinating flora and fauna of the coastal and intertidal zones.
      Wildlife and conservation ethics
    • Day 8
      Day 8, Saturday:
      Individually-organised travel back
    • More info
      Group size: Min. three participants, max. six.

      The price includes fishing equipment,
      boats, paddles, life jackets, spray decks and, if required, neoprene long johns, shoes, paddling jackets and helmets. Also, make sure you bring your own functional underwear (wool or snug-fitting fleece, NOT cotton!) and swimming costume.

      If you like, you can also rent a drysuit from us. Cost: CHF 120

      The kitty: Even though we will collect a lot of delicious things from nature, that does not mean that we would not stock up on "conventional" supplies for our Expedition Skills Week. So as always, we will set up a kitty for meals. In fact, there will actually be two: one for food (€100 contribution per person) and one for alcohol (depending on how much you consume, or your best guess at it). Nobody is obliged to pay into the kitty, nor to eat together with us. But cooking and eating together after a strenuous day's paddling is just good fun, and not only does it help to strengthen our tired muscles; it also helps us to create a sense of community. Find more on this topic here.

      Weather:
      As you might expect, we can't make any guarantees in terms of weather or sea state. In order to ensure everyone's safety, our guide will decide how to carry out the planned programme locally on a daily basis, and whether to do so. As experienced sea kayakers, we know that Neptune always has the last word.

      Accident insurance is the responsibility of the participants.
      We also strongly recommend that you obtain travel cancellation insurance. Please read our GTC on the topic of cancellation fees, cancellation deadlines etc.
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    PARTICIPATION REQUIREMENTS:

    ++ Must be able to swim ++
    ++ 5 days of sea kayaking experience on the sea ++
    ++ You are confident sitting in a kayak and can do the basics ++
    ++ You are confident paddling at Beaufort force 3 and in waves of about 2 ft ++

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    2021 CANCELLED (COVID)


    How to get to Paimpol, Côtes-d'Armor:

    • Rail

      ++ From all directions to Paris ++
      ++ Continue with the TGV via Rennes to Guingamp ++
      ++ From Guingamp on with the regional train to Paimpol ++

    • Road

      ++ Carpooling from CH via Dijon (A38, A5) or Auxerre (A6), Paris, Le Mans, Rennes, Saint Brieuc, Paimpol ++

    • Aeroplane

      ++ With all European airlines to Paris ++
      ++ From there on by train (see above) ++

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