CSCC Reports 2006: Jersey 27 May - 3 June 2006

Four members of the Civil Service Canoe Club attended the 2006 Jersey sea-kayaking symposium (Beth, Bridget, Chris and Dan J.) which took place at the end of May.

The organisers, Jersey Canoe Club, arranged a varied programme which began with teaching sessions at St Catherine's Bay on navigation, rescues and rolling and forward paddling and video coaching. The standard of coaching at these sessions was extremely high. That said, Bridget made a serious mistake by volunteering to paddle our makeshift raft on the "How far can you go session?". Even as the waters rose up to Bridge's neck she was chided by her crew for failing to paddle hard enough (sorry, Bridget!)

Later in the week we moved on to explore more of beautiful Jersey's coastline, including St Brelade's and Portelet Bays. The highlight of the symposium was undoubtedly our trip to the Ecrehous, which included an overnight stay. This was the first lengthy crossing for most of the CSCC contingent (6 miles from Jersey) and the outward journey was a bit choppy, so it was reassuring to be accompanied by more experienced sea-kayakers from the JCC. It wasn't possible to pitch a tent on the shingle covered reef, so we slept under the stars in bivvie bags bought specially for the occasion from Jersey's dangerously tempting camping shop. There was a lovely sunset and on night fall the lights of France, 8 miles away, were clearly visible from the beach. The trip was also memorable for the cordon bleu steak dinner which one of the JCC contingent cooked on his camping stove and Chris' brave experiment with self-heating meals.

Continuing the theme of food, we all attended the official symposium dinner and two BBQ's and took full advantage of the catering in the JCC boathouse. Well done, Zona Martin and her hard working sandwich and cake making team!

We stayed at the highly recommended Beauvelande campsite in St Martin's. It was fun to be mix with so many fellow paddlers from across Europe. The symposium was featured in the Jersey Evening Post and on the local TV news. As anonymous civil servants, it was an odd feeling to be treated like celebrities.

Our thanks go to the JCC for being such kind and expert hosts. It was a genuine team effort, although Kevin Mansell deserves special thanks.

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All images ©2006 CSCC. Pictures by Beth, Dan and Chris S.