By: Blonde Two
Photo – flickr.com drgillybean.
On Monday I was lucky enough to be invited to go coasteering with a group of students.
Well actually, I was invited to go gorge-walking, which I think is scrambling up a wet river and jumping in cold pools. (Note to self, find out what an activity entails before saying ‘yes’!) I was excited but concerned about my abilities to either scramble or jump.
A phone call in the morning announced that gorge-walking had been cancelled because there was too much water in the Erme (Dartmoor had been raining again!) We were offered kayaking, something I have done to a level of confidence. I was still excited but concerned about fitting my bottom into a loan kayak. One of our students made me laugh because he asked the very sensible question, “If there is too much water to gorge-walk, then isn’t there also too much water to kayak?” I tried to explain but am not sure I did a very good job.
I had settled my mind quite happily into Plan B when, upon arrival at the Mount Batten Centre in Plymouth (a most excellent facility) we were offered coasteering as option three. None of us really needed much persuasion when the words ‘power boat’ were used so we all kitted up in wetsuits (mine initially inside out) and I started to worry instead about falling to my death off very high cliffs.
I needn’t have worried at all, I had the most marvellous time; in fact I think it was the most fun I have had in ages. With a wetsuit, a helmet and a buoyancy aid, bobbing around in the sea and scrambling on and off rocks is just the right amount of adventure for a Blonde. There was jumping in if required but no expectations to do so. I opted for a bit of scrambling (barnacles are now my best friend as, despite leaving holes in my fingers, they added a level of grippiness to the rocks), and a lot of bobbing. There was also a fair amount of giggling, holding on to each other and screaming!
If you have ever considered coasteering (or even if you haven’t), I would definitely recommend giving it a go. You need the right equipment and some professional guidance, but you don’t need to be very brave (unless you are particularly bothered by seaweed!)