By: Blonde Two

Since the start of the pandemic, getting outside as a family has been missing from so many lives. With a geographically spread out family, this has definitely been the case for family B2. Last weekend however Six-Foot-Blonde and his lovely lady were visiting, and we all built in as much outdoor and seaside fun as we could.

How much outdoor equipment do you need?

It helped that Six-Foot-Blonde arrived with his camper van (van life is becoming a family habit) packed full to the brim with e-bikes, paddle boards, camping equipment, and a dog. All of the aforementioned were disgorged into our house, and together with our own kayaking equipment turned the bottom storey of our house (and the garden) into what resembled a very disorganised Scout camp.

Can families really have happy outdoor adventures?

As you know I swim outside all year round but we haven’t had such fun family water adventures in a very long time (possibly since the days of Scout camps). Armed with paddle boards, buoyancy aids, paddles and loads of towels, we arrived at the beach each day, eager for adventure.

Is it actually possible to SUP in windy weather?

The sea, of course, had ideas contrary to our visions of smooth, elegant paddle board gliding (to be fair, smooth and elegant has never been our family way). The tide and waves were perfect for anyone who fancied surfing up the slip straight into a stone wall. For those of us that didn’t there was plenty of opportunity for wobbly paddling, nose diving into the water, struggling back onto the boards and (in my case) crawling back up the slip because I couldn’t stand up. Oh and laughing! There was plenty of laughing!

Is water photography really my strength?

I didn’t spend all my time crawling. Because I already know that I can’t stand up on a paddle board, my role in all of this was of water-based team photographer. In the waves I discovered it wasn’t easy to a) keep up with paddle boards, b) take pictures without waves crashing over my head, c) get the horizon anywhere near straight. In the end I resorted to donning my trusty buoyancy aid, which did at least mean I didn’t drown.

How can I collect adventure medals?

After two days of this we all discovered bruises in interesting places. I had been really proud of how everyone a) got into what is still fairly cold water, b) kept getting back on the boards, c) was still laughing after it all. When my daughter messaged us to ask if we also had bruises I enlightened her.

After all that effort and good humour, those weren’t bruises, they were adventure badges.

Just a quick water-safety note: As you read this, you might have been tempted to think that family B2 are all complete numpties for trying to paddle board in unsuitable weather. You’d be wrong. The wind was onshore, the waves choppy but not strong, we had two former paddle sport coaches with us, and we were all wearing personal flotation devices. You might want to consider these factors yourself if you are thinking having a go.

Campervan portable showers. A new experience for B2

Too Old for Adventure?