It began with a pure passion for wild places, particularly the coast and mountains of North Wales. With a sense of adventure and respect for the environment Roger Chandler was inspired to share this part of the world with others.
Roger was introduced to hill walking at an early age by his parents and then to inland kayaking by his dad and brother.
From being involved with a youth club he choose to pursue a career in the outdoors, working in various centers and projects, ranging from the role of instructor, operations manager and technical adviser.
During this time Roger gained further national governing body qualifications, such as the British Canoeing (BC) Level 5 Sea Kayak Coach. An award that is a highly respected throughout the world.
Then three events happened within the same year. Roger was told that a good friend had terminal cancer, who was 40 and he had only months to live. Within the same year Roger took a difficult fall off his mountain bike in the french Alps. While laying in a ditch, he felt he had broken his back. Life flashed past him and what was important became clearer. Thoughts soon became plans and a move to North Wales, to also start a new company became a reality. The rest as they say is history!
Along side being an active Level 5 Coach Roger is a BC UKCC Moderate Sea Kayak (4 star) Leader , UKCC Advanced Sea Kayak (5 star) Leader, sea trainer and assessor, as well as safety training course provider with the BC Coastal Navigation and Tidal Planning (CNTP) and the Open Water Navigation and Tidal Planning (OWNTP) course. He holds a national diploma in youth work, a degree in development training, has over 27 years experience of working in the outdoors and is the director of Coastal Spirit - 2017 marked 10 years for Coastal Spirit!
Roger has paddled and led groups in the Southern Ocean and Chilean Patagonia, the Mediterranean Sea, such as Majorca, Menorca and an open water crossing of 60 km back to Majorca. North West Sardinia, Turkey and a circumnavigation of Sicily (10/2010). Paddling throughout the UK with a 1000k paddle round Wales (using the canals inland) and three times with clients around the Roof of Britain a paddle of 800km and with significant headlands such as Cape Wrath and sections such as the Pentland Firth. Further West to Canada, and Vancouver Island and an area called the Gulf Islands and above the arctic circle, to Norway's Lofoten islands. He has paddled solo out and back to the Isles of Scilly, lead a group across the English Channel and crossed to Ireland. In 2013 he achieved a long time dream and paddled the 900 nm around Ireland which can also be seen on the P&H Blog in a summarised format here.
In the summer of 2017 he also spent 20 days in NW Greenland with Olly Sanders, using sea kayaks to find new rock climbs - 16 rock pitches were climbed in total and two new summits of over 800 metres were also climbed. More details can be found here. One month after Greenland, Roger used his Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) to paddle around Menorca (240km) and became the first Brit!
Roger is a pro member with P&H sea kayaks, VE Paddles, Kokatat paddle gear, Hilleberg the tentmaker and Patagonia clothing. He has also achieved a Highly Commended, Professional Coach of the year award 2012, through Canoe & Kayak magazine and more details can be seen by clicking on the link here.
Roger is passionate about protecting the ocean and promoting cleaner seas. He is proud to be a member of the 250 Club and support Suffers Against Sewage (SAS).
Roger believes strongly that it essential to ensure his personal skills and ability are maintained at a high standard, so on his days off over the Winter, he goes paddling (started Stand Up Paddleboarding - SUP in 2015). He is highly dependable, passionate, cheerful and really enjoys being under the stars next to a driftwood fire.
Oh, and if you're still interested he will tell you the third reason for moving to North Wales and setting up Coastal Spirit, when he sees you ....
Articles writen by Roger Chandler
Expedition to Norway ~ A paddle around the five main islands and a distance of 400k to Norway's Lofoten islands.
A solo paddle down in the SW to the Eddystone Lighthouse
Performance and leadership training and assessment courses in Italy Sea Kayaking BCU course Sicily
Sonja developed her passion for the outdoors when she was introduced to the world of the sea and living by the coast of North Devon whilst training to be a Paediatric Nurse. During this time she learnt to wave ski, body board and mountain bike and later became a competent open canoeist and sea kayaker!
Sonja relishes the simplicity of expedition life and discovering new shores and locations from her boat, sleeping under the stars and exploring wild and beautiful places.
Sonja is a BC Level 2 Paddlesport Coach and has canoed and sea kayaked extensively in the UK, Finland, Norway and the Lofoten Islands, Turkey, Sardinia, Canada and the Gulf Islands and has paddled 750k of the Sicilian coastline.
She has extensively coached and mentored others in their personal development and held senior leadership and management roles, as well as having worked as a volunteer project manager in Patagonia for Raleigh International and is currently undertaking a PGCE.
Sonja provides freelance Life and Leadership Coaching and runs Coaching Wales www.coachingwales.co.uk
Articles writen by Sonja Ezergailis:
"I've just completed a two day 4* Sea kayak training course with Roger. Having been coached by Roger in the past, I choose to do this course with Roger because I knew I would get a great deal from the course. My expectations were certainly well and truly met"
"And I'm probably learning more from his mentoring now, as my paddling horizons expand, than ever before. I can't count how many questions I've asked... and he's answered. Roger has the knack of making that suggestion that radically changes your thinking and moves your paddling on in leaps and bounds."
"There are a number of wonderful things about Roger. He has a very light touch in his coaching, and he's always smiling and encouraging you to relax into the enjoyment of the day"