What is your job and briefly what does it involve?
I work as a Senior Lecturer in Physical Geography at Keele University. The job principally involves teaching undergraduates about this wonderful subject and trying to instill something of my own passion for landscapes in particular. With a specific research interest in glaciers and permafrost it also provides the opportunity to undertake field work in some of the colder parts of the world such as Alaska, the Canadian Arctic, Greenland and Iceland.
What 3 words would you use to describe yourself?
Sociable, generous, thoughtful
Food – Spaghetti carbonara
Music –Sigur Ros
Interests - Anything outdoors: walking, biking, photography and paddling of course!
Books – Currently reading “The Ghosts of Cape Sabine”
What does sea kayaking offer you?
The opportunity to escape from the stresses and distractions of modern-day life. I always find if amazing that you can have such a great adventure such a small distance offshore. I love the way that sea kayaking provides the opportunity to visit places that few other people get the chance to see whilst also providing a contrasting offshore perspective of the U.K.’s amazing coastal scenery. The encounters with seals, porpoises, dolphins and various sea birds are an added bonus!
What have you achieved, to date through paddling with Roger and Coastal Spirit?
When I first paddled with Roger and Coastal Spirit, I’d only even been out in a sea kayak for 4 days. So pretty much everything I’ve learned has been achieved thanks to Roger’s patient and insightful tutelage and guidance. Getting my BCU 3* sea kayaking qualification was a real milestone and I’m now thinking of starting my 4* leader training.
Why Coastal Spirit?
Three things. (1) The opportunity to learn from and work with the same person during each and every visit. This means that Roger knows your strengths and weaknesses and is able to tailor each trip to help maximize your development. (2) Roger’s keen eye for detail – whether they be paddling tips or the named bag of paddling kit provided when you’re a beginner. (3) The company – Roger, Sonja and everyone I’ve paddled with on Coastal Spirit trips provide such enjoyable company both on and off the water.
What are you looking forward to and where would you most like to paddle next and why?
Looking forward to paddling around Anglesey (hopefully) with Roger in August. It will also provide an opportunity to link all the places I’ve visited with Roger and Coastal Spirit over the years and will therefore provide another personal paddling milestone.
The around Anglesey trip provided my first opportunity to do a multi-day journey and camp out of a sea kayak, something I should have done years ago! - This Rich completed in 2 days - 19.5 hours, with breaks and a wild camp 8/2015
I’d also like to continue to explore more of Britain’s amazing coastline – an opportunity that only sea kayaking can provide - day trips in Scotland under his own planning. Aug 2016 Rich paddled six days in Orkney, 2 of which were on an overnight camp.
3 words to sum up your time with Coastal Spirit?
Uplifting, challenging (in a good way) and convivial
"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"
"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."