What is your job and briefly what does it involve?
I’m a lecturer in ‘environmental stuff’, much of what I do relates to trying to get people to view the sustainability elements of their actions and decisions.
Food – lots of it
Music – diverse
Interests - spending as much time as I can outdoors
Movies – I’m ashamed to say it might be Bridget Jones’ Diary…
What does sea kayaking offer you?
Escape from filling out forms, and a focus, with sea kayaking there always seems so much to learn, the sea will always be able to surprise you, so you never stop learning. I get bored when I stop learning. I don’t see that happening with the sea.
What have you achieved, to date through paddling with Roger and Coastal Spirit?
My outdoor background is really in backpacking, sea kayaking offer that opportunity to carry more bottles of wine and go for longer trips without having to touch civilization. I’ve done several week to fortnight trips from my boat, and am looking for longer and bigger trips. Highlights with Coastal Spirit and Roger (so far!) include circumnavigating Mull, and getting some balance back in life, (almost) circum-navving Skye, paddling Inverness to Wick and discovering a section of absolutely hidden gem coastline south of Wick. The skills from working with Roger gave me the confidence to complete other trips, a highlight, showing how much sea kayaking can offer, was crossing Scillies to Lands End, seeing every marine animal that you could ever hope to in one crossing, and bivvi-ing on Cornish beaches.
Why Coastal Spirit?
I’m pretty sure that if I hadn’t started paddling with Coastal Spirit sea kayaking wouldn’t have become the big part of my life it is now, nor would I have progressed as I have. Roger is great at understanding what each individual needs, and provides a great source of mentoring and support. Keeping that continuity with one coach helps make the most of those coaching sessions as there’s no ‘getting to know the paddler’ stages.
What are you looking forward to and where would you most like to paddle next and why?
The next challenge is the ‘Roof of Britain’, a circumnavigation around Northern Scotland, using the Caledonian canal to close the loop, with a friend. Around 830km (completed in 26 days, with two days off - 8/2014).
I’ve got many, many other things I’d like to do and some bigger ambitions. I view the world differently now, I’m more aware of being on an island, and I’m eager to explore different bits of classic coastline from the sea
2/3 words to sum up your time with Coastal Spirit?
Update -Zoe achieved the coveted 5 star leader award in April 2016, along side the level 2 coach and then later on the moderate water endorsement. Oct 2016 Zoe was rewarded with working her first sea kayak festival in Pembroke and joining the community of coaches and leaders.
"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"
"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"
"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."