Tidal Forecasting

tidal forecasting
There are many elements to a successful fatyaking expedition – packing correctly, being prepared with what you wear, a well maintained kayak, and of course, the weather. But a factor that can be sometimes overlooked is tidal forecasting – knowing when the tide will be at an appropriate level for your planned activities.

Successfully planning a trip around the tide is great – you’ll know when it is high enough to easily launch your Fatyak without the risk of bumping and scraping your way down the beach. Additionally, some coves and areas that you may have wanted to paddle through may only be available at high, or low tide specifically. Travelling through certain areas at low tide could definitely offer some challenges you may rather avoid – so make sure you have a backup plan too!

h20

In addition to the benefits that can be taken from successful tidal forecasting, there are some dangers to be avoided from paying attention also. Low tide in general could make it rather treacherous to paddle in some areas, as you may be too low to rocks, general obstacles, and the sea bed itself. It’s also worth considering any gear you may leave on the beach if you have travelled in a group or have somebody waiting on the shore – unexpected high tide could see all that being washed away.

The tide works by the moon’s gravitational force pulling areas of the ocean as the earth rotates – so if the moon is directly overheard as you are on the coast, you will experience high tide. Likewise, if the moon is directly overhead on the opposite site of the Earth, you will also experience high tide as the earth is pulled slightly towards the moon. However, depending on the geography of where you are, tides may behave slightly differently due to the shape or gradient of the surrounding coast and land.

Fatyaks in the Harbour
Therefore, with the tides changing every 12 hours or so, you will get two high tides, and two low tides each day. Other factors come into account though, such as the specific position of the moon and the sun, and the different forces that act on tides making a tide book or another source of guidance a very handy investment for forecasting the tide, and making sure it suits your activities.

The UK Hydrographic Office has a great online tool for tidal forecasting, offering predictions for different areas over the next 6 days free of charge. Additionally, tidetimes.org.uk and BBC Weather both have their own offerings, as well as books and smartphone apps being available, which may be more useful if you’re already out on the water – so see what suits you best and take your pick!

Are these the best-travelled Fatyakers around?

Of course, our Kayaks are travelling the country every day to new homes, straight from the factory, to be enjoyed by fans all over the UK. However, the main point to note here is that the kayaks in question here are travelling along Britain’s roads in the back of our lorries, and not in the water!

13124583_943853149067208_6618362050231682388_n

Not to forget, of course, the beaches that have their share of Fatyak action by way of a plethora of retailers, schools, and partners up and down the country – wisely stocking Fatyak Kayaks as part of their business:

12794850_907358336050023_662899948256963031_o

So what about the Fatyaks that travel the country themselves? The independent kayaks, well-travelled Fatyaks that see many, many different bodies of water throughout their career. We occasionally ponder the question, and we think we may have found one of the most well-travelled group of Fatyak Kayaks to-date!

This group of kayaks belongs to Martin and a keen kayaking family, who have been enjoying their fleet of Fatyaks in all kinds of spots. Martin and his family have explored waters from The Grand Union Canal to the Praa sands in Cornwall, with destinations in between – a distance roughly as long as 160,000 Fatyak Kaafus!

grandunion

Here he can be seen in the waters at Croyde Bay, in Devon. Croyde Bay is not too far from ourselves in Somerset, and certainly a location worth checking out for adrenaline junkies and explorers alike – offering a beautiful location for outdoor activities and exploration in general, especially kayaking and surfing!

croyde

As well as Croyde, Martin and his family have experienced some of the wealth that Cornwall has to offer for lovers of the surf; including both Maenporth and Praa Sands in West Cornwall:

maenporth

praa

If you think you’re also a well-travelled fatyaker, we would love to see your pictures and some details on the spots you’ve covered! Keep on fatyaking Martin!

Kayak Safety

Kayaking is currently the fastest growing watersport in the UK. Not only do we think this is due to how much fun is involved (just ask our customers!), but also that kayaking is now incredibly accessible. High quality, affordable kayaks, such as our own products featured on this blog, offer an easy route into the water for beginners to the sport.

Kayak Front Carry Handle Macro

However, while this is undeniably a good thing, the potential dangers inherent to the nature of extreme sport must still be realised. The RNLI have released a warning regarding the usage of kayaks, particularly in coastal waters. While many RNLI members own kayaks and participate in the sport themselves, there is ubiquitous agreement on the importance of taking care on the open sea, and ensuring that you know what you are dealing with. This was in response to a case involving two kayakers that got themselves into trouble on the waters just off Minehead in Somerset, about 20 minutes from where our Fatyak™ Kayaks are manufactured.

The important things to bear in mind when enjoying all that the water has to offer in your kayak is to be familiar with your location, in line with your personal skill level. Calm water areas such as Wimbleball Lake, in Somerset, can be ideal for beginners due to their relative predictability, available facilities and obviously, calm water. The open sea can be a bit more risky due to change in currents, tides, the effect weather can have, as well as unpredictability. Knowing your boat is key too – practicing manoeuvres such as eskimo rolls in the event of capsizing, for example. The Fatyak™ product line has improved safety in this aspect as opposed to traditional designs, due to the “sit on top” design, meaning the boats are unlikely to capsize, very stable on the water and easy to manoeuvre, yet remaining versatile for all skill levels. If the boat does capsize the sit-on-top design allows for an easy escape.

Realising the potential hazards involved, and the responsibility involved when there are an estimated 1.2 million lovers of kayaking in the UK, Fatyak™ takes certain steps in development to help keep the sport as safe as it is fun. Not only are our kayaks safety-conscious in their design, but each kayak is shipped with a safety booklet, detailing points to consider before setting off, being in the water, as well as safe storage and maintenance of your kayak. In addition to this, there is safety advice moulded into the kayak itself, as well as the recommendation to take an instructional course before getting involved with some quality Fatyaking™ time!

Fatyak Hönö Safety

RNLI Minehead Harbour Fest

Last weekend we got involved with hosting the Minehead Harbour Fest (link) – bringing #fatyaking™ to Minehead Harbour with taster sessions and Fatyak™ races – with £500 for the winner.
Minehead Harbour Fest is a new concept for 2015 born from the RNLI Raft Race – an event that has been running for 35 years along the coast from Blue Anchor to Minehead. This year the Raft Race was developed from a one-day to a two-day event on the Harbour full of live music, fun on the water, and street entertainment for the masses to enjoy. The festival was run in association with our own selves, and The Old Ship Aground pub, located right in the thick of the action. As well as providing a weekend of fun, the aim was to support money for the RNLI who obviously play an invaluable role in all that the weekend stands for.

This new concept was a spectacular success this year, with the finest local paddlers being pitched against each other in pursuit of a £500 prize – all in our very own fleet of fatyak™ kayaks down in the harbour.

Fatyaks in the Harbour

Fatyaks™ in the Harbour

The amount of registrants increased exponentially on the day as the hype began to build, with Steven Dodd, Special Olympics Kayaking Twice Silver Medallist amongst the mix, and the atmosphere was fantastic – with some extremely exciting paddling and weather that could not have been better! The course consisted of a sprint out to a buoy just past the harbour area and back, made up of 3 heats, with safety monitoring kindly provided by the RNLI team.

Fatyak Racers taking off

Fatyak™ Racers taking off

Midpoint of the Sprint

Midpoint of the Sprint

Special Olympics Silver Medallist Steven Dodd and Josh Searle of Fatyak

Special Olympics Silver Medallist Steven Dodd and Josh Searle of Fatyak

The main event of the Sunday was, of course, Minehead’s beloved raft race! The course was shortened this year due to safety concerns, running from Butlins as opposed to Blue Anchor but the event was just as legendary as ever with teams from as far as Hertfordshire entering the pro race.
As well as the professionals, we had teams consisting of the Minehead Barbarians rugby squad, Staff from our local Tesco supermarket, the “blind mice” from Minehead Specsavers and many more all bashing hulls in the fun race! Not to mention Fatyak™ Kayak’s very own raft which also competed in the pro race.

The Fatyak Team Raft tearing it up!

The Fatyak™ Team Raft tearing it up!

Teams competed for an array of prize categories including most original raft, the pub challenge, best fancy dress and the first local crew – full details of which will be included in the end of this post.

Williton YFC Raft

Williton YFC Raft

Watchet Sea Scouts - Winners of the Best Fancy Dress House Doctor's Cup

Watchet Sea Scouts – Winners of the Best Fancy Dress House Doctor’s Cup

While the Raft Race was underway, back at the harbour we were running Fatyak™ taster sessions – we were fully booked with keen fatyakers™ for the majority which was absolutely great to see, especially since so many had never been on the water before! We were helped hugely by Channel Adventure in keeping everybody safe and allowing a fun and informative session to take place.

Fatyak Taster Sessions with Channel Adventure

Fatyak™ Taster Sessions with Channel Adventure

Tying together the burbling atmosphere of the weekend once the sun began to set was, of course, the fantastic live music acts organised by The Old Ship Aground including The Thatchers, Soulville Express, Pearl & The Diamond Geezers, Acoustic Roots, Little Betty, and The Salt Flat Rats – all with added music and entertainment by Tone FM DJ Drew Haddon. Commentary was provided to contextualise the action throughout the daytimes by Drew Haddon and Josh Searle of Tone FM, with a link from Phil Sanderson of the RNLI from the Safety Boat – keeping the masses updated regarding life on the water.
The staging and lighting provided by NBP Sound and Lighting Hire lit up the harbour once darkness fell, providing a brilliant backdrop for the selection of bands on offer throughout the weekend.

The Salt Flat Rats performing at the Old Ship Aground for RNLI Minehead Harbour Fest

The Salt Flat Rats performing at the Old Ship Aground for RNLI Minehead Harbour Fest

And speaking of lighting up the harbour, with help from an array of firms, a spectacular firework show was funded and put on display for the town to enjoy.

Many thanks to;

Fuel Tank Shop
Richard Beaver Ford
Julians Laundry
Tanks Direct
Derek Merson Garage
CJ Lynch and Sons
Singer Instruments
Channel Training
Channel Adventure
Minehead Hire
Butlins
Stones Bar and Restaurant
Maitland Walker Solicitors

Harbour Fest Fireworks

image7-2

image7-3

image7-4

Last but not least…

Overall the weekend was a huge success and we would like to offer our most sincere thank you to everyone who attended, and everybody involved in hosting the event. A congratulations is in order for Fastest Paddler, David Farr, who won the Fatyak™ Races with a blistering time of 9 minutes and 23 seconds as well as winners from the other prize categories:
Fastest Female Paddler – Jane Dunn
Fastest Youth Paddler – Ben Pye
Fastest Youth/Adult Paddlers – Henry & Phil Young

Fatyak Race Winners David Farr, Jane Dunn, Ben Pye, Henry & Phil Young with Fatyak Manager Jayne Blundell and Special Olympics Silver Medallist Steven Dodd

Fatyak™ Race Winners David Farr, Jane Dunn, Ben Pye, Henry & Phil Young with Fatyak™ Manager Jayne Blundell and Special Olympics Silver Medallist Steven Dodd

The full results for the Raft Race are included below;

Pro Raft Race
1. 14 – Wonder Y, from Tring, male (Derek Williams Cup)
2. 5 – Madsat Black 6, from Herefordshire, male
3. 13 – Wonder Y ladies, from Tring, female
4. 17 – Vikings Raft Team, from Alcester, male (2)
5. 18 – Vikings Raft Team, from Alcester, male (4)
6. 2 – Valient Soldier, from Roadwater, young male (First local Raft, Old Ship Aground – Ale)
7. 1- Valient Soldier, from Roadwater, old male
8. 16 – The Victory Pub, from Hereford, mixed
9. 15 – The Victory Pirates, from Herefoprd, mixed
10. 19 – Rest and Be, from Wheddon Cross, mixed
11. 4 – The Black Pig, from Wheddon Cross, male
12. 12 – Fatyaks™ Kayaks, from Williton, male
13. 7 – Dunster Beach 1, from Dunster, male
14. 10- 5th time lucky, from Minehead, male
15. 11 – Mandy’s many men, from Minehead, mixed
16. 9 – The Gym, from Bishopstoke, male
Sank – Valient Soldier, from Roadwater, female

Fun Race
1. L – Minehead Barbarians, from Minehead, male (First Fancy Dress – Channel Training Prize)
2. J – Seahorse Centre, from Minehead, mixed
3. H – Blind Mice / SpecSavers, from Minehead, mixed
4. E – Exmoor Hill Farming Network, from Minehead, mixed (Most Original Raft – Mike Arnold)
5. K – Chillys Car Car, from Minehead, mixed
6. C – The Village People, from Wooten Courtney, male
7. A – Have a Go Halcon, from Taunton, mixed
8. D – Three men in a Sub, from Lincoln, male
9. Q – Deso Engineering, from Williton, male
10. N – GB Scaffolding, from Minehead, male
11. F – 1st Watchet Sea Scouts, from Watchet, mixed (Best Fancy Dress – House Doctors Cup)
12. B – Brookfood Processing, from Williton, mixed
13. G – British Heart Foundation
14. M – Tesco, from Minehead, mixed
15. Q – The Happy Campers (caravan), from Minehead, male

A huge thanks again to the RNLI, whose work encapsulates the spirit of everything the weekend was about, as well as The Old Ship Aground for their never-ending support of the event, and being the lifeblood of culture on Minehead Harbour. See you all again next year!

Blue Mile Event Plymouth

Blue Mile Event, Plymouth – Super Saturday what a day!

Fatyak™ kayaks being an official partner for the Blue Mile events again this year, attended the Plymouth event 14/15 September. Unfortunately, due to bad weather conditions being forecast for the Sunday all Blue Mile races were brought forward to the Saturday with almost 300 people taking to the water – either swimming, Fatyaking™ or SUPing a mile for charity. Olympic Chamption Tim Baillie won the Kayaking race again this year on the Fatyak™, closely followed in second position by his wife Sarah who is a Canadian International Canoeist.

Fatyak™ Kayaks are pleased to be associated with these events and with the proceeds going to the Marine Conservation Society recognise the significance of the great work done by this charity.

A Fatyak™ Kaafu was offered in a free prize draw which was won by Sally Watts from Weymouth, who was at the Blue Mile event in Weymouth earlier in the year.

For some great action shots click here

Another great customer review of our UK made Fatyaks™

“My wife and I have just returned from 4 weeks kayaking in Mavisehir Turkey, we bought our fatyaks™ (surf and kaafu) a few months ago, apart from a 1 hr session we have never sat in a kayak before. we are both very impressed at how responsive and stable the kayaks were, we had a ball and we are delighted that we chose our fatyaks™.”
Danny Mc Nally

Wildlife Spotting from your Fatyak™ Kayak

Fatyak™ Kayaks are perfect for kayaking around the coastline and reaching those far flung areas that cannot be reached by foot, perfect for observing the wildlife around. Fatyaking™ around the coast offers opportunities for close encounters with marine life such as seabirds, seals and dolphins. What’s more, with no noise or carbon emissions the potential impact on the environment is minimal which is an even better reason to have a go.

The Fatyak™ Kaafu and the Fatyak™ Mahee both have rear storage compartments and waterproof storage hatches for storing equipment that you may need, meaning you can spend extra time afloat.

Dolphins have been spotted off of the beach in Come Martin, North Devon on a Fatyak™. Mark from 3 Wiggle Adventures ltd Combe Martin can take you out and about on a Fatyak™ kayak – contact telephone number 07947 716721

Along with seals in Wareham, Dorset.

If any one has been lucky enough to see wildlife whilst Fatyaking™, please email any pictures to us and we can share with our Fatyak™ friends.

No images found.