Harwich, Essex, United Kingdom
A great trip to a wild seal colony over a total distance of 7-8 nautical miles. We depart Dovercourt beach (just past Harwich cricket club) and paddle southeast down the coast towards the Walton backwaters. We don’t divulge the whereabouts of the colony for obvious reasons and we maintain a strict interaction policy, that is the seals approach us. Your Lead Guide will give you information about the seal's habits before we enter the area and he/she will take questions when you leave.
Once we’ve spent some time with the seals we paddle to Stone Point to break for lunch on the beach and a well-deserved break. We return to Dovercourt in the afternoon heading directly across the bay for a deep water return paddle. This is a one-off trip that you'll find difficult to do on your own; a most memorable experience.
We ask all of our guests to participate in a beach clean of any beach we land on during your event, usually at the end of our lunch break. Please bring along a strong bin bag and gloves (if they need them) to help us with the beach clean. Obviously, this isn't compulsory but we all use the environment and we want to take care of it for future visitors and the marine wildlife that lives there. After all, this is our coastline.
Weather Remit: A wind of a maximum of 15 knots steady blow and this includes wind gusts. The trip will be rescheduled if the wind exceeds this limit and there is further discretion on the part of the Lead Guide for all-night events. Rain, snow and other conditions don’t generally affect our ability on the water. Exceptions are sometimes made and this is at the discretion of your Lead Guide and/or the Operations Director. Your Lead Guide will make a decision based on the wind speed (including wind gusts) in combination with tide strength and direction, time of day or night and size of the group alongside other factors that may influence the safety and comfort of the entire group. NSK wants to get your event completed as soon as possible; please trust the judgement of your coach/Guide.
It should be noted that events only go ahead with a minimum of six (6) guests.
Sixteen years of age and over.
|Launch location||CO12 3TS, Dovercourt beach, Harwich|
Kayakers - Final times will be confirmed a week prior to the trip based on the tides at the launch site. See Guide Notes tab for final confirmed launch time.
Hikers - Departure time is as stated.
|Equipment||Sit-on-top kayak, buoyancy aid & paddle|
|Parking||Free on site or pay & display.|
|Additional Notes||*Social distancing guidelines will be maintained on all NSK trips, courses, wild camps and events. Your Lead Guide will provide guidance during your safety briefing.* It should be noted that events only go ahead with a minimum of six (6) guests. For those using Satelite Navigation Tip – please take the next turn to West End Lane, don’t follow the Sat. Nav. directions down the farm lane! Follow West End Lane all the way down to the pay and display car park. Post Code: CO12 3TS|
**NOTES FROM YOUR GUIDE**
Launch: Group1@10am sharp. Group 2@10:05am and Group 3@10:10.
NEW VENUE: Pin Mill slipway, IP9 1JW
WINDY, please bring warm clothing.
IMPORTANT - Corona Virus
Due to the new guidance of the government and the fact that some guests may be self-isolating through no choice of themselves, all guests scheduled for this event have been rescheduled to the next available date of 4th July 2020. LAUNCH at 10H00 sharp. This has been confirmed by email to each guest.
We have added two new and important protocols to our 'standard operating procedure' for all events and you can see these in our FAQ's under 'Important Stuff'.
These are difficult times for NSK and we need your support. We respectfully ask all of our guests for their patience and consideration, we are trying to survive a serious pandemic and do the right thing for all of our customers as well as look after our staff and freelance Guides. We will ensure that every paid and confirmed guest WILL get their event.
*Social distancing guidelines will be maintained on all NSK trips, courses, wild camps and events. Your Lead Guide will provide guidance during your safety briefing.*
Please arrive in good time to dress, pack kayaks and enjoy a safety briefing before launching. If the weather conditions restrict us so that we don't make it to the seal colony, we will land and fire up the stove to make hot drinks. Guests are invited to bring travel mugs/cups and a favourite drink e.g. powdered hot chocolate/coffee or tea (and milk if you need it!) and we will get a brew on! Guests are also welcome to bring flasks of a hot drink or soup etc. to take with them. Ensure you have enough snacks, packed lunch, and fluids as well as adequate sun protection to suit your needs.
This trip covers a distance of approximately seven (7) to nine (9) nautical miles so please be prepared to paddle and keep up. The pace is reasonable for 'beginner paddlers' & more than achievable. Each guest is responsible for their own progress, warmth and energy levels (Guides cannot do it for you) so PLEASE be prepared to paddle hard when required. This is a wild seal colony and we have to cover some distance to get to them.
Please read your ‘Trip Details’ email that you received after you placed your booking thoroughly - questions to our office on 01473 - 375 026 (business hours only please). Please don’t telephone outside of business hours as we are closed - thank you.
Kurt (Lead Guide)
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After a long period of off the water due the dreaded virus we were set to go out on the seal colony tour on the 4th of July. I watched the weather all week with anticipation as it was very windy. On the Thursday before the tour plans were changed by Nomad sea kayaking. Rather than cancel the trip we had all been waiting so long for it was decided we would set off from more sheltered setting at Pin Mill. A great day was had. It was nice to see guests from previous trips and meet some new ones. On the way back we even saw a seal
It was great to get out there again and get our guests back on the water.
It was great to see you Christian and looking forward to getting you on our Eskimo Rolling course in the next few weeks!
An absolutely fantastic trip. Very knowledgable guides who both know the area and their craft but also instill a sense of trust in the ecological impact of kayaking trips to visit seals. Safety and technique for kayaking were paramount; there was no glossing over the hard work of kayaking and that is to Nomad's credit. The payoff was that, whilst paddling away, no part of your mind is worrying, meandering or concerned ....its just you and waves...they take care of everything else. I would most definitely recommend them for a trip.
Thank you Richard!
We had a great day and your group definitely kept us smiling :)
we look forward to seeing all on the water again soon and we hope that Dean dried off quickly.
Another great day out with the Nomad Kayaking team. The weather was changeable so the day was planned ad hoc to suit all participants ability and conditions. This along with all other outings and courses have been very enjoyable adventures and social occasions. Thank you.
Thank you Christian! Another day of learning and adventure :)
As you have said it was a changeable day, weatherwise. This meant that our Lead Guide changed the route to ensure the changing conditions were not insurmountable for our guests.
The seals didn't disappoint either with a couple of groups of mums and pups playing around our kayaks. Looking forward to seeing you again soon! Becky NSK