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Encounter Cornwall
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Kayak trips & hire on the beautiful Fowey Estuary
Kayak trips & hire on the beautiful Fowey Estuary

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Thank you very much, thank you very, very much!

We have had a very busy summer this year, but if it was just the two of us running things, then it simply wouldn't have happened! Business success depends mainly on the workers - they make or break your reputation & success, and we have been so lucky to have A* help!

Carol, running Cafe Kayak has excelled herself this year - she has worked every single day - not only baking scones, and keeping everyone entertained, but running our office when we're out on the water, in between catering for most questions/requirements! She has mopped up tears, listened to all manner of woes,and provided all manner of requests from dog towels to plasters. All of this she has done with a smile, her own irrepressible sense of humour and goodwill. She even managed to cook dinner for 14 last week in the Boatshed in between trips! She also makes a careful note of anything that she is asked for that we don't already have or do - like a map showing people our favourite beaches, and how to get to them!

Yet again this year we simply would not have managed without the dedicated, loyal and willing help on the water.
Steve, our new boatman, got thrown in the deep end (not literally..), going almost straight from qualifying to dealing with full trips, and did a fabulous job. He has developed his own style of guiding, and judging by what our customers, he's done a fab job.
Will by name, and willing by nature, returned this summer and has worked so hard - often doing several trips a day, and coaching the rowers at the club across the road - he really didn't know if he was coming or going! He is off to Edinburgh to study, and we have our fingers crossed that he will have time next summer to join us again.
Bronte, our 'super kayaker' has helped us in between training camps and races - it's always lovely to see her, and we hope her studies & training go from strength to strength.
Grateful thanks to Tom - a Golantian born & bred, who gives up some of his precious holiday time to help out, and not to forget out newest accidental recruit.......
David who, spending time in the village, quietly minding his own business and paddling away, found himself roped into helping.
Our heartfelt thanks to all of you - you make our job easy, so much fun, and are the best team we could wish for!
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9/2/17
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We're paddling in the rain, just paddling in the rain.....

We had almost every type of weather this week apart from snow! We had rain, wind, thunder & lightening, but also some wonderful sunshine - and we're glad to say that none of these things deterred our visitors! Carol sold out of cakes on more than one occasion, but we were fully stocked by opening the next day, thanks to late night baking from Karen! Despite the weather we have had great views of the wildlife - our lovely Seal, Serena is out and about, but choosing to spend more time in the quieter stretches of the estuary, away from all the noise and engines. We had some great views of Kingfishers this week too - even in the pouring rain - it's a matter of being very quiet and still, and just gliding rather than paddling, although it can be a bit too exciting for the very young!
We have been visiting Fowey this last week, with Sundowner trips upstream in the evenings. Next week, it's all change - we start our 'Creeks & Backwaters' trips on Monday at 10am, with our Sundowners going down towards Fowey. Some days have already filled, although we will do our best to put on extra tours if there is enough interest. So please check our website for up to date availability, or email or phone if you need anymore help.
Hope to see you next week!
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8/11/17
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It's National Marine Week this week, and a timely reminder of just how lucky we are not only to live here, but to work here too! Our business relies on the beauty of the Cornish landscape, and of the Fowey Estuary. Many paddlers are amazed at how unspoilt it is, how devoid of housing and roads for many parts, and the variety of wildlife. Without these things our business would be nothing much - but we want to draw attention to all the organisations - paid & volunteer who monitor and look after it. We have Marine Conservation Zones in the estuary, including a colony of Eel grass in the Harbour, that provides important habitats for marine life, our Common Seal that has made her home here, visiting Osprey at certain times of the year, Dolphins visit the harbour, and we have much bird life that rely on the quality of the water to provide food - and that's before we've even mentioned fishes, starfish, jellyfish, mussels, oysters etc! So many thanks to all the groups involved - Cornwall Wildlife Trust, West Country Rivers Trust, Friends of the Fowey Estuary, Cornwall Seal Group, Falmouth University (& Exeter, Plymouth) to mention a tiny few - thank you for all your care and work!
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8/2/17
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The weather has been a bit unpredictable this week, but our trips have been full of keen paddlers happy to come and explore with us! We have had some great wildlife sightings, including ringside seats watching Herons & Egrets fishing. We've introduced people to our 'Cormorant Tree', where all generations hang out together. We've seen the local Shelduck tribe mature from tiny chicks to teenagers - now they are looking more like adults - in just a month! The Kingfishers are more obvious now, and the fishes are leaping out of the water right in front of us! We've also spotted our lone Curlew hanging out with the Redshanks for the second year in a row - it seems to be happier with them than the other Curlews, and the Black Headed gulls are losing their black (really it's chocolate brown) heads and going grey & speckled before back to white again. Our younger paddlers (and some adults) are making use of Karen's designed 'Bird Spotting' sheets - they are laminated so you can take them in the kayak with you.
We are trying to keep our numbers modest so that we can chat to you & show you the sights, but this does mean we book up pretty quickly, so come on over to Golant and bag a front seat for the Fowey Estuary show!
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7/26/17
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We had a lovely trip today, with some super wildlife sightings. This week we are running our Creeks & Backwaters trips, with evening Sundowners visiting Fowey on some days - up to date details are on our website. Cafe Kayak will be open from next Sat, right through every day until Sept. So let us welcome you to our beautiful piece of Cornwall, and come & see for yourself!
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7/18/17
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30 Days Wild....summary

Well, the month seemed to fly by - not quite sure what happened! We took part as much as possible in the Wildlife Trust's #30dayswild campaign. Although we spend plenty of time on the water and interacting with the wildlife there, it made us think much more about nature in general. We slept outside in a tent - very welcome in those recent hot nights - we had wonderful picnics with friends, saw deer, Barn owls - heard Tawny & Little owls. We went on our walks looking at things much more closely, and found butterflies, moths, spiders with babies on their backs - all sorts of things that we may have passed by normally. Karen made elderflower cordial, we went foraging for different foods to use in our cooking, and marvelled at the breadth and scope of the possibilities to engage with nature. We were also lucky enough to be able to sneak off for a few hours to visit Lethytep - opened for the #CornwallWildlifeTrust, and the most beautiful and inspiring place you could imagine. We are trying to use the Boatshed garden in as full a way as possible - we're experimenting with a straw bale this year to grow squash and beans, and also tubs of french beans, sweetcorn and salad, and as many pollinator friendly plants as possible.
You are very welcome to pop in to the Boatshed garden, even if you are not paddling - Cafe Kayak is open at weekends until 22nd July, then we are open every day.
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7/3/17
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Swanning about....
The swan population over the last few years has increased to healthy numbers, despite a couple of swans being injured or killed due to fishing hooks and other river debris. We now have a group of 12 youngsters who are seen regularly up and down the estuary - sometimes all together, sometimes in pairs. Despite their alarming press of breaking arms with their wings, they are curious and very calm around us. Two are regular visitors to Golant where they have their favourite 'watering hole' - the same rowing boat each time full of rainwater. They also sleep on the mud at low tide, so by the time the tide comes back in, they are ready for a wash and brush up! Swans are one of the least exotic species that we see, but watching them every day, you begin to notice more about them, and we're pretty sure they are beginning to know us and our groups too! That's the great thing about kayaking - it allows us to get so much nearer to the wildlife, and have a chance to interact. For many of our youngest paddlers it's the first time they've been able to see all sorts of wildlife, and to see their reaction is just magic!
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6/24/17
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Some of you may be aware of the Wildlife Trust's '30 days Wild' campaign, which is encouraging everyone to get outdoors and experience nature in as many different ways as possible. Whilst the majority of our work is out on the water, we have been trying to experience different activities ourselves too.

Karen has picked Elderflower and made cordial (we may have some to share in the Cafe), David has 'bee'n busy looking after our hives, and exploring the huge variety of other bees that are about (honey bees are a tiny part of the bee community). We already spend most of our time out of doors, and know the benefit of that, but we have learned from other posts about the skill of really looking hard at what seems the simplest thing.

Karen took a photo of a bee on a foxglove flower - when you look harder, you can see tiny mites on the back of the bee..... She also snapped a tiny spider in the grass, that was carrying her entire brood on her back, and we spotted a tiny moth sitting right down at the base of some grasses - something we probably wouldn't have noticed usually.

Karen is also busy in the Boatshed garden planting bee & butterfly attracting plants, but also trying out planting ideas for vegetables to prove that you don't need much space to make a difference.

If you haven't already, have a look at the Cornwall Wildlife Trust, and their campaign - it might change the way you look at nature. You can also come out with us on the water and explore too!
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6/13/17
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A Seal, A Kingfisher, and a group of 'Hens'......

We don't just lead our regular, guided trips - we also are happy to cater for larger groups of family or friends, work colleagues - and Stag & Hen Parties. We took 'Hen' Katy out with her friends yesterday - and after telling them we were unlikely to see Serena that day - up she popped, very briefly, to our surprise! We also had the first close ups of Kingfishers this week - about 5 in total, and we were able to paddle very close to Herons fishing in the outgoing tide for fish - got a great sequence - including it swallowing the fish! Good luck to Katy when she gets married in a few weeks time.
We have trips running every day and if you would like a private, organised trip please get in touch.
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6/4/17
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It's been a very full week this half term - lots of sun and only a little rain. We've seen Cruise ships, Clay Boats, sailing Boats, Wildlife - including the welcome return of our lovely Serena the Seal. We've taken pairs, friends, large family groups, and large groups of friends all staying together; several paddlers have returned in the same week to try a different trip. Cafe Kayak has sold mountains of cake, cream teas & bacon butties, but Carol has stayed her usual, capable & whacky self - she even cooked dinner for our friends and helpers last night in the Boatshed garden!
We have been delighted to receive your kind comments and reviews, and to introduce you to this fabulous bit of Cornwall.
We are full this morning, but we are taking our 2 hr Sundowners this evening and Sat evening at 18.00 if you've missed out so far!
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6/2/17
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