Alderney Sea Kayaking
Fly to Alderney, and explore the coastline by sea kayak.
Slip into a kayak and, accompanied by an experienced guide, explore the hidden beaches, caves, cliffs and birdlife of Alderney. Observe one of the largest Gannet colonies in Europe or, spot Puffins from the nature reserve on Burhou gathering food and even watch seals.
For many sailors, the Alderney Race and The Swinge are infamous for the huge tidal speeds. This is a place where the ocean may seem to flow downhill. Yet in a kayak it is possible to sneak along the coastline to explore places few ever see.
Following a Jersey Kayak Adventures exploratory sea kayaking weekend on Alderney in 2011 another trip has been scheduled.
Price: To be confirmed, includes guide, sit-on-top or sit-inside sea kayak and all equipment.
Clients are responsible for arranging flights and accommodation on Alderney.
Read about sea kayaking in Alderney in Ocean Paddler issue 30.
This mini-expedition is accompanied by Derek Hairon (BCU level 5 sea kayak coach), who has made direct kayak trips to Alderney. He has extensive sea kayaking experience in the Channel Islands, Ireland, UK, Alaska and the Faeroe Islands.
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Sea kayaking in the Channel Islands – Alderney
Essential information about our Alderney sea kayaking trip
For centuries Alderney was known as the gateway to the English Channel. This remote and remarkable island was heavily fortified by the British Navy during the wars with France. In the Second World War it was heavily fortified by the Nazis.
With a population of 2400, the island’s infrastructure is surprisingly well developed. Alderney offers a good selection of hotels, guest houses, a camp-site, restaurants and bars – so there is a range of activities and places to eat at after the day’s kayaking is over.
Getting to Alderney
Aurigny Airlines fly from Jersey, Guernsey and Southampton to Alderney. Fly in the little yellow Trilander aircraft and land on the grass airstrip at Alderney. Advanced booking is essential. Jersey–Alderney return flights are approx £122 including 15kg luggage and all taxes.
Fog and winds may delay flights as the airport is pretty small.
What we supply
Both sit-on-top and sit-inside sea kayaks are available. We have Ocean Kayak Scupper pro and Prowler Sit-on-top kayaks. Nordkapp, Avocets, Aquanaut, Esky sit inside sea kayaks. Please tell us in advance which kayak you need. You can test our kayaks if you are in Jersey before shipping.
Shipping kayaks and equipment to Alderney
If you decide to bring your own kayak and equipment it must be ready for shipment from Jersey two days before the trip and will not be back in Jersey until about 2 -3 days after the trip. However, on our last trip in 2012 it took 7 days….! There is no extra charge for shipping from Jersey but you may want to have your own insurance.
Shipping from Guernsey, Southampton and Poole is also possible. Call Derek for advice.
The choice of routes is subject to the weather conditions and the abilities of paddlers.
What level of sea kayak experience do I need to take part in the Alderney trip?
The Ocean Paddler article will give you a good idea of what it is like to kayak on Alderney.
Those who took part in the exploratory trip ranged from two fit novice paddlers, a level 1 BCU coach, two intermediate paddlers and another who had been sea kayaking for about 1 year. You do not need a high level of skill, just the desire for a new challenge and adventure. Remember, on Alderney things may not always go to plan and “Alderney time” is a somewhat elastic concept …
If conditions allow a crossing of the Swinge, it may be possible to visit the nature reserve on Burhou. This is home to the largest Puffin colony in the Channel Islands. Watch the Alderney Wildlife live Puffin cam here.
Should the long-range forecasts look unsuitable (in the view of the guide) for kayaking on Alderney to take place, a decision will be taken by Thursday (before shipping the kayaks). An alternative date will be offered or refund for the kayaking part of the trip.
Bad weather on Alderney
Once on Alderney, if the guide considers the weather is unsuitable for any kayaking to take place, a refund based on the lost portion of the kayaking component of the trip will be offered. Clients remain responsible for the accommodation and flight elements of their trip.
On the last trip, when conditions changed, we were able to run surf landing and launching sessions and other skills training so it is likely you will get afloat. Accept that plans may need to change so even if you do not get to see all the coast you should still be able to get afloat and develop your skills.
Flights and bookings
Clients are responsible for making/changing their flight bookings so check you can get a refund or rebooking. Aurigny offer flexible fares. Clients are responsible for the payment of accommodation.
The accommodation providers understand that in the event of forecast bad weather for the weekend the stay will be cancelled. Tell me when you are booking the accommodation you require so I can arrange for this to be held for you.
Alderney has no reciprocal health agreement with the UK or other Channel Islands so insurance is advised. The European health insurance card is not valid in Alderney.
For more information and advice
A short video of some of the faster water sections on Alderney