Canoe in Comfort: logo2.gif (3317 bytes)     General Information about Canoe in Comfort

After 15 years, Paul Lethebee and Jim Davis have ceased trading as the partnership Jinaka Canoe Guides but are continuing to offer similar canoeing activities as 'Canoe in Comfort'. They no longer have an AALA licence, so do not offer any activities for children under 18 unless they are accompanied by a parent. They hold coaching qualifications awarded by the British Canoe Union covering the skills required for journeying on open water and moving water to grade 2 in canoes and frequently work together. Individually they also have other skills in mountaineering, caving, kayaking and sailing as well as a good knowledge of plants, birds, fish, rocks, bush and camp craft.

Have a look at what we do and, if you are interested in what we offer, click on the relevant "Enquire" button below.

Beginner We teach people of all ages to become confident in paddling open doubles (two person) canoes with an emphasis on comfort, fun, minimal effort and safety. Open canoes are not kayaks so there's no 'rolling'; we like to stay dry. We have taken beginners to Sweden where they have been relaxed and delighted at their achievements. Enquire
Intermediate There are more skills to learn when you encounter moving water (not white water).  Moving water makes you more aware of how little effort you should use, because you learn to let the water do the work for you. You can also start learning to paddle by yourself (solo). You will also learn more about safety and looking after others. Enquire
Advanced As the moving water becomes white your advanced skills come with practice until you become at one with your canoe and unaware of it. There are other skills such as sailing, camping and bush craft, and lining/tracking and poling skills to learn, together with group responsibility and safety. You can also experiment with surfing. Enquire
About to get a boat or just got one. Some people have got to the stage that they have just bought a canoe, or want to and would value some focused coaching on the wider aspects of canoeing - journeying, camp and bush craft, and general tips about other equipment   - what you need to buy and what you can make yourself. Enquire
Socials We can organise days out and often take groups (mostly consisting of beginners) for weekends where they can experience travelling by canoe and seeing how comfortable camping can be. After finding out any dietary needs, we provide and cook the food including three course evening meals with vegetarian/carnivore options in addition to the normal canoe coaching. Enquire
Family Days There is an opportunity to enjoy days when families can introduce themselves to canoeing with time for a picnic and the fun that children need. Children under 18 need to be accompanied by a parent. Enquire
Celebrations We have organised canoeing activities in response to specific celebrations e.g. a stag/hen days out. These are lively occasions and we can find venues suitable for a group with a mixed range of skills. We feel we could respond equally well to requests for anniversaries, birthdays and reunions. Enquire
Journeys We organise journeys longer than a weekend usually 5-6 days. These can be river or lake journeys or a combination of both. The Rivers Wye and Severn in Wales, The Shannon in Ireland, and The Tay and Spey in Scotland are all good trips. There are also many good loch trips to do in Scotland: Assynt, Caledonian Canal Enquire
Expeditions We have ideas for trips on the Rivers Mosel, Loire, Rhine and Danube which offer reasonably long journeys with lots to see and explore. Enquire
Sweden Tour Sweden provides an opportunity to experience semi-wilderness without having to go to Canada. We run 5-6 day or longer tours in May/June and mid/late August in Dalsland. You have the equivalent of the English Lake District x10 all to yourselves and rarely see anyone else. Enquire
Canada To join a trip in this classic canoe country, please ask. BCU 3* experience would be relevant. Enquire

Canoeing is an activity that is suitable for all ages.
It provides a mode of transport that is ideal for observing and enjoying nature.

United Kingdom: Venues can be arranged at sites throughout the UK. We use canals, lakes, rivers and the sea. Commonly used venues are lakes in the Lake District and Scotland, rivers in Cumbria, Northumberland, Wales, and Scotland.
Sweden: We offer 5 day or longer guided canoe journeys in the Dalsland Lake District of Sweden, and the adjacent Nordmarken District of Norway. The area offers the opportunity for near wilderness travel on unspoilt lakes at English prices. This guided canoe venture has been developed with our host in Sweden- Bertil Andersson of Canodal- and the Swedish Tourist Board.

Terminology (in general)

Canoe- a large open top boat about 16ft long with 2 seats. A canoe paddle has one blade. For beginners, two people would paddle a canoe together. You do not have to roll a canoe. Take the easy option and stay upright and dry!
Kayak- a closed top boat between 6 and 13ft long designed for manoeuvrability with 1 seat. A kayak paddle has two blades. For beginners, one person would paddle a kayak. In a kayak, if you fall in, you can either remove yourself from it and be assisted back in by an instructor or, with practice, roll the kayak back so you are once again sitting upright.
Sea kayak- a form of kayak designed for sea use with inbuilt watertight storage. It is a closed top boat between 14 and 20ft long with 1 seat designed for speed and going in a straight line- not for manoeuvrability. (Paddle and rolling are similar to a kayak).

Water Skills- skills associated with paddling and controlling a canoe or kayak

Beginner introduction to canoeing on lakes (sheltered/ placid water)
Intermediate introduction to canoeing on rivers (moving water up to grade 2)
Advanced advanced skills for canoeing on rivers (white water above grade 2)

The International River Grading Scale ranges from 1 to 6 (source reference:- Wikipedia):
The class/grade of a river or rapid is likely to change along with the level of the water. High water usually makes rapids more difficult and dangerous, although some rapids may be easier at high flows, because features are covered or "washed-out". At flood stage (spate), even rapids which are usually easy can contain lethal and unpredictable hazards. Conversely, some rapids may be easier with lower water levels when dangerous river features (hydraulics) become easier to manage.
Class/Grade 1: Easy-Waves small; passages clear; no serious obstacles
Class/Grade 2: Medium- Rapids of moderate difficulty with passages clear. Requires experience plus suitable outfit and boat.
Class/Grade 3: Difficult-Waves numerous, high, irregular; rocks; eddies; rapids with passages clear though narrow, requiring expertise in manoeuvring; scouting usually needed. Requires good operator and boat.
Class/Grade 4: Very Difficult- Long rapids; waves high, irregular; dangerous rocks; boiling eddies; best passages difficult to scout; scouting mandatory first time; powerful and precise manoeuvring required. Demands expert boatman and excellent boat and good quality equipment. Course often difficult to recognise.
Class/Grade 5: Extremely Difficult- Exceedingly difficult, long and violent rapids, following each other almost without interruption; riverbed extremely obstructed; big drops; violent current; very steep gradient; close study essential but often difficult. Requires best person, boat, and outfit suited to the situation. All possible precautions must be taken. Previous inspection absolutely necessary, risks of injury, swims always serious.
Class/Grade 6: Unrunnable- Risk to life

Journeying Skills- Not only can you learn water skills, but you can also explore, and learn how to camp in comfort, cook on open fires, experiment in bush craft and enjoy nature at first hand.

More information

Health: A confidential medical questionnaire has to be completed and received by Jinaka before any activity. Every effort will be made by our guides to marry people's needs, abilities and disabilities with the canoeing environment, but sometimes this will not be possible for safety reasons. Whilst we always carry a first aid kit, we would recommend that you pack any personal medication that you may require.
Safety and Emergency Procedures relevant to our activities have been identified, and will be introduced to participants and/or practised at the relevant time.
Insurance: Jinaka has the appropriate public liability insurance for its activities.
Itinerary: Any proposed itinerary is an outline which will be followed subject to environmental factors, the most obvious of which is the weather. Your safety is paramount. Within this outline, we can be flexible and adapt activities according to personal and group decisions.
Skills: It is not necessary for you to have any water skills. However, it is important that you will be able to be comfortable sitting in a canoe, as well as be calm in the event of an involuntary swim. If you have any doubts about this, you should reconsider the appropriateness of canoeing. Canoeing uses more coordination than strength so there will be no need for you to have anything other than a reasonable level of fitness.
The participant/instructor ratio: This varies depending on the activity, the weather and the participants, usually with a maximum of 8 per instructor.
The option to have more guides enables a greater degree of flexibility and variety in the activities that can be done, e.g. a group can split and do different things.

If you feel inspired to try canoeing, want to improve your existing skills, or like exploring on water,
1. Send us a message telling us what you would like to do.
2. Get a group of 6 or more together
3. Secure a booking with us by paying a non returnable deposit- see How to book
4. Enjoy your chosen activity.

To make an enquiry or to book, please send us a message and we will reply to you.
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