I have never been a great fan of formal award schemes within adventure sports like sea kayaking - their structure and formality being at odds with all that I love about the sea and this way of life.
But for a variety of reasons all too dull to go into here, I recently found myself enjoying Anglesey's familiar coastline with Roger Chandler of Coastal Spirit, training for the BCU 5 star award.
And with an ideal mix of conditions through the week for our purposes, it was perhaps the perfect way in which to take a break from the fells, to rediscover the sea, swell and tide races as well as learning more about leading others in this most dynamic of environments.
Personal skills, night navigation, vectors...it all sounds rather dry when reading the syllabus. Putting it all into practice in Penrhyn Mawr, was not.
Reflecting on a week well spent.
All images except the last, taken by Roger Chandler, Coastal Spirit.